Biblical Studying, Old and New Covenants, Law vs. Grace, Church Issues, Home Church, Free Will vs. Calvinism, Love of God

We are faced each day and each moment with what tree we will eat from-the tree of knowledge of good and evil or the tree of life. Man can live by the principle of right and wrong or the principle of life. Christianity is not living by right and wrong, good and evil. That is the old covenant, old testament way of life. It is also the world’s way. Christianity is not a new or different set of commandments. Christianity does not require that we ask whether something is right or wrong. So what does it require of us??? 

Right and Wrong vs. Life and Love

1.   Jesus is Greater than the Temple and the Law (sabbath)

But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless  Matthew 12:6-7

And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Mark 2:27-8

Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? Luke 6;9 

Jesus, who is “Love and Life,” reaches higher and goes much further than good or evil, and right and wrong, or even religion, sacrifice and law (“greater than the temple…”). You can keep the law and not have life or love.  This confirms that there is a higher law, even according to the law itself, and that the higher law is Jesus and his love and life. His love is so powerful that it causes us to keep the commandments.

The “sabbath” (the law) was made for man. Man was not made for the law. Man was made for Jesus, for his life, and to serve him, not the law. When Jesus “broke” the sabbath, i.,e, when he healed on the sabbath, he was placing life and love and himself above the Sabbath, above the law. He was emphatically proclaiming himself above the law, that he, his life, and his love are the higher law. 

2.  Jesus’ Teachings Revisited and Re-evaluated

Consider the well-known stories of the woman caught in adultery, the woman at the well, the rich young ruler,  and the “Sermon on the Mount.” When all of these accounts are looked at through the lens of his love and life in us, and not through the lens of what is required by law, or what is good, what is evil, and what is right and wrong, a whole new picture emerges and comes into focus.

For example, the woman caught in adultery should have been stoned according to the law as well as the man that did it. But there are weightier matters like mercy which Jesus said were “weightier” (“have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith” Matt. 23:23).Being weightier, they are to take first priority. Mercy flows from love.

Next, the woman at the well was bound by her traditions and law in place of her love for God. She thought Samaria was the only place for worship, or on a certain mountain. She thought that her ancestor Jacob was to be revered. Jesus was proclaiming that it is the “Spirit” and “truth” that should be leading worship, that his Spirit, i.e his life, should be dictating our life to us.

In addition, the rich young ruler had kept the commandments, but did not have “eternal life,” and so he asked Jesus how to obtain it. Jesus’ answer was showing him that “life” was what he needed, and that it was greater than any of the laws he had kept for God  (“Search the scriptures, for in them ye think that ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me. But you will not come to me, that ye may have LIFE. John 5).

The Sermon on the Mount’s teachings on “turning the other cheek” and “go the extra mile” were not given as new laws to keep. They were examples of how to love, of how love goes beyond the law. They were examples of choosing life. The law says if one hits you in the face, you can sue him. Love says not only don’t sue, but give him your other cheek, forgive 70 x. 7. That is what having his life and love will cause us to do. It will cause us to not only keep the law, but go way beyond it in love. We can even make going the extra mile a law, and not go further. But 70 x. 7, which is what love is, will go and keep going. 

3.   (Romans 14:16, 21)

Let not then your good be evil spoken of:.. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

This teaches that we can eat and drink things or do a number of things, but there are times when we can’t depending on the brother or sister’s offense. Something may be absolutely okay for you but your brother or sister is offended or is made weak. Then we should refrain. This shows that love trumps right or wrong, good and evil. It shows that it is not about right and wrong per se, but love and the life of Christ of which right and wrong supernaturally flow from. You cannot seek to know right and wrong first. You must first seek the kingdom of God, Jesus Christ.

Eating from the Wrong Tree

When we seek what is “good and evil” we are eating from the wrong tree.

When you are faced with a decision and you begin to determine “Is this right or wrong?” you are eating from the wrong tree. The tree of knowledge represents independence from God, while the tree of life represents dependence on his life.

Eating of the Tree of the

Knowledge of Good and Evil

 

1.     Living our lives by always trying to determine what is good and what is evil

2.     Making decisions based on accumulation of knowledge and right doctrine

3.     Trying to always determine what is right and what is wrong

4.     Basing our decisions on what is moral and what is immoral, legal or illegal

5.     Living by the “law of sin and death” (i.e, keeping the law is rewarded, sin is punished)

6.     Using the old covenant to see if something is lawful according to scripture

7.     Relying on our brain and flesh to give us direction

8.     Relying on whether something is reasonable,  practical, or “makes sense”

9.     Making carnally minded decisions (based on physical needs, good and evil, world’s wisdom)

10.   Placing doctrine over Christ himself

Eating of the Tree of Life

1. Eating from the tree of life (Jesus)  shows our spirit  what is good and evil  

2.     Believing “he will guide you into all truth” (John16:13) by our spiritual senses

3.     Seeking what produces life in us, what “tends to life” (Prov. 19:23)

4.     Basing things on what increases the life in us. (John 3:30 “He must increase”)

5.     Living by “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:2)

6.     Believing new covenant love fulfills all the law is what is lawful (Romans 13:10)

7.     Relying on “we have the mind of Christ” in us to give us direction (1 Cor. 2:16)

8.     Making utmost the Lord’s reasoning  and whether it edifies (Rom. 14:19;Isa 1:18)

9.     Being spiritually minded. Leaning not on our own understanding. (Rom 8:6; Prov. 3:5)

10.   Placing Christ over doctrine

April 4th, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Two Things That Pass All Others 

  1. A.    In scripture, two things are said to pass, or go above and beyond, all other things about the Lord:  

The first of these is “the love of Christ”

In Ephesians 3:19, Paul said he wanted the Ephesians “to know the love of Christ, WHICH PASSESTH KNOWLEDGE, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.”

  1. The love of Christ, then, passes the knowledge of Christ and the knowledge of anything we can possibly know. The knowledge of Christ is a good thing, but the love of Christ surpasses it. Knowledge must only serve to lead us to him. It is akin to loving your spouse’s letters more than you love them or knowing your spouse’s letters more than you know them.
  2. There is a reason that the love of Christ passes knowledge: “that ye might be filled with ALL the fullness of God.” It is the love of Christ, not knowledge, that FILLS us with ALL the fullness of God.
  3. We need to sit and ponder that scripture. When we have the love of Christ operating in us, we are filled. We need nothing else. We are full with “ALL the fullness” of God. Receiving and giving love causes us to experience the fullness of God. Anytime we are falling short in our walk, for whatever reason or for whatever extent,  it can be immediately alleviated through giving and receiving the love of Christ. That is the power of his love.
  4. The reason for that is that “God is love.” It doesn’t say “God is knowledge”. When we are filled with love, we are filled with God.
  5. Knowledge does not have arms to wrap around us, or a life to lay down for us, or a heart to feel and bear our burdens. God’s love does.
  6. I can have ALL knowledge of God and the world, understand all mysteries of the Lord, and I can have all the faith of every prophet, and if I have not love, I am NOTHING. 1 Cor. 13:1-2 
  7. B.    The second thing that scripture says passes all other things is the “peace of God”

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”  Philippians 4:7

  1. The peace of God passes “ALL” understanding. Understanding, though a good thing, cannot accomplish what the peace of God can in our lives. We can take ALL the understanding in the world, and the peace of Jesus Christ surpasses it ALL.
  2. One reason why peace surpasses is that it will “keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”. His peace is what keeps our hearts and minds focusing and depending on Christ. It keeps our hearts and minds at rest.
  3. Jesus says he gives us his peace-“My peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth…” We have the peace that kept Jesus while he was on earth. We have the same peace in the storms of life. We have the complete calm in the middle of the hurricane, the eye of the storm.
October 28th, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

The Large Place

 

There is a place that Christians can go to, can visit, and can dwell in that nobody knows but he or she and the Lord. It goes by various names in scripture-“hiding place,” “secret place,” and a “place of refuge”. One of the names given is “a large place,” and that is the place I want to delve into a bit here.

Both Samuel and David recorded the exact same scriptures describing this place:

He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. (Psalm 18:19)

I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place. (Psalm 118:5)

When ye go, ye shall come unto a people secure, and to a large land: for God hath given it into your hands; a place where there is no want of any thing that is in the earth (Judges 18:10) (“I shall not want”)

  • A “large place” is a place where we can move freely, rest comfortably, and live in, all paralleling the spiritual as well where the Lord’s grace is experienced, and we are comforted and rest.
  • The “large place” of the Lord includes deliverance from our bondages and an assurance of his “delight” for us according to Psalm 18:19 above.
  • It is a place arrived at through much distress according to Psalm 118:5
  • It is a place of security, where there is no “want” or need of anything of this world.
  • It is also a place to hide, a refuge, and a secret from the world. It is his “dwelling place” also.

 How Do We Get to this Place? 

  • By recognizing that it is the Lord, not us, that takes us to this place (“he brought me forth in a large place, he “set me in a large place”)
  • By realizing that this large place is a real place, for the Lord says it is. It’s not just an idea or thought.This large place is primarily in our hearts where he dwells.
  • By understanding that we get ‘set” in this large place when our hearts get enlarged. This large place gets much larger in direct proportion to our own hearts getting larger, or “enlarging” as scripture says:

I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart. (Psalm 119:32)

O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged (2 Corin. 6:11)

Since our hearts are where the Lord dwells (“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith” (Eph 3:17), when our hearts enlarge, it moves us into a larger place for the Lord to dwell per se. Our room expands, and we begin to see the depth of the Lord and experience it in a greater capacity in our hearts and lives. 1 John says “he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God” As our love increases, our dwelling place increases. We move into the “large place” of the Lord, which keeps getting larger as he enlarges our hearts.

It is like we are currently in a small room with a door that leads to another room. That door is locked, and when it is opened with the key of love, we enter into a much larger room that we haven’t been experiencing or seeing from the smaller room we were in. Each room leads to a bigger room, where we enter in the joy of the Lord much deeper every time.

 

 

October 28th, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Exercising Our Senses: Part 3

Our Spiritual Sense of Touch

In part 3 of this series, let us not forget the verse that tells us that we have spiritual senses that need to be exercised so that we can mature in the Lord.  Hebrews 5:14 says “even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil”.

And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. Luke 8:43-48

This passage is amazing in several aspects. This woman touched Jesus’ garment, but didn’t actually touch him. In fact, it was just “the border of his garment” from behind him that she touched.

1      Jesus said this woman touched him, but she didn’t actually physically touch him. This is Jesus’ way of telling us that we indeed can touch him, but it is spiritual touch he refers to now.

 

2      The woman came from “behind him”—Just as the woman with infirmity, we can still touch Jesus, even if we feel we are behind him and not close to him and we feel he has his back to us. In reality, he never has his back to us, but we feel he does. Nonetheless, we can touch him.

 

3      Crowds were actually physically touching Jesus, “thronging” and “pressing” upon him, but Jesus taught that they didn’t touch him-only the woman did…

 

4      When Jesus said, “Somebody touched me,” he was obviously not referring to being physically touched, for as it mentioned above, multitudes were physically touching him.

 

5      The woman who touched his garment denied touching him when asked, for scripture said “all denied” touching him. Even with this denial when confronted, the woman’s small faith was enough to be healed. That is why it is the smallest touch is all we need.

6      Jesus was referring to being touched by faith. The proof of the woman’s faith was that “virtue”, Jesus said, “is gone out of me.”  And this is the proof for us if we touch Jesus-we will receive virtue from the Lord. We will be made clean, and we will be delivered from our own infirmities immediately

 

7      We don’t need any programs, priests, or penance to touch him. We don’t need to be in “church” or with someone else. We simply need to touch him, to reach out by faith, and if it is just the hem of his garment, we can still reach him.

 

8      He is not far from us. As with the woman, he walks right by us, right next to us.

 

9      Notice that Jesus did not reach out to her with his hand, but he was waiting for her to reach out. He positioned himself so that she could.

 

10   When we touch Jesus by faith, we receive “immediate” help as it says above.

 

11   All of the other people were trying to touch him without faith, but Jesus said to the woman “thy faith hath made thee whole, go in peace” No one in the crowd had faith but this one woman.

 

12   Our touching of Jesus can still be of faith even if we do it as the woman with fear, trembling, and doubt and even to selfishly get a healing.

 

13   What an amazing contrast-multitudes touched and pressed on him, but Jesus denied they touched him. The woman did not touch him, only his garment, but Jesus said she did touch him. She was the only one that touched him by faith.

 

14   We should meditate on this: that God can be touched, physically and spiritually, and what a wonderful thing it is, what a marvelous privilege we have.

 

15   Lastly, we must realize that God can touch us without physically touching us, just as Jesus did to the woman. He gave her virtue and his goodness without physically touching her, yet just as she did to him, he did to her. She touched him by faith, and he touched her heart.

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Heb. 4:15

  1. 1.    It is critical in our relationship with Jesus that we recognize that he has been tempted in his flesh “in all points” like we have. Jesus has felt every single solitary feeling we have had, especially since he lives in us and we live in him. His compassion and love flow to us from being touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He has literally walked in our shoes
  2. 2.   We touch Jesus “with the feeling of our infirmities”. Scripture says he CAN BE TOUCHED.  When we say something or someone “touched” us, we mean it touched our spirit and our heart and moved us greatly. Our feelings matter greatly to the Lord, and he actually feels our feelings. That is why he is touched by them according to scripture. He actually feels what we are going through, unlike any other person. This is why we can be so close to the Lord Jesus. No other person, not even our wives or husbands or children or closest friends, can be as close to us because they don’t live in us and they haven’t felt our every weakness and infirmity.

 

  1. 3.   This is why we should glory in our infirmities and weaknesses. It is how we touch the Lord the most. Without them, we would not touch Jesus as much, near as much.
May 15th, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink

Our Physical Eyes

  • Our physical eyes require light in order to see.
  • Only through the eyes can light enter and be converted.
  • The eye is one of the most complex organs, and man can’t reproduce it. We must be in the light to see. Obviously, the spiritual parallels are there. We must abide in the light to see the things of the Lord.
  • If a person is in darkness long enough (physical), he will go blind.
  • Light itself is invisible, yet it is real and absolutely necessary for sight, just as sound waves for our hearing are invisible.
  • The eyes are the only organ connected directly to the brain. That is why the eyes reveal so much about us.

Our Spiritual Sight

  • Called “the eyes of our understanding” by Paul in Ephesians 1:18-

“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,”

Understanding and perception are the chief characteristics of the spiritual eye.

  • Called “eyes to see” in Deut. 29:4

Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.

 

Our Spiritual Eyes and their Purpose:

“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, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power”  (Eph. 1:18-19)

  • Our spiritual eyes are closely connected with our spiritual understanding “eyes of your understanding”
  • One purpose of our spiritual eyes acc. to the above verse is to help us see “the hope of his calling” in our lives.
  • A second purpose is to see “the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints”
  • A third purpose is to see the “exceeding greatness of his power to us”

What Causes Spiritual Blindness

  • We close our own eyes.

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. Matt. 13:15

  • The Lord pours out spirit of slumber on our eyes, of deep sleep

According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. Romans 11:8

  • The Lord blinds us

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. John 12:40

  • The god of this worlds blinds us

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, 2 Cor. 4:4

 

Tools to Spiritually See Better

                       

  • It is the Lord that opens our eyes

 

“Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” Ps. 119:18

We cannot see on our own power. We must be humble to admit our lack of vision. We don’t see anywhere near what the Lord sees in the spiritual kingdom. We constantly need the Lord to open our eyes more and more each day.

 

  • The scriptures enlighten our spiritual eyes

 

“The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.” Ps. 19:8

 

Thus we see that the word of God has the same power to enlighten us as the Lord himself. When we want enlightenment, not only should we be turning to the Lord, but also to his words. They are spirit and they are life.

 

  • We walk spiritually by seeing spiritually. We walk by our spiritual sight.

(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 2 Cor. 5:7

Our spiritual walk is made effective when we walk by our spiritual sight, seeing those things that are unseen as shown by these verses:

There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen” (Job 28:7)

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

(As a funny aside, notice the grammar in this sentence. It has a smiley face put on the end of it in the King James.)

  • Keeping Our Eyes Single

 

“The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness” Luke 11:34

 

“Single” is defined for us in this scripture. When your eye is “single” you are full of light. When the eye is “evil”, your whole body is in darkness. Therefore, “single” means good or holy as contrasted with an evil eye. A single eye produces light in the whole body.

 

  • Enlightenment of the eyes sharpens our other senses

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come…”  Heb. 6:4-5

Our spiritual eyes sharpen our taste  (Someone read Heb. 6:4). Our spiritual sight is also closely connected to our hearing as Jesus ties them together many times. If our eye is single, we will be better able to spiritually hear and taste. Conversely, our other senses sharpen our eyes as well which is why we need to know about them.

  • Realize that we see “in part”  and we see “darkly”

 

“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.” 1 Cor. 13:12

 

None of us sees it all and we are far from seeing all spiritual things. But the Lord’s light is so powerful, that just the parts we see are enough to guide us as a candle in the night. We see “darkly” at best, and by realizing this, we can humble ourselves to see much more. “Seeing” as used here is connected with “knowing”. That is why very few things are known by us as a “certainty”.

 

  • Our spiritual endurance is sustained by “seeing Jesus”

 

“…he (Moses) endured, as SEEING him who is invisible.” Heb. 11:27

 

This is probably one of the most important things to learn in this study, and that is our spiritual endurance is directly tied to our spiritual sight. Moses endured all that he endured, which was substantial, because scripture said he saw Jesus Christ even though Jesus was invisible at the time. WE will endure our hardships, our trials, and sustain our faith by “seeing him who is invisible” just as Moses did. God can’t be a concept to us- he has to be a person, Jesus, who we can see in the Spirit, who we long to see and who we see with our spiritual eyes.

What We Can See in the Spirit

  • We see the kingdom of God: John 3:3
  • We see the Father: John 14:9
  • We see visions: Acts 2:17
  • We see the invisible things Romans 1:20
  • We see eternal things: 2 Cor. 4:18
  • We see Jesus: Heb. 2:9
  • We see the “day approaching” Heb. 10:25
  • We see the promises of God: Heb. 11:13
May 15th, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Physical Aspects of Hearing Related to Spiritual

  • Just as a baby knows his mother’s and father’s voice, so do we know our father’s (John 10).
  • Just as there are physical sounds so high we cannot hear, so it is with the spiritual. We have to have ears that can hear that high, just as his thoughts are not our thoughts, so is our spiritual hearing not the same.

 Tools for Hearing Spiritually

 1) By softening our heart, we hear the voice of God 

 “To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” (Heb. 4:7)

 The Lord says we will hear his voice if we do this. It is not a wished for possibility. We can hear it TODAY as he says. The more we harden our hearts, the less we hear him. We must soften our hearts every day or risk hardening and not hearing the Lord very well.

 ? How can we go about softening our hearts?

 2) Crying out to God causes him to hear us and we then hear from him

 And when we cried unto the LORD, he heard our voice Numbers 20:16

And when we cried unto the LORD God of our fathers, the LORD heard our voice (Deut 26:7)

I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. (Psalm 3:4)

 3)  “hearing comes by the word of God”

 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

 When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:” (Rom. 10:17) and Proverbs 6:22-23

 The Lord specifically gives his words the power to speak to us in the same manner as he would talk to us. The word of God is also called his voice in many passages. (Read Deut 13:18; Deut. 15:5). Jesus says in John 6:63 that “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”

 ? Are we hearing from the written words just as we are other means? Are we placing giving it just as much importance in our hearing?

 4) By realizing we are sheep that need to hear their shepherd

 My sheep hear my voice, and they know me, and follow me”  John 10

 Sheep don’t know which way to go. They have to hear their shepherd’s voice or will wander. But if we have the attitude that we know the way, our shepherd’s voice won’t be as necessary.

 5)  We hear God through the church

 “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Rev. 2:7)

 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. (1 John 4:6)

 This passage in Revelation is the most repeated verse in the New Testament. Jesus says it seven times in Revelation. The Lord speaks directly and specifically to the body of Christ as a whole and individually.

 Johns says our brothers will hear us which also means we will hear our brothers and what God is saying through them. We must respect and listen to our brothers and sisters to hear what the Lord is speaking through them. We must listen to the spirit and the heart of what they say as well. We must not treat lightly listening to them speak, for God speaks through them, and that is a main way we hear the Lord.

 ? How can we hear our brothers and sisters better

 6)  We hear through the “hearing of faith”  

 “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”  (Gal. 3:2)

 Faith itself helps us hear the Lord. There is a “hearing of faith” that only comes through faith so that we can and will hear the Lord speaking to us.

 7)  Honesty with ourselves helps us hear 

 “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” Luke 8:15

 Being honest with the Lord increases our hearing. He sees our hearts and everything in them, so it is senseless to hide or avoid the issues of our hearts with him.

 8)  Meditation and prayer to hear the “still, small voice”

 “And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” (1 Kings 19:12)

 In order to hear the “still small voice” of the Lord, we must be “still” and be “small” and that is no small matter.

 9)  Can you hear him knockin? (Not Mick Jagger, but Jesus)

 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Rev. 3:20)

 If we don’t hear the knock, we won’t open the door. If the TV’s too loud, we won’t hear the knock.

 10)  “Incline” our ears to hear the Lord  Ps. 78:1

 (incline means to “lean towards, be drawn to, tend to an opinion”). We must make a purposeful effort to listen and to reach out to him.

 11)  Trusting to hear words and direction

 “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21)

 The Lord gives us specific direction as to the right way to go. It may be just “a word” as Isaiah says.

 12)  We hear through nature and creation

 “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun” (Psalm 19:1-4)

 But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Job 12:7

 We should be making concerted efforts to observe God’s creation and how it speaks to us about him.

  How do we know that we or others have heard his voice?

A Spiritual Hearing Test

 1)  Are we following him and walking in the light?

“and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.” (John 10:4)

2)  Is our faith increasing?

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”(Rom. 10:7)

3)  Are we trusting him more?

“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation” Eph. 1:13

4)  Are we avoiding and not heeding false teachers?

“All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them(John 10:8)

5)  Are we hearing and loving the brethren?

“We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us” 1 John 4:6

6)  Are we  bringing forth fruit?

And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit  (Mark 4:20)

 

 

Preventative Hearing Problems

 

  • Unclog our ears. Get the wax of worldliness out.
  • Take Heed to What and How we hear Mark 4:24 Luke 8:18
February 22nd, 2013 at 10:31 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

 

In Hebrews chapter 4-6, there is a progression of maturity taught that takes the saints through differing levels of spirituality- from unbelief through perfection.

Hebrews 4 mentions how the Israelites exercised unbelief, and the word of God said they were in unbelief because of one factor-they did not enter into the rest of God. What caused them not to enter into rest? The word said “they ceased not from their own works”

Step 1: Ceasing and Resting

For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Heb. 4:10

  • Ceasing from our works

In order to move on to maturity, our first step should be to cease from our own works. If we refuse or neglect to cease from our works, we are practicing unbelief. We are practicing unbelief in the grace of God, which essentially lets God do the work in us, not we ourselves. We cannot rest in him without ceasing. Ceasing is a prerequisite of resting. It has to happen before we can rest.

  • Resting in the Grace of Jesus Christ

Resting is when we realize that it is Jesus that does the works in us, that we of our own selves can do nothing, that we are dead and our life is hid with Christ. It is humbling ourselves and decreasing ourselves so that he may increase.

Step 2: Leaving and Moving On: From Children to Young Adults

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. Heb. 6:1-2

  • Leaving the Principles of the Doctrine of Christ

I used to have it all backwards, and sometimes still do, when I thought that maturity in the Lord was when I began learning important doctrines. I thought love and that sort of thing was for spiritual grade school-yet scripture calls it “the bond of perfectness”. It is the sign of our perfecting, which is our ultimate goal.

The previous verse before this, in chapter 5 verse 12, told us what milk is and how we should move to the meat of the word:  The milk is  “the first principles of the oracles of God” which matches Hebrews 6:1 above “the principles of the doctrine of Christ”. If all we are focusing on is the milk or the doctrines of Christ, we are unskillful in the word of God and are babes according to verse 12 and 13.

  • Going On to Perfection

Going on to perfection and thus going on the meat of the word involves the things that are coming up next.

Step 3: Dividing and Discerning: From Young Adults to Older Adults

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Heb. 4:12

  • “Dividing of soul and spirit”: How we mature

Hebrews 4:12 says that the word of God divides our soul and spirit. We know we are maturing and moving on spiritually when the word and the spirit divides our soul and spirit and shows us the difference. We mature when we live out of our spirit instead of our soul and when we recognize the differences between the two.

  • Discerning our own thoughts and intents

 Heb. 4:14 says “strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil.”

It is discernment of good and evil, which comes from the word of God and our spirit, that is one of the major marks of our maturity in the Lord. It is not just discernment of outward good and evil, but inward good and evil within us and others, our flesh and theirs. We mature when we “use” this and “exercise” it regularly as scripture says

Step 4: Our Perfection and Full Maturity

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ (Eph. 4:13-15)

  • Being Not Carried About by Every Doctrine
  • Speaking the Truth in Love
  • Edifying and Perfecting the Body
  • Entering the Fulness of Christ

Being not carried about

We are “no more children” when we are not “carried about with every wind of doctrine” and deceived.

“Speaking the truth in love, we may grow up into him”

Scripture calls it “the bond of perfectness”. It is the sign of our perfecting, which is our ultimate goal. Notice that speaking the truth in love “grows” us into Christ. It is our main means of growth in the Lord and subsequently our main focus since we are commanded to “grow in the grace” of our Lord.

Edifying of the body

We are commanded to seek things whereby we may edify one another. That is one of our main duties as a New Covenant Christian. We are to treat each others as part of our own body, for that’s what we are. When a brother or sister hurts, we hurt and we want to help.

Entering the Fulness of Christ

Doing the things I’ve listed thus far is what will bring us into the fullness of Christ, the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ as Paul stated. It’s not a lofty ideal; it’s an attainable goal and expectation of the Lord.

 From Babe in Christ to a Perfect Man

  1. Ceasing from Our Works (Heb. 4:10)

  2. Resting in Grace  (Heb. 4:10)

   3. Moving on From Principles and Doctrines (Heb. 6:1)

   4. Dividing Soul and Spirit (Heb. 4:12)

   5. Discerning Thoughts and Intents (Heb.  4:12)

   6. Speaking the Truth in Love (Eph. 4:15)

   7. Entering the Fulness of Christ  (Eph. 4:13)

January 25th, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Paul’s letters to the churches are all titled with “The Epistle of Paul the Apostle” to a certain church (“The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians” etc.). This title of “the epistle” in each book Paul wrote is highly significant, for it is this same word “epistle” which Paul uses to describe the Christian himself. In 2 Corinthians 3:2, Paul says “Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men.”

Here we have the church, the Christian, being named an “epistle” of Christ! What an honor this is, and what a responsibility! We as Christians all esteem Paul’s books as the word of God and attribute all the glory and honor of these words as coming from the mouth of God. Yet this same appellation is given unto us as the epistles of Christ. This description of us cannot be overemphasized.

The word of God is powerful because it is a spiritual thing. His words are spirit and life Jesus said. The word of God is inspired because it is given with the breath of God and can change men’s hearts. The Christian has also has had his heart written on by those very words when God said he would write those words in our hearts: “I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts” (Heb. 8:10). That is one reason why we are a living epistle of Christ. We have the word of God living in us. Jesus said my words “abide” in you.

We are also an epistle “known and read of all men” Paul said in the verse above where he called us an epistle that men know us and men read us. They read what God is doing in us and through us. They see the love of God and the Spirit of God working in us in our love to others, in our compassion to others, and in our longsuffering to others. Our words and testimony are an epistle to believers and unbelievers that is just as much an epistle as the written word of God whose power is mighty. God uses believers, the body of Christ, the epistles of Christ, and the word of God, the written epistles, to change men and to change us. We can rest in the power of Christ in us, the hope of glory for us and all men.

Paul goes on to say in verse 3 of 2 Corinthians 3 “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 fleshly tables of the heart.” Here we are directly called the “epistle of Christ” and again, what a privelege that is for the men and women of God. He confirms again that the Spirit has written his words and life in the “table of the heart.” This was in contrast, of course, to the word of God (The Ten Commandments) written on stone tablets which men could not keep. The way we keep them now is through Christ in us, because they are written in us, and he will cause us to walk in them according to Ezekiel: “And I will put my Spirit in you, and cause you to walk in my statutes…” (Ezekiel 36:27).

Christ didn’t title his books of the Bible “The epistle of Christ to the Ephesians,” but he reserves that title for us, THE epistle of Christ to the world. Let us realize the awesome and beautiful thing it is to be a living letter to the world and each other, and more importantly, let us live out this letter in our love for each other.

July 20th, 2012 at 9:46 am | Comments & Trackbacks (2) | Permalink

 

2 Peter 2 is an amazing chapter, for it gives us the defining marks of a false teacher and false prophet. The entire chapter is devoted to doing just this. Much of the Christian world is ignorant of these characteristics, because much of the Christian world is overrun by these false teachers. When the marks of a false teacher are added up, their identity is not hard to find out. Though most of these false teachers are not saved according to many verses in this chapter, some of these could be brothers in serious error, so we have to be careful to see the difference. Nonetheless, the errors are significant enough for Paul to hand brothers over to Satan for the destruction of their flesh so their souls could be saved.

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.  2 Peter 2:1

The first thing we should notice is that these “false teachers” are “among you.” They are often in our fellowship, whether in person or by teaching materials. They are most probably among us right now and we don’t realize it. 

The second thing we should pay attention to is that these false teachers “privily” come in or bring in their teachings. They do it secretly, inconspicuously or unnoticed. The book of Jude says they “crept in unawares.” They also bring in “damnable heresies” or material that is close to being heretical. They privily deny the Lord, but not openly, and deny him in various ways. They can deny by denigrating the Lord’s character by their teachings when we don’t even realize they’re doing it. They can deny the Lord that bought them by teaching limited atonement for example. They deny Jesus by not talking about him. 

The third thing we should realize is that these people are under “swift destruction” from the Lord. The Lord thinks it’s so serious what they’re doing that he will bring swift destruction on them. 

And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (verse 2)

Notice that these false teachers have a following, usually a big following because “many” follow their ways. Any teacher that has multitudes following him should be immediately questioned no matter how godly or popular they are, even in Christian circles and especially in “Christian” circles. The word says that “which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” The majority is wrong many times when it comes to spiritual truth. What we should not overlook here is that the verse above says it is “by reason” that many follow them that the way of truth is evil spoken of. Scripture teaches something here we may overlook that is quite instructive. Just the mere fact that they have a huge following is “the reason” for much of their false teaching. Their followers end up dictating what these teachers teach, because you must please the customer and give them what they want. The way is broad that leads to destruction and MANY there be that go in thereat. The way is narrow that leads to life Jesus said. 

Now notice that one of their chief characteristics is that they are “pernicious”-their ways are wicked and many times spiritually deadly. 

Another chief characteristic is that they speak evil of the truth and they do so by wresting the scriptures, applying them to wrong interpretations, by bringing God down to man’s level and whittling away at the gospel. The power of the gospel is downplayed, for example, and they focus on themselves and their teachings as the solution as we shall soon see. 

And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. (verse 3)

Here we see the revealing nature of these teachers-they are caught up in covetousness, the love of money, power, influence, things of the world. They love titles, love to be called “Rabbi” or Dr. or Reverend or any other title of man. They are usually rich because of making money off of God’s people. They have their private jets, their million dollar homes, their hundred thousand dollar cars-all made off the saints. They are not just selling books-they are becoming rich at the expense of God’s people in a multitude of ways, charging hundreds of thousands of dollars just to speak to the saints, making millions and millions and “peddling” the word of God as Paul said in Corinthians. 

Secondly, they use “feigned words.” They use “vain words” as Paul said. They appeal to pride, to arrogance, to sounding like other worldly motivational speakers who talk nothing but positive tripe. They are not plain speakers as Paul commanded that we should be. They use the world’s language and speak like the world like John said: “therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them” (1 John 4:5).They pretend to believe things and they contradict themselves, or “lie in hypocrisy” as scriptures says. Feigned words would include “smooth things” as Romans says, things that the masses want to hear. They are hypocrites in much of their lives and their words are “feigned.” They say one thing and do another. They lie, they mix truth with lies. They speak to itching ears and tell their customers what they want to hear. They elevate their teachings alongside God’s words, not directly, but when they say such things as their teachings came directly from the Lord, word for word, and that we must have their teachings to get deliverance, out of bondage, etc. 

Next. they “make merchandise” of Christians. They use feigned or lying words to buy and sell you their products. They make merchandise of you by using you for their gain. They sell you everything in the name of the Lord and get rich doing so. They beg for your money and support and charge outlandish fees for even speaking to you in churches. None of the apostles did these things. They think that “gain is godliness” as Timothy quoted and Timothy said from such to “withdraw thyself” if that is what they are teaching. They think that their riches are proof of God blessing them. They are usually in league with all the “word of faith” teachers who teach that God’s wants us to prosper financially and be rich. Their friends are a tell tale sign of who they are. Ask yourself who they fellowship with, who they quote, who they emulate and esteem. You will learn quite a bit of who they are by whom they like. 

God said these people’s judgment is coming quickly. God takes this seriously, this covetousness and money making schemes to sell Christians out. 

But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. (verse 10)

Other defining characteristics of false teachers-they “walk after the flesh.” They are consumed with fleshly stories, fleshly analogies, fleshly teachings, fleshly jokes. They are consumed with improving the flesh, touting every self improvement thing they can think of when God never tells us to improve our flesh, but to kill it. 

They are “presumptuous.” They make presumptions on God’s words constantly. They assume it means things that it has no connection to their teaching, only in their twisted logic. They take things out of context and take advantage of those who don’t know the context of scripture. They presume that what they say is right because they are immune from serious error because they are God’s people. 

They are ‘self willed” as scripture says above. They do what they want, when they want, and how they want. They are not interested in being corrected and can’t handle rebuke from a godly person very well or at all. Scripture says a wise man receives rebuke and loves you for it while a fool hates you for it. 

But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; (verse 12)

They have many “things they understand not.” They are characterized by an overall lack of understanding of even the first principles of the word of God and have need of milk and not meat. Many of them don’t understand even the simplest references in the word and have a dismal understanding of basic doctrines. They rarely quote scripture, but they will quote their material. They don’t compare scripture with scripture. They compare scripture with their teachings and find what matches. That is how they deceive. 

And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; (verse 13)

They “count it pleasure to riot in the day time.” Most of these rich famous peddlers do not have daytime jobs other than counting the money they receive from saints. They jet around, go on constant vacations-they don’t work with their hands or minds but have everyone do everything for them. 

They are marked with “deceivings.” They are deceived in numerous areas and deceive others constantly with bits of truth intermingled with lies. They love “feasts” and love to charge you for them, whether it’s a cruise toIsraelor a prayer breakfast-they want your money. 

Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: (verse 14)

They have “eyes full of adultery.” Most of these big time religious hucksters have committed adultery with their spouses. The list is huge. 

They “beguile unstable souls” They like to prey on “unstable souls,” those men of God or lost people who are not knowledgeable and can not call them out on doctrine. 

Again, Peter tells us about their covetousness, but this time he tells us they “exercise” their hearts, not with weights or running, but with “covetous practices.” They are focused solely on getting more, building bigger barns, expanding their “ministry, and so forth. They want their name first and foremost on everything they do. Not the name of Jesus, but their name. They are just like thetowerofBabelwhen they say “let us make US a name.” They are cursed children according to scripture. 

Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; (verse 15)

They “follow the way of Balaam” It would do well for you to revisit the story of Balaam the false prophet of Israel who Peter says “loved the wages” of what he was supposedly helping Israel do. One of Balaam’s main heresies was taking what God said and changing it to fit his agenda or just leaving out of a part of what God said and not respecting the word of God to fully teach the whole counsel of God. 

For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. (verse 18)

Here we see that their speaking abilities are outstanding in the world’s eyes. They are “great” speakers according to God’s words. Again, they appeal to vain things, things that the world likes. They are smooth talkers, knowing how to woo an audience, make them laugh, cry and want more. They are entertainers, not teachers of God’s words. 

While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. (verse 19)

They “promise them liberty.” They are always “promising” things to you. Scripture doesn’t say we should promise people. But they do and they guarantee results. They are lying to us. They are always speaking about how you can get free if you use their program, read their book, do what they tell you. But they themselves are the servants of corruption. They are hypocrites, in bondage to the very things they speak against.

April 30th, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink

The Connection Between Faith and Unseen Things

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

Our whole walk should be daily focusing on things that we cannot see, the things which are eternal. Everything we see is temporal, not lasting. While this is certainly a challenge because everything we see is “seen,” we must not look at everything we see. We must direct our gaze elsewhere in the Spirit.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Heb. 11:1 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. Heb. 11:3 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Rom. 1:20)

The word of God connects our faith and the effectiveness of our faith based on how much we are looking at the eternal, unseen things. Faith is what we are hoping for, the unseen things we are seeing on a daily basis. Even the things we see are just evidence of the things we can’t see.

Question: Do we understand how our faith is directly in proportion to how much we are focusing our minds and spirit on the eternal, unseen things? What are these unseen things that we are actually meditating on daily?

The Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11: They Practiced Seeing the Unseen

1. Abel

“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous” Heb. 11:4

Abel was righteous because his faith was in a blood sacrifice that was coming, and he was demonstrating that faith by offering a blood sacrifice. In fact, his righteousness was bestowed on him for his faith in the unseen, blood sacrifice and what it reprensented-the coming sacrifice of the Lamb of God.

2. Enoch

“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”  Heb. 115

Enoch’s faith in the unseen was shown because he saw that he would not experience physical death. He saw himself escaping death and being translated into heaven. His faith in the unseen “pleased God” just as ours will in our coming translation, the “catching away” of the saints or the “rapture” as it is commonly known.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

Notice that immediately after Enoch demonstrated his faith in what he couldn’t see, God said it is impossible to please him without this kind of faith. Notice that he rewards those who “diligently SEEK him.” This seeking is seeing what we cannot see.

3. Abraham

“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.” Hebrews 11:8

Notice that Abraham’s faith was demonstrated by going to a country that he had never SEEN.

“For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Hebrews 11:10

Now notice that Abraham also exemplifed true faith by LOOKING for a city, the city of God that was coming thousands of years later mentioned in Revelation all through the Psalms.

“By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,..Accounting that God was] able to raise him] up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure” Hebrews 11:17-19

Abraham’s faith is mentioned as great because of things like this: he saw that God could raise his son back from the dead, and he saw that this was a figure of the Christ’s resurrection. Abraham SAW the resurrection of Jesus thousands of years before it happened.

4. Noah

“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Hebrews 11:7

Noah had never SEEN a flood, or even rain for that matter. Yet he acted on his faith in this unseen warning of God. He believed God even though he had never seen this take place and couldn’t see it in the present. His fear of God was greater than his unbelief. He obtained “righteousness” and became an “heir of righteousness” because of his faith in the unseen things of God.

5. Moses

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.” Hebrews 11:7

What should be pointed out here is a description the word of God gives of HOW to see the unseen things of God. The word said that all these men of God died in faith, having seen (the promises) afar off. Then it describes how they saw them: they “were persuaded of them…embraced them… and confessed” them. We must do the same. We must first be “persuaded of them” as the early fathers were. When we are persuaded of them, that is when we will “embrace them”. We must embrace the unseen as though it is more real than what lies in front of us, for it is more real and more lasting, eternal in the heavens.

“By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he (Moses) endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” Heb. 11:13

What a powerful witness of this truth of faith in the unseen things of God. Moses himself saw the most important unseen thing of all-Jesus Christ. Yes, Moses saw Jesus Christ according to scripture “seeing him who is invisible”. We know it was Christ because it also said later he “esteemed the reproaches of Christ greater riches than the treasure in Egypt.”

6. Sara

Hebrews 11:11-Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

Sara saw herself bearing a child and thus exemplifed the kind of faith that pleases God

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.

Notice that we are to desire. to seek, to see that country of heaven. Heaven is a country and in that country is a city, the city of God that we are to SEE by faith.

 We Are Going to Be Astounded Continually

For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Rom 8:24-25 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. 1 Cor. 2:9 (quote from Isaiah 64:4-(For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.)

Notice that the same verse uses wait for the word love. Waiting for him in faith is loving him.

Question: How much do we really think about and long for these things below? If we do, our faith will grow daily.

Here is just a partial list of the unseen, eternal things that helps us to exercise our faith in the Lord (Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Col. 3:2)

Jesus Christ-

Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: (1 Peter 1:8)

We will learn of the wisdom of Jesus forever

In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:3)

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:!3

An Incorruptible Inheritance

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 1 Pet. 1:4

We will always walk in the Spirit

Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. Rev. 3:4

Eternal Life

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

We receive Crowns and Rewards

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 2 Tim. 4:8- Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. James 1:12-And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away (1 Pet. 5:4)

We have New Bodies

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 1 Cor. 15:51 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. Rom. 8:23

No more sorrow or pain

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Rev. 21:4

New Jerusalem, the city of God

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Rev. 21:2

We will eat from the tree of life everyday

He 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. Rev. 2:7

We get to eat the “hidden manna” in heaven

e 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.

We have a better and more enduring substance in heaven

For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Heb. 10:34

We have mansions in the city of God

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:2

We get to know as we are known

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. 1 Cor. 13:12 We have everlasting fellowship with the saints

We shall possess the kingdom of God forever

But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. Dan. 7:18

April 2nd, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink
 
The church of Jesus Christ is to be organic. It is not a rigid machine with an agenda, but a living breathing organism. We are the Body, building itself up in love and edifying one another.

Unity is so strong in God, but yet it is so delicate if not nurtured.

Division is rampant in the church today. Brothers are not speaking to one another. There are offenses, hurt feelings, and distrust. How can this be? More importantly, how does it start and how can we prevent it?

Division starts so very subtly among us. It starts as a minute and tiny morsel in the heart. It starts as a slight disagreement or a seemingly insignificant offense. It is then that the foundation for a judgment begins to take its shape. The subtle attitude that is the beginnings of division says, “That brother or sister is like that, or they are like this. They treat me like this or always say those kinds of things.” Pretty soon, your behavior towards them is a little distant. Instead of dealing with it in your own heart and going to them, you talk about them to someone else – a poor decision, so it spreads.

Soon there is division in the body. Don’t be unaware. If God has delivered you from the traditional way of meeting, Satan will surely want to bring an assault. This is our very enemy. How do we combat such a slippery and common enemy as division?

Paul encouraged us to be diligent to preserve the unity. How? Unity is preserved by each individual member (that’s you) being strong in the very basics of the Christian faith – forgiveness, speaking the truth in love, bearing with one another, patience, and suffering with one another.

It is critical that we recognize the fact that our brothers and sisters around us are weak. You are weak, I am weak, we are all full of weaknesses and error. We cannot be offended by weaknesses. Perhaps the brother didn’t know any better. Perhaps God hasn’t revealed this or that to them yet. Maybe they had a revelation at one time in their lives of how to conduct themselves in a certain situation, but they forgot. The thing you are offended by in your brother; is something you also do – or have done at one time or another. Can’t we forgive? Can’t we always hold that brother or sister as being dear in our heart, even if they made a mistake? Aren’t they worth going and talking to them about it? We must learn to give each other plenty of room.

The very subtle hurts we receive from one another – which happen constantly – are the very building blocks for self protection and judgments among us, all leading to division in the church. It is imperative that we are extremely diligent to deal with hurts quickly, forgive, hold that brother close, and not self-protect or distance ourselves. If we are ever offended and avoiding someone because of it, we are obligated by the Lord’s command to first deal with our own heart by forgiving them, then embrace them in our hearts, and if necessary, go work things out. This should be done much more often then we might think.

If your hand got an infection, would you cut it off as quickly as you could? If your child offended you, would you disown them? We must come to a place of knowing of the treasure that is in one another. Yes, your brother is a treasure! You are to treasure him as much as you do your very hand. He is Christ’s hand. He is your hand. “We are members of one another.” Your brother or sister is as close to you as a child or blood family member – even closer. How is it that we tend to discount one another so quickly? We can’t. We must gain and understand our true identity. We are all one thing. We are one entity, one temple, one organism. It is not optional to walk away. Unity MUST be preserved because if you reject your brother, you are doing it to yourself and to Christ.

The Lord’s command in 1 Corinthians 1:10 is that we all agree and speak the same thing. This is to be pursued. However, it is also true that unity is something of the Spirit that has already been accomplished. From Ephesians 4, we see that it is something to be preserved. There are many things that are already true and that are already accomplished in the spirit, in the heavenly places, and from the finished work of Christ. Yet at the same time, we do not fully see these things manifest on earth in all situations.

For example, the scripture teaches that we have all of the righteousness of God in Christ, yet on earth and in these bodies we still sin. The scripture tells us that we have the mind of Christ. This is true. However, all of our thoughts are not God’s thoughts. We see from scripture that we are in Christ and seated at the right hand of the Father, yet you are reading this book and your feet are still on the earth. The same is true for our unity. We can see from Ephesians 4 and all throughout the New Testament scriptures that there is one body and we are one in the Spirit. This is already done and accomplished in the heavenly places. However, we are commanded to preserve this unity. We are to all speak the same thing, we are to be in agreement, and there should be no divisions among us.

I can disagree with my brother on a doctrinal issue and still experience being one with him in the Spirit. There can be tremendous love, respect, and unity, even if we disagree. Don’t get me wrong, we are never to “agree to disagree.” We are commanded from scripture to talk through and work out our differences. Some conversations may last for five years! We will have on-going issues that we disagree on in which we are trying to find the truth together. However, we are never to separate because of doctrinal differences. Only sin or geography should separate the church.

We should never try to achieve unity by agreeing on doctrine alone. We should always begin with the truth that is in the heavenly places. We should begin by believing the truth that we already are one in the Spirit. If we believed this, it would take care of so many other problems. If we truly see and believe that we are one – that we are family, then arguments and disagreements could never separate us. Our family may hurt us. We may get knocked around. But we will always come back to the dinner table because we are family and we see ourselves that way.

If you have a natural family and they believe they are a family, they may have sharp disagreements, but they still are family. They will still live in the same house.

Suppose you had a very sharp disagreement with someone and you could not get along. And suppose that you were not family and that you were not one with them in any way. Then you would more than likely just go on your way and probably separate. It wouldn’t be worth the trouble.

This is what we see in the church today. We are not worth the trouble for one another. If we don’t get along with someone or some group, we just go to the next one. This is an abomination. This promotes division in the church. We tend to only want relationships that are convenient, easy, and relationships that make us feel good about ourselves. We really don’t want to do much work when it comes to relationships.

The reason why we separate so often from each other is because we have an identity problem. We do not believe that we are one in the Spirit with one another. We do not believe that we are really one body. If we truly believed that we are one family with those in the church, we would never let any disagreements or hard feelings separate us. But, as hard as it may be, we would do whatever it takes to work through it.

February 23rd, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink
 “It is difficult to get a man to understand something if his livelihood depends upon his not understanding it.”

– Upton Sinclair

The word “pastor” is not in the New Testament very often. The word pastor simply means “shepherd”.  What does the Bible mean when it uses the word pastor? Although the word pastor is in the Bible a few times…

 The modern role and function of a pastor is found nowhere in scripture.

 Our plague is that when we read a passage or see something in the Bible, we so often interpret it based on our prior experience or based on what we’ve already been taught. Based on prior experience, when we see the word pastor in the Bible, it floods our mind with our idea of what a pastor is – which is based on what we’ve seen, what we’ve heard, and what we’ve been taught a pastor already is.

If you had lived during the first century and then read the word “pastor” in a letter written to the church, you would have a much different idea come to mind.

 What’s the big deal and why is this an issue?

Our entire Christian culture has largely fit around this erroneous idea of this one man and his unscriptural role. Entire groups and churches are built around the pastor. People join churches based on who the pastor is. The entire direction, vision, and focus of a group is often based on the pastor. While the whole time, his role, function, and very existence are not even Biblical.

We’ve been taught:

“If you don’t have a pastor you are not under authority”.

“If you don’t have a pastor you don’t have spiritual covering”.

“If you don’t have a pastor, you aren’t being fed”.

 These are very common beliefs that stem from a basic error.

1 Samuel 10:19 “But you have today rejected your God, who delivers you from all your calamities and your distresses; yet you have said, ‘No, but set a king over us’.”

Just like the children of Israel cried out for a king, It is within the base, carnal nature of people to want a physical king. What does a king provide? A king provides security. A king provides a feeling that someone is taking care of things and that someone is making decisions that need to be made.

The Catholics have their “fathers,” the Protestants have their “pastors.” People will always want someone else to take the responsibility off their shoulders. And we will even pay someone to do it. We want a specialist to take care of the role of leadership.

Men are responsible for leading the church. Not a man.

Our western culture has forced the church into that of a typical American, corporate structure. The modern day pastor has become the CEO of an organization, with the deacons acting as the board of directors. We have reduced true shepherding to that of hiring a paid professional to stand up and make a speech once a week.

 Biblically, what is the role and function of a real pastor?

Remember, the word pastor literally means “shepherd”.  So, what should true shepherding be? What should true shepherding look like?

A shepherd feeds sheep. A shepherd cares for sheep. A shepherd watches sheep. To be a pastor is to be a shepherd. To do the work of shepherding is to love others up close. To do the work of a shepherd is to speak into the lives of others. To shepherd is to watch over the lives of others. To shepherd is to care for the well being of others, (Lk.2:8, Heb. 13:17).

The Greek word for shepherd is poimaino {poy-mah’-ee-no} which means to feed, to keep, to tend, to care for, or to shepherd.

It does not mean that a shepherd is the final authority for a group of people. Or even the final authority for one person. Only scripture has the final authority. In fact, the bible says that “the head of every man is Christ”. It does not say that the “head of every man is his pastor”.

 Shepherding is to be Plural

 
1Peter 5:1-4 “Therefore, I exhort the elders (plural) among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Notice that in the passage Peter writes it to elders (plural) that are among you. Peter told the older brothers to do the shepherding. From Peter’s perspective, there are many among us who will be doing the work or feeding the flock! Peter is simply telling the elders to care for the younger members.

In a healthy group of Christians, we should see many people doing shepherding.

Jesus was a shepherd. He is the chief shepherd. Couldn’t we look at His example and see how to properly pastor others? While on the earth, and as a man, Jesus Himself actively shepherded twelve men. He spoke into their lives. As a man, He lived close enough with them to see their lives and address them. If Jesus shepherded twelve, why do we think that one man among us can adequately shepherd five hundred people?

Maybe a man among us can shepherd one hundred people?

No.

Well then maybe fifty?

Nope. Impossible.

If Jesus had twelve, we would be doing very well to adequately shepherd just a few. Sure, a man can stand up and give a teaching week after week to 500 or 1000 people. But he can not adequately shepherd them. How should shepherding really occur?

Like this:

As you are meeting with the Church, living life together, and loving the Lord together, you may find the desire to:

– To be interested in the well being of another saint or even a few.

– To become genuinely interested and concerned for a few people’s growth and life in God.

– To regularly pray for them, look at their lives, and consider areas of growth that may be needed.

– You will probably pull these few people aside that God has put on your heart to spend quality time with them, provide instruction, encouragement, and love them by speaking into their lives on a regular basis.

Someone who is doing shepherding does not necessarily have the gift of teaching, although he should be able to teach (1 Tim. 3:2). You can carry someone in prayer, speak into their life, and care for their growth in an active participatory manner, without having the gift of teaching.

The church has often called “pastors”, those who only have a gift for teaching. Yet often these men have little concern or time for others on a one on one basis.

A shepherd can often care for and be concerned with the growth of a larger group. He may even stand up and teach on occasion to the group as to what the Lord may be saying for growth or issues of correction or vision, but this is in no way a weekly thing that you would be paid for. It may be for three nights in a row. It may be once every month or two. It may be a one time thing. But to stand up and deliver a teaching or a message to a group would be on an “as needed basis”. To be paid for doing a weekly teaching is ridiculous.

Keep in mind that in the body, someone doing shepherding is a sheep themselves. They are not to be considered in a different class or “above” anyone else. It is just a function they are performing, like teaching or prophesying.

Someone that is doing the work of a shepherd will probably be older, but not necessarily. Notice that Peter seems to make synonymous the function of shepherding with exercising oversight and being an elder in 1 Pet. 5:1-4.

 We Have Severly Perverted the Gift and Role of a Pastor

In the church today, we have severely changed the role of a pastor and what shepherding is all about. We’ve made men hirelings. When you pay a man a salary for giving a speech once or twice a week, and call it shepherding, it does all sorts of terrible things.

First of all when you pay a man a salary, it tempts him. What if he doesn’t perform? What if he is not inspired one week? What if he is dry in his heart and life and needs prayer and for someone else to take the ball? What if he needs to stay home Sunday morning because he hasn’t had much family time? He can’t. His livelihood is on the line. He’s getting paid for it! It becomes a job. He must perform.

The modern day pastor has become the planner of events, one who delegates, a counselor, a troubleshooter, and an organizer of committees. He is like the president of a business. He becomes spread so thin with his time and emotional energy that he gets burned out and often loses his inspiration. This man is obligated to fill his role or he will be fired and will lose his pay. Lord, forgive us.

He also has to maintain somewhat of an illusion of not having problems. He can confess some things to a certain level, and probably does to maintain some perception of humility, but if he were ever to be really gut-level honest with anyone, it would scare the congregation and cause mass panic. Therefore, he becomes cheated of true body life.

Usually, ”the pastor” is the loneliest man in the fellowship.

The modern day pastor’s family also suffers. His children are often rebellious, because they are the product of a failed system. The family is sacrificed because the pastor often doesn’t have time for them. But even worse is the hypocrisy. Again, because he’s “the pastor,” he and his family have to maintain an illusion, a veneer of righteousness, when they  really are not. At home, all sorts of stuff goes on, just like in any family. But around the church members the act is turned on. This puts emotional pressure on the family and a feeling of being false. This is very damaging and often fosters rebellion in the children. Or, it produces a “celebrity complex” in the entire family. Basically, everyone feels pressure to be something they are not.

 Pastors Hinder Our Growth

In 1 Cor. 14:26 we read, “What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.”

The modern day pastor contributes to stunting the growth of the church. His role on Sunday morning doesn’t allow us to hear from the rest of the body in the general assembly. This limits our experience of what the Lord would want to say through the other members.

But worse than that, the pastor’s role on Sunday causes others to sit passively in the pew as observers and not as participants. When we are participants, we grow. We study, we learn, we prepare. There is no need for this if you have a pastor running the show.

As a member of the modern day church, you are allowed to show up and hide if you want to. You can be needy and desperate in your heart on Sunday morning and nobody would even know it. You go to the church meeting, listen to the sermon, stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down, toss money in the plate, go home,  and nobody really knows anybody.

Nor does the pastor really know anybody! How can the pastor really bring an effective message to address the needs of the people,  when he is not actively involved with the daily lives of most people in the group?

Many people Sunday after Sunday are dying inside, hurting and alone, just sitting on the pew. They come with hope in their hearts that someone will notice and again they leave disappointed. This will happen this coming Sunday in countless gatherings all across the country. But, we all sure like “going to church”. Or do we really?

On Sunday morning, you can be in a bad place in your heart and know one will know it. You can be full of the Spirit and no one will know it. Sometimes, the best time on Sunday is usually the 10 minutes before and after the sermon, when you get to visit and connect with others.

We should never go to a church meeting and leave unchanged. Every time we get together we should leave filled, listened to, prayed for, and even more connected with Jesus and others!

Since I’ve become a Christian, I’ve known about 4 real pastors.

Sure, I’ve known many men who have the title of “pastor”. They give weekly teachings –  but they don’t do true shepherding whatsoever. Often these are quality men, but their real gifting is more in things like administration, teaching, or music. Some of them have a strong gift of “helps”, but they have been misidentified as being “pastors”.

Just because a man has started a fellowship or was an original founder, doesn’t make him a pastor either. Just because a man is eager, knows the word of God, can teach, attends seminary, or has leadership abilities – none of these things cause him to have the biblical gift of a true pastor. Please don’t miss my heart. I do not intend to speak down to or degrade these men at all, but in most cases shepherding is just not their gift.

Most of the so called pastors I’ve known, know nothing of hospitality, which disqualifies them from being in leadership (refer to chapter on hospitality). In addition, most of the so-called pastors I’ve known will never ask anyone about the condition of their heart or how they are doing in their faith. A lot of these men are pretty self-focused (but they would never think they are). And most of them have no idea of what the scripture means when it says that “Jesus, seeing the multitudes felt compassion.” It takes a pastoral gift from God to regularly and in daily life see others with compassion, and then seek them out to spend time with them.

Again, most so called “pastors” are usually good men, but most of the time, they are not pastors – at all. Usually, if they do spend time with you, it is either to protect the organization they’ve built or grow it in order to add to its numbers.

Only the true gift of a shepherd will be genuinely interested in you and who you are, and on a continual basis.

 Spiritual Authority

There is a tremendous difference in spiritual authority and authority that is given a man because everyone agrees on his authority. Spiritual authority comes from the Spirit and from the Word of God. You “just are a pastor”, because of your heart and the gift of God in you. It cannot be learned from seminary, and you don’t receive it automatically because you started a church.

We have an extremely damaging system of authority in the church today. It hinders people who have gifts from God and true authority from the Spirit. The only gifts of leadership that are recognized are those “on staff”. In other words, if you are not on staff, then you don’t have as much authority, if any, as the ones who are on staff. We should be able to publicly recognize spiritual gifted people among us, without it being a paid staff position.

The problem is that there are many people in traditional groups who are gifted, who have tremendous weight, spiritual authority, and leadership authority who go unrecognized and unnoticed because they are not “staff members”. This hinders the growth of the church, promotes frustration, and ultimately passivity in the group. Many times, the only outlet for these gifted people to express the gifts that are in them is to go start another church, therefore establishing themselves in a leadership position. If we would publicly recognize those with leadership gifts and authority among us, it would vastly cut down on the number of divisions in each city.

 Pastors Can Have Severe Identity Problems

There is usually a consistent identity problem in most pastors or men in leadership. An identity problem affects how you view yourself. Usually from the ones who attend seminary, they think of themselves… “as pastors”. This is a problem. They don’t see themselves as just another brother, but inside of themselves, they are in a different class than the rest of the sheep. It’s part of the clergy/laity separation which is false. It’s how they’ve been trained to think of themselves.

Part of this identity problem is that the church is “their baby”. Subtly, they forget that the church belongs to Jesus, not to men and that He is the one who is building it. Anything that threatens the organization they have built will usually solicit extreme emotional reactions in these brothers. This identity problem is very hard to shake and they are usually very reluctant to become just brothers, yet still function in their gifts. All they’ve believed, all they were trained for, all they’ve built, their credentials, their place in society, their entire identity would come crashing down. Not to mention, their income.

Actually, the men I have seen let go of their pastor identity are very relieved once they do so, and they begin to thrive more than ever in body life. They also begin to function much more effectively in their gifts and functions.

 So, What Should A Pastor Do?

Simple answer: Quit.

In their hearts before the Lord and with the group they are with, the “pastors” need to resign. They need to find work, and they need to become just brothers in the church. They should not break fellowship or stop meeting with the group they are with. But if they truly have a gift of shepherding they can do still do it – but from freedom, without money being involved, without expectations, without all the trappings; and therefore do a much better job. Pastors need to let go of the reigns and truly encourage other brothers to start bringing weekly messages and teachings.

A “pastor” needs to spend more time with his family and “decrease” in the fellowship he is in. He needs to become more like a quiet observer for a very long period of time in the meetings. He should still continue to love people, but spend more one on one time with others and show more hospitality to individuals and to families.

January 24th, 2012 at 8:30 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

 

The modern day organized church is kept in motion and built largely by money. Today in the church we have impressive buildings, big fancy signs, strategic locations, television ads, yellow page ads, radio spots, programs for every possible need, nurseries, salaried professionals, date night, pizza parties, youth group activities, ski trips to keep the kids happy, fancy suits, expensive audio systems, automatic retractable video screens, and million dollar family recreation centers. All of this takes massive amounts of cash. Yet without these things, the church membership would be drastically cut.

The tithe is an Old Testament requirement. But modern church teaching has twisted the scriptures and kept the tithe requirement alive in order to fund itself. The New Testament church did not need money. It ran on power. It ran on passion. It was kept alive and it continued to grow because of the life that it had. The modern day traditional church is mostly void of life, therefore, it has to prop itself up with hype and show in order to replace the life, in order to attract members, in order to exist. Under the New Covenant that we are in, Jesus does not require a tenth of our incomes, He requires ALL of it.

Let me explain. The large impressive buildings attract people. The buildings give the illusion and promise that there is something there, that there is something established. Think of a bank building for example. They are fancy on purpose. They have polished granite countertops, expensive lobbies, and marble floors. Why? They do this to provide the atmosphere of wealth so that there is the “feeling” of security. You wouldn’t want to put your money in a place that was built like a shack would you?

In your average traditional church today, how many people would still come if you threw away all of the extras and began meeting in simple, humble ways? What if we met in a park under a pavilion? What if we met in a living room?

What if there were no nursery or children’s church? Fathers would be responsible for teaching their kids the Bible at home. Fathers would require children to sit still during a church meeting. No paid professional to bring the music, but each member would come with their hearts filled and with songs to bring. Who would still come if all the church had was what the New Testament Christians had? Without all the trappings, without the pomp and show – who would have ever attended a traditional meeting in the first place?

Shouldn’t this bother us? What if a large portion of the people were only coming for all the extras? What if they were only coming for the programs? Would we really still want them to come if they weren’t coming for the right reasons? Jesus knew that the majority people followed Him for the food and miracles. He turned to them and said, “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no part with me.” Then they left. He knew they would leave. Would we ever say something that we knew would make people leave? Quite the opposite.
 
What should we do?

We all know about the tithe. The tithe was a tenth portion given by Israel to the Levitical priests. What about tithing in the New Testament?

There is not a direct commandment in the New Testament to pay tithes. But we do have some examples of how to relate to money and giving. Jesus said that unless you give up all your possessions you cannot be my disciple. In Luke 18:12 Jesus tells us of the man who fasted twice a week and paid tithes of all he had, but the tax gatherer who said, “I’m a sinner,” was justified instead. Then there is the widow who gave very little compared to the Pharisees, but she gave all that she had. Jesus said that because she gave all that she had, she had given more than anyone else. The New Testament economy is the economy of the Kingdom of God. It’s the opposite of the kingdom of man. The more you give away, the richer you are in the Kingdom. The first is last, the last first. The humble brother of low circumstances ought to glory in his high position. We don’t get it though. We think that if we pay our 10% that we’ve covered the base and did what God expects. We are completely missing the point.

It should also be noted that a big reason for paying tithes these days is in order to fund the salaries of the leadership. If we come to a Biblical understanding of offices and gifts, we will see that this practice doesn’t really make any sense. Someone who has a gift of shepherding (a pastor) is no different than someone who has a gift of prophecy, teaching, or evangelism.

Local Brothers Should Not Be Paid a Salary

Let’s take a situation where we have a local brother who lives among us and shares life with us. This local brother happens to function in the gift of prophecy. Because he functions as a prophet, would we ever pool our money together and pay him a salary? What about a brother who teaches among us? Should we pay his living for him while he lives locally among us and shares life among us, just because he teaches?

Let’s look at a totally different situation. If there were a brother or family among us who was going out and traveling to different cities to preach the gospel or function in their gifts – they are going to need money for traveling expenses. They are going to need support to cover their financial base while they are gone. These situations ought to be supported financially by the local church. This was the apostles case in the new testament when they were “preaching the gospel”.  The traveling brothers should be supported financially.

Just like the apostle Paul (apostle means “one who is sent out”) who traveled from region to region and city to city – one who is sent out, someone who is traveling, someone who is on a journey in which the sole purpose of the journey is to do the work of the Lord, these people ought to be supported in their journey by the local assembly who is sending them. But to pay for the livelihood of a brother who lives among us, just because he has a particular gift or because he teaches a lot is simply the results of a confused and contrived tradition of men.

