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Volume 2

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The Limited Knowlwdge Series 

 

Volume Two

 

 

—————————————1—————————————-
 
 

Eternity Past

 

Where Did God come from?

As a young parent, I was asked this question from my own children.  At the time I was not well versed in Scripture, so I blundered through what I had been taught from my parents.  The answer they gave me, and I in turn relayed to my children was: “God just always was.”  As Christians we must have enough faith in God to believe that.  Simple trust in God believes that God has always existed.  Before God, there was no one.

My first-born son, Wayne, asked me the “Where did God come from” question when he was about three years old. After giving him the answer that I had been taught as a child, I assumed he would be satisfied.  He wasn’t. He asked again, “Where did God come from?”  “Oops,” I said. “This is not supposed to be happening. He should just accept what I said and be content.”  But he wasn’t and said, “Daddy, where did God really come from?”

“I don’t know son,” I replied, “God has always been around. I have believed that for a long time. I really cannot tell you anymore than that, but I believe it with all my heart.” He began to cry and said, “Daddy that’s not good enough, tell me where God came from.”   Wayne would ask that question many times over the next two to three years.  My answer was always the same, and I have since found it to be accurate, but now I have a Bible verse I can quote.

The Bible says “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servants whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am He: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I even I am the Lord; and beside me there is no Saviour. … Therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God. Yea, before the day was I am He…” (Isaiah 43:10-13) John 17:5And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.”

God has always existed, along with the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. The very first sentence in a King James Bible says, “In the beginning God…

So then, faith accepts that God was and is and shall always be. It is the hope of being together with Him one day that makes living worthwhile and every child of God should long for that day to come soon.

I believe that everyone that has been born, or will be born, was created for the purpose of having fellowship with God.  Or as Revelation 4: 11 states, all things were created for God’s pleasure: “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.” Even though we were created for God’s pleasure, in order to have a relationship with God you must first get to know Him. You may ask, “How can you get to know someone that you cannot see?”

I have never met the first, second or third president, or any president of the United States as far as that is concerned but I feel like I know them from having read about them or from what someone reported about them. You can read about God in a King James Bible, for the Bible is the Word of God.

Who wrote the Bible?

God dictated every word that was written down in that Bible to a select group of men, who in turn penned those words for all to read and believe.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Peter 1: 20-21

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3: 16-17.

So before you can begin to determine, in your own mind, whether God is real or not, you need to read His autobiography – a King James Bible.  Many people say, “there are so many translations of God’s Word: there is the Christian Bible, the Jewish Bible and the Moslem Bible, how can I know which one to believe?”

Read them all if you must, but after having read each one you must determine which one is consistent, all inclusive and is alive. Oh yes, there is a Living Word. The truth is out there, written down in a Book that you can search, read and know that it is real. Jeremiah 23:36: “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.”

My King James Bible tells me, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8: 32

Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, exhorts them to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath MADE us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5: 1

So in your search to find the Word of God, look for the one that points you to a Savior, one that shows you that God is real and that He is alive. Fact: Man is going to die, but the soul of man will live on eternally. Where that soul resides is a matter of conjecture for many, but for those of us who believe in the God of our Salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ, we will live eternally with Him. Those who do not believe in Christ will spend eternity in the lake of fire and will be in torment forever. Revelation 20:15: “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Before the Earth was made, There was God.

Long before the world was made, God had mapped out a plan for earth and all its inhabitants. Since He is God over the entire universe, He knew:

  1. That Lucifer would try to become God, and that God would have to kick him out of the heaven above all heavens to a lesser heaven and then to the earth and finally into the lake of fire.
  2. That the earth, which He gave to Lucifer, would have to be destroyed.
  3. That he would make man & subsequently woman from man.
  4. That part of His creation, man (Adam), would sin, be separated from Him and need a way to return back to Him.
  5. That He would introduce the sacrificing of animals for temporal forgiveness of sin, which He provided for Adam when He made them a covering from the animal’s fur.
  6. That the angels who followed after Lucifer would cohabit with earthly women and produce generations of Giants whom would always be against God. He knew He would subsequently have to destroy the entire earth a second time with the flood of Noah.
  7. That He would save Noah and his family from destruction and covenant with them to never destroy the earth by a flood again.
  8. That man would disappoint God again and He would have to “confound their language” and scatter them all over earth.
  9. That He would call Abram out of Haran “unto a land He would shew him,” (Gen. 12: 1) and that He would make Abraham a promise to be a great nation and have an earthly inheritance over a specified territory.
  10. That He would call out Moses and give him the Ten Commandments.
  11. That He would have to send His Son Jesus to die, because all other sacrifices instituted, either under the promise given to Abraham or the law given to Moses, were only temporal.
  12. That He would have a secret concerning the Gentiles, and hide it in His heart until such a time that He would raise up Paul to whom He revealed this secret. Paul would then declare that secret to the world, but in God’s own time.
  13. That the Church the Body of Christ would be formed and raptured out of the earth before Christ would return and restore Israel to that which had been promised.
  14. That Satan would go into the temple in Jerusalem and declare that he is the one true God.
  15. That He would bring about great tribulation.
  16. That Christ would return to earth a second time, bind Satan for 1,000 years, and reign as king for the millennium.
  17. That He would let Satan out of prison at the end of those 1,000 years and many people would follow after him, believing that he was God.
  18. That He would cast Satan and all of his followers in the lake of fire.
  19. That He would create a new heaven and a new earth with a New Jerusalem.
  20. 20.        That the Church the Body of Christ would be an example of the goodness and grace of God.  (We’ll discuss this in detail later.

 

 

 

——————- 2 ——————–

 

 

Original Creation

 

All of the before mentioned things in the previous chapter, the Lord God planned before Genesis 1: 1. Go there, but also look at the chart I call “God’s Time Chart.” This will be a helpful tool as we discuss the next topic. (The time chart is an insert.)

Genesis 1: 1

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

      HEAVEN      
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
             
      EARTH      
             

 

In a King James Bible you will find that heaven is singular.  Other translations make it plural.  Not so! God first created one heaven and then He created one earth. Yes, we know there are multiple heavens, but they are created after the initial one. (We’ll show you that as we go along. In the period described as eternity future, there is a new heaven and earth. Revelation 21: 1)

The Gap Theory (Some believe this and others do not.)

We believe there is a Gap, in time, between Genesis 1: 1 and Genesis 1: 2

Genesis 1: 2

“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.”

      HEAVEN      
             
      Darkness      
             
             
             
             
             
             
      EARTH      
             

 

Let us look at the words, “without form and void.”  In Hebrew, these words are tohuw va bohuw, and mean to lie in ruin or lay waste, empty, an undistinguished thing.

In Isaiah 45: 18 we read, “For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain (tohuw), He formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.”

It stands to reason, if God formed the earth in perfection, and He did, then someone had to destroy or alter its perfection, and they did.  We say the culprit was Satan, and we’ll use several passages of Scripture to validate it a little later on. But first, let us go back Genesis 1:2 “….and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” On the diagram below, the face of the deep is in yellow, the darkness below is in blue, and the blue represents water.  “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

I want you to look at the words “face of the deep” more closely.

Job 38: 30

“The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.”

Revelation 4: 6

“And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal…”

Question, does frozen ice sparkle like crystal?  Yes it does.  So what do we learn from this?  There is a portion of heaven, known as the face of the deep that is frozen. Underneath the frozen ice there is water, very deep and dark water.

      HEAVEN      
 

Face of

the Deep  

Face of

the Deep  
      Darkness      
             
             
             
             
             
             
      EARTH      
             

 

 

 

 

 

——————– 3 ——————–

 

 

DAY ONE – RE-CREATION

Genesis 1: 3

“And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.”

The light here cannot be the sun because the sun is not found in Scripture until the fourth day of re-creation. (Verse 18)  The passage here is only the first day of the re-creation process.  So what is the light here, or more correctly, who is the light? It has to be Jesus and I believe the next verse will validate that.

Genesis 1: 4-5

”And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day and the darkness He called Night. And the evening and the morning was the first day.”

You will notice that both Day and Night are capitalized in a King James Bible, as it should be, denoting a proper name – which I believe to be Jesus and Satan.  Scripture tells us that the light of the world is Jesus (John 1: 1-9) and that Satan is the power of darkness (Colossians 1: 13; Ephesians 6: 12); Jesus is good and Satan is evil; Jesus is righteousness and Satan is unrighteousness.

Still not convinced?  Look at Psalms 74: 16: “The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun.

 

DAY TWO – RE-CREATION

Genesis 1: 6-8

“And god said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second

day.”

So what do we have here?

      HEAVEN      
 

Face of

the Deep  

Face of

the Deep  
             
             
  WATER       WATER  
             
             
             
   

HEAVEN

  FIRMAMANT  
             
             
             
  WATER       WATER  
             
      EARTH      
             
               

 

In the middle of all that water God creates a firmament, which He calls heaven. It is the second day of re-creation, and it is the only day that God does not state that it is good.  Why? Simple, it is because that heaven has to be the home of Satan, and from where he operates as the God of this world.

In Ezekiel 28: 13-19 we find:

1.   The three falls of Satan (Vs.13, 17, 18)

2.   Satan being described as the most beautiful of all God’s creatures (V. 13)

  1. That Satan was also the anointed cherub. (V.14)
  2. That his wisdom and beauty was his downfall (V. 17)

[13] Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
[14] Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
[15] Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
[16] By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
[17] Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
[18] Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
[19] All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.

God throws Lucifer out of the original heaven then down to the original earth.  Why did He do it? We need not guess because Isaiah tells us why.

I call this section the “Five I will” chapter. In it you will find all the reasons why God gradually reduced Satan from an anointed position in the High heaven, then to a lower heaven, then down to earth and eventually into the lake of fire.

[12] How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
[13] For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
[14] I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
[15] Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
[16] They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
[17] That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
[18] All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house.
[19] But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet.
[20] Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed
thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.

 

So, Lucifer, in rebellion to overthrow God, is shown very clearly who is in charge and is kicked out of heaven to the only other place there was at the time – earth. He apparently destroys the earth’s original beauty and God destroys the first created earth by flooding it. This place in time is many years before the flood of Noah.

Paul alludes to this incident of rebellion and the subsequent overthrow of Lucifer in Ephesians 1: 4: “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation (katabole) of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:”

The word katabole in the Greek is – overthrow or destruction. The Church the Body of Christ was chosen in God before He kicked Lucifer out of heaven.  We’ll talk more about that a little later when we get to the chapter on the Age of Grace.

Then God created the firmament, which He calls heaven. (This is a newly created heaven, different from the original heaven. You will see two heavens in the diagram listed below.

 

                 
        HEAVEN        
                 
                 
                 
    WATER       WATER    
                 
                 
                 
      HEAVEN   FIRMAMANT    
                 
                 
                 
    WATER       WATER    
                 
        EARTH        
                 
                 
                   

 

  1. It is from this newly created heaven that Satan resides and rules over the world today.
  2. It is from this same location that he dispatches his devils (fallen angels) to attack the people of earth and to persuade them to believe his lie about God.
  3. It is from this heaven that Satan has set up his throne and from where he governs his earthly empire as the god of this world.

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them who are lost: In whom THE GOD OF THIS WORLD hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” 2 Corinthians 4: 3-4

In the city of Ephesus, Paul encountered men who made silver idols of the Greek goddess Diana, and they also worshiped an image that fell from Jupiter.

Acts 19: 35 “And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and the image which fell down from Jupiter? You can also check Acts 14: 12-13.

Maybe Jupiter is where Satan now resides, maybe it isn’t.  The Scripture does not say it in just those terms, but it does imply that this image that fell from there is associated with idol worshipping Gentiles who opposed the teaching of Paul. (Read 2 Corinthians 4: 3-4 again).

 

DAY THREE – RE-CEATION

Genesis 1: 9-13

“And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together in one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters call He Seas: and God saw that it was good. 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. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and good sad that it was good. And the evening and the morning was the third day.”

There are several things I want to emphasize concerning these verses.

  1. Notice the waters under the heaven are affected, not those above heaven.
  2. The things created reproduce from seed that is their own. (What do you suppose those who believe we evolved from a one-cell ameba think about that?)
  3. The waters that reached from earth to this new heaven form the oceans, seas and rivers of today.

 

DAY FOUR – RE-CREATION

Genesis 1: 14-19

“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: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 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. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

In these verses we see that the sun and the moon and the stars being created on the fourth day. The sun, which is a picture of the Son (Jesus Christ), is the greater light.  The moon, the lesser light, is a picture of Satan. The analogy is consistent with other Scripture that tell us about the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2: 2) and the rulers of darkness. (Ephesians 6: 12), etc.

 

DAY FIVE – RE-CREATION

 Genesis 1: 20-23

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 the heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.  And God blessed them, saying, be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let the fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

Once again the Bible disproves Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Every created being produced another being just like itself or “after his kind.”  A female whale impregnated by a male whale had a baby whale; a fish’s eggs produced another fish just like the one that laid the eggs. Every living creature that lived in the waters produced another living creature just like itself. And every bird that flew in the air laid eggs fertilized by a male of that species, and the result was a baby bird that was the “spitting image” of its parents. The same can be said of animals.  A wolf begets a wolf, a fox begets a fox and an elephant begets an elephant.

Make no mistake about it; all the creatures of the sea and the sky and the earth reproduce a creature that was the same as its parents.

 

DAY SIX – RE-CREATION

Genesis 1: 24-31

“24- And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.  25- And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.  26- 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 every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  27- So God created man is His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.  28- And God blessed them and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 29- 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 the tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.  30- And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.  31- And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good.  And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

We have another section to undermine the Theory of Evolution. Once again the living creatures, the cattle of the earth and beast of the earth produce offspring – “after their kind.”

Now let me draw your attention to verse 26. “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 every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

We see that the Godhead, Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, were involved in the re-creation process when we look at the phrase that says, “Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness…”

We also learn that the original image of man is identical to the spirit image of God.  Even though God is a spirit, He has an image, and Adam was created in that image and took on that form until he ate the fruit and then his image is altered. (We will detail this when we discuss Genesis 3: 7.)

All the things that God made, he gave to man to utilize for sustenance and then He instructed man to have children, and then God gave man power over all of creation.

 

 

——————– 4 ——————–

Now the re-creation process has ended and on the seventh day God rested from the work of the six preceding days and blessed it and set it apart from the others. “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He has made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. 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: 1-3.)

There are a lot of interesting things found in Genesis chapter two:

1)      God had not caused it to rain on earth before this time – V. 5

2)      The earth received its moisture from a mist (dew) – V. 6

3)      Adam was formed from the dust of the ground – V. 7

4)      Once Adam was formed, God blew life into him through his nose – V. 7

5)      Once that was completed, Adam became a living creature – V. 7

6)      God planted a garden eastward in Eden and put Adam there – Vs. 8

7)      God lists two trees as being very significant – V. 9

  1. The tree of life
  2. The tree of knowledge of good and evil

8)      A river flowed from the garden and branched off into four heads – Vs. 10-14

9)      Then God put Adam in the garden and told him to guard it – V. 15

But the more significant verses in Genesis 2 are verses 16-17. “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree in 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 eastest therof thou shalt surely die.

First, I want you to notice that God knew they would eat of the tree: “for in the day that thou eastest therof (noting they will eat) thou shalt surely die.” God did not say, if you eat you shall die.  He says when you eat you shall die. Now that is very interesting isn’t it? If God knew they would eat, and He did, why did He warn them of the consequences? Why not just say, “I have a tree over here of which you can’t eat from without dying, but I know you’re going to eat from it, so you have been forewarned of imminent death.”  That’s a good question, isn’t it?

Even though God knew they would eat, because God knows everything, He still left the option open for them to not eat.  We call that free will. And those words will present some very interesting discussions as you proceed to delve into God’s word. There are some in Christendom who believe God decides who will be a child of God and who will not be a child of God, thus eliminating the “free will” aspect of mankind. So this will be a challenge for you as you study.  Predestination has to do with foreknowledge but God allows man to choose Him or not choose Him.

We will discuss the death that followed the eating of the fruit in our discussion of Chapter Three. We will also explore the possibility that the fruit was not an apple, as some suppose, but something else.

After giving Adam his instructions concerning the tree of knowledge of good and evil, God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, open up his side and took one of his ribs, closed up the flesh from whence he took it, and then made a helpmate whom Adam called Woman. Adam does not give Woman the name Eve until Genesis 3: 20

 

 

 

——————– 5 ——————

 

 

The Seduction of Eve

 

(1)   “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?

(2)   And the woman said unto the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden;

(3)   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.

(4)   And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

(5)   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.

(6)   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.

There is a lot going on in these first six verses of Genesis 3. Before we begin to discuss them, let me tell you something that will help you to better understand Scripture.  In the course of studying God’s Word you will see things that have never been mentioned before.  In other words, you will come across things that occur for the first time.  Note those things for they will be significant later on in your study.

You will notice in verse one that the devil does something of which he has become an expert – questioning God’s intentions. Such as, “hath God said Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”  He makes his first attempt of placing doubt into the woman’s mind.

I imagine the conversation went something like this.

Satan: “Are you sure that God didn’t say you can eat everything in this garden?”

Now that really gets the woman thinking, so she responds.

Woman: “Sure we can.  But that tree over there in the middle, God said don’t eat it and don’t touch it or you’re going to die.”

Satan: “Ah, come on, you’re not going to die.  That’s only a scare tactic. You know why God doesn’t want you to eat it, don’t you?

Woman: “No, why?”

Satan: “Because God knows that when you eat the grape you’re going to become smart, as smart as God even.  Why if truth were known, once you eat that grape you’re going to be like the gods, who know the difference between good and evil. Now I ask you, what’s wrong with that?”

Woman: “Give me that grape. She pauses, waits a little while as she savors the taste. “Oh Adam, this is s-o-o-o-o-h good, why don’t you taste it too?”

Adam: “I don’t know woman.”

Woman:   “Suit yourself, but I’m going to have another one.”

Adam: “But God said we would die if we ate.  O shucks, if you’re going to die I may as well die too. Give me that grape.”

Please excuse the freedom I have taken in this little melodrama, but I really do think that was the gist of the conversation that went on between all parties concerned.

Now let me direct your attention to what the woman says in Verse 3: “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.

Can you spot something that is wrong with the woman’s reply?  No?  Then let me direct your attention to what God told Adam initially. Genesis 2: 17: “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.

Do you see the difference now?  The woman does what so many under the influenced of Satan have done and continue to do – she adds to the Word of God. God did not say, “Neither shall, ye touch it.” The woman added those words.

John warns all that read the book of Revelation not to add or take away from the prophecy or face plagues and extraction from the Book of Life. Revelation 22: 18-19.

Genesis 3: 7 “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.

Here is another one of those first time events of which I spoke previously.  This is man’s first recorded attempt at self-righteousness.  What is self-righteousness, you ask? Before we can answer that we need to understand the meaning of righteousness. There are some scholarly definitions, but righteousness is simply God in perfection.  We know that God is holy, right?  Then holy defines righteousness.  We know that God is just, right?  Then just is a definition of righteousness too. Righteousness is all that God is, and God is holy, just, faithful, etc

So then, self-righteousness is man acting as though he were God, it is man doing things in his attempt to justify what he has done as being holy, just, etc.  Here in Genesis 3, Adam and the woman eat the grapes and low and behold they take a look at themselves and they see something different and they are ashamed.

Interesting isn’t it.  It Genesis 2: 25 there was no shame in their nakedness: “And they were both naked, and the man and his wife were not ashamed.” Why are they suddenly ashamed?  Before we can answer that we must now go back and discuss the events that led to this malady, or unwholesome condition.

Let me set the scene for you.  The woman is in the garden.  The serpent tempts her into desiring the fruit from the forbidden tree and she eats it.  Most people have been led to believe that the fruit was an apple, but there is nothing in Scripture that tells us what fruit was on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

In Joel 1: 12 there is a list of five trees, which were considered to be the most valuable of the region of Palestine, the apple being one of them.  “(1) The vine (grape vine) is dried up, and (2) the fig tree languisheth; (3) the pomegranate tree, (4) the palm tree also, and (5) the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.”

Why do I think the fruit was from a vine tree, or a grape, and not an apple tree?  In Deuteronomy 32: 12 you will find these words, “the blood of the grape.”  We also see that same reference in Genesis 49: 11: Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes.” Now I will make an attempt to show why grape, not apple makes more sense as being the fruit.  Let me set the next scene for you.

Adam was created in the image of God.  Thus he was a spirit. But remember what we said earlier that even though God was a spirit He had an image, and that image is the same one Adam had.

FACT: One thing a spirit does not have is blood.

Paul tells the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 15: 50) that flesh and blood cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Blood is the key word here.  Before Jesus died, He shed His blood.  Yes, it was a covering for sin as well, but it was also something that was not a part of His original self, and subsequently must not be a part of Him when He ascended back into heaven.

With this in mind, let us play out the scene step by step.

1.)    Woman eats the blood of the grape; Adam eats the blood of the grape.

2.)    God said you eat, you die.

3.)    Adam and his wife, having sinned against God did die. Their image is not the same as God’s any longer, but their bodies have taken on another identity.

4.)    They are naked and ashamed of it, whereas prior to eating the fruit they were not ashamed.

So, what do I think happened to cause this recognizable change in their looks?  I think they were spirit beings, with an image that glowed.  Ancient Hebrew scholars talk about the shechinah glory of God, or the visible majesty of the Divine presence of God. It might be liken to the time when God appeared to Moses and Moses could not look on the face of God or die.

20)        “And He said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live

21)        And the Lord said, behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:

22)        And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in the clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:

23)        And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.” Exodus 33: 20-23

When Moses came down from the mountain he was unaware that his face shone.  When Aaron and the children of Israel saw that his face shone, they were afraid to go near him. Exodus 34: 29-30: “And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.

Now Adam and his wife have no “shining glory” any more.  They have a body, with blood flowing through it.  That’s quite a change.  Once they realized what they had done, and seeing their changed bodies, they were ashamed of what they had become and the temptation to which they had succumbed.

And the first thing they did was try to hide their private parts, as if that would make everything right.  Well it didn’t!  They added insult to injury as they tried to make right (be righteous through their own works) the wrong they had done. They didn’t succeed in that endeavor either. They took leaves from the fig tree, sewed them together, and made a girdle, or loincloth, to cover their nakedness.

But then we read Genesis 3: 8-13.

8)            “And they 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 garden.

9)            And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

10)           And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

11)           And He said, who told thee that thou wast naked?  Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

12)           And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

13)           And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done?  And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”

My, My, My, what a dilemma in which these two find themselves. The sinners hide from the presence of God, and when “called on the carpet,” the first recorded instance of passing the buck is found. Adam blames everything on the wife; the wife blames it on the serpent. Isn’t that just like us all?  None of us want to take responsibility for the actions we have committed, especially when we know them to be wrong. That is only one of the many problems with sin

Since God is righteous, He is faced with a situation that demands retribution. Romans 6: 23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ out Lord.” Wages can be defined as compensation received for work performed. The compensation for the work (sin) should be death (wages of sin is death). But we get to see the mercy of God for the very first time. Understand that God must maintain His integrity or diminish His holiness, so watch what happens!

The serpent is the first to fall under God’s wrath. Genesis 3: 14-19:

14)  And the Lord God said unto the serpent. Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shall thou eat all the days of thy life.

15)  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.

The serpent in Hebrew is the word – nachesh – “snake, or snake’s image.”  Satan is the serpent and he is relegated to a lower position from the one he held prior to his fall. But the main part of the curse is that the seed of woman will crush him at some point in time.  There would be no escape from this curse.

Then God speaks unto the woman:

16)  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.

The punishment for the woman, which would be passed on to all women from that day forward, will be the pain of child bearing. Since I am not a woman I do not have first hand information on the severity of this punishment, but I have experienced it second hand.  And believe me when I say this, I am so thankful that I did not have to give birth to my three boys, or we might not have had the second one.

The amazing thing about God though, He declares there will be sorrow in bringing forth children, but He allows joy to come when the woman realizes what she has just brought into the world. Only a great God can do that.

Then God metes out punishment unto the man:

17)  And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast harkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

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

19)  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.

Regardless of the entire buck passing that existed between Adam and his wife, and regardless of the fact that the wife is the one who was deceived and not Adam; (“And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” 1 Timothy 2:14) Adam was the one who received the warning because he was responsible for his wife’s actions. Consequently, Adam’s punishment was more severe.

Instead of guarding a garden, he will now have to work that garden in order to have food.  Instead of it being a perfect garden, it will have thorn bushes and weeds and most probably insects, which will keep the yield low.  He is going to work so hard he will be weary with sweat.  And that curse has been passed down to every generation since Adam.

After the curse had been pronounced, Adam gave woman a name – Eve. Eve has a meaning of “life or life giving.”

20)  “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

21)  Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins and clothed them.”

Verse 21 is a very important verse, and another first. This is the very first time that there was a death of an innocent creature and the shedding of blood in death of that innocent one.

“I do not see blood and death in the passage,” you say.

Look closer. “God made coats of skin to clothe Adam and Eve, right?”

“From where did those skins come? They came from an animal (creature), right?”

“And what must one do before he can skin an animal?  He must kill him then skin him, or skin him and he will die as a result of it.”  In either case, blood will be spilled in the process.

In essence, God sacrificed an animal to make a covering for sin.  God covered the bodies of Adam and Eve, thus making temporary restitution for their sin.  It was at this point in time that God most likely outlined the requirements for an animal sacrifice as a temporal remission of sin. Even though that is not recorded here, the implication of the sacrifice exist

“Why wasn’t the covering that Adam and Eve made out of fig leaves good enough?” you say.

Because it was not what God required for justification, that’s the reason why. God required an animal to be sacrificed, that is why He provided the animal in the first place.

“But I do not see anything that tells them what God required,” you say?

The fact that God did what He did is proof that He required something other than what they had done.

22)  “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 forever;

23)  Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

24)  So He drove man 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 way of the tree of life.”

At first glance one might say God went too far when He threw them out of the garden.  But He didn’t.  By throwing Adam and Eve out of the garden He was showing His mercy once again.

“Why do I say that?”

Because eating from the tree of life would mean man would live forever in a vile and sinful body.  God had a plan for that body of sin to be replaced with a new body, fashioned after His own body, just as it was originally.

“Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” Philippians 3: 21

 

 

——————– 6 ——————–

 

 

Cain and Able

1)      “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.

2)      And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of the sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

3)      And in process of time it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.

4)      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:

5)      But unto Cain and to his offering He had not respect.  And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

6)      And the Lord said unto Cain, Why has thy countenance fallen?

7)      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.

I hope you read these verses very carefully, for in them you will find the basis of rebellion.  We have discussed previously that God instituted an animal sacrifice as temporal remission of sin when he provided coats of skin for Adam and Eve. In these verses, you will see that Able delivered the acceptable sacrifice and Cain did not.

One of the major problems in all of Christendom is rationalization. Mankind wants to rationalize everything they do that is outside the will of God. Many people read the above passages and say, “Cain brought the very best that he had unto the Lord, why wasn’t it accepted?”

Answer: “Because it was not what God required.”

“But is that fair? “ you say.

If I wanted to be belligerent, I would say, “What does fair have to do with it?” Man has a tendency to see things from a worldly perspective, he has a tendency to relate fairness issues to what mankind considers moral, not to what God’s Word says.

But if you want to discuss fairness, I can do that too.  Look at verse 7.  God tells Cain that if he will do what is right he will be accepted.  In other words, God says, “Go get an animal sacrifice and I will overlook the fact that you defied me and brought the wrong sacrifice.”

“Now that’s fair, isn’t it?”

God goes on to say, “If you do not go and bring the acceptable sacrifice it is evidence that you have rebelled (sinned) and that rebellion (sin) will continue to be your desire and you will be the ruler of sin.”

Well, that comment from God did not change Cain’s way of thinking at all. Look what happened afterwards.

8)      “And Cain talked with Able his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

9)      And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Able thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?

10)  And He said, What hast thou done?  The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.

11)  And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;

12)  When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

13)  And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.

14)  Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.

15)  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.

16)  And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.”

Cain does not like what he just heard from the Lord. Since he was in no position to do anything to the Lord, he takes out his vengeance on his brother Able and kills him. Cain, now the king of sin, is simply living out what the Lord told him in Verse 7.

When the Lord confronts Cain with his latest sin, does he repent of his sin?  No, He says, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” So the Lord curses him from the earth and relegates him to be a fugitive and a vagabond.  In other words, Cain was committed to wandering to and fro and up and down in the earth.  One of the reasons he would be destined to wandering is because the ground will not grow food over a long period of time.  So he would have to move to new ground until it no longer produced, and then move again.

By now you should have realized that the consequences of sin are very grave.  You should have also seen a pattern unfolding.

1)      If you honor the wishes of the Lord you will be blessed,

2)      Rebel against God and be cast out without receiving a blessing.

“What about the mark of Cain, what is it?” you say.

While there is much speculation as to what this is, all we can say of certainty is what the Hebrew word means. The Hebrew word is – owth.  Sixty times the same word is translated sign; 14 times it is translated token, and only one time is it translated as mark.  I can only assume it was a token pledge from God to keep him safe.  Perhaps there was some identifiable thing that people knew about and stayed away from him, but I have no idea what it would be and refuse to be drawn in to speculative issues concerning the meaning.

17)  “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.”

We could spend hours over the issue of how Cain knew his wife. There are those who have determined that there could have been more than a half million people on the earth at this time, so he could pick and choose. Others say he married his sister. In Genesis 4: 25 we see that Adam knew his wife again and she had Seth.  So you might deduce that knowing his wife simply meant he had intercourse. None of that has any relevance to understanding what transpired over the course of time. Fact:  Cain took a wife, she conceived and had Enoch and he establishes a lineage.

Let us look at Genesis Chapter 4: 25-16.

25)  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.

26)  And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.

What you need to know from these passages is that Seth becomes the bloodline through whom Jesus is traced

 

 

——————– 7 ——————

  

Surviving Cain

This chapter deals primarily with the generations of Adam, but there are a couple of things I wish to emphasize that are necessary to understanding future things.

Genesis 5: 3: “And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

I must direct your attention back to the comments we made about Genesis 1: 26. Adam was created in the image of God.  Even though God was a spirit, He had an image, and Adam was created in that image and took on that form until he ate the fruit (grape) and then his image is altered and becomes flesh and blood.

Then in Genesis 3: 7, when they knew they were naked, this is the altered image we discussed.  Man now has blood flowing through his veins. Everyone that will be born of Adam will have blood flowing through his or her veins.  This is what is meant by “begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image.”  The curse that Eve received for eating the forbidden fruit was she would bear children.  This in itself is a major change.

God created Adam from the dust and God created Eve from one of Adam’s ribs. Cain, Able and Seth were made after the image of Adam, in his own likeness, with blood flowing through their veins.

Fact: That likeness and image of Adam, after he sins, is not the likeness and image of God.

There are far too many teachers who want you to believe:

1)      We are all children of God.

2)      That we are all created in God’s image.

Those are very broad statement that may or may not be true. Let me explain.

You are a child of God if you have trusted what Christ did for you on Calvary i.e. He died for your sins was buried and resurrected for your justification. You are not a child of God if you have not trusted Christ as your Savior.

As we continue our Study of Genesis, there are seven men that stand our. They are:

      Man                  Bible Location                         Spiritual Meaning

1)   Abel                Genesis 4: 1                                       Man of spiritual desire

2)   Enoch              Genesis 5: 18                                  Man of spiritual choice

3)   Noah               Genesis 6: 8                                     Man of spiritual renown

4)   Abraham         Genesis 12: 1                                 The life of faith

5)   Isaac                Genesis 21: 3                                 The life of sonship

6)   Jacob               Genesis 25: 26                               The life of service

7)   Joseph             Genesis 30: 24                               The life of suffering & glory

In Genesis Chapter five you will find a lot of people begetting people.  I will only mention a few at this juncture.

 

Enoch

Genesis 5: 18: “ And Jared lived an hundred and sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch.”

Genesis 5: 21-24: “And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah; And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”

We see here in chapter 5: 22-24 that God took Enoch from this earth before he died. It is the only time that ever happened.  This too, is another first and worth remembering.

Hebrews 11: 5: “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.”

Jude 14: “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,”

This is all the Bible tells us about Enoch.

 

Methuselah

There are two significant thing about Methuselah:

  1. He lived longer than anyone else (969 years)
  2. He is the father of Lamech, who was the father of Noah

 

——————– 8 ——————-

 

Giants in the Land

1)      “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,

2)      That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose,

3)      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.

4)      There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came into the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

5)      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.

6)      And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at his heart.

7)      And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth Me that I have made them.

8)      But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

We have a lot of information to bring to light in these eight verses. First, we need to understand who these sons of God were. To do that, we need to look at Psalms 82.

1)        God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; He judgeth among the gods.

2)        How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.

3)        Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.

4)        Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

5)        They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.

6)        I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

7)        But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.

8)        Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.

Sons of God

True, all believers are sons of God, but these sons of God in Psalms 82 are not believers, they are angels. Angels, like believers, are considered to be the children of God. God created Angels, just as God created Adam.

But verse 7 above states: “But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.”  Serious students of Biblical learning should be curious about why these particular angels are going: 1) to die in the first place, 2) die like men, and 3) fall like Satan.

In my opinion, these angels are part of the group that sided with Satan, who believed what Lucifer told God.

“And what did Lucifer tell God?” Please look at Isaiah 14: 12-15 once again.

  1. “How are thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
  2. For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
  3. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
  4. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

When God kicked Lucifer out of heaven those who sided with him had to go too.  These angels, like their leader Satan, had freedom to go between heaven and earth, as Job 1: 6-7 enlightens us.

6.)    “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.

7.)    And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

We find the same words in Job 2: 1-2.

So I know that there was a point in time past that Satan had free access to the earth, and I assume that his followers might have had that freedom also.  Why? Because Genesis 6: 1-8 talks about these sons of God taking earthly women as their wives.  This fits with Psalms 82: 7 and explains why they shall die as men and fall like one of the princes.

It is my opinion that once these angel sons of God co-habited with earthly women they lost their spiritual image, just as Adam lost his when he ate the grape.  I also believe that blood began to flow through their new physical bodies just as it did in Adam and Eve’s physical bodies.

I believe these fallen angel sons of God became the mighty men of renown in Genesis 6: 4: “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came into the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” And I believe that the marriage of these fallen angels to the women of earth produced a nation of giants with supernatural strength and size.

It is my opinion that the giants of Genesis 6 composed some of the tribes from which God’s chosen people were forbidden to associate. I also believe that Goliath was a descendant of these fallen angel sons of God.

“Just how big were these giants?” you might ask. Let us look at some Scripture and see

Deuteronomy 3: 11:

“For only Gog king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; it is not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? Nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of man.”

A cubit was considered to be approximated 18 inches, so the bed was somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 feet long by 7 feet wide.  Let’s give him 2 feet stretching out room and that would make him about 10 feet tall.

In 1 Chronicles 20: 6 there is quite an oddity associated with one of the giants.

“And yet again there was war in Gath, where a man of great stature, whose fingers and toes was were four and twenty, six on each hand, and six on each foot: and he also was the son of the giant.”

2 Samuel 21: 16:

“And Ishbi-benob, which was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of brass in weight, he being girded with a new sword, thought to have slain David.”

The weight of the spear would be approximately 75 pounds. It would take a pretty big man to carry a spear this size.  It would take an even bigger one to be able to throw it.

When the men of Israel were sent into the land that God had promised, they reported the inhabitants were so large that they looked like grasshoppers in comparison to the men there.  We find that in Numbers 13:33.

“And there we saw the giants, the son of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”

So, it is obvious that at one point in time men may have attained a height of 10 to 12 feet and have strength enough to wield a spear of 75 or more pounds.  They were obviously very intimidating.  But if you continue on with Biblical history, men of God had no need to fear them for God is mightier than any of His created beings.  Case in point would be the slaying of Goliath by David using a sling to hurl a stone he had gathered from a stream.

But be sure of this one thing – these giants existed.  They were big and they were strong and they were evil.  They were the cause of much trouble on the earth.  They were Satan’s henchmen. They did things that made God sad that He had created man in the first place.

 

 

——————– 9 ——————-

 

The Generations of Noah

“But Noah found Grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Genesis 6: 8

In Chapter 7 we talked about seven men that stand out, Noah being the third one.  What is so significant about Noah, man of spiritual renown and tenth in the line of Adam?

Genesis 6: 9-10

9)        “These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

10)    And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.”

God considered Noah to be a just man. Just is another word for righteous.  So I deduce that Noah was righteous in conduct and character or he could not have “walked with God.”

I do not want to go into detail about Noah at this time before we discuss his three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. If you trace the descendants of these three you will find they make up the three types of people in the earth: Mongoloid, Negroid and Caucasian.