In the new testament letters, you can see very practical examples of how the early church lived. Paul writes at the end of Philippians that they gave him a gift to meet his needs. It seems clear that it is a financial gift. Paul also tells the Corinthians in I Cor.16 to set aside money at the first of the week so that no collections are to be made when he comes. But he goes on to explain that this money is to be sent on to Jerusalem with someone other than himself.

Paul says that “those who preach the gospel have the right to get their living from the gospel”…but everyone always leaves out the second part. He did not take advantage of this but chose to “work day and night” so as to not be a burden to any. This is a good heart.

In looking closer at Paul’s quote of “those who preach the gospel ought to get their living from the gospel,” I think that there is strong evidence that supports the fact that Paul was speaking of people like himself who are extra-local and who are actually traveling and preaching the good news. “One who preaches the gospel” is traveling from town to town.

Local leaders and pastors are not usually traveling and “preaching the gospel.” They are typically doing a lot of teaching, which is good and necessary, but the gospel is a very specific thing. After someone or some city has heard the gospel, they’ve heard it. It’s time to go on to the next town or region – which is why those who solely “preach the gospel” should be offered financial support. To preach the gospel, as Paul was speaking of, has in it’s meaning the traveling “bringer of good news”, who would be hindered if he were to have to deal with paying for his own expenses while doing such a work.

Local brothers on the other hand, may easily operate in their gifts while working a job as well. Some may think that it would be impossible for their local pastor or leader to work a regular job while performing his duties. That’s because most of the duties a pastor does are the duties of a typical business executive – which is what we’ve made the church to be - a business. Marketing campaigns, committees, budget analysis, secretaries, buildings, administrative duties, etc., all are the results of us modernizing, westernizing, and adding to the church things which do not need to be.

Since we’ve done all of this with the church, we now have to pay someone to oversee all of this, which has little or nothing to do with overseeing the lives of the people.

The Old Testament tithe was for the priest and for the temple. Now, under the New Covenant that we are in, we are all priests. Secondly, the church has now become the temple. He inhabits us, not a building or a tabernacle. The Old Testament was a picture of the real thing that now is and is still to come. We don’t need to pay any Levites. There are no more priests to hear God for us. We can all go to God directly. The modern day separation of clergy and laymen is a tradition of men based on the Old Testament Levitical priesthood. We are all to be just brothers with no separation of clergy. We are all clergy now. Or, you could say we are all laymen now. In fact, based on the example of the apostle Paul, the so called “ministers” we know, ought to go get themselves a job.

“What am I supposed to do with my tithe then?” people ask me. First of all you need to remove the word from your vocabulary. It is not New Testament. That’s like asking, “Where are we going to sacrifice the animals now?” You are now free. Use your money to serve the Lord with however He leads you, with as much or little as you are led of God. Give money to people who need it. Buy some tracks and hand them out on the street corner. Have a big BBQ for the neighborhood. Use it for evangelism and for giving to the needs of the saints. It all belongs to the Lord now. He gave it all to you anyway. Do with the money in your charge as the Lord puts in on your heart.

Our tendency is to assume that the principles and methods that are true in the earthly and natural economy are also true in the heavenly economy as well. However, the economy of the Kingdom of God is usually opposite that of man’s economy. “The things that are highly esteemed by men are detestable in the eyes of God” (Luke 16:15).

We think that because it’s wise to save and stockpile money in the earthly economy that those same principles should transfer into God’s kingdom as well. Jesus gave us a different example. Good stewardship in the economy of God’s kingdom is to actually give your money away. Jesus did a lot of things in relation to money that speaks against the common teachings that exist today in the church. Jesus actually put a thief in charge of the money box, which would totally go against man’s conventional wisdom (John 13:29). If a money plate is passed in a Christian meeting, we ought to encourage those who have need to take money out of the plate.

The covenant that we are in only has one rule. It’s the rule of love. There is only one law now in the New Covenant. It’s the law of the Spirit. There is no list of rules that you have to go by anymore. God has set us free in order to serve Him in a new and living way.

 

January 11th, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink

 

Many people are concerned with heresy, biblical error,  and weirdness in house church. People tend to think that house church can be “cultish”.

First of all, the churches in the new testament met in homes. So it is not the meeting place itself that makes something a cult. So what is it really that makes some people concerned about  the idea of “home church”?

Pastors and those in leadership positions in traditional meeting places often warn people about the dangers of home church. In some ways they have a point, and we are going to discuss that here in this article. However, it  should certainly be mentioned that it only makes sense to question the ”clergy’s” motives in warning us about home church.

Obviously, there are many good things going on in traditional church settings. People are hearing the gospel, woshipping the Lord, and being set free. However, the idea of “house church” can really be a threat to all clergy members and people on staff in traditional church settings. Pastors and staff members have often worked hard to earn their credentials and obtain their positions. Home church is way too simple. House churches don’t need the services offered of the paid professional minister. So of course, they are going to warn against it and think of it as “less than” what they’ve worked so hard to build and achieve.

Bad Teaching, Error and Heresies

Let’s look at the facts. If you think about it there is error and strangeness wherever you go. In fact, every denomination would say that every other denomination (besides their own) is teaching biblical error. This is why there are so many divisions. This is why churches have sepearated from each other, and formed “denominations”, in the first place. Then each denomination gives itself a name to uniquely identify itself and its own particular “right” beliefs. To do such a thing is an error in itself.

Without a doubt, everyone is in some type of error. No one has the perfect doctrine or the perfect biblical interpretation. No one has all truth in every single area. If we all knew exactly where we were wrong we would correct it. So as I like to say, we are “walking according to the light that we have”.

Does attending bible college or being a formally trained pastor somehow make you less susceptible to error? No it doesn’t. I’ve heard horrible errors preached and taught by PhDs and formally trained bible teachers. Most main stream evangelical movements have some sort of unhealthy focus in one thing or another.

Then you have the more extreme cases. Jim Jones, a pastor from the late 1970?s attended a Pentecostal Bible college in Springfield, Mo. He later denied the deity of Christ and the authority of the Bible. He eventually led 913 people to their death by having them drink poison. Stewart Traill, earned his masters of sacred theology from Union Theological Seminary and was ordained by the Canadian Presbyterian Church. He is widely accused as a cult leader. Wayne Bent, a former Seventh-day Adventist pastor, is a self proclaimed messiah.

Although these are a few extreme examples, the list is endless and the point is obvious: Bible education does not insulate a man from bible error.

What is the Real Danger?

The real danger is when we don’t have a forum to check or correct each other on our teachings and interpretations which are possibly in error. If you are in a home church or organic church setting and you or anyone else teaches questionable things, there is a healthy platform and forum to check it and discuss it.

People who are part of home church are always discussing biblical truth with one another. They often question and discuss each other’s point of view and what each other has to say. This is very healthy. Often I hear comments such as, “Where are you coming from in saying that”. Or, “I disagree, I think the scriptures are actually saying this”.

Of course, there is a time and a place for this, even in home church. But the dynamic is healthy. It keeps us on our toes. It keeps us studying, pondering, and seeking for truth continually. During this process we learn to correct others and correct our own teachings as well.

A level playing field keeps us safe. When you have an environment where everyone is viewed as an equeal – when certain personalities start to get too big, they get knocked down. When people are timid, they are encouraged to step up and rise to the occasion and share their opinions.

On the contrary, there is more potential for error when one personality is allowed to dominate. Try questioning or challenging a traditional pastor after his next sermon (or even during his next sermon) and see where it gets you. Not all “pastors” will respond poorly, but if you are ever percieved as ”challenging their authority”, then you are put on the bad list. You become “marked”.

So, let’s compare the two in a nutshell. In a house church setting there is close accountability, a level playing field, and everyone is encouraged to not only participate; but to validate everything that is shared. In a traditional church setting, for the most part one man is the authority, one man primarily brings the message of truth, and one man has the final say.

Following one man is really and truly what is “cultish”. Especially when that man says that you are rebellious for challenging his authority. This is the hallmark of a cult. In a healthy home church (who look only to Jesus and scripture for leadership and final authority), were every participant is “equal” – there is much less potential for cultish activity, control, spiritual abuse, and error.

So… which dynamic has the most potential for error?

Which one is the real cult?

Control is Always the Issue

Most of the time when people think a particular group is “a cult”, they think it is a cult because it is different. To not be normal or typical, would put you in danger of being thought of as a cult. When a group is not mainstream or “official”, it is often thought of as cultish.

But certainly to be different or not mainstream could not make a group a cult. The meetings and gatherings in the first century and in the book of Acts, were certainly much different than the typical church meeting today.  But we would never think of a meeting out of the book of Acts as being cultish, we would actually consider it biblical! So, what really makes a group or a particular movement “a cult”?

The trademark of a cult is control. I don’t care what setting you are in – a small living room with 15 people, or a five million dollar building with 3,000 people. If there is not a healthy dynamic of being able to question and discuss everything, then it’s dangerous. It’s cult-like.

In any Christian setting we should be able to discuss and have a healthy dialogue of motives, theology, behaviours, all things that can be said or done – and without having to pay for it or hear responses like, “because you are challenging me, you are not under my authority”. Usually people who say this want control. When their control is being threatened – the best defense is always a good offense.

I’ve certainly visited house church meetings where one man was clearly in control. Not leading, but controlling. There is a huge difference. Good leadership actually fosters and encourages others to function and lead as well. Good leadership will have as its ultimate aim to decrease and then disappear. Control keeps people under. The ultimate goal of a person who wants to control – is to  stay in control.  Clearly, these particular home church gatherings I visited were not healthy. At one time I was even a part of a home church that disintegrated because of the control of one man. But this seems to be the norm in most traditional settings and no one questions it or calls it cultish.

The scriptures teach us to “mutually submit” (1 Peter 5:5). We are to submit to one another. If your “pastor” cannot submit (from the heart) to the other people in the group, or if he is reluctant to do so – he is dangerous (even if his intentions are good). It is a problem that is inherent in a flawed and unbiblical system.

“The Proper Working of Each Individual Part” – Eph. 4:16

We will all stand before God on the judgement day as individuals. Each believer is a priest. We all have a bible and we are all responsible as individuals to follow God. When a man stands up and speaks in front of you and to your family – you are responsible to measure it and weigh it out. Is it truth? Then “amen” the message and give your heart to it completely. Is it false? Then it must be checked. Is this man taking us where we need to go?

Every hearer is responsible to respond in some way. As the head of your household you must instruct and lead your family. You might say,  ”What that man said today was off.” Or, “I agreed with the message, it was good”.

Each person hearing another man speak also has a responsibility to the speaker, to some degree. If the speaker’s doctrine is not sound, he must be told about it at some point in time. It has to be talked through and worked out.

This refining process keeps us from heresy and keeps us all growing. This atmosphere of “many people” questioning and looking for truth together is good. It is much more dangerous to have only one man who has the final authority on what the truth is. There is much more potential for heresy and error when only one man is trusted to tell us what God is saying to us. The Word of God is the only authority. A 60 year old seasoned pastor who has a congregation of 3,000 people should be able to  submit to the reading of the Word of God brought by an 18 year old baby Christian. If he can’t submit and genuinly receive reproof, then he is not a man of God. A man of God will genuinely want reproof. When we have a room full of Godly men and women, then we will grow together in a healthy way.

 

January 3rd, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink

 

Evidence for the Catching Away of the Saints Before Wrath Begins in Revelation

 Revelation 3:10

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

Question: Why would Jesus himself say he would keep us from the tribulation’s wrath if what he meant was he was going to keep us while we were IN IT?

Jesus said he would keep the church FROM the hour of temptation that’s coming (the tribulation’s WRATH). Keeping us from it does not mean keeping us in it. When we  keep our children from certain situations, it doesn’t mean we keep them protected while we put them in it. We are kept FROM the hour of temptation coming on the whole earth. “From” does not mean “in”. Secondly, the purpose of the tribulation is to “try them that dwell upon the earth”. There is no need to “try” the saints. We have already been tried. Tribulation is primarily for judgment of the earth. The saints have already been judged. Tribulation is also primarily for the Jews, for it is called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” as prophesied in the Old Testament.Lastly, many scriptures call us the “children

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

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Romans 1:18

Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. Romans 5:9

Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Ephesians 5:6

And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. 1 Thessalonians 1:10

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

To summarize, scripture says we are “delivered from” “not appointed to” “saved from” and “kept from” the wrath of God. It does not say “delivered in it” “saved in it” or “kept in it”. When taken as a whole, there seems to be little room for us even experiencing the wrath of God.

Revelation 7:2-4

“And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of Israel.”

Only the 144.000 servants of God out of Israel are sealed, (144, 000 which is 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel. They are the only ones protected from the wrath according to chapter 7 verse 3-4 Do we see what this means my brothers and sisters????

Since there are believers like us and millions or even thousands more which there are over the whole earth, I need to ask you a question:

Question: Why is there no mention of all the saints getting protected like the Jews, the 144,000? Is God going to protect the Jews who are believers but not protect the vast majority of saints who are believers?

All the saints on earth are completely left out and not even mentioned while unbelieving Jews are sealed from wrath. Remember, the only people declared to be protected are Jewish unbelievers who obviously become believers at some point, for God seals them. One thing is certain. If we are not Jews, we are not getting sealed from the wrath of God. This is not speaking of spiritual Jews, for the 144,000 Jews descend from each of the 12 tribes, ruling out any spiritual Jew who is not from one of those tribes. In other words, if you’re not a Jew from those 12 tribes, you are not getting sealed. If you’re not getting sealed, you are going to suffer the terrible wrath of God. Let me repeat this all important point. Only the Jews from Israel are getting protected from the wrath of God. God makes a specific point not to begin the 1st trumpet judgment of wrath which begins the wrath UNTIL the Jews are sealed. No one else gets sealed or protected from the wrath of God all throughout the book of Revelation. That sounds like bad news to believers who are supposedly in the Tribulation during this wrath. But is it?

What does this mean for the catching away of the saints??

Question: Where are the other saints, the hundreds of thousands or millions of believers around the world???

They are either on earth going through the unbearable wrath of God and all his trumpet judgments because they are not sealed from horrendous wrath while the Jews are protected, or they are in heaven.

Question: Does the word of God tell us where the saints, all the believers, are?

Yes it does!!!!! A few verses later, we see the revelation. The saints of God who were believers before this wrath starts are in heaven. The proof is in the same chapter, a few verses later, just after the last Jew from the last tribe is sealed. They are the “great multitude, which no man could number” as shown next:

Look at Revelation 7:9

“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

Then John, seeing this multitude, is told by the elders who these people are. The elder asks John the following question:

Revelation 7:13-17

 “What are these which are arrayed in white robes, and whence (where) came they? And the elder answered “These are they which CAME OUT OF GREAT TRIBULATION, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes. Rev. 7:13-17

First off, this great multitude of saints “came out of great tribulation.” They came out of the tribulation. No one can come out of the tribulation unless they leave the earth. “Came out” has to mean went to heaven, for their location is a dead giveaway: they “stood before the throne, and before the Lamb” and “they are “before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple. The scripture above says “These saints” CAME OUT of great tribulation,” and that does say that believers are in the tribulation for a while, but WHEN they came out is crucial.

Question: When do the saints come out of the great tribulation?

According to the order shown in chapter 7, they came out of the tribulation right before the 1st trumpet begins, which is what heralds the awful wrath of God. Remember that the wrath of God begins after the 6 seals (there are “7 seals, 7 trumpets, and 7 vials in that order). The first four seals are the announcement of the four horses of the Tribulation, but no wrath has been poured out yet. Seal 5 is the revelation of the souls under the altar in heaven and those who were killed for the word of God. Seal six is stars falling from heaven and earthquake, but no wrath poured out on individuals as of yet.

Chronology Review

Chapter 6-The 6 seals are revealed (white, red, black, pale horse, souls under the altar, great earthquake and stars falling from heaven) 7th seal not yet given. The 7th seal contains the 1st trumpet (see Rev. 8:1)

Chapter 7-Right before the 7th seal (also called the 1st trumpet), the Jews are sealed from wrath of God, and no one else, no Christians, are mentioned as being sealed and protected from the wrath of God.

The Great multitude in heaven which no man can number are around the throne and rejoicing (occurs before 7th seal and 1st trumpet of wrath)

Chapter 8-“Silence in heaven” for ½ hour because the horrendous wrath of God is beginning. The 7th seal is opened, revealing the 7 trumpet judgments of wrath getting ready to be released on men

Question: Why is there “silence in heaven” for ½ hour?

The very next verse of chapter 8 has “silence in heaven for ½ hour as the first trumpet, and the awful wrath of God, begins (the 7th seal, which contains the first trumpet judgment of wrath. The saints which were caught up are safe, and the wrath begins with the first trumpet in verse 5.)

 

Revelation 9:4

“And it was commanded them (the locusts) that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but ONLY those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads”

This verse explicitly states that the ONLY people protected from the locusts released during the 5th trumpet judgment are those that were sealed which are the Jews who were sealed just previous. This means that no one else is protected from wrath, so the unbelievers who became believers are not protected, though many of them are killed beforehand. This also means that post trib teaching of saints being protected during the wrath is not supported by scripture. The saints who were believers have already “came out of great tribulation” between the 6th and 7th seal. Rev. 7:14.

Revelation 9:20

“And the rest of these men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands…neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”

Here is further evidence that the wrath of God is being poured out on the earth (including tribulation saints) while saints are in heaven. Remember according to chapter 5, the unbelievers who become saints when the wrath starts actually suffer some of the trumpet judgments and will be killed like their fellowservants who were killed for God in years past.

An interesting point here for pre-tribbers and post tribbers. God has his believers taken up before the wrath begins, but some believers suffer wrath, but only those who become believers after the initial great multitude is taken up and the wrath begins. They become believers after the wrath begins.  However, God kills them early and it seems they are spared the continuing wrath of the bowl judgments later on which are some of the most gruesome inflictions God sends on men.

Alright, here is the evidence that pre tribbers and post tribbers are both partially right and wrong. Both positions have truth and error. So let’s not get confused. It is really a glorious thing that God showed me here. I was in error on the fact that believers today won’t The “great multitude that no man can number” who are in heaven are up in heaven right before the wrath of God begins in chapter 7 enter the Tribulation. We know that they are saved, for it says they had their sins washed in the blood.

Question: Do believers go through the Tribulation?

Where I was wrong is that we do enter the initial stages of the Great Tribulation, but we are caught up between the 6th and 7th seal, right before the wrath begins. Believers today DO NOT suffer the wrath of God in the Tribulation. It is not exactly mid Tribulation, but more like 1/3 of the way in to the tribulation. Remember, that the Tribulation begins with the setting up of the four horsemen (the first four seals) and the stars falling from heaven (the 6th seal).

Chapter 9 verse 20 says that those not killed by the plagues (which would be unbelievers and tribulation saints) repented not of their deeds. So you have one big group killed by the plagues of his wrath, and the ones that aren’t killed aren’t repenting of their wicked works. So that says that every believer will be killed by the plagues, the wrath, during tribulation. If there’s no one repenting of his deeds, there would be no more believers on earth during the Tribulation. They are all killed just as Revelation 5 said they would be to match the souls under the altar who were killed for the testimony of Jesus. Out goes the post tribulation doctrine that saints will be protected. Saints will be killed, all of them, because they entered the Tribulation as unbelievers according to this verse and chapter 5:9-11.

To summarize then, we have every saint suffering the wrath of God and being killed. The “rest of the men” did not repent of anything according to verses 20-21. The only people who did not suffer are the actual Jews from the 12 tribes and the great multitude in heaven. Remember, no one else was sealed but the 144,000. The great multitude is in heaven, and they CAME OUT of GREAT TRIBULATION. They “came out” because God took them out, and we know he took them up, because they are in heaven around the throne of God rejoicing in their salvation and Jesus who is seated next to them.

God waits until the very last moment before his wrath begins on the 1st trumpet to give people a chance to avoid this wrath. The great multitude which no man can number shows up in heaven IMMEDIATELY before the 1st trumpet judgment of wrath. In fact, it can be said that God gives all the earth a taste of the impending doom with the 6th seal and the stars falling from heaven. That was his last warning before the wrath of God.

Revelation 19:1,6-9, 14

And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed [are] they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God…. And the armies [which were] in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Question: Do we see that this same “great multitude” in heaven are the same saints previously mentioned in Revelation 7 who came out of great tribulation?

These saints are preparing for their marriage in heaven and return to earth on horses with Jesus as he destroys the antichrist and his armies. That should show you that these saints were in heaven, attended the marriage supper of the Lamb, got their white robes, got their rewards, sang before his throne, and returned with him to Earth. They “came out of great tribulation” as it says in chapter 7. They got taken up to heaven. I can think of no other explanation that fits.

Summary

Jesus promised he would “keep thee from the hour of temptation which is coming upon all the world”

The Tribulation (not the wrath) starts with the opening of the 6 seals which are the 4 horsemen, the souls under the altar, and the stars falling from heaven and the great earthquake

Before the 7th seal is opened which begins the 7 trumpets of wrath, God specifically seals the 144,000 Jews from his wrath. No one else is sealed before the trumpet judgments begin

Right Before the 7th seal and the 1st trumpet, “a great multitude which no man can number” is in heaven, standing before the throne, and have had their sins washed in the blood of the Lamb. They are said to have “came out of great tribulation” No one escapes the tribulation unless they are in heaven which these saints are.

During the 5th trumpet judgment of wrath, when the locusts are released to kill men, God says the only people protected from it are the Jews: “but ONLY those  men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads” That shows that no other saints are protected during wrath which goes against post trib. teaching we will be protected during the wrath of God on earth.

The saints, the great multitude, are mentioned again in chapter 19 and are definitely in heaven getting married, getting rewards and returning to Earth after having come out of great tribulation.

Praise God that there is strong evidence that the saints of God do not suffer the wrath of God during the Tribulation with the only exception being those who become believers after the the seventh seal and 1st trumpet judgment begins.

 

December 21st, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (3) | Permalink

 

 

(Used by permission from my brother Orlando)

 

(The following story is a true story. This story is compiled from my online journal entries while on this two month journey I took back in November 2004. May anyone who has graciously taken the time to read this story be inspired to rest in the Lord Jesus Christ and to daily walk in His love, faith and truth……..)

“If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? Luke 9:23-25

“Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31

“And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing.  And He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that city. And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” Departing, they began going throughout the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.” Luke 9:2-6
November 2004

As I walked on the beach today in San Clemente, California, with the sunset coming to a complete close on my left and people walking by at times on my right (who happened to be slowly fading into dark figures) Fong and I were discussing our ventures. I began to tell Fong how I believe people are called by God for different purposes. Some doctors, some teachers, some mechanics and so on and that I have felt called by God. I did walk close with God in Maine. And that now I have been feeling the call of God to start traveling and seek to hear his Spirit to direct me in Love to do His will. As we spoke of the reason of our travels together I was moved to tears as I felt the presence of God’s Love very strong. We both admit that we are being directed by the Spirit of Love. Fong states “what took you so long bro!” We both smile and dance down the beach knowing we are a part of something way bigger than us. And we don’t know what lies ahead but are both excited and open to the Spirit of Love. Lord Jesus….God……direct our steps to share your love…..and so the story begins…….

 

Roland Woods, a wonderful homeless man in a wheelchair, had become my new friend. I met Roland one September night after I performed in a Hawaiian show with Tropical Productions in the downtown area of Austin Texas. On my way, walking to take the bus home, I ran into Roland and hung out with him and realized he was a nice man with a drinking problem that had nobody to care for him or be a true friend. So I began staying with Roland some nights in the alleys to keep him company and watch over him, as some street people would harass him and even beat him up on one occasion. It was the beginning of my training for the adventures ahead.

 

So in my first entry I shared about Roland..{Pre-inspiration}… who I believe the Lord used to help me sense the need to begin traveling and reaching out to people in love. I also have to mention Maverick, a beautiful woman who lives and travels in her van. I met Maverick at Ruta Miya (I think that’s how you spell it) a coffee shop in Austin. She was selling some kind of brush that smelled nice, but I don’t remember what it was called. Anyway, I spent a couple of weeks hanging out with Maverick..let her stay the night and shower and such…Her and I shared some nice times..She is a true sweetheart and sensitive soul….I look forward to going to Kerrville with Maverick next year. But after listening to her speak of the life on the road, I began to sense the Spirit even more and my desire to quit my job and take off increases. Then as soon as Maverick leaves town the next day I meet Fong on the strip of Guadalupe in Austin. I’m walking down the street just enjoying the day and all the people on the street when I see this half Chinese half American dreadlock dude sitting on the newspaper stand playing the bass. I walk up and enjoy his vibe for a bit and spend some time talking to him. He shares his traveling ventures and I share my desire to travel…We decide I would enter “Fong’s school of traveleolegy…….”

So I finally brought the story up to date…just wanted to give a little recap of what led up to my journey…..The next entry I will start my story from day 1…..

So the Journey actually begins on a Tuesday night of Nov 23rd….my ex-girlfriend, Sabina, drops Fong and I off on 290 by the Sam’s club. Our idea so far is to stop in El Paso to visit with my family. I’m looking forward to starting our trip this way as I have not been to El Paso since I left over 4yrs ago and I miss my family. I also would like to tell my parents face to face what I’m doing and have them see me off.

So we crash behind Sam’s Club in the woods and get up in the morning and start hitchhiking on 290. Correction…Fong and I feel the Love and excitement already, so we make a sign with our destination and begin to become the dancing hitchhikers. Some time passes and a cop comes to talk to us…uh oh…is this not meant to be….He lets us know that hitchhiking is illegal, but then says it’s ok just be safe and stay back from the road…DIVINE GRACE….we sense the Spirits peace and dance/thumb it until Arturo stops……..Our 1st ride and it’s only 10am…I don’t believe it…so Arturo drops us 200 miles out of Austin on I-10..He was a blessing and is very thoughtful in where he drops us. We say later and thanks, and after a bit of lunch, hit the side of the road again. So we hitchhike, dance a bit (entertaining the cars driving by on I-10)…then we ran out of steam to dance and find ourselves taking a nap on the side of I-10…I begin to feel at complete peace and much freedom…….

But unfortunately..all day passes and the sun goes down…no one stopped and it looks like we’re going to have to camp in the woods so we begin to crab our packs to go to the woods when all of a sudden, a SUV stops……the SUV backs up to us and the window rolls down. There is a bald headed black guy who looks at us like were crazy and asks “Ok…what are you all up to?” We say “heading to California man…. sharing the love of the Lord!” He tells us to get in and we jump with joy and get in the SUV. We share the love and nature of our travels with Mike. Fong shares his anti-government and anti-Corporation views with Mike as well of his many ventures and philosophies of the road. I share my desire to share the gospel of Jesus Christ on the trip and testimony. Then Mike tells us not to panic but that he is an FBI agent. COOL! I never met one…..and this guy Mike, well I begin to sense that he is a very righteous hard working man…And guess what? He’s going to California..hummm.  So Mike shares with us how he has to go against his conscience on his job working for the FBI. I sense that Mike is caring a heavy burden. After a couple of hours of driving and much conversation, Mike tells us that he has been in a depression for some time now. He says that he has just realized that it is gone and we had inspired him. THANK YOU LORD FOR USING US KNUCKLEHEADS!

So I invite Mike to stay the night in El Paso at my parents home and have Thanksgiving dinner with my family, Fong and I. We hit it off so well that he gladly accepts and many hours later we arrive at my parent’s house in El Paso. My Dad, who is a retired U.S. Customs agent, hits it off with Mike and we have a wonderful first day of travels. I am at home with my parents and able to begin this trip with their blessing.

We all get up in the morning and my Mom tells us all that we are going to church to start our day of Thanks…. Though I personally am turned off by the mall like atmosphere, in the Abundant Living Faith Center church, that my parents attend, I ask the Lord to help me not be judgmental and focus on Him. So the service starts and is nice…God showed up and moved on our new FBI friend Mike….we all just witnessed the moving of God’s spirit…and I am now convinced I am in the will of God…Thank you Lord for using us and allowing us to witness Mike become a new man…Praise the Lord Jesus…He is alive…..The rest of the day was so beautiful at my sister’s house with lots of food and great times…….

SO FAR MY TRAVELS ARE ALL WORTH IT, IF  MIKE IS THE ONLY PERSON GOD USES US TO TOUCH……I AM HUMBLED AND DESIRE TO GET CLOSER TO THE LORD……I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE WHAT LIES AHEAD……

Love is a God….God is Love….Jesus is God……..I Love you Lord….I love all people…Keep flowing Lord…Keep it flowing Spirit….Peace & Love

 

So after a great dinner and spending good times with my family, Mike and Fong; we head out Thursday evening heading to California. You know the beautiful thing about this trip is that I feel like I have known Mike and Fong forever and I’m filled with Love….. So we drive all night and help Mike drive so he could sleep as well. Of course, I slept the most, as driving puts me asleep…….

So we get into California and Mike takes us to San Clemente as Fong hopes to meet with Shelly, a friend he hopes to travel with also. Mike buys us a great breakfast at a diner called the “Sugarshack”. The waitress is real cool and gives us a warm welcome and great service. She also takes our picture. I ask her if she could join us in the picture and she states only after she finishes putting on her makeup..Cool! So we take a picture with her picture, unfortunately I don’t remember her name, but her kindness is not forgotten. After breakfast we head to the main pier of San Clemente and depart from our new brother Mike with a group hug and a word of prayer…tears of thankfulness and goodbyes but I feel we will see our brother Mike again. Then Mike tells us that in the near future he will be calling us and no matter where we are he will send us to Hawaii to visit him and his family. I will miss Mike and do look forward to seeing him soon. Though Mike proclaims thanks to us for what has taken place in his life. I only feel humbled knowing that I am only a mere man like any other witnessing the moving of God’s Spirit and feel that I am the one that is blessed. Thanks God for allowing me to be a part of your Love plan. I love you Lord and can’t wait to go home one day………

Oh, I have to mention the smile and joy that was brought to my face when my traveling friend, Fong, after seeing Mike off, ran down to the beach and into the ocean like a kid going to Disneyland for the first time. My excitement mounts again with the thoughts of what our travels will bring to us…..Good Times…Good Times…..Much Love…….

We spend the rest of the day at the beach just soaking in the California sun, watching the surfers, playing hacky sack, Frisbee, watching the train go by….it’s a beautiful day and feel thankful to God to be alive……Much smiling……..

After talking to some folks we decide to head to San Clemente state park to camp overnight. A beautiful state park, right on the beach with cliffs and much trees, showers (HOORAY) though Fong calls me a road wimp for desiring to shower..We are all different, but I will try my best to stay clean on my travels (I’m sure my Mom will like to hear that!) While at the bathroom we help a man move his trailer as he was struggling. A few minutes after we help, his wife brings us a bag of candy. Cool! Treats! Small favors go a long way!

Then a guy starts setting up his camp by us and we offer to help him. His name is Andy. He is a trip! After a short period of talking with Andy, I pick up that he is an angry, short tempered, at times rude, loner of a guy. We help him and share what were all about. Andy thinks were crazy, but invites us to share his camp spot..Another Divine provision as we do not have the money to pay for our camping… over the next week of spending time and a camp with our new friend Andy, I realize that this is a test for me…..Can I show unconditional love and acceptance to this man who I witness hurt other people by his strong nature and what I think to be rudeness. Well I believe the Spirit is moving because it seems Andy has taken on a father type role with us. Like sharing his food and bringing us coffee and donuts each morning. Though my neighbor Andy is very rough on the outside, I began to sense that he is angry with God and on the inside only wants what I believe we all are designed for….companionship and Love.

During our stay in the State Park we meet two hum bums that live there, named John and Job. Great guys! (Sadly with an alcohol problem) They share how both of them have wives in big homes in San Clemente that they left for reasons. I feel much love for them and we all share food and conversation. We had a great week in San Clemente and did touch lots of lives in different ways I’m sure. One day as we were watching the sunset(we seen the sunset everyday here so far) I spoke with a sweet girl whom I forgot her name. She was working on her Spanish class work.. She was also a believer and was pleased to hear of our travels..she shared with me how she goes to help at an orphanage as Fong watches the sun go up…as he is on his head……I was blessed speaking with her and she promises to keep us in her prays and throws us a $5 for our cause (God provides again.)

Fong and I stroll up the road singing and dancing as usual about the Love we both have for God and people. We pass an artist house and pass by with a wave and compliment to her on her artwork in her garage. I think Fong was digging her..smile…..So we wonder about town…play some music in the downtown streets….we make no money, but on the second floor of a building I look up and a older woman smiles…our job is done and we move on.

Fong dumpster dives at the flower shop and we pass by the artist house..I helped encourage him to go to the door and offer the flower..He goes and she invites us in for tea. She turns out being married and I notice before long she is full of Love and has a gentle spirit..we chat, she and Fong both play the piano and she shows us her art…..a beautiful visit with a beautiful person….later that day as we walk back by on our way to the beach the artist and her husband are in their garage, so we get a chance to meet him also…a beautiful couple…One thing I forgot to mention is that after the initial visit, as we are walking thru town the artist comes up peddling on her bike and gives us her card…she says if there is anything we need to call her….I was touched and blessed..

We decided to head out to Laguna Hills after a couple of days with Andy and he drops us off at the Food Stamp office. We apply there and apply for day labor….on waiting for our bus to go to Laguna Beach, we decide to fly a sign that says “Nothing but Love!” As we are making our sign a guy drives up to see what we’re doing and where we are going…..we share our love with him and he digs it and throws us a bunch of change…we talk some more and share of God’s love and our desire to share with others and when he’s about to leave, he throws us a $20 and goes and buys us some pizza. God provides once again!!!! This guy was a nice man and was right with us on our desires..May the Lord bless him with all he desires! (Sorry I don’t remember his name)

So, at the bus stop, we fly our sign and dance around to see how many smiles can be produced from such stuffy people in the area…to our joy!..many smiles and waves…then Mr. Police man comes up….”hey boys what are you doing?” Just sharing the Love officer! I say…he asks if we have ever been arrested..we say know…(I think to myself, arrested for sharing Love, you gotta be kidding me) Then our bus shows up ( divine intervention) “Officer that’s our bus, we’ll get on it if you let us” The office shakes his head and says..”get out of here you guys” We get on the bus and are greeted with a ton of smiles and curious faces…Life is too good and so is the Lord…Thank you Jesus!!!!!!

More to come…..I’m such a slow writer and only get an hour each day at the library, but I will try to do my best…until next entry……Smiles…Peace and Love…..

Thanks Lord for watching out for your kids in play!!!!!!

So we head to Laguna Beach on the Bus and it doesn’t take long to get there. As we walk around this town it is glowing with Art and Beauty. It is obviously known for all the Art galleries and it has an awesome boardwalk on the main beach. I really like this town and look forward to spending time here. We spend time playing hacky sack on the Boardwalk and a nice guy walking by looks interested so we invite him to join us and we all have a great game of hacky sack. He smiles and goes on his way. I don’t remember his name but seeing him enjoy himself was a blessing. I love to play hacky! We all had a good time…simplicities of life are a beautiful thing…and sharing good times with a stranger is also something we all should do more often. (Nothing but Love)
We talk with some street people and they invite to join them for a free dinner in the park on cliffs in the beach. We had a great spaghetti dinner and played some more hacky…The people serving are just some locals that have been doing it for years. May the Lord bless each of them for sharing Love and being kind to the homeless. We watch the sunset from the park on the cliff overlooking the ocean. I am so awestruck on the beauty of Laguna Beach and as the sunsets I wonder what lies ahead here in Laguna. I spend time singing to the Lord as the sun goes down and reading out loud scripture from John I. God is Love…..God is Love…. I feel God so close and my love for Him grows…How I desire to know and experience God more…..Beauty is all around…God is alive and leading our way……

So after talking with some of the homeless in Laguna we hear of a Nature Preserve on the edge of town and we head there to crash for the night. On the way we stop at a Whole Food type store and we dumpster dive and find perfectly good, sealed, not out of date food. We wonder why the store threw it away and only assume that they did not have space. So we fill a milk carton full of this food.  Some of it is things like crab and tuna and some really good stuff. We head to the area that the local humbums (homeless folks) hang out to drop it off. On your way we walk up to a homeless guy that rides a bike and he is standing by himself with his hands pointing up to the sky. We ask him if he needs some food and he yells “Thank you God for hearing my prayer!” and begins crying and saying “I just was asking God for some food and here you guys are with food!” He could not believe it and is very thankful. Fong and I are amazed and thankful and take the rest of the food up to the spot the homeless folks will show up tomorrow. Thank you Lord for using us knuckleheads again……You are truly amazing!

 

So we then head to the Nature Preserve. It is a big hill right on the edge of town and we walk up the hill, which is very steep by the way. (I’m going to be in such good shape in a short period of time!) We find a clear spot amongst the many short trees and brush. The view from where we are at is just amazing!!!!  We are looking down on Laguna Beach and the ocean. This is truly the bedroom with the best view on my trip. The next day Fong takes off on the bus to Laguna Hills and I spend the day in the town. I meet a guy named Musicman. He is a really cool guitarist and is very talented. He invites me to hit the sticks with him and we play on the main street to make a little cash. He and I play well together and even make a couple of bucks. Musicman is from Huntington Beach and he takes the bus back there at the end of the day. But he also tells me that he is gathering up a band as he will be getting an RV in about a month and wants to hit the road and play music. He asks me to be his drummer. I let him know that right now my heart is being led by the Spirit to play with Fong, but I will pray about it and let him know.

Later that evening the town closes off the main street and all the shops and galleries have an open house for the kicking off of the Christmas season. The streets begin to fill up with all kinds of people, young and old. Santa has a parade down the street and there is free food in every shop as well as wine. As for me I am enjoying all the Christmas spirit food and entertainment (no wine for me today thanks) and I’m looking for Fong as he is to meet me somewhere here in Laguna Beach. Next thing I know Fong is prancing down the street yelling “where’s my drummer..Where’s my drummer” So we meet up and walk around awhile.

Then we decide to stop and play some music on the curb. So Fong starts playing his bass and opens his bass cover bag for any donations. As for me I tap my sticks on the curb, shake the egg shaker and we play a couple of songs. We are really jamming and I begin playing not only the curb but the phone booth, parking meter and anything else around. Then all of a sudden a bunch kids come by and enjoy our sounds and begin throwing money in our bag. Cool! Appreciation……The Spirit really starts to flow and God’s love is flowing… we are truly jamming and as I turn around the next thing I know, there is well over a hundred people gathered and sharing in the Love. Fong and I begin to really beat on the Trash can and anything I can find and we get the people singing with us. We get the whole crowd to sing… “Ooh AAh… Much Love…ooh AAh, Much Love” To the praise of the Lord, everybody is smiling, dancing and chanting about Love. An older women comes up to me and says ” I don’t know who you guys are or where you came from but this community really needs this” I smile and tell her that “we are only a couple of knuckleheads  that Love God and Love sharing His Love.” All glory to God. She smiles and keeps singing and dancing. Even the police were gathered around about 10 of them, so Fong went over to make sure they didn’t mind us bagging on the city property. They told him that they loved it and just keep it up. The Love is overflowing this night…and I realize that something Magical/Divine has just taken place…..Nothing but Love…Nothing but Love….You know what really touched me as well, was that most of the people were High School and Junior High School kids. This goes on for quite some time and we even have kids get in the center of attention and play little drum solos on the trash can as I play M.C. and have the crowd cheer for each kid. I have a kid play a solo and then ask their name and yell to the crowd..”Hey this is Johnny..He’s a rock star!!!!!!  Everyone yells and claps….It was AWESOME!!!!!!!!  This has been truly one of the most exciting times in my life to see God work in such a way and to share my love of God and music with people. Fong and I walk off filled with the Spirit and realizing that something is developing here that is way, way bigger than us. We are true Rock Stars! In the name of Love/God…. What lies ahead is now even more exciting…….Lord use us for your glory and the healing of many souls and softening of many hearts….
So we go back up to the hill over the city and get ready to crash. We count our money and we made over $80 bucks! But even more we sense the Spirit developing something here….. and the thoughts of all the smiling faces is completely  priceless! Street musicians? Vessels of Love? only the Lord knows and we are truly excited! As we lay out our sleeping bags, Fong opens a can of Minestrone soup for his late night snack when all of a sudden we hear “aaaauuuuuuuuu! I look at Fong and his expression is priceless (I’m sure my face looked the same) Coyotes! Oh great! Then I realize that my dear, 3 years of experience, traveling brother, does not know squat about coyotes…Great! Neither do I. (What a bust!) So we decide to use one of our life lines and phone a friend. And to make things worse my phone is about to die…bummer…

So we call my Dad and he just laughs at us. But we gather from him that there is no serious threat, but be ready to throw some rocks or something if we need to. Well Fong decides to bury his Minestrone can some distance from our sleeping spot to be safe. We walk away from camp and up the dirt road and bury the can. We go back and hear a couple of more howls, but eventually fall asleep.

The next morning we are walking back to town and see our can dug up and in a different spot. Those coyotes! We walk into town and are sitting at a bus stop when Fong blurts out “Damn the Coyotes!!!!” This is now a very comical yell and find ourselves yelling it at times. And we decide that when were rich and famous it will be the name of our 1st album. Band name: “Nothing But Love” First album: “Damn the Coyotes” …..You gotta love it!

So we head into town as Fong wants to trade his bass guitar for an acoustic guitar. We get that done and Fong now has a beautiful guitar. And I have some cash to find a hand drum of some sorts. We go over to the train station which is closed and have some eats. And then we do an impromptu jam with Fong’s new guitar and we play beautifully, I sing some scripture and we both sing……..all improve. There is no one around to hear our first great jam with Fong’s new guitar, but we both know we are playing to an audience of one (God) as usual. Good times….Good times….

Lord continue to lead us and use us to share your love…..I love you Jesus and thank you for dying on the cross for me to give me life and love…May you speak loudly thru my life….Till next time…

 

Ok…unfortunately I’m way behind in keeping my journal updated, so I’ll probably forget a lot, but this journey so far has been incredible!

So let’s see……the last entry we just got finished jamming at the closed train station. So we go walking to find a spot to get some shut eye. As we are walking in Laguna Hills from the music store, I spot an abandoned building that has a covered parking lot and we decide to camp there for the night. This spot is awesome as it has a picnic table and an overhang which turns out to be a great spot to camp or as some say “squat”. In the morning we take a bus and head up the coast and stop in Huntington Beach. Musicman, the guitarist I jammed with in Laguna Beach, lives there and I decide to visit him as Fong goes back to Laguna Beach to go to the Krishna Temple. I spend time with Musicman and his friends (Shannon, Kelly, Chris and Elie) as well as meet other street folks. We spend the day hanging in the streets and I actually am bummed as the only thing they all want to do is ask for money to drink beer. But I hang with them and play lots of hacky…..and even though it bummed me out that they all wanted to worship the “Beer God” (so to speak)They are all nice people and I wonder why they choose to live on the streets. They all have different reasons and I realize that I can only pray for them and share the Lord and his love with them. Musicman and Shannon, his girlfriend, offer me a vehicle to sleep in and I sleep there for the evening quite comfortable I should say.

The next day I go to the pier with Musicman and see all kinds of wildlife! I see many dolphins, sea lions, and different types of birds. It is truly amazing and beautiful and I feel like I’m watching a Discovery channel highlights or something. Musicman tells me that he has not seen so much wildlife out here before and hopes we see a whale. I think to myself..God you are awesome, thanks for the show!…..No whale, but I did get a call from my mom and my dear friend Rebecca, so I try to tell them of what I’m seeing so they can share in the experience. I have to say that I am thankful to God for my parents as I have been blessed with the most wonderful and loving parents anyone could ask for. And for my friends, but especially Rebecca. I don’t think I’ve mention Rebecca yet, but she has been my true support every since I first decided to leave Austin on this journey. Thanks Rebecca for being so supportive and for all your love and friendship! And Rebecca knitted me a beanie hat that has the words ” Love , Joy, Peace” on it. She didn’t finish before I left Austin, so since Musicman has a PO Box, she is mailing the hat to me tomorrow here in Huntington Beach. Thanks again Rebecca! You are a true sweetheart!

So later this day Fong calls and he is in LA County visiting his friend Toby and wants me to meet him there. So I spent another night in Huntington Beach, this time one of the homeless kids, Kelly, shows me a good sleeping spot in a parking garage and we crash for the night. I get up the next morning early and head to the bus stop. I wait at a near bye coffee shop until the bus comes and sit outside to have hot tea and read the bible. A man walks up to me and asks what I’m reading. I let him know I’m reading the book of Matthew where Jesus sends out the 72 disciples to share the gospel. He asks what it says to me and I explain that I believe today people get caught up in programs and “trying” to be Christians, but that we should be seeking to know and experience God’s presence and to be lead by His Spirit. Or something like that…but he is inspired and turns out he is a believer and invites me to meet with him and a group of guys at another table to have fellowship. This is a true blessing and answer to my prayers as I have been in need of some fellowship and bible study. They all go to the Huntington Beach Calvary church in town and I have a great time with them. Thank you Lord for meeting these brothers and the fellowship! So I get on the bus and head to LA County to meet Fong. More to come………………

Drums

(Drums is my street name given to me by a traveler we met. It turns out that most people who are homeless and professional travelers all have street names)

Lord I love you and desire to hear your voice….

 

So I leave Huntington Beach with thankfulness to the Lord for the encouragement and nourishment of the fellow brothers in the Lord at the coffee shop. As I get on the bus for a long ride to the edge of Orange County, the bus driver asks me “where’s your traveling buddy?” I let him know that I’m going to meet Fong in LA. After some introductions he tells me that he was the bus driver the other day while Fong and I were on the bus from San Clemente to Laguna Beach. He then says ” I have been a bus driver for over 20 some years and the other day when you guys were on the bus, I had never seen a bus come alive like it did…are you a Christian?” With a smile and as humbly as I could, I let him know that I am a believer in Christ and gave the Lord all the glory for the Love that day. It turns out that he is a believer also and goes to the same church as the group of men I just left. Go figure! We share wonderful conversation over the couple of hours of the bus ride which seems to fly by. At the end of the stop, He even walks me to the spot I would pick up the LA bus and blesses me with $20 bucks.. Thanks Lord for the blessing and friendship of this man, who unfortunately I cannot remember his name.  I gotta go now my time is up at the Library…more to come…

Peace and Love
Drums

 

Ok so…I pick up the bus in LA County that takes me to Westwood were I meet Fong and Toby, a friend of Fong’s, fellow musician (guitarist, pianist, vocalist)that will be joining our Travels in January(Lord willing). They pick me up and we head to UCLA as Fong wants to visit and eat with some Krishna’s on campus. So now I can say I’ve been to UCLA (though not as a student..ha ha!) We sit and listen to the Krishna’s as they chant and play music. Fong and Toby decide to eat some food prepared by the Krishna’s, in which Fong explains is holy food. I myself am not hungry and pass on that meal…. (Must stay obedient to God and his word…Romans 10:19-28) So we sit for about 15 minutes and listen. We then walk back thru campus and Toby and I head to a Veggie burrito stand that Fong has been raving about as Fong goes to visit a friend, Ann, close to campus. Toby and I are met at the burrito stand by a humbum that is very pushy and asks for money for food. Though I felt that this man was not honest I decide to buy him a taco. As I’m ordering his taco, he insists I buy a burrito, which is more expensive. I explain that is all I can afford and that I thought he was humbly asking for some food. His attitude is aggressive and after I give him his taco, he throws the paper on the floor right next to the trash can. I say something to him about keeping our house clean as I am a traveler and homeless as he is. He gets upset and pulls a roll of money out of his pocket and says he doesn’t need my help for anything. This was quite an experience and I realize that LA has a whole different breed of folks on the street. This experience increases my desire to be led by the Holy Spirit and shows me that I should have gone with my first instinct that this man was not truly in need (or honest).

Fong shows up and we talk a bit about how we will not be hanging out in LA. I completely agree and do not feel led to do so as well. So we head out to Toby’s mothers place as he needs to stop there. We go in and visit with her and even help her hang some Christmas decorations, which I enjoyed doing. It brought back wonderful memories of many a Christmas with my wonderful family growing up.

Toby then takes us to Venice beach so we can crash for the evening. The next day we will all be going to a town called Ojai tomorrow; as Fong has a friend named Brett there. Fong and I sleep on the beach next to some cool looking walls that have beautiful spray paint art on the walls. This spot is right next to the basketball courts that “White Men can’t jump” is filmed and also right next to the police station (can’t get safer than that Mom) We wake up and before meeting with Toby at the Starbucks, to take off to Ojai, we walk thru Venice to look for the Library. We walk by beautiful homes on the canals of Venice. This was a beautiful area and Fong tells me that a lot of movie stars hang out here as well as it was the stomping grounds of Jim Morrison. Well after finding out the Library’s closed we head to meet Toby at Starbucks and we all pile in the car to go to Ojai California. We drive along the coast and pass some beautiful ocean views, million dollars homes and about 3 different movie sets filming on the beach. California is an awesome place!!! We stop at some cliffs over the ocean and take some pictures. The view is just amazing!! Words cannot describe it…..

We stop at a gas station to do some bathroom business on the way and I meet a native-american woman named AJ. She is a student at a Film school and was at the end of filming a movie when her car broke down. We talk and she shares how she did some street traveling herself in the past and it turns out she lives in Ojai. She asks me to call her to see if we could hang out if there’s time while were in Ojai. I take her number and we’re back on the road. About an hour and a half of traveling and we arrive at Ojai.

Ojai California is a small town of about 8,000 nestled between a valley, which I’m told is the only valley that goes east and west in the country.

I have to go for now (Library time is up) but I will be writing of some wonderful people that I meet in Ojai and of the overall feeling I get of this place. I do want to say that I am growing closer to Christ and my hunger and desire to Love the Father with all my heart and to be led by the Holy Spirit is growing daily. More to come……..

Peace & Love
Drums

Lord Jesus…thank for this awesome opportunity to travel and to allow me to walk in Faith and not by sight. As well as enjoy your beautiful creation. Father in heaven I desire to know you more and to share your Love…..Pour out your Spirit Lord!!!

 

So we arrive in Ojai California and park on the main street in front of an art studio shop. Toby sees a guy playing piano in the art studio and talks some piano stuff with them. The piano player is an artist and an elderly gentleman who seems to be the owner of the shop. Toby tells them that he plays and has written some of his own pieces. They invite him to sit and play a piece. Toby sits down and with brilliance plays the piano with such passion and experience that it is obvious he is very gifted. He plays a classical sounding piece with even a hint of Queen in there. I was truly amazed and so were the two Gentlemen that worked in the shop. They talk some more and the elderly gentlemen even mentions the name of a composer that Toby is influenced by. The two gentlemen were both blessed to have Toby play. It was truly beautiful! To give you an idea of Toby’s talent, he is on the level of talent that you only witness in Symphony’s and such…truly amazing!  So we say goodbye and head to the main park in the center of town which is only at the end of the block. Ojai is a small town and very much filled with Art and Beauty. We start to play in the park. I tap my sticks on the cement bench and anything close to me to keep a beat with Toby and Fong. A flutist walks up and joins us in creating some beautiful sounds. Then a photographer with a very nice camera comes up and asks to take our picture. We all jam with great pleasure and it turns out the Flutist name is Fred and he is an all around musician. He even gives Toby some great tips to improve his guitar playing. I personally enjoy Toby’s style as he plays a lot of Spanish sounds. Fred was a cool dude with some serious musical knowledge, Toby is appreciative and has just expanded his playing thru the little hints Fred gives him. As for the photographer, I don’t remember his name but he is a student at a School here in Ojai. Very nice people here in this town. We all had a great time and go explore the streets of Ojai.

Toby takes off back to LA County as he has to work the next day and Fong and I meet up with his friend Brett. She picks us up and takes us to her parent’s house where she is staying. Her parents are out of town, but her boyfriend, Mark, is preparing a very healthy vegetarian meal. Mark is from Canada and is a tree planter. I love his Bob and Doug McKinsey “Take off A” accent. They are very nice people and very hospitable. It was great to see Fong and Brett enjoy one another’s company again. I’m told they met in UCLA campus a couple of years ago. We have a great meal and after dinner get into some deep, good conversation about being vegetarian and about God and each others take on it. I was the only one who professed to believe in Christ and the God of the Bible. We discussed a little bit about what sin was and if the Bible is from God or man. I did not feel equipped to get into deep discussions but we all had good conversations that evening and came away with our different believes. This time made me hunger and thirst for more of Jesus and the empowering of His Holy Spirit. Fong and I sleep in Brett and her sister’s room. Fong insisted on the Bunk Bed that was above a desk and had a slide. He said he wanted to sleep there so he could slide down in the morning. I love Fong and his child like heart. In the morning I woke up just at the time he was sliding down. I got a big kick out of it and it brought a big smile to my face. (I know anyone reading this at this time might think this is boring stuff, but it’s my journal and I love to enjoy the simple things of life, so please bare with me….thanks……smile)

That morning Fong went back to bed and everyone else slept late. I could not sleep, so I went in the back yard as the sun was shining bright and the day was going to be gorgeous! I spent some good time in the word and with the Lord. Later that day I spoke with AJ the Film Director student and she invited me to go with her to Orange County to pick up her niece and to film the last scene in her movie. We left early in the evening and drove a couple of hours to Huntington Beach as Rebecca sent me the hat she knit to Musicman’s PO Box. So we picked up the hat and said hello to the Musicman and friends, ate some Taco Bell and headed out to AJ mother’s in Dana Point. We crashed at her mother’s until 4am or so to go pick up her niece and head to the Chumash (I think that’s how you spell it) Indian Interpretive Center which is a reservation. We got there right before the sun came up and saw a bunch of deer walking around in groups. This was awesome as I love to see God’s creation in their natural habitat. We met the rest of the film crew which was 3 guys and 1 girl. I’m sorry I don’t remember their names but they were nice folks. Then AJ realized she left some important props back in Ojai about 1 1/2 hours away. So I took her rental car and headed to Ojai with a map they drew up to get the stuff at AJ’s place. I have to admit I flew down the highway and was back in record timing. When I got back they were filming and I watched a bit and then took off walking the land on the reservation to check it out. It was so beautiful and peaceful. I walked past some Teepees and Sweat lodges. {On our way last night AJ shared with me how she went thru a therapy the Indians use called sweat lodges). From what she said it helped her let go of all the desires to do drugs and alcohol as that had been a struggle in her life and most of all her family. She said she felt born again. And as I listened to her speak I realized and shared with her about Jesus and the Bible and how the Lord has worked in my life. She had not followed Christ but mentioned that her mother was a believer. After hearing her explain what happened to her and that she believed it was God who worked in her life, I encouraged her to study the Bible and that she could know God who healed her personally who was Jesus. I liked AJ and from what I witnessed she may be a famous director one day. I do pray that she will seek Christ and grow in her relationship with the Creator.

So I spent some alone time on the mountainside of the reservation and sang some worship songs to the Lord. It was a peaceful time with God. Thanks Lord! So after the filming we head to AJ’s sister’s house. When we get there only her 19 yr old cousin and his 16 yr old friend was there. AJ fell asleep and I was moved by the Spirit to share with these guys all the Lord as done since I started this trip. The Lord was speaking to them and I encouraged them to seek the Lord as well. They told me that they never met anyone like me. I told them that the only thing different about me is the presence of Jesus in my life. I will pray for these guys and hope they come to a deep and meaningful relationship with our Lord. I had a great time sharing with these guys and sorry I don’t remember their names but will remember them in prayer as the Lord knows them. We had all laughed at some of the silly things Fong and I did and the amazing things God did thru us. All glory to God! So AJ heads to her mother’s as she needs more sleep and I have her drop me at the bus stop as I will visit Huntington Beach until she heads back to Ojai tomorrow.

 

So after getting dropped off by AJ, I begin to hitchhike back to Huntington Beach.  A guy pulls over and offers me a ride. I tell him that I am heading to Huntington Beach to check out a free concert. I sense that this guys has wrong motives. He places his hand on my leg. I kindly remove his hand and ask him not to confuse kindness for lust. I let him know that I am a Christian and that Jesus loves him and can set him free. He is very uncomfortable now and even though he initially offered to give me a ride all the way to Huntington Beach, I sense he is not interested in that after all. I let him know that he could drop me off if he chooses or he could join me at the free concert. He immediately pulls over and lets me out. I let him know that I Jesus loves him and so do I and that I will be praying for him.

So I decide to catch a bus and arrived back in Huntington Beach.  I missed the free concert that was on the beach that day. But I did find Musicman jamming on the main street corner with another musician. I stopped and tapped a beat on the sidewalk with them for a few minutes. Then a thick fog rolled in and we had to quit as they had to get there guitars out of the fog. (Bummer) So I hung out with Musicman and two other guys. They wanted to drink, so we all walked to the liquor store and they bought drinks. We hung out and the only thing on these guys mind was to drink and party. I really wasn’t too interested and the whole time was sharing the Lord and some scriptures with Musicman. He told me that he loved my company, but did not want to hear so much of the Bible stuff. Well I figured that our time was over and I headed out to find a place to crash for the night.

I walked thru some neighborhoods checking for a safe place to crash. I walked by a convenience store and two guys were walking out with some beer they just purchased. One of the guys turned to me and asked me (out of the blue) “so what do you think? Which day is more important to Christians Easter or Christmas?” I paused and answered, “Every day is important to worship and acknowledge Christ” He said ” Whoa, interesting!” and then walked off. I did not know what to think of that and just prayed for them and kept walking. I finally found, behind an apartment building, a slightly broken leather recliner next to the dumpster. I pulled it completely behind the apartment building and out of sight and I crashed. It was very comfortable and thanked the Lord for it, thinking popcorn and a movie would be cool. (ha, ha) As I slept there it got cold, before I caught some shut eye, I prayed for the city of Huntington Beach and Musicman and his friends. I woke up in the middle of the night shivering. So I walked into the apartment complex and found the laundry room open and quite warm. So with the lights out I crashed on the floor. I got up right at sunrise and it seemed no one even noticed I was there. I thanked the Lord again for a safe night and headed toward the coffee shop on the main street to get some hot water for tea. I got some tea and walked around until AJ called. She was heading back to Ojai in about an hour and would pick me up.

So I walked by the main pier and there were a bunch of arts and crafts tents selling some cool stuff. As I walked around I heard some drummers by the beach. I walked over and saw about 3 drummers. One was playing a Jymbai (I’m not sure of the spelling) and one was playing two congas and the other had just set up 3 congas to play. As I walked over with a big smile listening to the beats, one of the guys says to me “you look like you want to jump on these (the 3 congas)” I replied “I love to, thanks” and jumped right in. So we all jammed for about 15 or 20 minutes and I have to say that it was a great time. After we played, to my surprise, people all around clapped and cheered.. We had a good jam and the public seemed to enjoy it as well. It was a good time jamming with those drummers from Huntington Beach!

So AJ shows up and we head to Ojai. When we get there AJ drops me in town and ask me to give her a call later as she needs to rest and study for her finals. I thank her and begin to head into town to look for Fong. As I’m walking into town I stop at a cloth store to check prices on material to make a head band other than the regular black bandana I have. As I’m looking around a lady with a beautiful smile and eyes that shine with love, stops me and starts to ask me where I’m traveling from and to, as I have my backpack on. I begin to share with her of my travels and desire to share God’s love and she tells me she is a follower of Christ and I tell her that it is very obvious of the Lord’s presence in her life. She insists on buying me some material to make two different headbands and asks me to let her take them home and sew the edges for me and I could call her tomorrow and come visit her and her family tomorrow and pick them up. I was truly blessed by Laura’s love for the Lord and desire to bless me with these gifts. So I take her number and head into town to meet with Fong, feeling that I just encountered a dear saint and faithful follower of Christ. (I was truly blessed..Thanks Lord!)

So I meet up with Fong and find him on a bench in the middle of the shops playing music. We share our experiences of the past day apart and crab some lunch on a bench off a street that heads up towards the mountain as we decide to take a hike after we eat. Fong and I hike up a trail that leads up the mountains. We end up on top of a mountain above Ojai and watch the sunset. It is a beautiful sight, we are overseeing the whole city of Ojai and view a lake in the distance and are overlooking the whole valley. If there wasn’t fog in the distance, I’m sure we could have seen the ocean. It was a beautiful time, and the sunset was awesome. So we hike down the mountain and decide to call AJ as we mentioned making her dinner. So we have AJ pick us up and we cook dinner for AJ. Veggie/Bean burritos are on the menu and we have peaceful meal. Then Fong’s friends Brett and her boyfriend Mark ask us if we want to head to the hot springs that evening. We head out with them and search for the hot springs (it’s evening and dark by now) which are right outside the city off a country road. Despite our efforts to locate the springs and smelling the sulfur, we never find them so we head out to have them take us back to the trail up the mountain, we hiked early, to spend the night and they walk with us to find our sleeping spot. They hang with us a bit as a meteor shower is in progress and as we make our beds on the grass, we all see different shooting stars (meteors) I have to say I saw a bunch, but two meteors I saw were some of the best I ever seen, with a trail of smoke behind them and they shot all the way across the sky. Thanks Lord for a beautiful show. So we spend the night under the starry sky and got up in the morning to head into town.

(I have to say that at this point my hunger for more of Jesus and to walk in the Holy Spirit is increasing. But Fong and I seem to be growing apart and he even seems annoyed with me at times.) So we head to a coffee shop on the main street and Brett and Mark meet with us there. Fong wants to head to Ventura and Brett and Mark happen to be headed that way, so they all plan to head out to Ventura together. Laura calls me and I decide to let Laura pick me up and I go spend some time with her and her family. As I get to Laura’s house I am walking up the drive way and at the window is a beautiful little blonde hair girl, that is just smiling and waves. I already feel the love and acceptance of the Lord. We go in and she introduces me to her husband, her daughter that was in the window and her grandson that is playing video games in the back house. Her older daughter is at work and will be home later. So Laura and I begin to share about the Lord, my travels and what God has been doing in my life and her life. I am overwhelmed by the hospitality and love Laura and her family give me and I know that I am in the home of a true Spiritual woman of God. As we talk Laura makes me the two bandana’s and she also showers me with some gifts for the road (a cd player/walkman, a goose down pillow, and some dry food) She also invites me to have some dinner with her family. At this point I really feel God’s love and I’m amazed at her thoughtfulness. As we share, the Lord really speaks to me thru her and I feel comfortable to share my feeling that the Lord is drawing me closer to him and my discouragement with my buddy Fong as he and I seem to be following different spirits of Love. Her friend comes over and they feel led to pray for me. It was very powerful and I feel God’s hand touch me. She invites me to crash on her couch and I fall asleep in complete peace knowing the Lord has led me to this beautiful sister. But I feel that my travels with Fong might not be for long; as I completely desire to follow Jesus Christ and the Creator of heaven and earth (the God of the Holy Bible).

The next day Laura drives me to meet up with Fong and we spend the day together hanging in town and going to the library and then we have an early dinner on some benches not far from the library. As we are eating Fong and I have a detailed conversation of our beliefs and we decide that I definitely desire to follow Jesus Christ and he does not feel interested in following Christ. We both agree to disagree and unconditionally accept one another. I truly love Fong and desire him to come to a saving knowledge and experience of Christ. I tell him that I will always pray that Jesus will reveal Himself to him. We also, at this time, thank one another for how we have become better people for the experience of traveling together at this point. I give the Lord Jesus all credit and glory for all things!! So we head to the bus stop and crab a bus to Ventura California, as we decide we will head to that city and look to serve at a food kitchen over the Christmas holiday.