Shem                  –           Mongoloid

Ham                   –           Negroid

Japheth               –           Caucasian

Shem – the eldest son of Noah and progenitor of the Semitic tribes and inhabitants of the east and mid-east.

Ham – 2nd son of Noah, father of Canaan and of various peoples which
were inhabitants of southern lands (Africa), later a collective name for Egyptians and

Japheth – the 3rd son of Noah whose descendants after the flood settled on
the coastal lands of the Mediterranean spreading north into Europe and parts of Asia.

There has been much debate over the issue of how Noah could have three sons whose skin took on various shades of color. A debate in which I am not prepared to offer a definitive conclusion. I simple do not know how that evolved, nor am I really concerned about it.

There are some things one simply accepts on faith.  This is one of those things for me.  I know there are some who delve into how this could be.  One of these possibilities is that either Noah or his wife was a darker color.

Genesis 6: 11: “The earth was corrupt before God and the earth was filled with violence.” Corrupt in Hebrew is shachath {shaw-khath’} – be marred, be spoiled, be corrupted, be injured, be ruined, be rotted, to spoil, ruin, destroy.

Genesis 6: 12-14:

12)   “And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

13)  And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

14)  Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shall pitch it within and without with pitch.”

These giants of Genesis six, mighty men of renown, had so corrupted the earth that God chose to flood it a second time. In both cases, the culprits were these fallen angel sons of God

“These two floods of the earth idea cannot be validated, can it?” You may ask.

I think it can.  I will not elaborate on it here, for we are more interested in presenting an overview of the Bible.  But I will direct your attention to archeological evidence that has placed skeletal remains of sea inhabitants in the Rocky Mountains, at two distinct sub-surface levels.  Look that up for yourself.  You should always check out anything that does not seem right to you.

If I could teach you one thing in this little booklet, it would be to always listen to or read through anything someone else espouses, and then go and check them out. Make sure that everything a preacher, priest, teacher or Pope says is Biblical.  Men will err.  God does not.

NOAH

Genesis 6: 17-18:  “And, behold, I even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and everything that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy son’s wives with thee.”

Before discussing the next few verses, I want you to pay particular attention as you read, for I am going to challenge you as to your ability to put aside what you have heard from what you read.

Genesis 6: 19—20: “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. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.”

How many of each species did the Lord tell Noah to bring into the ark?

“That’s easy,”  you say, “It was two.”

That is not the whole truth, but we’ll deal with that in a moment.

Second question,  “how was Noah instructed to get them into the ark?”

Noah was not to do anything.  The animals would come to Noah of their own volition.  Noah’s instructions were to keep them alive once they came.

“So, what was all that about two of kind not being the whole truth?” You ask.

Genesis 6: 19-20 must be read with Genesis 7:2-3: Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and the female: and of the beast that are not clean by two, the male and the female. Of the fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of the earth.”

Now let me ask you the question I ask previously, “How many of each species did the Lord tell Noah to bring into the ark?”

If you said two each of the unclean and seven of the clean beast and fowls of the air, look again!

The correct answer is two of the unclean, one a male and one a female.

But look at the clean beast and fowl.  How many of them were there to be brought aboard?

“Seven,”  you say.

Seven is the number, but it was to be seven females and seven males.  So the number would be fourteen of each, one male and one female times seven.

“Trivial?” you say.   Perhaps, but I am trying to prove a point, which is, most people believe what they have been told without checking to see if what they have been told is what the Word of God really says.

In my thirty plus years in the ministry I have heard a lot of horror stories.  The most appalling of all was my being told that a preacher or priest told their congregation it was the priests job to interpret the Scriptures, and the layman’s job to simple accept what they said about the Scriptures. I hope you have not been victimized by that kind of thinking.

FACT:  Satan does not want you to read a King James Bible.  He wants you to read an NIV, ASV, RSV or Living Bible.  Why? Because there are many things in those Bibles that discredit or deny the Deity of Christ and deny that the shed blood of Christ is necessary for salvation.

I am sure the translators of those Bibles would disagree, but I challenge you to check some passages out for yourself. There are many examples of false statements or omitted statements, but I would challenge you to look at just one – Galatians 2: 16.  In a King James Bible it reads: “Knowing that a man is NOT justified by the works of the law, but by the faith OF Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified BY the faith OF Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified”

Other translations change the words “faith of Christ” to read “faith in Christ.” The implication being that it is your faith that saves you and not Christ’s faith. (I detail this in my booklet, Faith of Christ.) But you nor I can do anything to be saved.  Jesus did it all. It was His willingness to go to the cross, shed his blood for sin, knowing (His faith) that God would raise Him from the dead, thereby justifying the sinner in resurrection.

Enough of that for now, let’s get back to the study of Noah.

Genesis 7: 6: And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of the waters was upon the earth.”

Genesis 5: 32: “And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham and Japheth.

It is not clear from these verses what amount of time elapsed from the day that Noah was given instructions to build it and the time he actually entered the ark, but it was obvious that the ark was not constructed in a few months time. If it was 100 years, can you image the ridicule Noah and his sons must have faced when trying to explain what they were doing.

When I was younger, Bill Cosby, a very good comedian, did a dialog on that subject.  I do not remember it as he gave it, but the general thought was something like the following.

GOD:     Noah?

NOAH:  Yes, Lord.

GOD:     I want you to do something for me.

NOAH:  What would that be, Lord?

GOD:     I want you to build me an ark.

NOAH:  Okay, what’s an ark?

GOD:     It’s a big boat that can float on the water.

NOAH:  Why am I going to need a big boat that can float on the water?

GOD:     Because it is going to rain for 40 days and 40 nights and there will be no more ground to stand on.

NOAH:  Okay, what’s rain?

GOD:     Rain is water that falls down from the sky.

NOAH:  And where is all this water hiding?

GOD:     I have some of it frozen and some in some lakes behind the clouds.

NOAH:  Okay, what does the word frozen mean?

And on and on the conversation goes.  Cosby talks about housing the animals, etc.  But the point I want to emphasize here is that it had never rained prior to the flood. God used other means to water the ground.

Genesis 2: 6: “But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.”

So, we have Noah building this ark and drawing a lot of attention, I am reasonably sure, because this was a big boat. The instructions and dimensions of it are detailed in Genesis 6: 14-16.

“Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.  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.  A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second and third stories shalt thou make it.”

Just how big was the ark? It was very long and very wide and was three stories high. A cubit was approximately 21 inches.  This would make the ark 525 feet long, 87 feet and 6 inches wide and 52 feet and 6 inches high.

In McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, they say this ark was larger than the largest British man-of-war.  They go on to say that Solomon’s temple, the proportions being listed in 1 Kings 6: 2, was the same height as the ark, but only one-fifth in length and less than half the width.

I do not know how long it took Noah to build this ark, but I do know that in all those years he never convinced one person to believe that there was imminent danger of their dying. Think about it.  It is possible that Noah preached for 80-100 years and never had one convert.

“Incredible,” you say?

Not to me. As each year passes by, I become more aware that there are far more people who are not interested in hearing the truth than there are people who believe the truth.

The United States of American was intended to be a haven for people who were persecuted for their belief in God, eternity, heaven and hell.  For years it was the largest Christian nation in the world.  But in 1951, statistics showed there were more people who did not call themselves Christian than there were those who did. And the number of professing Christians has gone downhill from that time to the present.

Yes, there are many that say they believe in God, but do not call themselves Christians.  For to be a Christian, one must believe that Christ is the Son of God and that no man can ever see God except they believe Christ is who He said He was – the Son of God and the very God.

John 1: 1-2:  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.”

John1: 14:  “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

John 14: 6-7: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.”

John 14: 9:  “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”

I am acquainted with a number of very good, very moral and very kind non-professing Christians.  Some of them believe that there was a Jesus and that He was a great prophet; but they do not think it necessary to believe He was God or the Son of God, or that they must acknowledge that fact if they want to see God in the afterlife. I do!

Yes, I am a product of my upbringing, which was Christian.  But when I attained the age of thirty-three, I began to question what I believed.  And over the next four to six years I began to study the beliefs of Christians, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Christian Scientist, Jehovah’s Witness and others. The more I studied other religious beliefs, the more I became convinced that the Christian faith was the one faith that made sense and was more believable.

But I also learned that the Baptist faith, of which I had been a part for 38 or 39 years, did not fulfill my desire to grow in a deeper understanding of God and His Word. With information from many great men of God, I began to see the plan of God unfolding with such clarity I could hardly contain myself.  It was then I realized that God was calling me to teach what I was learning (I am still learning more and more each year and I have been teaching since 1972.) I left a successful business and moved away from a town I called home to a new place that later became home.

This booklet is an overview of that which I have learned and which I now call The Plan of God: Rightly Divided. It is through the study of right division that will enable those who search for the truth to find the real and living God with clarity.

Getting on the ark

So we have Noah building this great big ark.  Then one day a parade of animals began their journey to the place the ark was parked.  Remember Genesis 6: 20 stated the animals would come to Noah to keep them alive.  Before this happened, Noah and his family had already stored the food necessary to sustain the animals and his family for the required days of confinement.

The day finally came for which he had been preparing these many years. Genesis 7: 1:  “And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.”

Genesis 7: 16: “And they that went in, went in male and female of all the flesh, as God had commanded him: and the Lord shut him up.”

Genesis 7: 23-24:  “Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.”

Notice the words of verse 16, “and the Lord shut him up.”

God closed the door.  This is an example of the security of a believer who trusts in the Lord. The Lord God closed the door and thus guaranteed all in the ark would live through the trials of the flood.  When God saves a sinner, He gives them a guarantee of life with Him in eternity.

How long were Noah and his entourage on the ark?

1.  Noah entered the ark in the 600th year of his life.  Genesis 7: 6 On the 17th day of the second month it began to rain. Genesis 7: 11

2.  the same days were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.”

3.  Genesis 7: 11-12.“And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.”  Genesis 7: 18-20

4.  In the seventh month, or 150 days after the rain began it stopped raining. Genesis 7: 24; 8: 1-2. And the water started to drop.

5.  The ark rested in the 17th day of the seventh month on top of Mt. Ararat. Genesis 8: 4.

6.  “And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month, on the first day of the month were the tops of the mountains seen.” Genesis 8: 5

7.  Forty days later, Noah opens the windows. Genesis 8: 6

8.  Noah releases a raven, then he released a dove “… to see if the waters were abated.” Genesis 8: 7-8. But the dove returned with no evidence it had. Verse 9.

9.  Seven days later he sends a dove out once more and the dove came back with an olive leaf. Genesis 8: 10-11.

10.  He stayed another seven days , sent a dove, and the dove did not return. Verse12/

11.  On the first day of the first month of Noah’s 601st year, Noah removed the covering of the ark and saw that the earth was dry. Verse 13.

12.  On the 27th day of the second month the earth was completely dry and Noah comes out of the ark,  (Verses 14-16)  having been on the ark for one year and ten days.

 

 

——————– 10 ——————-

 

 

A New Beginning

There are seven days in a week, and then you begin a new week.

There are seven notes in an octave, do, re, me, fa, so, la,  ti,  and then you start over again with do.

The number 8 is considered to be the number of resurrection or a new beginning.  Eight people went into the ark and thus begin to repopulate the earth:

Noah and his wife

Shem and his wife

Ham and his wife and

Japheth and his wife

The very first thing that Noah did, once off the ark, was to erect an altar of sacrifice.  Genesis 8: 31:  “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.” 

The lord having smelled a sweet savour, made a pledge.  Genesis 8: 21-22:

“And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”

Then the Lord blessed Noah and his sons and established some rules. Genesis 9: 1-5: “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.

The last part of the fifth verse is another first. “at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. This is the prerequisite of establishing courts and capital punishment for a person who kills another person. Genesis 9: 6: “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”

 

The Noahic Covenant

Genesis 9: 9-17

9.)          And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;

10.)      And with every living creature that [is] with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.

11.)      And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

12.)      And God said, This [is] the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that [is] with you, for perpetual generations:

13.)      I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

14.)      And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:

15.)      And I will remember my covenant, which [is] between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

16.)      And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that [is] upon the earth.

17.)      And God said unto Noah, This [is] the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that [is] upon the earth.

The covenant promises that there will never be another flood of this magnitude again, and every time you see a rainbow in the sky that is evidence I will keep my promise.

Genesis 9: 19: “These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.”  The Hebrew word for overspread is naphats – to scatter, disperse, overspread, be scattered. I mention this to emphasize that the descendents of Shem, Ham and Japheth populated the whole of the earth.

Noah proceeds to do what God called him to do, be a husbandman. The same thing God licensed his great grandfather, many times removed, to do. He planted a vineyard.  The vineyard produced grapes and Noah made wine form the grapes, got drunk, took off all his clothes and went to sleep – naked.

That may not sit well with some, but I only write what I read from the Bible. “And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. Genesis 9: 20-21.

There was nothing wrong in all that Noah did, but something wrong happened.

“And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.” Genesis 9: 22-24.

“Why do you say something wrong happened?” you may ask.

Look at the next verse. “And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.” Something wrong had to have happened or otherwise, why the pronouncing of a curse?

“But why did Noah curse Canaan, the son of Ham.  He didn’t do anything, did he?”  You ask. The answer is, “no he didn’t.”

But remember Genesis 9: 1?  “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”  God had blessed Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth.  And when God blesses, his righteousness will not allow Him to undo the blessing.  So the curse falls on the eldest son of Ham, which is Canaan. (Genesis 9: 22)

“It doesn’t seem fair.” You say.

“Who am I to question what God deems fair?”

“ But what was the transgression that is the cause of the curse?”  You ask.

That is the subject of much speculation.  I will give you two of the most used thoughts on the subject. Let’s look at Scripture.

“None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD.” Leviticus 18: 6.

“Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!” Habakkuk 2: 15.

So when Noah awakens from sleeping off his drunk, he knows Ham has done something. “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.” Genesis 9: 24.

“Was that “something” simply uncovering his father to observe his nakedness?” I do not know.

“Or,  was that “something” implying there was some physical action that had taken place between Ham and his father?” I do not know that either.

There are some who subscribe to the theory that Ham is the first homosexual mentioned in the Bible. Maybe he is, and maybe he isn’t. But I do think that a “woe is he” is not as serious as a curse.

Whatever Ham did, Noah saw fit to curse his son, Canaan. Genesis 9: 25-27.

25.)      And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

26.)      And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

27.)      God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

The curse carried with it a burden that would be hard for anyone to endure – that of being a slave to his uncle Shem and his uncle Japheth. This curse would be passed on to all the descendants of Canaan, many of whom were very evil in nature.

 

 

 

——————– 11 ——————-

 

Nimrod and the Tower of Babel

One of Hm’s descendants was Nimrod, who was the son of Cush. Nimrod established the empire of Babylon.

Genesis 11: 1-9:

1.)              “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

2.)              And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

3.)              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.

4.)              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.

5.)              And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

6.)              And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

7.)              Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

8.)              So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

9.)              Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”

The people of Babylon are remembered for building the Tower of Babel. But I want you to remember that Nimrod, the Son of Cush, the son of Canaan, the one who was cursed by his grandfather Noah, founded it.

I also want you to remember what we discussed about these descendants – they were always rebellious toward God.

Genesis 11 begins with a declaration – all people spoke one language. Babel or Babylon was the ancient site and/or capital of Babylonia (modern day Hillah) which was situated on the Euphrates river. The Hebrew word – Babel – means confusion (by mixing.)

It seems that Cush, Canaan and his descendants were wanderers, not having any permanent housing until they came to Shinar.  It was in the plain of Shinar that they begin to establish a permanent residence. In verse three, they  proceeded to make brick.

This marks the beginning of world development after the flood and also the first notation of man rebelling against God. It starts with verse three.  Instead of using stone, they “substitute” something man-made, brick, for their outside walls.

“And what is wrong with brick?” you ask.

Nothing, but in order to understand why God confounded their language (V. 7) and scattered them over the face of the known earth, (Vs. 8-9) we need to see the spiritual significance of their act. You will learn, as you read the Scriptures, that Babylon was know for having much luxury, and many of its citizenry were famous for effeminacy as well as self-indulgence. Babylon, the city of the present evil world, as it became to be known, was not known for its love of God.

So why do you suppose the people of the region wanted to build a tower so high that the top of the tower would reach unto heaven? (V. 4)  I can name at least three reasons.

  1. Pride – top to reach to heaven
  2. Vain glory – “Let us make us a name.”
  3. Determination to stay together – “lest we be scattered abroad.” (V. 4).

You will recall that pride was the reason for Lucifer’s fall, and pride was the downfall of many others and will be the downfall of many more. The fact remains, that because of their thoughts and actions, God scattered the people over the face of all the earth.

Lesson: Pride is the number one item on God’s hate list.

“Wait a minute,” you say.  “God does not have a hate list.  My pastor/priest tells me that God is a God of love.”

And they would be correct in that statement.  But God is much more than a God of love.  He hates some things.  Take a look for yourself

Proverbs 6: 16-19

These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Tell me, is a proud look another thing for pride?  Of course it is.  The verse says that there are seven things that God hates and are abominations unto Him. Abomination in the Hebrew is – towebah – a disgusting or wicked thing.  Let’s look at them one-by-one.

  1. A proud look
  2. A lying tongue
  3. Hands that shed innocent blood
  4. A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations
  5. Feet that are swift in running to mischief
  6. A false witness, and
  7. He who sows discord among brethren

You will notice that I have underlined numbers 2, 6 and 7.  Why?  Because all three deal with the tongue or with saying words. God hates liars, people who say false things about others, and the busy-bodies of this world that are quick to run and tell something they heard about to someone else, without checking to see if it is true or not. Down south, we call these people “biddies.”

“That old biddy said this and that old biddy said that. Don’t they have anything better to do than spread dirt about any and everybody?” we say.

The answer is, “no, they do not.”

Why? Because they think if they can spread enough dirt on others, people will not see the dirt in their own house.  Sooner or later it will all come out in the open.  But in the meantime, old biddies have ruined someone’s reputation by sowing discord among the brethren.

What can you do to stop the spread of this viscous form of character assignation? You can refuse to allow your ears to be the dumping ground for someone else’s garbage.

As bad as the things associated with the tongue are, God hates pride most of all.. So, God scattered the people of Babylon abroad upon the face of all the earth.

 

 

——————– 12 ——————-

 

Abram – Abraham

Genesis 11: 27-32:

27.)      Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.

28.)      And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.

29.)      And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram’s wife [was] Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.

30.)      But Sarai was barren; she had no child.

31.)      And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.

32.)      And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.

Genesis 12: 1-5

1.)    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:

2.)    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:

3.)    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.