It is already night time and we were going to hitchhike, but with nightfall and not being on a major highway, we decide to take the bus and get to Ventura. As we walk off the bus we immediately see a young girl who is obviously a traveler and she is carrying a guitar. We walk with her and invite her to hang out with us. We all head to a coffee shop and crab some hot tea and munch on some of the food we have. She is truly a sweetheart and she has a beautiful voice as she sings a song for us. We all decide to head to a small park in town to try and write a song. While were there Fong plays a song for us and the girl (who unfortunately, I forget her name…..sorry) is touched and moved to tears. Fong is truly a gifted songwriter and musician. We then get hasseled by the cops who only warn us of getting in trouble in Ventura and give us advice to sleep on the beach to the left of the main pear. So we decide to head over to the beach and get some shut eye. Fong and the girl hook up and share sleeping space as I fall asleep. In the morning I am woke up by a voice in my head that says “It’s time to leave Fong now!” I wake and wonder if it’s the voice of God. As truthfully I am scared to travel on my own. So while they sleep, I get up and go to the edge of the shore on the beach and begin to pray and ask the Lord if that was him as I am afraid. While I am praying, he gives me a scripture to look up in one of the gospels. I look it up and start to read. I get to a point in the scripture that says..”Do not be afraid” At that point I am moved by the Spirit and realize it is time for me to move on by myself. So since Fong and the girl are still asleep, I pack my stuff and head out. I didn’t want to wake them as I felt I should just go and contact him later.

I walk down the beach and find a small park. I sit down and cry out to God for some direction. As I am seriously and literally crying to God…..my cell phone rings and on the other line is my mother who immediately says” are you ok?” I know that the Holy Spirit spoke to my mother and had her call. I share with her what is happening and she lets me know that I can always head back to El Paso with my family. I thank my mom for being so supportive and loving and let her know that I will call her back if I decide to go home. I feel encouraged and head to find the library to get on the internet.

After the library visit, I find out where the salvation army is so I can get some razors. So I walk over to get a couple of razors. As I am leaving the Salvation Army I begin to pray and ask the Lord what I should do now. Right then, I am walking up to the street corner and at the stop sign, guess who pulls up? AJ from Ojai. This totally blew my mind. (Thank you Lord for your provision, again) So she asks me where I’m heading and I tell her I don’t know just yet. She invites me to go with her to change cars at the rental place and offers me some pizza she had left over. I go with her and she drops me off at one rental car place to watch her stuff as she goes to return that car at another rental place. As I’m waiting Laura from Ojai calls and she then tells me that she feels the Lord wants me to spend the holidays with my family and she would like to bless me with a bus ticket to El Paso. I feel complete peace and know that the Lord is speaking to me to go home with my family. So when AJ returns she takes me to the Greyhound bus station and I pick up a ticket to head home. I have a couple of hours to kill so AJ invites me to hang with her until she drops me off back at the Greyhound station.

I only feel led to share more of Jesus with AJ and what the bible has to say about our need to seek Christ and His word. AJ doesn’t really want me to talk anymore about Christ and gets frustrated, but then even asks me more questions. I let AJ know that I will still continue to pray that she seeks the Lord thru his word and she drops me off at the bus station. I thank her and she heads out. I thank the Lord for AJ and her kindness. (Lord Jesus I ask you to touch AJ in a special way and bless her life.)

So my journey of Love stops there in Ventura California at 8pm. I have been on this journey for just about two months. I get on a bus that will stop in LA and then get me to El Paso by 6pm the next day. I have to say that this journey was a wonderful experience and I only could capture some of the things that I witnessed the Lord do in me and around me. I met a wonderful person-Fong-who seeks truth and love and will never forget him, and always pray that Jesus saves him.  I met some wonderful people, saw some of God’s beautiful creation, which I would never have seen if I did not take this walk of faith.

As for me I am completely in love with Jesus and more free from anything that would keep me from seeking to walk in the Spirit. As I head home I thank my Lord for the wonderful experience and the rekindled desire to seek the face of God and to be led by the Holy Spirit. I know that the Lord wants me to go to my family in El Paso and serve them in any way I can. And I will seek the Lord for his direction in my life. Much Love and Peace to Fong and all the people I met on the road.

 

An interesting side note — When I started this journey I left with $15 dollars in my pocket…when I made it back, I had $25 bucks in my pocket. I never once begged for money or food, the Lord always provided. I learned to dumpster dive and find perfectly good food. I learned how to live off the waste of our country and I learned that God provides our needs when we trust him and walk in love. I will never forget these times. I know that this story does not capture the true beauty of my adventures. This was an exciting little journey and walk of faith for which I am very thankful to have experienced and now hold precious memories.  Much Love to all and glory to God in the highest!

Come my Lord Jesus come and change the hearts of your creation to seek and serve you!!!!!!!!!!!

November 1st, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink

Used by permission from my brother Terry Stanley

 

 

Anything But Jesus

 

ism’s and ology’s

 

Imagine for just a moment that you and a close friend take a walk together down a trail into the forest. While you and your friend are walking down the trail, a brilliant light appears before you both. Suddenly, the Lord Jesus Himself is standing right in front of you. He is clothed in bright, glowing, white light. His glory and power permeates you and your friend. Such an overwhelming experience of love, truth, and heavenly power is filling you both. Then, the Lord begins to speak…

But in the middle of the Lord’s first sentence, you turn to your friend and you say, “Hey Mike. You know I really think that the ”once saved always saved” doctrine is a load of crud. What do you think about it?” Your friend Mike replies, ”You know that I disagree with you. Once we come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus then nothing can snatch us out of His hand. But what do you think about pre-destination? You know I’ve been doing a lot of study on that subject. How could anyone possibly be a Calvinist?”

 

Mike then asks the Lord Himself. “Jesus, don’t you think I’m right in this point?” Tell my friend here that I am right and that he is wrong. I’ve done a word study Lord. I looked it up in the Greek. Therefore, I know that I am right. Tell him Lord…”

Most Christians do not realize that Jesus Christ Himself is the Christian life. We are all very familiar with verse in the bible “Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life”. But do we really understand the true import of such a phrase?

The very person of Jesus is where all spiritual reality is found. However, we seem to not be content with Christ and Him alone. We are constantly “adding to” the pure message of the gospel. We are constantly adding to what the Christian life is to be about in some form or fashion.

We have “causes” that are near to Christ, but are not Christ alone. We have doctrines that we defend and hold too, more so than we are holding on to Christ Himself. We are thoroughly versed and learned in various theology’s; and we sometimes know them more than we know our Lord Himself.

What does all this mean? And what are the dangers of this?

In Matthew 17:1-8 we find a similar account to our two friends in the forest. Jesus takes Peter, James and John up to a mountain. Right before their eyes Jesus is transfigured before them; and His face shines like the sun, and His garments become as white as light. And how do the disciples respond?

They respond with their own thoughts and their own agenda. They want to build tabernacles on the mountain. The Lord interrupts their sentence with “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him!”

How many times have Christians had conversations wrangling about this or that and caring about anything but the Lord Himself? Wouldn’t the Lord often say the same thing to us as He said to Peter, James and John?

If we would only listen to Jesus. Listening to Jesus stills our hearts. Having a listening posture in our heart allows us to receive the Lord Himself. Listening empties us. Listening and waiting on the Lord rids us of all flesh, our strong opinions, and the great ideas we’ve learned from our “word studies”.

Please do not go away from reading this article thinking that I am saying that we should not study. There is nothing wrong with doing studies. Of course, I myself study the bible. But there is a huge difference between going to the Lord first and letting Him take you to the scriptures and in solely going to the scriptures and not truly encountering the Lord while in the scripture.

Yes, even the things we’ve researched and are fully convinced of – we must let them go. On a daily basis we must surrender all to Jesus Christ.

How much is “all”? More than we originally thought.

All possessions, all rights, all relationships, all theology, all methodology, all plans, all hurts and offenses, all things that reside within our souls that have become a part of who we are.

Daily we pick up new things to carry with us in our life’s journey. We pick up a new thought, a new concern, a new hurt, a new imagination, a new scheme. And daily, we must become completely emptied like a baby so that we might enter into true communion with the Lord Jesus Christ – on a daily basis.

“And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them… whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” Lk 18:15-17

 

Becoming like a child is like formatting the hard drive on a computer. We wipe it clean. I recommend a fresh formatting of your hard drive every morning.

Even the precious promises that God has given us – we must let them go and give them back to God. There is a great example in scripture of letting go of even the precious things God has actually given us. Let’s look at Abraham and Isaac:

 

“But God said, “No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.” Gen 17:19

What happens next? After God gives Abraham this promise, he requires him to give it up. He tells Abraham to sacrifice the miracle of Isaac (the very means by which God would establish the entire nation of Israel).

“He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” Gen 22:2

Giving up cigarettes, nightclubs, and R rated movies is not the totality of dieing to all things. These were the kinds of things we held on to before we came to Christ. The reality is that it was our heart holding on to these things that inhibited us from receiving Christ. The holding on to and trusting in other things disqualified us from entering the Kingdom of God. Christians often have an entire new set of things they are holding on to: our spirituality, our biblical understanding, our views and paradigms, judgments on others, self-righteousness, theologies, and divisions.

 

The Nauseating Stench of Self Righteousness

 

Hopefully by now you have reached a place in your walk with the Lord that you have died to your “outward religion”. But you must also die to your own inward religion as well.

Religion would be defined is all self effort. Self effort deceives us into thinking that it gives us some degree of right standing with God (even if it’s just a little bit). Even the smallest amounts of self effort tempt us with self righteousness. We feel just a little bit better about ourselves for doing what we think we should be doing. This is in direct opposition to the gospel.

Self righteousness then goes a step further. It always compares itself to others to affirm itself and boost itself even more.

The self righteous flesh will always feel good about itself in the areas it is doing well in, but it ignores its many areas of failure. Every person has certain points of righteousness that they are able to keep to some degree. This same flesh will then look down upon others who are not living as upright as they themselves in that particular area. While feeling good about itself in the areas of success and upholding it as a standard of righteousness for all to see, the self righteous flesh totally ignores its own failures in the other 10,000 areas of unrighteousness that it fails in daily. (Rom 2:21-23)

The biggest problem with self effort is what is at its core…self. We must die completely to all of self on a daily basis.  We must lose all things, except for our need for the Savior, our trust for the Savior, and our love for the Savior. All of which are only a response to His love for us.  It is only faith that pleases God (Heb 11:6).

Oh, if we would only hate our own lives and cling with desperation to the life giving Spirit of Jesus moment by moment.

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” Phil. 3:8

Paul also tells us “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” 1 Cor. 2:2

Huh? Paul determined to know nothing except Christ and Him crucified? Paul wrote a majority of the new testament. He sure did know more things than just Christ and Him crucified. But the key is that he determined or purposed to not know anything more. He gave it all up. Because only Christ is what the Corinthians needed. And, Christ was all that Paul needed.

Despite all the knowledge and revelation that Paul gained – he had to lose it all so that He might gain Christ – daily.

We cannot forget the things we know and have learned. But we can certainly lay it all down. We can give all things back to God and determine to know nothing but Christ. This is a beautiful and cleansing experience to do everyday.

As you as an individual mature in Christ, over the years you will become more and more simple, more broken, less rigid in doctrine, but more narrow in loving Christ alone and His people.

 

Confidence in the Flesh

 

On a personal note, I am definitely still maturing and growing in the Lord and I have a long way to go. But when I was a younger Christian man I knew exactly what I believed in every area of scripture. I made it a point to form an opinion in every area and on every topic. I had my list of personal doctrines. I knew where I stood on every issue and I had scripture to back it all up. I could argue a point and not back down. I called this spiritual “maturity”. And the more I learned and fortified my positions on various doctrines, the more I thought I was growing in God. But then something began to happen to me.

I soon learned that my theology and stances on doctrine didn’t help me very much during difficult and painful times. All I could do during these desperate hours was to fall apart and call out to the Lord to help me. I didn’t really know it, but this is when I truly began to grow. I began to get to know the Lord. He was all that I had.

During these times of travail and breakthrough of the Lord rescuing me I encountered Jesus Christ Himself many times. I didn’t care about all of my theologies during my times of desperation. As I began to have more and more times of being in the presence of the Lord desperate for his help and comfort and tasting of his great love – I cared less and less about…everything. Everything but Him.

Most of my theological positions, my answers to defend my beliefs, and the proofs that I had developed to argue the faith – were really only a house of cards. Concerning many popular doctrines, I had some really great arguments. But I learned that my arguments were really only good for one thing – getting into arguments with people.

If you continue to follow Christ, at some point in your journey you will become fully convinced that it is the foundations and basics of the faith that become all important – humility, trust, brokenness, contrition, and believing the good news of Jesus and His love through and through.  To fully give ourselves to these foundational things of the Christian faith (the things that actually rid us of all self and bring us into the presence of Jesus) these are the only things that will weather the great storms of life. These are the only things that help us to truly experience the Lord on a daily basis. These are the only things that cooperate with our heart being filled with His joy and His great love. And these are the only things that empower us to love others consistently and with endurance.

When we are in the very presence of the living God, during those moments, we simply do not care that much about anything else. He is memorizing.. As we are in the Lord’s presence, we are caught up with His great love and magnificence. So, why do we care so much about other things so much of the time?

Why do we care so much about our doctrines, our “ism’s” and our theology?  If being in His presence brings us to care only for Him, then if we are constantly caring for other things besides Him, we are not truly living and walking in His presence very much at all.

If we are not breaking through often to trust from the heart and encounter the Lord Jesus in a real way, our Christianity becomes nothing more than a hobby of ideas. We are left with only a “belief system”.

Instead of vessels who are filled with God Himself, we merely become a vessel full of opinions and “concepts”. Men’s opinions about politics, lifestyle, the economy, theology, or opinions about various controversies does little to change people’s lives, or our own lives. Only the person of Jesus Christ can change a man for the better. Only Jesus is wisdom. Only in Christ are we in need of nothing.

We can only give away what we have. If all we have are doctrines, ologies, and ism’s, then that is all we will have to give away to someone else. But if we are encountering the Lord Jesus Christ in a consistent and real way, then it will be Jesus Himself that we will have to give away to others. When we truly meet with the risen God, he permeates our soul, our minds, and our bodies. It is just like when Moses came down from the mountain after being in the presence of God. His face was noticeably shining from being in the presence of the Lord (Ex 34:29-30).

As we meet with Jesus, his warmth and love will fill our hearts. Therefore others will find us warm and inviting. Both His wisdom and simplicity will become a part of us. Because of this, others will taste of the wisdom and simplicity within our souls. As we are in His presence, we will know the reality of His steadfast love and patience. Likewise, our forbearance and patience with others will be completely supernatural. Our hospitality for others will be evident to all, because the Lord would have personally been giving to us and comforting us. Others will be drawn to the stability they taste in us, because we will actively know Christ who is the rock. Others will feel a certain security and trust when being around us, because we ourselves would have been experiencing the security and surety of His steadfast love.

 

We Are Not Content with Jesus Alone

 

“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” – John 12:32

If the Lord Himself were the primary thing that we had in our hearts, others would be drawn. The Spirit of God, love, and power will draw men to the Lord. But we want Jesus, plus something else. We want other things too. I am not talking about possessions only.

But because we do not rid ourselves daily of other things besides the Lord and Him alone, our Christianity becomes a mixture of other things along with it. Therefore, the world sees the other things and it turns them off. Also, many precious Christian brothers and sisters have been deeply wounded from our other things that we have and carry around.

Paul says that many of our practices come from a real sick mind.

“he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of  which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions” 1Ti 6:4

“But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.” Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned”. – Titus 3: 9-11

Notice here that Paul says that foolish controversies lead to factions and divisions. When we do this we are perverted and we sin.

“The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged” – 2 Timothy 2:24

“But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions. – 1 Timothy 1:5-7

How many times have we embarrassed ourselves by making confident assertions when we don’t even know what we are talking about? I’ve certainly done this.

 

Movements, and Causes

 

Abortion is wrong. Sending missionaries into other countries is wonderful. Those who are being persecuted for Christ should be cared for and prayed for. Bringing Christ into the workplace is a good thing. Prayer in school is a great need. Getting bibles into other countries is an important work. The home church movement is very beneficial. Building schools, orphanages, clean water in third world countries, converting lost souls, teaching the bible, living in community with others, organizing prayer groups, youth receiving the gospel, learning and playing Christian music, making your own soap, grinding your own wheat, and growing your own vegetables are all wonderful things.

But they are not Jesus Christ. They may be important to Him (maybe not making your own soap). Many of these things may be dear to His heart, but they are not HIM.

We take things that are important to Christ, that are near to Christ, that are about Christ, and make them the actual focus. Men become so passionate for these causes, it would seem as though they thought the cause was Christ Himself.

Any man loves a good cause to give his life to. We love to feel passionate about something. Yet the “cause of Christ” is often too generic for us, too subjective, too spiritual, and too elusive. Christ alone does not gratify the flesh. A cause for Christ can easily become an avenue for the flesh to “get something out of it”.

Paul tells us in Philippians, “so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else”, – Philippians 1:13

Christ Himself should be our only cause. Yet we find our identity and self importance in movements and causes. Even some of the followers of Christ wanted to see Jesus overthrow the government of their day and for Jesus to immediately establish His kingdom on the earth. (Jn 6:15, Acts 1:6) On the surface this does not seem like a bad thing to want. But when our cause becomes something other than Christ Himself, we leave Him and our hearts become set on earthly things and earthly change. Even spiritual causes can come before God. Bringing the “gospel to Asia”, or any country or people group can become what we are living for. How dry and empty we become when we are consumed with causes and movements. When we do this, we become a candidate for burn out and disillusionment.

 

The Bless Me Gospel

 

“Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures”, – 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

Is this not enough for us? The fact that Jesus was crucified for the forgiveness of sins ushers us into the very throne room of God. As we fully believe the gospel (in real time), we know (in real time) His great love which He has for us. This great gospel of the Kingdom both humbles us and lifts up our eyes to gaze at our King – all in one motion.

But we are not content to rest in the arms of our Lord and enjoy His love. We want to add to the good news. The flesh loves to twist the scriptures to find more “good news” other than Jesus Christ alone. As if God Himself were not enough for us, we’ve created the “bless me gospel”.

The bless me gospel says that Jesus Christ not only died for our sins, but He wants us to be rich. And if you have less money, wealth, health or prosperity than everyone else around you (depending on the standard of living in the country you live in) then you are not believing the truth enough or you are in sin.

 

The Gospel of “Life Is Hard and I’m a Worm”

 

The flesh will never be content with Christ and Him alone. So, this variety of flesh adds to the gospel by saying that if we are not doing without in some way and beating ourselves up on some level, then we must be in sin and not living for God.

Neither having abundance nor not having abundance has anything to do with the gospel of the kingdom. Paul tell us, “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. – Philippians 4:12

The true gospel leads us to contentment in whatever circumstance we find ourselves in.

 

The Gospel of “Focusing on Evil and What’s Not God”

 

The Lord within us certainly instructs us to live a clean life and a life of purity. This is a “by product” or a result of abiding in the life of Jesus Christ. To live a life focusing on everything that is evil and what is “not the Lord” is a distraction from focusing on the Lord Himself. As I’ve known more than a few people who are completely obsessed with avoiding the devil, their lives are filled with tragedy, chaos, and despair. Often, those who have a fixation on purity alone are secretly battling hidden sins that they cannot seem to overcome.

The answer to a clean outside is a clean inside. Only sitting at the feet of Christ, in love with Him, will result in cleaning the outside of the cup. We must learn to be filled with the Spirit on a daily basis. Righteousness will follow. We can never make the mistake of trying to get our lives straight outwardly first, hoping for the result to be a Spirit filled life. This is backwards. We must always come, “just as we are”. Only the Savior can make us clean on the inside, and thus empower us to live righteously.

As Jesus explains: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. – Matthew 23:25-26

 

The Person of Jesus is the Only True Gospel

 

When we add to the gospel message anything other than the centrality of Jesus Christ and faith in Him, we are in error. When our additions and other things come to full fruition, they manifest with heresies, divisions, self promotion, strife, and sin.

Many times the strong desires we have to focus on various “ism’s, “oligy’s”, our own self efforts, and all “other things” come out of deep rooted wounds, hurts, and severe personal lacks. Only Christ can heal and restore us in all these things.

but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:42

“… continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.” – Colossians 1:23b

November 1st, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (2) | Permalink

 

Copyright 2011

Steven M. McCalip

 

One of the things that is amazing about the Lord is his dual role and relationship to us. The obvious one is that he is the creator of all things yet he is also the creation. He was in the world, and the world was made by him. The creator became his creation-God became man. This wonderful paradox, this seemingly impossible double relationship,  is seen in many other parallels as well. I want to look at a few of these with you and go into a little about each. I hope you the reader will gain a greater appreciation for the amazing gulf that God bridged when he takes on these two roles that no man could ever accomplish and that no other religion could ever come close to inventing.  The greater thing  to be learned from all this is how God’s dual relationship to us helps our love and worship of God. Just the fact that God was willing to become part of his creation shows us the great love he has for us. But again, I want to explore the various dual relationships that he could be said to have accompished by his incarnation. We’ve already considered the creator/creation role, so let’s look at some more.

 The shepherd becomes the sheep

The Lord is my shepherd is one of the most famous of all passages in the scriptures, but how often do we meditate on the fact that the Lord was a sheep as well? “As a sheep to the slaughter” he was lead to his death the prophet Isaiah declared. The shepherd became his own sheep. What’s even more amazing is that God didn’t stop being the shepherd when he was simultaneously existing as the sheep. Think about that one. Jesus was both at one time. Put that in your pipe and smoke it and smoke it good. The sheep had to rely on the shepherd. The Lord as a man, as a sheep, relied on his own Spirit as the shepherd to guide him. What an amazing duality. What an amazing love!

The Lord knows what it means to be a sheep. It is one of the most humiliating things to be. It’s one of the dumbest animals there is, and without a shepherd, the sheep would be unable to survive. Well, that’s just where the Lord wants us at times. The sheep can’t make itself into a shepherd, just as a man can’t make himself into God, but the Lord can transform himself into a sheep, and that is no Transformer movie fable. That is the real deal.

The judge becomes the accused criminal

One of the best analogies I heard when I came to the Lord, and one of the greatest descriptions of the Lord’s compassion for us, was when someone told me about what God did for us with the picture of the judge and the accused criminal. Most of us know God as the Judge, and many of us Christians know the Lord as the one who was accused as a criminal. But when we meditate on how this same judge became this same accused criminal, and when we perceive that this Judge loves us so much that he is willing to step down from his bench and take the punishment as a common criminal, we begin to grasp the great love wherewith he loved us.

The Lord knows what it’s like to be considered a common criminal, and on top of that, he knows what it’s like to be falsely accused of being one. Couple that with the fact that the Lord was never guilty of any crime, and you have a God who suffered for us out of his love for us even when we were his enemies. He laid down his life, his sinless life, as an accused criminal for the very enemies who were to kill him. And then he converted those same enemies into his sons and daughters and gave them eternal life-his life. Also keep in mind that this judge was using the very law he wrote as judge, so it was a perfect and holy law and couldn’t be blamed for its misuse. It was applied with perfect justice, but it was superceded by a new law he wrote-the law of love, a higher law that he wrote on the hearts of men as it says in his written law.

The Father becomes the child

This is perhaps the only parallel that we as men share with the Lord if we are a parent. Most of us become fathers, and we were, of course, children before that. We know what it is like to be a father and a child. Because of this very fact that we were a child, it teaches us how to relate to our children better. By the fact that we were a child, we know many of the things our children feel and the sorrows and joys they have. We have borne and shared them ourselves and are able to help our children through their own pains because of our own similar sufferings.

The Lord created this father/ child relationship and the fact that we can bear our own children to prepare us for what he himself would do. As a father, the Lord helps us in a multitude of ways, but the fact that he became a child and grew up into an adolescent and then a man helps us to identify with him in ways we couldn’t had he not became one of us. Scripture in Hebrews 2:17-18 says, “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest…For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour (help) them that are tempted.” Simply put, the Lord is able to help us because he himself was tempted as we are. What a bond that created between us and the Lord!

The coach becomes the player

There is a rare situation in sports that always seemed strange and at the same time really inspiring, and that was the concept of the player/coach. I recall only a handful of examples of where the coach actually stepped down from his role as the authority, put on the football pads, or took up the baseball bat and went on the field to be a player like the rest of the team.  The player/ coach is almost non-existent today in most major sports, but I bet if you asked any player who had one, the respect he had for a coach that was willing to coach and play at the same time was much greater than what a player had for a normal coach. Of course, the respect from the player’s vantage point was great because, as any player would tell you, a coach has more credibility if he has experienced the things he is teaching. Just the fact that he has experienced them gives the coach an understanding and compassion that another coach wouldn’t have. He is able to help a player with insight gotten only from experience.

What a great, modern example of what happened spiritually with the Lord himself. Just like the player/coach, the Lord was not above putting on the uniform of flesh and blood and taking the field of life. He was not above sacrificing his body to the enemy on the field for the team. It was out of his love for the team and its players that he was willing to do this.

The freeman becomes the prisoner

If any of you saw the series “Prison Break,” you know the basic plot: one brother gets imprisoned and sentenced to the death penalty, while the other brother on the outside who is a well-to-do engineer loves his brother with such love that he decides to become a prisoner himself and deliver his imprisoned brother from the death penalty. The brother on the outside robs a bank to get thrown into prison and from there is willing to risk his own life to save his brother.

That should show you a glimplse  of what the Lord did for us. He set aside his riches, and he was willing to become a prisoner for us in order to save us from the death penalty of sin which is hell. If we remember, the Lord was arrested, chained, and beaten as a common thief or prisoner. He was willing to trade his business suit for a prison jumpsuit. He was willing to give up all he had, become one of us, just to save and give everyone the true freedom that comes only from God becoming a prisoner of his own creation.

 The doctor becomes the patient

There was a story of a doctor who was laboring to find the cure of a disease that was ravaging thousands. After many years of trying to develop a cure, he thought he might have stumbled upon something that could actually cure the diseased multitudes who were dying. The only catch, though, was this cure could also cause the opposite reaction to happen: it could kill the patient. There was no way to know if it would cure or kill without giving it to someone. However, there was one way he could know for sure and not kill anyone. That way was for he to administer the medicine to himself. He had to be willing to die so that he could save the multitudes. And this is what he did. The doctor became his own patient, and for the sake of those who didn’t know what he knew, he risked his life to save theirs.

The analogy is obvious but very instructive. The Lord did that exact thing for us. He was willing to inoculate himself with the sin of the whole world in order to save the whole world. The sinless actually became sin for us according to scripture. The Lord put his life ahead of ours.

 

 

October 31st, 2011 at 11:44 am | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink

Just celebrated my 5oth birthday with a bunch of friends from my fellowship and it was good to have brothers with me on this day. Everyone tells me I’m an old man now, or an elder, or something similar. I just thank God that as I get older, the Lord shows me things I would have never received at a much younger age. Getting older gives you different perspectives and allows you to receive things from God you otherwise wouldn’t.

I am growing in grace and learning the freedom of Christ in a whole new way. “The letter killeth” as it says, and without the grace and love of God, we become a “sounding brass.” As I get older, I realize that man’s rules don’t mean a whole lot, especially when those rules creep over into our faith. Paul said the one “rule” we are to live by is to be a new creation. That is liberty.

October 28th, 2011 at 10:40 am | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink

 

Copyright 2011

Steve McCalip

The user can freely distribute this and any article on my website.

 

Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: Matt. 6:27-8

 1. “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?”

There is not one thing “mentally” we can do to affect our physical stature. We can’t think our way into growth:

2. “they toil not”

Jesus asked us to “consider” how the lillies GROW. They don’t “toil” or “spin.” We don’t grow by “toiling” and “spinning”. We don’t grow spiritually by mentally toiling or physically laboring in and of themselves.

3.  Jesus in his signature fashion teaches profoundly by simple concepts. We do not grow spiritually by mental or physical toiling (“taking thought” or “toiling” or “spinning”) We grow spiritually by doing spiritual things that help us grow.

4. It is “spiritual stature” that matters

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13)

 Question: How do lillies grow? They reach out to the sun. They wait for the rain. They grow where they are planted.

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In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: Eph 2:21

1. It is not until “all the building” (all of us)  are “fitly framed” that we GROW

2. It is not until we are “fitly framed” that we GROW TOGETHER UNTO AN HOLY TEMPLE”

3. It is not until we are “fitly framed” that we GROW TOGETHER UNTO AN HOLY TEMPLE IN THE LORD

4. A building that is not “fitly framed” will collapse and looks awful.

Question: How do we get “fitly framed” into the body? (Realize we are a “building” for one thing). Are we asking ourselves how we can better by fitly framed into our fellowship with each other?

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 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

1. What is “speaking the truth in love?” What does neglecting either do to the other? It makes the other of none effect, no matter how much truth we preach or how much love we show. One without the other, love without truth or truth without love is ineffectual and damaging.

1. We don’t grow until we speak the truth in love

2.  We don’t”grow up” until we speak the truth in love

3.  We grow “in all things” when we combine truth with love

4. We will not grow by neglecting or overemphasizing truth for love or love for truth

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We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; 2 Thess. 1:3

1. Our faith actually grows by our charity toward each other. The more I love my brothers and my enemies, the more my faith should grow. Actually, the more I love my brothers, the more I come to know Jesus Christ, for Jesus is love.

2. Now only does it grow, it “groweth exceedingly”

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As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 1 Pet. 2:2

1. Babes desire the milk of the word (How often does a baby desire his mother’s milk?

2. Young men and women desire the “strong meat” (How often do we desire meat to eat for our physical bodies?

3. The word of God and our desire for it produces spiritual growth. Our lack of desire for strong meat, however, will keep us as babes in Christ and not matured.

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But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. 2 Pet. 3:18

1. The ultimate reason for our growth is to obtain grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2. It is when we are “IN” grace and “IN” the knowledge of Jesus that we grow. Grace and knowledge are the soil that we need to grow.

Question: How do we “grow in grace”?

It is in the knowledge of of Jesus Christ. It is not learning about him. It is learning of him. It is in knowing him and his grace. It is learning of him by knowing him. We grow from grace to grace. We go deeper into the grace of God.

October 20th, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink

Copyright 2011

Steven M. McCalip

Jesus’ Treatment of Women Defied the Culture

There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.  John 4:9

Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?  John 4:12

And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? John 4:27

Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.  John 4:22

In one visit to Samaria, Jesus broke a host of cultural and religious traditions. Keep in mind these cultural expectations, if broken, ostracized you from society back then, for they were as important as law and even more so since they were intertwined with the Jews religious beliefs.

These are the cultural norms that Jesus shattered in just one visit to the woman at the well in Samaria as recorded in John 4 above:

  • Jesus went to Samaria and visited their people (Jews despised Samaritans for various reasons including idolatries of all sorts from OT times)
  • Jesus actually sat on Jacob’s well which was a Samaritan site that was revered. He showed by doing this that he wasn’t participating in revering it.
  • Jesus did not avoid the woman at the well as male Jews did back then (Jewish males walking down the street would avoid eye contact and even crossing the same paths as women. The Pharisees prayed and thanked God they weren’t born women
  • Jesus spoke with a Samaritan (Jewish people did not do so according to scripture “Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans”)
  • Jesus spoke with a woman (Jewish men were expected not to do so in public)
  • Jesus discussed religious matters with a woman (Jewish men were expected not to do this)
  • Jesus drank from a Samaritan bucket (this would have made Jesus “unclean” and Jewish men were not to be unclean)
  • Jesus told the woman she had “five husbands” when in all probability the woman was never “married” five times. He was calling her different men “husbands” which would go against the teaching they were not.
  • Jesus taught that neither Jerusalem (the temple) nor the mountain by Jacob’s well was where men should worship but that men could worship anywhere in “spirit and truth.” The culture said it was those two places to worship God.
  • Jesus did not recognize the Samaritan god because he told them “ye worship ye know not what”
  • Jesus proclaimed that salvation came through one culture, “salvation is of the Jews” which, of course, flies in the face of other cultures who say that is wrong
  • Jesus ignored the greatness of Jacob and the reverence of him as proclaimed by the woman’s question “Art thou greater than our father Jacob?”

And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God… The Lord then answered him, and said, [Thou] hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or [his] ass from the stall, and lead [him] away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? Luke 10:13-16

  • Jesus taught in the synagogue without former learning or “letters” as was the cultural expectation
  • Jesus called a woman to him in the synagogue which means the woman came where the men were which they never did in the synagogue
  • He spoke to the woman in the synagogue which men didn’t do
  • He healed on the sabbath which was considered working on the sabbath and did it in the synagogue, thereby breaking the sabbath in the synagogue
  • He laid hands on a woman, and he did it in the synagogue
  • He called the woman “a daughter of Abraham” which men did not do, esp. in the synagogue
  • He affirmed a woman’s worth by saying even oxen are protected on the sabbath

And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was [of the age] of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.  Mark 5:41-2

  • Jesus actually broke not only culture but the law by touching a dead person
  • He touched a woman

Jesus’ treatment of publicans sinners defied the culture

And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?  mark 2:16

  • Jesus  ate with publicans (they were despised by Pharisees)
  • Jesus ate with tax collectors (they were despised)

And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that [Jesus] sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind [him] weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe [them] with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed [them] with the ointment. Luke 7:37-38

  • Jesus did not forbid the woman to come into a Pharisees house and eat with him
  • Jesus let a woman touch him, wash his feet, and kiss his feet
  • Jesus spoke to the woman which was forbidden by Pharisees

Jesus flaunted other major cultural taboos

And when the Pharisee saw [it], he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner.  Luke 11:38

Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.  But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? Matt. 15:2-3

For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash [their] hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders  And [when they come] from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, [as] the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. ..For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, [as] the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.Mark 7:3-4,8

  • Jesus purposely did not wash his hands before eating dinner
  • Jesus admitted to breaking the cultural rules of the elders
  • Jesus condemned all of the Pharisees’ other cultural traditions

Jesus defied other miscellaneous cultural norms

John 13  Jesus washed the disciples’ feet

John 8:1-20  Jesus protected the woman in adultery

Luke 18:15   Jesus brings children to him and gets rebuked

Luke 21:6  Jesus speaks derogatorily of the temple

John 2 Jesus said his temple (his body) was more important than their temple

Luke 5  Jesus’ disciples did not fast like others of the culture

Luke 10:33  Jesus helps a Samaritan

Luke 10:38  Jesus entered into a woman’s house

 

October 18th, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (2) | Permalink

 

Copyright 2011

by Steven M. McCalip

 

Faith works by love

The engine of our faith is charity or love. Charity is the foundation and driving force of our faith because scripture says faith works by love: “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” (Gal. 5:6)

Now notice the charity/faith bridge

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.  2 Peter 1:5-7

So we see that this spiritual chain of godliness is anchored on one side by faith and anchored on the other side by charity. If we start from the top, scripture says to “add to your faith virtue”. In other words, if we want more faith, add virtue. If we start from the bottom of the chain, “charity”-which is love, the foundational link, and go up, we see the beginning of the order. I don’t believe this order is in scripture haphazardly. In fact, it’s quite revealing of God’s plan for us and our walk by paying attention to the order of this chain. As we will see, it is a very logical and spiritual order:

charity, brotherly kindness, godliness, patience, temperance, knowledge, virtue, faith

As we look at each term, we notice that God tells us that in order to increase one of these characteristics, we need to increase the one before it. If we want to increase any of these areas in our lives as we should be striving to do, then we look at the list, pick our area of focus, and look at the attribute immediately preceeding it. That is the one that will help attain our goal. So then, charity, which we already have shed abroad in our hearts, is the first thing that must be increased (“added”) to increase the rest. All others are dependent on charity.  So let’s look at the connection between each of these:

Adding Charity to increase Brotherly Kindness

It is significant that nothing precedes charity. There is no attribute to increase to get more charity (love). Charity increases by focusing more on that eternal demonstration of charity (love) when God died for us which is the gospel. God is love and we simply cannot focus long enough on God himself in the face of Jesus Christ. The more we dwell on him, the more we understand charity and love. Charity increases our capacity for brotherly kindness. It is what causes us to exemplify brotherly kindness. Charity must have a person to demonstrate it to and because of that, any increase in charity will show up as an increase in brotherly kindness. In other words, the more charity we have, the more brotherly kindness we will exhibit.

How do we increase our charity (love)? Scriptures says our perception of the love of God increases by focusing on the love of God shown by God laying down his life for us as stated in 1 John 3:16. We begin by perceiving God’s love in his death for us: “Hereby perceive we the love of God: because he laid down his life for us” 1 John 3:16. We deepen our focus on God’s love by comprehending this love’s height and depth that we “May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height” according to Ephesians chapter 3:18

Adding Brotherly kindness to increase godliness

It is significant that the word of God chooses brotherly kindness as the predecessor of attaining more godliness. Scripture says “if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another.” Fellowship  and our love for each other is the strongest indicator of our love for the Lord. Usually, our relationships with brothers are a barometer of our relationship with Jesus. If a husband or wife’s relationship with each other is skewed, it is most likely skewed with the Lord as well. If things are going well spiritually with each other, it is because they are going well with the Lord who is love and who gives and causes us to love each other. Without his love, we would not love.

Adding godliness to increase patience.

“But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come 1 Tim 4:7-8 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness” 1 Tim. 6:3

Godliness, then, is the opposite of profane things and “old wives’ fables.” It is pureness and truth. Godliness “profits” by believing and living in the promise of eternal life. It is declaring “I have eternal life” and ordering our lives around that. It is consenting to “wholesome words.” When we increase these things in our lives, we increase our patience. It takes godliness to increase patience. The flesh can’t produce it or sustain it with just fleshly peace of mind. There is fleshly patience and there is godly patience. Godly patience is longsuffering, not just a season of patience.  It is patience coupled with suffering.

Tribulation and “trying” also produces patience: “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience” Romans 5:3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience James 1:8

The main point is that true patience, or longsuffering, will not be exemplified in our lives without godliness preceeding it. Godliness is the necessary factor for it, and God told us this in this chain of charity and faith.

Adding patience to increase temperance

According to scripture, the main thing we need for self control (temperance) is an increase in our patience. This is significant because our self control covers many areas in our lives and our emotions, but the one thing that primarily determines self control is patience. Self control is not learned except through the exercise of longsuffering and patience.

It is so good of God to give us the precise thing we need to increase each attribute listed in this chain. If, then, we want more self control or temperance, we first focus on patience. If our patience is suspect, we back up a link on the chain and work on godliness to increase our patience. See how it works?

Adding temperance to increase knowledge

When we have increased our self control in many areas of our spiritual walk, then we are ready for knowledge to increase. This is critical. So many of us jump to increasing knowledge before we work on the other parts of the chain. That is going to throw us off. Knowledge without temperance, godliness, and charity just puffs us up as scripture says. It is trying to run before we crawl. If knowledge increases without a matching increase in self control, we will speak the truth without love. We will be puffed up with knowledge, albeit true knowledge, but it will not be balanced with self control (temperance). Knowledge for knowledge’s sake is not right either. It is the knowledge of Jesus Christ, knowing him, not just about him, that shows we have true knowledge: “But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen” 2 Peter 3:18

Adding knowledge to increase virtue

Now we come to the one of the crowning attributes of our faith which is virtue. Virtue is the culmination of the knowledge of Jesus. It it what results from knowing the Lord. It is what actually proceeds out from the Lord and comes to us when we connect to him. Remember that it was “virtue” that proceeded out of Jesus when a woman touched his garment. “And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?” Matt. 5:30 A man’s goal is to get a “virtuous” woman. Scripture says “a virtuous woman is a crown to her husband” (Proverbs 12:4). Also in Proverbs 31:10 it says, “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price [is] far above rubies.” She is “far above rubies” because she will possess all the attributes that produce virtuousness, i.e.,  knowledge, godliness, temperance, charity, etc.

adding virtue to increase our faith

Since virtue is the attribute that immediately proceeds out of Jesus as in the example of the woman that touched his garment, we see that it is the immediate step to increasing our faith. We hear so much talk of how to increase our faith these days, and we have so many formulas and procedures for it in religious circles, but scripture tells us that it is virtue which must be added to increase our faith. Virtue, again, is the actual spiritual quality that flows out of Jesus to us when we touch him and connect to him. Every time we connect to Jesus, this virtue obtained from touching him increases our faith in him. The more we find him, the more we believe him and love him.

 It is our responsibility to increase each of these godly attributes and to dwell on how each is connected to each, how each is the building block of the other. When we really mature in the Lord, we will be increasing these spiritual links.

 

October 12th, 2011 at 8:40 am | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink


 1.     The meaning and purpose of edification

  • The perfecting of the saints and the building of the body of Christ is the scriptural meaning of edification (Notice the connection of edification to these things)

 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Eph. 4:11-12

Edification is the speaking of truth in love  (Notice how the scriptures connect speaking the truth in love to edification)

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. Eph. 4:15-6

For Discussion: Are we really interested in building the body and perfecting it or are we more interested in perfecting ourselves?

Edification’s purpose is that we, the body, can grow in Christ

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. Eph. 4:15-16

 

  1. 2.    What edification is not

 It is not for destruction of the body of Christ

 For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed: 2 Cor. 10:8

It is not the ministering of questions and the giving heed of fables

 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. 1 Tim. 1:4

For Discussion: What are things we do that subtly destroy the body and minister questions?

 

3.    The right results of edification:

An edified church has “rest” and “walks in the fear of the Lord” and in his “comfort”

 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied. Acts 9:31

A fitly joined body that effectually works and edifies itself in love

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. Eph. 4:15-16

4.    What are some “things wherewith one may edify another”?

 Things which make for peace

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.Rom. 14:19

For Discussion: What are some things that make for peace with brothers that we can practice?

  • Charity and love

Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. 1 Cor. 8:1

  • Ministering grace to brethren

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. Eph 4:29

Discussion: How do we minister grace?

Comforting yourselves with the Lord and the word of God

 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. 1 Thess. 5:11

Edifying in faith

 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. 1 Tim. 1:4

It is doing all things with edification in mind

 Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying. 2 Cor. 12:19

September 25th, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink


Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. 1 Cor. 14:20

 

1. Men are commanded to “be no more children” 

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth BE NO MORE CHILDREN, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Eph. 4:13-15)

Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. 1 Cor. 14:20

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 1 Cor. 13:11

 

Babes (“Children”)  in Christ:

  • Are “tossed to and fro”
  • Carried about with every wind of doctrine
  • Are deceived easily “by the sleight of men” and their “craftiness.”
  • Have the understanding of a child

Spiritual Men in Christ:

  • They “come in the unity of the faith” and the knowledge of Jesus
  • They look “unto a perfect man”- the perfect man of Christ Jesus
  • They measure their stature by the “fullness of Christ”
  • They decide to be “no more children”
  • They are not tossed to and fro with doctrine
  • They are not repeatedly deceived by those who attempt to deceive
  • They “speak the truth in love” so that they “may grow up”
  • They realize that they are commanded to “be men” in understanding
  • They put away “childish things”
  • They “grow up” in to Jesus in all things.”
  • They realize as Christ is the head of the bride, so is the man over his bride

Discussion:

Question: How do we contribute to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of Christ Jesus?

Question: Are we “tossed to and fro” with doctrine?

Question: What are ways to speak the truth in love?

Question: Do we still have childish things we need to put away?

Question: How do we obtain the fullness of Christ?

 

2. The Milk Man and the Meat Man

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”   (1Cor. 3:1-3)

Babes in Christ:

  • Are called “carnal”
  • Are called “babes”
  • Are fed with the “milk” of the word of God only and not meat
  • Are feeding on milk for too long a period of time (“neither yet now” are ye able)
  • Are not able to “bear” anything but the milk of the word
  • Are displaying “envying,” “strife,” and “divisions”
  • They  “walk like men” of this world

Spiritual Men in Christ

  • Are called “spiritual” as opposed to carnal
  • Are fed with and desire the strong “meat” of the word and not milk
  • Are able to “bear” teachers and teachings that contain strong, deep “meat”
  • Are not involved in or causing “strife,” “envying,” and “divisions” within the body
  • They do not “walk as men”

Question: Why are some men, as Paul said “not able to bear” the meat of the meat of the word?

3. More about Spiritual meat eaters or milk drinkers 

“Of whom [Melchisedek] we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 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.” (Hebrews 5:11-14)

He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant Ps. 111:5

According to these pivotal verses above, the following is true about babes and spiritual men:

Babes in Christ

  • “are dull of hearing”, especially dull of hearing strong meat from the word, such as the identity and purpose of Melchisedec
  • “ought to be teachers” and are not yet.
  • “Have need that one teach” them and can’t teach others themselves.
  • Don’t know the “1st principles of the oracles of God” (see next section)
  • Have “need of milk” and not strong meat
  • Strong meat does not “belong” to them
  • Are “unskillful in the word”
  • Cannot discern adequately the things of God

Spiritual Men of Christ:

  • Are of “full age”
  • Are “skilful in the word”
  • Are not “dull of hearing”
  • Strong meat “belongeth” to them. They have desired it.
  • They “ought to be teachers” and are
  • They teach others strong meat and learn it themselves
  • They exercise their “senses” (spiritual senses) and “use” them regularly
  • They are skillful in discernment
  • They are given meat because they fear him

Leaving the 1st Principles

ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God (Hebrews 5:12)

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. (Hebrews 6:1-2)

Babes in Christ:

  • Are still learning the 1st principles of the word (Listed in Hebrews 6:1 above as “the doctrine of Christ; repentance from dead works; faith toward God; the doctrine of baptisms; laying on of hands; resurrection of the dead; eternal judgment”).

Spiritual Men:

  • Are “leaving” the first principles
  • Are moving on to perfection
  • The perfection talked about is below in the same chapter of Heb. 6

But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God [is] not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: Heb. 6:9-11

Spiritual Men:

  • Work in and for the name of Jesus
  • Show better things
  • Have a labour of love to the saints
  • Minister to the saints
  • Show diligence in these things

 

4. Discernment: The Key to Becoming a Spiritual Man

“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.” Heb. 5:14

  • Spiritual men exercise their spiritual senses (see next section on this topic) for discernment in all things
  • They exercise discernment by reason of use. They use it regularly.

“Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?…And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;” 1 Kings 3:9,11

  • Jesus called Solomon the wisest man to ever live
  • His wisdom came from his desire to discern good and evil
  • God honored his request for discernment by giving him the most wisdom of any man to ever live besides Jesus

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Heb. 4:12

  • The word of God itself, by itself, discerns us and discerns for us. It reveals our thoughts and others thoughts to us.
  • It is our main tool for discernment and a lack of knowledge of it will cause us to have a lack of discernment

Spiritual Men Exercise Their Spiritual Senses

“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.” Heb. 5:14

Spiritual Eyes

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, Eph. 1:18

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead…Rom. 1;20

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

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Heb. 10:25

By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. Heb. 11;27

Our Spiritual eyes can:

  • Can know our calling
  • Can see things unseen BY not looking at things that are seen
  • Can understand what we have inherited from God
  • Can see Christ’s return as imminent
  • Can see him who is invisible which helps us endure

Spiritual Mouth

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. Ps. 34:8

And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, Heb. 6:5

If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. 1 Pet. 2;3

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: John 6:51

And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 1 Cor. 10:3

The spiritual mouth can:

  • Can taste the Lord
  • Can taste the word of God
  • Can taste the Lord’s graciousness
  • Can taste the meat of the word

Spiritual Ears

Doth not the ear try words? and the mouth taste his meat? Job 12:11

For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat. Job 34:3

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. Acts 28:27

So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Prov 2:2

To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. Jer. 6:10

Our Spiritual Ears Can:

  • Try people’s words
  • Can be inclined toward God
  • Can hearken, and hear with the heart
  • Our ears can be circumcised

Spiritual Touch

And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. Luke 8:46

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Heb. 4:15

Our Spiritual Touch:

  • Taps into Jesus’ virtue
  • Feels our infirmities and gives them to Jesus who feels them

Our Spiritual Smell

Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? Luke 14:34

For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 2 Cor. 2:15

To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? 2 Cor. 2;16

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. Eph. 5:2

Our Spiritual smell

  • Is sweet unto God
  • Is sweet unto the lost
  • Has the smell of life and death

Discussion:

Question: How do we exercise our “spiritual senses”

Question: How do we get stronger discernment?

 

5. Spiritual Men Restore, Teach, and Bear Burdens

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself…For every man shall bear his own burden. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Gal. 6:1-6 

Spiritual Men:

  • Spiritual men restore their brethren who are experiencing faults.
  • Spiritual men bear one another’s burdens
  • Spiritual men communicate and teach good things
  • Spiritual men don’t think they are “something” when they are nothing. 

Question: How do we restore brethren with faults?

Question: What are ways we can bear each other’s burdens?

Question: What are ways we can communicate good things to those who teach us?

7. A Man of God Runs from Things:

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself… For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. (1 Tim. 6:3-5,10)

A man of God, according to Timothy, “flees (runs) from these things”:  (v. 11)

  • the love of money
  • belief that gain is godliness
  • those that consent not to the words of Jesus Christ
  • covetousness
  • men of God withdraw from those who do believe these things

A man of God according to Timothy, “follows after” these things:

  • righteousness
  • godliness
  • faith
  • love
  • patience
  • meekness

8. A man of God may be perfect

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. 2 Tim 3:16-17

9. What Men of God Do: 

A man of God loves the Lord Jesus more than anything (Matt. 22:37)

A man of God lays down his life for his brethren (1 John 3:16)

A man of God speaks the words of God constantly  1 Peter 4:11

A man of God is swift to hear and slow to speak and exercise wrath (James 1:19)

A man of God speaks, exhorts, and rebukes with authority (Titus 2:15)

A man of God doesn’t get entangled with the affairs of this life (2 Tim. 2:4)

A man of God is taught primarily by God and his words  1 John 2:27

A man of God, not his wife or children, rules his own house (1 Tim. 3:5)

A man of God does not allow his authority to be usurped by a woman  (1 Tim. 2:12)

A man of God has effectual, fervent prayer and it avails much (James 5:16)

A man of God is a “lover of good men” (Titus 1:18)

A man of God gives himself for his wife (Ephesians 5)

A man of God loves not the world (1 John 2)

A man of God honors all men 1 Peter 2 :17

A man of God loves his enemies Matt. 5:44

A man of God values humility and hates pride  (Prov. 22:4)

10. What else are men of God and what do they do?

Titus 2:2

A man of God is sober, not a jester

A man of God is grave

A man of God is sound in the faith

A man of God is charitable

A man of God is patient

1 John 2:14

A man of God is strong

A man of God has the word of God abiding in him

11. People Called “Men of God” in the Bible:

Timothy, man of God (1 Tim. 6:11)

Moses, the man of God (Deut 33:1)

David, the man of God (Neh. 12:36)

Elijah, the man of God ( 1 Kings 17:18)

Elisha, the man of God (2 Kings 5:20)

Shemamiah, the man of God (1 Kings 12:22)

Every saint that acts like one

 

 

 

 

 

September 25th, 2011 at 8:13 am | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink


I.  Cornelius and his spiritual state

“There was a certain man in Caesareacalled Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him… And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.” Acts 10:1-4, 22

“Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.” Acts 11:14

Since we see above that Peter had to tell Cornelius “words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved,” we see that Cornelius was not saved despite all the good things said about him above (he was “devout,” a “just man,” “one that feareth God,” of “good report,” one that “prayed to God alway,” “gave much alms,” etc. He even saw visions of God and called God “Lord” yet he was not saved. Lastly, Cornelius was greatly used of God to help a saved man (Peter) but was not saved himself.

We have people that will come among us that will do the same thing. We must realize this and not be apprehensive about presenting the gospel to them if we suspect they are not saved.

II.  How powerful wrong religious traditions can be:

“And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.” Acts 11:11-14

Peter was commanded by God to eat animals he never ate before because of his Jewish religious traditions. Peter refused to eat them EVEN after God spoke directly to him and told him to eat them.

In fact, God commanded this same thing THREE times to Peter: “This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.” Acts 11:16 Even after God commanded three times for Peter to eat, Peter still doubted what God wanted: “Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean…” Acts 10:17

This should teach us the power and bondage of religious traditions and how hard it is, even for saved men, to let go of them.

God, however, tells Peter to “doubt nothing”: “Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.” Acts 10:20

 

III. God brings two men together who needed each other and the Lord meets the needs of both men at the same time.

Peter needed to get out of his religious bondage of not preaching to Gentiles:

(“And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?” Acts 10:28-29)

Cornelius needed salvation:

“And he shewed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.” (Acts 11:13-14)

The irony of both Cornelius and Peter is that Cornelius was very religious but lost and Peter was very religious but saved. Both needed each other to break the bondages each had.

September 25th, 2011 at 8:05 am | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink

 

 

Different Names for Communion

 

  • the new testament in my blood (Luke 22:20)
  • the communion of the blood of Christ (1 Cor. 10:16)
  • the communion of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 10:16)
  • the cup of the Lord (1 Cor. 10:21)
  • the cup of blessing (1 Cor. 10:16)
  • the Lord’s supper (1 Cor. 11:20)
  • feast of charity (Jude 12)
  • the feast  (1 Cor. 5:8)
  • breaking of bread (Acts 2:42, 46)
  • when ye come together  (1 Cor. 11:33)

 

Scriptural Definition of Communion:

  • The word communion is partially defined for us by synonym or a similarly used word in a similar usage in the same sentence. It gives the meaning of fellowship

 

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 2 Cor. 6:14

 

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. 2 Cor. 13:14

 

The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 1 Cor. 10:16 (John says we have “fellowship one with another” because of the blood of Jesus Christ cleansing us from all sin. Communion is a celebration of that blood shed to create our fellowship.

 

The Scriptural Importance and Reasons for Communion

 

A.  Communion’sImportance:

 

                1.  Communion’s significance is shown by being described as one

                 of the only reasons why the church came together

 

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:42) This passage is not talking about eating food as a part of the apostle’s doctrine, but rather the breaking of the bread of the communion of Christ. It is equated in the same sentence as just as important as fellowship and prayer.

 

“And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them…” (Acts 20:7))

 

“When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper” (1 Cor. 11:20).

 

Discussion: Do we see the immense importance that God places on communion? the breaking of bread? Do we agree that God placed as much importance on communion as prayer, doctrine, and fellowship ?

 

 

 

B.   Reasons for the Lord’s Supper:

 

            Reason 1It was a direct command from Jesus to remember him and his                                       suffering for us:

 

this do in remembrance of me”  Luke 22:19

 

Reason 2:  It proclaims our belief in the New Covenant

 

This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for                               you” (Luke 22:20).

 

Reason 3:  It declares to us the power of the gospel- the death, burial, and

                                  resurrection of the Lord Jesus and proclaims our belief of it

 

“ye do show the Lord’s death till he come” 1 Cor. 11:26

 

Reason 4It is observed to remind us to dwell on the meaning and

                      importance of our brethren and sisters, the Lord’s body

 

“discerning the Lord’s body (1 Cor. 11:29)

Reason 5It shows the undivided unity of us, the body of Christ

 

For we being many are one bread, and one body: ” 1 Cor. 10:17

 

Reason 6:  It shows us that we partake of all our sustenance and spiritual

                        food from Jesus, the one bread.

 

“for we are all partakers of that one bread” 1 Cor. 10:17

 

Reason 7:  It helps us examine ourselves in relation to others in the body

 

“But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread,

and drink of that cup” 1 Cor. 11;28

 

Discussion: What are some things we should be examining about ourselves concerning our relation to the body of Christ?

Reason 8:  It reminds us of Jesus at the Last Supper

 

“This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance

of me” Luke 22:19

 

Reason 9It causes us to yearn for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb

“I will not anymore eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom

of God” Luke 22:16

 

C.   The Early Church’s Communion in Acts and Corinth

 

 

1. The early church observed communion at least once a week

 

“And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together

to break bread, Paul preached unto them…” (Acts 20:7)

 

2. The early church observed it “often” to proclaim the gospel:

For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the

Lord’s death till he come” (1 Cor. 11:26)

 

3. The early church also gathered together in one place

 

“When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper” (1 Cor. 11:20).

 

“Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another” (1 Cor. 11:33).

“And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread…” (Acts 20:7)

 

4. The early church also observed it “daily” “house to house” as

          they visited each other, not just in large gatherings.

          Communion, then, was shared one on one and family with

          family

 

“And they continued daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking

            bread from house to house…” (Acts 2:46).

 

5. The early church did communion “with gladness and singleness

          of heart” showing it was not a somber ceremony but one of

          joy.

 

“And they continued daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking

bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:46-7).

 

6. Communion is called a “supper” showing that it is included

          in and observed in the context of a full meal

 

“When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper” 1 Cor. 11:20

 

7. Communion is also called a “feast of charity” in the book of

          Jude showing it is a full meal (“feast”) like the “feast of

          Passover, tabernacles which were full meals)

 

These are spots in your feasts of charity“, when they feast with you…” (Jude 12).

 

8. The early church looked at communion as an opportunity for

          “charity,” to show giving to the brethren and sacrifice for

          them.

 

These are spots in your feasts of charity“, when they feast with you…” (Jude 12).

 

9. The early church ate communion from one loaf of bread and

          one cup of wine to identify them as being one body and in

          unity with one Lord

 

“And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat; this is my body” (Mark 14:22).

 

“And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave IT to them: and they all drank of it“(Mark. 14:23)

 

10.  The early church celebrated communion as a reminder of the

          Last Supper and in joyful anticipation of the Marriage

          Supper of the Lamb in heaven

 

“for I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until IT be fulfilled in the kingdom of God…for I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come

 

11. The early church did not do it as many do it today.

 

1. There were no small wafers or thimble sized cups

2. They had it during a meal, not as a separate snack

3. There weren’t meeting once in a while for communion

4. They didn’t just do communion in the general assembly

5. They didn’t treat it like a funeral service

 

D.  What the warnings of Paul tell us regarding communion:

 

1.  Believers drank wine for communion and weren’t rebuked for it

2.  Discernment of the Lord’s body was paramount 1 Cor. 11;29

3.  Eating before others and despising those that “have not” was “despising” the

Lord’s body 1 Cor. 11:22

4.  Communion was part of the meal

5.  Unbelievers taking communion are drinking damnation to themselves

(celebrating their unbelief)

 

E.   Final Reminders

 

1.  Paul ties in the Lord’s supper and the Last supper intimately

and Jesus ties in the Last supper to the Marriage Supper.

 

2.  The Lord’ supper is a focus on the past, present, and future of

Jesus’ redemption for us

 

3.  The Lord’s supper is the Lord’s and our recognition of the gospel

and a perfect picture of it

 

4.  The Lord’s supper is one of the most unifying actions because it

shows us and causes us to examine our relationships with

ourselves, our brethren, and the Lord

5.  Eating together becomes much more spiritually meaningful

September 24th, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

And from Miletushe sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him, Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship. Acts 21:17-38

Paul knew that he was going to die for the Lord Jesus, and he thought it could happen in Jerusalem. He knew that his Ephesians brothers, who were dear to him, would see his face no more. So he gave them a farewell speech and told them what was most important to him, and what would be his last words to his brothers in Ephesus. These, then, are the subjects of Paul’s last words to the Ephesians. These were the words of a man who thought he might die soon. They were God’s reminders to us of what is most important in our walk.

 

Paul’s Last Words to

the Elders of the Church at Ephesus

1.  “Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons”

Paul’s life was an open book to his brethren. Likewise, we should be and open letter and mindful of our manner around brothers at all seasons. We influence each other greatly and don’t even realize it.

2.  “Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations”

As Paul did, we serve the Lord by serving our brothers, by exercising humility and shedding tears with them regularly.

3.  “And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house”

As Paul did, we should keep back nothing profitable from our brothers and teach our brothers. He also “showed” them by his behavior the things he preached.

 

Discussion:

How important is profiting our brothers to us? What can we do and what are we doing that profits our brothers spiritually? Are we keeping back things that could profit our brothers spiritually?

4.  “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ”

Is our life a testimony to the lost? Are we repenting and exercising faith towards Jesus with our brothers

5.  “…bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me”

Be an example to the brothers by not being moved by affliction, being steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.

Discussion:

What are the things that “move” us or shake us? How can we get to the place, as Paul did, that none of these things move us?

6.  “neither count I my life dear unto myself”

Don’t count our lives dear to ourselves. Count our brothers lives more dear. We must strive to reach that stage in our growth where our brothers lives are more important than ours.

7.   “SO that I might finish my course with joy”

By not counting our lives dear to ourselves, scripture says that will allow us to “finish our course with joy”

8.  “testify the gospel of the grace of God.

Testify to the brothers of the grace of God in our lives weekly and daily.

9.  “preaching thekingdomofGod”

Preach thekingdomofGodto the brothers

10.  “I am pure from the blood of all men

Don’t leave our brother’s blood on our hands

11.  “I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of

God

Declare the whole counsel of God to the brothers. We cannot use as an excuse that we don’t to want to upset people.

12.  “Take heed…to feed thechurchofGod, which he hath purchased with his own blood”

Feed the church (brothers) purchased by God’s blood

Discussion:

What are the different ways we can feed the church? How important is it to us to do so?

13.  “after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you”

Warn our brothers of grievous wolves not sparing the flock.

14.  “shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them”

Warn of men drawing disciples after themselves from amongst the brothers

15. “watch, and remember…I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.”

Like Paul, we should cease not to warn and watch for the brothers every day for false teachers from within

Discussion:

How important was warning the body according to Paul? How important is it to us? Paul didn’t “cease” from doing it, he warned “every one,” and he did it “night and day,” and finally, he did it with “tears.”

16.  “I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up”

Commend other brothers to God and his words and stress how those things can “build us up” according to Paul

17.  “I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel”

Covet no brother’s goods

18.  “these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me”

Minister to our brothers necessities

19.  “labouring ye ought to support the weak”

Labor and support the weak brothers. We should be making it a point to work for our brothers

20. “remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive

Remember to give to our brothers

21.  “he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.

Paul’s last act was prayer with his brothers. How often do we pray for and with our brothers apart from meetings?

22.  “Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they …”shall see my face no more”

The brothers greatest sorrow was not being able to love Paul face to face anymore.

 

September 24th, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

John 4:1 “When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee.”

 

  • Jesus left Judea because of his fame of baptizing more than John. He didn’t want to deal with Pharisees interest in his numbers. He wasn’t trying to impress people with the number of disciples he made or his soul winning program. The Pharisees, however, were very interested in numbers just as they are today.

 

John 4:5-6 “Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.

 

  • Again, bucking the Samaritan’s religious tradition, Jesus sits on Jacob’s well, a revered site (see verse 12 and verse 20). He was a Jew, not a Samaritan, and was sitting on one of their revered religious sites and not showing that it bothered him in the least to “disrespect” their ancient holy site. Just by sitting on this site, Jesus showed his dominance and preeminence over it. The fact that he was a Jew drinking water out of a Samaritan’s well showed that Jesus didn’t care if he was breaking their religious traditions and disrespecting their shrine. In fact, Jesus didn’t care that he was breaking the Jews or the Samaritan’s traditions, for he in fact was breaking both by have dealings with the Samaritans and drinking from their religious shrine.

 

John  4:9 “Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.”

 

  • Jesus doesn’t comment on either. He ignores the religious tradition dealing with the parts of her question of why he would ask a woman or why he would deal with Samaritans. He does comment on the water and how it relates to him.
  • Jesus breaks two immensely important religious traditions of the Pharisees by talking with a Samaritan and a woman. Jesus shows his contempt for the Jewish traditions of ignoring Samaritans and women. Jesus specifically goes out of his way to talk to a Samaritan woman. The fact that these are traditions of the Jews and Samaritans is shown by the woman’s comments “for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans” and she points out that he is a Jew and shouldn’t be asking a woman for a drink.

 

John 4:10 “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.”

 

  • Jesus answers the woman’s questions by saying she doesn’t know who is talking to her. He says she doesn’t know “the gift of God” that is talking with her, thus, he is calling her lost. He was calling all Samaritans lost as well. Though he doesn’t use the word “lost”, he is declaring she is in fact lost. How often do we proclaim that someone is lost to their face? How often do we say that someone is lost because they don’t know who Jesus is?

 

John 4:12 “Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

 

  • The woman’s is caught up in the religious idolatry of one her godly ancestors, specifically her ancestor Jacob, by asking Jesus, “Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well…?” He just told her before that he was greater than Jacob by calling himself the “gift of God”, but she didn’t perceive it. He declares he is greater than Jacob and her religion associated with Jacob by saying his water that he can give her can bring her everlasting life. This is in stark contrast to the water that her ancestor Jacob can offer which cannot obviously give her everlasting life.