4.)    So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.

5.)    And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

From the verses in Genesis Chapter Eleven, we discover:

1)        That Abram’s father was Terah,

2)        That he had a brother named Haran who had a son name Lot.

3)        That Abram took Sari as his wife and she was barren.

4)        That Terah, when he was 205 years old,  took Abram, Sari and Lot from Ur of Chaldees to the land of Canaan and to a place called Haran. Terah died in Haran.

From the verses in Genesis 12 we learn:

1.)    The lord told Abram to get out of the country and away from his father’s people and his father’s house.

2.)    God gave no specific destination in the orders to go, Abram was to go until the Lord told him to stop.

3.)    God told Abram that He would bless him, make his name great, and that he would be a blessing.

4.)    God also said He would bless those who blessed Abram and curse those who cursed him.

5.)    Then God said that in Abram all the families of the earth would be blessed.

6.)    Abram left his father’s land and took Sari and Lot with him. He was 75 years old when he left on his journey.

Abram left Haran and journeyed south to the place of Sichem in the plain of Moreh. (Genesis 12: 6) We are also told that the Canaanites were already living in the land, but the Lord appeared unto Abram and told him He was going to give Abram that land, so Abram built an altar unto the Lord. (Genesis 12: 7)

Leaving that spot, Abram went unto a mountain and pitched his tent, Beth-el on the west and Hai on the east, he also another altar and talked to the Lord. (Genesis 12: 8)

Journeying even father south he found there was a famine in the land, so Abram went into Egypt, but before entering into Egypt he was afraid the Egyptians might kill him if they knew Sari was his wife, for Sari was a very beautiful woman.  So Abram told her he would say she was his sister, fearing what might happen.

Sure enough, when they entered into Egypt Sari’s beauty was noticed and she was brought to Pharaoh’s house. Pharaoh treated Abram well because of Sari, giving Abram sheep, oxen, he asses, menservants, maidservants, she asses and camels.

Plagues abounded shortly after Abram entered into Egypt. Pharaoh realized that Sari was Abram’s wife and called Abram before him and dressed him down for the deceit and sent him on his way with all the possessions that were given him. (Genesis 12: 9-20)

When Abram left Egypt with Sari and Lot he was a very rich man. He went back to Beth-el and Hai, where he had previously pitched his tent and to where he had built the altar, and called upon the Lord again. Before they left Egypt, Lot had amassed a fortune too.  Fearing the land could not provide for them all, Abram suggested that Lot choose what portion of the land he wanted and he would take the rest.

Lot looked at the plain of Jordan with its abundance of water and choose that for himself. Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan and Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom. (Genesis 13: 1-12)

Genesis 13: 13-18

13.)               But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly

14.)               And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:

15.)               For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.

16.)               And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.

17.)               Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.

18.)               Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the Lord.

Once Lot left, God told Abram to look to the north, south, east and west.  “All that you can see will I give you,” said the Lord. “And I will multiply your seed.” Abram picked up his tent and moved to Mamre in the land of Hebron and pitched his tent and built an altar.

A battle over Sodom and Gomorrah occurs and the reigning kings over them were defeated. The victors took all the goods of the land and took Lot, the nephew of Abram with them. Word gets back to Abram about what had happened, so he arms 318 men born in his household and pursued the conquerors by night, killing them all and bringing back all the goods which had been taken.

Melchizedek

Genesis 14: 18-20: “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.”

Here is another first in Scripture.  It is the first time Melchizedek is mentioned.

“Who was Melchizedek?” you ask.

1.He was king of Salem and priest of the Most High God to whom Abram paid tithe after the battle he fought to free Lot;  and

2.According to Psalms 110: 4: The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.”  the order of Melchizedek is the order of the priesthood to which Christ belongs.

In Hebrews 7: 1-4 we read this about the man. (The name has been Anglicized in the New Testament and is spelled Melchisedec.) “For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.”

The priesthood of Melchizedek is a higher order than the priesthood of Aaron. He is mentioned but twice in the Old Testament, but the Book of Hebrews says he is a type of the Messiah, of the seed of David. (Hebrews 5:6, 10; 6: 20; 7: 1-21.)

It is interesting, don’t you think, that he is both a priest and a king, just as Christ was,? Think about what Hebrews 7: 1 says: “For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;”  He was given the title of “priest of the most High God.” A title not even given to father Abraham. So, Melchizedek was superior to Abraham and his priesthood was superior to Levi and his descendants.

Melchizedek had no predecessors and did not pass on the priesthood to any successors. We do not know where he came from nor if he ever departed, but he was made like the Son of God and remains a priest forever.  He was so great, that the patriarch Abraham paid tribute to him, giving him one tenth of all his goods.

 

The Abrahamic Covenant

Genesis 15: 1-18

1.)    “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?

2.)    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?

3.)    And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.

4.)    And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.

5.)    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.

6.)    And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

7.)    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.

8.)    And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?

9.)    And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.

10.)         And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.

11.)         And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away.

12.)         And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.

13.)         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;

14.)         And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

15.)         And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.

16.)         But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

17.)         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.

18.)         In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

There is a dialog between Abram and God in the first four verses of this chapter.  God promised a reward.  Abram questions it because he and Sari are childless and Abram fears his heir will be the steward of his household. God assures him that would not be so.

In verse five, God has Abram look up at the stars of heaven and declares that Abram’s seed will be impossible to number. Then in verse six we see another first. “And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”  The words “he believed in the Lord” means to trust.  So Abram trusted the Lord or had faith in God, and God counted that trust (faith in Him) for righteousness.

I want to be perfectly clear on this issue.  It was not Abraham’s faith that saved him it was Abraham’s faith in God that saved him. Let me direct your attention to a verse of Scripture that is overlooked by many on this subject.

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Galatians 2: 16.

Paul also wrote the following.

“Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” (Galatians 3: 6)

“But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.” Galatians 3:11 (A quote from Habakkuk  that said his faith – look.)

“Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by His faith.” Habakkuk 2: 4. I believe that this is the faith of Christ as Paul recorded in Galatians 2: 16. (For more detailed information on the subject, read the author’s booklet, Faith of Christ.)

“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” Romans 4:3

“Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.” Romans 4: 9.

Abraham believed God was going to provide a sacrifice for sin, and God counted that for righteousness. It is the same faith he displayed when God tempted him to offer Isaac for a burnt offering.

“And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 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: 1-2

But notice what Abraham said:

“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.  You will notice that Abraham said that he and the lad would come again, indicating he would be coming back soon.

Now look at Isaac’s question and Abraham’s response to the question.

“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

Isaac was familiar with offering sacrifices and asked his father where the lamb to be offered was.  Abraham said “God will provide himself a lamb.”  Abraham was not thinking about the ram that miraculously appeared, but the Son of God, the Lamb of God, that would appear on earth as the ultimate sacrifice.

Abraham’s faith was far more than thinking an animal sacrifice was the answer to sin’s problem.  Abraham believed God would provide a sacrifice that would satisfy His righteousness and Abraham’s faith (belief) in God was counted unto him for righteousness.

The covenant confirmed: Genesis 22:15-18:

15      And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,

16      And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:

17      That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

18      And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

 

 

————————13————————-

 

Isaac 

Jacob

 Before Abraham died he made arrangements with his servant to go and seek a wife for Isaac in the land of his father. Isaac married Rebekah.

Genesis 25:

19      And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham begat Isaac:

20      And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian.

21      And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.

22      And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the Lord.

23      And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

24      And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.

25      And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.

26      And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.

Rebekah had two boys, as was promised her by the Lord. God also told her that Esau, the eldest, would be a servant to Jacob, the youngest. The rule of law of that day and time was that the eldest son would receive the blessings of his father, but in this instance, God went against that rule, for in Genesis 26: 1-5 we read:

1         And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.

2         And the Lord appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:

3         Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;

4         And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

5         Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

In the passages above, God confirms the covenant he made with Abraham to be passed on to Isaac.  But the blessing that was to be passed on to Jacob would take a little help from the Lord.

Isaac loved Esau and when he grew old and neigh unto death, he asked his favorite son to go out to the field, kill a deer and cook it for him before he blessed him. Rebekah overheard him and went to Jacob and told him to go get two kid goats and bring them to her so that she could fix a meal for Isaac who would in turn bless Jacob.

Jacob realized there was a problem, Esau was a very hairy man and Jacob wasn’t. He was afraid his father would know of the deception and thereby bring a curse upon him. But Rebekah assured Jacob that the curse would be upon her. Isaac was almost blind and Rebekah knew she could pull off the scheme she had contrived to do. So she told Jacob, “You do as I say and all will be well.”

Just before the food was ready to be offered to Isaac, Rebekah took some clothes of Esau and put them on Jacob, and she put the skins of the goats on his hand and neck before Jacob presented himself to his father. Genesis 27: 22-29:

22          And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.

23          And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau’s hands: so he blessed him.

24          And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.

25          And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he drank.

26          And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son.

27          And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed:

28          Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:

29          Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed [be] every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.

So Jacob received the blessing of his father.  But before long Esau came and presented himself before his father and to receive the blessing. Isaac realized that he had been deceived but he knew he could not take back the blessing he had given. And Esau hated Jacob and plotted in his heart to kill him. These words were told to Rebekah and she sent for Jacob and had him go to her brother Laban to live. Look at Genesis 28: 10-19

10      And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.

11      And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.

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

13      And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;

14      And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

15      And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

16      And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.

17      And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

18      And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.

19      And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city as called Luz at the first.

And so the Abrahamic covenant is now passed from Isaac to Jacob., and in the passages above we see the sevenfold blessings given unto him.

  1. V. 13 – God declares He is his God
  2. V. 13 – God gives Jacob the land where he lies
  3. V.15 – God declares He is with Jacob
  4. V.15 – That He will keep him
  5. V.15 – Bring him back to the land
  6. V. 15 – That He will not leave him, and
  7. V.15 – He would stay with him until he had done all He promised.

Jacob arose from his sleep and took the stone he had used for his pillow, poured oil upon it and called the place Beth-el. Then Jacob vowed that he would give a tenth of all his possessions to the Lord.  Jacob would work for his mother’s brother for many years, would eventually married three of his daughters, but Rachel was his one true love and would be the wife to whom Joseph would be born and from whose loins would be passed the inheritance of the Lord.

Changing the Name Jacob to Israe

23          And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had

24          And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.

25          And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.

26          And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

27          And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.

28          And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

29          And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.

30          And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

The Lord did bless Jacob, and He honored Jacob and the 12 tribes of Israel are from him and his seed. Look at Genesis 35: 23-26:

23      The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun:

24      The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin:

25      The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin:

26      And the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s handmaid; Gad, and Asher: these are the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padanaram.

These are the twelve sons of Jacob and his three wives, but they are not the twelve tribes of Israel. Joseph is not one of the tribes but two of his sons will be. Levi was the linage from whom the priest would come and his seed would dwell among all the tribes in their priestly capacity.

 

________ 14 ________

 

Joseph

 

We are first introduced to Joseph in Genesis 30: 22-24:

22      And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.

23      And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach:

24      And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son.

But the story of Joseph begins in Genesis 37

1           And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.

2           These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.

3           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.

4           And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

5           And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.

6           And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:

7           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.

8           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.

9           And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.

10        And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?

The dream, of course is what will really happen a few years hence, but at the time at only increased the hate that Joseph’s brothers had for him. Let’s continue the story.

11      And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.

12      And his brethren went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem.

13      And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I.

14      And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.

15      And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was]wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What seekest thou?

16      And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.

17      And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.

18      And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.

19      And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.

20      Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.

21      And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.

22      And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.

23      And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;

24      And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.

25      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.

26      And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?

27      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.

28      Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.

So, this is how Joseph wound up in Egypt. But it is not the end of the story of deceit.  His brothers had to contrive a story to tell their father, or else be blamed for treachery.  Once they sell Joseph, Reuben determines what they will tell their father.

29      And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.

30      And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go?

31      And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;

32      And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no.

33      And he knew it, and said, It is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.

34      And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.

35      And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.

36      And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, and captain of the guard.

Now Joseph finds himself in the home of the captain of Pharaoh’s guards.

Genesis 39: 2-6:

2                    And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.

3                    And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand.

4                    And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.

5                    And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.

6                    And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.

About this time, Potiphar’s wife “cast her eye” on Joseph and tried to get him to take her to bed; but Joseph refused to do so because it would be a sin against God.  Potiphar’s wife did not give up that easily, so when all of the servants were out of the house she grabbed him and asked him once again to lie with her. This time he ran from her, but she had grabbed his outer garment and he left it there. This gave the scorned female the opportunity to discredit Joseph, so when the servants returned, she said Joseph had tried to lie with her. When Potiphar came home, he believed the lie of his wife and had Joseph placed in prison where the king’s prisoners were kept.

The Scripture says, the Lord was with him still.

Genesis 39: 20-23:

20      And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.

21      But the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

22      And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it.

23      The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the Lord was with him, and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper.

Before too long two of the king’s servants, the butler and the baker, offended the king and he had them committed to prison and Joseph was charged with taking care of them. Before long both of them dreamed a dream.  When Joseph came to them the morning after the dream, they were very sad. Joseph asked them why?

Genesis 40: 7-23:

7                    And he asked Pharaoh’s officers that were with him in the ward of his lord’s house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly to day?

8                    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.

9                    And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold, a vine was before me;

10                And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes:

11                And Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand.

12                And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days:

13                Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh’s cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler.

14                But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house:

15                For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.

16                When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said unto Joseph, I also was in my dream, and, behold, I had three white baskets on my head:

17                And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of bakemeats for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head.

18                And Joseph answered and said, This is the interpretation thereof: The three baskets are three days:

19                Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee.

20                And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants.

21                And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand:

22                But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them.

23                Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.

Two years after Joseph had interpreted the butler’s dream, Pharaoh had  dreams and called all the magicians of Egypt and all the wise men and told them his dream and asked them to interpret them, but they could not.  So, the butler tells Pharaoh that Joseph could interpret dreams . Pharaoh sent for Joseph.

Genesis 41:

14                Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.

15                And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.

16                And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.

17                And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river:

18                And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow:

19                And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness:

20                And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine:

21                And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke.

22                And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good:

23                And, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them:

24                And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears: and I told this unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me.

After Pharaoh told the dream to Joseph, then Joseph gave him what God had revealed.

25                And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.

26                The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one.

27                And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are  seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine.

28                This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh.

29                Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt:

30                And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land;

31                And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous.

32                And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; [it is] because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.

33                Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.

34                Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years.

35                And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities.

36                And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.

Pharaoh realizes that Joseph is the man to head this program and gave him his ring and dressed him in the finest clothes and made him ruler over all Egypt. He then gave Joseph an Egyptian name and a wife, who was the daughter of a priest. Joseph was thirty years old when all this happened.

Joseph then went throughout all the land of Egypt gathering and storing food. He gathered so much corn that he finally quit counting it because the harvest was so plentiful..  During these seven years of plenty Joseph fathered two sons. The first born he named Manasseh and the second son he named Ephraim.

When the era of famine came upon the land, the people of Egypt cried out to Pharaoh for help and Joseph open the storehouses and sold them the goods he had stored during the seven good years. Soon, other countries heard about food for sale and they came to Egypt to buy it.

Jacob, the father of Joseph, heard there was corn in Egypt and sent ten sons there to purchase food. He would not allow Benjamin, Joseph’s younger brother, to go with them because he was afraid that some mischief might befall him. When they came they bowed down to Joseph. Joseph recognized them but they did not recognize him.

He spoke roughly with them and called them spies, remembering the dream he had that caused all the problems with his kin. They denied they were spies and stated that they were all one man’s sons. They are called spies again and this time they say “Thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and behold the youngest is this day with our father, and the one is not.” Genesis 42: 13.

Joseph continued to call them spies and said that one of them would have to stay in prison while the others went back to bring the younger brother to prove their story was true. Joseph gave them corn and put their money they paid for the food in the sacks and sent them on their way. On their way home they stopped at an Inn and one of them discovered the money Joseph had put in the bag. Fear overcame them.

When they arrived at their home, they told Jacob all they had encountered and about the money.  Jacob (now named Israel) and the brothers were filled with fear. Israel refused to let them take Benjamin back but when all the corn had been eaten they were faced with the situation of having to go back to Egypt. Judah steps up and tells Israel he will be personally liable for the return of Benjamin and so Israel relents and they go with plenty of money and gifts. Before long they stood before Joseph again.

Genesis 43: 16-33:

16          And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the ruler of his house, Bring these men home, and slay, and make ready; for these men shall dine with me at noon.

17          And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men into Joseph’s house. And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph’s house; and they said, Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time are we brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, and our asses.

18          And they came near to the steward of Joseph’s house, and they communed with him at the door of the house,

19          And said, O sir, we came indeed down at the first time to buy food:

20          And it came to pass, when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, every man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight: and we have brought it again in our hand.

21          And other money have we brought down in our hands to buy food: we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks.

22          And he said, Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them.

23          And the man brought the men into Joseph’s house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender.

24          And they made ready the present against Joseph came at noon: for they heard that they should eat bread there.

25          And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves to him to the earth.

26          And he asked them of their welfare, and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive?

27          And they answered, Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance.

28          And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son.

29          And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there.

30          And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread.

31          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.

32          And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marvelled one at another.

33          And he took and sent messes unto them from before him: but Benjamin’s mess was five times so much as any of theirs. And they drank, and were merry with him.

Joseph plots against his brothers.

Genesis 44: 1-13:

1             And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man’s money in his sack’s mouth.

2             And put my cup, the silver cup, in the sack’s mouth of the youngest, and his corn money. And he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken.

3             As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their asses.

4             And when they were gone out of the city, and not yet far off, Joseph said unto his steward, Up, follow after the men; and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good?

5             Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, and whereby indeed he divineth? ye have done evil in so doing.

6             And he overtook them, and he spake unto them these same words.

7             And they said unto him, Wherefore saith my lord these words? God forbid that thy servants should do according to this thing:

8             Behold, the money, which we found in our sacks’ mouths, we brought again unto thee out of the land of Canaan: how then should we steal out of thy lord’s house silver or gold?

9             With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let him die, and we also will be my lord’s bondmen.

10          And he said, Now also let it be according unto your words: he with whom it is found shall be my servant; and ye shall be blameless.

11          Then they speedily took down every man his sack to the ground, and opened every man his sack.

12          And he searched, and began at the eldest, and left at the youngest: and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack.

13          Then they rent their clothes, and laded every man his ass, and returned to the city.

Realizing they could not go back home without Benjamin, they go back into town and to Joseph’s home, where they fell down before him on the ground. Judah pleaded with him not to keep Benjamin as his servant as it would kill their father. Judah said, “Let me take the boys place.”  Then Joseph could not stand it any longer.

Genesis 45: 1-14:

1             Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.

2             And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.

3             And Joseph said unto his brethren, I [am] Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.

4             And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.

5             Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.

6             For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.

7             And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

8             So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

9             Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not:

10          And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast:

11          And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty.

12          And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you.

13          And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither.

14          And he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck.

When Pharaoh heard that Joseph’s brothers were in town he said they should go back to Canaan and get there father and bring him back to Egypt, where he would make sure they would be taken care of.  They go, laden down with goods and wagons, and Israel rejoices that his son is alive and goes to Egypt.

God spoke to Israel in a dream and told him to not worry about going to Egypt.  God said, “I will go down with thee into Egypt.” Genesis 46: 4. And they took their cattle and all their goods and came into Egypt, all sixty-six of them. If you include Joseph and his family,  the total of the household of Israel was seventy. When Joseph knew of their coming, he made ready his chariot and went to meet Israel, his father.

In the course of time Israel knew that his death was near and Joseph came to him with his two son.  Israel blessed Joseph and the boys, but he placed his right hand on the youngest, Ephraim.  When Joseph attempted to correct him, Israel said he knew what he was doing and that Ephraim would be greater than Manasseh.

Then Jacobs (Israel) called all his sons together and gave them his prognostication of the events that would transpire. He gave up the ghost and Joseph had his father embalmed and mourned him for forty days. And when the days of his mourning was past, Joseph went to Pharaoh and asked to take his father back to Canaan for final burial. Joseph then returned to Egypt and died and was buried there.

 

 

_______ 15 _______

 

Moses

After Joseph died, there arose a new king over Egypt who didn’t know Joseph. He reviewed the situation at hand and determined that the children of Israel were more and mightier than they. So he determined  to set taskmasters over them to inflict harm on them.  But that didn’t work and the children of Israel multiplied as the punishment increased.

The king devised a plan with two of the Hebrew midwives to kill any male child born unto them. But these midwives feared God and did not do as the king said and saved the men children. They said that Hebrew women were more lively than Egyptian women and therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the Israelites continued to multiply.

And Pharaoh charged all his people saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.” (Exodus 1: 22)

Exodus 2 marks the beginning of the well known story of Moses. A daughter of Levi conceived and bare a son and managed to hide him for three months. As he grew it became evident that she could no longer keep his birth a secret, so she made an ark of bulrushes, laid Moses among the brush near the bank of the river with his sister standing near by to see what would happen to him.

The daughter of Pharaoh came down to the river to take a bath and spotted the ark and told her maids to fetch it to her. When she opened it she discovered the baby and saw that the baby was crying. She had compassion on the child even though she knew that it was one of the Hebrew’s children. The sister of the baby asked the daughter of Pharaoh if she could call for a nurse of the Hebrew women, to which she said yes.

The sister returned with the child’s mother, who was to nurse the child and be paid for doing so. The child grew and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son, and she called his name Moses.

When Moses was grown he went and saw the tremendous burdens inflicted on the Hebrews.  Then he spotted one of the Egyptians hitting someone.  Seeing that there was no one around, Moses killed the man and buried him in the sand.

The very next day he went to observe his brethren and spotted two of them fighting.  He asked the one who seemed to have the upper hand, why was he fighting? This gave cause for the man to ask, “Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? Intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian?” Exodus 2: 14.

When Pharaoh heard about the incident, he decided that he was going to kill Moses, but Moses ran off to the land of Midian. As he sat by a well, the daughters of the priest came by to draw water for their flocks.  The shepherds drove them away, but Moses stood up and helped them water their flock. When they returned quicker than normal, their father asked how this could be? They told them and he asked them why they had not asked the man to dinner.

Moses did come for dinner and stayed for a long time. Reuel, the priest, gave Moses one of his daughters, Zipporah, to be his wife. In due time she conceived and bare him a son, who he named Gershom. And it came to pass that the king of Egypt died and they cried unto God about their being in bondage.

Exodus 2: 24-25: “And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.

One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law and this happened..

2                    And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

3                    And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.

4                    And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.

5                    And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

6                    Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.

7                    And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;

8                    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.

9                    Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.

10                Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.

11                And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?

12                And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.

13                And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?

14                And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

15                And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this [is] my memorial unto all generations. Exodus 3: 2-15.

Then God instructed Moses to gather all the elders of Israel and tell them what He was about to say, that He would take them out of Egypt unto a land flowing with milk and honey.  But first, you and the elders must go before the king of Egypt and say the Lord God of heaven has said to let His people go. Then God said, I am sure he will not do that but I will stretch out my hand and smite Egypt with all my wonders and he will let you go.

Moses doubted that the elders would not believe him, as a matter of fact he did not think they would listen to him. Look at Exodus 4: 2-8:

2             And the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.

3             And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it.

4             And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:

5             That they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.

6             And the Lord said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow.

7             And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh.

8             And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.

9             And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.

Moses begins to give reasons why God should get somebody else to do the job. First he said he was not an eloquent speaker, as a matter of fact, he said, I speak very slowly.

There are too many in Christendom today that produce excuses as to why they cannot do the will of God.  Isn’t it ironic though, they can always find a way to do the things that interest them, like mow the grass so they can putt a golf ball, etc.  Those who have a tendency to never get involved should pay attention to what God told Moses.

Genesis 4: 11: “And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord?”

All things are possible with God.  There is nothing that God cannot do if He has a willing mind and body to do it for Him.  Isn’t it time that you quit saying I can’t do that and start saying, I’ll try?

But the Lord was compassionate with Moses and said that He would let Aaron, his brother, became the mouthpiece for Moses and that He would be with both of them in this matter. Before the Lord departed, He reminded Moses to always take his rod with him. So Moses took his wife and children and returned to Egypt, the Lord warning him ahead of time that he would harden Pharaoh’s heart.

Before too long Moses and Aaron went before Pharaoh and told him all the Lord had instructed them to say. Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.” Exodus 5: 2.

In the course of time the burdens of the Israelites increased and they complained more than ever. Then the Lord told Moses to tell the children of Israel that He was going to bring them out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, free them from bondage, redeem them with great judgments and take them to Me for a people; and I will be to you a God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God. And I will bring you unto the land that I gave to Abraham, to Isaac and Jacob; and I will give it to you for an heritage.

So Moses, who was 80 years old, and Aaron , who was 83 years old went before Pharaoh. When Pharaoh asked them to show him a miracle, Aaron through the rod down before Pharaoh and his servants and it became a snake. Pharaoh gathered all his wise men and magicians and they chanted and cast down their rods, which became snakes also.  But Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods. This only hardened Pharaoh’s heat even more than before.

The next morning Moses was instructed to go down to the river where Pharaoh would be and to smith the water with his rod and the water would be turned into blood and all that was in the river would die. Pharaoh’s magicians did the same and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and would not do as Moses suggested, let his people go.

In the course of time there would be eleven other curses poured out on Egypt:

2                    The river produced frogs in abundance, there were so many they entered into the people’s houses and into their beds.  The magicians produced the same thing. Pharaoh said to tell the Lord to get rid of the frogs and he would let the people go.  The Lord did, but Pharaoh didn’t do as he said.

3                    Moses struck the dust of the land and lice appeared all over the land. The magicians could not do that so lice were upon all people and beast of the land. Pharaoh’s heart was hardened even more.

4                    The next day as Pharaoh went down to the river Moses told him that if he didn’t let his people go the Lord would send swarms of flies into his house and into all the houses of the land.  He did not repent and it happened just as Moses said it would.

5                    Then came the pestilence upon the animals and they all died except the cattle of the children of Israel.  Pharaoh’s heart was still hardened.

6                    The Lord told Moses to take ashes out of the furnace and to through it up in the air and it would cause boils to break out  all over the people.

7                    Then came hail and fire mingles with hail and fell upon the people and the beast and upon the herbs until they were devastated.  But there was no hail in the land of the children of Israel.

8                    Then the Lord smote the flax and barley, but the wheat and rye were spared.

9                    Then came the locusts

10                Then came total darkness so that none could see

11                And last of all death came of the first born son of each household.  Only those who sprinkled blood on the side and top of the doors were spared.

This event became know as the Passover, for it was when the Lord passed through the land and spared those who observed the Passover. It is one of the three most sacred feast days for the Jews even unto this day.  It was to begin on April 10th and would be kept until the 14th day of the same month. Everyone was to take a lamb without blemish, a male of the first year.  They were to separate it from the sheep and goats for 3 days and then the whole assembly of the congregation would kill it in the evening of the 14th day. Then they were to take the blood and strike it on the two side post and the upper door post of the house, and then eat the meat.

Then on the 14th day they were to eat unleavened bread until April 21, or seven days.  This is know as the Feast of Unleavened Bread. There was to be no leavened bread in the house these seven days.

In the morning after the Lord passed over the land, all the people of Egypt cried out because of the deaths that had occurred, so Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron and told them to get their people out of Egypt. He also told them to take all their flocks, herds and goods and be gone.  The children of Israel had been in the land of Egypt for four hundred and thirty years before their exodus. And God led them, not the shortest way through the land of the Philistines, but through the wilderness of the Red Sea. Scripture says that Moses took the bones of Joseph with them. (Exodus 13: 19) And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud and by night in a pillar of fire.

Not too long after the children of Israel left, Pharaoh sent the Egyptians after them and overtook them where they had set up camp by the sea. The majority of the people was afraid and began to complain to Moses. Moses speaks in Exodus 14: 13-14:

“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”

The Lord moved the cloud that was over the Israelites and place it behind them and in front of the Egyptian army so that neither side went near the other during the night.

And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.” (Exodus 14: 21-22)

The Egyptians pursued the children of Israel but the Lord removed the wheels of the chariots and the Egyptians were afraid and determined to go back but the Lord told Moses to stretch out his hands again and the waters returned, killing all of the Egyptians.

The amazing part of this trek across the bottom of the sea was that Israel walked across on dry land, but when the Egyptians pursued their chariot wheels fell of in the mud. How powerful the Lord is.

The children of Israel were amazed at what happened and they feared the Lord and believed the Lord and his servant, for the moment.  But over the period of the next forty years they forgot this event and began to complain at every turn.  Isn’t that the way of most Christians today?  We love the Lord and fear Him after he has performed for us, but we soon forget what He has done and start our bickering back and forth with one another.

As they began their trek across the desert the lord told Moses that He would rain down bread from heaven for them.  He told Moses that the people were to gather a certain amount of this bread from heaven daily, just enough for that days’ meal; but on the sixth day they would gather enough bread for two days, because they should rest on the Sabbath.

In Exodus 16: 8, we see these words: “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.

So in the evening the Lord sent an abundance of quail and after the dew evaporated, behold there lay a small round thing, and when the children of Israel saw it they said one to another, it is manna, because they did not know what it was. The word manna means, “What is it?”

Moses proceeded to instruct them that they should gather a liter of the bread for every man in the household or who resided in their tent. Scripture tells us that if they gathered too much or too little there was nothing left over and no one lacked what they needed to relieve their hunger. Those who tried to hold back some for the next day found that the bread was full of worms and it stank.

In Exodus Chapter seventeen the Bible records a significant event.

1             And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the Lord, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink.

2             Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the Lord?

3             And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?

4             And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.

5             And the Lord said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go.

6             And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.

7             And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us, or not?

Moses smiting the rock is a picture of Christ dying.  In Numbers 20, the children of Israel are back in the same spot they were in Exodus 17. But on this occasion the Lord tells Moses to speak to the Rock. Let look at Numbers 20:  “Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.

This is a picture of Christ in resurrection with the water representing blessing and strength.

Moses doesn’t do as the Lord tells him, he smites the rock as before in Exodus 17 and for this act of unbelief, the Lord tells Moses that he nor Aaron will enter into the promised land.. (Numbers 20:12).

But let us go back to the book of Exodus chapter 19:4-6.

4             Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.

5             Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:

6             And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

Obedience to the words of the law was a command and to receive a blessing required doing something. I want you to notice the word “if.” In the passage.

If – ye obey my voice and keep my covenant,

Then – ye shall be a peculiar treasure, (v. 6) a kingdom of priest and an holy nation.

Remember with every positive statement there has to be a negative alternative.  In this instance it is:

If – ye do not obey my voice and keep my covenant,

Then – ye shall not be a peculiar treasure to me, nor a kingdom of priest and a holy nation.

Now look at Exodus 19: 16-20:

16                And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.

17                And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.

18                And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.

19                And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.

20                And the Lord came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.

The scene: Moses is about to go before the Lord to receive the ten commandments.  What is interesting to me is that the Law was being ushered in with fanfare, denoting its significance as well as its obligation. However, the Law was NOT the answer for all of mankind’s problems. Galatians says the Law was our schoolmaster and by the Law was the knowledge of sin, and the Law could never justify man of his sins.

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (Galatians 2: 24)

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Galatians 2: 11

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Romans 3: 20)

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. (Romans 7: 7)

So, according to the Scripture, we conclude that the law was never intended to be something that mankind was to keep, for the keeping of it was impossible.  The law was nothing more than a guideline, a schoolmaster, to show us that there had to be another solution for sin.

Look at what James says to Paul: “Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:” (Acts 15: 24)

Now look at what James says in the Book of James. “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all”. (James 2: 10)

With all that said, let’s look at Exodus chapter 20, which is where God gives Moses the Ten Commandments, and let’s list them.

  1. 1.      V.3 –Thou shalt have nom other gods before me.
  2. 2.      V.4-6 – Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
  3. 3.      V.7 – Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
  4. 4.      V.8-11 – Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
  5. 5.      V.12 – Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
  6. 6.      V.13 – Thou shalt not kill.
  7. 7.      V.14 – Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  8. 8.      V.15 – Thou shalt not steal.
  9. 9.      V.16 – Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
  10. 10.  V.17 – Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

Listed below are the Ten Commandments that the Catholic Church recognizes.

  1. I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not have strange gods before me. V. 1

(The second commandment in a King James Bible is found in verse 4, but this is omitted in the Catholic list. Why? Look for yourself. The verse says: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; the statue of the virgin Mary would be an abomination to God, therefore the Catholic religion has chosen to eliminate this commandment.)

  1. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain – V. 7
  2. Remember thou keep the Sabbath Day. V. 8
  3. Honor thy Father and thy Mother – V. 12
  4. Thou shalt not kill. – V. 13
  5. Thou shalt not commit adultery. V. 14
  6. Thou shalt not steal. V. 15
  7. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. V. 16
  8. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife. V. 17
  9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s goods. V. 17

(The Catholic faith has chosen to break verse 17 into two commandments in order to make ten, thereby, seemingly being true to Scripture. Not so! Anyone who will take the time to study the words will see that this is wrong.) The second commandment is: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;

So, the Catholic religion errs in their judgment on this matter. The reason God demanded that there be no graven images was because the heathen nations worshipped idols as their gods, and God is a jealous God. That is exactly what the first commandment states, and that is why God commanded no images be forged for the purpose of worship of any kind.

The abomination of desolation is an idol.  Why do you suppose the Lord called it abominable? He hares idols!

In Acts chapter nineteen we find the people of Ephesus at odds with the Apostle Paul and with his doctrine. These people, like the Corinthians, were worshippers of Diana, and the silversmiths of the region made their living by forging out idols of the goddess. Paul’s address on Mars Hill culminated with his saying, “For I passed by and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD, Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him I declare unto you.” Acts 17: 23.

God has always been opposed to the worshipping of any idol, and those who place Mary on an equal basis with the Lord Jesus Christ have made her a god, and the Lord God does not condone that.

After the Lord finished delivering the Ten Commandments to Moses, Scripture says, “the people saw the thunderings and lightnings, and the noise and the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.”  Then in verse 23 of Exodus 20, we see these words: “Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of Gold.” And that’s exactly what they did not many days hence in Exodus 31 and 32, to the displeasure of God Almighty.

Requirements for Priesthood

Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. They are known as the Septuagint.  In them are the basic instructions and laws pertaining to all aspects of the Jewish existence; and in Exodus Chapter twenty-nine we see the requirements for being a priest. This will be very important when we discuss the ministry of Jesus later on in this booklet. Exodus 29: 1-7:

1     And this is the thing that thou shalt do unto them to hallow them, to minister unto me in the priest’s office: Take one young bullock, and two rams without blemish,

2     And unleavened bread, and cakes unleavened tempered with oil, and wafers unleavened anointed with oil: of wheaten flour shalt thou make them.

3     And thou shalt put them into one basket, and bring them in the basket, with the bullock and the two rams.

4     And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water.

5     And thou shalt take the garments, and put upon Aaron the coat, and the robe of the ephod, and the ephod, and the breastplate, and gird him with the curious girdle of the ephod:

6     And thou shalt put the mitre upon his head, and put the holy crown upon the mitre.

7     Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him.

The first step in becoming a priest was that the person must be hallowed. (V. 1) The Hebrew word for hallowed is qadash, to be set apart, to consecrate, to be holy. Then they were to offer a sacrifice.

The passages tell us there are two rites that must be performed before an individual could become a priest: 1) be washed with water (V. 4) and 2) be anointed with oil (V. 7). The Hebrew word for wash is rachats, which means wash away.  To be washed was for the purpose of legal purification. Our English word, baptism, is a rite of purification or initiation. We will discuss baptism in great detail later on.

Moses was up on the mountain for a long time and the children of Israel began to complain to Aaron that he should make them idols to be their gods. So Aaron instructed them to bring all the earrings made of gold, and they made a golden calf, and the people said, “These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 32: 4)

When the leader is away the children pretend they are in charge. The very presence of Moses was a deterrent to this kind of activity that was taking place.  They had seen and heard Moses commune with God and they feared him, but not so with Aaron, who was but a mouthpiece for Moses. So the children made their own god. Self-righteousness is a lot like that, isn’t it?

Things were going well for the children of Israel up to this point.  They did not have to plow a field, plant seed or weed the garden.  God had provided bread and meat, what more did they need.  So, what’s the problem? They forgot who was providing the goods. They no longer “needed” God, or so they thought. Well, as you would expect, this angered the Lord God.  Look at what He told Moses: Exodus 32: 7- 10.

7             And the Lord said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves

8             They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

9             And the Lord said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:

10          Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.

If you are one of those people who think that God is only a God of love, what do you think about this? True, God is a God of Love, but He is also a jealous God and is subject to anger.  The Hebrew word for wrath is ‘aph, which means anger, nostril, nose, face. The root word for wrath is ‘anaph, to be angry, to breath hard. God was so mad his nostrils flared in and out. You get the picture, don’t you? To put things in the vernacular of today, God was so mad he was fuming.