 

John 4:13-14 “Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

 

  • Jesus says “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again.” “This” water referred to not just the physical water, but to the waters of this religious site and tradition that was not meeting the spiritual needs of this woman. Jesus said if she drank “his” water, as opposed to “this” water, she would never thirst. He was contrasting on two levels, not just that if she drank this physical water she would thirst again, but if she drank the water that her religion offered as symbolized by Jacob’s well, she would thirst again. The proof that he was talking about the complete insufficiency of her religion and the water it offered is shown by the fact that he said the water he offered and the religion he offered would cause her not to thirst but would give her everlasting life. He contrasted it with her religion which could not do that. Her religion would make her thirst again. Again, Jesus was showing the complete inadequacy of her religion, the religion of her fathers and Jacob satisfying her thirst. Jesus just used the natural water in the well to make a spiritual comparison between his spiritual water that gives eternal life and the spiritual water from Jacob and her ancestors which could not offer eternal life.
  • Look back at verse 13 and 14 again. It said “whosoeverdrinketh of this water shall thirst again. But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst…” In terms of Calvinism and election, does the first “whosoever”mean only a limited few, i.e., “elect”? No, of course not. The reason is that anyone who drinks natural water will thirst again, not just elect people. Calvinists claim that John 3:16’s “whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life” means only the elect. The very next verse uses “whosoever” again and says whosoever drinks from Jesus will never thirst. This whosoever did not change meaning one sentence later. It has to mean that since everyone thirsts again from natural water, everyone (all the world) can drink from Jesus and never thirst. It would defy logic and reason to say that all people “whosoever” will drink natural water and thirst again, but only some people can drink from Jesus and never thirst again. The comparison would be faulty and misleading on Jesus’ part and would constitute wresting the scripture to make it say something it obviously doesn’t. “Whosoever” didn’t change meaning in one sentence.

 

John 4:15 “The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.”

 

  • The woman says to him “”Sir, give me this water.” Jesus ignores her statement for the moment. She asks him for this water of everlasting life. Notice that Jesus doesn’t immediately offer it to her or get excited that she asked. He instead deals with her sin issue of five husbands. Jesus deals with her sin first. He is not afraid to confront her on the issue of adultery. How many of us do the same thing? Do we confront people in the issue of sin and how they are going to deal with it?

 

John 4:19-20 “The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.” Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.

 

  • She perceives he is “a” prophet, but not “the” prophet. She is still caught up in her religious tradition and begins to tell Jesus why he should worship in her place. She accuses Jesus of saying men should worship in his place as well.
  • She is pitting Jesus against the “fathers” who “worshipped in this mountain”. She is telling Jesus that he should worship in “this mountain” because her fathers have done so for hundreds of years. She is bound by tradition and equates the worship of God to her tradition. She is caught up as to where “men ought to worship”. She, being a Samaritan, was competing with the Jews as to where to worship God. The Samaritans said he should be worshipped in their place, “this mountain,” she said Jesus and the Jews said “Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Baptists say he should be worshipped in their mountain, and Catholics say in their mountain. Every denomination has its own mountain to worship God. Jesus never said that a certain place is where men ought to worship, though the Jews did and the Samaritans did and every Christian that advertises their church does.

 

John 4:21  “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.”

 

  • Jesus tells her “ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.” Jesus specifically and boldly shoots down in flames the thousand year tradition of Samaritans and Jews worshipping in a single place (the Temple) as though this is only where God could be worshipped. He was rebuking this tradition as sin and as an affront to God himself. Jesus was saying prophetically that their whole system of worship and religion was getting ready to be dismantled and done away with. True worship was getting ready to be revealed to be Jesus Christ plus nothing.

 

John 4:22  “Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.”

 

  • Jesus tells her “Ye worship ye know not what”. How many of us tell the lost they don’t know who or what they are worshipping? How many of us tell the religious, churchy Christian they don’t know who they are worshipping?? Jesus was telling a religious woman this very thing.  She didn’t know who she was worshipping because she didn’t know the  “gift of God” who was talking to her. She didn’t know who she was worshipping, even though she was supposedly worshipping the God of her fathers, the God of the Old Testament. Because she didn’t know Jesus and worship him, Jesus said “Ye worship ye know not what.” You cannot worship God apart from worshipping Jesus. “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
  • The rest of what Jesus said: “we know what we worship: or salvation is of the Jews.” Again, how many of us tell others that we know who we worship? How many of us tell others that we are the true Jews? (Romans 2:28-9): “(For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 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)” How many of us say that salvation only comes through Jesus Christ and the true Jews, not the false Jews? Are we afraid to upset the Jews. Do we consider them lost like all the other pagans? Jesus did. Paul did.
September 24th, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink


And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:42

Notice that doctrine and fellowship were tied in together closely, being mentioned in the same phrase with one another. Teaching, or doctrine, is an important part of our fellowship. Notice also that fellowship is “continued” and “steadfast.” It is not something that is part time, once in a while, or when we feel like it.

God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Cor. 1:9

Our most important duty is our fellowship with Jesus. All other fellowship will flow from that naturally. If our fellowship is out of balance with Jesus, it will be also with our brothers and sisters.

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 2 Cor. 6:14

Notice that fellowship is partially defined as “communion.” We do not have fellowship with unbelievers. We don’t have a spiritual bonding to them.

Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 2 Cor. 8:4

Ministering to the saints is a primary reason for our fellowship and is called a gift by Paul in his letter to the Corinthians.

And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. Gal2:9

Whatever this phrase means “the right hand of fellowship,” it includes the idea that it is something that is given to a brother to accomplish an important task, as it was with Paul being given it to take the gospel to the heathen. It is also given to those who are “perceived” to have much grace bestowed upon them.

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: Eph. 3:9

Part of our fellowship is partaking and meditating on the mystery of Christ in us and the other mysteries that were revealed in the New Testament, the mystery of godliness (God was manifest in the flesh) and “to make all men see” this.

Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Phillip 1:4-5

We fellowship with each other, according to scripture, because of the gospel. Our continued and effectual fellowship is dependent on our understanding of the gospel, called the “fellowship of the gospel.” We are fellowshipping in our understanding and apprehension of the gospel in our daily lives.

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; Phillip. 3:10

Our fellowship with the Lord, and each other, grows expotentially with our degree of suffering. Any of us who have suffered will attest to this. Those of us who suffer with each other, for each other, and for the Lord have that special “fellowship of suffering” that can’t be described.

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:3

What we have “seen, heard, and declared” of Jesus is the basis of our fellowship with each other and the Lord. Unless we have seen the Lord, heard him, and declared him, we will not be in fellowship.

If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 1 John 1:6-7

John tells us that walking in darkness and fellowship with the Lord and each other are not compatible. They cannot co-exist.

September 24th, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink


 

Introduction

Let me be the first to say I am guilty of gossiping, and doing it often, and I’m sure if we are honest with ourselves, we will admit to doing the same sometimes. Let me also be the first to say I want to stop it, and it is my hope that Christians will see the need to do the same. It is destructive to us, our families, and of course, the body of Christ. A point I want to make about this from the outset is the seriousness that the Lord ascribes to this activity. We have been brought up to think that gossip is not a good thing, but everyone does it so we might as well or a little won’t be so bad. Or we justify it by saying we are just giving the facts or what we think are the facts. Or we justify it by saying others shouldn’t be doing these things and we are concerned. We can justify it by our need to be “informed” and “current.” This is deceptive reasoning.

Well, if we are truly, heartfelt concerned and it affects us, and if we feel the Lord directs us, we should go to these brothers and sisters and first find out if any of what we believe is true. We should believe the best about our brothers and not assume the worst just because we think we know them or “that’s just like them so it’s probably true” mentality. Telling others facts mixed with speculation, omissions, or our one-sided perspective makes Christians guilty of being gossips, busybodies, backbiters, slanders and the like. Even if our story is true that we relate, if we are saying things with the motive to speak against our brothers or sisters or to meddle into affairs that are none of our business, we are guilty of being slanderers.

Lastly, it is all our responsibilities to check each other on this. If we hear a brother or sister gossiping, we should lovingly correct him or her in the spirit of meekness. We should remind each other that we don’t want to participate in tearing down our brothers and sisters. We should invite correction for ourselves. We need each other to do this because many times we don’t even realize we are doing it and sometimes we don’t think it’s that serious. Well, God does think it’s serious, so we should also.

And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; 1 Thess. 4:11

Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. James 4:11

We are commanded to “do our own business” or mind our own business and to be “quiet”. We shall soon see that we are indeed speaking evil against a brother if we are gossiping.

  Tattlers and Busybodies

 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. 1 Tim. 5:13

Here we have scripture defining a main characteristic of “busybodies” as “speaking things which they ought not” and linked with “tattlers” from where we get our expression “tattle tale”. They also are associated with being “idle.” One test then of being a busybody or gossip is “speaking things which they ought not” about other people, especially brothers and sisters.

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Question for Discussion: If we are wondering whether we “ought” not to speak something about a brother or sister, what are some things we should ask ourselves to check whether we should or should not speak about someone?

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For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. 2 Thess. 3:11

Here we have additional characteristics of “busybodies” described by scripture as “disorderly” and “working not at all.”

But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. 1 Pet. 4:15

Busybodies are further defined here as being “…in other men’s matters.” Another test, then, of being a gossip or busybody is concerning yourself with matters that don’t pertain to you, or “other men’s matters.” If it doesn’t really effect us or is meant for us, we are engaging in other men’s matters and not our own. We are seeking out or inviting gossip. Notice also busybodies are lumped in the same category with evildoers, murderers, and thieves.

Thus, we have busybodies defined as “speaking things which they ought not,” “tattlers,” “disorderly,” “working not at all,” and “in other men’s matters.”

Talebearers

 Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD. Lev. 19:16

This talebearer has willingly decided to “go up and down” and tell other brethren. This is a direct commandment by God against gossiping or tale bearing and is as much a sin as any other.

A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter. Prov. 11:13

Notice the contrast with the word “but”: a talebearer is contrasted with one who has “a faithful spirit.” Thus, a talebearer can be scripturally said not to have a faithful spirit. There are some things that the righteous conceal, but gossips can’t keep secrets. They are unfaithful in that.

The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. Prov. 18:8

Here we see that gossips, or talebearers, cause deep wounds to people’s souls. This is a primary reason why gossiping is so destructive to the fellowship. It deeply wounds our souls.

Question for Discussion: Why and how does gossiping “wound” our souls according to scripture?

 He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips. Prov. 20:19

Another characteristic of talebearers or gossips is that they sometimes “flatter” others.

Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. Prov. 26:20

Here we see that if we put a stop to talebearing, or gossip, then strife in our midst will cease. Wow! We are given a scriptural prescription for ending strife, and here it is. Don’t gossip. We also see here that talebearing is a direct cause of strife. Strife is seen as a major example of sin in scripture and a chief reason for evil in congregations. If there is strife among us, there is talebearing or gossiping going around. As we shall see coming up, strife is one of the worst things a fellowship can have, and gossip is a chief reason for it

 Whisperer

  A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends. Prov. 16:28

Gossiping, whispering and the like is associated with sowing strife. More importantly, it “separateth chief friends.” It separates best friends. How much more warning do we need? Gossiping, or whisperers, ends friendships between brothers and sisters. Do we see now the seriousness of gossip, talebearing, and busybodying? If we want to lose friendships or greatly damage them, we will stop it. It is our solemn responsibility as mature Christians.

 

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Question for discussion: How does gossiping separate us from each other and destroy friendships?

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Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Rom. 1:29

Here we see a list of sins and characteristics of sinners, one of the main ones being “whisperers” linked in the same paragraph with murder, envy, deceit, etc.

 Murmurer

These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. Jude 1:16

Notice that murmuring is equated with complaining. Murmuring is what we begin to do after we begin gossiping, backbiting, slandering, etc. We will find ourselves complaining about brothers and sisters and justifying our complaints with further gossip, slander, etc. all in the name of God of course and because we care. Gossip is deceptive, brethren.

  1.    Do all things without murmurings and disputings: Phil 2:14
  2.    Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 1 Cor. 10:10
  3.    Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. John 6:43
  4.    And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land, Numb 14;36
  5.  And Moses said,This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD. Exodus 16:8

Of course, we should realize that murmurings according to scripture are really against the Lord, not just people. When we slander, gossip, backbite, etc. these activities are against the Lord.

Backbiters

 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Rom. 1:30

These activites, including backbiting, another form of gossip, are condemned as activities of the heathen and come under judgment of God.

For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings,whisperings, swellings, tumults: 2 Cor. 12:20

Slanderers

Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest  thine own mother’s son. Prov. 50:20

Here we see a partial scriptural definition of slander: it is “speaking against” a brother

Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. 1 Tim. 3:11

Here we see that slandering is not being “faithful in all things.”

He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool. Prov. 10:18

We are called “fools” if we utter slander, especially against a brother.

 Meddlers

  1.   He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears. Prov. 27:17
  2.   It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling. Prov. 20:3

Meddling is contrasted with ceasing from strife. In other words, it is the opposite of ceasing from strife. It causes further strife. Notice also that if it doesn’t concern us directly, scripture says we are meddling because it doesn’t “belong” to us.\

 Strife

For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults: 2 Cor. 12;20

Strife is connected with whisperings and backbitings. So keep this in mind: As serious as strife is in the body, we must recognize that gossip is directly associated with it (“whisperings”).

  1.   He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat. Prov. 28:25
  2.   An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression. Prov. 29:22

According to scripture above, strife is a result of prideful and or angry people that are gossiping

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Question for discussion: How is gossip connected with strife and division in the body?

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For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 1 Cor. 3:3

If there is strife among us, it is direct evidence that not only do we have a bunch of gossiping going around, but is indicative of our immaturity, for we are acting “carnal” according to scripture.

  1.  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Gal. 5:20
  2.  For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. James 3:16

Notice what “strife” is connected with: “heresies, witchcraft, hatred…” and “every evil work”. Strife is so serious that scripture says “every evil work” is associated with it. Strife will lead to a body committing every evil work, and so we must remember that gossip, which is a direct cause of strife, will lead to every evil work.

Another evil fruit of gossip and strife is confusion. No one will know the whole truth with gossip going around. We will begin to form judgments on brothers and sisters, and pretty soon division of the body will occur.

Brethren and sisters, these things ought not so to be. We can end it in a hurry and repent of that which we have done.

September 24th, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink


When we hear the word “office”, especially as used in phrases such as “bishop’s office,” “deacon’s office,” we have our own preconceived, religious pictures of what these mean. Some of us think it carries the meaning of a high position in the church even to the extent of a deacon or bishop or pastor having some status that is above others. Congregations these days have reinforced that erroneous thinking by actually giving elaborate offices to these pastors, deacons, etc.

Once again, it is our duty to search the scriptures and not assume we know what certain words mean. It is our obligation to see how they’re used by God, not US. It is no different with the word “office.”  Let’s briefly cover how the word “office” is used in the Old Testament and see its relation to the New Testament usage. I believe you will see some startling revelations.

The Use of “Office” in the Old Testament

In its first two usages in Genesis 41:13 and Exodus 1:16, we do have the word “office” used as a job title, the first one in Genesis used by Pharaoh’s chief butler to refer to his job and the second time used by the king of Egypt to refer to the Hebrew midwives’ positions as “office of a midwife.” This is instructive, for we have the Egyptians, the heathen, who first use the term “office” to refer to secular jobs. This was not what God referred to as “offices.”

At least 30 other times out of approximately 38, the word “office” is used to refer to “the priest’s office.” The first time God used the term was in Exodus 28:1 to refer to Aaron, Moses’ brother: “…and they shall make holy garments  for Aaron thy brother, and his sonsthat he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.” (Exodus 28:4. See also verse 1,3) So we see that the primary objective of the priest was to minister unto God.

Most of the remaining times “office” is used, it is referring to something else revelatory: differing offices or helps that were appointed by God to PRIESTS in the building of the temple and tabernacle to take care of duties such as porters, treasury, gate keepers whom David and Samuel ordained (1 Chron. 9:22). These were gifts given to priests to take care of the various needs of the temple and tabernacle.  Let us not forget we are temple of the living God: “for ye are temple of the living God” 2 Cor. 6:16. Just as in the Old Testament, in the New Covenant, we all have the office of priests who are appointed to take care of the new temple of the Lord, the body of Christ.

Do we not see that just as Aaron was to minister to God in the priest’s office, and just as Aaron was given this special privilege in the Old Testament, that that privilege has been granted to all saints in the New Covenant? Proof that it was granted is seen below:

Every New Covenant Believer has the Office of a Priest

Let us not forget that we in the New Covenant are called “priests.” We have all rights of a priest for we are priests as recorded in 1 Peter 2:9 “for ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood” and in Revelation 1:6 “and hath made us kings and priests unto God…” Isaiah also prophesied of us Isa. 61:6 “But ye shall be named Priests of the LORD: men shall call you  Ministers of our God.” Lastly, Revelation 5:10 repeated this: “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”

Here is one major point: we are the priests of God, all saints who believe in him. We all have the priest’s office now, including women. For us to bestow this office on a select few is wrong. We all have the priest’s office, not just in theory, but in reality with every privilege that Aaron and other priests had.

The New Testament Usage of Office

Now, let us see how this term “office” is used in the New Testament. Romans 11:13 is the first usage in the New Testament (excluding Luke 1 which was Old Testament and referred to Levites) It has Paul stating that his apostleship is his office:  “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office.” Here we see that an apostle is an office.

T he Key to Understanding “Office” is in Romans 12:3-8

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:3-8)

This passage is revelatory concerning the word office.  First off, Paul starts off by saying we shouldn’t think more highly of ourselves than others, which is what happens when we exalt a meaning of office to more than what scriptures says.  Every man has been given the measure of faith which is a gift. In the same manner, Paul says “all members have not the same office” but we have “gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us.”

Do we see that Paul equated offices with gifts? He says we don’t all the same office BECAUSE we have gifts that differ (“having gifts that differ.”). Go back and compare these verses side by side.

“all members have not the same OFFICE: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. HAVING THEN GIFTS differing according to the grace that is given to us,”

These terms “office” and “gifts” are used here interchangeably. All members have not the same office or gift, which means all members have an office, just not the same one. Paul goes on to list these offices or gifts for us: Prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhorting, giving, RULING, shewing mercy, etc. All are offices, that is, gifts, and one gift is not higher than another

Notice that “ruling,” or positions that rule such as deacons, bishops, etc, are gifts just like the others. There is an office of giving just as there is an “office of a bishop,”

Now, here are those verses that refer to offices of a deacon and bishop but keep in mind these are gifts just like and equal with teaching, giving, showing mercy, etc: “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work” 1 Timothy 3:1.. “And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless” 1 Timothy 3:10 The office of a deacon or bishop is no different than any of these offices, for all members of the body have “not the same office,” which teaches all have some office and these offices could be deacon, giving, teaching, mercy, etc according to Paul.

Read 1 Cor. 12:28-31. It shows offices are gifts and because they are gifts, they are not in authority over one another because of the gift, whether it is the gift or office of a bishop, deacon, or overseer.

And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet I shew you a more excellent way.

Lastly, Timothy was ordained the bishop of the church of the Ephesians (Postscript, 2 Timothy 4:22 “The second epistle unto Timotheus, ordained the first bishop of the church of the Ephesians”

This gift or office of a bishop was given to him by the laying on of hands by Paul as mentioned in 2 Timothy 1:6 “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of hands. Also 1 Timothy 4:14 says “ Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.”

September 24th, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (1) | Permalink

Introduction

 The book of Genesis is foundational in any serious undertaking to understand the Bible. Because it is the first book in the Bible, it shows us the great truths of God in their initial settings. When you look at the circumstances concerning people, events, and ideas the first time they occur in scripture, you learn a host of insightful and exemplary lessons, both good and bad. The Apostle Paul calls these teachings the “the first principles of the oracles of God.” In these seminal truths, we see what godly things to emulate and what ungodly things to avoid. We discover God’s foremost thoughts he wants to impart, and we learn what details he deems important enough to record and to leave out for us. It is precisely in these major and minor ideas surrounding the first principles of God’s words that we learn some of the greatest lessons the Bible can teach us.

The Lord Jesus Christ is a God of order, (“let everything be done decently, and in order”), and he put his teachings in a certain order in scripture for a reason. When a doctrine occurs in its initial setting, we should ascribe the utmost importance to it, for it is chock full of teachings and subtle nuances that can serve as an example or a warning for the believer. The New Testament says that the things of the Old Testament (especially Genesis) were given to us for “ensamples” or examples: “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.” It is these examples that will be the focus of this book, but especially how these examples are the foundation for sound doctrine and study throughout scripture.

Though there have been numerous commentaries on Genesis, and though some of these first principles have been discussed sparingly, I don’t know of any teachings that have focused solely on what some biblical scholars have labeled as “the law of first mention.” Included in this concept is the idea that words or ideas mentioned first in scripture lay the groundwork for a proper understanding and application of further scriptures involving the same topic. This concept gives the reader the necessary framework for correctly understanding the Bible’s lessons as they are developed throughout scripture. For example, if you were to study how true and false religion originated and progressed in the Bible, the Genesis story of Cain and Abel and their different approaches to worshipping God would under-gird and set the parameters for all subsequent teachings on the subject from God’s word. So many today are mixed up on a multitude of issues because they have ignored how these ideas and events were first treated by God in the book of Genesis (“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”). It only follows that most every thing else these people learn and teach will be skewed for lack of a proper grounding in the book of Genesis.

There are several scriptures that support this “law of first mention”. The Apostle Paul reminds us that the Old Testament helps us learn the New Testament: “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4). The prophet Isaiah says that God teaches us in a definite, orderly, and prescribed manner: “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: (Isaiah 28:10). God has laid down teachings in the Bible that need to be studied in the context of their first “lines” and their first “precepts”. A major component of correctly studying the scripture is to “rightfully divide the word of truth” as Timothy describes in his epistle. The first step in “rightfully dividing” the word of God would have to include looking at the initial teachings of a matter and their impact on later teachings on the same topic. Genesis, then, is the book of classics, containing the original “everything” of the Bible.

When Paul talked about the “first principles of the oracles of God,” he said certain believers were “ignorant” of these, and this ignorance, he said, prevented them from moving on to the other “meat” in the word of God. It is these first principles that will be focused on, the small and the great. These ideas all “set the table” for the Bible reader and provide the nourishment a believer needs as a “babe in Christ” and as a seasoned saint who needs more grounding in biblical origins.

More importantly, these original teachings show us the causes and effects of sin, the basis for several major Christian doctrines, and the characteristics of great and evil men. Our success as a Christian is in large part based on our knowledge and application of the failures and successes of others that went before us, Christians and unbelievers alike. Genesis, the Bible in embryonic form, provides us those teachings and experiences.

These first principles of the oracles of God have been obtained in two ways. Everything comes from Genesis, of course, but the first time an idea occurs in scripture can come from the first occurrence of the word itself (or its synonym) or the first occurrence of the idea itself, not necessarily the exact word. For example, when studying the first sin by man, if we were to just look at the word “sin” or its synonyms, we would miss the actual first sin committed by Adam and Eve. However, studying both contexts in this book help us see many things. So then, we will be looking at both first occurrences, the first time a word occurs and the first time the idea occurs. Sometimes these are one and the same, and other times not.

Just like any math or science book, we cannot move into advanced teachings of the Bible without a thorough knowledge of the basics that support it. Any significant misunderstandings in the core essentials will proportionately affect any new learning. Just like a great detective story, we need to study the evidence of the crime (sin) and the history of the criminal (sinner) to understand the motives and the manners of men, Christian and unbeliever. We need to study the small things that believers and unbelievers first did when confronted with situations that parallel our lives today. It is only then that we will begin to see the intricacies and wonders of this greatest of books. It is when we learn from the first teachings and experiences of our first fathers and first enemies, those who gave us the “first principles of the oracles of God” that we will be become “rooted and grounded” in the truth. If I can help properly ground the reader with these great truths, I will have accomplished what the Lord has given me to do.


A

 

1st abomination

And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, which did eat with him, by themselves: because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that [is] an abomination unto the Egyptians. Gen 43:32

 

1st thing said to be “according to”

Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he. Genesis 6:22

 

1st accusation (Satan’s)

against God

 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: (Genesis 3:4)

 

When the serpent told Eve that she would not die if she ate of the tree, the serpent was calling God a liar, for God had just told Adam that Adam would die if he ate of the tree: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:17). Thus, the serpent, not surprisingly, becomes the first to accuse God, for he accuses the Lord of lying. By the way, for proof that the serpent is the Devil, look at this quote in Revelation 12:9: “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan.” What is even more instructive is the reaction of Adam and Eve to this accusation by the serpent.

Because Adam and Eve ate of the tree, their action showed that they believed the serpent’s lie that they would not die. Since Adam and Eve believed the serpent’s false accusation against God, they, in effect, joined in on this accusation that God was a liar. Thus, man’s first accusation occurred against God himself, indirectly calling him a liar, for believing the serpent’s accusation against God was tantamount to saying God had lied.

Calling God a liar is exactly what people do who reject God’s words, for rejecting the Lord’s words, as did Adam and Eve, is equivalent to saying that God is a liar, an accusation that can be damnable indeed according to the word itself: “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:12). The scriptures themselves say that God cannot lie, and since he can’t, that would of necessity include anything that God said or wrote: “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” (Titus 1:2).

People that say the Bible is not true are usually the same people who would say that they would never call God a liar. How inconsistent and hypocritical! That reminds me of a scripture that is quite befitting for this bunch: “Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;” (1 Timothy 4:2). Little do these self-proclaimed correctors of God realize that you can’t accuse the Bible and simultaneously try to say you are not accusing God. God is as good as his words: “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it” (Isaiah 40:5). The King James Bible is no different than words from the mouth of God himself.

Another tragic result of calling God’s words a lie is that by doing so, a person will eventually worship the creation instead of the Creator: “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen” (Romans 1:25). This scripture warns us that changing the truth of God (including what it is written) can result in idol worship of creatures. It certainly puts a person in the position of worshipping and elevating his own opinion over the words of God, for if we decide when to correct God’s words, we have become the judge of God; thus, we have elevated ourselves over God.

What needs to be looked at here in more depth is the next accusation the serpent made that is often skipped over: The serpent accused God of closing Adam and Eve’s eyes: “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5), but for more on that, see the section “1st to mention being open-minded.”

 

1st act of God

 

        Also:       1st mention of heaven

 

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

 

The defining characteristic of the true God is his ability to create—to bring something out of nothing. Evolution and all of its madness, on the other hand, is conspicuously silent in this first verse of scripture. Genesis 1:1 does not say that God lets anything evolve; on the contrary, it says God immediately creates everything. By believing that things evolved for millions of years, you do away with or greatly diminish the first fact God wants you to know about him—that he is the Creator, not an evolver. He and only he creates; thus, he is our Creator. Our Creator/creation relationship with him is reiterated in Isaiah: “But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand” (Isaiah 64:8). The clay could never make the potter; likewise, the creation (including man) should never assume it can become the Creator.

Though physical creation is the first act of God, God creates spiritually as well. David implores God in the Psalms to “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul acknowledges that God’s creation is not limited to the physical: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Included in this account is the first mention of the word heaven. What is noteworthy here is that heaven itself is created by the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not something that has always been like God himself. It is hard for us to imagine God dwelling without a “place,” but God is God and isn’t confined to space or doesn’t need it to dwell. He had to create space (heaven) to physically occupy it. That is a mind-boggling concept to grasp. The first fact that we learn about heaven, then, is that it was created just like everything else.

We also learn in the next chapter that this act of creation included not just the heaven, but the “heavens”: “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens” (Genesis 2:4). From this seemingly insignificant detail of the plural of heaven (heavens), we learn that there is more than one heaven, for the Apostle Paul mentions a “third heaven”: “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven” (2 Corinthians 12:2).

If there is a heaven and a third heaven, then there must be a second heaven. “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven” (Genesis 1:20). We see that the birds fly in the heaven, so this must be the first heaven. Birds cannot fly in outer space, so this must be the second heaven. Since Paul knew a man that was caught up to the third heaven, and since that place was a place that couldn’t lawfully be described, it is apparent that that place was the throne room of God.

Man can be recreated when he is born again, and just as he did to Adam, the Lord Jesus can breathe new life into anyone. By believing in evolution, a person may not realize he is making unnecessary the first attribute the Lord Jesus wants us to know about him—that he is our Creator.

 

1st adhesive

 

And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.  (Genesis 11:3)

 

The first thing that man used to help him keep things together was, quite appropriately, slime. You might be wondering why that detail is important or instructive, yet this little tidbit shows a great deal about man’s mistaken notions about himself. Man always likes to exalt his abilities and intellect, yet God likens man’s efforts to applying slime. This passage also shows the Lord’s attitude towards man’s abilities, and the Lord’s sense of sarcasm, mockery, and ridicule is very apparent. Man’s use of slime to hold his own creation together is reflective of a person’s inability to make things stick using his own strength or materials. Man’s attempts at building grandiose structures, and his attempts at building anything apart from God are compared to the use of slime to make things stick.

If you’ve ever seen the “slime in the ice machine” reports that only newscaster Marvin Zindler of Houston could tell about, you would get a good picture of what the Lord Jesus thinks of your efforts apart from him. Your works are nothing but slime or filthy rags: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isaiah 64:6).

If you want something that will never let go, the Lord Jesus is “…upholding all things by the word of his power…” (Hebrews 1:3), and “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Colossians 1:17), “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen” (Romans 11:36). When Jesus builds something, it is “fitly framed together” (Ephesians 2:21), but when man builds things, they never last. All of our greatest structures, buildings, and monuments eventually rust, corrode, and wear away. Though that may sound depressing, it should serve to remind us of our fleeting vanity and God’s enduring greatness.

If we want something millions of times stronger than superglue, God says “there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” That friend, of course, is Jesus Christ, and when he sticks to you, you don’t ever have to worry about God “sticking” with you, for you couldn’t “pull him” from you even if you wanted. The Lord Jesus creates a truly unbreakable bond that engineers could only dream of.

 

1st adultery committed

 

      Also:

  • 1st polygamy

 

And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. (Genesis 4:19)

 

The first adulterer in scripture was, naturally, the first polygamist as well, for the Bible states that the man named Lamech had two wives. You might object to Lamech being labeled an adulterer by pointing out that God didn’t tell Lamech and others they couldn’t have two or more wives. Are you sure about that? Maybe God said it in a way we didn’t consider. We shouldn’t jump to conclusions about God’s words without thoroughly investigating it first. God did not bring to our attention for no reason this fact that Lamech had two wives. The Lord Jesus gave Adam only one wife, and then shortly afterwards said that “a man” (singular) shall take “his wife” (singular), not “wives”: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

Sometimes God’s truth is so simply and elegantly stated that we miss these little nuggets of truth neatly tucked inside of God’s foundational book of Genesis. To say that God allows for more than one wife or husband is to show ignorance of the very first couple God brought together. God did not assemble a harem for Adam as many Muslims or Mormons would like to think they are allowed to have.

Genesis says Lamech “took unto him two wives.” The fact that he “took” them is noteworthy, for it is not said that God brought Lamech’s wife or wives unto him as God did unto Adam and most likely Able and Seth. As we see later in scripture, Isaac and Jacob’s wives were brought to them by God or his appointees.

It is also interesting to note that one more detail of this account of the first adulterer and polygamist is that shortly thereafter, Lamech murdered a man. For what reason he did this we are not told, but we definitely have murder closely associated with polygamy and adultery. Polygamy breeds jealousy and anger, and that, of course, can easily foster a desire for murder. God knows what he’s doing even if man doesn’t. When the Lord Jesus told the woman he met at the well that she had had five husbands, he wasn’t commending her for her lovingkindness–he was rebuking her for having slept with five men, each of which became her husband in his eyes: “For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly” (John 4:18).

Genesis 2:24 reveals that marriage is between two people: “(Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh”). This passage is further delineated in the New Testament when the Lord Jesus adds the word “twain”: “And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” (Matthew 19:5). “Twain,” of course, means “two,” so we see that it is understood through comparison of scripture with scripture that a man is to have only one wife despite the numerous examples of polygamy even by godly men in scripture including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and David. Obviously, these men aren’t all they are cracked up to be spiritually, at least when it comes to committing adultery.

 

1st to be afraid

     

                Also:

  • 1st lie of man
  • 1st thing hidden
  • 1st thing closed, opened

 

And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. (Genesis 3:10)

 

Fear, hiding, and lying are all first associated in the same verse and are related. The Bible never says anyone was afraid until after man sinned. One of the first results of committing sin is being afraid as Adam and Eve both were when they realized after eating of the tree that they were naked: “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (Genesis 3:7).

Adam said he was afraid “because I was naked.” That was not entirely correct; in fact, it was a lie. This occasion, then, is also the first time man lies to God, for Adam wasn’t afraid because he was naked; he was afraid on account of his rebellious sin of eating of the tree. He knew he had done wrong, and he got caught. In other words, it wasn’t Adam being naked that caused him to be afraid. Adam, however, was wrong about what caused his fear, and that’s part of the problem. He didn’t want to admit the real problem.

Isn’t it appropriate that the first thing hidden in scripture is man himself foolishly trying to hide from an Almighty God? “You can run, but you can’t hide” is appropriate here. Adam was masking the root of the issue—his own sin. He was blaming his symptom for his disease. If nakedness really caused Adam’s fear, surely Adam knew that God could see Adam’s nakedness through an apron or fig leaves. Adam should have also realized he couldn’t hide from God in the garden. Adam’s sin reflects itself even more in Adam’s faulty view of God, causing the man to think he could in some way hide from God.

Rebelling against God, however, can cause you to ignore reality and common sense. Adam knew he couldn’t hide from God, yet his sin was now taking over his reasoning and clouding it. We see, then, that sin and its resultant fear will cause man, even a godly man, to possibly lie to God.

In this same account, one of the serpent’s tools for deceiving Eve was telling her that her eyes were purposely closed by God and that by eating of the tree her eyes would be opened. When people tell us the same thing, it can be very intimidating. Nobody wants to be perceived as having his or her eyes closed to various matters of importance. The serpent was appealing to Eve’s pride of not wanting her eyes closed to certain knowledge. The serpent was tantalizing Eve with the fact that God was withholding knowledge from her that would open her eyes and give her special wisdom. The same thing goes on today with the multitude of cults who use the same promotional strategy to sell their wares: they tell us that there are many books and ideas that the church doesn’t want us to use that are good for us like hidden books of the Bible and so forth.

The Christian should have no problem with worrying about that though. If God doesn’t want us to see something, we aren’t missing anything. David says in Psalm 101:3 that he will “…set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.”

If we really want our eyes opened, we should ask as David did: “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” (Psalm 119:118). Our eyes are so opened unto the things of this world that we have to pray that God will open them to the things of him. That fact should also tell us that the deep things of God are hidden from the eyes of man, and that it takes God to open our eyes anyway as Jesus himself says in Luke: “…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” (Luke 10:21).

 

1st angel seen by man

 

                Also:

  • 1st named child by God
  • 1st comfort given

 

And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. (Genesis 16:7)

 

And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction. (Genesis 16:11)

 

The first angel mentioned in scripture was not a typical one, but it was the Lord Jesus Christ himself manifested as an angel of the Lord. We first see the “angel of the Lord” seeking and finding an Egyptian maid who is obviously distraught at her master Abraham’s wife despising her. The angel tells the maid to go back to her master’s house and submit to him, thus showing God’s teaching on how we should obey authority: “And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.” The angel also shows his compassion, comforting and blessing her: “And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction.”

This account is a foreshadowing of what God as the comforter does to those who are also lost in a wilderness and despised. In John 14, the angel of the Lord, Jesus Christ, said he would not leave us comfortless, but he would come to us: “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 14:18).

In addition to comforting the maiden, the angel of the Lord (i.e., Jesus Christ) commands the maiden to name her newborn child Ishmael; thus, we see the first instance of a child being named by God. Naming the child was obviously important enough to God for him to do it himself. Since Ishmael means “God heard thy affliction” according to God’s own definition given right after his name in this passage, it is apparent that God wants us to know that he cares for the afflicted. What better foreshadowing could there be of the Lord Jesus himself who says, “…he heareth the cry of the afflicted” (Job 34:28).

Proof that this angel’s identity is revealed as the Lord himself is in verse 13: “And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?” So we see that the first mention of the angel of the Lord is not just any angel, but the Lord, the Lord Jesus himself. For those of you who wonder where Jesus was in the Old Testament, you just got a glimpse.

This story is a prime example of how the study of these first principles can reveal wondrous things to the believer. Not only do we learn the identity of the angel of the Lord, but we also see the first description of God’s comforting ability to his fellow man, a mother named Hagar and a child who he first named Ishmael or “God heard thy affliction” so that he could show his love and compassion.

 1st angelic visitation (other

      than God)

 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; (Genesis 19:1)

 

What we learn about this first visit from regular angels is that these angels have the appearance of ordinary men: “But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door” (Genesis 19:10). Two verses later the word of God refers to these angelic visitors as “men” again: “And the men said unto Lot…” (Genesis 19:12). A third instance is in Genesis 19:16 when the angels took Lot’s family by the hands and led them out of the city before the impending judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah: “And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand…” The sodomites who wanted to rape these angels also describe these angels as men: “And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them” (Genesis 19:5). Lot himself confirmed that these angels appeared as men: “…only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof” (Genesis 19:8).

Other clues are evident that angels appear as men. These angels have feet: “And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night” (Genesis 19:2). The angels have hands: “But the men put forth their hand…” (Genesis 19:8), and they also eat like men: “And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat” (Genesis 19:3).

Though Lot’s courting of the sodomites is tragic, we must not overlook the fact that scripture calls Lot a saved (“just”) man: “And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) (2 Peter 2:7-8).

1st named animal

 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales…(Genesis 1:20-21)

 It is no small matter that God’s first and only animal he named at the time of creation was a whale. Why did God not name any other animal but let Adam do it instead? What is significant about the whale that God chose to  name only it? Is this more prophecy in the first chapter of the Bible? It sure is. The Bible alludes to Jesus prophetically at least three times in the opening chapter of Genesis, and this is one of those times. Jesus himself mentions the whale in Matthew 12:40: “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

The whale was connected to the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead by Jesus himself who makes the connection in the New Testament. As the first named animal, the whale is conspicuously pointed out. The Bible draws our attention to this animal to show the whale’s relation to Jesus who compares himself to Jonah in the whale’s belly for three days, just as the Lord was three days in the heart of the earth. The Lord Jesus gives us a preview of his coming resurrection from the dead, and he does it inconspicuously through naming this great fish a “whale.” He wants our eyes on the whale for what was to be greatest miracle of all and the heart of the gospel—the resurrection of God Almighty from the dead.

It’s strange where the gospel shows up and how God hides it sometimes. The animals can tell us some mighty important things: “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:” (Job 12:7). The next time you go to the zoo, let the beasts of the field “teach thee.”

 1st appearance of God

 And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him. (Genesis 12:7)

 In the land of Canaan, on the plains of Moreh, God made his first appearance to man. There were no grand illusions, 900-foot “Jesuses”, or any other such foolish things. There was not even a physical description of God given. God simply made a promise to Abraham that the father of the Jews would be the owner of this land. Abraham reacted by building an altar unto the Lord as his ancestors had done all the way back to Adam and his son Abel.

We don’t know how God manifested himself to Abraham, but it obviously wasn’t important enough for God to tell us how. What God wanted was for us to concentrate on his promise, not his looks. The same holds true today. We have millions seeking visions of God and wanting to see his face, yet his spoken words, which are his true revelations, are ignored. Peter called God’s words “more sure” than even hearing or seeing God in a vision, and he himself was even an eyewitness of Jesus’ majesty, hearing the voice of God in the Mount of Transfiguration. In spite of that tremendous sight, Peter declares that God’s words are even more sure than those: “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:16-19).

If that passage doesn’t tell us the power and majesty of God’s words, nothing will. If you want some “fresh revelation” from God, don’t go seeking some “prophet”—the word of God is “more sure” than him or her anyway.

Many times our attitude towards God’s words is revealed when we constantly seek after signs and wonders. If God were to appear to you today, the word of God said that its own words are surer than what you saw even if what you saw was real. Think about that for a while! One reason that God’s words are “more sure” is that man’s visions are fallible and subject to interpretation. Man’s visions force us to be dependent on what someone else saw as our revelation. Unless what was seen was recorded in scripture, it is not without a doubt.

God’s first appearance to man should teach us many things, but above all, it should remind us that his fleeting appearances are not as important to us as his enduring promises. Abraham didn’t “jump up and down” and go tell people how “blown away” he was. He simply accepted God’s promise and took him at his word. We should do no different. This is another example of how a Christian and God’s attitudes are revealed by the details or lack of them in these first time events in the Bible. Did Abraham build some majestic, multimillion-dollar building where God appeared to him? No, he built a simple altar, considered what he saw, and moved on.

What a revealing and simple lesson for us all. The New Testament says we should “…also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham…” (Romans 4:12). If someone said he or she saw God, tell him or her you have seen something and continue to see something even more enlightening and more sure—the mighty word of God.

 

1st army and war

 

And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations; That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar.  (Genesis 14:1,2)

 The first war mentioned in scripture includes the Kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, and this war is not without significance. Kings Bera and Birsha were the kings of the infamous land of Sodom and Gomorrah. It is the kingdom of Sodom that continues to wage war on the believer today, albeit mostly in the spiritual form. God says that the war we are fighting today is not necessarily a physical one, but is definitely a spiritual one as he states in Ephesians 6:12: ”For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” We’ve all heard the “Hundred Years War,” but the Christian has been fighting a 6,000 year war ever since the Garden of Eden. This war will not end until the return of the Christians’ captain, Jesus Christ.

What is interesting here is that these kings kidnapped Lot, the believer (see 1st kidnapping) who was encamped in their land. They held the righteous hostage just as many are doing today in different forms. When the Christian realizes that he is fighting a war, he will also realize that he doesn’t need to “sleep with the enemy” by allying with him in various forms and for various causes. “The enemy of your enemy” is not necessarily your friend, and for the Christian to think that because someone or some group believes that abortion, euthanasia, or a host of other social issues are wrong does not make that person or group your moral ally. Unbelievers do a lot of right things for the wrong reasons, and to ally with your enemy, even for a good cause, is to be deceived.

God warned several times in scripture for the Israelites not to ally, i.e., “make a league” with, the other nations and unbelievers in their midst: “And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?” (Judges 2:2). God didn’t say it was okay to make a league with the enemies of the land if they opposed abortion or pornography. Most every time the Israelites made a league, they ended up hurting themselves in ways they should have foreseen had they heeded God’s warnings in the first place.

 1st arranged marriage

 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. (Genesis 2:22)

 For all those men out there who are waiting for the right woman, take comfort in knowing that God in the very beginning brought the woman to the man. He not only brought the woman to the man, the Lord Jesus designed her for the man and thus arranged their marriage. What is so insightful and amazing in this passage is that this first arranged marriage is a direct foreshadowing of the “marriage supper of the Lamb” described in Revelation. As the Christian knows, he will one day be brought to the Lord to actually be married to him in a real ceremony in heaven as it states so beautifully in Revelation: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready…And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb…And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God” (Revelation 19:7,9).            The parallels between Adam and Eve and Jesus and his bride the believer are striking. That Adam is a type of Jesus is evident from many scriptures: “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45);  “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Romans 5:19). That Eve is a type of the bride is also evident. In Genesis 2:24, it says both of them shall be “one flesh.” Eve was taken out of Adam’s body, just as the believer is part of Christ’s body. Eve was to reproduce children, just as the believer would reproduce spiritually many children. God commanded Eve to submit to Adam’s authority and for Adam to be her ruler as it says in Genesis 3:16: “He shall rule over thee.” Christ is the believers’ ruler as well. Adam’s responsibility required him to give the word of God to Eve, just as Jesus responsibility was to give the Father’s word to the believer.

God did not ask Adam what Adam wanted in a wife. God already knew, of course, what kind of wife Adam would like and what Eve needed to look like. Everything about Eve was perfect for Adam, just as everything about we the bride pleases our groom, Jesus Christ. American society may be against arranged marriages, but if you’re a believer, you marriage has been pre-arranged, and you will love it—just ask the Lord Jesus.


B

 

1st thing of beauty

 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:  (Genesis 12:11)

 The first thing that scripture labeled beautiful, or “fair,” was, of course, a woman. Abraham thought his wife was so beautiful that he feared he might have to deceive the Egyptians into thinking she was his sister. This act on Abraham’s part was deceptive. Sarai was Abraham’s half- sister as shown in a later account when a similar situation occurred and Abraham lied again, this time to King Abimelich for fear of him taking Sarai: “And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife” (Genesis 20:12).

These two instances are also demonstrative of Abraham’s fear of man and an attempt at saving his own skin and not his wife’s. He figured if he told the Egyptians and Abimelech that his wife was in fact his sister, they wouldn’t have to kill him, for he wouldn’t be her husband and would cause no problems if the Egyptians or King Abimelech wanted to take her. By doing this, Abraham offered his sister and wife to them to save his own life. This was two of the times in Abraham’s life that his faith failed him, though he still is considered the father of the faith.

You don’t hear any objections from Sarai his wife about Abraham’s lying, so she is implicated in his sin as well. She just as easily could have said to him to trust in God—that he would take them through this ordeal as a godly wife should. She goes along with his lie, and what’s really ironic is that both of them find out they didn’t have to lie after all. Though neither Abraham nor Sarai told the princes that Sarai was his half-sister, the Egyptians eventually found out about Sarai and so did King Abimelech. God told on Abraham to King Abimelech in a dream. How the Egyptians found out is a mystery, but they must have gotten wind of something from God. They asked Abraham why he told them his wife was his sister. Abraham didn’t answer them as recorded in the scripture. In spite of Abraham and Sarai’s deception, God helped them out and sent “great plagues” into Pharaoh’s house for Pharaoh’s princes taking Sarai into it. This plague was also the first plague God sent in the Bible (see 1st plague). Because of this plague, Pharaoh sent Abraham and Sarai away.

 1st act of belief

           And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: (Genesis 4:4)

 Abel’s offering unto the Lord was not happenstance. Abel must have learned from Adam or the Lord himself what was an acceptable offering, for Abel, it said, brought of the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof, details of which are too minute to be by chance. According to Genesis 4, Abel’s offering garnered respect by the Lord himself. In later verses, God told Cain that his offering was not acceptable (not a blood sacrifice, only plants), so by implication Abel’s was acceptable. Abel would not have known that a blood sacrifice was acceptable by accident. He knew that God wanted this, and he brought it; therefore, his act was an act of belief and obedience by doing what God commanded either him or his father Adam.

Thus, the first act of belief over 6000 years ago still remains the first act of belief that must occur today. We must approach God through belief in his blood sacrifice, the sacrifice of God himself on the cross. Belief in that blood sacrifice is the only offering that is acceptable and gets the Lord’s respect. Any other will be treated just as Cain’s attempt was treated, and that was with no respect whatsoever and no acceptance by the Lord himself.

 1s said to believe

 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness. (Genesis 15:6)

 Here we have the heart of the gospel—that belief, not works, produces righteousness for man. This should be the proof text for any who wonder how we get right with God. Abraham’s righteousness, and by application the righteousness of any believer, comes strictly from believing in who God is and what he has done for you. There was absolutely nothing else Abraham did that God said warranted his obtaining of righteousness. Abraham did not have to get baptized, circumcised, speak in tongues, do good works, walk an old lady across the street, keep from sinning, join a church, pay tithes, or anything of the sort. The challenge for any unbeliever is to come to Jesus without attempting to impress him with any supposed good works. Jesus is not interested in them anyway, for what does he care about righteousness that is not perfect in every way? By its very definition, man’s righteousness wouldn’t be real righteousness.

Looking at the situation leading up to Abraham’s simple exhibition of faith reveals many things: “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3); “And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him (Genesis 12:7); “For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. (Genesis 13:15). Afterwards, Abraham was blessed by the priest of the most high God, the mysterious figure named Melchizedek: “And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth” (Genesis 14:22) .

Abraham thus far had God appear and speak directly to him twice; he was also blessed by one of God’s servants. In spite of these miraculous revelations from God, the scriptures still did not state that Abraham believed in God, though he outwardly did obey God.

God appears to Abraham once more, and instead of being awed by his appearance and promise of a great reward, Abram (Abraham) exhibits his selfishness by asking God what God will “give me”: “After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be” (Genesis 15:1,2,5).

After two appearances and twice speaking to Abraham, and after God promising him Abraham’s seed would outnumber the stars and that his descendants would inherit a great land, Abraham finally obtains a saving faith, for the Bible says “he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). Those that think that Abraham’s faith was strong and exemplary need to revisit the aforementioned events in his life, and in doing so will see that Abraham took quite a while and a whole lot of convincing to finally come to God. Most of us would probably presume that all these great revelations Abraham received would have caused him to believe from the start. They didn’t, so we shouldn’t think that it would be any different with us today. This story shows us that this first occasion of saving faith that is directly referenced in scripture is also very indicative of the path that many of us take in our spiritual journey to come to know God. It takes for many of us several interventions of God into our lives for us to believe in him.

This account teaches us about the lack of faith and hardness of man’s heart that God has to overcome to save our souls. Man usually wants to try any number of things to come to God, but God simply asks him to believe with all his heart in the Lord himself.

 1st birth

 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. (Genesis 2:23)

 The first “birth” was not really Cain, though he was the first child. The first birth was—get ready for this—not even from a woman! If you remember correctly, Adam produced Eve from his body; thus, it could be said that man was the first to give birth, not woman. The woman was “taken out of man” as it says in Genesis: “And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:23).

Some of you may ask the question, “Why, then, did God use a rib to make a woman?” God could have easily made Eve just like he did Adam. Of course, as we are seeing and shall see many times in this study, the seemingly insignificant details of the word of God prove to be immensely important, especially when they describe the initial teachings of the word of God from Genesis. God, obviously, didn’t need to use a rib to make a woman, but he wanted the woman to be part of the man. In like manner, the Apostle Paul says the Christian is a part of the body of Christ: “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones” (Ephesians 5:30).

Just as Eve’s formation was a miraculous “birth,” so is it a foreshadowing of the miraculous birth of every believer who is “born of God” and taken from him. Eve’s “birth” was to be a picture of all believers’ births that were to ever be born again. Not only do the scriptures command us to be born again in John 3:7 (“Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again”), but the word of God also says we are begotten of God: “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not” (1 John 5:18).

We see, then, the great importance of this first birth and its strange yet wonderful details. This first birth and its details are crucial to understanding the new birth of a Christian. Even the word woman is defined in this previously mentioned scripture: “And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:23). Man giving birth to a woman is one of the stranger things God has done in scripture, but it shows us how God certainly has an ironic sense of humor.

 1st birthday party celebrated

 And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday… (Genesis 40:20)

 Birthdays aren’t given much prominence in scripture; in fact, the only two mentioned are for pagan kings—Pharaoh and Herod. When you think about it, it is the world that likes to celebrate birthdays, and this is appropriate for them, for it is their physical births that they celebrate. On the contrary, it is our spiritual birth that really deserves celebrating, but how many of us celebrate that like we do our physical ones? You’re usually always at least 10 years younger if you celebrate your spiritual birth instead!

Pharaoh’s birthday involved a big feast like many of ours today, but it also involved a lot more. Pharaoh’s chief baker and chief butler “offended” the king, and the king had these servants put into prison for doing so. When Pharaoh’s birthday arrived, and after eating the food the baker prepared, Pharaoh hanged his chief baker for offending him early on.

Even Jesus’ birthday is not mentioned as being celebrated beyond the first time it occurred.  The Bible does mention a man’s birthday, but it is interesting to note that it says a man’s day of death is better: “A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth” (Ecclesiastes 7:1). If you haven’t had a second birth, your physical birthday and its celebration just pale in comparison. All the gifts you could ever get could never add up to the gift of eternal life you get at your second “birthday”: “…the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). That gift is actually Jesus himself, who is “the life” of God (John 1:2).

 1st birthright

                (see 1st thing sold by man)

1st blessing given by God

 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. (Genesis 1:22)

 God’s first blessing was, surprisingly, bestowed on animals and not on man. God, however, told the animals the same thing he told man—to “be fruitful and multiply.” This blessing of the animals teaches us that God blesses not only men but animals and even nature. God blesses the Christian and the unbeliever, for he says his rain falls “on the just and on the unjust”: “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). So let us not think that because we are blessed, we must be doing something right. God blesses all of us in one way or another.

Because God blessed the animals, he wouldn’t destroy them all in the Flood. The animals had no trouble multiplying, but when God said the same thing to man a few verses later (“be fruitful and multiply”), man tends to forget that. That was God’s first commandment to man (see “1st commandment to man”).

 1st mention of blood

(alluded to and direct)

 Also:

  • 1st blood shed (alluded to)
  • 1st physical death (killing)

 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21).

 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. (Genesis 4:10) (Change scripture)

 This first direct mention of blood in the story of Cain and Abel was not the first time blood was shed. When Adam and Eve needed clothing after realizing they were naked, God very well could have just made them clothes himself out of thin air, yet he chose to do something distinctively different: he killed an animal (probably a sheep), thereby shedding its blood to get skins for Adam and Eve: “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21).  If you noticed, God didn’t just get the wool or hair of this animal—he took the “skin” off this animal, an act that required killing the animals and the shedding of its blood. This shedding of blood is very prophetic and instructive, for it showed them and us that sin always needs the shedding of blood to atone for it. Of course, this was also the first living thing killed, and it was killed by God himself who kills man and beast on his own prerogative: “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand” (Deuteronomy 32:39).

One reason for this necessity of blood atonement is the fact that blood has life in it, and that life has to be substituted for sin or death. In the first direct mention of blood, we see that blood actually “crieth out,” and this indicates that blood has life within it that God sees. According to Leviticus 17:11, “the life of the flesh is in the blood…” thus providing the means to “cry out” to God.

God knew what had to be done for man, and he did it. God didn’t have Adam or Eve do anything to atone for their sins, though Adam and Eve made fig leaves to cover their nakedness and sin. The inadequacy of that act to cover their sin was apparent, so God did it all himself. All Adam and Eve had to do was receive the blood atonement that God provided for them. The same is true for believers today. We can’t provide our own sacrifice. We can’t offer anything to God but our belief in what he has done, but what a thing he has done!: “…feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). God offered his own blood and life and gave himself for us. We must believe in who it was that died and rose from the dead for us and receive his sacrificial gift.

 1st book mentioned

 THE FIRST BOOK OF MOSES, CALLED GENESIS  (Title of Genesis)

 Here we have explicit instructions from God as to which book of the Bible should go first. It is Genesis, “THE FIRST BOOK OF MOSES.” God did not want us in doubt as to which book he wanted to serve as the foundation for all teachings in the Bible. Genesis is the “first book” for a reason, for it contains all the first things, events, and teachings that form the basis for almost all Christian teachings and the theme of this present book.

It is worth noting that no other books are recorded as being written in the entire world until the book of Moses called Genesis. This book was not given to man until after the Israelite bondage in Egypt. This means that for several thousand years, God didn’t think it was necessary to mention any other books in existence until his own came on the scene.

Though there are many in so-called Christiandom that say the authorship of Genesis is in doubt, God couldn’t have made it any clearer than by putting the title of the book where it was. Because the title is not considered the word of God by these scholars, they get off into their endless discussions of its authorship. If the title is accepted as it should be, the debate is over in a hurry. By removing the title, you would also have to remove titles from the other 65 books to be consistent, and then you would be making God inconsistent by having him labeling some books with titles and others not. Who ever heard of writing a book without a title anyway? Doesn’t God have better sense than that? Don’t we have better sense than to not believe that?

1st burial referred to

 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. (Genesis 15:13)

 God spoke to Abraham in a dream and told him of the affliction that his descendants would have, how they would be under bondage of another nation (Egypt) for 400 years. God also mentioned to Abraham that Abraham’s seed would come forth out of that nation and that God would judge that nation. Lastly, the Lord told Abraham that Abraham would “be buried in a good old age.”

Notice that the custom of burying the dead is actually commanded by God (“thou shalt be buried”). There is no mention of cremation here. God was teaching us early on the respect for the human body which is the temple of the Lord. Burial teaches us that the body will someday be made anew and resurrected. When we bury a body, we are subscribing to that very fact. We are showing our belief in the resurrection of the body and God’s power to do so. Lastly, we are obeying God’s commandment to bury a dead body.

People will say that the Bible says nothing about cremation; however, it says quite a lot about burial. That should tell us what its position is. Cremation is wrong and is an affront to the belief in the resurrection of the body because most who believe in cremation don’t believe that God will resurrect their bodies, so they burn them like they would a heap of trash. If they want their bodies burned so badly, they will get that chance by rejecting the Lord Jesus as their Saviour; however, that’s an eternal cremation with eternal pain.

 C

 

1st celestial body mentioned

         Also:

  • 1st celestial body named

  the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

 Earth is the first-mentioned celestial body created. Earth was also first named by God, not man: “And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:10). Earth is not younger than the sun or even the stars, contrary to popular science. Genesis chapter one says the sun and stars were created several days later. By earth being the first heavenly body created, it is central to God’s plans for the universe and man. Earth would have the only role in the location chosen for the salvation of man. The main reason for this is that God himself would become a man and walk on the planet he created, though the world would not know him: “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not” (John 1:10). There could be only one death of God and one redemption for sin in the entire universe, and the earth would have the profound privilege of playing host to this most monumental event.

Because of God’s manifestation in the flesh, earth is not an insignificant dot in the universe; it is the most important place you’ll ever discover even if you could travel to every known spot in the heavens. There is no life on other planets; it is useless to try to find it.

We cannot and should not overlook the significance of earth being created first. That fact alone puts the whole history and future of man in an entirely different perspective. It shows God’s plans are centered on man and what happens on this planet. It tells us that what happens here is infinitely more important than anything going on in space. Space exploration really amounts to a waste of time if finding life out there is the primary reason for exploring. What should really be explored is where to find eternal life, for it is located on planet Earth and described in detail about 3 billion times in the word of God (3 billion copies over thousands of years).

 1st family cemetery

 I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight. (Genesis 23:4)

 The first family cemetery recorded in scripture was the one Abraham bought to bury his wife Sarah in. He purchased it from the sons of Heth while he was in Hebron, the land of Canaan.

 1st census of the righteous

 And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.  (Genesis 7:1)

 A startling statistic in scripture that is often passed over is the number of Christians that God said existed in the entire world at the time of Noah’s flood. At that time, there were millions of people in the world, yet out of all those millions, only eight people were deemed “righteous” by God himself. Eight out of several million. This was the first census of the righteous. God told Noah and his three sons and their wives that they only “have I seen righteous before me…” This event was also the first time God uses the word “righteous.” So we see that the first characteristic of the righteous is that they are extremely rare indeed.

What is even more amazing is that Jesus himself tells us in Matthew that the last days would be like the days of Noah: “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37). Though this doesn’t mean that only eight people will be saved in the last days, it does tell us that we can expect the numbers to be alarmingly low, just as in the days of Noah. In fact, don’t expect the billions or even hundreds of millions to make the rapture—a few million would be more like it. Solomon said as much in the book of Ecclesiastes when he said that he had only come across one in a thousand he thought were saved: “Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found” (Ecclesiastes 7:28).

In Matthew 7:14, Jesus did say that “few” would find eternal life: “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” The way is obviously not very narrow if we looked around and counted all the churchgoers we see. When Jesus mentions that many would come up to him in Judgment and say they did great things, the “many” that he talks about were not just your typical heathen, they were religious people, as evidenced by their reference to being able to cast out demons and prophesy: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” (Matthew 7:22). Jesus’ answer to them is even more revealing: “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:23).

 1st child born

 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. (Genesis 4:1)

 What do we learn about the first child ever born? What were his characteristics and traits? Unfortunately, they were pretty bad. Cain, as it says in the New Testament, was “…of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous” 1 John 3:12). We see the first manifestation of this wickedness when Cain murders his brother Abel. The reason for this murder will be discussed (see first murder), but as you can guess, it had everything to do with Cain’s religion.

Finding out your child is a murderer is horrible enough, but when that child murders your other child, it couldn’t get much worse than that. Cain participates in another first and asks man’s first question to God, the infamous, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Interestingly, man’s first question got absolutely no answer from God, as if to say the question was too ridiculous to entertain. This is an “argument from silence” if there ever was one, but it could be safely said that man’s first question asked by man’s first child got man’s first “silent treatment.”

 1st choice given to man

 And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:9).

 Man has always had a choice to do things the right way or the wrong way. This was not a pre-programmed choice where man really didn’t have a say in the matter like the Calvinists preach. This choice was real, it was free, and it was not coerced by God in any way. If it weren’t any of the above, it would not be a choice but a setup on God’s part. Calvinism makes a charade out of the whole Garden of Eden scenario if God already decided beforehand what man would do. If God didn’t give man free choice, then the fall of man and the resulting sin that came would not be man’s fault. The need for a Savior would not be there. Jesus’ whole redemptive work would be unnecessary since it wasn’t man’s fault to begin with. Man would have been forced to sin. This first choice presented in the scripture is of utmost importance because, if it were not a real choice of man’s part, man would not need to be saved.

 1st choice made by man

        And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. (Genesis 3:6)

           The scriptures say Eve was deceived by the serpent, not Adam. Why this is significant is that Adam was now faced with a monumental choice—to sin by choosing to die with his wife who already ate of the tree or letting his wife die and  having eternal life without her. It came down to Adam choosing between his wife or God, and Adam chose his wife. If this doesn’t speak volumes about man’s inherent sinfulness, nothing will.

It should also tell us the power of a woman’s influence on any man, even a godly one like Adam. By the way, God didn’t ordain Adam or Eve to choose this path as some Calvinists would say. They say God predetermines everything, not even taking into account the will of man. Offering choice to someone who has no power to make that choice is absurd; in addition to that, punishing this same person for that choice they had no power to make is even more madness. Yet this is what Calvinists say happens when God and man’s plans intermingle. So it must be stated that man chose death and the knowledge of evil, and he reaps what he has sown to this very day because of that choice.

Taking man’s ability to choose from him by resorting to believing that everything is fate as some other religions also teach is taking responsibility and thus accountability away from man. Man no longer has to be accountable to God, for man can claim he was forced to choose whatever he path he had taken. God won’t allow for man to escape that easy, for he gives man the freedom to choose as he explicitly stated in Genesis 2:16 concerning the fruit eaten in the Garden of Eden—“thou mayest freely eat.” Man had the freedom to use his own will to choose to serve God or not. Believing anything else could be used by man as an excuse to not do anything since God has already predetermined the outcome. Since God said in the book of Romans that man has no excuse, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20), this fatalistic, Calvinist teaching falls by the wayside.

 1st city built

 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son Enoch. (Genesis 4:17)

      Also:

  • 1st dedication
  • 1st thing built by man

 You won’t see the world’s first and oldest city listed on any map, but this city was named Enoch after Cain’s son of the same name. The origin of the city, then, is first associated with a wicked man, Cain and his righteous son, Enoch. This was also the first thing said to be built by man. God never told man to build a city, let alone dedicate the naming of it, yet he did so anyway, so this was also man’s first dedication.

What is interesting here is that this city was named for one of the godliest men to ever live—Enoch, even though his father was one of the most ungodly men to ever live. Cain somehow felt obligated to name this city after his son Enoch even though Enoch and him were as far apart as one could be in terms of knowing God. Enoch was so godly he “was translated” directly into heaven as it states in Hebrews: “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5).

What we see in this passage goes much deeper. God must have moved Cain to do this building and naming of the city to show Bible readers the importance of a future city named after his son, Jesus Christ. This first city, named after the only man to ever ascend straight to heaven for his godliness, is a direct foreshadowing of Jesus Christ’s ascension to heaven. When Jesus ascended, one of his first activities was “to prepare a place for you” with “many mansions” according to John 14. This place was none other than the famed “city of God” called New Jerusalem. Thus, the Bible’s first mentioned city was directly connected to its last mentioned city—New Jerusalem. Just as the city of Enoch mysteriously is absent on any map, New Jerusalem is not on a map yet either.