You don’t believe me, do you?  You think I have taken artistic liberty with the Scripture, don’t you? Well the Hebrew word for “wax hot” is charah, and means to be hot, furious, burn, become angry, and be kindled.

But Moses was the voice of reason and told the Lord it would not look good to the Egyptians to think that you brought them out of Egypt only to kill them. “And the Lord repented of the EVIL which He thought to do unto His people.” Exodus 32: 14. The Hebrew meaning for evil is exactly what it is in English – bad.

When Moses came down from the mountain he saw the calf and the people dancing and he was furious.  He took the calf they had made and melted it down and ground it to power.  Once he had done that he took the powder and put it on the water and made the people drink it. Then he turned to Aaron and asked him why he had done such a thing? Aaron’s reply was a classic “pass the buck” answer: “…Thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief” Exodus 32: 22.

Aaron sounds like a lot of parents today. “Oh, don’t be too hard on them, they’re just kids; and you know that kids will be mischievous at times.” There is a time to let kids be kids and there is a time when they must be what they should be. When it comes to worshipping God, children need to be taught that this is serious business.

I know what you are thinking, “If I do that they will hate God, not love Him.” America, in the year 2005, is a country where the majority of its children are out of control. They are allowed to do whatever they want to do without any fear of retribution from their parents. Why?  There are many reasons:

1.   Too many parents are working too many hours away from the home.

2.     They leave their children to take care of themselves, the older ones taking care of the younger ones, or

3.   They put them in day care centers that have very little control over them.

4.   There is a  discipline.

A.  They do not get it in schools because the laws have prevented it.

B.  They do not get it at home because the law might arrest the parents for “child abuse.”

And who is to blame for this happening?  We all are.  We have not gotten involved in the lawmaking process, we have not stood up to those who have suggested the ways of our parents are antiquated and we have allowed things to come into existence because we are too busy making money that we have neglected our obligations to vote our convictions

I am not saying that spanking is the only means of discipline.  I have seen the “time out” idea work on some children.  You as parents must use the discipline that works for your child, understanding that each child is different and must be disciplined differently.  Do what works, but for God’s sake do something.

My parents believed in spanking and I did not stop loving them because they did.  When I became an adult I loved them more than ever for I knew they did what they did out of love.  I grew to understand what they used to tell me, “This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.” As a child, I was known to say, “Oh, then why don’t you just whip yourself.” As you can imagine, that didn’t go over so well. But I knew what they meant after becoming a parent myself and having to discipline my own children.

I was not the greatest dad, I must admit. I am a hardheaded, stubborn individual.  I sometimes act without thinking, and that’s not good most of the time. I used to visit homes when I was a fulltime pastor and there were times I wanted to grab a child and shake him.  I would be invited over to discuss things but could never have enough peace and quite to do so, the children were too noisy. My children were respectful in the presence of visitors, not because they were abnormal children, but because of having been disciplined to be quiet when others were talking.

God disciplines His children and He expects us to discipline our children. Moses was red hot mad when he saw what was happening and he stood up before the people and said, “Who is on the Lord’s side?” And the sons of Levi responded and stood with Moses. Three thousand people were killed that day, as instructed by Moses. After Moses told the people they had committed a great sin, he goes back up the mountain to make atonement for their sins.

When Moses spoke to God he confessed the people’s sin and then asked the Lord to forgive them, and if the Lord would not, He asked Him to blot out his name from the book of life. The Lord told him those who had committed the sin would be the ones who would be blotted out from the book. “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” Revelation 3: 5.

Because of their gross sin, the Lord said that he would not travel with the people lest He “consume them in the way”, but He said he would send an angel to drive out their enemies. The Lord spoke to Moses face to face and Moses wanted to know if he had found grace in His sight.  The Lord said yes. Moses said, what about the people, and the Lord said yes to that also. Then Moses boldly asked to see the Lord’s glory. And this is what the Lord said: Exodus 33: 19-23:

19          And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

20          And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

21          And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:

22          And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:

23          And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

After this happened we see the record of the writing of the ten commandments on slabs of stone. There are a lot more things about Moses that we will not take time to discuss here, but he is a very special person to God and the Hebrew people as well.

 

 

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The Gospels

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

The word “Gospel” means good news. The four gospels are about the good news of Jesus Christ. Each of them depict Jesus in a different light:

Matthew           King of the Jews

Mark                 Servant of God

Luke                 Son of Man

John                  Son of God

Even though each gospel presents Jesus in a different light, they all deal with His relationship with the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. On the time chart you will notice the Gospels fall under the heading of prophecy, and prophecy pertains to the Jews alone. The disciples preached a gospel which was called the gospel of the kingdom, a time when Christ would reign on earth as King. This is a period, as listed on the chart, that is known as “Time Past.”  You will notice that Matthew – John is presenting the King and His kingdom.

To understand the gospel of the kingdom we must go back to Genesis 12: 1-3:

1     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:

2     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:

3     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.

If you understand that the Lord God intended that Israel should evangelize the world, you will get a better grasp of the overall plan of God for her. She was to be God’s mouthpiece – love her and be blessed, don’t love her and be cursed.

In Genesis 17: 1-11:

1     And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

2     And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.

3     And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,

4     As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.

5     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.

6     And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.

7     And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.

8     And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

9     And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.

10  This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.

11  And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.

I want you to see two things in the verses above: 1) This is an everlasting covenant between God, Abraham and the descendants of Abraham through the linage of Isaac and Jacob. 2) The physical circumcision was a sign that the people were the chosen of God.

In the book of Deuteronomy God defines the conditions for being blessed and being cursed. As you begin to read I want you look for the word “if” because that is an indication of some action that must be taken in order for the blessing to become a reality. Deuteronomy 28:

1     And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:

2     And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.

3     Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.

4     Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.

5     Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.

6     Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.

7     The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.

8     The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

9     The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways.

10  And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee.

11  And the Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers to give thee.

12  The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.

13  And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:

14  And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

15  But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:

And then he lists the curses that counteract the blessing listed above.

In 1 Chronicles 17: 8-14 we read about the 1,000 millennial reign of Christ on earth:

8     And I have been with thee whithersoever thou hast walked, and have cut off all thine enemies from before thee, and have made thee a name like the name of the great men that are in the earth.

9     Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning,

10  And since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. Moreover I will subdue all thine enemies. Furthermore I tell thee that the Lord will build thee an house.

11  And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom.

12  He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever.

13  I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee:

14  But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore.

This kingdom on earth is for Israel, as promised to Abraham by the Lord God. It is not for the Church the Body of Christ, their inheritance is heavenly. The Lord Jesus Christ will establish an earthly kingdom for Israel that will last forever. And Daniel 2: 44 tells us the same thing.

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.

The book of Matthew opens establishing the genealogy of Jesus through David. The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”  Then in Matthew Chapter 6: 9-10 we read that all prayers should be for that earthly kingdom to be established: “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Then the prayer continues, but look at verses 14 and 15 carefully.

11          Give us this day our daily bread.

12          And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13          And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

14          For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

15          But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Once again we see that the Lord places certain conditions on the people before they could be blessed or before their sins could be forgiven: forgive others and I will forgive you; do not forgive others and I will not forgive you.

Aren’t you glad you live in the dispensation of grace? Our forgiveness is not condition on our forgiving others, it is based upon the fact that Christ has forgiven us if we trust His faith.

In Matthew chapter one, verse one we see that Christ was the son of David, the son of Abraham. The passage establishes the fact that Jesus was from the lineage of Abraham , the father of the Hebrew nation and of  the Jews religion.

When Jesus approaches John the Baptist for the purpose of being baptized, John declares that he needed to be baptized of Him. But look at the answer Jesus gave in Matthew 3: 15: “And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

The words, “to fulfil all righteousness,” are a source of confusion to some, but they need not be. The four gospels are all a part of what is called the dispensation of the law, and baptism was a function of the law. Notice that the Lord said, “for thus it becometh US to fulfil all righteousness.” It was John’s job to do what was required and it was incumbent upon Jesus to do that for which He was sent – fulfill the law.

In John 1: 31 we read: “And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.” Baptism had something to do with the manifestation of the Lord to Israel; and Jesus came, not only to die for the world, but also to fulfil all the righteousness of the law. Look at Matthew 5: 17: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

The law said one must be baptized, so Jesus had to be baptized.  He was not baptized for the remission of sins for He had no sin; He was baptized because baptism was now a part of the law. If you believe you must be baptized to be saved today, you have placed yourself under the law and if you are going to be under the law you must do all that the law says.

But the baptism of Jesus was significant for another reason: the cleansing that must be done before one became a priest.  Remember what we said about washing in the Old Testament? We said a priest must be cleansed (baptized) and anointed with oil.

After His baptism, Jesus begins the task of selecting twelve men.  These twelve were going to be taught by the Lord so that they could carry on a ministry and to preach the gospel of the kingdom.  Remember we said that gospel meant good news, so they were to tell all Israel the good news of the promised kingdom of heaven on earth. These twelve were to be the start of a new evangelistic effort – to Israel.  They were the hope of God to be all that Israel was supposed to be from the start.  All others before them had failed and now the fate of Israel rested squarely on their sholders.

Once the twelve had been selected, they began their period of learning from the Lord. In Matthew 10 we see these words:

1     And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

2     Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;

3     Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;

4     Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

5     These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

6     But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

7     And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

8     Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

9     Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,

10  Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.

There are several things I want you to see.

V.1 – He gave power to do things – to twelve men, not to all men.

V.5 – He tells these twelve men not to go to Gentiles or Jews married to Gentiles.(go not to any city of the Samaritans)

V. 6 – They are told to go to the Jew only.

V.7 – They are to preach the gospel of the kingdom, or the kingdom of heaven is at hand., which is the 1,000-year millennial reign of Christ.

There is a teaching going on in the world today that states we should follow the example established by Jesus. The real problem is that most of those teaching this do not understand what that example was about, or if they do they fail to present it in the manner it was taught to the disciples. Look at what Jesus taught and the instructions He gave:

Look at Matthew 15:

21                Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.

22                And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

23                But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

24                But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

25                Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.

26                But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.

27                And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.

There is a lot to be learned from the passages but the first thing I want to emphasize is what Jesus said in verse 24: “I am not sent BUT to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Fact: The Lord came to Israel: 1) to train 12 men, who in turn would train others, 2) to show Israel that Messiah had come and that the kingdom of heaven was at hand and that the time of restoration was near.

The second and third things I want you to see is found in verse 26: “Children’s bread” is Israel’s good news about the kingdom. “Cast it to dogs” means take that good news about the kingdom and feed it to Gentiles. In other words Jesus told this lady that it was not intended that the message of the kingdom, which is for the children of Israel, be given unto the Gentiles, who were considered to be dogs in the eyes of God.

In Acts 1: 6-8, the disciples were interested in knowing if this was the beginning of the restoration that had been promised them. Remember that Jesus has already been crucified and resurrected.

6         When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

7         And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

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

Jesus could not say, “Yes, this is the time of restoration;” Nor could He say, “No, this is not the time of restoration.” The Lord knew the restoration of Israel was not about to take place, for He knows all things, and He knew He would have to postpone that. He could not say no because He knew it would effect their ministry.

In Acts 2 and 3 Peter delivers his famous Pentecost address and Acts 2: 16-21 is a quote from Joel 2. The passages say there will be an outpouring of the Spirit of power and that God would show them wonders, the sun would cease to shine and the moon would turn into blood.  Joel 2: 25 reads: “And I will restore unto you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.

These insects represent four nations that ruled Israel after they had “gone a whoring” from the Lord, they are:

Palmerworm        Babylon

Locust                  Media Persia

Cankerworm        Greece

Caterpillar            Rome

In the book of Hosea, we read that God told Hosea to take a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms. (Hoses 1: 2) So Hosea married Gomer and they had three children:

Jezreel, a boy, who name means scattering and sowing.

Lo-ruhamah, a girl, whose name means not having obtained mercy.

Lo-ammi, a boy, whose name means not my people.

These three children represent the stages the Lord allowed Israel to go through because they ceased to put God first in their lives and failed to complete their mission on earth – to evangelize the world. They were scattered among many nations and God did not show mercy to her for a period of time.  And then when Israel continued their departure from the things of God, and God Himself, the Lord declared her to no longer be His people. This happens in acts 28: 25-28:

24          And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.

25          And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,

26          Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:

27          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.

28          Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.

At this point in time, God harden the hearts of the children of Israel and made sure they would not be able to see or hear the truth. Now this may seem harsh, but God had known what Israel would become and had made preparation for the time when that would happen, a time in which he would raise up Paul to be the apostle to the Gentiles, who would consequently carry on the work of evangelizing the world.

What have we learned about the nation of Israel so far?

  1. God would bless them IF they did what they were supposed to do and curse them IF they did not.
  2. He promised them that Christ would come and reign as king over a land that he would give them.
  3. The earthly kingdom would be everlasting.
  4. Israel did not become or do what the Lord wanted of them. (They were supposed to evangelize the world, be a holy nation and a kingdom of priests. They did not evangelize the world and did not become a nation of priests.) So He curses them and they are, in this present age, a people without a God, they are Lo-ammi.

 

 

 

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The Dispensation of Grace

If you look at your time chart, you will see that this period of time is colored red.  You will notice that there is some red that goes back before Genesis 1: 1.  And you will notice I have a portion of Ephesians 1: 4 listed there. I want you to look at Ephesians 1: 4-9:

4     “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in Love.

5     Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

6     To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

7     In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

8     Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

9     Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

In verse 4, the words “before the foundation” imply that the group of believers in red were chosen before God called Abraham to be a special nation   The word foundation in Greek is katabole and has an English meaning of overthrow or destruction. So, God chose the church the body of Christ before he kicked Satan out of the original heaven and before Satan destroyed the first earth. That is very important to a clearer understanding of truth, which we will attempt to prove later in this booklet.

You will also note that I have labeled the largest section of red as the Age of Grace, Mystery and as the “But Now” time period. Let me explain.  Please look at Ephesians 2: 11-13:

10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

11  Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

12  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

What I want you to glean from theses verses are very important in helping you see how the plan of God unfolds.

Fact: There were a group of Gentiles in the period known as “Time Past,” which is that period prior to the time the Scriptures listed above was being written. These Gentiles, in time past:

1        Were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel

2        Were strangers form the covenants of promise

3        Had no hope, and were

4        Without God

Verse 13 says “But Now” those who had no affiliation with God have been made part of Him by the blood of Jesus Christ. Let’s explore that.

The Jews were the chosen people of God, but they had strayed so far away from God that God refused to involve them in His plan to evangelize the world any longer. We have already seen how Jesus, in his earthly ministry, considered Gentiles to be “dogs,” or second-class people. But now all that has changed in this new dispensation – the Dispensation of Grace.

Were there Gentiles who did have favor with God in the Old Testament and in the four gospels? Yes! The reason they did was because they did what was necessary according to the command of God, which was – they blessed Israel or feared God and did works of righteousness.  Genesis 12: 1-3:

1             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:

2             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:

3             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.

In Acts 10: 34-35, Peter says: “Then Peter open his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

So, if a Gentile blessed Israel and did works of righteousness, God would bless him. However, there were some Gentiles who hated Israel, just as they do to this day. It was those Gentiles who were without hope of salvation.  However, all that changed when the apostle Paul ushered in the dispensation of Grace. So in the present dispensation, anyone who believes Christ died for their sins, was buried and resurrected for their justification can be saved by trusting in the finished work of Christ.

Paul’s Calling

There was a certain Jew named Saul of Tarsus, who is present at the stoning of Steven in Acts 7: 58: “And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.” In Acts 8: 3, we read: “As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.”

In Philippians 3: 5- Paul, his name was changed from Saul,  tells us a little about his background and upbringing.

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

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

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

7             But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

Paul was from the tribe of Benjamin, one of the two faithful tribes, and he was a Pharisee, one of the three sects of religious influence, the other two being the Scribes and Sadducees. We also know that he sat on the Sanhedrin Council, the supreme council of the Jewish nation, before and during the time of Christ. It would be a little like our Supreme Court.

I tell you this so that you will fully understand that Saul was politically well connected. In Acts chapter nine we find him before the high priest getting authority to hunt down and bring to justice any followers of Christ.

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

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

But something happened on the road to Damascus that would change Saul’s life forever.

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

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

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

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

7             And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

So off he goes, having to be led by his followers into Damascus. Meanwhile the Lord had appeared unto Ananias, one of His disciples, and told him to expect Saul and to restore his eyesight.  But Ananias, knowing all about Saul, was cautiously pessimistic. Look at Acts 9: 13-16:

13     Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem

14      And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.

15      But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

16      For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

In Acts 26 Paul tells King Agrippa about his conversion on the road to Damascus..

11      And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.

12      Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,

13      At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.

14      And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

15      And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.

16      But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;

17      Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,

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

19      Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:

20      But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

So Paul was called to go to the Gentiles, Kings and Jews.  In Romans 11: 13 he says: For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:” In 2 Timothy 1: 11 he expands that to say he was a preacher and teacher of the Gentiles as well: “Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.” I want you to notice that he did not say I magnify myself. He said I magnify my office, or calling, which was the apostle to the Gentiles.

In Galatians 1: 1 we read: “Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead;)” Paul was proud that the Jewish leaders had not called him to go forth, for he now knew that their religion denied that Christ was the Son of God. The Jewish religious leaders were more wrapped up in the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law; plus they refused to believe that Jesus was who He said He was.

In Matthew chapter twenty-three, Jesus warns the Pharisees eight times by saying, “Woe unto thee.”  Lets look at them.

  1. Matthew 23: 13: But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
  2. 2.        Matthew 23: 14: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
  3. 3.        Matthew 23: 15: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
  4. 4.        Matthew 23: 16-17: Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?
  5. 5.        Matthew 23: 23-24: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
  6. 6.        Matthew 23: 25-26: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
  7. 7.        Matthew 23: 27: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
  8. 8.        Matthew 23: 29-30: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.

You see, the Lord did not think to highly of the religious leaders of that time. He said:

  1. You will not go into the kingdom.
  2. You forcefully take houses of widows for a prayer, but you will lose the most.
  3. You go all over the world to seek one proselyte and he’ll go to hell just as you will.
  4. You chastise those who swear by gold but not those who swear by the temple, the altar is greater than the gift.
  5. You pay tithes of gifts that are costly but neglect the more important things, such as judgment, mercy and faith.
  6. You clean up the outside of the cup and platter but within you are spoiled and intemperate. Why don’t you clean up the inside first and the outside will be clean.
  7. You look beautiful on the outside with all your priestly garb, but you are dirty on the inside and smell as the dead smell.
  8. You build tombs of the prophets and say if you had lived in the times of their death you would not have allowed it to happen, but I say you are children of them that had the prophets killed.