Here then is a great insight into the word of God learned from studying the first occurrence of a seemingly insignificant event. Because Enoch was a foreshadowing of Jesus (being the only man to ever ascend or “translate” to heaven), the city named after him takes on much more importance. It also becomes a foreshadowing of a future event, the ascending of the righteous to the great city of God in heaven. Just as the righteous man Enoch was associated with his own city, so will the righteous be associated with their own city, New Jerusalem. The Bible describes Abraham as looking for a city to live in from heaven, the famous “city of God” that is mentioned in Hebrews: “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10).

For all you righteous out there who don’t like living in cities, you better get ready to move into one soon. You don’t have to worry about crime or any other problems inherent with cities though.

 1st classification system

 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. (Genesis 1:11)

           God’s classification system pre-dates the scientific one by thousands of years. Interestingly, God and the scientist’s system do share one classification in common—they both classify by the term “kingdom.” The kingdom of God obviously includes his creation. To further delineate his system, God uses the term “after its kind”. Of course, where God and most scientists part ways is the fact that God says living things reproduce only “after its kind.” This simple and terse explanation of how life has evolved overthrows evolution with three words—“after its kind.” Evolution says things change to the point of one kind producing other kinds. Though we have no evidence for this missing link, we continue to believe this fairy tale for adults. Apple trees never produce oranges, or broccoli, or fish, or anything else but apples, and they never will. A child can understand that, yet it is the adult who pretends he can’t.

Because man was created in God’s image, that alone should be proof that man didn’t evolve from animals and other lower life forms. If he did, God would have had to be these same life forms as well for us to be created in his same image. The Bible also says man was “formed from the dust of the ground,” and made in one day. If man can evolve and go from dust to man in one day, then evolutionists would have a partial case.

 1st color mentioned

 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. (Genesis 1:30)

 Green is appropriate to be the Bible’s first mentioned color, for it is the color of life—green herbs, plants, grass, etc. Color is a magnificent thing created by God, and we many times take it for granted. Color shows the creativity and variety of God, and it also shows his love by giving us such beautiful things to reflect upon. God produces colors that man can’t, and he hides these colors all in one color—white. Black (symbol of evil) is the absence of color, while white is the fullness of all color.

God must have liked the color green, for he seems to have made more things green than just about anything else. Some people’s studies have shown that green is the most relaxing color to look at for the human eye, so we can assume that God wanted us to do a lot of relaxing. Green is obviously the color of living things, and what more appropriate color to be mentioned first in the Bible than the color of life from the living God.

 1st commandment to man

 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it… (Genesis 1:28)

 Man tends to forget that his first commandment was not a “thou shalt not” but a “thou shalt reproduce” (“be fruitful and multiply”). He was to have children and to subdue the earth. It’s pretty difficult to “be fruitful and multiply” if you are constantly taking the pill or using other birth control methods to avoid “multiplying.” The Bible says our “quiver should be full of them” (speaking of children), and if we neglect this commandment, we disobey God’s very first commandment to us.

Just as in the physical, God also wants us to reproduce spiritually, winning many to Christ, producing children of the Lord: “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30). On the spiritual side, being “fruitful” can also mean exhibiting the “fruits of the spirit” as commanded to us in the New Testament: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me” (John 15:4).

 1st communication mishap

 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Genesis 2:17)

           God first commanded Adam to not eat from the tree, and Adam’s responsibility was to teach this to his wife Eve. Because of Eve’s adding to the commandment (previously discussed), she obviously wasn’t instructed clear enough by her husband. Adam didn’t see to it that his wife’s understanding was evident. Thus, we have the first communication breakdown occurring between husband and wife. Whether Adam assumed Eve knew what they were forbidden to do and what they could do it is not known, but his teaching obviously didn’t keep her from eating the fruit.

What we need to heed from this is that one of the greatest responsibilities of a husband is to ensure that his wife is receiving the proper spiritual teaching at home. The husband can’t rely on a pastor to do it for him: “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body” (Ephesians 5:23). The wife is the “weaker vessel” (1 Peter 3:7), and she needs the husband to be her spiritual leader. When a husband doesn’t fulfill this requirement, he is failing in his duties to “rule” over her (see “1st duty of man”). You can forget about good communication in your marriage if you can’t communicate to your wife that you are the head of the house.

 1st communion

(see 1st priest)

 1st complaint made

 And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.  (Genesis 4:13)

 Man always thinks his punishment is too great to bear. What needs to be pointed out here is that the first complainer in scripture is associated with a wicked man. Cain was of that “wicked one” according to the New Testament, so for us to complain is to fashion ourselves after the manner of a wicked person. God punished Cain for bringing a sacrifice to please God that God said wouldn’t pass muster. Cain was punished, and rightfully so, for if God had not punished him, Cain would have been solaced into thinking that his religious practice was okay. Thus, Cain would have paved the way for others to say to God that God’s way is not  always the right way. God required a blood sacrifice, and Cain didn’t want to bring it. And so goes the rest of man who want to offer sacrifice to God but just not the right one. The scriptures say the “sacrifices of the wicked” are an abomination to God. What makes us think we know more than God?

 1st conversation between

God and Satan

 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:14-15)

           What we see in the first conversation between God and the Devil is quite revealing: God does all the talking and the Devil does all the obeying. He doesn’t utter a “peep,” unlike man and woman in this same incident. The evidence of that is that after the serpent deceived Eve, God cursed him by making him go on his belly all his life and eating dust. There was no argument from the Devil as to whether this was fair or even necessary. And who says we can’t learn a lesson from the Devil?

This shows us that God is not in competition with Satan as far as his power or authority is concerned. God uses Satan for his own glory, and the Lord does not enter into power struggles with him. God is all-powerful, and any power that Satan has is given unto him by God and controlled by him. This incident only proves that assertion and serves as the basis for how Satan reports to God later in the Bible, as he did in the case of Job.

To put Satan on the same plane as God is blasphemous, for they are not equals and nowhere near it. Satan is very powerful and is not to be underestimated; however, he is not to be ascribed the same power as God. That is an insult to our creator and a glorification of the Devil’s power that doesn’t exist.

 1st conspiracy hatched

 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him. (Genesis 37:18)

 The first conspiracy hatched in scripture was, sadly, one that involved family members against another. In this case, it was Joseph’s brothers conspiring against him to kill him out of jealousy against Joseph. Their jealousy involved a series of dreams that Joseph dreamed that spoke of his brethren ultimately bowing down to Joseph out of duty and honor. This dream infuriated the brethren and caused them to hate Joseph even more as it states in Genesis 37: “And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed. For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words” (Genesis 37:5-8).

This first conspiracy was against a man of God by the wicked and was indicative of how the wicked throughout scripture conspire against the righteous and even their own people. More telling than this, though, is how this story is a foreshadowing of Jesus and the conspiracy against him, for Joseph was one of the greatest figures of Jesus in the Old Testament. The scribes and Pharisees and many others conspired against Jesus to kill him on many occasions in much the same way Joseph’s brethren did to him: “Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him (Matthew 12:14)…”; “Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.”

Just like Joseph, Jesus will make sure that all his brethren the Israelites will bow down and do obeisance to him, for it says in the New Testament “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth” (Phillipians 2:10). David pleads with God to help him rid himself of these conspirers: “Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity” (Psalm 64:2)

What we learn from this first conspiracy is what is borne out in subsequent ones—that the wicked will not ultimately prevail against the righteous because God will not allow for it. They may win the battle, but they will lose the war. The wicked can conspire all they want, but they will never outnumber God.

 1st covenant made

 But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee. (Genesis 6:18)

 This covenant God made with man is essentially God’s first promise to man. What is interesting is that this first promise is a reminder of God’s judgment of the flood on the wicked world and an indirect promise of coming judgment on the future world. God made an agreement with Noah and his family that he would not destroy the earth again by water; however, the earth will be destroyed again by fire as it states in 1st Peter (…..). God gave the first symbol used in the Bible, the rainbow, as the token of that covenant, a reminder of his promise to man.

When we see the rainbow, what we should be thinking about is not some pot of gold, but God’s former judgment of the great flood and his promise made with Noah. It should also remind us that judgment is coming again.

 1st reference to Jesus’ death

on the cross

 Also:

  • 1st male lamb (singular)

 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.  (Genesis 22:8)

 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen. (Genesis 22:14)

 nd he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

What an astounding prophecy that most people know nothing about! Genesis 22:8 said that God will provide HIMSELF a lamb. God would be the lamb for the burnt offering. This verse is changed in every other bible but the King James. The attack on the Godhead of Jesus is obvious. By God saying he would offer himself as a burnt offering, he was prophesying about his death on the cross. It is little scriptures like these that we can overlook but have great significance. This first reference to Jesus dying for our sins is showing us that this greatest of sacrifices was known from the very beginning. It was what all the prophets looked forward to as Peter himself said in his writings in the New Testament: “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” (1 Peter 1:11).

1st person to cry (mourn)

              Also:

  • 1st mention of word “cry”
  • 1st bitter thing

 And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her. (Genesis 23:2)

 And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father. (Genesis 27:34)

 Abraham was the first person recorded that shed tears, for he did wept at the death of his wife Sarah, who died at the age of 127. It is fitting that Abraham would be the first recorded to cry, for he is called “the father of us all” by Paul in the book of Romans. Any true believer who exercises faith finds it impossible to worship God without crying out to him at times. God tells us to cry out to him and he will hear us, just as David says he does and that daily: “Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily” (Isaiah 86:3).

How ironic that the first person said to “cry” in scripture was a man, not a woman. His crying occurred because he lost his birthright by giving it away to his brother Jacob. What’s more enlightening here is that the Bible’s first cry came in the context of a wicked man named Esau. Though Esau cried “a great and exceeding bitter cry,” he didn’t get his father Isaac to change the situation.

So we see that crying is used as an instrument to get what one wants, and in particular, it is used by the wicked to convince the righteous as Esau did to Isaac, his righteous father. The scriptures also mention that parents shouldn’t be detracted by the crying of their children when the children are disciplined: “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying” (Proverbs 19:18).

Crying also won’t matter to Jesus Christ at Judgment. In one of the most dreadful scenes ever described, the Lord Jesus said the heathen will not only be crying; they will also be “wailing”: “And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:50). If you are lost at Judgment, you can weep and wail all you want—your tears won’t save you. Your tears can help save you now, for God wants you to cry out to him to be saved: “Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses” (Psalm 107:19).

 1st curse given

 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: (Genesis 3:14)

 The reason for the abhorrence of snakes can be traced back to this first judgment on them. Snakes were the first to receive a curse from God. Notice in this curse that the snake didn’t always slide along on its belly. It must have had legs, for part of God’s curse was “upon thy belly shalt thou go.” Thus, it was a walking and talking snake. That was probably a big reason for the woman’s deception, a talking animal. We show our children talking animals all the time on videos. Eve hadn’t ever seen one, though.

People talk about curses as though they are superstitious nonsense, and though we hear of people and things having a curse on them, most don’t believe that such a thing exists. But to believe such a thing exists is essential for your understanding of the gospel, for it is the curse of man and the earth that we got redeemed from by Jesus Christ, for part of the curse is the fact that man can’t keep the law  (wholly anyway), so he is under the curse of that law which is physical and spiritual death: “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them” (Galatians 3:10).

The curse breaker is, of course, Jesus Christ: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Galatians 3:13). The time is coming when there will be no more curse, and every saint of God should be anticipating it: “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him” (Revelation 22:3).

Women like to talk about their curse (their monthly periods), and sports enthusiasts like to talk about curses team have on other teams, yet we seldom like to talk about the fact that unless we are saved, we are truly all cursed beyond measure.

 1st curse given by man

                 Also:

  • 1st servant

 

And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. (Genesis 9:25)

 It’s intriguing that the first curse placed by man was not on the person that caused the curse (Ham), but on Ham’s son Canaan. Ham had done an evil act on Noah, yet Noah cursed his son Canaan instead.

Do the righteous have the ability to place curses on the heathen? This story should give us the answer, and that answer is yes. Just follow the history of Canaan and his descendants, and you will see that they are despised by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Abraham implored his servant thusly: “And I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell” (Genesis 24:3); Isaac also commanded that no wife of his son should come from the Canaanites: “When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padanaram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan” (Genesis 28:6)

 

D

 

1st exact date recorded

(see also 1st rainfall)

 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.  (Genesis 7:11)

 It is no accident that the first thing in scripture to be dated was the great Flood. To solidify the reality of the great Flood to the reader, God made it the first event that was given a precise date—down to the year, month, and even day. Because of this exact dating, to call the great flood of Noah a myth is a mistaken notion indeed and a serious charge against God and his words. God made sure you would have no excuse to mythologize this flood by the fact that he dated it to the day.

God gave us this event and dated it for obvious reasons, one of which was to remind the world of the coming judgment on the earth. God wanted us to be sure of his first judgment, and you can bet his future judgment will happen with the same precise measurement. In fact, he said no man “knoweth the day or the hour” of his coming, but that scripture at least says that that day is definitely at a specific day and an hour, and that only God knows it. The Lord Jesus will be right on time as usual, and his first judgment should point out to us that his future judgment is just as accurate and sure.

Another interesting first here is the mention of windows in heaven

 1st “deal” between God and

man

 Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it. (Genesis 18:28)

 Abraham was worried that if God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, he would destroy the righteous with the wicked. Accordingly, Abraham tried to strike a bargain with God. Abraham started out by requesting that if there were at least fifty righteous men, that God shouldn’t destroy the city. God agreed to do so if fifty were there, which they obviously weren’t because Abraham reduced his request to forty-five, then forty, then thirty, then twenty, then ten. Out of a city of hundreds of thousands of people, there were less than ten people saved, and most likely only Lot and his wife, for they are the only ones the angel helped take out of the city.

Abraham’s action, in making this first deal with God, should teach us all a lesson. God already knew how many righteous there were in that city, and he wasn’t going to destroy it if there were any there. Abraham, in trying to save the righteous, was actually calling into question God’s motives and doubting his intentions. This was not a righteous thing Abraham did, and it should serve as a warning to us who do the same thing with God when we bargain with him. We shouldn’t question God’s motives, for he always does the “right thing” regardless of whether we understand it or realize it. Next time you want to make a deal with God, remember who the dealer really is.

 1st natural death

 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.  (Genesis 5:5)

 Imagine living over 900 years on this earth. The first person to die a natural death was Adam. Most of us wouldn’t even want to live that long. Adam did, and these are the kinds of things that many people are embarrassed about having to believe in the Bible, so out of their fear of man, these people say this lifespan of Adam’s really didn’t happen. As mentioned in my previous book, Where’d That Come From?, one of the reasons God had Adam live so long was so that Adam could pass on to his descendants firsthand what had happened to him in the Garden of Eden. This knowledge was essential for future men to understand, and getting it directly from Adam made it just as real as when it happened. There is no record of a written revelation at that time, so this oral history becomes all the more important. The fact that Noah lived 950 years is crucial for the same reason—to pass on the knowledge and reality of the great Flood and God’s judgment.

If we don’t believe that this first natural death was real and in the manner previously described, all things resulting from Adam’s sin come into question, including man’s need of a savior because of Adam’s sin. If we question this natural death at such a long lifespan, then why wouldn’t we question other things about Adam? The doubt would escalate to eventually not believing anything about Adam or Genesis that seemed unnatural , and that is the case with many today.

 1st declaration of man’s

needs

 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. (Genesis 2:18)

 We must remember that Adam was the only person on the face of the earth at that time. When God said that it was not good that Adam should be alone, it was the loneliness of being the only man on earth that God was addressing. It wasn’t necessarily a statement by God against being single or not married. That was a secondary issue. Paul even said in the New Testament that being unmarried was preferable when he, being single, said men should be like he was: “For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that” (1 Corinthians 7:7).

Something to think about that parallels this loneliness that Adam had was the loneliness that Jesus had who was  the “second man.” Since Jesus was “God manifest in the flesh,” his uniqueness and his holiness at times must have made him feel that he was all alone.

When God said that man was alone, he was saying that man needs man as well as God. God was with Adam; thus, Adam was not technically alone. In one sense, though, Adam was alone since he didn’t have any human interaction. This was a profound statement for God to make since God is all man really needs in the spiritual sense. God, however, recognizes man’s physical needs and knows that man needs companionship and friendship of other men and women as well, not just animals, and that is a good indicator of God’s compassion for man.

 1st definition given

 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night…(Genesis 1:5)

 Our first definition in scripture does not come from a dictionary or a lexicon per se—God gives it himself. This fact is very instructive. One of the main areas where man gets in trouble when reading the Bible and teaching from it is that he begins to make up his own definitions for terms in the Bible. Once a man goes down that treacherous path, he can teach others and get people to accept anything he says as long as they accept his definitions. Thus, the door is opened wide for heresy and false doctrine to enter and take hold.

How is this connected with the first definition we find in the scripture? Well, one thing this first definition tells us is that definitions are given by God himself. He defines his own terms right from the very first chapter of the Bible. The word “day” means “light” as the Lord himself defined it. Man likes to run to his dictionaries and lexicons to find out what God’s words mean without first considering that maybe God defined them already in his own inspired dictionary, the Bible.

Another thing that man rarely considers is that maybe man’s definitions are wrong. Man’s definitions are certainly not infallible, and more times than not are not even right. However, when God gives definitions in the Bible, you can be certain of their infallibility. What this whole lesson teaches us is that man needs to study the Bible, not the dictionary. Man needs to run to God and his words, not to scholars and theirs. We were never commanded to study man’s words, not even once.

There are numerous examples of definitions God gave in his words, one of which is in Mark 7:2 where the word “defiled” is defined by God himself as meaning “unwashen hands”: “And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.” God does the same with the word “veil” in Hebrews, using the phrase “that is to say” and defining his own terms: “By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh” (Hebrews 10:20). If you noticed, God used the phrase “that is to say” to give us a synonym or definition for the word “defiled.” Many times these definitions are not as spelled out and easy to find, but by comparing scripture with scripture we are able to construct them. This is one manner in which we are supposed to study.

It is through the use of definitions that most cults can deceive their members. All they have to do is to get their members to accept a few key definitions, and if the definitions are wrong, the whole theology is wrong as well. If nobody questions these definitions, everyone will accept the false teachings. How the Bible defines terms should be our primary concern, not how man does.

Some will object and say that definitions are not always given for all of God’s words. Those same people are usually the same ones who, when pressed on the matter, will admit that they have not looked very far to find them in God’s words. I will say this: Most of the time if we don’t find a definition in the immediate context, it will take more study, more digging, and more prayer. How about studying a little harder and comparing scripture with scripture before relying on man to define God’s words for God himself? God is perfectly capable of defining his words and many times tests our willingness to find out these definitions through diligent study of his words. Making up our own definitions is the first step in not rightfully dividing the word of God. Let us not make that critical error.

 1st diet prescribed for man

 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. (Genesis 1:29)

           Man’s first diet consisted of fruit and vegetables (green herbs) prescribed by the master nutritionist, The Lord Jesus himself. Neither man nor the animals ate each other in the days of Adam and Eve, for death did not exist before the eating of the fruit.

One thing that should be pointed out here is that man’s diet was indeed prescribed by God and not chosen by man. God was very involved in man’s diet, for God chose exactly what the diet was to consist of. There was no breaking of any diet then unless you want to consider that there was one particular fruit that was not on the diet and strictly forbidden. Man did break that diet and has forever paid dearly for it.

The last diet will probably be like the first one, for since there will be no more death according to Revelation, no animals will be able to be eaten. The Bible also says the tree of life will be again be producing fruit to eat, so fruit and vegetables will probably be on the diet again. Eat your steaks and pizzas while you can.

 1st direction man made to

go in

 And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. (Genesis 2:8)

 Though we in the Western world like to think we are advanced in all our technology and wisdom, it is the eastern world where true wisdom originated, for it is the East where Christianity had its beginnings (“eastward in Eden), and it is the East where man should still look for answers.

We all know the sun rises in the East, and Jesus is the “Sun of righteousness” according to Malachi 4:2. Jesus, of course, was born in the East (Bethlehem, Israel) and will also be coming again from the East, for he says, “For 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” (Matthew 24:27). Here is an interesting fact: His coming from the East is why gravesites are always facing that direction, anticipating his arrival from the East. Forget the history books’ advice; instead, “Go East, young man.”

 1st to cause division

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

 Surprisingly, it is not the serpent that is first mentioned as causing division, but it is God himself whose chief activities include dividing light from darkness. As you may remember, Jesus himself says he came not to bring peace, but division: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34); “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division” (Luke 12:51); “So there was a division among the people because of him” (John 7:43). God still divides that day from the night when he divides his children, the children of light, from the night, or the children of darkness.

The truth always divides itself from lies. However, when there is division being caused in an assembly, it is usually the Devil or the person causing the division that is said to be committing sin and causing problems. You even see trite sayings such as “God adds and multiplies, the Devil subtracts and divides.” Nothing could be further from the truth. God has been dividing literally from day one.

Paul did instruct the following: “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17), yet he was not talking about division being a bad thing, only if it was “divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned.”

God is “separate from sinners” as he states in Hebrews, and the believers are called to “come out from among them and be ye separate.” You will have a hard time separating if you don’t cause division. If you are not causing division, then you are also not preaching truth.

 1st door mentioned

 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.  (Genesis 4:7)

 Doors are wonderful object lessons for the Christian. Doors keep things locked out, and they keep things locked in. They protect us from things that would harm us. They also are the entryway into new and exciting places.

Most rooms have only one door. When Jesus calls himself “the door” in John chapter 10, he uses a great metaphor, for Jesus is stating that, as there is only one door to a room, the Lord is the only way to heaven. What was mentioned in the scriptures about this first door, though, is a little different. It states that “sin” is waiting at the door for Christians. By application, if we open our doors to sin, it will gladly enter our homes and take it over. Outside the door is the world and all its temptations. We as Christians can’t stay inside and never go out, but we must realize that when we go out, we are risking our lives many times.

This first door mentioned is directly associated with sin and its vicinity right next to the door. If you don’t have a door that closes completely and is sealed, you invite all kinds of critters and bugs into your home.

 1st dreamer

 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife.  (Genesis 20:3)

 The first recorded dreamer in scripture, an unbeliever, was told by God that “thou are but a dead man,” or in another words, “You’re a dead man.” This passage teaches us three things right away. First, God does indeed talk to people in their dreams as he did here with Abimelech. Second, God even talks to unbelievers in their dreams, as Abimelech was an unbeliever. Third, just because God talks to you in a dream doesn’t make it a positive thing, for in this example, he told Abimelech that he was a dead man for taking another’s wife.

This passage should also teach us that the heathen and dreaming often go hand in hand. We have many instances of the heathen priests dreaming in scripture and saying God said certain things to them (sound familiar?): “I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed” (Jeremiah 23:25). How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal. The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:25-28).

People saying, “I had a dream” in reference to God should always be approached cautiously and with much inspection.

 1st person to get drunk

 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. (Genesis 9:21)

 The first recorded person to get drunk in scripture is, of all people, a Christian, and his name was Noah. His drunkenness had serious consequences. We see that Noah’s drunkenness was also associated with his nakedness, for he “was uncovered within his tent.” Let us not overlook that drunkenness is associated with nakedness all too often. Noah must have gotten so drunk that he decided to get naked as well. His nakedness led to further debauchery, for his son Ham came in and saw his nakedness. What probably happened next is one of the worst sins ever committed in the Bible, for it strongly implies that Ham, Noah’s son, committed homosexual incest with his father. (For more on that, see “1st homosexual act committed”).

1st duty of a husband

 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. (Genesis 3:16)

 How many husbands these days take seriously their first recorded duty—to “rule over” their wife? If this admonition seems harsh and outdated, it is only because God’s words are not taken seriously. Does the New Testament also proclaim this first duty of man? Yes it does: In fact, this same word “rule” is used of a bishop and a husband’s duties: “(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God? (1 Timothy 3:5).” You’re not even qualified to be a bishop unless you rule your own house well. For those of you that think this teaching is a little extreme, what Paul gives us here is a minimum qualification. Paul also talks about the husband’s duties in his letter to the Ephesian church: “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body” (Ephesians 5:23).

If you want to find the root of most marital problems, just go and see if man’s first duty is being exercised or not. Usually, it is not, and therein lies the problem. Most men are taught that a marriage is 50/50, with both sharing duties equally. That is not the way God designed it, if by 50/50 you mean that the wife gets 50 percent of the authority over the man.

 1st dwelling places

 And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.  (Genesis 4:20)

 How instructive that man’s first dwelling was in a tent. Believers throughout the ages are said to have wandered “with no certain dwelling place”: “They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth” (Hebrews 11:36-37). Jesus himself didn’t have a certain dwelling place, and this is an amazing thing. The scriptures inform us thus: “And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20).

If these people in the Old Testament are our examples and they most certainly are, we shouldn’t think it a great thing if we don’t have houses to live in—they didn’t. Christians are described as “pilgrims and strangers on this earth.” These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13). Pilgrims don’t worry about what houses they are going to buy—they don’t claim to be loyal to a city or country on earth: they seek a country as it stated Abraham did. The next time someone calls you “pilgrim,” a la John Wayne style, just remember what one really is. And get yourself a good tent while you’re at it. You might need it.


E

 

1st description of earth

 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2)

           “Without form and void” and “darkness” is God’s description of how earth was without his forming power. By extension, man without the spirit of God moving on him is also “without form and void.” “Darkness covers the man without God just as it did to earth without God’s spirit. Man is also void without the spirit of God moving over him. He is void of anything good, redeeming, or true. And he really doesn’t have form, because true form comes from knowing Jesus, whom Paul said would be “formed” in us.

 1st economic depression

 And when money failed in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, Give us bread: for why should we die in thy presence? for the money faileth. (Genesis 47:15)

 1st thing to fail.

 It’s interesting that the first thing that fails in scripture is money. Man’s number one thing that gives him comfort is the first thing that is said to fail. Not only does it fail, it makes the whole economy of Egypt fail and puts everyone in jeopardy. Thus, it could be said that this is the first economic depression in scripture. God is trying to get our attention to the fact that our greatest security blanket can fail us like a cheap car.

We cannot place our security in money or our economy, for ours can fail just as easy and even more so today. With our dependence on energy, electricity, and food, we could be brought to our knees in a hurry. Money fails, but God cannot fail.

 1st mention of Egypt

(see 1st famine)

 

1st emotion manifested

 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.  (Genesis 3:6)

 

The first emotion manifested was desire, and more specifically, a desire for three things: food, pleasant view, and wisdom.

 1st employer and employee

relations

 And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, shouldest thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be? (Genesis 29:15)

           Wouldn’t you know it that the first mention of employee and employer involved one family member working for another? As many will tell today, this always has its drawbacks. In Jacob’s case, he was working for his uncle Laban, not only for wages but also for the right to marry his daughter.

As is the case with many families, this arrangement should instruct us about working for our in-laws or anyone else in the family. You will be taken advantage of in many cases just as Jacob was.

One thing this passage did teach us about work is that even though the boss was overly demanding and unfair, we should respect him enough to continue to doing our job as Jacob did. Jacob had a goal, albeit a wrong one, of marrying another woman in addition to the one he had, Rachel the sister of Leah. This passage tells us that men are willing to go to great lengths to accomplish things that are contrary to God. It shows us that godly men such as Jacob can commit polygamy and work 14 years to do so.

 1st human enemies

 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. (Genesis 14:20)

           Christians should take comfort that God will fight our enemies for us. God tells us that “I will be an enemy unto thy enemies” in Exodus 23:22. In the case of Abraham, God delivered a whole host of kings from killing Abraham and slaughtered them. The first thing we learn about our enemies is that God delivers us from them.

 1st thing brought to an end

 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.  (Genesis 2:1)

 1st engineering achievement

 Also:

  • 1st denomination
  • 1st world government
  • 1st world leader
  • 1st worldwide language
  • 1st hunter

 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. (Genesis 11:4)

 Buildings don’t have good reputations in scripture, and the first one ever constructed didn’t help matters. This first building was to be man’s crowning achievement, something akin to us building our 100-plus-story skyscrapers and standing in awe of them. These achievements don’t impress God, and we shouldn’t be glorying in them as Nimrod, the first world leader did (see “1st world leader”).

When the World Trade Center collapsed, the tragedy was unspeakable in terms of human life. What man focused on more than anything, it seemed, was the loss of the buildings themselves. Two of the idols of America’s greatness came crashing down to the ground, and sadly, that seemed to be what was just as important to people as the loss of almost 3,000 lives.

God destroyed the Tower of Babel for several reasons, one of which was the people wanting to build a tower “unto heaven” Man going to the heavens by his own power is not the Lord’s plans for man. We send our spaceships into the heavens (which, by the way is the biblical name for space (see Genesis 1:1), yet God said the earth he gave “for the children of men”—not Mars or some other solar system.

This building program also was the beginnings of the first denomination in scripture as covered in another of my works, “The Most Controversial Book in the World: the Bible.” The builders proclaimed the phrase “Let us make us a name.” They made a name for themselves alright, but it wasn’t a good one. The point is, however, that this was the first instance we see in scripture where man is attempting to make a name for himself, and this was done under a religious guise much like denominations do today. Make no mistake, this building was a religious undertaking by the world’s first superhero, Nimrod “the mighty hunter”, who was to be a type and foreshadowing of the coming Antichrist.

Nimrod as this prototype world leader is very revealing. God is showing us in the first pages of scripture what the Antichrist will be like. Just as Nimrod was a “mighty hunter before the Lord,” so will be the Antichrist. He will hunt for men’s souls like no other man since Nimrod. Under Nimrod,

Man takes so much pride in his buildings and his space program, for he sees these as signs of his advancement and intelligence. God is not impressed with how high we can build buildings or how far we can go in space. He is more interested in how high and how far man wants to go with God.

 1st reference to eternal life

 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:  (Genesis 3:22)

 They also are not under our command, nor are they our “genie in a bottle” to use for our selfish purposes. Adam couldn’t have told those Cherubims to leave the garden and expected them to obey him. Man doesn’t have the power to command angels. In fact, the scripture says that man is lower than the angels: “For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour” (Psalm 8:5). God will use angels to guard us and help us in many situations as he did in some of the battles of the Israelites in the Old Testament, but he never put them under our control. The angels are under God’s control, and he doesn’t need or want our help.

 1st act of evil   

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (Genesis 3:1)

           The first act of evil recorded in scripture is from the Devil himself. The significance of what he did is often overlooked. However, God saw fit to have it be the first act of evil in the scripture. What was it? It was and still is the questioning of the accuracy of God’s words. The serpent cast doubt on God’s spoken words to Adam. He started his doubt casting with a positive word “Yea” and then said “hath God said…?” He was questioning and trying to get Eve to question if God really said what he said about dying if she ate the fruit.

Why this was the first recorded sin cannot be overestimated. God is instructing us that this issue is of paramount importance. Satan is no different today, and it should tell us the importance of this topic to God and Satan. It is Satan’s first attack in any real war with a Christian, for if he can get the Christian to doubt just some of God’s written words, he knows he has succeeded in causing him to distrust all of it and to ultimately distrust God himself. We are deceived, naïve, and foolish to believe otherwise.

Since all Christian doctrine originates from the Bible, any doubt cast on it would cast doubt on its major doctrines including the deity of Jesus, the resurrection, good and evil, and so forth. Any argument about issues and their morality, any discussions of good and evil are moot points if scripture is not 100% accurate. If 95% is good enough for you, then you ares saying that God couldn’t quite get the job done in protecting and preserving his words. That doesn’t sound like an Almighty God to me. God doesn’t want us to have faith in his imperfect words. That would be sin on his part.

 1st mention of word “evil”

 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:9)

 God himself is the first to mention the word evil, in association with “the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” How can a tree give knowledge of good and evil? I don’t know, but I also don’t know how God can exist without having a beginning. I accept it by faith and chalk my lack of understanding to my finite mind. When in doubt, give God the benefit of the doubt.

What is important here is the realization that the first time the word “evil” is used in scripture, man’s choice is involved. What we should learn from this is that man chose freely to have the knowledge of evil. It was not forced on man, and it was not his destiny. Evil is always a choice of man today as well. We cannot use the excuse that evil is anything but man’s choice. We do what we do because of what we choose.

 1st excuse given by man

 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.  (Genesis 3:12)

 How sad and at the same time how revealing that man’s first accusation and excuse recorded in scripture is against the very God that had just created him. What colossal gall Adam displayed by blaming, of all people, the God of the universe for his own sin! Though Adam initially blamed his disobedience and rebellion on the woman, it was in fact God he was indicting, for he said it was the woman “whom thou gavest to be with me.” Adam took absolutely zero responsibility for his actions, just as many do today. To alleviate his obvious guilt, the first man Adam resorts to blaming another person for his own guilty actions.

By passing off his sin on to the woman, Adam, in effect, accused God of causing the whole matter, for Adam’s reasoning was that if it weren’t for God’s giving him the woman, he wouldn’t have eaten the fruit to begin with. What audacity and incredulity on Adam’s part to make such a claim! God had no more to do with Adam’s choice to rebel than Eve did, yet Adam blamed both of them equally and took no accountability for his own actions.

The New Testament mentions that this type of behavior is precisely the activity of unbelievers of whom it says that they “accuse or excuse one another”: “Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)” (Romans 2:15). The Apostle Paul says, however, that there are no excuses that are valid in God’s eyes, and he even says in his epistle to the Romans that the unbelievers are “without excuse” at the day of Judgment: “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Romans 1:20).

Ironically, the only one who didn’t blame anyone for his rebellion was the Devil himself. He didn’t respond back to God and blame him or anyone else. He was speechless before the great God. Thus, the Devil seemed to show more respect for God than the man or woman did in the Garden. Ironically, the Devil can teach us a lesson or two. The New Testament affirms this by saying even the devils “believe and tremble” at God. The Devil back then knew “who’s boss” as he does even today. Oh that all Christians would show the same respect.

 1st to be exiled

 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. (Genesis 3:23)

           Our first parents, Adam and Eve, were also the first exiles, the first ones to be kicked out of their own land and banished to another place. God placed a 24 hour, 7 day a week guard there to keep them from going back (see “1st weapon” and “1st angel”).

It was the equivalent of being kicked out of heaven, for this was Eden, the paradise of God. How would you feel if you were kicked out of heaven by God himself? Not a good feeling, I’m sure. Thank God he won’t kick anyone out of the actual heaven, though he did do that to the angels who rebelled.

Another interesting sidenote is the fact that Eden was a real place. There are many stories of the lost city and civilization of Atlantis and how it is hidden in the ocean somewhere. This is very similar and probably derives from the lost land of Eden. Since we believe that Adam and Eve were real people, we must believe that Eden was a real place. But where is it now? Did Eden disappear from the face of the earth. Certainly not. It is being guarded and hidden from man, just as heaven is today.

We Christians are all exiles wandering to and fro. Even though we have been given eternal life, we will not enter that hidden land until God decides it is our time. The tree of life will reappear when we return to earth according to Revelation chapter 22. Yes, the Garden of Eden will once again flourish on earth.

 1st extra-terrestrial beings

 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. (Genesis 3:24)

 The first creatures from outer space were angels. Cherubims are a kind of angel, and we see the first thing associated with angels is guarding something. They were put in the garden to guard the tree of life from being eaten which man no longer could access because of his sin. We see, then, that angels are first and foremost used by God to protect and guard us from things. That is where we might get the expression “guardian angel.” We also see here that angels are under God’s direction and command. They do not operate independently of God. They do what he commands.

Thus, if we really are interested in extra-terrestrial beings, maybe we should look into when they first appeared and learn from God that the angels are used of him to do mighty acts. Sometimes they walk among us and we don’t recognize them, just as in the movies as Paul states about us entertaining “angels unawares.”

 

F

 

1st false religion

 Bu unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. (Genesis 4:5)

 1st murder

  • 1st mention of word sin
  • 1st mention of word respect
  • 1st blood sacrifice
  • 1st anger
  • 1st jealousy
  • 1st religious offering

 As you can see by the list, this story produces a host of biblical firsts. How enlightening that the first religious requirements produced the first anger shown in the Bible and involved the anger that Cain felt when God didn’t accept Cain’s show of religion. Cain brought an offering to God, and this was obviously an offering devised by Cain to supposedly show his respect to God. By not bringing to God what God has asked for, Cain was in fact showing his disrespect to God, and God in turn showed his disrespect to Cain and his offering, not just his offering: “But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell” (Genesis 4:4).

The reason God didn’t have respect for Cain and Cain’s offering was that it didn’t involve a blood sacrifice which was vital in teaching what God himself would do in the person of Jesus Christ-give his blood for us: “And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.” Cain’s brother Abel did bring a blood sacrifice, bringing the “firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof.” Thus, we see that what caused the first show of anger in the Bible was God’s rejection of man’s attempt at pleasing God outside of the way God said it should be done. Man was trying to invent his own sacrificial system and God would not allow for it. God actually disrespected his show of religion, and this should be instructive to us who wonder if we are to respect others’ religions if they are opposed to Christianity. By the way, Cain’s anger also to led to the first manifestation of jealousy and the first murder committed by Cain against Abel. Thus, the chain of events here was first an offering of false religion, then anger at that religion not being accepted, then jealousy, then murder. Unrighteous anger will always manifest itself from false religion, and this story is our initial lesson and should serve as a warning of false religion’s consequences.

This, of course, is a pattern that has happened throughout world history and is happening today with all the world’s false religions vying for supremacy. God’s true people could care less who has supremacy in the world because his believers know that in this world they will have tribulation, but in the world to come they will inherit it.

 1st nationwide famine

 And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.  (Genesis 12:10)

 Also: 1st mention of Egypt

 When Abraham went to Egypt to get food during this famine, we see here a prime example of the righteous running to the world for help. Not only is this the first famine, it is also the first time a righteous man goes to the world to get help instead of going to God. God had just told him a few verses earlier that he would give the land of the Canaanites (Israel) to Abraham and his descendants and that he would bless him there: “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee” (Genesis 12:1).

Abraham obviously didn’t obey God here and showed a lack of faith in relying on God in the famine, though it could be said that most men would have failed that test if their hunger became bad enough. We do the same things today, running to the government, our family, our friends, and anyone else to help us in financial stress or other types of stress when our first course of action should be relying on God and wherever he directs us.        The first mention of Egypt is connected with man’s false sense of security. God called the Israelites out of Egypt; he called his Son out of Egypt, and Joseph wanted to have his body taken out of Egypt. Egypt always symbolized the world and all its possessions and philosophies. When Abraham relied on Egypt to save him from the famine he was experiencing, he ended up fearing the Egyptians and lying about his wife Sarah being his full sister. Thus, Egypt provided Abraham temptation to lie and rely on it and not God: “And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee” (Gen. 12:11-13).

We are never to return to Egypt, but always to leave her when we become a people of God. The Christian is to come out of her and by ye separate. We cannot rely on Egypt to provide our material necessities or our spiritual ones.

 1st famous people

 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.  (Genesis 6:4)

 The first famous people in scripture (“men of renown”) were actually a race of giants. The fact that these giants were real has been linked to their renown received. You cannot simply dismiss this account because you don’t see giants walking around today, though we do have our 8 foot people. Back then, there have accounts of 9 and 10 foot people. The Bible says these giants were “in those days,” so it does imply that these giants no longer are prevalent.

What is revealing is that these giants were the first famous people in the world, so for us to not believe in this account is to label this as myth. That would have us labeling the Bible as myth and puts us on par with any unbeliever. The Bible doesn’t waste time testing our faith with supposed myths. One of these first tests is this one. But if you have a hard time believing this, maybe it’s because you have a harder time believing the scriptures at all. Why not accept what you cannot explain and have God show you why it’s true? He knows more than you and me. A lot more.

 1st recorded father/son talk

 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.  (Genesis 22:7-8)

 How instructive and revealing is this passage. Here we see the first father and son relationship displayed. God had given Abraham a miracle birth with his son Isaac through his previously barren wife Sarah. After that, God tests Abraham’s love for God by asking him to sacrifice his only son on an altar of wood. This is so obviously a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of Jesus, God’s only begotten son, that it almost goes without saying.

Isaac didn’t fight against Abraham, or at least it is not recorded that he did, and this is amazing. Isaac knew he was going to die, and yet offered himself willingly upon the altar of sacrifice. What a superb parallel to the story of Jesus this is! Jesus never argued or fought against the idea that he was going to die, and just like Isaac, he never questioned why it had to be done. Isaac and Jesus both knew that the Father had commanded it, and it had to be done.

The parallel continues with the scripture’s first direct prophecy of the cross of Christ. Though some see Genesis 3:15 as the first reference to the cross of Jesus (“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”), this writer feels that Genesis 22:8 is the first clear and strong reference to the cross, for in this verse it states unequivocally that God himself will become an offering for sin (“God will provide himself” a lamb). Notice it did not say as some corrupt versions have put it that God will provide a lamb, but that he would provide himself as the lamb. This is one of the greatest verses in the Bible showing who Jesus is. He is God himself.

Though Abraham was making primary reference to God providing a lamb for Abraham’s offering, this was also a prophecy, for what was provided for Abraham was a ram, and what Jesus became was “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.” Another sign that this was a prophecy of the cross is the fact that Abraham was offering his only begotten son, just as God did for the world as it states in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

 1st figure foreshadowed

 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.  (Romans 5:14)

 The New Testament sometimes gives insight into some of these first principles of God that the Old Testament sometimes leaves out. It is proven in the New Testament that Adam was the first figure of another that was to come, that of Jesus Christ: “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” (Romans 5:14).

Adam’s life and characteristics then becomes a study much more involved than many might have thought. The similarities between Jesus and Adam are simply astounding, and their similarities should point us directly to Jesus who was to come. I did a very in-depth study of this and you can find it on my website at kingjamesman.com. Just a few of the examples: Both give birth to their wives. Both died on a tree. Both had no sin. Both are “formed” not born in the same manner as others. Both are called “the son of God”: “Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God” (Luke 3:38).
A study of Adam and his similarities to Jesus as the first to foreshadow him is a testament to the importance of this whole book of firsts. Knowing how Adam is like Jesus teaches us about Jesus at an even deeper level. This kind of teaching is why the study of the first principles of God’s words is so vital.

 1st to forgive

 So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.  (Genesis 50:17)

 The first reference to forgiveness occurs in a rather negative light. Joseph’s brethren actually lied to Joseph out of fear of him and what they did unto him by selling him as a slave, so they deceived him and told him through a messenger that his father Jacob’s dying wishes were that Joseph would forgive his brethren’s sins. Even though this was not Jacob’s dying wishes and was a lie, Joseph nonetheless “wept” when he heard it.

Now here is a gem we might have missed. The first person to forgive in scripture is the one who foreshadows Jesus the most, and that is Joseph. A study on Joseph, much like that of Adam, reveals that he and Adam foreshadow the life of Jesus more than anyone. How instructive it is that the first forgiveness comes from the person who is most like Jesus Christ.

 1st freedom given

 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:  (Genesis 2:16)

 The first freedom given to man resulted, ironically, in his ultimate downfall. God gave man freedom, and this freedom included real power to choose good or evil; his freedom was not mixed with some predetermined, Calvinistic fate that man couldn’t avoid. In fact, for all you Calvinists out there that love to believe God controls us like puppets on a string, this verse should show you otherwise. This freedom proved to be not unlimited, though, and needed to be tested by God to see if man would exercise his choice to serve God with his whole heart. God could have easily made man with no choice but to love him, but this wouldn’t be a show of real love on man’s part, only a forced one that would be a false love.

America loves to talk about its cherished “freedom”, but when God gives man freedom, man always messes it up. True freedom only comes through Jesus Christ, as John states so famously: “the truth shall make you free.” If you truly want to “let freedom ring,” then let Christ make you free. Any other freedom is a cheap substitute. Accept no other.

 1st kind of fruit

 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.  (Genesis 3:7)

 

G

 1st genealogy given

 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch. And unto Enoch was born Irad: and Irad begat Mehujael: and Mehujael begat Methusael: and Methusael begat Lamech.  (Genesisi 4:17,18)

 The first genealogical table in scripture is connected with Cain’s wicked line and throws a negative light on genealogy in one sense, though in another sense, genealogy was needed to prove Jesus’ lineage and claim to be the Messiah.

The Pharisees in particular were proud of their heritage, and their self-righteousness was based in part on their lineage, as exemplified in their statement “We be Abraham’s seed”: “They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?” (John 8:33). Jesus also stated in Matthew concerning the pride that comes from trusting in genealogy: “And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham” (Matthew 3:9).

Genealogy is become big business in this country, and that business is reflective of the pride of many in their ancestors.

 1st to be called “Gentiles”

 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.  (Genesis 10:5)

 The word “Gentiles” first shows up in the tenth chapter of Genesis. Why the classification “Gentiles” is so important is that it divides mankind into two groups: God’s people and the rest of the world, i.e., the Gentiles. Thus we see that God discriminates from the very beginning as to the righteous and the sinner, between his people and Satan’s.

1st ghost

 Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.  (Genesis 25:8)

 The first ghost is a good one in scripture. It is the ghost of everyone who dies.

 1st gods worshipped

 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:5)

 False gods are normally thought of as mythological creatures, objects of nature, and the like. In scripture, the first false gods brought to our attention are the man and woman themselves. This is our first lesson, and it is most instructive. Of all the false gods that man worships, man’s main object of worship is himself, yet he won’t admit it most of the time. God is telling us that all false worship, no matter what it is, is really just the worship of man himself.

The serpent told Eve if she ate of the tree that she and her husband would become “as gods.” This was a major part of the temptation. If you thought you could become a god, would you? Adam and Eve wanted do, and this is the same lie that is propagated today. Man thinks he can become so advanced in his thinking, and because he believes that he has evolved from lower life forms into an advanced one, becoming a god seems possible to him.

 1st governmental law given

 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. (Genesis 9:6)

           Of all the laws God gave in the Bible, the very first law laid down by God is, in fact, the death penalty. What this tells us about God is many fold. First, it shows us the seriousness of murder to God. It is serious enough to take the life of that person who took a life. It reflects God’s prescription for all governments. It is the first thing government should be prepared to do.

How far we have strayed from God’s first law is seen around the world. Most of the world doesn’t even have the death penalty, and the U.S. is slowly getting rid of it like it did a few years ago. Many reasons are given for the elimination of it, but in the final analysis, God called for it, not because he thought it would reduce crime or rehab the offender, but because it was just and deserved, an eye for an eye.

 1st personal reference to

God (“he”)

 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:5)

           If you want to know if God is man, a person, an idea, or an imagination, you needn’t look further than the fifth verse in Genesis 1. The first personal reference to God calls him a “he.” This tells us that God wants us to think of him as a man, and, of course, he became one two-thousand years later. In this first chapter, God is referred to as a “he” three times (verses 5, 10, and 16). Though he does refer to himself as “us” also, as you will see later, this is a prophecy of man being created in the image of God and refers to God becoming a man to impart that image. The “us” tells us that God was to become a man (see 1st prophecy of Jesus).

The fact that God is a “he” verifies that he is a personal God, not some ambiguous spirit that cannot personally relate to man on his level. God wants us to know that he is a person as well as a God. What more could man want in terms of relating to God?

Any references to God in later verses of scripture must keep in mind this reference, first and foremost, that God is a “he.” Everything must be interpreted from this as the starting point.

1st gold mine

 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.  (Genesis 2:11-12)

 If someone can find out where the land of Havilah is today, he just might strike it rich.

 1st grace given

 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.  (Genesis 6:8)

 1st graven images idolized

 And Laban went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that were her father’s.  (Genesis 31:19)

 Shows how the parents influence can affect the child’s religion. Also the first time something stolen

 1st grief felt

 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.  (Genesis 6:6)

 Also

1st to repent

 1st guarded object

 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. (Genesis 3:24)

 The legend of Excalibur and the magical sword probably could easily have taken its story the Garden of Eden. God’s first “security force” was placed in the Garden of Eden to guard a single object for thousands of years-the tree of life. God also placed a “flaming sword” to keep Adam and Eve from partaking of the tree of life after their disobedience. This was an interesting choice for God’s first manifestation of fire. A flaming sword is how God’s words are described. (Jeremiah: Is not my word…Sword: Ephesians: look up sword and fire reference for word of God).

Eden is the true “forbidden country,” and it is representative of heaven and parallels it in many ways. No person will enter either until he gets special clearance from God. Both are paradises (Rev. 2) Both will contain the tree of life as it states in Rev. 21. Both will have a river.

The word of God today gleams and protects the tree of life as well, for within it are the “words of eternal life,” and it guards them itself from those who would otherwise try to enter heaven some other way. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” so to enter into God’s paradise requires you to pick up that flaming sword and use it in your life. It will purge like fire and cut like a two edged sword (hebrews)


H

 

1st to be happy

 And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.  (Genesis 30:13)

1st harlot mentioned

 And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.

 1st hatred exhibited

 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.  (Genesis 3:15)

 1st healing to take place

 So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children.  (Genesis 20:17)

1st description of the heart

 AndGOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  (Genesis 6:5)

 1st mention of heaven

 (See 1st act of God)

 1st Hebrew mentioned

 And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram.  (Genesis 14:13)

 1st heir

 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. (Genesis 15:3)

 Man was wrong when it came to deciding who was his heir. God told man who his heir would be.

 1st holy day celebrated

 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.  (Genesis 2:2)

 1st home

 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.  (Genesis 2:8)

 1st homosexual act

committed

 1st house and rooms

 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.  (Genesis 6:14)

 God could have saved Noah and his family innumerable ways, yet he chose to save him in an ark. Again, this is not without purpose and design, for the ark, full of rooms used to house the righteous, would serve as the foreshadowing of what was to take place thousands of years later in the sky. Just as the ark had three stories, so there are stories in heaven. (Amos) Just as the ark has many rooms, so does the Father’s house in heaven where are mansions are. Just as the ark floated high above the land and protected the righteous during the storm, so will our mansions in heaven protect us from the wrath of God during the Great Tribulation.

 

I

1st illegitimate child born

 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes…And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. (Genesis 16:4,11)

 1st illness described

 And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.  (Genesis 19:11)

 Just before Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by God, the two angels that were with Lot smote the men of the city with blindness for attempting to fornicate with Lot’s friends. This occasion is also the first direct mention of homosexuality, or sodomy, with the action of Ham and his father being an indirect one. Thus, we see God’s judgment brought on attempted homosexuality of men with men. These became the first disabled people as well, being afflicted with blindness.

1st image mentioned

 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  (Genesis 1:26)

 1st comments on the

imagination and thoughts

 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  (Genesis 6:5)

 Man’s imagination was first associated with evil thoughts.

1st incest committed

 And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:  (Genesis 5:4)

A little-known fact is that Adam and Eve had girls born to them also. Though these girls go unnamed, scripture says there are several of them. This seemingly insignificant detail could also solve the mystery of where Adam and Eve’s sons got their wives because there were no other people on earth at that time. Adam and Eve’s sons had to have gotten their wives by marrying their sisters. This action was not forbidden by God at this time.

 1st case of infertility

 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.  (Genesis 16:2)

 1st ingredients listed

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)

 Also:

   1st mention of the soul

 

1st inheritance given

 And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.  (Genesis 15:7)

 1st injury sustained

 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.  (Genesis 3:15)

 1st intercourse shared

 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.  (Genesis 4:1)

 The Bible describes having intercourse as getting to “know” your spouse.

 1st interpretation given

 And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you.  (Genesis 40:8)


J

 

1st reference to Jesus 

 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  (Genesis 1:26)

 1st jewelry worn

 And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold;  (Genesis 24:22)

 The significance of the earring as the first jewel mentioned in scripture is great. The earring is referred to later as signifying ownership of the master to the slave.

 1st to act as judge

 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.  (Genesis 15:14)

 

K

 

1st kidnapping

 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. (Genesis 14:14)

1st king and kingdom

 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.  (Genesis 10:10)

 1st killing in scripture

(see 1st mention of blood)

 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” (Genesis 3:21)

1st kiss given

 And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son.  (Genesis 27:26)

 The first kiss took place between father and son. Perhaps this first kiss foreshadowed the “kiss of death” of Judas to Jesus thousands of years later. Both kisses involved kisses of deception to fool the one being kissed.

 1st characteristic given of

knowledge

 L

 1st lamp

 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. (Genesis 15;17)

 1st smoke

 1st person to laugh

 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?  (Genesis 17:17)

1st lie of man

(see 1st to be afraid)

 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.  (Genesis 3:10)

 1st lie of Satan

 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:  (Genesis 3:4)

 1st life expectancy given

 And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.  (Genesis 6:3)

 1st “like father like son”

situation

 And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, She is my sister: for he feared to say, She is my wife; lest, said he, the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she was fair to look upon.  (Genesis 26:7)

 1st lion mentioned

 Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?  (Genesis 49:9)

 1st living thing created

 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.  (Genesis 1:11)

1st said to love

 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.  (Genesis 22:2)


M

 

1st to practice magic

 And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.  (Genesis 41:8)

1st man on earth

 

And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit…The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:45,47)

 1st thing made by man

 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. (Genesis 3:7)

 “Fig leaves” are the universal symbol for the covering up of a matter, just as Adam and Eve did with their sin. Thus, the first activity mentioned by scripture that husband and wife did together was sewing clothes, making themselves “aprons” giving us the first article of clothing mentioned.

We don’t wear aprons much anymore, but when we do, we should remember that this was the first clothing, and we should also remember why this clothing was put on.

 1st man to escape death

 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.  (Genesis 5:24)

 1st to walk with God

  • 1st to ascend to heaven
  • 1st foreshadowing of rapture
  • 1st translation

 The first ascension of man to heaven involved also the first time man escaped death and went straight to heaven. Enoch represented firsts of all kinds, for he was also the first man to be said to “walk with God.” His life was prophetic of all believers who will escape death at the time before Christ’s return.

1st marked man

 And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.  (Genesis 4:15)

 1st marriage ceremony

 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.  (Genesis 2:24)

 1st medicine used

 And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.  (Genesis 37:25)

 1st measurements given

 And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.  (Genesis 6:15)

 1st meat-eaters on earth

 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.  (Genesis 9:3)

 1st to meditate

 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming.  (Genesis 24:63)

 1st mercy shown

 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.  (Genesis 19:16)

 1st mention of money

 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which [is] not of thy seed. (Genesis 17:12)

 And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him. (Genesis 17:23)

 The first thing bought in scripture was, surprisingly, not things, but men. Abraham had bought slaves for his house. We thus see that the Bible’s first mention of money had to do with purchasing man himself.

Jesus said he purchased his church.

 1st mention of mountains

 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.  (Genesis 7:20)

 1st thing called mighty (Gen 6:4)

Also: 1st called renowned

 Fleeing to the mountains did not save the heathen in the day of Noah’s flood.

 1st to mourn

 And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her. (Genesis 23:2)

 1st multiple births

 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.  (Genesis 25:24)

 1st murder

(see 1st false religion)

1st musical instruments

mentioned

 And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.  (Genesis 4:21)

N

 

1st name change

 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.  (Genesis 17:5)

 1st name defined

 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.  (Genesis 4:25)

 1st named child

 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction

 1st named person

 THE FIRST BOOK OF MOSES, CALLED GENESIS (Title of Book of Genesis)

1st named place

 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. (Genesis 2:8)

           Eden was not just a garden, but a place. It was the home of Adam and Eve and had a definite geographical location, probably in the Mesopotamian river valley area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. It is ironic that the first named place on earth is also thought of as mythological and non-existent. But to not believe that this place is literal is not to believe what occurred there as well, the fall of man. What we learn from this first named place is that paradise did indeed exist, and it is definitely true that there is a “paradise lost.”

Eden also holds the distinction of being the first and only truly forbidden place on earth, for God placed a flaming sword and a cherubim to guard the tree of life and Eden after banishing Adam and Eve from it. No man will ever find it again until Jesus comes back and possibly restores it again for man’s use. All the myths of the lost city of Atlantis and other such mysteries could have stemmed from this true story.

Why did God have to guard this tree from being eaten after banishing Adam and Eve? The reason is simple: if any man would have eaten from it, he would have eternal life, for it was the “tree of life,” and man broke his privilege of eating it.

1st natural disaster

 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.  (Genesis 7:23)

 1st nightmare

 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.

 1st nudist colony

 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.  (Genesis 2:25)

 1st number reference

 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.  (Genesis 1:9)


O

 

1st oath taken

 And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:  (Genesis 24:3,8)

 1st occupation of man

 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

 1st person to offend

 And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt.  (Genesis 40:1)

 1st to mention being “open-minded”

 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil…And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.  (Genesis 3:5,7)

 


P

 

1st allusion to Pangaea

And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.  (Genesis 10:25)

 1st example of paternal favoritism

Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.  (Genesis 37:3)

 1st peace

And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. (Genesis 15:15)

 1st thing called perfect

These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.  (Genesis 6:9)

 1st plagues inflicted on man

And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram’s wife.  (Genesis 12 :17)

 1st polygamy committed

(see “1st adultery committed”)

 

1st power delegated and

      responsibility given

 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26)

 1st prayers (spoken and alluded to)

 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.  (Genesis 4:26) And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!  (Genesis 17:18)

 The very first characteristic of prayer described by the Bible involves “calling upon the name of the Lord.” This is our first and most important aspect of prayer. Who we call on is who we worship.

 1st priest of God

 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.  (Genesis 14:18)

 1st type of Jesus

  • 1st communion
  • 1st tithes paid

 1st prince (Gen 12:15)

1st prisoner taken

 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.  (Genesis 14:14)

 1st act of procrastination

 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

 

1st promise of Satan

 

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:5)

 

1st prophecy of scripture

 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  (Genesis 1:26)

 1st to be called a prophet (Adam in NT)

 Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.  (Genesis 20:7)

 1st public affection shown

 And it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife.  (Genesis 26:8)

 1st punishment inflicted

 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.  (Genesis 2:17)


Q

 

1st question from God

 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?  (Genesis 3:9)

           “Where art thou?” was God’s first question to man. Man didn’t answer this, and man still can’t answer it sufficiently if he is lost. The reason? Man without God is nowhere, and for man to ask himself where he is only solidifies this in his mind.

This first conversation indicates how God is interested in man’s condition spiritually. It shows how God teaches us with probing questions such as these. It also should show us how man is unable to sufficiently answer them.

 1st question from man

 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?  (Genesis 4:9)

 1st question from Satan

 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?  (Genesis 3:1)


R

 

1st recorded rainfall

 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.  (Genesis 7:11)

 1st rebuke levied

 Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.  (Genesis 31:42)

 1st religious structure built

 And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. (Genesis 8:20)

 The first religious structure built was not a church, a temple, a statue, or a shrine. It was a simple altar of wood to burn a sacrifice offering to God. An altar is a symbol of the truth that death has to be offered to God to appease for sin. Noah’s altar was prophetic, of course, of the death of Jesus himself whose death was necessary for sin to be paid for.

It is quite instructive that God’s first religious building program was not some beautiful structure but a simple altar of fire. It is in these first examples that we should see the great truths of scripture. We will never come to God without first going to that altar of death, the death of our own old man and the death of the God who gave his life on the altar of the cross for our sins. It is a simple altar that shows this great truth, and it is the first thing we should recognize about the Christian religion. It requires the death of the individual’s old nature and the death of God to be saved. There are no other altars man can build but the one that takes care of these two deaths.

 1st person to remember something

 And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged;  (Genesis 8:1)

1st person to repent

 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.  (Genesis 6:6)

 See 1st grief

 1st responsibility given to man

 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26)

 Man’s first responsibility was to “have dominion” over all animals. This act, therefore, was also an instance of the first authority delegated by God. In giving man dominion over the animals, God was giving him the responsibility of delegated authority in overseeing and utilizing the animals in the way man saw fit. In order to take dominion, man would have to kill animals if need be. By this delegation of authority, God told man that man is higher than the animals.

When we impose animal rights on man, we inadvertently take away man’s God-given authority over the animal. Though man doesn’t have a license to abuse animals, he also doesn’t have license to take away from the Christian the freedom to use animals for his purposes, and that could include fur coats, food, leather, etc. Animal rights end where man begins.

 1st type of reproduction mentioned

 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.  (Genesis 1:11)

 1st respect given

(see 1st false religion)

 1st reward offered

 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.  (Genesis 15:1)

 1st rich man

 And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.  (Genesis 13:2)

 1st thing said to rule

 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.  (Genesis 1:18-20)


S

 

1st appearance of Satan

 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?  (Genesis 3:1)

 Satan first manifested himself in the form of a talking serpent, and this “miracle” is often overlooked in its effectiveness to deceive Eve in the Garden. If we saw a talking animal today, we would be astounded and very easily deceived by anything it said just out of sheer marvel. Satan knew this and used this to deceive the woman.

This first appearance of Satan is the first supernatural event that takes place apart from God. Satan makes an animal speak (the serpent). Thus, we see one of Satan’s primary methods of deceiving-through miracles or signs and wonders.

 1st characteristic of Satan

 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?  (Genesis 3:1)

 The first thing that God wanted us to know about Satan is that he is the subtlest creature of all, “more subtle than any beast of the field.” It is his subtlety that defines his chief characteristic and that should be the focus of any real study of him. All his actions have to be filtered through this lense. What this teaches us is that Satan’s deception is not overt or obvious as commonly portrayed. He works on us in the smallest ways, almost imperceptible at times.

Satan actually exhibited three characteristics at the same time-subtlety, disguise, and miracle working powers. What could also be labeled as his first characteristic because it happened at the same time is the fact that he disguises himself. Satan appeared as a serpent, and this disguise was further enhanced by the miraculous power of making it talk like a man.

 didn’t say Eve couldn’t touch it. Whether Eve added to God’s

 1st season mentioned

 1st seduction

 And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.  (Genesis 39:7)

 1st said to see God

 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.  (Genesis 32:20)

 1st not taken seriously

 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.

 Could be the inspiration for the famous fable, “The Boy Who Cryed Wolf.”

 1st servant

(see 1st curse placed by man)

1st sexual assault

 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.  (Genesis 9:22,24)

 Also the first act of sodomy, or homosexuality.

 1st sexual assault of a woman

 And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.  (Genesis 34:2)

1st signs given to man

 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:  (Genesis 1:14)

 1st sin committed by man

 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. (Genesis 3:3)

 How sad it is that the first recorded words of woman are also tragically the first time God’s word is added to and changed. This event is the first recorded sin of mankind, and it is also the first recorded deception of man. The eating of the fruit was the result of this sin. In Eve’s conversation with the serpent, she told the Devil (in serpent form) that she couldn’t touch the fruit; however, God said no such thing. God’s original commandment to Adam says in Genesis 2:16-17: “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

Notice there is no commandment given by God about not “touching” the “forbidden fruit.” Ignoring God words purposely or neglectfully doesn’t matter. How is seemingly insignificant detail significant, you might ask? Well, Eve said if she touched the fruit, she would die. When Eve did touch the fruit and nothing happened, the serpent in all likelihood used that supposed lack of punishment on God’s part to prove God was a liar about killing her. She touched the fruit and didn’t die, right? The problem is that God never told her she would die if she touched it, only if she ate it.

So we see the consequences of adding to God’s words. Because of Eve’s ignorance (willful or not) of what God originally commanded, she became a prime target for deception by the serpent. In this case, it couldn’t have been more serious. Eve’s treatment of God’s commandment and her changing of it was a primary cause for the fall of man. In like manner, it is a primary cause for man to stumble today. It is precisely this changing of God’s words that will cause anyone to first be deceived. Man adds to the word in much the same way and thinks he will suffer no consequences for doing so. Little does he realize that God doesn’t take too kindly to that sort of thing: “Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Proverbs 30:6).

Just in case you don’t recognize the seriousness of this sin, the apostle John reminds us again in some of the last words of the Bible: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:18-19). You and I have no right to change God’s words which are his law. We don’t even have the legal authority to do so, for his words are actual laws, and to change any of his words is actually breaking the law, i.e., corrupting it and changing it.

Man suffers the consequences when he alters God’s words. You would think man would have learned by now that this is not acceptable with God. Some even think they have God’s blessing to change God’s words to more accurately reflect the original words of God. We wouldn’t think for a second about us personally changing the written laws we are under in our government and putting our own interpretations on them, would we? I know we wouldn’t. So why do we treat with less respect the law of God than we do the law of man?

The answer to that lies within man’s evil heart. He doesn’t like to answer to any authority, and the Bible is the authority over all. Because of man’s rebellious nature, he will chip away at God’s authority and whittle away all he deems offensive and contrary to man. The first corruption of the word of God provides insight into many things, mainly, how serious this offense is. It plunged the entire human race into sin. Changing God’s words was the first sin, and it is usually the last one in the life of a sinner.

 1st mention of word “sin”

(see 1st murder)

 1st called a sinner (Gen. 13:13)

 1st slave owner

 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.  (Genesis 17:12)

 1st thing sold by man

 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. (Genesis 25:31)

 st mentioned person sold

into slavery

 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.  (Genesis 37:27)

1st to called “Son of God”

 Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.  (Luke 3:38)

 1st sorrow mentioned

 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.  (Genesis 3:15)

 1st mention of the soul’s destiny

 And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.  (Genesis 35:18)

 1st recorded spiritual condition of man

(not ashamed Gen 2)

1st sport mentioned

 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.  (Genesis 21:20)

1st sprinkler system

 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.  (Genesis 2:6)

1st thing said to stink

 And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I [being] few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.  (Genesis 34:30)

 1st people called strangers

 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; (Genesis 15:13)

 1st threat of suicide

 And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.  (Genesis 30:1)

1st surgery performed

 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;  (Genesis 2:21)

1st surrogate mother

 Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. (Genesis 16:1)  And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. (Genesis 16:3-4)

 (See Laban two wives first under Polygamy)Tragically, the first recorded adulterer in the scriptures is a Christian, and this will be the case with many other sins. The first adulterer, Abraham, did it to “help” his marriage. His wife couldn’t have a baby because she was barren, so Sarah told him he could have a child through his maid; thus, Sarah becomes the first surrogate mother while her husband becomes the first adulterer. It is no different today. If we didn’t have technological advances like in-vitro fertilization and other such things, we might be trying the same thing Abraham did so we could have children. I believe if God closes the womb of a woman from having babies, it is not our place to “play God” and try to have babies with other people and surrogate moms and the like. God closed it for a reason, and we should respect that.

Even though Sarai had given Hagar to be Abram’s mistress, Abraham couldn’t use that as an excuse. He committed adultery plain and simple by sleeping with another woman. We notice that this event caused Sarai to “despise” the maid. Adultery never produces anything but destruction and misery. Thus, we have the first adultery committed in order to do a much greater good-having a baby-yet this is still wrong.

God’s promise to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations included the promise that Abraham’s  descendants would be as many as the “stars in the heavens.” Concerning this promise from God to Abraham, the scripture said Abraham “believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” Yet, when Sarah had gotten up in years and had no children, she doubted that God would keep his promise. It is not recorded that Abraham also doubted, but since his wife did, it’s a good bet that he probably did to, at least a little.

The first barren womb in scripture sets the stage for one of God’s prophetic miracles, that of bringing about a miraculous birth. This, naturally, foreshadows the miracle birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, whose virgin birth was also prophesied in Isaiah 7:14. Barren wombs are no obstacle for God, and when God told Sarah she would conceive at almost a hundred years of age, she laughed at God. Abraham’s reaction was not much better than his wife’s. He didn’t act the way a godly man should have by reproving her for doubting God or telling her to have faith in God to do this miracle.

 1st to swear

 Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son’s son: [but] according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned. And Abraham said, I will swear. (Genesis 21:23-24)


T

 

1st teacher

 And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.  (Genesis 4:22)

1st temptation of man

 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.  (Genesis 3:6)

 1st “thou shalt” in the Bible

 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.  (Genesis 2:17)

 1st tithes paid

(see 1st priest)

 1st tree

 


U


V

 

1st to be called a virgin

 And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up.  (Genesis 24:16)

 1st vision given to man

 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.  (Genesis 15:1)

 1st to vow to God

 nd Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.  (Genesis 28:20-22)


W

 

1st weapons used

 nd when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.  (Genesis 14:14)

 The first weapon used was by Abraham, but the first mentioned weapon was a bow by Esau.

1st weather forecast

 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.  (Genesis 7:4)

1st wedding presents given ?

 And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.  (Genesis 24:53)

 1st person called “wild”

 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.  (Genesis 16:12)

 The first person called “wild” in the scripture was Abraham’s illgetimate son Ishmael, from whom have come all the Arab nations

 1st mention of woman’s monthly period

 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.  (Genesis 18:11)

 1st wood used by man

 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.  (Genesis 6:14)

 1st spoken words of God

 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.  (Genesis 1:3)

 1st words of man

 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.  (Genesis 2:23)

 1st words of woman

 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:  (Genesis 3:2)

 1st world leader

 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.  (Genesis 10:8)

 1st said to worship

 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.  (Genesis 22:5)

 1st wrath of God displayed

 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; (Genesis 19:24)

 1st wrestling match

 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.  (Genesis 32:24)


Y
Z

 

1st zoo

 And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.  (Genesis 6:19)

 

 

 

 

 


September 22nd, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

A

Both can abide in you

The Word:

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

 The Lord:

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7)

 Not only does Jesus abide or dwell in the Christian, his words do as well. A Christian actually has two outside entities living inside him. Jesus said not only that he would be with us, but be in us. This is how we know that we know him, for he says his words will be in us and he will, too.

Notice in the above verse that it says we also abide or dwell in him as well as he in us.  That particular dwelling is dependent on us keeping his commandments as its states above. The believer and Jesus actually live in each other at the same time, we in him and he in us. It is a perfect circle of unity. It is a spiritual knot and an interlocking chain that holds us together through the present and for eternity. It’s a knot that’s tied better than the best Boy Scout could ever hope for, and fortunately for us, it’s a knot that can never be untied.

Are called able

The Lord:

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (2 Corinthians 9:8)

 The Word:

And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. (Acts 20:32)

 How can any of us doubt that God is able to do anything? In Jeremiah 32:17, the Bible states, “there is nothing too hard for thee.” His abilities are infinite, but ours aren’t. Because of that, we don’t even have the ability to perceive all his abilities or knowledge. The word of God is no different. His word is responsible for communicating his grace, our very means of salvation. One reason we can trust his word is because it is able to do what it says it can. When God gives you his word, you can bank your eternal destiny on it. Unlike everyone else, his word is as good as gold; it’s even better than gold.

 

Are called acceptable

 The Lord:

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable unto God by Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5)

 

The Word:

The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth. (Ecclesiastes 12:10)

 

When it says we are “acceptable unto God by Jesus Christ” in the above verse, that very statement tells us that we, apart from Jesus, are not acceptable. God looks on every unbeliever and pronounces him “unacceptable.” Because Jesus is acceptable and he is the acceptable sacrifice, and because we are in him and are judged through him, we are now acceptable. Nothing is acceptable to God unless it is perfect and good. Jesus met both qualifications, and so did his word. Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes called the word of God “acceptable words” because he said they were “upright, even words of truth.”

Conversely, any other words can not be deemed “acceptable” if they are not his. Unfortunately for some, if Jesus and his words are deemed unacceptable, they themselves will conversely be deemed the same by Jesus. Not being accepted by Jesus and his words is definitely unacceptable to the Christian. With all the world trying to win acceptance of others, the only acceptance we have to worry about is Jesus’. Can we accept that?

 

 

Can be said to be according to

  

The Word:

And verily they that are the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: (Hebrews 7:5)

 

 The Lord:

Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: (Romans 15:5)

 We should always ask the question, “According to what?” when information is presented to us as factual. “According to Hoyle” just doesn’t match the thunder of “according to word of the Lord.” “According to” are two of the biggest words we can ever utter. All knowledge derives from something, and its authenticity is really determined by the veracity of its source. What better two sources to have than the man who called himself “The truth” and the book that says all of its words are “true and righteous altogether.”

We must realize that the truthfulness of the existence of Jesus and even his death and resurrection are all said to be “according to the scriptures” in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4: “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” Do we even begin to realize how important the scriptures are when they are the legal record of his resurrection? “According to” definitely takes on eternal significance when you’re basing your eternal life on the words of one man and his book.

Can be acknowledged

 

 The Word:

If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. (1 Corinthians 14:37)

 

The Lord:

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:6)

 

We cannot even call ourselves “spiritual” if we don’t acknowledge that Paul’s writings are the commandments of the Lord according to the above verse. That verse alone eliminates all the world’s religions that don’t acknowledge that and renders them useless. Your spiritual life begins with acknowledging the power of God’s words; just as significant , though, is the opposite fact-that your spiritual life ends if you don’t acknowledge his words.

Just as important is acknowledging Jesus in “all thy ways.” Doing so will direct your paths. You will never be at a loss at which direction your life should go if you are obey the above verse. Acknowledging Jesus in all your ways really means asking yourself if Jesus is taking preeminence in all your decisions and action. Are we consulting him and asking for his blessings in all we do, or are we going in our own strength? Our pride doesn’t want to acknowledge him in all our ways because we like to take credit for things ourselves. Everything we have, all our gifts and talents, come straight from him, so why should we get caught up in how good we are?

Can cause afflictions

 

 The Word:

Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; (2 Timothy 1:8)

 

The Lord:

Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: (Colossians 1:24)

 Not many like to talk about suffering affliction for God and his words, but to the average Christian, these should be commonplace. It is when we are not suffering afflictions that we should be concerned. That is when we should examine ourselves to see whether we be in the faith or not. Believing God’s words causes many across the world to suffer imprisonment and even death. We in America are still fortunate enough to escape this for the most part. We in America, though, still get persecuted for using the word of God if we try to use it in public places.

Can be afraid of each

  

The Word:

My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments. (Psalm 119:120)

 

The Lord:

And David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of God home to me? (1 Chronicles 13:12)

 Should you be afraid of God. How about being afraid of his words? Not many people, or Christians for that matter, will tell you that you ought to be afraid of God or his words; on the contrary, they will tell you that being afraid is not healthy for you to practice. David, the man after God’s own heart, said he was “afraid of thy judgments” and he also said he “was afraid of God.”

David knew the power of God, his words, and their destructive capabilities to the wicked and even to the righteous. Even though David as a child of God wasn’t afraid of being condemned to hell, he nonetheless was afraid of the power and majesty of God. It’s akin to the feeling you might get if you stood along side a blue whale. Its sheer size and power overwhelm you with fear, but at the same time, the whale could be your friend.

 

Can be against you

  

The Word:

Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the Lord is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant. (Zephaniah 2:5)

 

The Lord:

Behold, I am against thee, O inhabitant of the valley, and rock of the plain, saith the Lord; which say, Who shall come down against us? or who shall enter into our habitations? (Jeremiah 21:13)

 

Boy, if there’s anything or anybody you want on your side, you would think it would be God and the Bible. I mean, who wants to be the enemy of God? If you know he’s almighty and still don’t care if he’s against you, you’re a fool. You are, as they say, signing your own death certificate. If ever you were fighting a losing battle, it is the one you fight against God. You can even profess not to be against God but be against his words and you will still have God against you. He doesn’t contradict himself by his words.

Since no one can win against God, if he is on your side, you have nothing to fear. There is a New Testament scripture in Romans 8:31 that confirms this: “If God be for us, who can be against us? As long as you have God, you outnumber your enemy.

Are called Amen

 

The Word:

For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. (2 Corinthians 1:20)

 

The Lord:

And unto the angel of the church of Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; (Revelation 3:14)

 

We usually hear the term “Amen” when someone agrees wholeheartedly with a matter and they put their “stamp of approval” on it by saying this word. The Bible uses the term in the same way. What is interesting is that his words and even God himself are called “Amen.” “All the promises of God” are “Amen” it says. In other words, all his promises (his words) are sure and accurate.

In the same vein, Jesus is called the “Amen” because he is the “faithful and true witness.” He and his words can’t lie. That fact should get a big “Amen brother.”

 

Can be another of each

 

 The Word:

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: (Galatians 1:6)

 

The Lord:

For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. (2 Corinthians 11:4)

 

Just as there is an authentic gospel and an authentic Jesus, so there are false ones, or “another gospel” and “another Jesus.” One way to find out what is working in the business world is to look at all the copycat products and companies. The company or product that is being copied is usually the one that is doing the best or is the leader in the industry. Truth works the same way. The religion where you have the greatest number of variants and offshoots is a good indication of the fact that that particular religion is the one true religion.

Christianity is a prime example. It has hundreds, maybe even thousands, of denominations and sects. This fact alone doesn’t prove it’s the right religion, but it is evidence that you have found truth that is worth mimicking by the Devil. You always hear of some people claiming that they are the Messiah, or they are Jesus, but you rarely hear someone claiming he is Buddha or Mohammed or some other revered figure from another religion. It is almost always Jesus that is copied, and that is no accident. Satan doesn’t waste time copying something that is not a threat to his existence.

The word of God works the same way. The Bible has so many variants even within English that you would suspect that it is being mimicked for a reason. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 2:17 that “we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God.” Notice he said that “many” corrupt the word of God, so we can expect that many versions will be out there having some truth, but not all of it. There’s always another route to take for falsehood, but the truth is a “narrow way.” Instead of being discouraged at the multitude of denominations and bibles, rejoice in the fact that there is truth in the first place that happens to be copied.

 

Appears in a vision

  

The Word:

¶ Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his goodness, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, and in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. (2 Chronicles 32:32)

 The Lord:

 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. (Numbers 12:6)

 

God and his words manifest themselves in many ways in the Old Testament, one of which is through visions. Isaiah the prophet got a lot of his words through visions from God as it said in the above passage “they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet.” God himself also said he would “make myself known unto him in a vision.”

The problem with visions is that a lot of false prophets claim to have them. God spoke of these people in Jeremiah 14:14 and 23:16: “they prophesy unto you a false vision” and “they speak a vision of their own heart.”

Because the word of God was not prevalent in the patriarchal times, God appeared more in visions as it says in 1 Samuel 3:1: _______Because we have the complete word of God, there is not as much need for God to appear in visions to communicate with us. Usually the people that are in need of constantly seeing God in a vision are the same people who have a low opinion of scripture. The Bible is good, but not good enough for them. One of the main reasons we have the Bible is to verify and validate things like visions and whether they align with the teachings from the word of God. You can talk about having dreams and visions from God all day long, but if they don’t line up with the word, you are just “seeing things.”

Are called the apple of the eye

  

The Word:

Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. (Proverbs 7:2)

 

The Lord:

Keep me as the apple of the eye (Psalm 17:8)

 

As mentioned in my previous book, Just Say the Word!, the phrase “apple of my eye” is used to describe something that is precious and dear to an individual. God told Solomon in the Proverbs that the word of God should be “the apple of thine eye.” How many of us say that his words are that to us? We usually will call our children “the apple of our eye,” but not God or his words, and that is a shame.

The Bible is the only sacred object God has given us on this earth. It is God speaking from heaven, and should be treated with the same reverence as if we ourselves went up to the mountain and brought it down from God like Moses did with the Ten Commandments. Like the Bible, Jesus should also be the “apple of thine eye,” and when we hear his name, it should arouse the same and greater reaction we have when someone talks about our children. Next time you introduce your son as the apple of your eye, introduce them also to the Bible as the same.

Can approve

 

 The Word:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. ((2 Timothy 2:15)

 The Lord:


Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: (Acts 2:22)

 God has an approval system set up, and it involves two things: the word of God and Jesus Christ. If you want to know what God has approved, it is those two things. If you want God to approve you, it is only those two things that can grant it to you. You have to believe in Jesus and his words to get his approval, and that qualifies you for untold joy and benefits.  In the above scripture, you get approval from the word by “rightly dividing the word of truth.” Jesus approved himself through his sinless life and his miraculous resurrection as it says above: “Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs.”

We have countless programs on earth which grant approvals to men to do various things. We know that we will not be recognized as legitimate if we steer from the course it sets up to get that approval. God has done the same thing with his words and with his Son. He has given us the means necessary to merit his approval but at the same time declared that nothing else will satisfy him. Who and what you get your “stamp of approval” from is vital and will determine your eternal destiny. Jesus and his words are the only approval mechanisms you will ever need.

Gives much assurance

  

The Word:

But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:14-15)

 The Lord: (Acts 17:31)

 One of the greatest needs of humans is for assurance. We want assurance in many things, yet we find that we can not be assured of much. We might say such and such “assured me” he would do such and such, but in the end these promises fade and are unreliable a lot of the time. What we need is 100% assurance, and that is what God offers us through Jesus and his words. We sing the hymn “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine” because that is exactly what he is-assurance. “Assurance” means someone or something is promising we can be sure, and Jesus and his words, of course, are sure things (see “sure”). If we can’t be sure with him, he was a liar, and we are without hope.

The same goes for the word of God. Paul told Timothy in the above reference to continue learning from the holy scriptures because Timothy had been assured by them. There is nothing like being absolutely sure about a matter, and God doesn’t want us wondering about the most important things in our lives such as eternal life and other spiritual matters. Man likes to get his assurance from just about anything but the very places where he can really be sure about anything-the word of God and Jesus Christ.

 

Can be astonished at

  

The Word:

And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power. (Luke 4:32)

 

The Lord:

But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished. (Acts 12:16)

 

Very few things in life could be considered “astonishing,” and it’s probably not very often that you would hear the word of God being referred to as such, but it is. When Jesus quoted the word of God to the multitudes, they “were astonished at his doctrine.” They were astonished because the word of God contains doctrine or teachings that people like Jesus can expound on in such a manner that it might be totally overlooked in the word otherwise. The Bible is astonishing for the very way it contains powerful truth in  seemingly few words. For example, when they asked Jesus whether there was a resurrection, he appealed to the word of God’s usage of a single verb tense to prove one of the greatest miracles of all time-the resurrection of mankind. He quoted  the Old Testament as saying: “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob”, not “was” the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The present tense of “am” proved that these men were still living, and thus were not dead and gone, but resurrected.

Jesus, too, did some pretty astonishing things. Walking on water and feeding five thousand people with five loaves are things no man had ever done. “Never man spake like this man” the Bible said. Jesus looked people in the eye and told them in John 2:19-21 that if they killed him, he would raise his own body from the dead: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. But he spake of the temple of his body.” What could be more astonishing and indicative of the power of Jesus than a statement like that? Jesus has to rank as the most astonishing man to ever live.

 

need to be attended to

 

 The Word:

¶ My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. (Proverbs 4:20)

 

The Lord:

And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction. (1 Corinthians 7:35)

 

With all the attention the world gives to so many different things, the Bible declares that attention should be given to its own words as Solomon told his son by saying “attend to my words.” It’s amazing how much everyone seems to get attention deficit syndrome when it comes to the attending, or paying attention to the Bible. Our ears have to be “inclined” unto his sayings it says. God demands our attention because he and his words deserve it.

The godly man knows that he needs to attend to his God. Attending to God should be as much a  part of our lives as we give to attending to other things that require out attention on a daily basis. It would probably boggle our minds if we actually counted how much time and attention we give to things everyday. What ends up happening for many of us is that we try to squeeze God into the time that is left over. God deserves more than leftovers, he deserves to be on our daily calendar with a big space blocked out. You better believe God takes “attendance” of our attendance to him, and he doesn’t like being counted absent.

Has authority

  

The Word:

And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. (Matthew 7:28-9)

 

The Lord:

And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. (John 5:27)

 

When it said Jesus taught them as one “having authority,” the authority he had was based on the Old Testament scriptures he quoted. Jesus based a part of his authority on the authority of the Bible. Because that is so, as you might guess, as the authority of the Bible is questioned, so goes the authority of Jesus. Satan knows that quite well, and so his attack is constantly on the Bible’s truthfulness and accuracy. Because the Bible is “perfect” (see “perfect”), Jesus’ own perfection cannot be doubted. The opposite is also the case. Because Jesus is perfect, how could the words he spoke be otherwise. They would have to be perfect as well.

Jesus not only derived authority from the word, he also was given it by the Father, as it states above, he was “given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of Man.” Jesus could claim authority from the Father because he was “God manifest in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16). He was the “image of the invisible God” and was himself “the everlasting Father” (Isaiah 9:6). As he told his disciples in his parting words to them on earth, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth (Matthew 28:19). God in human flesh did not have the authority until it was given to him. Now that all authority is given to him, he is the supreme commander of the universe. He and his words are the final authority on any matter, and any authority that is under them answers to them of course.

 

Are called beautiful

 

The Word:

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time:”

(Ecclesiastes 3:11)

 

The Lord:


One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)

 

Men aren’t usually referred to as “beautiful,” but in Jesus’ case, he is the exception. We probably don’t think in terms of God being beautiful, but when we see Jesus in heaven, that is what we will behold-his beauty. His beauty will never fade either, and we will be just as enthralled by it after a million years as we were the first day. How could looking in the face of God ever get boring? How could it ever be not beautiful? His beauty will overwhelm us with splendor, and we will never tire of it. The most beautiful person of all time will be a man-Jesus Christ.

His word has its own beauty as well. What other book has captured the hearts of its followers like this one? The beauty of its simplicity, the beauty of its uniqueness, the beauty of its rhythm and Old English, the beauty of its familiarity and unknown wisdom, and finally, the beauty of its effect on our lives. It surely is “a beautiful thing.”

Can beget us

  

The Word:

Of his own will beget he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (James 1:18)

 

The Lord:

We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. (1 John 5:18)

 

The importance of the word of God can never be underestimated, and one prime example is its necessity in the new birth of a believer. A Christian is not born again without the word of God, for the scriptures say he “beget he us with the word of truth.” As it is plainly stated, we are begotten, or born, by the word of God. The book has the power to bring about new life through new birth. Your eternal life is connected with the power of God’s words, so to disparage any of his words is to cast doubt on your own salvation, for your salvation hinges on the truthfulness of those very words. In other words, your salvation is only as good as the source it is based on. As the world itself says, “You better get your sources right.” What better source could there be for accuracy and reliability than the book that God himself wrote.

The new birth is another example of the interconnectedness of God and his words. Just as the Bible is the instrument of the new birth, so also can God cause new birth himself. We are “begotten of God,” and the only way to b e a child is for the father to beget it. It is no different in the spiritual case. You cannot claim to be his child if you can’t pinpoint if you were even begotten or born again. Being born from God is not optional to be in his family. His spirit and his words work together to bring about the new birth, and you can no more become his child through your self-efforts than a baby can be born through his efforts. When a baby is born, there is a considerable amount of bloodshed and pain. It took the same blood and pain of Jesus to bring about your birth if you’re a Christian.

Can be beheaded for

  

The Word:

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4)

 

The Lord:

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.  (Revelation 20:4)

 

A glimpse over the history of the martyrs of the Christian church will show that almost all suffered untold persecutions, burnings, and beheadings for only two things: belief in Jesus Christ and his written words. The Bible specifically mentions that multitudes of souls in heaven had their heads chopped off for their personal belief in Jesus and his words. Their heads were not removed for belief in the generic “God,” or the ambiguous “bible,” but for Jesus and his words.

These two things are always the stumblingblocks for society, and if you suffer persecution today, it will come from a belief in those two sources most of the time. If you have a fear of man, you can always talk about “God,” for that can mean anything to anyone. When you mention “Jesus,” there is no ambiguity there. You can talk about bibles all day long, but unless you specify which one, you’re not very effectual. Mention Jesus and a King James bible and watch the sparks fly. Everyone’s tolerance will suddenly become intolerant. The reason is that “God” as a generic term is a threat to no one. The Bible as a generic term is the same way. How can you be accountable to either if each one is the one of your choice. You don’t pick a God or a bible like you do a new shirt. God’s one size does fit all, though.

Can believe in both

 

 The Word:

Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments. (Psalm 119:66)

 

The Lord:

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:31)

 

What is utterly amazing about many so-called Christians is the fact that you will hear them say they believe in Jesus but when it comes to believing in his words, they pick and choose to their liking. God has so tied the two together that it is impossible to believe in one without the other. If you believe in Jesus Christ, you will believe his words as he himself said: “

Are called better

  

The Word:

By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. (Hebrews 7:22)

 

The Lord:

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

Can make you bitter

  

The Word:

And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. (Revelation 10:10)

 

The Lord:

He will not suffer me to take my breath, but filleth me with bitterness. (Job 9:18)

Can be blasphemed

  

The Word:

To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. (Titus 1:5)

 

The Lord:

And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds. (Revelation 16:11)

Can bless you

  

The Word:

And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. (Romans 15:29)

 

The Lord:

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: (Numbers 6:24)

Can blind you because of rejection

  

The Word:

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. (2 Corinthians 4:4)

 

The Lord:

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. (John 12:40)

Can be bold in each

 

 The Word:


And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, (Acts 4:29)

 

The Lord:

Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient, (Philemon 8)

Has bonds

  

The Word

Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: (Philemon 13)

 

The Lord:

So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other place; (Phillipians 1:13)

Can break you

  

The Word:

 

Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? (Jeremiah 23:29)

 

The Lord:

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?…And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. (Matthew 21:42,44)

Both are called broad

  

The Word:

I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad. (Psalm 119:96)

 

The Lord:

Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea. (Job 11:7-9)

Can’t be broken

  

The Word:

If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; (John 10:35)

 

The Lord:


He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. (Psalm 34:20)

Are called a buckler

  

The Word:

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

 

The Lord:

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.  (Psalm 18:2)

 

 

Can build

 

 

The Word:

And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. (Acts 20:32)

 

The Lord:

 

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. (Psalm 127:1)

Can have burdens

  

The Word:

THE burden of the word of the Lord in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be the rest thereof: when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the Lord. (Zechariah 9:1)

 

The Lord:

And the burden of the Lord shall ye mention no more: for every man’s word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts our God. (Jeremiah 23:36)

Can buy both

 

 The Word:

Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. (Proverbs 23:23)

 

The Lord:

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. (Revelation 3:18)

 

C

  

Can call you

  

The Word:

Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 2:14)

 

The Lord:

For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (Acts 2:39)

Can be cast down

  

The Word:

Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. (Psalm 50:17)

 

The Lord:

They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah. (Psalm 62:4)

Can cast out spirits

 

 The Word:

¶ When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: (Matthew 8:16)

 

The Lord:

And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him. (Mark 1:34)

Can be changed into a lie

  

The Word:

Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. (Romans 1:25)

 

The Lord:

And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. (Romans 1:23)

Can be chosen

 

 The Word:

Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts.  (Psalm119:173)

 

The Lord:


And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen the Lord, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses.  (Joshua 24:22)

Can cleanse

 

 The Word:

Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to his word. (Psalm 119:9)

The Lord:

And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. (Jeremiah 33:8)

Can be cleaved to

  

The Word:

Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. (Romans 12:9)

 

The Lord:

But cleave unto the Lord your God, as ye have done unto this day. (Joshua 23:8)

Can come short of

  

The Word:

LET us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. (Hebrews 4:1)

 

The Lord:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23)

Can come to you

  

The Word:

AFTER these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. (Genesis 15:1)

 

The Lord:

And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. (Genesis 11:5)

Can comfort

 

The Word:

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

 

The Lord:


Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. (Isaiah 49:13)

Can conclude

The Word:

But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. (Galatians 3:22)

 

The Lord:

For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. (Romans 11:32)

Can condemn

  

The Word:

But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly 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. (2 Corinthians 3:7-9)

 

The Lord:

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. (John 3:18)

Can be consented to

  

The Word:

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; (1 Timothy 6:3)

 

The Lord:

For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent. (Zephaniah 3:9)

Can be considered

  

The Word:

The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies. (Psalm 119:95)

 

The Lord:


For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. (Hebrews 12:3)

Causes contention

  

The Word:

They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them. (Proverbs 28:4)

 

The Lord:

Will ye accept his person? will ye contend for God? (Job 13:8)

Can be contrary to

  

The Word:

Saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law. (Acts 18:13)

 

The Lord:

And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; (Leviticus 26:23)

Can convert the soul

  

The Word:

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. (Psalm 19:7)

The Lord:

Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. (Psalm 51:13)

Can correct you

 

 The Word:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2 Timothy 3:16)

 

The Lord:

For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. (Proverbs 3:12)

Can be corrupted

 

 The Word:

For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:17)

 

The Lord:


But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3)

Are called counsellors

  

The Word:

Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors. (Psalm 119:24)

 

The Lord:

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

Can create the heavens

 

 The Word:

By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. (Psalm 33:6)

 

The Lord:

IN the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

Can cry after

  

The Word:

Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; (Proverbs 2:3)

 

The Lord:

Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. (Psalm 86:3)

Can curse

  

The Word:

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: (Galatians 3:13)

 

The Lord:

If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. (Malachi 2:2)

Can be darkened

  

The Word:

Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? (Job 38:2)

 

The Lord:

And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst….¶ But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. (Luke 23:45; Malachi 4:2)

 

 Can be dead to

 The Word:

Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. (Romans 7:4)

 

The Lord:

Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Colossians2:20)

Can be declared

 

 The Word:

But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? (Psalm 50:16)

 

The Lord:

To declare the name of the Lord in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem; (Psalm 102:21)

Are called deep

  

The Word:

Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O Lord, thou preservest man and beast. (Psalm 36:6)

 

The Lord:

O Lord, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. (Psalm 92:5)

 

Can cause delight in

  

The Word:

I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will  not forget thy word. (Psalm 119:16)

 

The Lord:

Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (Psalm 37:4)

Can cause delusion

  

The Word:

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11)

 

The Lord:

I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not. (Isaiah 66:4)

Can be departed from

  

The Word:

I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. (Psalm 119:102)

 

The Lord:

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:23)

Can be despised

  

The Word:

Because he hath despised the word of the Lord, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him. (Numbers 15:31)

 

The Lord:

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and aquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53:3)

Can be destitute of

  

The Word:

Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. (1 Timothy 6:5)

The Lord:


But mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul desititute. (Psalm 141:8)

 

Can cause destruction

 

 The Word:

As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:16)

 

The Lord:

Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. (Joel 1:15)

Can determine

  

The Word:

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

 

The Lord:

¶ 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 my indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. (Zephaniah 3:8)

 

Can devour people

  

The Word:

Wherefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them. (Jeremiah5:14)

 

The Lord:

I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once. (Isaiah 42:14)

Can be devoured

 

 The Word:

And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: … When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. (Matthew 13:4, 19)

 

The Lord:


And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child  as soon as it was born. (Revelation 12:4)

 

Can cause diligence towards

 

 

The Word:

Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. (Psalm 119:4)

 

The Lord:

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.  (Hebrews 11:6)

Can direct

  

The Word:

If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct. (Ecclesiastes 10:10)

 

The Lord:

A man’s heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

Can be disobeyed

  

The Lord:

And when the prophet that bought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the Lord: therefore the Lord hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake unto him. (1 Kings 13:26)

 

The Lord:

They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. (Titus 1:16)

Can be dispensed

  

The Word:

For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. (1 Corinthians 10:17)

 

The Lord:

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. (Colossians 1:25)

Can be disregarded

  

The Word:

And he that regarded not the word of the Lord left his servants and his cattle in the field. (Exodus 9:21)

 

The Lord:

Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. (Daniel 11:37)

Has dominion over you

 

 The Word:

KNOW ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? (Romans 7:1)

 

The Lord:

Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: (Psalm 8:6)

Drops like showers

  

The Word:

My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: (Deuteronomy 32:2)

 

The Lord:

He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. (Psalm 72:6)

e

 

 Can be eaten

The Word:

Thy words were found, and I did eat them: and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts. (Jeremiah 15:16)

 

The Lord:

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. (John 6:51)

Can be or can embrace

  

The Word:

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (Hebrews 11:13)

 

The Lord:

His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me. (Song of Solomon 2:6)

Can encourage

  

The Word:

Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of the Lord. (2 Chronicles 31:4)

 

The Lord:

 

And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. (1 Samuel 30:6)

Can engraft

  

The Word:

Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

 

The Lord:

And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. (Romans 11:23)

Can enlighten

 

 The Word:

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, (Hebrews 6:4-5)

 

The Lord:

For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. (Psalm 18:28)

 

Can enter Into you

  

The Word:

The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. (Psalm 119:130)

 

The Lord:

And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. (Revelation 11:11)

Can be erred from

  

The Word:

Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments. (Psalm 119:21)

 

The Lord:

For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the Lord, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. (Isaiah 32:6)

Can be esteemed

  

The Word:

Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way. (Psalm 119:128)

The Lord:

¶ But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.

Are called eternal

  

The Word:

Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. (John 6:68)

 

The Lord:

The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them. (Deuteronomy 33:27)

Are called everlasting

 

 The Word:

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

 

The Lord:

¶ And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God. (Genesis 21:33)

 

Can be exalted

 

 The Word:


Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.

 

The Lord:

Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy. (Psalm 99:9)

Can help us be an example

  

The Word:

Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith,Lin purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)

 

The Lord:

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (2 Peter 2:21)

Are called exceeding great

  

The Word:

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:4)

 

The Lord:

AFTER these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. (Genesis 15:1)

Are called excellent

 

 The Word:

Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, (Proverbs 22:20)

 

The Lord:

O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. (Psalm 8:1)


f

 

 

doesn’t fade away

 

 The Word:

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. (Isaiah 40:8)

 

The Lord:

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, (1 Peter 1:4)

Can cause body to fail

  

The Word:

Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me? (Psalm 119:82)

 

The Lord:

I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried:

mine eyes fail while I wait for my God. (Psalm 69:3)

Can not fail

  

The Word:

Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant. (1 Kings 8:56)

 

The Lord:

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. (Lamentations 3:22)

Produces faith

  

The Word:

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

 

The Lord:

And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. (Luke 17:5)

 

Are called faithful

  

The Word:

All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me. (Psalm 119:86)

 

The Lord:

But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. (2 Thessalonians 3:3)

Can be far from

 

 The Word:

They draw nigh that follow after mischief: they are far from thy law. (Psalm 119:150)

 

The Lord:

The Lord is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous. (Proverbs 15:29)

Can be feared

  

The Word:

He that feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses: (Exodus 9:20)

 

The Lord:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)

 

Can cause to find favor

  

The Word:

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. (Proverbs 3:3-4)

 

The Lord:

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. (Luke 1:30)

Are called fire

  

The Word:

And he said, the Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them. (Deuteronomy 33:2)

 

The Lord:

For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:29)

Can have form

  

The Word:

Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 1:13)

The Lord:

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (Phillipians 2:5-6)

Both forsee

 

 The Word:

And the scripture, forseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. (Galatians 3:8)

 

The Lord:

A prudent man forseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. (Proverbs 22:3)

Have to be found

  

The Word:

¶ My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings….For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. (Proverbs 4:20,22)

 

Jer. 15:16 (replace above)

 

The Lord:

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)

Are called a foundation

  

The Word:

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (2 Timothy 2:19)

 

The Lord:

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. (Isaiah 28:16)

 

 Are called the fountain of life

The Word:

The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. (Proverbs 13:14)

 

The Lord:

For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. (Psalm 36:9)

Can make you free

 

 The Word:

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)

 

The Lord:

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (John 8:36)

 

 

Can furnish you

  

The Word:

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. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

 

The Lord:

Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? (Psalm 78:19)

  
G

 

Can be glorified

  

The Word:

And when the Gentiles heard this, they were gland, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. (Acts 13:48)

 

The Lord:

That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:12)

Are called good

 

 The Word:

Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good. (Psalm 119:39)

 

The Lord:

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (Psalm 100:5)

Have grace

 

 The Word:

¶ My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. (Proverbs 3:21-2)

 

The Lord:

THOU therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 2:1)

Can grow

  

The Word:

¶ But the word of God grew and multiplied. (Acts 12:24)

 

The Lord:

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

 

Can cause to grow

 

The Word:

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. (1 Peter 2:2)

 

The Lord:

Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains. (Psalm 147:7-8)


H

 

 

 

Can be handled

 

 The Word:

But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. (2 Corinthians 4:2)

 

The Lord:

Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. (Luke 24:39)

Can make one happy

  

The Word:

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (Proverbs 29:18)

 

The Lord:

Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord. (Psalm 145:15)

Are called hard

 

 The Word:

Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? (John 6:60)

 

The Lord:

Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: (Matthew 25:24)

Can be hard to understand

  

The Word:

As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:16)

 

The Lord:

And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken. (Luke 18:34)

Can cause one to hate evil

 

 The Word:


Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. (Psalm 119:104)

 

The Lord:

Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. (Psalm 97:10)

Are hated

  

The Word:

For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: (Proverbs 1:29)

 

The Lord:

If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. (John 15:24)

Can heal us

  

The Word:

He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. (Psalm 107:20)

 

The Lord:

 

So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children. (Genesis 20:18)

Are called health

  

The Word:

My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health unto all their flesh. (Proverbs 4:20-22)

 

The Lord:

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. (Psalm 42:11)

  From heaven

The Word:

Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth? (Job 38:33)

 

The Lord:

For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. (John 6:38)

 

Can help

 

 The Word:

Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. (Psalm 119:175)

 

The Lord:

My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:2)

Are called a heritage

 

 The Word:

Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart. (Psalm 119:111)

 

The Lord:

The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. (Psalm 15:5)

Can be hidden

  

The Word:

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: (2 Corinthians 4:3)

 

The Lord:

Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour. (Isaiah 45:15)

 

Called hidden treasures

 

 The Word:

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; (Proverbs 2:3-4)

 

The Lord:

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. (Colossians 2:2-3)

Can be held fast

  

The Word:

Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 1:13)

 

The Lord:

I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. (Revelation 2:13)

Are called holy

 

The Word:

Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. (Romans 7:12)

 

The Lord:

And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine. (Leviticus 20:26)

Can be hoped in

  

The Word:

And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments. (Psalm 119:43)

 

The Lord:

Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. (1 Peter 1:21)

 


I

 

 

Has immortality

  

The Word:

But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: (2 Timothy 1:10)

 

The Lord:

Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:16)

Are called immutable

  

The Word:

Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: (Hebrews 6:17)

 

The Lord:

That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: (Hebrews 6:18)

Can incline one’s heart towards

  

The Word:

Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. (Psalm 119:36)

 

The Lord:

Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the Lord God of Israel. (Joshua 24:23)

 

Are called incomparable

 

 The Word:

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding….She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. (Proverbs 3:13,15)

 

The Lord:

For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord? (Psalm 89:6)

Can be increased

  

The Word:

And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:7)

 

The Lord:

He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30)

Can be made ineffectual

  

The Word:

Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. (Mark 7:13)

The Lord:

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. (1 Corinthians 1:17)

Can be inquired into

  

The Word:

And he said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Forasmuch as thou hast sent messengers to inquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron, is it not because there is no God in Israel to inquire of his word? therefore thou shalt not come down off that bed which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die. (2 Kings 1: 16)

 

The Lord:

AND it came to pass after this, that David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the Lord said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron. (2 Samuel 2:1)

Can instruct

  

The Word:

And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; (Romans 2:18)

 

The Lord:

 

¶ For the Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, (Isaiah 8:11)

 

J

 

 

Are called the joy of the heart

 

 The Word:

Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts. (Jeremiah 15:16)

 

The Lord:

The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning. (Lamentations 5:15)

Can judge

 

 The Word:

Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? (John 7:51)

 

The Lord:

So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth. (Psalm 58:11)

 

 Are called just

 The Word:

Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. (Romans 7:12)

 

The Lord:

Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. (Isaiah 45:21)

Can justify

  

The Word:

(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. (Romans 2:13)

 

The Lord:

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. (Romans 8:33)

 

K

  

Can kill you

 The Word:

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. (2 Corinthians 3:6)

 

The Lord:

The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. (1 Samuel 2:6)

Can be known

 The Word:

Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies. (Psalm 119:79)

 

The Lord:

I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. (1 John 2:13)

 

L

 

 Can labor in

  

The Word:

Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. (1 Timothy 5:17)

 

The Lord:

Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord. (Romans 16:12)

 Are called lamps

The Word:

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)

 

The Lord:

For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness. (2 Samuel 22:29)

Can lead us

  

The Word:

¶ My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:…When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. (Proverbs 6:20,22)

 

The Lord:

As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the Lord shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity: but peace shall be upon Israel. (Psalm 125:5)

 

 Can be learned of

 The Word:

Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.  (Psalm 119:73)

 

The Lord:

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  (Matthew 11:29)

Can be left

 The Word:

Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. (Acts 6:2)

 

The Lord:

Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. (Revelation 2:4)

Can lengthen your days

  

The Word:

MY son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add unto thee. (Proverbs 3:1-2)

 

The Lord:

And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. (1 Kings 3:14)

Can produce liberty

 

  The Word:


And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. (Psalm 119:45)

 

The Lord:

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (2 Corinthians 3:17)

Can not lie

  

The Word:

I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. (1 John 2:21)

 

The Lord:

In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; (Titus 1:2)

Are called life

 

 The Word:

Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. (Phillipians 2:16)

 

The Lord:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

Can have hands lifted towards them

  

The Word:

My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes. (Psalm 119:48)

 

The Lord:

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord. (Psalm 134:2)

Lives

  

The Word:

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

 

The Lord:

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

Can be longed for

 

 The Word:


My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times. (Psalm 119:20)

 

The Lord:

O GOD, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; (Psalm 63:1)

Can be loved

  

The Word:

And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. (Psalm 119:47)

 

The Lord:

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. (Mark 12:30)

M

  

Made for sinners

 

 The Word:

Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, (1 Timothy 1:9)

 

The Lord:

But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (Galatians 4:4-5)

 

 

Can be magnified

  

The Word:

I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. (Psalm 138:2)

 

The Lord:

Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be gland in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified. (Psalm 70:4)

Both make the Son

  

The Word:

For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore. (Hebrews 7:28)

 

The Lord:


Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (Hebrews 1:4)

Can be manifested

  

The Word:

But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour; (Titus 1:3)

 

The Lord:

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (1 Timothy 3:16)

Are called meat

  

The Word:

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. (Hebrews 5:13-14)

 

The Lord:

For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. (John 6:55)

Can be meditated on

 

 The Word:

I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. (Psalm 119:15)

 

The Lord:

My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord. (Psalm 104:34)

Can be mighty in

 

 The Word:

¶ And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. (Acts 18:24)

 

The Lord:

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) (2 Corinthians 10:4)

Are called milk

  

The Word:

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (1 Peter 2:2)

 

The Lord:

HO, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (Isaiah 55:1)

 

 Can be mindful of

The Word:

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

 

The Lord:

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: (Isaiah 17:10)

 

N

  

Are called nails

  

The Word:

The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. (Ecclesiastes 12:11)

 

The Lord:

And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage. (Ezra 9:8)

Are called more necessary than food

  

The Word:

Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. (Job 23:12)

 

The Lord:

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:31-3)

Are called new

 

 The Word:

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (John 13:34)

 

The Lord:

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

Are called nigh

  

The Word:

But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. (Deuteronomy 30:14)

 

The Lord:

For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for? (Deuteronomy 4:7)

Can make us noble

 

 

The Word:

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:11)

 

The Lord:

Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me? (Jeremiah 2:21)

Can nourish

 

 The Word:

If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. (1 Timothy 4:6)

 

The Lord:

¶ Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. (Isaiah 1:2)

 

O

  

Can offend

  

The Word:


Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. (Matthew 13:21)

 

The Lord:

Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. (Matthew 26:31)

Are called old

  

The Word:

Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. (1 John 2:7)

 

The Lord:

For God is my king of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth. (Psalm 74:12)

Can be ordained

  

The Word:

And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. (Romans 7:10)

The Lord:

Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. (Acts 17:31)

 

Can help overcome

 

 The Word:

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

 

The Lord:

These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

 

P

 

Can be panted after

 

 The Word:

I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments. (Psalm 119:131)

 

The Lord:

AS the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. (Psalm 42:1)

Can give a path to go on

  

The Word:

Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. (Psalm 119:35)

 

The Lord:

Get ye out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. (Isaiah 30:11)

teaches patience

 

 The Word:

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

 

The Lord:

Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: (Romans 15:5)

Can give peace

  

The Word:

Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (Psalm 119:165)

 

The Lord:

The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace. (Psalm 29:11)

Can be perceived

  

The Word:

For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it? (Jeremiah 23:18)

 

The Lord:

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. ((1 John 3:16)

Are called perfect

 

 The Word:

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. (Psalm 19:7)

 

The Lord:

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)

Can cause persecution

  

The Word:

Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. (Matthew 13:21)

 

The Lord:

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)

Can persuade

 

 The Word:

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (Hebrews 11:13)

 

The Lord:

I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. (Romans 14:14)

Can be perverted

 

 The Word:

And the burden of the Lord shall ye mention no more: for every man’s word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts our God. (Jeremiah 23:36)

The Lord:

And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? (Acts 13:10)

Can pierce

 

 The Word:

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged 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. (Hebrews 4:12)

 

The Lord:

God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows. (Numbers 24:8)

Can speak plainly

  

The Word:

And thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this law very plainly. (Deuteronomy 27:8)

 

The Lord:

Then said Jesus unto them plainly. Lazarus is dead. (John 11:14)

Are called pleasant

  

The Word:

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. (Proverbs 16:24)

 

The Lord:

Praise the Lord; for the Lord is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant. (Psalm 135:3)

 

Pleases God

  

The Word:

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. (1 Corinthians 1:21)

 

The Lord:

And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:17)

Are called powerful

  

The Word:

The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. (Psalm 29:4)

 

The Lord:

But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. (1 Corinthians 1:24)

  

Can be preached

  

The Word:

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (2 Timothy 4:2)

 

The Lord:

And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. (Acts 5:42)

Are called precious

 

 The Word:


AND the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision. (1 Samuel 3:1)

 

The Lord:

Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, (1 Peter 2:7)

Can preserve

 

The Word:

Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. (Proverbs 4:5-6)

 

The Lord:

The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. (Psalm 41:2)

Both prevail

  

The Word:

So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed. (Acts 19:20)

 

 

The Lord:

And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. (Revelation 5:5)

Can profit

  

The Word:

For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. (Hebrews 4:2)

 

The Lord:

Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. (Galatians 5:2)

  

Are called a promise

  

The Word:

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:4)

 

The Lord:


In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. (Ephesians 1:13)

 

Can prophesy

  

The Word:

For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. (Matthew 11:13)

 

The Lord:

¶ Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. (John 7:40)

Can prosper us

  

The Word:

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. (Isaiah 55:11)

 

The Lord:

And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the Lord hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master. (Genesis 24:56)

Can prove us

  

The Word:

And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God…But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ. (Acts 9:20,22)

 

The Lord:

Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. (Psalm 26:2)

Are called pure

 

 The Word:

Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. (Psalm 119:140)

 

The Lord:

With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury. (2 Samuel 22:27)

Can purge iniquity

  

The Word:

By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil. (Proverbs 16:6)

 The Lord:

Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away. (Psalm 65:3)

 

Can purify us

 

 The Word:

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: (1 Peter 1:22)

 

The Lord:

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:14)

 

 Q

 

 

Can quicken us

  

The Word:

This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. (Psalm 119:50)

 

The Lord:

(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. (Romans 4:17)

 

R

  

Can reason with us

  

The Word:

And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures. (Acts 17:2)

 

The Lord:

Come now, and let us reason together, saith thee 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. (Isaiah 1:18)

 

Can be rebelled against

 

The Word:

Aaron shall be gathered unto his people: for he shall not enter into the land which I have given unto the children of Israel, because ye rebelled against my word at the water of Meribah. (Numbers 20:24)

 

The Lord:

But that ye must turn away this day from following the Lord? and it will be, seeing ye rebel to day against the Lord, that to morrow he will be wroth with the whole congregation of Israel. (Joshua 22:18)

Can be received

  

The Word:

Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: (Acts 8:14)

 

The Lord:

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:12)

Can reconcile us

  

The Word:

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:19)

 

The Lord:

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (2 Corinthians 5:18)

Are called a record

  

The Word:

And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (1 John 5:11)

 

The Lord:

For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. (Phillipians 1:8)

Can be rejected

  

The Word:

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubborness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king. (1 Samuel 15:23)

 

The Lord:


And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes, and by your thousands. (1 Samuel 10:19)

Can be rejoiced in

 

 The Word:

I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. (Psalm 119:14)

 

The Lord:

Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

Can be a reproach

 

 The Word:

To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. (Jeremiah 6:10)

 

The Lord:

Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. (Hebrews 11:26)

Can be respected

 

 The Word:

Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. (Psalm 119:6)

 

The Lord:

At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 17:7)

Can rest in

  

The Word:

Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, (Romans 2:17)

 The Lord:

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him that prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. (Psalm 37:7)

 

Can retain each

 

 The Word:

He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. (Proverbs 4:4)

 

The Lord:


And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; (Romans 1:28)

 

Can be revealed

 

 The Word:

Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither was the word of the Lord yet revealed unto him. (1 Samuel 3:7)

 

The Lord:

And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels. (2 Thessalonians 1:7)

 

 

Are called riches

 

The Word:

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (Romans 11:33)

 

The Lord:

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; (Ephesians 3:8)

Are called right

  

The Word:

I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. (Psalm 119:75)

 

The Lord:

That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the  earth do right?  (Genesis 18:25)

are called righteous

 

 The Word:

I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. (Psalm119:7)

 

The Lord:

For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness; his countenance doth uphold the upright. (Psalm 11:7)

 

Are called royal

  

The Word:

If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well: (James 2:8)

 

The Lord:


¶ But when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah. (2 Chronicles 22:10)

Can run

 

The Word:

He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly. (Psalm 147:15)

 

The Lord:

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars. (2 Chronicles 16:9)

 

S

 

 Can lead to salvation

  

The Word:

Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes. (Psalm 119:155)

 

The Lord:

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 5:9)

 

Can sanctify

 

The Word:

For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. (1 Timothy 4:5)

 

The Lord:

Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them. (Ezekiel 20:12)

 

Can save us

  

The Word:

Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

 

The Lord:

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. (Isaiah 45:22)

 

Are both sealed

 

 The Word:

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: (Isaiah 29:11)

 

The Lord:

Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. (John 6:27)

 

Can be searched

 

 The Word:

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:11)

 

The Lord:

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)

Are called seed

 

The Word:

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. (Luke 8:11)

 

The Lord:

Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. (Galatians 3:16)

Are not sought after

 

 The Word:

Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes.  (Psalm 119:155)

 

The Lord:

There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.  (Romans 3:11)

 

Can be sent

 The Word:

He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. (Psalm 107:20)

 

The Lord:

He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. (John 14:24)

 

Can be separate from others

  

The Word:

PAUL, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Romans 1:1)

 

The Lord:

For such an high priest became us, who isholy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; (Hebrews 7:26)

 Can serve both

 The Word:

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. (Romans 7:25)

 

The Lord:

And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. (Exodus 23:25)

Can be set at nought

 

 The Word:

But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: (Proverbs 1:25)

 

The Lord:

And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought. (Mark 9:12)

Has a shadow

 

The Word:

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. (Hebrews 10:1)

 The Lord:

HE that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91:1)

Are called a shield

 

The Word:

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

 

The Lord:


But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory and the lifter up of mine head. (Psalm 3:3)

 

Can shine

  

The Word:

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. (2 Corinthians 4:4)

 The Lord:

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. (Psalm 50:2)

 

Are called signs

 

 The Word:

¶ Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. (Deuteronomy 11:18)

 he Lord:

 And then shall appear the sign of 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. (Matthew 24:30)

Are to be sincere in both

 

The Word:

Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. (Ephesians 6:24)

 

The Lord:

In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, (Titus 2:7)

 

Causes not to slide

 The Word:

The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide. (Psalm 37:31)

 

The Lord:

JUDGE me, O Lord; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide. (Psalm 26:1)

 Causes to be sober

 

The Word:

But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness. (Acts 26:25)

 

The Lord:

Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (Titus 2:11)

 Are called songs

The Word:

Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgramage. (Psalm 119:54)

 

The Lord:

The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. (Exodus 15:2)

 

Makes you sorry

  

The Word:

For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. (2 Corinthians 7:8)

 

The Lord:

Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. (2 Corinthians 7:9)

 

Can be sound in each

 The Word:

Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed. (Psalm 119:80)

 

The Lord:

And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. ((Acts 3:16)

Can sound out

  

The Word:

For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. (1 Thessalonians 1:8)

 The Lord:


Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound that goeth out of his mouth. (Job 37:2)

Can speak evil of

  

The Word:

Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. (James 4:11)

 

The Lord:

But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. (Mark 9:39)

  

Are called spirit

  

The Word:

It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63)

 

The Lord:

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth. (John 4:24)

 

Are called spiritual

  

The Word:

For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. (Romans 7:14)

The Lord:

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

 

Can spring up

 

 The Word:

Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. (Psalm 85:11)

 

The Lord:

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

Will stand for ever

 

The Word:

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. (Isaiah 40:8)

 

The Lord:

And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. (Daniel 2:44)

 

Can cause to stand in awe of

 

The Word:

Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word. (Psalm 119:161)

 

The Lord:

Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. (Psalm 33:8)

 

Can be stolen

  

The Word:

Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every one from his neighbor. (Jeremiah 23:30)

 The Lord:

Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. (Matthew 27:64)

 

Can strengthen

 The Word:

My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word. (Psalm 119:28)

 

The Lord:

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isaiah 41:10)

 

Are called strong

 

 The Word:

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. (Hebrews 5:13-14)

 

The Lord:


Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. (Revelation 18:8)

 

Can be stuck to

 

 The Word:

I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O Lord, put me not to shame. (Psalm 119:31)

 

The Lord:

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)

 

Can cause you to stumble

 

The Word:

And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. (1 Peter 2:8)

 

The Lord:

Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (Romans 9:31-2))

Are called sure

 

 The Word:

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. (Psalm 19:7)

 

The Lord:

¶ 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. (Isaiah 28:16)

 Are called sweet

The Word:

How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Psalm 119:103)

 

The Lord:

His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem. (Song of Solomon 5:16)

Are called swords

  

The Word:

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, whichis the word of God: (Ephesians 6:17)

 

The Lord:

For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment. (Isaiah 34:5)

 T

 

Can take heed to

 The Word:

Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. (1 Timothy 4:16)

 

The Lord:

For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the Lord. (Hosea 4:10)

Can take hold of you

 The Word:

But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, Like as the Lord of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us. (Zechariah 1:6)

 

The Lord:

Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them. (Psalm 69:24)

 

Can talk with us

 

 The Word:

¶ My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. (Proverbs 6:20-22)

 The Lord:

And ye said, Behold, the Lord our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth. (Deuteronomy 5:24)

Can be tasted

 The Word:


And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come. (Hebrews 6:5)

 

The Lord:

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. (Psalm 34:8)

 

Are called terrible

 

 The Word:

And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. (Psalm 45:4)

 

The Lord:

For the Lord most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. (Psalm 47:2)

 

Can terrify us

 The Word:

That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters. (2 Corinthians 10:9)

 

The Lord:

Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions: (Job 7:14)

 Can testify

 

The Word:

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. (John 5:39)

 

The Lord:

For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. (John 4:44)

 

Can be given thanks for

 

 The Word:

At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments. (Psalm 119:62)

 

The Lord:

UNTO thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. (Psalm 75:1)

Has things

  

The Word:

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: (Romans 2:14)

 

The Lord:

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. (1 Corinthians 2:11)

Can be trembled at

  

The Word:

For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. (Isaiah 66:2)

 

The Lord:

Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob; (Psalm 114:7)

 

Can cause tribulation

 

The Word:

Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. (Matthew 13:21)

 

The Lord:

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. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

 

Can be tried

 

The Word:

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him. (2 Samuel 22:31)

 

The Lord:

¶ 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. (Isaiah 28:16)

 

Can be trusted in

 

The Word:

So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word. (Psalm 119:42)

 

The Lord:


PRESERVE me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust. (Psalm 16:1)

Are called the truth

 

The Word:

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (John 17:17)

 

The Lord:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

 

U

  

Can be under each

 

The Word:

Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. (Romans 3:19)

 

The Lord:

Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. (Hebrews 2:8)

 

Can give understanding

 

The Word:

 

I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. (Psalm 119:99)

 

The Lord:

Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. (2 Timothy 2:7)

 

Hard to understand

 

The Word:

As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:16)

 

The Lord:

Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. (John 8:43)

 

Are called unsearchable

 

The Word:

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (Romans 11:33)

 

The Lord:


Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. (Psalm 145:3)

Can uphold

 

 The Word:

Uphold me according to thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. (Psalm 119:116)

 

The Lord:

¶ Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isaiah 41:10)

 

Are called upright

  

The Word:

Righteous art thou, O Lord, and upright are thy judgments.  (Psalm 119:137)

 

The Lord

Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.  (Psalm 25:8)

 V

 

Can be valiant for

 

The Word:

And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the Lord. (Jeremiah 9:3)

  

Can do violence to

  

The Word:

Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law. (Zephaniah 3:4)

 The Lord:

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. (Matthew 11:12)

Can have a voice

 

The Word:

 Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. (Psalm 103:20)

 

The Lord:

And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:8)

 

W

  

Can walk in

  

The Word:

BLESSED are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord  . (Psalm 119:1)

 

The Lord:

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  (Galatians 5:16)

 

Can be wandered from

 

The Word:

With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. (Psalm 119:10)

 

The Lord:

My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them. (Ezekiel 34:6)

 

Can warn us

 

The Word:

The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes….Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. (Psalm 19:8,11)

 

The Lord:

And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. (Matthew 2:12)

 Can wash us

 

The Word:

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

 

The Lord:

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, (Revelation 1:5)

Can water

  

The Word:

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. (Isaiah 55:10-11)

 

The Lord:

Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it. (Psalm 65:9)

Are called wholesome

  

The Word:

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; (1 Timothy 6:3)

 

The Lord:

And Peter said unto him, Æneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed. And he arose immediately. (Acts 9:34)

Can give yourself wholly to

 

 The Word:

Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine….Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. (1 Timothy 4:13,15)

 

The Lord:

Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the Lord my God. (Joshua 14:8)

Can make you wise

  

The Word:

Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.  (Psalm 119:98)

 

The Lord:

Who teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven?  (Job 35:11)

Can be with you

  

The Word:

And Jehoshaphat said, The word of the Lord is with him. So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him. (2 Kings 3:12)

 

The Lord:

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:20)

Can be withstood

  

The Word:

Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words. (2 Timothy 4:15)

 

The Lord:

Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? (Acts 11:17)

Can witness

 

 The Word:

But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; (Romans 3:21)

 

The Lord:

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. (Revelation 1:5)

Are called wonderful

 

The Word:

Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them. (Psalm 119:129)

 

The Lord:

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

 

Are called wondrous

  

The Word:

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. (Psalm 119:18)

 

The Lord:


Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. (Psalm 72:18)

Are called the word

 

 The Word:

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

 

The Lord:

IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

Can work in you

 

 The Word:

For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. (1 Thessalonians 2:13)

 

The Lord:

For it is God which worketh in you but to will and to do of his good pleasure. (Phillipians 2:13)

Called worthy

  

The Word:

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

 

The Lord:

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4:11)

Can work wrath

  

The Word:

Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. (Romans 4:15)

 

The Lord:

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

 

Y

  

Are called yea

  

The Word:


For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. (2 Corinthians 1:20)

 

The Lord:

For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea. (2 Corinthians 1:19)

 

Z

  

can be zealous for

  

The Word:

My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words. (Psalm 119:139)

 

The Lord:

And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord. So they made him ride in his chariot. (2 Kings 10:16)

 

September 22nd, 2011 at 11:43 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

 

 

 

400 Common Expressions

From the Bible

 

 

 

 Steven M. McCalip

Contents

 

Dedication

 

Preface

 

Introduction

 

Biblical Expressions

 

Afterword

 

Bibliography

 

Appendix A:  Once Popular Biblical

Expressions Used Less

Frequently

 

Appendix B:  Popular Expressions Alluded

to in the Bible

 

Appendix C:  Popular Biblical Expressions in

Movie and TV Titles

 

Appendix D:  Popular Biblical Expressions in

Song Titles

 

 
Dedicated to all those who believe:

 

“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of Lord is sure, making wise the simple…More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: Sweeter also than honey, and the honeycomb.” (Psalm 19:7, 10)

 

Preface

 

 

It’s been stated that there have been more books written about the Bible than any other topic. Of all those books, I have seen only a handful that touched on the topic of common sayings occurring in the Bible. However, none of those books covered the topic to the extent and in the manner I thought the Bible deserved. Some of those books bogged down the reader with archaic words and literary allusions from the Bible (i.e., “husbandman,” “sottish,” “burning bush,” “lilies of the field,” etc.) and some emphasized popular quotations like “O ye of little faith” and “why hast thou forsaken me?”

I wanted my book to focus solely on common sayings, so I set out to find as many common expressions that occurred in the Bible as I could. I also wanted to distinguish popular expressions in current usage and those more popular from other generations. It was an exhausting but thoroughly enjoyable task. Reading through just about every occurrence of every word in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible can be tedious to say the least. Reading through the entire Bible again in my search for these phrases, however, was very rewarding. The excitement of discovering new phrases was half the fun. Even after several years and hundreds of expressions later, I am to this day still finding more in the Bible. I’m sure the reader will share the joy of finding new ones as well.

I think God’s Catch Phrases is another example of why the Bible itself is such a unique and influential book. It is my love for the King James Bible that gave me the desire to have this work published. I can’t tell you how many times these expressions have opened the door to discuss the deeper issues of the Bible with others.

First and foremost, my thanks go out to the best-selling author of all time, the Lord Jesus Christ, for giving me the love of his book and the passion to write about the “wondrous things out of thy law.” I want to express my gratitude to my wife Lisa and our children Andrew, Jonathan, Samuel, and Jacob for their patience, understanding, and encouragment in helping me stick to this project and see its fruition. A special thanks goes out to my other family members and friends who supported my efforts. God’s Catch Phrases truly was a “labor of love” given to me by the Lord for his book.

 

Introduction

 

 

Throughout recorded history, perhaps no language has exercised such worldwide influence as that of English. Over the last 500 years, English has become the universal tongue and official language in world politics, public education, scientific research, and international commerce. Even more importantly, it has become the primary or secondary language in a large number of countries today.

When one considers the impact of the English language, a question worth pondering is this: What propelled and contributed to English becoming such a dominant language in the world? The rise of England to world power through its global colonization is the first reason that might come to mind. What is not given its just due, however, is the influence of England’s Bible, the King James Version, on our written and spoken English.

Translated in 1611, the King James Bible soon became the standard of all bibles. It has been, and continues to be, the single greatest selling and most widely distributed book of all time. It is, as some have aptly said, “the book that shook the world.” Its contributions to Western literature are practically immeasurable, being mentioned by many of the world’s most renowned writers as having a profound effect on them and their writings. The individual books of Job and Psalms, among others, have been called the finest examples of poetry ever penned, and this is said by many who don’t hold to Christianity as their religion.

Although there is a great need to show all of the various contributions of the King James Bible on the English language, one aspect that deserves particular attention is the influence of this Bible on our common speech. Whether we be Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, agnostic, or atheist, we all incorporate a host of biblical sayings into our daily conversations.

The English language is replete with idioms, sayings, and expressions of which a surprising number originate or were made popular from the King James Bible. This book has become imbedded in our common speech, yet people speak biblical phrases daily without realizing they’re quoting or alluding directly from the King James Bible. Sayings such as “rise and shine,” “give up the ghost,” “the skin of your teeth,” “see eye to eye,” “safe and sound,” and “eat, drink, and be merry” are just several of the hundreds of examples in this work.

Quite to the contrary of some scholarly opinions, the King James Bible is far from archaic and is anything but outdated. In fact, in light of the number of current expressions used in it, this book could be said to be one of the most up-to-date you can read. The King James Bible is the most widely recognized, the most widely memorized, and the most widely read book in the world. The book speaks for itself quite literally. It is “high time” (Romans 13:11) that we recognize its hold on our language.

Jesus said, “…the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” Despite being thousands of years old, his words are most assuredly living in today’s language. Well-known expressions such as “the blind leading the blind,” “the powers that be,” and “fall by the wayside,” are, as the book of Isaiah itself says, “a drop in the bucket” compared to the 500 more popular sayings that are in our Bible.

It is my belief that a majority of these expressions did come or were made popular from scripture. I base this opinion mainly on the Bible’s age and its pervasive influence on many languages, especially English. The manuscripts that produced the King James Bible go back as far as 3,500 years. Most of recorded history itself begins not long before that, so the Bible has been influencing the language of mankind for longer that just about any other written source.