Then the Lord says these words as the chapter comes to an end: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold your house is left desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Matthew 23: 37-39

Because the religious leaders of the day did not recognize Christ as the promised One, Israel, as a nation, was not ready for, nor accepted the Lord.  They were expecting Him to ride into Jerusalem with pomp and circumstance, but He came riding on a mule instead. They were expecting Him to establish His earthly kingdom without realizing He first had to be a Savior. That was what the religious leaders should have been teaching.  They did not, therefore the house of Israel was left desolate.

As Paul goes about chastising the Galatians for having removed themselves from the gospel of the grace of God unto another gospel, he also tells them that the gospel committed unto him was not of man.  Then he says this in Galatians one:

16      But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

17      For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

18      For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:

19      And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.

20      But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace,

21      To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

22      Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

23      Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.

Paul did not want to be associated with any of the religious leaders of that day.  He knew they talked well and they dressed well but they failed to do that which was right in the eyes of God. Even though Paul had been a persecutor of Christians, God revealed that he had been called to do this job while he was still in his mother’s womb.

The Jewish leaders sent people to spy on Paul and those to whom he taught. After Paul left an area, these people would come in and tell the converts they still had to do the things of the law.

So in Galatians chapter two, Paul goes to Jerusalem to converse with Peter, James and John.

6       But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:

7       But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;

8       (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

9       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.

Here is the first time we see mentioned that two gospels were being preached, one by Paul: the Gospel of the Uncircumcision, and one by Peter, James and John: the Gospel of the Circumcision.

There are those who teach there are not really two gospels being preached here, but there are only two different groups of people being taught the same gospel, Paul sent to preach to the Gentiles and the others sent to preach to the Jews, but both were preaching the same gospel of salvation. What do you think?

Please do not listen to what preachers say or teach without making sure that what they say is consistent with the word of God.  I ask you, “What is more important the words of men or the Word of God?” The Word of God, righ?.  So make sure the men who teach you teach you from the Word of God. Do not accept, “that’s the way it is,” without searching the Scriptures to see if that is true.  Be a Berean.

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

Let’s compare the two gospels and see if they are one and the same.

Peter’s Gospel

Gospel of the Circumcision

  1. Inheritance – earthly. Jeremiah 23: 5-6; Matthew 5: 5; 6: 10
  2. Christ is King – Matthew 2: 2
  3. Prophesied in the Scripture since the world began – Acts 3: 21
  4. Concerns Israel (A nation) – Ezekiel 37: 21-22
  5. Gentile blessing came through Israel – Isaiah 60: 1-3
  6. The message for salvation-“Repent and be baptized.” It was a work necessary for salvation at the time. Acts 2: 38.
  7. Committed to the 12 apostles – Matthew 10: 5-8; 10: 16-20

 

Paul’s Gospel

Gospel of the Uncircumcision

  1. Inheritance – heavenly. Ephesians 1: 3; 2: 6; Colossians 3: 1-3
  2. Christ is head of the Body – Ephesians 1: 22-23; Colossians 1: 18
  3. Hid is God before the foundation of the world – Ephesians 3: 9
  4. Concerns Jew & Gentile (A Body) 1 Corinthians 12: 13; Romans 10: 12
  5. Gentile blessings came through the fall of Israel and by the Gospel – Romans 11: 11-12
  6. The message – not to baptize – 1 Corinthians 1: 17, a message without works for salvation – Ephesians 2: 8-9; Galatians 2: 16
  7. Committed to Paul – Ephesians 3: 1-2; 3: 8-9; Colossians 1: 25-26

These are just a few of the differences, but I think you can begin to get the picture. Peter’s Gospel was to a group of people whose inheritance was an earthly one, whereas Paul’s Gospel was to a group of people whose inheritance was heavenly.

They both preached Jesus Christ crucified.  They both preached Jesus’ blood for a sin covering but those saved under the Gospel of Peter will have to wait for their sins to be blotted out when the Lord comes to establish His earthly kingdom. (Acts 3: 19-21) However, those of us saved in the dispensation of grace have their sins blotted out the moment they trust what Christ did for them on Calvary.

The Mystery

What is the mystery and what is its importance for us today? There are many mysteries in the word of God but The Mystery revealed unto Paul is of utmost importance for the believer living in this century.

In 2 Corinthians 12: 1, Paul says: “It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.” As a matter of fact, Paul did receive several revelations that resulted in his teaching new things he had not been allowed to teach before. Paul goes on to say in 2 Corinthians 12: 4: “How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

After Paul was saved on the road to Damascus we see his teaching unfold in three distinct ways. For the purpose of teaching, and teaching only, I am going to say that Paul taught three Gospels, but I am not saying there are three different ways to be saved. I will try to explain that as we proceed.

The first gospel Paul taught we will call – The Gospel of God, the second – The Gospel of Christ and the third – The Gospel of the Grace of God.

  1. 1.       The Gospel of God

Paul preaches that Christ is the Son of God. Acts 9: 20: “And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.” You must remember that Paul had been a persecutor of Christians prior to his conversion. The first thing the Lord wanted him to do was to share that he was now a believer. So his first message was exactly the same as Peter and the other eleven.

In Matthew 16: 15-16 we read: He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Phillip was preaching in Samaria when the Lord told him to go and seek out a man.  When he sighted the man this is what Scripture records: And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. “ Then Phillip told him what the Scripture meant and the man asked why he should not be baptized and this is what Phillip said and the man’s response to it. And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.Acts 8: 37.

At this moment in time Peter, Phillip and Paul are all preaching that Jesus is the Son of God. It was a shock to many Jews because they knew that Paul had been persecuting the followers of Christ.

Look at Acts 9: 22: But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.

Not too many days later Paul goes into the Arabian desert. “And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him: But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him.” Acts 9: 23-24. Once he left the city I am sure he went to the desert, as Galatians 1: 15-17 states. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

While in the desert, I believe the Lord taught him the things he was to start preaching at a future time. When he comes back to Damascus he proceed to Jerusalem. “Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.” Galatians 1: 18.  But the disciples there were still a bit apprehensive around him. Look at Acts 9: 26-29:

26     And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.

  1. 1.      But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
  2. 2.      And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.
  3. 3.      And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.

Once he left Jerusalem Paul goes to Tarsus. “Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus.”  After a while he is joined by Barnabas and together they begin a new ministry, as Acts 13: 1-4 states.

1     Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

2     As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

3     And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

4     So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.

I do not want you to miss the fact that Paul & Barnabus were sent forth by the Holy Ghost, not the Jewish religious authority.

Once Paul begins this missionary journey, he starts preaching the Gospel of Christ, which is Christ died for our sins, was buried and resurrected for our justification. Romans 1: 16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

2.  The Gospel of Christ

What is the gospel of Christ? It is found in 1 Corinthians 15: 1-4:

1         Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

2         By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

3         For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

4         And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Just because Paul began preaching the death, burial and resurrection of Christ for salvation does not mean he quit saying that Jesus was the Son of God. You cannot preach the Gospel of Christ without preaching the Gospel of God. But you can preach the Gospel of God without preaching the Gospel of Christ. In other words, you can preach that Jesus is the Son of God and not believe that He died, was buried and rose again for the remission of sins.

In Romans 16: 25-26 we see this: “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

There is a lot of meat in these two verses, look:

  1. Paul says people are established by his gospel.
  2. The preaching of Jesus Christ was revealed to him as a mystery.
  3. This mystery was kept secret since the world began before it was ever revealed unto him.
  4. The mystery was in the Scriptures and the Scriptures are now being unlocked so that men can see the Gospel of Christ

Let analyze what we have here. Paul says that if you are going to be established in truth, you are going to have to do it from his teaching of the gospel concerning Jesus Christ. The question you must ask of yourself is, was Paul’s teaching of Christ any different from Peter’s preaching of Him.

The answer is yes.  Paul taught that Jesus was the head of a living organism, the body of Christ.  Peter taught that Christ was the king of a physical kingdom. It is the same Christ but in a different relationship.

We also learn form the passage that this teaching concerning Christ was a mystery that had been hid in Scripture; but it had been kept a secret until God chose to reveal it to Paul.

What I am about to show you can be confusing, but if you will approach it with an open mind you will see the truth here. There are several Messianic passages of Scripture in the Old Testament, Psalms 22 and 23 are some but the best known is found in Isaiah 53. I want you to see all of it.

1     Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? (Quoted in John 12: 33 & Romans 10: 14)

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

3     He is despised and rejected (Fulfilled in John 1: 10-11; 8: 48; 10: 20) of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4     Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: (Quoted in Matthew 8: 17) yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5     But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Quoted in 1 Peter 2: 24)

6     All we like sheep have gone astray; (Quoted in 1 Peter 2¨25) we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7     He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. (Quoted in Acts 8: 32-33)

8     He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

9     And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. (Quoted in 1 Peter 2: 22)

10  Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

11  He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12  Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, (Quoted in Mark 15: 28 & Luke 22: 37) and made intercession for the transgressors.

The passages are all about Jesus. The verses tell us that Jesus was not considered to be a nice looking man, as a matter of fact He would be despised and rejected by His own people. Even though He would bear our griefs and sorrows, Israel would kill Him and go about doing what they had always done.  However the Lord God would allow His death to occur so that all our sins could be removed. He would go into hell and be among the wicked but the Lord God would divide him a portion of heaven.

Up until the time that Christ revealed His purpose to the disciples  and then to Paul, no one reading the passage had a clue  about its message.  Phillip revealed the meaning to the Ethiopian eunuch after Christ was resurrected, but Phillip revealed a Christ who would sit upon an earthly throne as king.  The mystery reveled to Paul concerned a Christ who would be the head of a living body.  Phillip and Paul presented Christ in a different light, but the fact of Christ coming to die for sins had been hid.

The reason it had to be hid is found in 1 Corinthians 2: 7-8: “ But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” Think about it: Satan would not have been the instigator of the crucifixion had he known it would be his downfall.

When Paul went to the Corinthians on that first missionary journey, this is what he wrote them: And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Paul was simply preaching to these Corinthians the Gospel of Christ. He was preaching about the Christ the Scriptures alluded to but had been hid for the purpose we just stated.

Christ dying, going to hell and subsequently being resurrected was for forgiveness of sins, but it was also for something else as well. Let’s look at Hebrews 2: 14-15: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

If Christ had not died the world would be in fear of death and subject to everlasting bondage under Satan. By dying and being resurrected, the Lord destroyed any hope of Satan being lord over the earth for ever. The death of Jesus was also a confirmation of the New Testament. Hebrews 9: 16-48, 25-26:

“For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”

We are talking about the Old Testament and the New Testament, which are the same as the Old Covenant and New Covenant passed on to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The first covenant was operational in the Old Testament and in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The New Covenant will not be operational until Christ comes back to establish his earthly kingdom, but the testator had to die before the New Covenant could be established. Look at Hebrews 10: 9-14:

“Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”

Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the father, but his enemies will become His footstool when the battle of Armageddon is over; and then Jesus will establish his earthly throne and the New Testament will be in effect.

So how does all this impact those of us living in the age of grace? Firstly, we are not going to go through the time of tribulation and secondly, we will not inherit the earth.  The Gospel of Christ was to the Jew first, because unto them had been committed the law. Romans 3: 1-2: “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

So, Paul began his ministry by going into the synagogues with the message that Christ had come. He spoke to Jews and Gentiles who feared God. Acts 13: 16, 26: “Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience. Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.

Gentiles saved during Paul’s early ministry were participators in the promises given unto Abraham. “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3: 29.  “Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.” Galatians 4: 28.

What we conclude thus far is that some Gentile believers who Paul ministered to were partakers of the promise and some were not. With that in mind it will be best to teach you how to rightly divide the Pauline Epistles so that we can differentiate between these two groups of Gentiles. Paul’s letters to the Romans, Corinthians, Thessalonians and Galatians deal with Gentiles who where  participants in the promises.  Reason, these Gentiles feared God and did works of righteousness.

3.  The Gospel of the Grace of God

With the setting aside of Israel, Paul begins to preach the Gospel of the Grace of God.  In the letters to the Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians as well as his letters to Timothy, Titus and Philemon he begins to address those Gentiles who were not partakers of the promises. Let us look at Ephesians 2: 11-13 again.

Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

So, we must divide the Pauline Epistles into two categories: Pre-Prison and Prison.

The Pre-Prison Epistles are: Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians.

The Prison Epistles are Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon.

I do not believe that Paul wrote the book of Hebrews. There are several passages that support this claim, but the primary reason is that the book is address to Jews. It is here that we have already seen the comparison between the old and new covenant made with Israel.

However, look at what we see in Chapter 2: 1; “Therefore, we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;” Paul did not heard the Lord teach when he was here on earth and could not give heed to the things he had heard.

Now look at Hebrews 3: 6, 14: But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;” These people had to hold fast to the end, whereas members of the church the body of Christ do not have to.

As Paul began to build up the church the body of Christ, he told the Corinthians that he was laying a foundation built upon Christ, the cornerstone. He is preaching the Gospel of Christ but according to the foundation God told him to lay. 1 Corinthians 3: 10-11: “According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Even though Christ is the cornerstone for the kingdom as well as those who will inherit their heavenly home, the foundation that Paul laid is different from the foundation that Peter and the other apostles laid. “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:” 2 Timothy 2: 7-8.

The foundation that Paul laid concerned a resurrection that was different from the resurrection Peter preached. Paul preached Christ resurrected and seated in heavenly places.  Peter preached Christ resurrected to sit upon an earthly throne.

The gospel of the grace of God was a ministry given unto Paul alone. “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.” (Acts 20: 24)

And this Gospel of the Grace of God is that Christ died for ALL men.

“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” 1Timothy 2: 3-6.

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 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: 11-14.

The Gospel of the Grace of God does not put conditions upon the believer nor does it restrict the believer in any way.  The Gospel of the Kingdom does. For instance, after James heard what Peter said concerning Paul, this is what he said to Paul: “Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.” Acts 15: 19-21.

Since Paul had not begun preaching the Gospel of the Grace of God, he observed those things in the hope of saving more people.

So what have we learned thus far?

1.The Church the Body of Christ was built upon the foundation of the gospel committed unto Paul.

2.It could not have begun in Acts chapter two, because Paul was not saved until Acts chapter 9,  and did not start preaching the Gospel of Christ until Acts chapter 13.

3.That Paul laid a foundation upon Christ which involved a resurrection into heaven. Peter laid a foundation on Christ that involved a resurrection to be seated on an earthly throne.

4.The Church the Body of Christ could not have begun in Acts 28 with the setting aside of Israel for Paul began laying the foundation for it before that time. He spoke of it in Romans 12: 3-5: “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.” He also spoke of it in 1 Corinthians 12: 12-12, 27: “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit….Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

5.Something did happen just prior to acts 28, but it was the entrance of the Dispensation of Grace, not the formation of the body of Christ.

6.So, the body of Christ had to have begun somewhere from Acts nine to Acts thirteen.

With the introduction of the Gospel of the Grace of God, Paul‘ s ministry changes  The things that were are not anymore.  The chosen from the seed of Abraham have lost favor with God, but you must remember all of this was in the overall plan of God.

Romans 11: 11-15: “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

I know that the fall of Israel was a mystery and that the Gentiles would eventually be the people that God would choose to evangelize the world. But when the appointed time comes for the Church the Body of Christ to be raptured out of this world, the Jews will once again find favor with God and all Israel will be saved.

Romans 11: 25-28: For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.

I also know there were two groups of Gentiles and there were some problems that arose because one group was under the promises and another was not.  I also know that this was a source of contention between the two until the Gospel of the Grace of God was ushered in. I know that once Israel was set aside this middle wall of partition between the two Gentile groups was broken down.

Ephesians 2: 13-17: “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

I also know there were several things that were a mystery and all of them involved a radical change in the salvation process as well as inheritance.

What the Revelation of the Mystery reveals or contains:

1.    The Formation of the Body of Christ

Romans 10: 12, 13; 12: 5; 1 Corinthians 10: 17; 12: 27

Ephesians 4: 4, 12; 2: 6, 14-18; Colossians 1: 18; 3: 15

1 Timothy 1: 13-16

2.    Dispensation of Grace

Ephesians 3: 2, 9; Colossians 1: 25

3.    Gospel of the Grace of God

Romans 3: 24; Ephesians 2: 8, 9; Titus 3: 7

A.     Preaching of the Cross

1 Corinthians 1: 17, 18; Galatians 6: 14; Colossians 1: 20

B.     Forgiveness by the blood

Romans 3: 25: 5: 9; Ephesians 1: 7; Colossians 1: 14

C.     Death, Burial, Resurrection of Christ necessary to Gospel of Salvation

Romans 10: 9; 1 Corinthians 15: 1-4; 2 Corinthians 5: 15

4.    Temporary Setting aside of Israel

Romans 11: 25

A.     Blindness

Isaiah 6: 9, 10; Acts 28: 27, 28; Romans 11: 11-15

5.    Equality of Jew & Gentile

Romans 3: 9, 19-23; 10:12- 13; 11: 32

6.    One Baptism

1 Corinthians 2: 13; Ephesians 4: 5

7.    A New Commission to Preach

Romans 5: 10; 11: 15; 2 Corinthians 5: 14-20; Ephesians 2: 12, 16 ; Colossians 1: 21

8.    Heavenly Position of Believers

Ephesians 1: 3; 2: 6; Philippians 3: 20; Colossians 3: 1-3

9.    Christ is the Head of the Body

Ephesians 1: 22, 23; 5: 23; Colossians 1: 18

10.    Coming of Christ in the Air

1 Corinthians 15: 51-52; Philippians 3: 20, 21

Colossians 3: 4; 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18; Titus 2: 13

11.    The Judgment Seat of Christ

Romans 14: 10-12; 1 Corinthians 3: 10-15; 2 Corinthians 5: 10, 11

12.    The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

Galatians 5: 16-25; Ephesians 5: 18

A.     We must not

Ephesians 4: 30; 1 Thessalonians 5 19

 

The Rapture

The rapture of the church coincides with number ten above.  It is the time when the church the body of Christ meets the Lord in the air. Look at 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18: But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

On the time chart you will see that it precedes the seven years of tribulation, thus indicating that the body will not go through the wrath of the tribulation.