In preparing this book, I chose the expressions that I felt were most often used based on my personal experience and research. The expressions used are all considered to be popular at one time or another by various authorities of English language studies. All scripture quotations are from the King James Bible and include the old spelling, grammar, and italics found in it.

A major portion of this work was dedicated to showing the biblical context of these phrases. Each phrase is highlighted in the scripture in which it occurs, and each phrase’s meaning (when not obvious) is discussed as well. The subject matter of the surrounding verses and their sometimes controversial doctrines are often discussed. It is not my intention to promote strife or antagonize, only to give my understanding of the context of these phrases and how they relate to the issues of the day. If the commentary “ruffles a few feathers,” then so be it, “for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”

The reader will appreciate the various appendixes he will find in this work that show more expressions and their cultural usage. Appendix A lists expressions that were more popular in early years, and Appendix B includes phrases that are alluded to in the Bible; i.e., those that are hinted at but that are not directly stated. Appendixes C and D show how these expressions have been used in movie and song titles in Western culture. Not included is a list of book titles having biblical expressions, for that could have filled another whole book. Suffice it to say that thousands of these expressions have been used as the titles of books over the years. If you are a writer trying to come up with a title for a book, article, or headline, look no further than a copy of the Bible.

It is my hope that after you have read this work, you will gain a newfound appreciation and respect for the King James Bible and its immense, profound, and unending spiritual and cultural impact on American society and the world.

 

Steven M. McCalip

A

 

 

act of God

But your eyes have seen all the great acts of the Lord which he did.  (Deu­teronomy 11:7)

 

Moses reminded Israel of all the “great acts of the Lord” which they had seen including the drowning of Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea. Also called a great act of the Lord was the literal opening up of the earth and the swallowing of the hous­eholds of Dathan and Abiram for their rebel­lion against God.

This incident fore­shad­owed the fate of the wicked who will actually be cast into the same place as Dathan and Abiram’s house­hold—the middle of the earth, or hell, according to many scrip­t­ures. Psalm 55:15 says the wicked “go down quick into hell,” and Jesus said in Luke 10:15 that people are “thrust down to hell.” “The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath” (Proverbs 15:24).

Insurance companies today refuse to cover acts of God, or natural calamities, as they label it. Appar­ent­ly, they aren’t responsible for what God does. The Lord offers fire and life insurance of a differ­ent sort, but unlike others, he covers “acts of God.”

 

all things are possi­ble

And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.  (Mark 10:27)

 

People like to think that all things are possible concerning man’s abilities, but according to the Bible, the phrase “all things are possible” is true only with God. Jesus made this statement in response to a question from his disciples as to whom could be saved. The Lord had just told them that it was very difficult for a rich man to enter heaven, but with God this was not impossi­ble. If nothing were impossible for man, we wouldn’t need God. We should be thankful for the things that are impossible for us, for these things force us to go to God.

 

all things to all men

To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.  (1 Corinthians 9:22)

 

This expression is mistakenly under­stood by some Chris­tians to mean that beliefs can be compromised in order to get along with others for the ultimate purpose of getting people saved. A Christian does­n’t lie in order to befriend a liar; he doesn’t become worldly in order to win the world. Paul spoke of winning souls, not by any means neces­sary, but by becoming a servant to others.

The seasoned saint learns to become all things to all men by taking on the differ­ent roles of a Chris­tian such as a teacher who explains the scrip­tures, a fisherman who fishes for souls, a farmer who tends his crops, and a soldier who practices warfare.

There are many other roles that allow the Christian to truly become “all things to all men.” The Christian’s life, therefore, is a mastery of almost all occupations, making a believ­er a literal jack-of-all-trades and a master of many.

all to the good

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called ac­cord­ing to his purpose.  (Romans 8:28)

 

Everybody’s heard the advice that “Everything will work out for the better.” Once again, this expression is true only if that person is a believer according to the verse of scripture above—”to them that love God.” Unbelievers who claim this promise are deceiving them­selves and oth­ers. This expression is usually spoken when something awful has happened and someone is trying to comfort himself or others.

The next time you hear this phrase used, you might want to tell that person that things aren’t going to work out for him if he’s not a Christian. Of course, you’ll then be bom­barded with how judgmental you are. That’s when the believer needs to remind this person that Paul prayed that our love “may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment” (Phillip­ians 1:9).

apple of one’s eye

He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. (Deu­teronomy 32:10)

 

Moses described God’s feelings about Israel in the book of Deuteron­omy as “the apple of his eye.” Anything or anyone that is considered dear to another is termed the “apple of one’s eye.” God considered Israel dear to him, not because Israel was better than the other nations, but, as God said, to fulfill his plan for the redemption of mankind. This plan was promised to Abraham and his descendants, which is Israel.

Jews refer to themselves as “the chosen people” (see “chosen peo­ple”), but they must remember that God could have chosen any nation to carry out his plan. Another reason God chose Israel was to confound the wise with the fact that a tiny nation such as Israel could play such a major part in the history and future of the world. Just witness the entire Mideast crisis, and you will see that it all re­volves around who will control the small Jewish city of Jeru­salem—the Muslims, the Jews, or the Chris­tians. It is no accident that Jerusalem has been center stage in world history, and according to Revelation, it will again. Stay tuned.

 

as a tree falls, so shall it lay

If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.  (Ecclesiastes 11:3)

 

An expected happening or a natural result of a situation can be described by saying, “As a tree falls, so shall it lay.” Another similar saying would be, “The apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree.”

If you’ve ever tried to cut a big tree down, you know that you can prepare a cut to try and make it fall where you want to, but if it’s a big tree, it will fall where it wants to. When it falls, it will destroy whatever is under it.

The same analogy applies in our lives. The Bible often compares trees to people. We can devise many things to manipulate the direction of our lives, but where and how we fall often destroys other people and things connected to us. People, like trees, have a great fall; however, unlike Humpty Dumpty, God can put us back together again.

 

as good as dead

Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.   (Hebrews 11:12)

God promised Abraham, the patriarch of Israel, that from his seed would come the Messiah, the savior of the world. Abraham had reached 100 years of age, but he and Sarah were still childless. God then decid­ed to give Sarah a child when she “received strength to conceive seed” (Hebrews 11:11). One hundred-year-old people having babies today would be quite a spectacle.

This story foreshad­owed the miracle birth of Jesus Christ, who, of course, had the miraculous virgin birth from Mary. To be “as good as dead” is to be under the same conditions as death or similar to them. The birth of Abraham and Sarah’s child Isaac also showed how God likes to bring life out of death, thereby teaching us the principle of life after death.

 

(ashes to ashes), dust to dust

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou tak­en: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.  (Genesis 3:19)

 

As a result of Adam’s disobedience in the garden, God cursed man with physical death and strenuous labor, neither of which existed at that time according to Genesis. Since God creat­ed man out of dust, death would result in man going back to dust. Yes, man is made of dirt (We have the same elements in our bodies as any sample of common dirt. Isn’t that strange?), but combined with God’s breath of life, we become a living being. Calling someone a “dirt bag” is quite scriptural—just make sure you explain your­self.

 

at death’s door

Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?  (Job 38:17)

We use the saying “at death’s door” to speak of someone about to die. In the midst of Job’s suffering and complaints, God answered him with a series of questions, one of which was “…hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?” Just like there are literal gates of pearl, or pearly gates, there are also the gates of hell, which are the doors of death. To say some­one is “at death’s door” is not only speak­ing of eminent death, but also eminent damnation. When speaking of someone’s impending death, it’s always better for that person to be at the pearly gates than death’s door.

In addition, these doors have locks and keys accord­ing to Revela­tion 1:18 where Jesus says, I “have the keys of hell and death.”  These same keys were given to the angel in Revelation who opened the “bot­tomless pit” (another expression and reference to hell).

 

at peace with the world

When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.  (Proverbs 16:7)

 

Since the enemies of God are consid­ered “the world,” when God’s people are at peace with them, they are said to be “at peace with the world.” What’s interesting here is the fact that God is the one said to make enemies at peace with his children. An unbelieving enemy may not real­ize why he seems compelled to make peace with a Chris­tian, but that’s what happens because of God’s intervention.

“At peace with the world” sig­nifies that someone has reached a point where he no longer struggles with the con­flicts that come from various people or ideas that he encoun­ters dai­ly. Biblically speaking, this expression does not mean that the Christian won’t have enemies, but that his enemies will be forced by God to be at peace with him. If someone who doesn’t particularly like you says, “I don’t know why I’m doing this for you,” you’ll already know why.

 

at your wit’s end

They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end.  (Psalm 107:27)

 

A stark picture of God’s view of the heathen is shown here in the book of Psalms. God compared the lost to “a drunken man” and to a ship in a stormy sea, and he said they would call on him when they reach “their wit’s end.” What an indictment of human nature that comment is! Man will only seek God when he has reached his wit’s end, or the point of absolute desperation.

It is only when man has exhaust­ed his own “wits” that he comes to God. That is a good thing, for our “wits” can’t save us. Our knowledge is not sufficient to reach him. We must all reach our wit’s end and rely on his wits if we truly seek to be saved. Needless to say, God’s wits don’t have an end.

 

B

 

 

baptism of fire

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall bap­tize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:  (Matthew 3:11)

 

Religious people in the church today talk of being “baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire,” not realizing that to be “baptized with fire” means to go to hell. The next verse proves this assertion by stating that “he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” The chaff is de­scribed in other references as the lost.

Secular people use this phrase to refer to someone being thrown into the middle of a task for the first time and experiencing all the suffer­ing that goes with it. The secular crowd is closer to the real definition than the religious leaders. The next time some “Chris­tian” comes up and says you can re­ceive the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire, just ask him why he wants you to go to hell.

 

be about your business

And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?  (Luke 2:49)

 

Mary and Joseph were looking for Jesus and found him in the temple. The twelve-year-old so amazed the doctors and priests in the temple that the Bible said they were “astonished at his understanding and an­swers” (Luke 2:47). Jesus was already the boy wonder just going about his business, his strange business.

People will tell you to go about your business if you’re bothering them, but if they tell a Christian that is bothering them the same thing, they must realize that a Christian’s business is to preach the gospel, and that in itself bothers a lot of people.

 

be of good cheer

These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribula­tion: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  (John 16:33)

 

Jesus Christ is the only man to have ever overcome every temptation put against him, and when his spirit dwells in us, and we yield to it, we can be of good cheer because we now have the power to overcome these tempta­tions also. The “Don’t worry, be happy” crowd should be very worried and very unhappy. They are rejecting the only person that can give them happiness.

 

beat the air

I therefore so run, not as uncertain­ly; so fight I, not as one that beat­eth the air:  (1 Corinthians 9:26)

 

Other expressions similar to “beating the air” include “spinning your wheels” and “banging your head against a wall.” The unbeliever is alluded to as “beating the air” because he doesn’t know his true purpose in life or how to obtain it. He is in the proverbial “rat race” and is running in circles. Conversely, the Chris­tian knows the meaning and purpose of life through this one verse: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Those nine words can stop you in a hurry from “spinning your wheels,” “banging your head against a wall,” and “beating the air.”

 

become a byword

And thou shalt become  an astonish­ment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee.  (Deuteronomy 28:37)

 

God served warning on Israel that if they refused to walk according to his laws, he would curse everything to do with them. “Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out” (Deut. 28:19). God gave the law to Isra­el, not to see if they could keep it, but to show them that they couldn’t because of their inherent sinfulness.

What Israel failed to recognize, and what man today also fails to recognize, is that only one person could keep the law without ever breaking it. Perfection is the only standard God will accept, and anybody who thinks he is pleasing God with good deeds apart from faith will receive the same curses as those of Israel.

God does­n’t weigh your good deeds against your bad,  and even if he did, everyone would fail that test as well. To “become a byword” means the same as it did in biblical days—to be notorious or infa­mous, just like Israel after God got through dealing with them.

 

bent out of shape

For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we de­spaired even of life:  (2 Corinthians 1:8)

 

“Pressed out of measure’s” modern equivalent, “bent out of shape,” has changed slightly from its biblical mean­ing of being pushed to the lim­it, re­ferring now to some­one who gets upset over a matter rather easily. The apos­tle Paul was so pressed out of mea­sure that he said he “de­spaired even of life.” Yes, even the great Paul had contem­pla­tions of wanting to die.

Suicide was not the answer, even though Paul said he had a “desire to de­part, and to be with Christ; which is far better. Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.” (Phillip­ians 1:23-4). Suicide cults obviously ignore this last verse.

 

beside yourself

And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.  (Mark 3:21)

 

Jesus was falsely accused of many things in his day, one of which was being crazy. This accusation came from his “friends” who wanted to appre­hend him. In Mark chapter three, Jesus was healing the sick and casting out unclean spirits, actions that were upset­ting the estab­lish­ment of that day, and this caused the Pharisees to believe that he was beside himself, i.e., crazy.

Today, if we claim someone is demon-possessed, we might get that same response. We have other “terms” for people that foam at the mouth and do bizarre things. We lock them up in hospitals, not realizing that what we might be dealing with is no differ­ent than it was in Jesus’ day—possession of the Devil.

There are many cases of so-called insane people having supernat­ural strength and doing things that can’t be explained medically. We’re willing to explain it away as any­thing but demon posses­sion, and we like to joke about something “possessing” us to do something, but nothing else can explain the absolute madness of some people.

 

between a rock and a hard place

¶ And between the passages, by which Jonathan sought to go over unto the Philistines’ garrison, there was a sharp rock on the one side, and a sharp rock on the other side: and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh.  (1 Samuel 14:4)

 

Two alternatives that are equally bad is what is known as being “between a rock and a hard place.” It is similar to the expression “damned if you do and damned if you don’t.” Jonathan had to make a decision in this passage to go fight the Philistines even though there were two sharp rocks in the way of his path. The fact that these rocks had names is peculiar.

God likes to put people between a rock and a hard place because it forces them to make a decision and act. If we won’t act or make decisions about our relationship with God, he will find a couple of “rocks in a hard place” to force our hand—just ask the rocks named Bozez and Seneh.

bid someone Godspeed

Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doc­trine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doc­trine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doc­trine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partak­er of his evil deeds.  (2 John 9-11)

 

A careful reading of these vers­es would shock most people, for they fly in the face of what is taught even by the Christian establishment, and certainly the secular world. First off, having Jesus Christ is having the Father and the Son. Secondly, you are commanded not to let people into your home who believe different­ly. It doesn’t matter even though you’re trying to win them to Christ. Third­ly, we are commanded not to wish these people Godspeed, which is to wish them God’s bless­ings, in other words, to wish them well. God does not want us to wish the heathen to have a good day. To do so, he says, makes us a par­ticipant of their “evil deeds.” You better be careful whom you tell to have a good day because you just have could have ruined yours.

 

bitter end

For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoed­ged sword.  (Prov­erbs 5:3-4)

 

The Bible describes the ramifications of casual sex in a conversation that Solo­mon had with his son about a promiscu­ous woman. Solomon warns us of the whor­ish woman, saying that she talks sweet as honey, but “her end is bitter as wormwood.” She is also described as a “twoedg­ed sword,” another biblical expres­sion re­ferred to later in this work.

People engaged in casual sex in scripture are not deemed as “fooling around” or having “affairs,” but are la­beled as “whores” (see Eze­kiel 16:33; Proverbs 6:26; Reve­la­tion 21:8 etc.). The Bible tells it like it is, and this upsets those people whom it affects, so much so that bibles are changed because of these very terms like “whores,” “bastards,” etc.

The King James Bible is con­stantly watered down because of its offensiveness to those who don’t like the fact that God himself talks in this manner. Those who feel this way will themselves experience a “bitter end,” a rather unpleasant and hard conclusion to a struggle they’re in.

 

blind leading the blind

Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.  (Matthew 15:14)

 

One of the most popular of all bibli­cal clichés is this one that Jesus used to characterize the Pharisees, the reli­gious leaders of his day. After being informed that the Pharisees were offended at him, Jesus told his disciples that these hypo­crites were “blind leaders of the blind,” and that they would end up in the ditch. When Jesus called them “blind,” he was teaching that they were spiritually blind, i.e., lost sinners, and not only they, but also their follow­ers. You can’t cure blindness by pretending to see, and the same applies spiritually.

The situation is no different today, just the names of the organi­zations have changed. If you want to pattern your life after Jesus, you should expect to have the same confrontations and the same enemies as he. We would never seek directions from a physically blind person, so why do so many seek guidance from the spiritually blind? The answer may be that if you’re physically blind, there’s no way you can absolutely know if someone else is also. The same holds true in the spiritual realm, and that’s why we need Jesus, who makes the blind to see.

 

blood on your hands

And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood(Isaiah 1:15)

 

God told Israel, and particularly Sodom and Gomorrah, that he was sick of their burnt offerings and sacrifices: “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats…your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: (Isaiah 1:11, 14).

Paul confirmed God’s hatred for animal sacrifices in the New Testament when he said in Hebrews 10:6: “In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.” Though God instructed Israel to offer sacrifices, it might be asked, “Why then does he say he is sick of them?” God was sick of them because Israel was relying on the sacrifice to make them holy instead of what the sacrifice pointed to: the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. In Hebrews 10:12, it states: “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.”

By the way, a few versions of the Bible misplace a single comma and completely pervert the idea being presented here that Jesus is the one and final sacrifice for sins. In the above verse in Hebrews 10:12, a comma is placed after the word sins in some bibles, and that changes the meaning of the verse entirely to now mean that Jesus “forever sat down” instead of “offered one sacrifice for ever.”

The phrase “blood on your hands” signifies that a person is guilty of a matter and that there is evidence (blood) to prove it. The changing of the above verse is a fitting example of the very meaning of this phrase.

 

blow your own horn

Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  (Matthew 6:2)

 

Jesus said hypocrites like to “sound a trumpet” or “blow their own horn,” and thereby brag about themselves or their accomplishments to others. The reason they do it, he says, is to get “glory of men,” in other words, to get man’s approval and praise.

One of the defining characteristics of a Christian is his refusal to be a “man pleaser.” To a Christian, pleasing God is what matters. In Galatians 1:10, Paul said, “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” Jesus said men who are this way “have their reward.” What he implied is that their reward from God is null and void. If you run across one of these hypocrites, tell him Jesus thinks he would make a good trumpet player.

 

bottomless pit

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

 

Here is an expression that has com­pletely changed in meaning from its origi­nal biblical usage. According to Revela­tion, the “bottom­less pit” is the place inside of the earth filled with smoke and locusts—undoubtedly an allusion to hell or the lake of fire.

An interesting side note is that hell is literally a “bottom­less pit.” Since hell is in the middle of the earth, there would be no gravity there according to scientists. It would be just like floating in space; hence, sinners will be floating in a bottomless pit (i.e., no bottom), and they would have no bearings.

The world, however, has taken this phrase and obscured its intended meaning to now refer to a person who can eat and eat and never get full.

 

breach of promise

And the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.  (Numbers 14:34)

 

As used today, this adage denotes someone who breaks his word with another party. As God used it, he spoke of his promise made to Israel about them inherit­ing the land. Fulfillment of this promise would be delayed because of Israel’s con­stant complaining of there being “giants in the land” (see also “giants in the land”).

You’d probably be a little ap­prehen­sive also if you had just seen nine and ten-foot people who didn’t want you around. Yes, there were giants in the Bible, and there is ample evidence outside the scrip­tures that they existed.

The Bible also mentions “monsters” and “dragons,” and if you think these are just exaggera­tions or figura­tive speech, you ought to read your Bible more carefully. They’re not. It is correct, then, to say that Christians believe in giants, mon­sters, ghosts, devils, talking snakes, and many other so-called fairy tales (see “give up the ghost”). God tests our faith and fear of man with these type beliefs.

 

break bread

And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.  (Acts 20:7)

 

Sharing a meal together is the equiva­lent of “breaking bread,” and this phrase is usually used between close friends as it was with Paul and his disciples. Jesus spoke of himself as the “bread of life,” and in the same discourse in John chapter six, he said, “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:54).

Some take this to mean that Christians actually eat the body of Jesus when they take communion with the Eucharist wafers. If this were true, Jesus would be advocating can­nibal­ism, which he, of course, does not. A person can eat a mil­lion of these wafers over the course of his life, and it will get him about as much eternal life as he started with—none.

Eternal life, ironically, is connected with eating. What does it mean, then, to eat his flesh, since this teaching is connected to eternal life? John 6:63 is the answer, and it connects the disciples’ misunderstand­ing of Jesus’ command to eat his flesh to Jesus’ own inter­pretation of what he meant. Jesus said, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth noth­ing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” The flesh he talked about eating was his words, of which we symbolically eat when we believe them as it is stated in Jere­miah 15:16: “Thy words were found, and I did eat them.”

 

break of day

When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.  (Acts 20:11)

 

Also referred to as “daybreak,” “crack of dawn,” etc., this idiom was used simi­larly in the book of Acts. Paul almost literally talked to death a man who was lis­tening to him preach. This man was up on the loft where Paul was preaching and got so tired he fell and nearly died. Paul had been preaching all night and into the morning hours (the “break of day”).

People sure seem to get sleepy during sermons, but when’s the last time you heard all-night preach­ing? It was noth­ing unusual in the early church. America likes its sermons about twenty minutes long with lots of jokes and stories and a scripture every now and then that’s not offensive. Microwave Christianity—just add water and mix.

 

break your heart

Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.  (Acts 21:13)

 

Paul’s heart was broken after hearing that his disci­ples cried. They cried be­cause they didn’t want him to go to Jerusa­lem, for they feared the Jews would appre­hend and put Paul in jail as they had before.

A broken heart is precisely what God uses to create a new heart. God has been giving heart trans­plants longer than any doctor, and he will give anybody one that recognizes that his first heart is evil. As Jeremiah states, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jere­miah 17:10). We all are born with a heart condition, but cutting cholesterol won’t help this one.

 

breathe new life into some­thing

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.  (Genesis 2:7)

 

An accurate description of how Jesus created man is depicted here as God actual­ly did breathe life into Adam. Please observe that no mention here is made of lightning striking a puddle of organic goop and turning into a frog.

To­day, when we speak of “breath­ing new life” into something, we mean that we’re taking some­thing that is old or worn out and reviving it. The use of this phrase “breathe new life” is action that only God could do, so it smacks of blasphemy to attrib­ute this ability to man unless this expression is used in a figura­tive way.

We should always refrain from taking the unique charac­ter­istics of God and plac­ing them on man. For example, it is wrong to say that man is “creative,” for man cre­ates nothing if we stick to the definition of “create” which means to “bring into exis­tence out of nothing.” Man can no more create anything than he can sprout wings and fly.

 

bring someone’s head on a platter

And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.  (Mark 6:28)

 

If someone threatens to “bring your head on a platter,” you know you messed up pretty badly. This story in the Bible refers to King Herod’s birthday party when the King told his daughter he would give her almost anything she desired. After the daughter consulted with her mother, both agreed that they wanted the head of John the Baptist on a platter. Herod had already promised her he would give her just about any request, so he honored it and had John beheaded.

What a testament to the influence of John the Baptist that the King’s daughter could have had half her father’s kingdom and she instead chose the death of this great man. What an indictment of the wicked also when their conscience won’t allow them to let a man of God live. Birthday parties in scripture weren’t exactly “pin the tail on the donkey.”

 

bring to light

Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.  (1 Corinthians 4:5)

 

Any matter that will be brought to light means that all aspects of it will be brought under close scrutiny and revealed. Not only will the unbeliever be judged for his evil deeds, every one of his iniquities will be revealed to everyone else at the Judgment, including his thoughts. What a humiliating and frightening time that will be for the sinner!

The world itself acknowledges this event when it uses the expres­sion, “It’ll all come out in the wash.” Jesus also verified this coming day and said, “Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be re­vealed; and hid, that shall not be known” (Mat­thew 10:26). There are some who are exempt from this Judg­ment. If you want an exemption, you will have to apply for exclusive membership to the “Saints of God” club.

 

bring me word

And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.  (Matthew 2:8)

 

To bring word to someone is to deliver a message.  Under the pretense of worship­ping the child, King Herod wanted to find Jesus, but his real desire was to kill him. The wise men from the East agreed to tell Herod when they found Jesus, not knowing his plans. The wise men weren’t as wise as they were cracked up to be.

Inciden­tally, the scriptures don’t say if there were three wise men. Herod wanted these wise men to bring him word, but what he really needed was for them to bring him “the Word,” one of the names Jesus is called in the book of John.

 

brother’s keeper

And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? (Gene­sis 4:9)

 

The inevitable question asked by all big brothers, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” was asked by Cain out of jeal­ousy of his brother Abel. Cain and Abel both offered sacrific­es to God, but God approved only of Abel’s because Abel’s was a blood sacrifice and Cain’s wasn’t. That’s where the expression “You can’t get blood out of a turnip” might have originated also. You can’t get a blood sacrifice out of a vegetable (a turnip). Cain knew that his own offering was wrong, so he tried to substi­tute his own brand of religion which God reject­ed.

This whole story exemplifies the futile attempts of any man who tries to come to God without accepting the ultimate blood sacri­fice of God’s own death on the cross. Any­thing else is a false, man-made religion that puts you in the same league as Cain, and we are to be “Not as Cain,” whom the Bible says “was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his broth­er’s righteous.” “Rais­ing Cain” just might be a reference to the attempt of some to “raise” their own reli­gion before God.

 

build on sand

And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.  (Mat­thew 7:26-7)

 

Does this story sound familiar? Every­one remembers “The Three Little Pigs” that the wolf was chasing and how the wolf huffed and puffed and blew down two of the pigs’ houses that were made of straw and wood. The wolf couldn’t blow down the pig’s house made of brick, just as the wind couldn’t blow down the house built on the rock in Jesus’ story.

The Bible shows up in the most unex­pect­ed of places, and we use its phrase “built on sand” to denote something that won’t last. Nobody with any sense builds a house on sand, so why do we build our spiritual houses on them?

burnt offering

And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.  (Genesis 8:20)

 

The first thing Noah did when he got off the ark was he “builded an altar unto the Lord.” Keep in mind that Noah just got through living in the ark for almost an entire year before he was able to leave the boat. It is a testament to Noah’s faith that after going through the most trying ordeal of his time he chose to give God thanks and build an altar unto him.

The expression “burnt offering” is used jokingly to mean someone burnt the food being served. Though we’ve all had that experience of being served burnt food, let us remember that the first burnt offerings were for giving thanks. Your wife might appreciate  that thought, too, if she messes up the dinner every now and then.

 

by and by

Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribula­tion or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offend­ed.  (Mat­thew 13:21)

 

In Jesus’ parable of the sower, the sower plants four kinds of seeds, three of which bear no fruit and one that does. One of the seeds, interpreted as a person’s heart, doesn’t endure and is offended at the words of the Bible as it is stated in Matthew above.

One of the signs, then, of a wicked heart is a person that is offended at what Jesus calls “the word,” or the scrip­tures. This of­fense can take on many forms, one of which includes casting doubt on the authen­ticity of the Bible. An example of this would be someone saying, “A better transla­tion would be…” Belit­tling the accuracy of cer­tain passages or words with state­ments such as “This passage really doesn’t say this; it really means this or should say this” is another example still.

Some, as men­tioned earlier in this work, are offended at the lan­guage that the King James uses, that, in their opinion, doesn’t sound too nice. The false prophets mentioned in the book of Isaiah agreed with this attitude toward God’s words: “Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isaiah 30:10). If you don’t like a book that calls a spade a spade, you better stay away from the King James Bible. It’s a fistful of reality that will hit you square in the face.

 

by the letter

And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?  (Romans 2:27)

 

When you’re a stickler for the rules, you’re also said to “go by the book,” or “by the letter” as it reads in Romans. Paul was chastising the Jews who wanted to keep the practice of circumcision as a part of the require­ments for salvation. He told them that salva­tion was a matter of circum­cising your heart, not your penis, or “privy member,” as it is called in the Bible.

Spiritually speak­ing, circumci­sion was given by God as a token of the covenant between God and Abraham, but physically applied, circumci­sion keeps out infec­tions that the uncircum­cised may get from time to time.

The Great Physician knows what is best for us, spiritually and phys­ically. David mentioned Goliath the giant’s lack of circumcision, not because he cared about the giant’s physical condition, but because he wanted to prac­tice the fine art of Christian name-calling; thus, he labeled Goliath an “uncircum­cised Philis­tine.”

 

by the skin of your teeth

My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.  (Job 19:20)

 

Popping up constantly in modern con­versation, “by the skin of your teeth” refers to anyone who just barely makes it or escapes in some situation. This phrase is another example of how unaware people are that they quote the scriptures in their everyday speech.

The story of Job tells of him barely escaping the calami­ties that befell his children. Job, of course, is famous for his patience, and his story is naturally where we get the phrase “the patience of Job.”

Job just happens to be the old­est book in the Bible, and it is one of the oldest in the world. Still, it continues to enrich the English language with numerous, color­ful expres­sions such as “make the hair of your neck stand on end,” “watch the sparks fly,” “drink it like water,” and many more. The more outdated the Bible is accused of being, the more it proves its detractors wrong.

 

by the sweat of your brow

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou tak­en: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.  (Genesis 3:19)

 

Part of the original curse God placed on Adam was not work, as commonly thought, but strenuous work. Eve’s curse also has been miscon­strued as being child­bearing, but a careful read­ing of Genesis shows her curse to be pain in childbearing or “sor­row.”

Today, women speak of their monthly periods as “the curse.” Bibli­cally speak­ing, this is somewhat correct if you in­clude their monthly pain as preparation for child­bearing.

God said that man would have to sweat for a living, and those of us who have cushy office jobs are recog­nizing that sweat is just what we need to be health­ier.

 

 

C

 

 

call in question

For we are in danger to be called in question for this day’s uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account of this concourse.  (Acts 19:40)

 

Lawyers often call in question someone whose suspi­cious actions imply guilt of some kind. We also say a person that com­mitted a wrongdoing has been “called on the carpet.”

The town clerk of Ephesus feared the town’s idol makers would revolt if Paul’s preaching continued because Paul was having such a devastating effect on their selling of idols: Chris­tianity was putting the idol makers out of business.

The book of Revelation mentions that in the last days, the exact opposite would be the case. The modern church would court the idol makers and incorporate their goods in the church itself and “become the habi­ta­tion of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” Revelation goes on to say that “all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abun­dance of her delicacies” (Revelation 18:2-3). “Mystery Babylon,” the false church, would thrive on idols, and the businesses that sold to it and bought from it would profit greatly from her.

Sound like any church system you know? God destroys “Mystery Baby­lon,” and all the mer­chants of the earth weep, “for no man shall buy their merchandise any more” (Revela­tion 18:1-24). Part of its merchan­dise was the “souls of men” (verse 13), 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” (verse 24).

The ecumenical movement today that is uniting all churches under one banner fits this description perfect­ly. They claim we all worship the same God whether we be Jew, Muslim, Catho­lic, Hindu or New Age. What they are saying is true in one sense, for the god they do worship is “the god of this world,” and not Jesus Christ, who is “God manifest in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16) and who shares his glory with no one.

What should be “called in ques­tion” is anyone who tries to reconcile true Christiani­ty with the ecumenical movement. esus as God can not be reconciled to be identical with any other gods, i.e., Jesus is not Buddha, and Jesus is not Allah.

 

can a leopard change its spots?

Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.  (Jeremiah 13:23)

 

We do have a few Ethiopian-like people trying to liter­ally change their skin color today, but what God was teaching was that man in and of himself could not change his own nature.

Judah and Jerusalem committed so much evil that they were becoming oblivious to the fact that God would punish them. God said they could no more do good than a leopard could “change its spots.”

Even though a leop­ard can’t change its spots, a believer can get them changed. A person is said to have “spots” if he’s a sin­ner (2 Peter 2:13), and, of course, a sinner can have all his spots, i.e., sins, removed by the great spot remov­er himself, Jesus Christ.  He leaves no stains.

can’t tell whether it’s coming or going

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou heareth the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.  (John 3:8)

 

God compared his spirit to the wind, a very apt comparison indeed. You can’t see the wind, and the same goes for God because he is invisible. The wind blows where it wants to, and so does God’s spirit. Though we can’t see the wind, we know it’s there because we hear the sound and feel it on our bodies. Again, the same goes for God. Though we can’t see him, we know he’s there and can feel him in our spirit and hear him in his words.

In this passage, Jesus spoke to Nicodemus about being born again and also compared being born again to the wind. The phrase “can’t tell whether it’s coming or going” refers to those who are confused or lost.

There is a connection to this original passage and today’s meaning. Since this phrase was originally in the context of a lost person getting born again, the meaning of the phrase itself i.e., being lost, is not that far removed from the biblical passage. An unbeliever does not know whether “something’s coming or going” in the spiritual sense because he doesn’t have his proper spiritual bearings. As the compass points to true north, so does the Bible lead us to “the way.”

 

cast in your lot with someone

Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:  (Proverbs 1:14)

 

When you put in your share of the money or agree to join in on some matter, you are said to “cast in your lot.” Solomon warned his son in this reference in Proverbs not to let “sinners entice thee.”

When we “cast our lot” in with people, we are placing our faith and trust in them. The children of God are not supposed to be casting in their lot with unbelievers, for Solomon said in the next verse, “My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:” If a believer does so, he should be prepared to lose his lot, for God warned his followers several times in scriptures not to be “in league with” the heathen.

“Casting in your lot” is similar to gambling, for you are taking a chance and risking a lot. Gambling against God is never good odds, for he knows the roll of the dice anyway and sometimes causes them to roll a certain way regardless. If you want a surefire bet, cast your lot with God. You won’t have to worry about it being “in the cards.”

cast the first stone

So when they continued asking him, he lifted up him­self, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.  (John 8:7)

 

“Casting the first stone” alludes to the famous account in the book of John about the woman caught in adultery who was brought to Jesus to see what he would do with her. Jesus’ answer in verse seven ended up convict­ing the Phari­sees, the very people that accused her. This woman was “caught in the act” (see phrase “caught in the act”) as it says in verse four of this same chapter in John.

The bibli­cal punishment for adultery was death by stoning. If that were the punish­ment today, half our nation would be dead, but then again, no one commits adul­tery; they just have an “affair,” don’t they? The seventh com­mandment does not read, “Thou shalt not have an affair,” so feel free to cast the first stone, or attack, this type of lifestyle and lan­guage.

 

chosen few

For many are called, but few are chosen.  (Matthew 22:14)

 

The expression “chosen few” is usually used derogatorily to mean that only a select group has been given privileges over another. When Jesus used this phrase, he meant it to show how few there are that are finally  chosen by God to serve him.

There are certain sects of Christianity that espouse that God has from eternity predestinated, or chosen, a select group of believers and that only they will inherit heaven. This teaching, known as Calvinism after John Calvin, teaches that man only chooses God because he was ordained or caused to do so by God himself. Why God chose some and condemned others for no other reason but that he decided to do so is a belief that is spreading in the church in all denominations.

Though there are many verses that seem to teach this doctrine, one in particular that opposes it rather strongly is in Romans 10:9-10: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” No mention of predestination or previously selected “chosen fews” is found here.

Why would God need man’s heart to believe in him if he was already selected anyway? Does God force man to love him, or does he give man the ability to believe in him and a will to do so? No earthly father could be happy with a child that loves him only because he was predestinated to do so. A father wants his child to love him because he chooses to do so on his own accord. True love is based on that. False or forced love would be more in line with this predestination teaching.

 

clear as day

And thine age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning.  (Job 11:17)

 

Job’s friend Zophar accused Job of lying about his reasons for persecution. He advised Job to put away his wickedness, and then his age would be “clearer than the noonday,” differing from the present mean­ing of “clear as day” which signifies something that is made very under­stand­able.

It’s getting harder to say some­thing is “clear as day” and mean it literally because our days are becoming less clear due to pollution and smog. If you live in Mexico City or Los Angeles, Califor­nia, nothing is clear as day; it’s about as clear as mud.

 

come short of

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;  (Romans 3:23)

 

If there’s one thing you don’t want to come short of, that’s the glory of God. If you do, that means you aren’t going to heaven, for we need his glory to enter into paradise according to I Peter 4:13, 14, and 5:1. “Coming short” in a matter means not quite attaining your goal, and when it comes to salvation, “almost” doesn’t cut it. Forgiveness of sins by faith in Jesus is the only way to be saved, and anybody that attempts any other method is called a “thief” by Jesus himself (see John 10:1). Close may count in horseshoes, but it “comes short” with God.

 

come to pass

And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.  (John 14:29)

 

One of the distinguishing characteris­tics of the Bible involves its use of “come to pass” when it’s talking about something that happened. Jesus was having a discus­sion about going “to prepare a place for you” (verse two), and said, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (verse three).

Many tend to forget that Jesus was also a prophet, and in this stat­ement, he uttered a prophecy concerning what the believers had to look forward to in heaven. There really will be mansions (“In my father’s house are many man­sions”) in heaven, so don’t envy those big houses you see right now; they’re nothing like what is in store for the children of God. Not only will Christians be living in these, but they will also be part of an actual city called “New Jerusalem” that will literally come down from the sky and be placed on the earth.

Stories like The Wizard of Oz probably got their “yellow brick road” idea from the Bible where it mentions the streets of gold (see phrase “streets of gold”) that will be a part of the New Jeru­salem that descends from heaven. For a blueprint of this city, see Revelation chapter twenty-one.

 

coming out of your ears (nose)

Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days; But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have de­spised the Lord which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?  (Numbers 11:20)

 

To have an abundance of something or more than you can handle is to have it “coming out of your ears.” God didn’t take too kindly to Israel complaining about the “manna from heaven” (see biblical expression “manna from heav­en”) that he was sending them on a daily basis. They wanted “flesh” to eat; therefore, he told them he would give them quail, so much quail that he said it was going to “come out at your nostrils.” God was going to make them sick of quail because of their constant griping about the manna. God has a way of giving us what we want and making us realize we really didn’t want it to begin with.

This story should serve notice to all you kids out there who are always griping that your mom is making the same thing all the time. Try eating fried chicken and manna for thirty straight days like the Israelites.

 

count the cost

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?  (Luke 14:­28)

 

Here we have a little business advice offered by the consummate businessman, Jesus Christ. If his advice were followed, we wouldn’t have all these expensive build­ing projects that stick the tax­payer with cost overruns and huge amounts of debt.

Just as a businessman has to decide if it is worth the price to begin an endeavor (i.e., “count the cost”), so also does the sinner have to count the cost and think about what it will cost him to follow Jesus. Even though salvation is free, it is at the same time the costliest thing you can obtain, for it requires the death of self, a price only a few are willing to pay.

Every sinner has to decide to lay down his life for Jesus, for “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” (Mat­thew 10:39). Those who know the Bible soon discover that Christianity is the exact opposite of what the world teaches.

 

cross land and sea

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 23:15)

 

Jesus lashed out at his long-time enemies, the Phari­sees, saying they would go to great lengths and do almost anything, i.e., “cross land and sea,” to make a con­vert. In saying that a convert of the Pharisees was a “chil­d of hell,” Jesus, in no uncertain terms, was tell­ing the Phari­sees to their face that they were lost, and not only lost, but also children of the Devil. Keep in mind that Jesus was telling this to the leaders of the mainline denomi­nations of his day. Jesus’ harshest criti­cism was reserved for religious leaders because these were the people who gave him the most persecu­tion.

Matthew chapter twenty-three shows the loving and caring Jesus calling these leaders “hypo­crites,” a “child of hell,” “blind guides,” “fools and blind,” “ser­pents,” a “generation of vipers,” and “whited sepul­chres.” He went on to say they were “full of dead men’s bones,” and “full of hypoc­risy and iniquity.”

The world (secular and relig­ious) tells you that this kind of name-calling is wrong, but “what saith the scrip­tures?” If you think name-calling is un-Chris­tian, then why does Jesus himself, along with Paul and many others, engage in this activ­i­ty? The reason is that it is perfectly righ­teous to do so when justified. Any other response makes Jesus a sinner and shows a willful ignorance of the Bible’s teaching in this matter.

 

cross to bear

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.  (Luke 14:27)

 

This is one of the many “hard sayings” of Jesus that many have difficulties with. Putting Jesus first naturally causes you to have to put family behind him. What he was teaching here is that if anything comes between your relationship with him, no matter what it is, you are to forsake it, if need be, to get to him. “Bearing your cross,” or enduring hardship, is what you can expect to be the norm in your Christian walk. The Christian should expect an appointment with Calvary on a daily basis.

 

crystal clear

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God; and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;  (Revelation 21:10-11)

 

When you understand something very well, you are said to be “crystal clear” on the matter. What was de­scribed as “clear as crystal” in the scriptures was the river that flowed out of the throne of Jesus in Jerusa­lem during Jesus’ future reign on earth.

The prophet Ezekiel prophe­sied of this river and said it would cleanse the entire earth, so all you environmental­ists needn’t worry that we’re going to have to colonize other planets because of all our destruc­tion to earth. Jesus will restore our planet and clean up our mess. No mention is made of Jesus placing us on other planets other than the new earth he will create after destroying the old one 1000 years after he returns.

 

cut down to the ground

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!  (Isaiah 14:12)

 

How appropriate that the one “cut down to the ground” in scripture was Lucifer who lost his authority in heaven as a cherubim (angel) because of his rebel­lion against God. Originally, Lucifer, or Satan as he is better known, was literally “cut down to the ground” because he was in heaven and was cast down to earth. God cast out Luci­fer for staging a rebellion and claim­ing that he would “be like the most High.”

Lucifer’s pride as a beauti­ful cheru­bim is the same pride that is alluded to in the phrase “cut down to the ground.” We usually apply this to those whom we feel are too arro­gant and who need to be brought down to earth; thus, we imply that they are so full of pride that they are up in the sky some­where, just like Luci­fer.

 

cut to the quick

The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Sav­iour, for to give repentance to Isra­el, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. ¶ When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.  (Acts 5:33)

 

A Jewish council that included the high priest decided to tell the apostles not to teach in Jesus’ name any­more. This same threat is repeated today when people are pressured, either directly or indirect­ly, to refrain from using the name “Jesus” in school gradua­tions, public prayers, etc. Instead, they are encour­aged to use the generic term “God,” which pleases just about all reli­gions except atheists and those Chris­tians who would like to hear the name of this mysteri­ous “God.”

Peter’s reply to these threats was that he “ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). This is the cor­rect thing to do when faced with the dilemma of soci­etal and biblical laws that conflict. “Cutting to someone’s heart” involves saying things that convicts a person or upsets him emo­tional­ly, or as some say, “That hit home.”

 

D

 

 

days are numbered

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.  (Psalms 90:12)

 

When David implored God to “teach us to number our days,” he wasn’t asking for God to help him make a calendar! If an employee hears that his “days are num­bered,” he better start looking for another job, for he’s getting ready to be fired.

The biblical meaning of this expres­sion refers to David’s desire for God to teach him to realize that man’s time on earth is short and for him to make the best of it for God. The scrip­tures teach us that we should all be living like each day could be our last. If we actually did number our days and figure out how many months and days we liter­ally have in an average life, it might help us to put our lives in a more eternal perspec­tive.

By the way, the average seven­ty-five year old will live ap­proximately 27,000 days or 900 months. It wouldn’t be a bad idea if we all had a 900-month calendar to number our days and remind ourselves how short life really is.

 

dead and buried

Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.  (Acts 2:29)

 

Speaking on the day of Pentecost, Peter reminds the people gathered at Jeru­salem that David prophesied of Jesus reign­ing on the throne of Jerusalem and that Jesus would be a descendant of King David who was “dead and buried.” Thus, someone that is dead and buried has been dead a considerable amount of time.

Jesus’ genealogical line takes up a good bit of the Bible. All those “begats” are there to prove Jesus’ claim to the throne of David and to show his real de­scent from Adam. Those of us working on our own family trees could only hope to do as good a job as the Bible’s.

 

dead to the world

God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?  (Romans 6:2)

 

To be “dead to the world” is to be fast asleep. The Bible’s use of this phrase differs, taking on a more literal interpre­tation and means someone who is “dead in Christ,” thereby being spiritually dead to the things of this world. A Christian who is not “dead to the world” is not a Chris­tian. Becoming a Christian requires one’s spiritual death.

A good test to know if you are “dead to the world” is if you still love the things of this world. “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). This is what is meant by Jesus’ saying, “…he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”

 

dearly beloved

Dearly beloved, avenge not your­selves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  (Romans 12:19)

 

Often heard at funerals by a preacher, “dearly beloved” is used by God to denote Israel and also New Testa­ment saints, both of whom are called God’s “dearly beloved.”

“Dear­ly beloved, we are gathered here today” are the last words most of us want to hear, but if it wasn’t for the reality of death, how many of us would ever be mindful of God and the things after death? Thank God for death, for, ironically, it reminds us of eternal life. Without the death of God himself and the shedding of his blood, none of us would have eter­nal life.

 

den of thieves

¶ And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and over­threw the tables of the moneychang­ers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is writ­ten, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.  (Matthew 21:13-14)

 

As used today, a “den of thieves” is a place of ill repute. When Jesus said the temple had become a “den of thieves,” he was showing us how the church gets cor­rupted by the buying and selling of mer­chandise within its own walls.

Is Jesus condemning the buying and selling of items on church grounds? Scrip­ture answers a resound­ing “Yes.” Some will object and try to justify the selling of these items by pointing out that what is being sold at chur­ches are religious books, tapes, and the like. Cer­tainly, they would argue, Jesus would not be against selling these godly helps. To the contrary, when Jesus got angry and overthrew the money­changers’ ta­bles, they too were selling reli­gious items of that day including doves and other things needed for sacri­fic­ing.

Of course, to stop this practice would cut in to the pock­etbooks of those who have a monetary interest in this endeavor, and they couldn’t have that now, could they? If they are opposed to stopping this practice, just overthrow a few of their tables, and you’ll get their attention.

 

die before your time

Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?  (Ecclesiastes 7:17)

Contrary to what many believe, it is possible to die before your time, or even to die after your time, though it is “ap­pointed unto man once to die, and then the judg­ment.”

Yes, we do have an appointment with death, and it is scheduled just as precise as your next doctor’s appoint­ment; however, just as the doctor will allow you to change his appointment, so will God allow you to change his. It all depends on your obedi­ence and your fear of him—just ask Hez­ekiah. God gave him an extra fif­teen years because of his prayer (see Isaiah 38:5), so Hezekiah actually died after his time, but because of most people’s rebellion, many will die before their time. The adage, “Only the good die young,” can be changed with a little righteous living.

 

do as I say, not as I do

THEN spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disci­ples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

 

Some of us “walk the walk,” and some of us just “talk the talk,” and the Phari­sees and Sadducees were a prime example of how to do neither. The Lord warned us of the “leaven of the Pharisees,” this leaven being their doctrine and their hypocrisy according to Matthew 16:12 and Luke 12:1. Neither their lifestyles nor their beliefs were god­ly, even though the Pharisees intimidat­ed others by their show of reli­gion.

Jesus refused to be intimidated, and he told them to their faces that they were children of the Devil. We should treat the modern-day Pharisees just as the Master did and he will be pleased.

 

do unto others

And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.  (Luke 6:31)

 

One of the most famous of all biblical expressions is this one that is commonly called the “Golden Rule.” Many anti-prov­erbs have spun off of “do unto others” such as “Do unto others before they do unto you,” and “He who has the gold makes the rules.”

Jesus used this proverb in his Sermon on the Mount preach­ing. In this discourse, you will find many colorful expressions such as “straight and narrow,” “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” “eye for an eye,” and others that are covered in this work.

Even the unbeliever recognizes the truthfulness and practical­ity of “do unto others,” for most everyone agrees that “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you” is a standard act of courtesy and behavior at home, work, or anywhere.

Of course, there are those sa­dists who would love to inflict pain and abuse on others because they themselves like it. How does the Golden Rule apply to them? It doesn’t because they are sinning in the act of and request for abuse. God’s laws are in harmony with each other.

 

drink it like water

How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?  (Job 15:15)

 

To “drink something like water” means just what it says—you drink a particular liquid as much or more than you drink water. This expression is often applied to alcohol­ics, i.e., drunkards, so the bibli­cal con­text is not far removed when it speaks of those who “drinketh iniquity like water.”

Getting drunk is con­demned in the Bible, but the drinking of wine is not. Jesus himself drank wine, not grape juice as some contend. How do we know it was not grape juice instead of wine? Jesus was accused of being a “winebibb­er” (Matthew 11:19), which is someone who gets drunk from wine. Obviously, you don’t get drunk from grape juice, so accusations of drinking grape juice don’t make sense.

There are several other instanc­es in scripture that teach that wine drinking is allowed, even recommended: “¶ Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works” (Ecclesiastes 9:7); “Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double­tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre” (1 Timothy 3:8). If even church deacons are not to drink “much wine,” that means they can drink some, obviously.

Paul admonished the older women in the church “that they be in behav­iour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;” (Titus 2:3). If “wine” means grape juice, for Paul to admonish the women not to drink much grape juice doesn’t even make sense unless “wine” includes the element of alcohol.

 

drop in the bucket

Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are  counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.  (Isaiah 40:15)

 

Historians like to call attention to the grandeur of empires and nations that have ruled the world at vari­ous times, but the one historian that has seen them all, i.e., God, said these nations are to him as “a very little thing.”

That ought to go over real well in a United Nations meeting. Compared to God’s greatness, these “mighty” nations are a “drop in the bucket,” meaning an insig­nificant amount compared to the whole. Seeing things through God’s eyes has a way of helping you see the big picture.

 

E

 

earthshaking

Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof trem­ble.  (Job 9:6)

 

The only thing said to be earthshaking in the Bible is the earth itself at the hands of God who will shake it in the last days. Job de­scribes God’s greatness and might to his friend Bildad the Shuhite and mentions that the earth­’s pillars tremble, thereby affirming that the earth has pil­lars that God has set in it.

The phrase “earthshaking” is usually rendered as “It’s not earth­shak­ing,” mean­ing there’s nothing that’s causing any great commotion. As Jerry Lee Lewis sang, and as God prom­ised, there will very soon be “a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on.”

One of the signs Jesus said would occur in the last days would be the predom­inance of earthquakes “in divers places.” We have had more earthquakes in the last few years than at anytime since man first started recording them. The greatest earth­quake in history will actually be in the future. The book of Revelation chapter sixteen prophesies that a great earthquake will devastate the earth just before the return of Jesus Christ. That ought to shake you up a little.

 

eat, drink, and be merry

And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.  (Luke 12:19)

 

The reigning philosophy of the heathen is exempli­fied in this very popular expres­sion whose modern counterpart is “sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll.” The biblical context involves the parable of the rich man who had to build bigger barns to store his goods, and after doing so, decided it was time to relax and “eat, drink, and be merry.”

Being happy or merry is the purpose of life for millions includ­ing those who profess to know Jesus, but to the knowl­edgeable Chris­tian, being happy is not, nor should be, his goal. Glorifying God and pleasing him is the purpose for our cre­ation ac­cording to Reve­la­tion 4:11. As every Christian knows, happiness comes as a result of pleasing God anyway.

 

eat one’s words

Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.  (Jeremiah 15:16)

 

When you make a statement to others that you might regret later, you might have to “eat your words.” As far as God is concerned, he would love for you to eat his words, for he says that his words are “sweeter than honey, and the honeycomb.”

“O taste and see that the Lord is good,” said David, as he meditated on the word of God. In fact, God’s words are more neces­sary for us than food itself according to Job 23:12: “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” You won’t have to worry about dieting when you eat his words—they’re all good for you in any amount.

 

eats me up

For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.  (Psalm 69:9)

 

David prophesied of Jesus’ ministry on earth and how the Lord felt about it. What ate Jesus up inside was the zeal that he had for the house of God.

Being called a “zealot” these days carries with it negative conno­tations; nonetheless, Jesus would be rightfully consid­ered a “zealot” as well as anyone else who has a great zeal for God.

A modern equivalent of the word “zeal­ot” would be “fanatic.” Of course, the world seems to think it is okay to be a fanatic about any­thing except God, or you’re labeled a “religious fanatic” and seen as some type of “extremist,” another term that is thrown around by people who want you to be a “middle-of-the-roader.” Stay in the middle of the road and you’ll get run over. If anyone were ever considered an “extremist,” it would have to be Jesus Christ, our example.

 

eleventh hour

And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they re­ceived every man a penny.  (Matthew 20:9)

 

“The eleventh hour” signifies the time that is left just before a deadline. Jesus applied the term in his parable of the laborers by telling of “eleventh hour” or last minute laborers who were hired by a farmer but who were paid the same wages as the previous helpers that had been there longer.

Since the workers worked a twelve-hour day, it can be assumed this was the normal practice back then as opposed to our eight-hour day today. You even hear talk of Americans switching to a thirty-two hour workweek with a three-day weekend. Scrip­ture says that we should work six days a week and rest on the seventh: “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work” (Exodus 20:11).

There is no such thing as a “weekend” in scripture, and for us to have one each week shows how much we have deviated from the scriptural norm. On the other hand, there are those workahol­ics who work seven days a week and disobey the command­ment to rest on the seventh day (Exodus 20:11).

God knows what is best for us, and he knows that if we don’t get our rest, we will have health problems. If we get too much rest, we will have spiritual problems. Working six days a week is the solution that God has commanded.

 

end is near

They hunt our steps, that we cannot go in our streets: our end is near, our days are fulfilled; for our end is come.  (Lamentations 4:18)

 

Just the mention of this phrase con­jures up images of the proverbial man with the sandwich boards walking down the street with the words “The end is near” on his front and backside.

As used in the Bible, “The end is near” refers to Israel’s complain­ing of her enemies and her fear that the nation itself was in jeopardy. It’s not hard to see the signs of the times (see phrase “signs of the times”) and know that “the end is near,” the phrase itself being an allusion to the Second Coming of Jesus and the end of time. The end may be near, but that just means a new beginning is approaching for the be­liev­er, and a terrify­ing and fearful end is coming for the unbeliev­er.

One of the benefits of being a Chris­tian is that God has told us what’s going to happen ahead of time, so in essence, the Christian can predict the future because he’s read and understood the end of the book. The end is definitely near, but that’s just the beginning.

 

end of the world

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.  Amen.  (Mat­thew 28:20)

 

“Hey, it’s not the end of the world,” people will say, when trying to comfort you or themselves. Of course, when disaster strikes, people tend to think it is the actual end of the world, but that is another popular miscon­ception.

According to scripture, the world will not end until 1000 years after Armageddon and the return of Jesus. At that time, Jesus will make a “new heaven and a new earth” (Revela­tion 21:1). The Christian never has to worry about atomic bombs, plagues, overpopu­lation, or anything else destroying the entire planet, for he knows that Jesus will not allow that to happen until he himself destroys the planet and makes a new one for the church.

Protecting the earth’s environment is good, but all the campaigns to “save the planet, save the rain for­ests,” etc., are ignorant of the fact that God will not let them be destroyed in the first place. God’s coming back to live on this planet for a thousand years, and afterwards, he will take plea­sure in destroying the earth and making a new one.

 

ends of the earth

For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.  (Acts 13:47)

 

Anyone that will go to great lengths to help you or that will go anywhere to assist you could be described as going to “the ends of the earth” for you. King David says that all people from “the ends of the earth” will come and worship Jesus when he reigns on the earth in the thousand-year reign after his return.

Yes, there will be a thousand-year reign, but not the variety that Hitler talked about. If you’re not willing to go to the ends of the earth for Jesus right now, you will be literally forced to do so in the future thou­sand-year reign when all nations will come and honor the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, once a year from every location on earth. Everyone will literally go to the ends of the earth for Jesus whether they like it or not.

 

error of one’s ways 

Let him know, that he which convert­eth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.  (James 5:20)

 

Those that are humble will say they’ve seen “the error of their ways” when cor­rected about any mis­taken be­liefs they are holding. Turning someone from the error of their ways in the scriptures involves a great deal more than correcting someone’s mistaken ideas. It means that you have converted that individual to Christiani­ty.

The next time someone thinks he has been turned from the error of his ways, remind him that for that to happen would require him to be born again. Until that error is corrected, that person will remain in the “error of his ways.” Of course, God will be happy to correct that error for you.

 

evil eye

Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:  (Proverbs 23:6)

 

You can always tell the bad guy in the movies—he’s the one with the evil eye, i.e., the sinister look. Solomon, the king of Israel, talks about this evil-eyed person in the Proverbs.

It is interesting to note that in the next verse, this person with the evil eye is also the subject of another famous quote: “For as a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.” This verse is usually not quoted accurately, for Proverbs 23:7 actually says something quite differ­ent: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” The “he” spoken of is the evil-eyed person in the verse above. Scrip­ture does not say, “As a man thinks in his heart so he is.” Instead, it says, “he thinketh,” speaking of the evil-eyed per­son just mentioned.

As a result of this correc­tion, the whole philosophy of positive and possibili­ty thinking is shown to be errone­ous when it bases itself on this scripture. The eyes tell us a lot about a person, as Jesus himself testi­fied in Matthew 6:22: “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” Evilness is reflected in the eyes, so don’t wonder why some people won’t look you in the eye.

 

eye for an eye

¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:  (Matthew 5:38)

 

Possibly the best known of bibli­cal expressions is this one that Jesus quotes from the Old Testament. As so often is the case, this scriptural expression is misap­plied by most people, and that in­cludes Chris­tians. Howev­er, a quick look at the context in Exodus chapter twenty-one would immediately clear up this misinterpretation. “An eye for an eye” was the method a judge would use to determine the proper pun­ish­ment for a crime; thus, the punishment would fit the crime.

The Bible does not give a Chris­tian license to go around doing the work of a judge. At the same time, a judge is not to circumvent this punishment that God has prescribed by giving lighter sentences, probation, plea-bargaining, and other legal twists. The Bible teaches that if a man murders some­one, he should die also. Any other punishment is con­doning the murder and rewarding the criminal.

No wonder our crime is rampant in this country. The ironic thing is that this country knows how to drastical­ly reduce crime—it just won’t follow the biblical proce­dures to do so. Why is this the case? The people that run our judicia­l system feel that people in general are just not as bad as the Bible says they are. According to them, nobody really wants to commit murder, rape, or robbery, for a “good” person is not evil to begin with.

Moreover, according to this philos­ophy, society is to blame for all of man’s evil deeds, not the men them­selves; there­fore, to punish man is wrong. Now we are told that crime is committed because we have criminal genes that make us this way; thus, people are predis­posed to do what they do and have no control over their wills. This is what we’ve come to—nobody is responsi­ble for anything he does because it’s really the fault of society, the environment, or his genes.

Of course, that idea is very readily received by those who don’t like the fact that God himself is a judge who will punish their sins in the lake of fire. To believe this other psycho­logi­cal nonsense will conveniently allow you to escape the judgment of God, for he surely can’t hold you responsi­ble for what society and your genes have done to you, can he? “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for what­soever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gala­tians 6:7).

 

F

 

 

face-to-face

And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is pre­served.  (Genesis 32:30)

 

Each one of us, like Jacob, will have a face-to-face meeting with the God of this universe, for God says, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow” and also “that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” Your knees will not bow because you are forced to but because of the sheer greatness of Jesus himself will you fall to the ground and worship. It will be like the scarecrow meeting the Wizard of Oz—just multiply that experience times ten- thousand.

We are not meeting some ambiguous spirit; we will actually see the face of God, Jesus Christ, whom it says “…is the image of the invisible God” (Colos­sians 1:15). When you see Jesus on the throne, don’t ask him to give you a new heart like the Wizard did for the tin man—it’ll be a little too late.

 

fall by the wayside

And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came, and devoured them up:  (Matthew 13:4)

 

In his parable of the sower, Jesus described four kinds of soil that a certain sower planted his seeds in, the seeds being the word of God, and the different soils representing the various hearers of the word. Only one soil ultimately became productive, and three did not. The seed that the Bible says “fell by the wayside” corre­sponded to the person whom had his seed taken away by Satan for not understanding what was preached to the hearer.

“Fall­ing by the wayside” speaks of something that has gone in to disservice or someone that has just dropped out of soci­ety. Spiritually speaking, “falling by the way­side” takes on a far more serious note, signifying the seeds of those who don’t get “planted” correctly.

You’ve got to have the right seed (the word of God) and the right soil (a hungry heart) to produce the right crop (a born-again soul). No Christian ever sprung from any other source, and you definitely won’t fool the consum­mate farmer himself, Jesus Christ, who knows the dif­fer­ence between a tare and a good crop.

 

fall from grace

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.  (Galatians 5:4)

 

Paul blasts the notion that a Chris­tian has to earn his way to heaven by good works. Christians that believe this, he says, have “fallen from grace,” meaning they no longer are living by the grace of God.

Today, this meaning has shifted some­what to include falling out of favor or losing one’s position in any endeavor. You definitely fall out of favor with God if you hold this belief of earning your way to heaven by your good deeds. If you believe God weighs your good and bad and passes judgment accordingly, you miss the whole reason that God had to save man in the first place—because man’s evil heart prevents him from saving himself through good works.

God can’t be bribed with your good deeds; he only looks for what you believe and if you really believe it. “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (John 6:29). “For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his” (He­brews 4:10). You can’t buy something that’s free from the start, and you can’t work for God if he’s not hiring.

 

fall into the hands of …

It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.  (He­brews 10:31)

 

Sometimes things are said to have “fallen into the wrong hands” if they end up in the possession of an undesirable person. In the Bible, the only hands any­body or anything falls into are God’s, who, unlike the popular commercial, you’re not always “in good hands” with. It is a “fearful thing” to fall into God’s hands if you are an unbeliever. No insurance company can help you with that.

Even so, God has “the whole world in his hands” as the song says and as Job echoes in Job 12:10: “In whose hand is the soul of every thing, and the breath of all man­kind.” It looks like people are in his hands whether they like it or not.

 

fall on your sword

And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him.  (1 Samuel 31:5)

 

“Shooting yourself in the foot” would be a close equiv­alent of this biblical ex­pression found in the book of Samu­el. This saying is another example of a literal expres­sion of the Bible being turned into a metaphori­cal one for today.

King Saul commit­ted suicide after realiz­ing that he was going to lose his battle against the Phi­listines, and upon seeing Saul’s demise, his armor bearer did the same. If you fall on your sword, you do yourself more harm than you’re able to recov­er from.

Even though we don’t carry swords around anymore, the disciples did, and Jesus approved of it. In fact, he said if you don’t have a sword, sell some of your clothes and go buy one: “Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his gar­ment, and buy one” (Luke 22:36).

When’s the last time you heard Chris­tians advocat­ing the idea of selling your clothes and buying guns instead? We hear the opposite these days from the anti-gun crusaders who tell people to sell their guns and buy more clothes. There­fore, go buy you a sword, gun, or any other weapon, and don’t be talked out of it by those who say Jesus didn’t allow for it. Just don’t “fall on your sword,” and you’ll be al­right.

 

far be it from me

And Joab answered and said, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy.  (2 Samuel 20:20)

 

An equivalent expression might be, “I wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing.” Joab, one of David’s officers in his army, was pursuing a man named Sheba who took up arms against David. Joab followed him to a certain city and told that city’s leader that he wanted only Sheba, not the city. Speaking of the city, he said, “Far be it from me that I should swallow up or de­stroy.”

“Far be it from me” is another example of why the Bible needs no updating; on the con­trary, this amazing book constant­ly updates our lan­guage and provides us hun­dreds of colorful and inter­esting expres­sions that have survived the test of time, even after 4,000 years of use. “Far be it from us” to discount the impact this book continues to make on our society.

 

fear of God, (put the … into someone)

And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel.  (2 Chron. 20:29)

 

It seems that the countries of this world would have learned by now that God definitely does protect Israel and fights against those countries that fight against her. Israel went 2,500 years with God not allow­ing her to become a country, but he changed everything for his purposes when Israel became a nation again over fifty years ago.

The fact that Israel even exists is a modern miracle. She is surround­ed by ene­mies that have waged war con­stantly to destroy her, but God has protected her as he promised he would. He has done this by “putting the fear of God” on all those coun­tries who fight and try unsuccessfully to defeat her.