 

 

_____________ 18  _____________

 

 

The Wrath To Come

 

If you look on the time chart the wrath to come is located to the right of the section in red and labeled But Now/Mystery/Age of Grace.

Matthew 24 should be titled the tribulation chapter because the great tribulation is mentioned for the first time in this chapter. Look at verse 21: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

The chapter begins with Jesus and his disciples having left the temple on their way to the Mount of Olives. As they are looking at the temple this is recorded: “And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Matthew 24: 2.

In the very next verse we find the disciples coming to him privately asking the Lord:

  1. When would the destruction happen
  2. What would be the sign of His coming, and
  3. When would the end of the world come.

The Lord cautions them to be careful and not let men deceive them, telling them there will be many that will come in My name saying that they are the Christ.  He also tells them you will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but do not let that trouble you for those things will happen now or anytime soon Nations are going to rise up against other nations and there will be famines, and pestilences and earthquakes in many places, but that will come at a later time..

In Revelation chapter twelve we read of a battle going on between Michael, the archangel, and the dragon (Satan) and his angels. Satan and his army lost and they were kicked out of the heaven they occupied. Revelation 12: 7-9

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

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

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

 

That is what  Lord was preparing His disciples for when He warns them that this is but the beginning or sorrows for they will be killed and are going to be hated in all countries.

There is going to be a lot of betrayal and hatred in the world and there will be many false prophets that will come on the scene and deceive a large number of people.  There will be a lot of hatred for the law and the love for it will dwindle to nothing. But the Lord said that those who would remain faithful to the end would be saved.

Now look at Matthew 24: 14: And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand 🙂

The Greek word for “see” is eidon – to see: implying not the mere act of looking, but the actual perception of the object: therefore differing from the Greek word blepo – which means to have the power of seeing, to use the eyes, to look at.

The Book of Daniel gives us insight about the abomination of desolation.  Lets look at Daniel 12: 11: And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Daniel had several visions that all related to the end, or what we have label as the seven years of tribulation on our chart. It is the last seven years of the seventy sevens of Daniel chapter nine.

According to Daniel, the abomination of desolation will occur at the middle of the week, (a week being 2,520 days or one year)  or three and one half years from the start of the seven years of tribulation. Daniel speaks of the prince that will come, which is the Antichrist, who will make a covenant with the people for 3 1/2 years and then he will break that covenant.  The daily sacrifice is taken away and the abomination (idol) is set up. That is when Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7) commences and will continue for 3 1/2 years.

That is exactly what the Lord is telling His disciple in Matthew 24: 15.

15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

16  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

17  Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:

18  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

19  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

20  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:

21  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

22  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

23  Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

24  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

25  Behold, I have told you before.

26  Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

27  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.

28  For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

30  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.

31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

32  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

33  So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

34  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

36  But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

37  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

38  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

39  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

40  Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

41  Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

42  Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

43  But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

44  Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

The Lord is telling His disciple that the time of tribulation is going to be very bad.  He says you must prepare the people to go through those times.  When the people of Judaea find out that the idol (abomination) of Satan has been placed in the temple they should drop everything they are doing and run as fast as you can to the mountains for the times of tribulation is near and will be hard to bear.

In Revelation chapter twelve we see a battle going on between Michael, the archangel, and the dragon (Satan) and his angels. Satan and his army lost and they were kicked out of the heaven they occupied. Revelation 12: 7-9

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

9       And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

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

This will mark the mid-point of tribulation and will be the beginning of the last 31/2 years. During this last 3 1/2 years the world will see a beast rise up. Look at Revelation 13:

1     And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

2     And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

3     And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

4     And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

5     And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

6     And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

7     And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

This forty and two months in verse five is the last 3 1/2 years of tribulation. This beast will be killed and raised from the dead by the dragon, which is the False Prophet. People will worship Satan because he had the power to resurrect the beast. Revelation 13: 11-1

11          And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

12          And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

13          And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

14          And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

15          And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

16          And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

17          And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

18          Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

This second beast is the False Prophet. So, Satan is imitating the Lord Jesus, who was the Christ and for whom the Prophet Israel was waiting. We also see in the passage the mention of the number of the beast being 666. It is called a mark and was to be placed on the right hand or forehead. If you wanted to buy or sell, you had to have the mark to do so.

This is the time the Lord is speaking of in Matthew chapter 24 and the Lord also tells the disciples that immediately after the 3 1/2 year period the sun and moon shall cease to shine and stars will fall from heaven and the powers (the evil followers of Satan) of the heavens will be shaken.

Matthew 24: 29 quotes two passages from Isaiah.

Isaiah 13: 10: For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

Isaiah 34: 4:  And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.

In The Book of Revelation, Chapter six, we read:

12    And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

13    And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

14    And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

15    And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

16    And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

17    For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

As we mentioned in the study of Genesis, we felt that the second heaven was the home of Satan and the angles that left with him. Isaiah 34 confirms that assumption. Just before the Lord comes back to set up His earthly kingdom all of these events listed above will take place.

Right after the events of Revelation Six takes place we see this in Chapter Seven:

1     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.

2     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,

3     Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

4     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 the children of Israel.

During the seven years of tribulation the Lord will put a mark on His chosen, 144,000 total, twelve thousand from each Jewish tribe. We need not speculate what the mark is, for Revelation 14: 1 tells us what it is: And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

These 144,000 will be the evangelist of that day and will go about teaching what the religious leaders in Christ’s day did not – they will tell the Jewish population that Messiah has come.

Now 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 han

10    And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

Many speculate that these people in white robes are the members of the Church the Body of Christ, but that is not so.  The answer is found in Revelation 7: 14: And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

These people are the ones who will escape the tribulation and go to live in the 1,000 years millennial reign of Christ.  Now I want you to read Matthew 24: 40-41 again.  “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.”

I Thessalonians 4: 13-16 told us about the rapture of the church the body of Christ.  In those verses the believer was caught up to meet the Lord in the air, right? Matthew 24: 40-41 speaks of one being taken and the other left doesn’t it?  Many people believe that the one being taken in the passages refers to the saved, just as it was in 1st Thessalonians 4.  But that is not the case here.  The one being left is the person that will be left to go into the kingdom which Christ is about to establish, and the one taken will be the one who will die and go to hell.

Those who do not rightly divide the word between prophecy and mystery make a mess of interpreting Matthew 24.  That is why it is so important that you study the Scriptures to see if what a preacher tell you is in fact what the Bible says.

Now look at Revelation 16: 13-17:

13  And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

14  For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

15  Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

16  And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

17  And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done

The thief in the night is the Lord. Paul tells the Thessalonians that they need not worry about this because they are children of light and not darkness.  Look at 1 Thessalonians 5:

1     But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

2     For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

3     For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

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

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

Paul, in other passages, makes it clear that those saved in the Dispensation of Grace will not see the wrath of the tribulation.  Look!

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

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

As we continue reading in the Book of Revelation, we se this in Revelation 19:

11      And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

12      His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

13      And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

14      And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

15      And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

16      And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

17      And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;

18      That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

19      And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.

20      And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

21      And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

 

The beast and the false prophet that deceived the people into taking the mark are the first to be taken and cast into the lake of fire. Satan will not be cast into the lake of fire until later, but he will be bound in the bottomless pit for 1,000 years.

 

Revelation 20:

 

1     And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

2     And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

3     And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

4     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.

5     But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

6     Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

7     And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

8     And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

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

Once Satan is loosed from his chains, he will circle the globe in an effort to gather enough people to battle and defeat the Lord, but to no avail. However, he will succeed in getting millions to follow him, but God will devour them all with fire falling down from heaven.  Then Satan will join the beast and false prophet in the lake of fire and they will be tormented day and night for all eternity.

There are far too many people that do not believe that God would allow torment for eternity.  I say they are not children of God.  Only an unbeliever would say such things. There are seven passage of Scriptures where the Lord speaks of weeping and gnashing (grinding) of teeth for those who will not be in the presence of the Lord.  Let’s look at them.

Matthew 8: 12: But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

You will see several references to “outer darkness.” The Lord will be reigning with His own for one thousand years.  And those people that are not permitted to be a part of that, because they did not believe, will be on the outside looking in, so to speak. This outer darkness pertains to being outside the area where the feast of the Lord is going on.

Matthew 13: 40-42: As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 13: 49-50: So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 22: 12-13: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 24: 50-51: The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 25: 29-30: For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Luke 13: 26-28: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

Those being “thrust out” will be those who will be gazing across the great gulf that is being spoken of between Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16:

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

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

24      And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

25      But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

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

27      Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:

28      For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

You cannot help but see that the rich man was in torment. The lake of fire is literal, not figurative as the unbeliever teaches. There is a literal place of eternal torment, make no mistake about that.

Job 19:26: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:

I have said it before but I am going to say it again.  If you live in this present century and were saved in the period of time known as the Dispensation of Grace, you will not go though the tribulation that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 24. The bible is very clear on that point.

The church the body of Christ has been delivered from the wrath which is to come through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. This is part of the mystery revealed unto the Apostle Paul. Believe it! Quit worry about going through it and start living your life for the Lord.

Question?  Should all of this be a concern for those of us who have been saved in the dispensation of Grace? No!  We will not be going through this period, having been raptured before it starts.

The battle of Armageddon will start at the end of the seven years of tribulation.  Stan and his lieutenants will gather their forces and the Lord will bring His forces from heaven with Him. The lord will cast Satan into the bottomless pit and bind him I chains for 1,000 years.

 

 

_________ 19 ______

 

The Millennium

Millennium is a word derived from Latin that means one thousand years. Biblically, this is commonly referred to as the 1,000 year reign of Christ. However there are differences as to when this will occur or if it will occur at all.

Premillennialist believe that after the tribulation Christ will return and rule and reign on the earth for 1,000 years. They also believe that this is in the future, it has yet to come. This is the viewpoint of this author. There are other viewpoints about which we will not elaborate, but we will mention them for your own personal study. There is amillennialism, postmillennialism and preterism, most of who do not believe Revelation chapter 20 is literal, but figurative.

The Millennium, for the literalist, will be the only time when the known world will both know and be governed by Christ. This must occur in order that the prophecies concerning Israel’s earthly blessing may be fulfilled. Christ will rule with a rod of Iron.  He will be the head of government.

The place for the second coming of Christ is foretold in Scripture.

Zechariah 14:4: “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.”

During this 1,000 year reign of Christ you will see people attaining ages comparable with Methuselah in Old Testament times. The land that had become parched during the last 3 ½ years of tribulation will come to life and the nation of Israel will have their hearts softened.

Isaiah 35: 1-7:

1        The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.

2        It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.

3        Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.

4        Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.

5        Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

6        Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.

7        And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.

A land that had become barren will once again blossom and be much like what Joshua found when he was sent to spy out the land after the many years of wandering in the desert.

Joel 2: 21-25:

  1. Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.
  2. Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength.
  3. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
  4. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.
  5. And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.

There will be peace on earth.  We have heard people talk about peace all of our lives but we have never been the recipients of it.  This will be a time of true peace on earth and Israel will once again receive God’s blessing and mercy. Israel will no longer be Lo-ami.

Hosea 2: 18

18  And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.

19  And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.

20  I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.

21  And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth;

22  And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel.

23  And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.

Christ will reign on David’s throne in Jerusalem and He will make wars cease. There will be no need for instruments of war, all the tools that will be needed will be those used for cultivating the gardens.

Isaiah 9: 7: “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”

Psalms 46: 9: “He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.”

Micah 4: 3: “And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

It is at this time that Israel will once again become spiritual, will become a God fearing nation.

Ezekiel 36: 22-28:

22     Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.

23     And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.

24     For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

25     Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

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

27     And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

28     And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

Jerusalem will once again be a righteous place.  Her judges, counselors and leaders will be God fearing once again.

Isaiah 1: 26: “And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.”

Israel will build houses and no other people will take their house and move in them. They will be able to live in peace, eat in peace and worship in peace and live among the animals in peace.

Isaiah 65: 21-25:

21  And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.

22  They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

23  They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.

24  And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

25  The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.

As I am in the process of finishing this booklet I have just witnesses the forced withdrawal from the west bank.  That sort of this will not happen for the nation of Israel during the millennial reign of Christ.

Ass amazing as all this will be, there are greater things to come.

 

_________ 20 _________

 

Judgment

Look on your time chart and find the period of Judgment.  It is just after the Millennial Reign and just before Eternity Future.

At the end of the Millennium, Satan will be released from the bottomless pit and will then be cast into the Lake of Fire.

Revelation 20: 7-8:

7    And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

8    And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

Why would God allow Satan an opportunity to ravage the earth again?  This causes much confusion among the masses, but if we are “searchers of the Scripture” as Paul suggest we should be, we can se patterns of Gods’ way that might show us why.

People are going to live along time during the Millennium. Everyone will know the Lord but not all will worship Him as Lord. How do I know that is possible?  I do not know that for a fact, but I do know that over periods of time people tend to not listen to their parents.

Mothers and fathers will teach their children about the Lord.  Some of the children will teach their children about the significance of the Lord, others will not; and before too long their children’s children will not know that Christ is their sufficiency.

Since God has always allowed creation to choose between good and evil, a multitude of people will choose Satan at the end of the Millennium. Verse 8 states they will be as the sands of the sea, and that will be a lot of people.

Those who choose Satan over Christ will follow Satan into eternal damnation

Revelation 20: 9-10:

9    And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

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

Once this happens, Satan will be of no concern for anyone.  He is finished. His sphere of influence will vanish. But judgment is at hand, and another resurrection is about to take place.

When Christ raptured the Church the Body of Christ, a resurrection took place; and now there will be another resurrection and then a judgment.

Revelation 20: 11-13:

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

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

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

15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

There are those that believe that there was a resurrection when Christ established His millennial reign.  I neither concur or disagree. I know that all the people who went into the Millennial Kingdom are part of that group in Matthew 24 who were not taken away, but stayed to live on this earth with Christ.

The reserrection that takes place here in Revelation 20 will be a resurrection of all the rest of the dead who had not been privy to a former resurrection.

The judgment referred to in Revelation 20 is just that, a judgment. It does not necessarily mean condemnation, even though it could. If you examine the passages you will notice these people are being judged for their works.

There are some people who’s names are in the Book of Life who are being judged for their works.  There are those whose names were not in the Book of Life who are being judged for their works, and these people, after judgment, were cast into the lake of fire.

But there are more books beside the book of life, and I believe that in those books are recorded works of all mankind. The names of the saved are in the book of life but the works of both the saved and the lost are recorded for judgment day.

In 1 Corinthians 3: 11-15 we are told of a judgment by fire for works. If the work survives the test of fire, the recipient will receive a reward.  If the work does not stand the test of fire that person will suffer loss.

11  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

12    For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

13    Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

14    If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

15    If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

I believe that this is a judgment for the saved; they will have good works and bad works. The good works earn them a reward and their bad works are recognized for what they are and they loose something, but not their salvation.

Over the years I have used the following explanation of the passage. Heaven might be compared to city of streets numbering 1-100. Those are first street having more favor with God than those on Street 100. Or perhaps heaven is like being in the military.  There are Generals and privates, and all those ranks in between.

I believe there are degrees of both heaven and hell.  I also believe that there will be those in hell that will receive the greater damnation, based upon their works that have been recorded in the books.

There are those who believe that there is a chance that those who refused Christ before dying will get a chance to trust Him at this judgment.  These are the same people who also believe there is a holding place for these people called purgatory. I do not believe that.

I believe that man was given free will to either trust Christ or reject Christ in his lifetime. If you refused to believe the requirements of God for salvation in the dispensation in which you lived, you were doomed to an eternity separated from God.; believe God and you spend eternity with God.

The saved will receive a new body and the doomed will live in their body of sin without any chance to keep it from decay.  But even though it is in a state of decay, it will experience pain and agony.

 

All people not recorded in the book of life will be judged for their works and cast into the lake of fire.  Some of them will receive a greater damnation than the others. Please allow me the freedom to say, “Some will be gagging on the smoke of hell and others will be getting their carcasses burned.

_________ 21 _________

 

 

Eternity Future

 

The last bit of information on your time chart deals with this subject.

Let us set the stage for you.

  1. First we see God’s throne in the new heaven where the Church the Body of Christ lives.
  2. Then we see the New Jerusalem suspended above the top of a mountain where faithful Israel resides.
  3. Down below the mountain we see the new earth where all others live, and then
  4. We see a great gulf separating the new earth from the lake of fire, where the damned live..

What we have here is segregation on a massive scale. The Church the Body of Christ is segregated from the people in the New Jerusalem; the people in the New Jerusalem are segregated from the people on the earth; and the people on the earth are segregated from the people in the lake of fire.

22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

23  But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

24  Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

25  For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

26  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

Once Satan has been cast into the Lake of Fire, Jesus will surrender the kingdom on earth to God and eternity future will officially begin with a new heaven and a new earth. Revelation 21: 1: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”

God is seated on His throne far above the earth with Jesus by His side and the Church the Body of Christ will be right there, having been chosen before the foundation of the world to be a part of Christ’s body.

John’s revelation records this about the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21.

1     And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

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

3     And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

Israel will officially become the Bride of Christ. Revelation 21: 9: “And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”

10  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,

11  Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

12  And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

13  On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

14  And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15  And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

16  And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

17  And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

18  And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.

19  And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation [was] jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;

20  The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

21  And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

22  And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

23  And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

24  And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

25  And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

26  And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

27  And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Revelation 22: 1

1     And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

2     In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

3     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:

4     And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

5     And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

Israel, the chosen of God, will finally be all she was supposed to be from the beginning.  She, not the Church the Body of Christ, will be the Bride of Christ. If you understand who is to inhabit the New Jerusalem, you can only conclude that Israel is the Bride of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Church the Body of Christ cannot be anything other than part of Christ’s body.

1 Corinthians 12: 13: “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12: 27: “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”

The New Jerusalem is all Israel and it will provide light for the Gentile nations on the earth and the kings of those Gentile nations will bring their sacrifices into the city. The tree of life will be there for sustenance and the leaves of the tree will be for the healing of those living on the new earth, indicating their dependence on Israel.

At the bottom of the section we have labeled Eternity Future is the great Gulf between the earth and the lake of fire.

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

The lake of fire is the dwelling place for all who rejected Christ as the Son of God and Savior of the world.  I also believe there will be those living in hell that will receive greater punishment than some of their fellow inhabitants. There will be those who will have the flames lapping at their rear ends and others who will be gagging on the some from those flames.  But make no mistake about it.  All of the inhabitants of the Lake of Fire will be in torment, night and day, for all eternity.

The only way a person will escape this death is to trust Christ as your Savior.

If you have not done so, will you do it right now?