One reason that the United States has always defended Israel could be that its leaders have believed the scriptures that say Israel and its supporters will be pro­tected by God: “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee…” (Genesis 12:3).

When someone has “the fear of God” put into him as these countries have, it means that he gets “scared straight” as we say today.

 

feet of clay

His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.  (Daniel 2:33)

 

When you learn about a particu­lar fault someone has that you didn’t suspect he or she had, this person is said to have “feet of clay”—an undetected weakness. As used in the book of Daniel, “feet of clay” made reference to the feet of a person that Daniel saw in a vision.

According to the Bible’s own inter­pre­tation of the vision, certain parts of the person’s body in Daniel’s vision each repre­sented kingdoms that were to rule the world. The image’s feet stood for the fourth and last kingdom described as “part of iron and part of clay.”

Certain commenta­tors say that this can only signify the Roman empire in a new form for the last days before Christ returns. In Europe today, various countries are all slowly uniting their currencies and govern­ments in an attempt to create a United States of Europe out of which will emerge someone who many feel will be the predict­ed world leader, the Antichrist. He will have an inherent weakness, though, because the image’s iron and clay do not mix, possibly showing that he will not have a strong alliance in the long term.

Thus, it can be seen how the idea of weakness came to be associated with the expres­sion “feet of clay.” Of course, “feet of clay” can be literally applied to Adam whom God creat­ed out of the dust of the ground, that is, clay. His weakness, or feet of clay, howev­er, was his wife, whom he chose to die with instead of obeying God and not eating the forbidden fruit. Man ended up choosing a woman over God himself, a fact that ought to demon­strate the power that women have over men. Man’s feet of clay is almost always his woman.

 

fight like men

Be strong, and quit yourselves like men, O ye Philis­tines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you: quit yourselves like men, and fight.  (1 Samuel 4:9)

 

In this day of women’s rights and the feminist move­ment, phrases like this don’t go over too well with the modern woman. We are never encouraged to “fight like a woman.”

The Philistines were battling Israel and exhorted each other to “fight like men” after some of their men had ex­pressed fear on ac­count of how Israel had conquered other armies with the famous Ark of the Covenant. This ark became the subject matter of a modern movie in the Raiders of the Lost Ark series.

It must be remembered that the exhor­tation to “fight like a man” was not given by God but rather by the Philis­tines. God does exhort us to fight, but to learn about that, see the next passage.

 

fight the good fight

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast pro­fessed a good profession before many witness­es.  (1 Timothy 6:11)

 

To “fight the good fight” involves being aggressive in defending a good cause. Paul is reminding his young disciple Timo­thy that to be a good Christian, Timothy has to be like a soldier in a war because the true Chris­tian is fighting a real war with real enemies.

The Bible teaches us how to love and how to fight. Fortu­nately, we have the ultimate fighter himself, Jesus Christ, fighting for us. He remains undefeated to this day, having knocked out all “challeng­ers” including his main contender, Satan. Three scriptural blows were all it took (see Matthew chapter four).

 

filthy lucre (rich)

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospital­ity, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no strik­er, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;  (1 Timothy 3:3)

 

“Filthy rich” and “filthy lucre” both refer to money gotten illegally or immoral­ly. In the scriptures, this phrase makes reference to false teachers and preachers who teach “for filthy lucre’s sake,” i.e., just for the money.

As it states above, one of the quali­fications of a bishop is that he can’t be greedy of “filthy lu­cre.” This would dis­qualify many in the church today who spend much of their time begging for money through telethons and donations when the Bible says, “I have never seen the righ­teous forsaken, nor his seed begging for bread.”

Many in the church today seem to have compassion for the lost, but a lot of this “compassion” is just a smoke screen for getting more people in the church. Why? More people means more tithes collected and helps to finance everyone’s building pro­grams. “The love of money is the root of all evil.”

 

finger of God

Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pha­raoh’s heart was hardened, and he hear­kened not unto them; as the Lord had said.  (Exodus 8:19)

 

People will usually proclaim God had something to do with a situation when something miraculous seemingly happens. They will then cry out that “the finger of God” is present.

Pharaoh’s magicians cried out this same cry when God turned the dust of the ground into lice and plagued Egypt for not letting the Hebrew slaves go. The magicians had actually duplicated God’s acts of bringing frogs out of the water and turning the water into blood, but they could not duplicate the lice being brought from the dust.

Perhaps they could not duplicate it because it involved actually creating life out of matter. For whatever reason, they recognized God’s hand in the matter by proclaiming it to be the “finger of God.” God gets even his enemies to proclaim his mighty acts. That is one of the greatest proofs of the existence of God himself.

 

fire and brimstone

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idola­ters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.  (Revelation 21:8)

 

Those who constantly preach on hell and the lake of fire are labeled “fire and brimstone” preachers and are relegated as too harsh and unlov­ing by much of modern man. This criticism would have to be levied upon Jesus, Paul, and the other disciples as well. They were always preaching on hell and damnation.

In Mark chapter nine, Jesus told the same people three times that hell awaited those who rejected God, saying that hell is “where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” In 2nd Thessalonians chapter one, Paul spoke of God’s wrath being poured out on the heathen: “In flam­ing fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” There is no symbol­ism or figurative language here.

 

fire in his eyes

His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;  (Reve­lation 1:14)

 

Guess who has fire in his eyes in the Bible? It was the loving, caring Jesus according to the apostle John’s vision of Jesus in the book of Revela­tion. To have “fire in your eyes” means you are ex­tremely angry, and this usage is connected in meaning with the biblical context where Jesus is de­scribed as having eyes “as a flame of fire.”

It is seldom taught today that God is angry with any­one, but the Bible declares otherwise in Psalms chapter two where it says God “is angry with the wicked every day.” Jesus is so angry with the wicked that he will literal­ly kill millions of people at his second coming and will actu­ally crush the wicked like grapes soaking his own garment with their blood (Isaiah 64).

There will be so much bloodshed that the blood of the wicked will reach the horses’ bridle to a distance of 200 miles (Revelation 14:20). Some commentators contend that the Red Sea was so named because of the blood that will pour into it from this battle.

 

flesh and blood

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.  (Mat­thew 16:17)

 

Your own “flesh and blood” is another way of saying your children, parents, relatives, or people in general. Jesus employed the term when asking Peter who men said the Son of Man was. Peter’s answer that Jesus was “the Son of the living God” was not revealed to him by “flesh and blood”—in other words, man, but by God himself.

“Whom say ye that I am” is the most important question you’ll ever answer about Jesus. The right answer to this question is connected with the “flesh and blood” phrase itself, for God took on flesh and blood by becoming a son. Man never could become God, so God became a man.

 

fly in the ointment

Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.  (Ecclesi­astes 10:1)

Just as a fly in the soup ruins a meal, so does a fly in the ointment ruin a jar of Vaseline! As it is used in this verse of scripture, the “fly in the oint­ment” is ruining a good man’s reputation. How is it ruined?—when he commits a “lit­tle folly.”

A wise man will shun foolish­ness and folly for this very reason, but there are some who see no harm in a little playful­ness and folly. For those who feel this way, Proverbs 26:18-19 should be avoided: “As a mad man who casteth fire­brands, arrows, and death, So is the man that deceiveth his neighbor, and saith, Am I not in sport?”

Practical jokers are compared to madmen and deceiv­ers. Doing these things, is, in effect, lying and deceiv­ing. In God’s eyes, jokers and kidders are no different than a common liar, and that’s no joke.

 

follow in the steps of…

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:  (1 Peter 2:21)

 

How appropriate that the person we are to “follow in the footsteps of,” or emu­late, according to scrip­ture, is Jesus Christ himself. Following anyone else could lead you to idolatry which is masqueraded as heroes and role models today. If you want to play “follow the leader,” follow the true one, Jesus Christ, and you will never be disappointed.

 

for Christ’s sake

We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honor­able, but we are despised.  (1 Corinthians 4:10)

 

To utter “for Christ’s sake” is to implore someone or to express unbelief or amazement. Its usage in the Bible is liter­al, as opposed to the modern, euphemistic counterpart. “We are fools,” Paul said, “for Christ’s sake,” speak­ing of the apos­tles’ persecution and their being “ap­point­ed to death.”

Every time one utters this ex­pres­sion, he is asking for some action to be done on behalf of Christ whether he believes in Christ or not. It’s funny how God gets even the unbeliever to acknowl­edge his need of Jesus.

 

four corners of the earth

AND after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.  (Revelation 7:1)

 

“The four corners of the earth” speaks of far away places as we use it today. Maybe this saying is where some got the notion that the earth is flat; thus, modern man might blame the Bible for fostering incor­rect, scientific notions about the earth.

Ah, but if these same doubters would have bothered to look in the book of Isa­iah, they would have been star­tled to see that God “sitteth upon the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22). The fact that the earth is round like a ball was known thou­sands of years before the scientists claimed to have known it. Reading your King James Bible will always keep you ahead of the pack.

 

from time to time

And thy meat which thou shalt eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day: from time to time shalt thou eat it.  (Ezekiel 4:10)

 

God told men to do some strange things in the Bible, and Ezekiel was a prime example. God instructed the prophet to lie on his side 390 consecutive days, each day to represent a year of Israel’s iniquity. While lying on his side, Ezekiel was to eat meat and drink “from time to time.”

Perhaps the reason he was sup­posed to eat “from time to time” and not more often was that his food was to be cooked with human dung according to God. God was send­ing a message to the Israelites about their sinful­ness, but poor Ezekiel had to wake up to the sweet aroma of dung-baked breakfast every morning.

 

fruits of your labor

But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.  (Phillipians 1:22)

 

To see the results of your work is to realize and enjoy the “fruits of your labor.” Paul’s labor was preaching the gospel, and he saw the results of his work with his converts that he was helping grow in the faith.

God has always instructed man to “be fruitful.” He is interested in us reproducing, not just physically with children, but spiritually by becoming more like Jesus and making converts. Notice that fruit is the result of labor, or work. Any gardener knows the incredible amount of time and labor it takes to grow a fruit, and as it grows, the effort at protecting it from bugs, birds, and diseases is a job in itself.

The same applies spiritually to a Christian’s life. Our “fruits of labor” can be enjoyed even more when we realize how much has gone into growing us and protecting us from the things that destroy our fruits. A piece of cantaloupe never tasted so good as when you consider the labor that went into it and the sweet tooth of the Creator who made it just for us.

 

fuel to the fire

Thou shalt be for fuel to the fire; thy blood shall be in the midst of the land; thou shalt be no more re­mem­bered: for I the Lord have spoken it.  (Ezekiel 21:32)

 

Don’t “add fuel to the fire” we are told when we make a bad situation worse. God prophesies of his judgment of the Ammonites for their lying and vanity against Israel. Because of this, he says that the Ammonites will be “fuel to the fire.” All an unbeliever will be good for is fuel to the fire when he is cast into hell, the fire that never runs out of fuel.

G

 

 

get your house in or­der

IN those days was Hezekiah sick unto death.  And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in or­der; for thou shalt die, and not live.  (2 Kings 20:1)

 

God told King Hezekiah to “Set thine house in order” because the king was going to die. God, however, extended his life by adding fif­teen years to it on account of the proph­et’s fervent prayer. We usually hear this expression when something seri­ous is going on and we need to have ourselves prepared and organized.

“Order” ought to be a trademark of a Christian’s life. “Out of order” is God’s opinion of the way the world operates. Like everything else, the master mechanic can fix it.

 

give credit where cr­edit is due

Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; cus­tom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.  (Romans 13:7)

 

When Jesus was asked about pay­ing taxes, his reply was to “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s”—a can’t lose slogan for the IRS if there ever was one. Everyone’s favorite government agency, the Internal Revenue Service, is more holy and a lot less “infer­nal” than you think. Need the Bible remind you, they are called God’s minis­ters to whom we are to pay taxes. Of course, if they owe us money, then they need to give credit where credit is due, or as the Bible says, “tribute to whom tribute is due.”

Acknowledging some­one’s accom­plish­ments is the meaning of “giving credit where credit is due.” Acknowl­edging the IRS as God’s ministers, though not an easy task, is something that might make it easier to pay those taxes come April 15th. You definitely don’t want to owe back taxes to God or his ministers. He and they have a way of re­trieving them if you haven’t found that out already.

 

give up the ghost

Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.  (Genesis 25:8)

 

Yes, there are ghosts in the Bible, and, yes, there is a friendly ghost, but it’s not Casper; it is the Holy Ghost. “Giving up the ghost” is used in place of saying someone died, and it is also happens to be a more accurate account of what actually occurs at death. When an individu­al dies, the Bible says the spirit, or ghost, returns “unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).

Telling children that there are no such things as ghosts is contrary to biblical teaching. While we’re on the subject, don’t neglect to teach that there are monsters as well—just look in the book of Lamenta­tions. While you’re at it, don’t forget about the dragons and the “fiery flying serpents” (Isaiah 30:6) men­tioned throughout the Bible.

These words seem to embar­rass some Bible transla­tors, so they decided to change these terms in the newer versions. A true Christian should have no problem believing that there are monsters in the sea, dragons in the desert (isn’t that thing called the Komodo dragon?), and ghosts. We haven’t even touched on behemoth or leviathan, the dinosaurs that the Bible says existed at the time of man. Since scien­tists would have a conniption fit with that concept, the other transla­tions fol­lowed suit and removed their references by referring to them as hippo­potamuses or alligators, both of which are incorrect translations. If you bother to read the context in the book of Job, you will notice that levia­than can’t be anything but a dinosaur (See Job chapter 41). The King James Bible has to qualify as the most insightful, yet most critically attacked book ever written.

 

gnash your teeth

But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  (Matthew 8:12)

 

A fitting way to describe anger is this phrase quoted by Jesus who described the feeling that those being cast into hell will experience. The wicked quite often gnash their teeth in scripture, and maybe all this gnashing prompted King David to tell God to “break their teeth” (Psalms 58:6).

Praying for your enemies’ teeth to be broken doesn’t bode well with most Chris­tians; however, God didn’t reprimand David for asking for this supposed reprehensi­ble action. The only repri­mand comes from teeth-gnashing “scholars” who deem this verse too harsh to be taken literally. It is not only literal, it is a righ­teous desire, and that is what causes all the teeth to “gnash” in the first place. Before you scream that it is not right for believers to do these things, notice that God is the one who is sup­posed to do the breaking of teeth. Take it up with him.

 

go on all fours

Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them ye shall not eat for they are an abomination.  (Levit­icus 11:42)

Chocolate covered grasshoppers are a definite no-no for a Jew to eat because they are creeping things that “goeth upon all four.” God was telling Moses and Aaron the difference between the clean and un­clean things they could eat. To “go on all fours” is to act like an animal. The Jews, as most know, can’t eat certain foods like pork, fish without scales, or meat with blood in it. The Jews would probably accuse John the Baptist of acting like an animal who goes on all fours be­cause he went around eating “locusts and wild honey.”

The New Testament allows the Christian to eat these meats and insects if he so chooses: “Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him” (Romans 14:3). It is not cruel to kill animals and to eat meat no matter what the vege­tarians tell you.

 

go the extra mile

And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.  (Matthew 5:41)

 

Jesus, the original proponent of going the extra mile, taught his disciples to do the same. Literally, he was saying to do at least twice as much as is asked of you. Try that next time on someone who asks you to do him a favor. Ask him if you can do twice as much for him or more and watch his reaction.

The teaching and lesson here is to do more than we’re expected to do. Christians need to stand out from the world. The world will help its own, but Christians need to do more than that. Jesus definitely did so, even to the point of dying on a cross. If we don’t go the extra mile, and if we don’t do more than the world, how will we look any different than they? How will they differentiate us from themselves?

 

go the way of all flesh

I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong there­fore, and shew thy­self a man;  (1 Kings 2:2)

 

The only sure things according to this world are death and taxes, and for them they are right. The exception to this rule was Enoch and Elijah who escaped death and were taken up into heaven. These two men’s depar­ture before death foreshadowed what will happen to the Christians living in the last days who will be taken into heaven and escape death.

For those of us who will die before this event and have to “go the way of all the earth” as stated by King David in this passage, that’s life. There are some bene­fits in being a last-days Christian, but your need for a nice funeral is not one of them.

 

go to hell

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

 

If you feel the urge to utter this to some unsus­pecting soul, take comfort in knowing that this action was not condemned by God when King David said this very thing about one of his enemies. Not only was this person David’s enemy, he was also a sup­posed believer who David “walked unto the house of God in company” with.

David was obviously deceived by his friend, and David’s reaction of wishing his friend would “go down quick into hell,” albeit shocking, is, nonetheless, scriptur­ally sound advice to any of you needing to do the same to others. Just be sure to tell them that you are saying what any Christian ought to tell those who live as though they want to go to hell.

 

go through fire and water

Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.  (Psalms 66:12)

 

A modern rendition would be “go to hell and back” and speaks of going to great lengths and striving diligent­ly for someone or something. The Israelites made refer­ence to this phrase but meant it literally when they mentioned going through the Red Sea’s wall of water and the “pillar of fire” that protected them from the Egyptians.

The history of God’s judgments on earth can also be summed up as going through fire and water. Noah’s flood was the water judgment, and fire is the next: “Whereby the world that then was, being over­flowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Peter 6-7). God has no intention of saving this earth for anyone; he’s going to make a new one that’s even better.

 

God bless you

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: (Numbers 6:24)

 

Just because God blesses you, don’t get the notion that all is well. Throughout scripture, God blesses even the heathen (a name intolerant to some, yet biblical to others). As some preachers might say, “God will bless your socks off and send you straight to hell at the same time,” and “this witness is true,” as the Bible would say.

Even though God does bless us with all his many wonderful things, let us not forget that he also curses those who are against him, and that’s not talking about using “bad” language of which there is plenty of that in the King James as well (see “bastard,” “teat,” “whore,” “dung,” “piss,” “go to hell,” “damned,” etc.).

 

God forbid

What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. (Romans 6:15)

 

Speaking to the church at Rome, Paul tried to dispel the notion that Christians could continue in sin because they weren’t “under the law, but under grace.” Paul’s reaction was a resounding “no,” or “God forbid.” Paul was not advocating a license to sin, but at the same time, he was not saying our salvation depended on not sin­ning.

People always ask what a Chris­tian can and can’t do and still go to heaven. Once you have believed and been saved, no matter what you do, you will still go to heaven. Does this mean you can do anything? The answer is quite surprising to those who are of little under­standing of salvation. Yes, you can do any sin in the book and still go to heaven, for any sin you commit has already been forgiven, and that includes sins in the future. Could you murder, lie, steal, and commit adultery? Yes, you could. Should you?—of course not.

Have Christians done these things? Just look at the Chris­tians in the Bible who did these things and are in heaven today. Moses and David both murdered. Abraham lied and was a polygamist. Solomon committed idola­try by worship­ping his wives’ gods. Noah got drunk, and Job cursed God for the day that Job was born. These actions all oc­curred after they became Christians, and none of these people lost their salva­tion.

Once you are born again, you can’t undo the fact that you are a child of God because you can do nothing to corrupt that part of you that will inherit heaven—the spirit man: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorrupt­ible, by the word of God, which liveth, and abideth for ever” (1 Peter 1:23). Man usually manages to screw up just about everything that God has entrusted to him; fortunately, God gave us something that we can’t mess up—”incorruptible seed.”

 

God is my witness

For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;  (Romans 1:9)

 

Anytime you hear that there are no eyewitnesses to a crime, that is not a true statement. There has been an eyewitness to every crime ever committed over the history of time, and that witness is Jesus Christ. Just think if you had access to view every crime committed in every second of every day. God has this access, for “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good (Prov­erbs 15:3). You think you’re sick of evil? Try putting yourself in God’s place.

 

God save the king

And it came to pass, when Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, was come unto Absalom, that Hushai said unto Absalom, God save the king, God save the king.  (2 Samuel 16:16)

 

No English king is crowned without hearing “God save the king” proclaimed. Hushai, a friend of King David, also pro­claimed these very words when he met Da­vid’s son Absalom. Absalom didn’t want God to save the king; instead, he wanted to overthrow his father David.

Like Absalom, we Americans don’t take kindly to kings we don’t like either, so we took up arms against the one we had which was nothing short of outright rebel­lion against “the powers that be” (see phrase “powers that be”). This, of course, is rebel­lion against God himself who sets up these kings to reign over us. You don’t read of Jesus telling his disciples to overthrow King Herod, who, by the way, killed John the Baptist and wanted to kill Jesus as well.

Kings around the world don’t get the respect and honor they deserve despite the scriptures clear admon­itions for their honor: “Fear God. Honour the king” (1 Peter 2:17). When the King of Kings reigns su­preme in Jeru­salem, he will get respect, and he will not share any of his power with the Supreme Court or Congress. God doesn’t operate this government demo­crati­cally.

 

good for nothing

¶ 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.  (Matthew 5:13)

 

Christians should take heed at this warning given by Jesus in his preaching to the multitudes. He stated that if the “salt of the earth,” or Christians, “have lost his savour,” they have become “good for nothing” and will be “trodden underfoot of men.” In other words, if a Chris­tian has lost his testimony or zeal for God, he is not fit to do anything in this world and will end up a reject. He will not be useful for the world, the church, or God; thus, he will be useless, i.e., “good for nothing.”

Trying to please the world and God not only is wick­ed and worthless (good for nothing), but also will get you “trodden under foot of men,” or “stepped all over,” as the world would say.

 

good Lord

For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issa­char, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was writ­ten. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good Lord pardon every one That prepareth his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.  (2 Chronicles 30:18-19)

 

A common title given to Jesus today is “The Good Lord,” an appellation and expres­sion used since the times of King Hezekiah of Israel 2,700 years ago. The use of the term “good” to describe God was discussed by Jesus himself when someone came up to him and called him “Good Master.” Jesus asked him why he was calling him “good” when there was only one that is good (God) according to Jesus.

Muslims like to use this verse to show that Jesus was saying he wasn’t God, that only God was good, not himself. This verse teaches the very opposite fact. Jesus was saying, in effect, “If you’re calling me good, you’re calling me God.” Jesus never denied he was God; in fact, he proclaimed it over and over again: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up…But he spake of the temple of his body.” (John 2:19, 21).

Jesus raised his own body from the dead, but the scrip­tures also say it was God who did it. There is no other way to reconcile those scriptures but to acknowl­edge that Jesus is the one who raises the dead and also is the one who was raised—God and man in one person. Don’t call him good unless you believe he is nothing less than God him­self.

 

good name

A GOOD name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.  (Prov­erbs 22:1)

 

A good name “is better than precious ointment” accord­ing to Ecclesiastes 7:1. When a person has a good name in the commu­nity, he usually is considered a person of integrity. However, beware “when all men speak well of you,” as Jesus said, “for so did the fathers to the false prophets.”

Having a good name is not the same as having everyone like you. You should have a good name in the community, but you should also have many enemies if you are living the life of a Christian. Trying to make everyone like you is the job of a poli­tician, not a Christian. A Christian with no enemies is not living for God, just for his supposed good name.

 

goodness’ sake

Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgres­sions: according to thy mercy remember thou me  for thy good­ness’ sake, O Lord.  (Psalms 25:7)

 

Often used as a substitute for “heav­en’s sake,” or “for Christ’s sake,” the phrase “for goodness’ sake” is a convenient euphemism for the less religiously oriented talker. David speaks in this passage of scripture and asks God to forget “the sins of my youth” in order to show “thy good­ness’ sake.”

That is precisely why God does every­thing he does, for his “goodness’ sake,” not ours. Some might think this is selfish, but that accu­sation is wicked, for God created everything for his pleasure, not ours. He didn’t create the universe because he needed someone to show his love to. That is heresy. God needs nothing, and that in­cludes us. He is perfect and complete in all his ways, and out of his sheer mercy we are brought into a saving knowledge of him. To say that because God died for us so we must be infinitely valuable to him is a total perversion of the love of God. God died for “his goodness’ sake,” not ours, for we had none to die for anyway. Goodness sakes alive.

 

gospel according to…

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SAINT MATTHEW  (Title of the book of Matthew)

 

Many will use this expression to belittle those that they think know it all or think they are right about everything. Three of the four gospels have this expres­sion as their title, leading skeptics of the Bible to assert that these accounts can’t be all God’s words because they are just told “according to” each disci­ple.

Because there are differing facts in some accounts, this is some­how supposed to mean there are contradic­tions in the Bible. Any good lawyer knows that differ­ent wit­nesses of the same event will have extra or different information without it being neces­sarily contradicto­ry.

Be careful Bible reader; God sets these traps to test your faith in his word. When in confusion, give his word the bene­fit of the doubt, and chalk up your misun­der­standing to your ignorance, not his supposed mistakes.

 

greener pastures

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.  (Psalms 23:2)

 

People are always looking for some­thing better or newer, whether it be a mate, a job, a car, etc. “If I could just get such and such, I’d be happy” is a lie because the Bible says, “The eyes of man are never satisfied.” If you really want to find greener pas­tures, God, not the things of this world, will lead you to them.

 

guiding light

And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness,  (Romans 2:19)

 

Paul was reprimanding the Jews who felt they were “a guiding light” to convert the heathen—not knowing that they them­selves needed converting. Feeling that you are a light to the blind when you yourself are blind is what Jesus meant in Matthew 6:23: “If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that dark­ness!” As another biblical saying goes, “There is none so blind as those who will not see” (See John 9:39).

Religious deception is the worst kind, and it is the most effective tool of Satan who has “angels of light” that appear as “minis­ters of righ­teousness” (2 Corinthi­ans 11:15). These ministers are in every denom­ina­tion and religion on earth. That is what “Mystery Babylon” is referring to in Reve­lation.

H

 

 

half dead

And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jeri­cho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.  (Luke 10:30)

 

The story of the Good Samaritan is familiar to most everyone. The man that the Samaritan helped had been robbed and hurt and was literally “half dead.” Saying you’re “half dead” means you’re extremely exhausted.

This account serves as another of Jesus’ rebukes to the religious leaders of his day, for this story involved a Levite priest that saw a wounded man but passed on by without helping. After the priest passed by, another man did help. The Bible does not say that this Samari­tan was “good,” just a neighbor. It is the unbe­liever that wants to believe the Samaritan is “good,” for it is the unbeliever that likes to assert that helping people makes you a “good” person.

God didn’t teach us this story to show us how to get to heaven but to show us that even the unbelieving Samaritan helps those in need while some religious leaders ignore matters such as these.

 

half was not told me

Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.  (1 Kings 10:7)

 

“You haven’t heard the half of it” is the expression we might use to de­scribe a situation that has a lot of de­tails yet to be revealed. This biblical context involved the Queen of Sheba’s visit to King Solomon. According to Jesus, King Solo­mon was the wisest man to ever live. Where Solomon got this wisdom, if you remember, was from his prayer to God at the dedication of the Jewish Temple that the king had built. When God asked him to name what he wanted, Solomon asked for wisdom.

Isn’t it a sad commentary on man’s nature that the wisest man to ever live, who also had everything he could ever want, summed up all his riches and wisdom as nothing but “vanity and vexation of spir­it.” “All is vanity,” said King Solomon, and man’s vanity is the very thing that refuses to let him acknowledge this.

 

hand in hand

Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.  (Proverbs 11:21)

 

“Hand in hand” has come to be associ­ated with lovers walking and holding hands or two people working closely together. The biblical usage refers to the wicked who unite “hand in hand” to accomplish some supposed great feat. Their unity does not impress God who says that in spite of their great deeds, they will not go unpun­ished.

The Bible seems to prophesy of very familiar happenings today. Events happen all the time where people join hands and literally form a human line that is miles long to raise awareness of different issues. Instead of placing your hands in union with the wick­ed, try, as the song says, to “Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the wa­ters.”

 

hard headed

As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy fore­head: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.  (Ezekiel 3:9)

 

Because Israel would not listen to God, God chose Ezekiel the prophet to speak unto them. He made the prophet’s head “harder than flint” so that Ezekiel would not fear or “be dismayed at their looks.” Being called “hardheaded” today means you have the reputa­tion of not changing your mind despite other view­points. Being hard-headed for God means you don’t compromise your position or belief in the face of adversity.

God likes hardheaded Chris­tians, so don’t let the world soften you up. While you’re at it, go ahead and be narrow-minded also, for this pleases God as well (see “straight and narrow”).

 

have nothing on some­one

Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.  (John 14:30)

 

We’ve all heard criminal suspects who say, “You don’t have anything on me” to a detective when the criminal does­n’t believe he’s guilty of some crime. Jesus ut­tered this statement about himself in reference to Satan who he said “hath nothing in me.”

Jesus was declaring he was per­fect and without sin, so to say “Nobody’s per­fect” isn’t quite true. The one who is “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens” is just that. In fact, all his children are consid­ered spiritually perfect also: “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sancti­fied” (Hebrews 10:14).

There is a popular bumper stick­er that says, “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.” Someone’s not reading his Bible.

 

he has the world in the palm of his hands

In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.  (Job 12:10)

 

All of us originate from God. He breathed into us the breath of life and fashioned us from his own batch of creative genius. He literally does have the world in his hands if from his hands he created each one of us.

Someone who “has the world in the palm of his hands” is a person who lives a life of ease and has great influence over others. This expression is one of those definitely applying to God; nonetheless, it is used of man. Though Jesus “had the world in the palm of his hands,” he also had nails placed there to. We all could say spiritually that we were nailed to the cross, too, because our lives are in his hands.

 

he thinks he’s something

For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.  (Galatians 6:3)

 

We’ve all heard people talk about another they think is arrogant by saying, “He thinks he’s really something.” God said if you think you’re “something” when you’re actually nothing, you are deceived. Paul mentioned that we ought not to think more highly of ourselves than we should. Even the great apostle Paul said of himself that “I be nothing” in 2 Corinthians 12:11. If anyone could have bragged about his status as an apostle, it would have been Paul; instead, he liked to call himself “nothing.”

Paul was in the business of decreasing like all Christians should be. Tell someone who asks you how you’re doing that you are “decreasing.” That would be a good thing according to John 3:30 where John says of Jesus, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Our goal is for us to become “nothing” and Jesus to become everything because, unlike us, “he knows he really is something.”

he hung the moon (earth)

He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.  (Job 26:7)

 

Who hasn’t heard this expression? It is used to describe a person that another thinks very highly of, or, as we say, “worships the ground they walk on.” One who believes that another “hung the moon” may not realize that that saying is “pushing the envelope” of blasphemy. God is the only one who hung the moon, and notice that the Bible actually said he did “hang” it. God never said anything about gravity holding all the planets and moons together, but he did say that he is “upholding all things by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3).

 

heart and soul

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.  (Matthew 22:37)

 

Giving all you can to accomplish something is the meaning of this biblical expression. According to Jesus and the Old Testament, loving God has to be done with heart and soul in order to obey the great­est command­ment of all—”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” (Mat­thew 22:37). It’s all or nothing with God as far as your heart is concerned, so don’t “lose heart” or go in “half-hearted,” but “set your heart” on him, and he will give you your “heart’s desire.”

heart of stone

And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh.  (Ezekiel 11:19)

 

“He has a good heart,” people will say, or “His heart is in the right place,” says some. Since God looks upon the heart and not the outside, his opinion is quite different from the norm. Everyone without God has a heart of stone and needs a new heart according to what God told Ezekiel: “I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh.”

 

hearts and minds

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Je­sus.  (Phillipians 4:7)

 

We speak of someone winning “the hearts and minds” of another group of people when a charismatic leader or influ­ential person gets the affections and approval of his followers. For a Christian, the peace of God keeps “your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” The peace of mind that everyone is looking for comes only from Jesus. Anything else is a false sense of security.

 

heart’s desire

BRETHREN, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.  (Romans 10:1)

 

What we want most is what is meant by the phrase “heart’s desire,” and what Paul wanted most was for the Jews to be saved, of whom he said they were not.

That ought to go over well with the ecumenical movement today that teaches that all religions worship the same God. God will grant the ecumenical move­ment their heart’s de­sire, the antichrist, a world leader that unites all the false reli­gions. True Christiani­ty just happens to be the only thing that keeps the antichrist from appear­ing, and when the Christians are taken up into heaven, there will be nothing to hinder his plans.

 

heat of the day

Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.  (Matthew 20:12)

 

The hottest part of the day, i.e., “heat of the day,” is not something most of us office workers experi­ence with all of our air-conditioned comfort. We don’t really have to make it by the sweat of our brow. The closest some of us get to sweat­ing everyday is when we get in our car and it hasn’t cooled off sufficiently yet.

The workers­ mentioned in this Bible passage were com­plaining that their co-workers got off easy by coming in at the “eleventh hour” (see phrase “eleventh hour”), and despite coming in late, they were paid the same wages. Those of us living in the eleventh hour of history will also get a much better deal than our ancestors, for some of us will escape death in the rap­ture.

 

heaven on earth

¶ Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.  (Deuteronomy 11:18-21)

 

History is full of man’s futile at­tempts to create an earthly paradise. Utopian literature abounds, but the fact remains that man rejected heaven on earth in the Garden of Eden. The woman chose wisdom and to be like God by eating the fruit, and the man chose the woman by dying with her. Both, of course, were thrown out of this paradise for their disobedience.

If you deny that this literally hap­pened, then you also deny the reason that Jesus paid for your sins, for Paul himself spoke of Adam and the redemp­tion of mankind in Romans 5:19: “For as by one man’s dis­obedi­ence many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righ­teous.”

 

heavy handed

For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.  (Psalm 32:4)

A “heavy handed” person is someone who is overly dramatic or too emphatic and thus uses bad judgment. David mentioned how God’s hand was heavy upon him. Though God had the “heavy hand” in scripture, he never used bad judgment, of course.

Many would accuse God of being “heavy handed” because the definition above includes “dramatic and too emphatic,” and that would be characteristic of God’s manners, they say. To the Christian, God is never too emphatic or overly dramatic in scripture. His words can’t be emphasized enough, and if you want to see real “drama,” there’s no better place to view it than in the Bible.

 

 

heavy heart

As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.  (Proverbs 25:20)

 

A heart that is weighed down with despair or trouble can be called a “heavy heart.” In this passage from Proverbs, a heavy-hearted person should not have songs sung to him or music to cheer him up. This runs contrary to the prevailing opinion that music helps to soothe a sad person’s emotions. The Bible says it makes matters worse and is likened to the reaction you’d get from taking a vagrant’s garment from him in the winter. I guess we better think again about all these music ministries that minister to the depressed and downtrodden. They’re making matters worse according to the Bible.

 

here a little and there a lit­tle

For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:  (Isaiah 28:10)

 

When a person speaks of the knowledge he has gained over the years, he usually refers to acquiring it “here a little, and there a little.” This is how God desires we learn doctrine in the Bible, or else we will bite off more than we can chew.

Just like a baby must be weaned from his mother, we must first be weaned from the “milk of the word” before we can have the “strong meat” the Bible contains. Biblical breast-feeding is no dif­ferent from the actual which God approves of as well (See Psalm 131:2). He doesn’t expect us to keep drinking the milk of the word when there are big, juicy steaks in the book we haven’t tasted yet.

 

here and there

And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone.  And the king of Israel said unto him, So shall thy judgment be; thyself hast decided it.  (1 Kings 20:40)

 

“Here and there” means various places, and its biblical usage hasn’t changed. Many accuse the King James Bible of having archaic English, but as you can tell, the Bible seems to be popping up all the time in our conversa­tion, archaic or not. Listen for these phrases in your conver­sations with others, and you will agree that the King James “archaic” phrases and words just don’t seem to go away; instead, they are gaining in popularity.

“Here and there” has the equiva­lent “hither and thither” phrase also used in the Bible. “Hither and thither” and “thee‘s and thou‘s” may seem old-fashioned, but we use them more than we think. “With this ring, I thee wed” is used in plenty of marriages every year. School children sing, “My country ’tis of thee” every day. Shake­speare hasn’t gone out of style because of his words like “thinketh,” “doth,” and his famous “Wherefore art thou?” The next time you want to update your Bible, maybe you ought to let it update you.

 

here today and gone tomorrow

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?  (Matthew 6:30)

 

We usually speak of some business that doesn’t last long as “fly by night” or “here today, gone tomorrow.” The expression is also used for individuals who are unreliable and unpredictable. “Here today and gone tomorrow” is especially relevant in these fast moving times where people and businesses are constantly moving.

Jesus told his disciples not to worry about their clothing needs because if he clothed the grass of the field, he would surely clothe them as well. Jesus was trying to teach them that the things of this world are so temporary compared to him and eternal life.

One of the great promises of Jesus is that he and the word of God are not “here today and gone tomorrow” like everything else we experience. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” His words are just as sure as it states in Isaiah: “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8). Very few things are forever, but these two you can take to the bank.

 

high-handed

And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand.  (Exodus 14:8)

 

To be high-handed is to be inconsider­ate of others or not to consult others before doing something. The “high hand” that the children of Israel went out with refers to God’s deliverance of them from Egypt. The modern and Biblical usages are somewhat connected. God acted high-handed and certainly didn’t consult with anyone before delivering Israel. Anyone who does the same is considered presumptu­ous, and some ignorant souls will go so far as to say God is also. God does indeed act high-handed and has every right to do so, for he is the “Highest” (see Psalm 18:13). If you have any questions, please direct them to him.

 

high heaven

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

 

“That stinks up to high heaven,” is a common use of this expression and means that something stinks so bad, it can be smelled all the way to heaven. What was “high as heaven” in the scriptures was God’s wisdom according to Job’s friend Zophar.

God’s wisdom is not limited to the boundaries of heaven or hell. God is the only true “know-it-all” (see phrase) be­cause he liter­ally does know it all, and he doesn’t mind it if you call him one—just mean what you say.

 

high noon

And he said, Lo, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together: water ye the sheep, and go and feed them.  (Genesis 29:7)

 

“High noon” can mean exactly noon or refer to the apex or pinnacle of a person’s endeavors. Although it is desig­nated “high day” in Genesis, the sense is still the same. The phrase derives from the position of the sun in the sky which is highest at noon.

Despite our modern, digital, computer­ized timepieces, we still tell time as they did in biblical times—by looking where the sun is. “High noon” is another example of the freshness that the Bible adds to our lan­guage. It sure sounds more expres­sive than saying, “It’s twelve o’clock.”

 

his highness

For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure.  (Job 31:23)

 

This expression is often used deroga­torily for someone who acts “high and mighty,” but who really isn’t. Job used it literally and spoke of how he couldn’t fight against God and “his highness,” that is, his power and great­ness. Job realized he was fighting a losing battle against the Lord, something most people don’t ever figure out. However, this is how you “win by losing” as Jesus said: “…he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”

 

hold my tongue

For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish.  But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king’s damage.  (Es­ther 7:4)

 

The prophet Habakkuk, along with countless others, wants to know why God “holds his tongue,” or doesn’t say any­thing, about the many evils that befall righteous people. The question, “If there’s a God, why is there so much killing and suffering in the world?” is easily answered if you know your Bible. The answer is man’s evil heart. Blaming God for the evil in the world is precise­ly what Adam did when God gave him a paradise to live in. Adam said the reason he ate the fruit was on account of the woman whom God gave him, thereby impli­cating God in his disobedience. “The Devil made me do it” is exactly what Eve said happened in the Garden of Eden.

Man blames any­thing but his own evil heart for his problems. The blame game is rampant­ly taking over this country’s men­tality. The problem with society lies not in anything other than our own heart, as Jesus himself said in Matthew 15:19: “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adul­teries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphe­mies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” Man has it all backwards as usual.

 

holier than thou

Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou.  These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.  (Isaiah 65:5)

 

God accused the self-righteous Israel­ites of being holier-than-thou because they thought they were so much better than others that they didn’t want others coming near them. God also said this attitude was a “smoke in my nose.”

Today, the secular crowd calls any religious person “holier-than-thou” that they deem a threat to their lifestyle of sin. The religious person might respond that he is not holier-than-thou, but just trying to live for God. What both sides don’t realize is the fact that the believer is holier than the unbe­liever. God said believ­ers are “holy brethren” (Hebrews 3:1), “an holy priest­hood” (1 Peter 2:5), and “an holy people unto the Lord” (Deut. 7:6).

This doesn’t mean that, as a believ­er, you sin less than unbelievers, but rather, you have been justified and made holy by God himself. Go ahead and tell the world you are holier than they are and watch “the sparks fly” (see expression “watch the sparks fly”).

 

Holy Land

And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.  (Zech­ariah 2:3)

 

Why does the whole world continue to fight over an extremely small piece of land in the Middle East? The Jews, Christians, and Muslims all realize the signifi­cance of Israel, especially Jerusalem. It is indeed holy to all three, but in the end, Jesus himself shall own it and rule from his throne in Jerusalem when he returns.

If God came down and walked in your land, you’d probably not want to give it up either. Isn’t it strange that the news media doesn’t call any other lands on earth “the Holy Land” but the true one it­self, Israel?

 

Holy of Holies

And after the second veil, the taber­nacle which is called the Holiest of all;  (Hebrews 9:3)

 

“Curiosity killed the cat,” they say. It also would literally kill anyone who dared venture into “the holiest of all,” the place where God’s glory appeared in the Jewish Taberna­cle. Only the high priest could go in, and only once a year could he do that. If he did not follow God’s in­struc­tions to the letter (see phrase “to the letter”), God would kill him on the spot.

The world has taken this phrase and ap­plied it to any secret chamber, special place of reverence, or off-limits area within a building. A person seeking God today doesn’t need to travel to some far away monastery or temple to find him. This is why God actually ripped the veil sepa­rating the holiest of all from the rest of the Tabernacle, for he wanted “the holiest of all” (himself) to be accessible to all. The “Authorized Personnel Only” sign no longer applies, and thank God for it.

 

holy water

And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the taberna­cle the priest shall take, and put it into the water:  (Numbers 5:17)

 

Some churches like to throw their holy water on everything and make it better, and others like to take their holy water and sprinkle it on people’s heads to make them holy. God did say the Jews had “holy water” to use for special occasions, but today’s use of holy water is another instance of trying to assimilate Jewish law in to Christianity, something not meant to be. Nobody in scrip­ture got saved by having water poured on his head, and Satan never trembled at anyone who threw water at him in some exorcism.

These kinds of exorcisms and baptisms and their use of holy water amount to nothing more than religious magic spells, a practice God likens to witchcraft. If water helps to save you, then water is your savior.

 

hope against hope

Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.  (Romans 4:18)

 

To “hope against hope” is to believe, like Abraham, that something hoped for will come to pass when there is almost no chance it will. Abraham believed that his wife would have a child at 100 years of age and that this child’s descendants would eventu­ally produce the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

“Hoping against hope” is compa­rable to saying, “You don’t have a prayer,” but that’s exactly what they both had. God answered Abraham’s prayer, and Sarah had a child. This miraculous birth foreshadowed another one, namely, that of Jesus Christ. Although Mary didn’t have to change diapers at 100 years of age like Sarah, Noah had them all beat, for his wife had a child when Noah was 500 years old.

Having trouble believing that people lived this long and had babies at these ages? Maybe you’re going to have to exer­cise a little faith and try believ­ing the scrip­tures as they’re written; otherwise, you’re forced in “hoping against hope” that the Bible’s wrong, and that is a spiritual­ly hopeless situa­tion. The prudent thing would be to err on the cautious side and go ahead and believe it. God will explain it to you later.

 

house divided, a

And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desola­tion; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:  (Matthew 12:25)

 

Known for its usage in Lincoln’s famous Civil War speech, the expression “house divided” comes from the passage in Matthew in which Jesus’ old adversaries, the Pharisees, were accusing him of being in league with the Devil. Because Jesus was cast­ing out devils, he was accused of getting help from Beelzebub, the prince of the devils. Thus, when God was on earth, he was accused of worship­ping the Devil!

What greater contra­diction against God could there be? This is what is meant in Hebrews 12:3 where it said that Jesus “endured such contradiction of sinners against him­self.” Our light afflictions pale in comparison.

 

how are the mighty fallen!

The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!  (2 Samuel 1:19)

 

In this day and age of sports heroes and entertain­ment icons, we are always seeing some of the famous lose all integri­ty because of scandal or behavior; hence, the phrase “how are the mighty fallen” is used to describe their fall. Whether it be religious superstars, enter­tainment icons, or sports heroes, God repeated­ly knocks them down off their pedestal. He does this to show their followers that God is a jeal­ous God who will not tolerate these icons receiving all this adoration which amounts to nothing more than idolatry.

Americans like to think they are not idola­ters like some cultures that worship trees and rocks, but America has its own “trees and rocks,” and more of them at that than any other nation, even with all of America’s sup­posed knowledge and sophisti­ca­tion.

 

I

 

 

if need be

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold tempta­tions: (1 Peter 1:6)

 

Peter spoke of the saints’ faith being tried “if need be” through many tempta­tions. Though God doesn’t tempt any man according to James chapter one, he does “try him every moment” as stated in Job 7:18. When the world says these are “trying times,” the Christian knows this better than anyone.

 

in all his glory

And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  (Matthew 6:29)

 

To be “in all your glory” signifies that you are show­ing off peculiar attrib­utes, good or bad, that truly exempli­fy yourself to others. It can also mean you are stark naked! When the multitudes were worried about things like food and cloth­ing, Jesus told them to “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Jesus said a flower was grander than the richest king’s splendor. He sure knew how to put things in perspective, wouldn’t you say?

Speaking of glory, the saints will literally be “in all their glory” when they “appear with him in glory” (Col. 3:4), and when they receive “the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 2:14). Thus, a Chris­tian is the only one who can literally be said to be “in all his glory.”

 

in God we trust

In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.  (Psalms 56:11)

 

What person is on every coin and paper bill in America? Well, it’s not “Old George” or “Honest Abe,” but God himself, except he didn’t get his picture on them, just his name. No matter how hard the atheists try, they just can’t get the U.S. to remove the saying “In God We Trust.”

“Trust me,” is the cry we hear from so many these days. A Chris­tian’s response to the question, “Don’t you trust me?” should be “No, I don’t, and I shouldn’t according to scripture.”

We are, of course, not to put our trust in man, as the context of the phrase “In God we trust” indi­cates. As a Chris­tian, we are not even supposed to put our trust in other Chris­tians. God certainly doesn’t, as stated in Job 15:15: “Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints: yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.” God can’t count on any man, but man can defi­nitely count on God.

 

in God’s hands

FOR all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God: no man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them.  (Ecclesias­tes 9:1)

 

Watching the 1994 NBA Finals between the Houston Rock­ets and the New York Knick­s, you might have noticed the expression “In God’s hands” written, of all places, on the head of one of New York’s play­ers. He obviously thought the outcome of the game depend­ed on God’s will, thus the phrase “in God’s hands.” Based on that, God must be a Houston Rockets fan, for the Rockets won the world championship.

 

in the blink (twinkling) of an eye

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trum­pet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed,  (1 Corinthians 15:52)

 

Better known as “in the blink of an eye,” this phrase is used to denote things happening in an instant, like the actual blink of an eye. In this passage, God talks of changing our bodies “in the twinkling of an eye” at the rapture of the saints. “People just don’t disappear” some say when looking for someone. The Bible would re­spectful­ly disagree. We most certainly do disappear, and disappearing is the one thing a Christian should be looking forward to the most. David  Copperfield would be proud.

 

in the heat of battle

And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.  (2 Samuel 11:15)

 

Sporting events, particularly football and hockey, often give rise to confronta­tions that are the result of the intense competition or the “heat of the battle.” David meant this expression literally in the Bible when he ordered Uriah to go to the front lines of battle. He did this hoping to get Uriah killed so he could have Uriah’s wife Bathsheba for himself. Bath­sheba was the one who David saw bath­ing in the infamous “shower scene” in scriptures.

Some skeptics like to point to this shower scene and other passages in scrip­ture that get sexually descriptive and call it pornogra­phy, thus accusing God of writ­ing smut. The Song of Solomon, a whole book dedicated to the sexual plea­sures of two lovers, is a prime example used by these accusers. The book compares the woman’s breasts to “clusters of grapes” and in another place says, “Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.” Just because the world doesn’t know the differ­ence between love and lust doesn’t mean God doesn’t either.

 

in the spirit

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,  (Revelation 1:10)

 

To do something “in the spirit” of someone or some­thing means that one is agreeable and enthusiastic about something or is in harmony with it. The apostle John was literally “in the spirit” when he was caught up to heaven and shown visions of God and the future. The phrase has become so watered down today that it has nothing to do with God.

It is not always advisable to act in the spirit of something because you may be partici­pating in another spirit—the spirit of anti­christ mentioned in I John 4:3. The Bible says there is “another Jesus,” “an­other spirit,” and “another gospel” in 2nd Corinthians chapter eleven. The book of John says “God is a Spirit,” but not “God is Spirit” as some versions like to put it, implying that all spirit is God.

The world likes to talk about the spirit of famous dead people being with us in some fashion, not knowing that God says, “the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). Maybe some other kind of spirit is hanging around these people.

in your right mind

And they come to Jesus and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.  (Mark 5:15)

 

When God performs an exorcism, he doesn’t need two priests battling for hours to get the job done as is commonly por­trayed in movies. Jesus, and even Paul, cured demon-possessed people instantly and completely, so completely, in fact, that afterwards, one was said to be “in his right mind,” or completely normal. This wasn’t just any so-called demon possession, for this man that Jesus cured had broken chains that were put on him and was seen mutilating him­self and hanging around tombs.

Bring one of these actual demon-pos­sessed people to a “religious revival” and watch the “healers” scatter.

 

it is high time

And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation near­er than we believed.  (Romans 13:11)

 

“It’s about time,” we might say, or “The time is now,” or “There’s no time like the present.” The coming of Jesus approach­es quickly, and the church, according to Paul here in Romans, needs to wake up and smell the coffee. The world, of course, doesn’t believe it’s high time to awaken out of their sleep; instead, they believe the night is young. The Bible declares, “the night is far spent, the day is at hand” (Romans 13:12).

The Bible talks also about the world being in a drunk­en-like state of deep sleep concerning the Second Coming: “…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” (Isaiah 29:10).

When God makes you drunk, it’s not with wine, but it’s a lot more powerful. If God makes you drunk, you’re not going to sober up until you let God wake you up with his word.

 

J

 

 

jot and tittle

For verily I say unto you, Till heav­en and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.  (Matthew 5:18)

 

If you work with contracts or detailed paperwork, you can appreciate this phrase. It is an equivalent to “dotting your “i‘s” and crossing your “t‘s,” i.e., paying atten­tion to details. If you want to know God’s atti­tude towards his book, this quotation by Jesus should provide you with that. His book contains jots, tittles, letters, and words. To alter any of these is tantamount to changing the whole book.

To show the importance of a single letter, the apostle Paul based a whole doctrine on the letter “s,” the difference between “seed” and “seeds.” In Galatians 3:16, he makes his case: “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.”

The next time you’re in a bibli­cal discus­sion and someone says you’re arguing “seman­tics,” tell this person that seman­tics is exactly what you should be debat­ing. Ask any lawyer how much seman­tics matter, and he’ll tell you that it is not only the words that matter, but also the letters them­selves. And by the way, don’t think commas and capital letters can’t change the whole meaning of a text—they can.

 

Judgment Day

Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.  (Matthew 10:15)

 

All unbelievers will “get their day in court,” unfortu­nately, for them, the judge will be Jesus Christ, and the true Judgment Day will begin. The defendant will be his own lawyer, and there will be no trial by jury. There will be no adjudicated proba­tion or short­ened sentences for good time. The death penalty is not an option, for it would be a relief; instead, they get the proverbial “fate worse than death” and fulfill that saying literally.

If found guilty of rejecting Jesus as God and Savior, the unbe­liever will be thrown into a lake of fire to be tormented day and night forever. There will be no appeals and no witnesses called. The possi­bility of a complete pardon does exist, but it must be obtained from Jesus himself before the trial begins. No law degree is needed for that.

 

jump for joy

Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.  (Luke 6:23)

 

We usually use “jump for joy” sarcas­tically to show we really don’t like some­thing. For example, if one tells you some­thing he thinks will excite you, and you’re not particularly thrilled, you might say it makes you “jump for joy” to be facetious.

Jesus told us to actu­ally “jump,” and he said to do it for a rea­son we wouldn’t expect. In verse twenty-two of the above reference, he had this to say: “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy.”

When’s the last time you leaped for joy when someone said he hated your guts? You probably wanted to leap for his throat, not in the air. A true Christian realizes he will be hated and expects to be so. Jesus said if people hated him, and they did, they will hate us also.

 

K

 

keep the faith

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:  (2 Timothy 4:7)

 

Not wavering, waffling, or turning back on what you’re believing or doing would qualify you as “keeping the faith.” Even the secular crowd has a similar say­ing: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” Paul said he didn’t compromise his beliefs and was ready to receive his crown in heaven. Notice it said that there is “the faith,” which teaches that there is only one.

Compro­mise in matters of faith and other areas of our life is praised today as a noble quality to possess. For a Christian to compromise would be the “kiss of death” (see “kiss of death”).

Compro­mise supposedly shows evi­dence of our tolerance, but God never told us to compromise or tolerate anything. Every­thing may not be so black and white all the time, but it will be right or wrong, for right and wrong does not come in different shades.

 

kill the fatted calf

And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.  (Luke 15:27)

 

Another way of saying, “Let’s have a dinner party” is to tell everyone you’re going to “kill the fatted calf.” This expression originates from the famous Prodigal Son story told by Jesus. After his wayward son re­turned home, the father welcomed him with open arms, an obvious parallel to God and the sinner.

“Killing the fatted calf” may not appeal to you vegetari­ans out there, but cele­brating with vegetables only wasn’t this father’s idea of a party. Before you slaugh­ter your next “fatted calf,” make sure the animal rights activ­ists don’t see you, or you’ll get an ear full. Kill all the unborn babies you want though. (Maybe they ought to think twice about killing babies; aren’t they supposed to be evolved from animals too?) The hypocrisy in this matter is rather deafening, don’t you think?

 

kingdom come

Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  (Mat­thew 6:10)

 

The more popular meaning of “kingdom come” is to die; it also means something will take so long a time in coming that it probably won’t occur. An example of each would be something like the following: “We would all be blown to kingdom come if a nuclear bomb was dropped on our country,” or “You can keep arguing till kingdom come, but I won’t change my mind.”

Taken from the Lord’s Prayer, “kingdom come” alludes to the kingdom of Jesus coming to earth at his return. At his coming, Jesus really will blow millions to kingdom come because he will literally kill millions before and during the battle of Armageddon. The Bible describes this horri­fy­ing event in Isaiah 63:2-3: “Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my gar­ments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.”

This might ex­plain how “kingdom come” has come to mean dying. Yes, God kills, and he will kill more people than anyone in history. For a detailed account of this mass killing, see the book of Reve­lation, chapter six and nine, where God talks about killing most of the world through judgments of all sorts. “I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal” (Deuteronomy 32:39).

 

know-it-all

Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.  (Job 38:18)

 

The only real know-it-all (because he does literally know everything) is Jesus Christ. Anyone else that is called that name acts as if he has all knowledge, something akin to what Job did when God asked him some rather tough questions, questions he couldn’t answer if he had tried.

God was showing the finiteness of Job in comparison to the Lord himself. God does indeed have all the answers, but unless you have the right questions, his answers won’t do you any good.

 

L

 

 

labor of love

Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;  (1 Thessa­lonians 1:3)

 

A hobby or job that one does for the sheer pleasure that he gets from it can be called a “labor of love.” Paul commended the church at Thessalonica for their work for the Lord. For any true Christian, doing the Lord’s work is an honor and is natural­ly a labor of love. For those who don’t like doing the work of God such as witness­ing, teaching, and helping others, but you do it anyway, your labor is in vain.

 

land of giants

And the rest of Gilead, and all Ba­shan, being the kingdom of Og, gave I unto the half tribe of Ma-nasseh; all the region of Argob, with all Bashan, which was called the land of giants.  (Deuteronomy 3:13)

 

Remember the old television show called “Land of the Giants” where the little people were always hiding from the giants? The Bible mentions giants, so naturally this word is ridiculed and scoffed at by skeptics as being false. What the Bible referred to as “giants” were men that were nine to ten feet tall, sometimes taller.

There is archae­ological evidence for these men, and we’ve even had modern exam­ples of men that grew to almost nine feet tall (see the Guinness Book of World Re­cords). The Israelites mentioned seeing giants in the land of Canaan and said they were the sons of Anak. Of course, we all know the story of Goliath, the giant of Gath, and how David killed him with a slingshot.

If you own a one of the newer versions other than a King James, you better not use it to teach that David killed Goli­ath because that fact is contradicted. These versions teach someone else killed Goliath in 2 Samuel 21:19-20. That omission is a giant one indeed.

 

land of milk and honey

And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittit­es, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.  (Exodus 3:8)

 

Sounds like an enormous candy bar or some recipe for a sore throat, but this expression was a description of the fertile lands of Israel. By extension, a “land of milk and honey” has come to mean any fer­tile land ripe for settle­ment.

God promised the land of the Canaan­ites to the Hebrew slaves; hence, God took someone else’s land and gave it to the Hebrews. This is the root of the contro­versy in the Middle East today. If you want to blame God for all the fighting in the Middle East, go ahead. Remember, though, that the land really belongs to God anyway, and he can do whatever he wants with it (see “promised land”). Since he start­ed this conflict, he also will end it at his return.

 

land of the living 

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.  (Job 28:12-13)

The “real world” is a saying with the same meaning as the colorful expression “land of the living.” It is often used to welcome back people who have stayed out of the public eye for some reason. This mean­ing hasn’t changed much from the biblical usage where Job mentioned that wisdom wasn’t found in the “land of the living.”

The apostle Paul adds to this teaching when he said, “the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” Try posting that on some college billboard. Real wisdom comes from the scriptures, not your college professor who teaches in the “land of the living.”

 

laugh to scorn

All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,  (Psalm 22:7)

 

This is the passage in the Psalms that prophesies of Jesus’ suffering on the cross and his famous “Why hast thou forsaken me” quote. Jesus’ enemies actually laughed at him while he hung on the cross, and not just laughed, but “laughed to scorn,” or to the point of vehement ridicule.

Ah, but let us not forget who gets the last laugh (see “he who laughs last”). In Psalm 2:4, God said he will actually laugh and have in derision those who try to plot against him while Jesus is reigning in Jerusalem during the thousand-year reign after his return. When God laughs, it’s not funny.

 

laughter is the best medicine

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.  (Proverbs 17:22)

 

Scientists tell us that laughter actually helps us by producing chemicals in our bodies that relieve stress and help us physically and mentally. The Bible says the same thing, only a few thousand years before it was actually “discovered.”

However, the phrase says “laughter is the best medicine,” and scripture would have to disagree. “It doeth good like a medicine,” but sorrow is actually better than laughter. In the Bible, it says, “Sorrow is better than laughter.” Crying is better than laughing? Yes, “…for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better” (Ecclesiastes 7:3). We could all use a good laugh, but what we really need even more is a good cry.

 

law unto themselves

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto them­selves:  (Romans 2:14)

 

Disobeying established authority and setting yourself up as your own judge makes you “a law unto yourself.” As with many of these expressions, the Bible’s use of it is literal, not figurative. Paul spoke of the Gentiles’ own conscience serving as the law that would judge them because of their lack of a writ­ten law at that time.

God, then, agrees with the adage “Let your con­science be your guide,” because God’s laws are “written in their hearts” (verse 15). Only to the extent that you don’t have a Bible and can’t get one will your con­science be your guide. In this day and age, you can get a Bible just about any­where for little or no cost. Man will be without excuse at Judg­ment Day because God has put right and wrong in his heart.

There is a point, however, that the wicked reach when even their con­science can’t guide them anymore because it has become “seared with a hot iron” accord­ing to 1 Timothy 4:2. Since one may never quite know when he reaches that stage, it’s very dangerous to delay getting saved. You might want to put a “rush” on that order.

 

lay at the door of…

If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.  And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.  (Genesis 4:7)

 

Anything said to be “lying at the door” usually signifies that something bad is getting ready to happen to that person. God stated that sin was lying at the door of Cain if he didn’t do well. He also said that sin would “rule” over Cain, and that “sin” would be Cain’s desire.

Sadly, this is the case for every sin­ner, for sin rules over every­one who has not defeated it through Christ. Paul stated in Romans 6:6-7 that sin doesn’t rule over the Christian: “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that hence­forth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.” In Romans 6:14, he teaches that “…sin shall not have domin­ion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

If sin is lying at your door, you can bet it will get its foot in, so don’t “play around with fire” as the saying goes (see “play with fire”). Sin is the biggest and most powerful “Pandora’s box.”

 

lay down your own neck

Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.  (Romans 16:4)

 

To sacrifice yourself for another is the present as well as the biblical meaning for “lay down your own neck.” The apostle Paul expressed his affection for his friends Aquila and Priscilla whom he said “laid down their own necks” for him. The measure of true love, according to Jesus, is found in John 15:13: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

The fact that God actually laid down his own neck on the cross provided us with the single greatest act of love ever shown. God did not send someone else to die for us; he himself became a Son by being born. That’s why Jesus is called the “only begotten Son” in John 3:16. In that pas­sage, it stated that God gave his “only begotten Son,” or in other words, his only born son. In 1 John 3:16, not John 3:16, the Bible states very clearly who actually died for us: “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.” What greater sacrifice and act of love could God have shown us?

lay it to heart

If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.  (Malachi 2:2)

 

“Laying a matter to heart” means seriously consider­ing something and its relevance to you. The Bible mentions that when the righteous die, no one seems to care, imply­ing that the unrighteous receive all the attention and concern. Of course, the wicked need all the pomp they can get at a funeral. The righteous know their destiny is heaven, but isn’t it strange that every deceased person at a funeral is said to go to heaven? No one ever seems to go to hell at these occasions. Everybody must become a Chris­tian at death, or so it seems.

If we are not to judge a per­son’s salva­tion (even though we are because “he that is spiritual judgeth all things”), then why does everyone judge that the deceased is in heaven? It is hypocri­sy, and for anyone to partic­i­pate in falsely com­forting someone about their loved one’s decease by saying he’s in heaven now when the deceased may not be a believer makes a liar out of him, not a caring sympa­thizer.

 

left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing

But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:  (Matthew 6:3)

 

Jesus taught that if you give alms, i.e., charity, it should be done in secret. Apparently, this command for anonymous giving doesn’t stop those who give huge donations and have whole buildings named after them. Even the Christian should refrain from his name being plas­tered on walls of church buildings or having his name associated with gifts given. Chris­tians should­n’t need a pat on the back—they’ll get their rewards later.

The phrase “left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing” as used today speaks of a group of people working togeth­er but pulling in different direc­tions because they’re unorganized or are being given conflict­ing orders; in other words, they’re not all on the same page. How’s that for defining an expression with another expression! One sure way people can truly and literally be on the same page is for them to get their marching orders from the Bible.

The only way you can be on the same page from the Bible is for all to be in the same Bible, or you will have confu­sion. Go to any church today, and you will see the congregation all reading out of various versions of the Bible that are vastly different from each other. Not only does the left hand not know what the right hand is doing, neither are many members literally on the same page. The preacher reads a passage out of a newer version, and half his congregation can’t effectively listen to him because they’re each in a ver­sion of their choice.

Try to imagine a classroom teacher teaching a group of students with each student reading from a different, re-translat­ed textbook. The effect of the teaching would be no dif­ferent than the effect of the preaching—it would be chaos and confusion. The student could always say his answers are based on his book, so there would be no single, correct answer.

This is what is happening to the church today. Natu­rally, this alienates us from God, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”

 

lesser light

And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.  (Genesis 1:16)

 

The “lesser light” referred to here is probably the moon and the greater light the sun. Notice how non-chalantly the Bible makes mention that over a 100 billion stars, each being thousands of times bigger than the earth, were made: it says, “he made the stars also.” That has to be the greatest understatement ever made.

The expression “lesser light” refers to someone who is not as famous or well-known as others but is still respected. That meaning is carried over in to the biblical one as well. We are all “lesser lights” compared to Jesus, “the light of the world,” but still respected if we live like him.

The sun and the moon being called the greater and the lesser lights is a perfect illustration of the relationship of Jesus and the believer. The sun has its own light and causes the moon to shine, just as Jesus the Son gives the moon (the believer) his light and we shine it to th