CONCERNING THE BIBLE
Genesis (Part 1)
English, with German Scripture references (optional)
E-SWORD v6.0… A FREEWARE STUDY BIBLE AND TOOLS
An introduction (pages i-x) August 2006
(i) The two players in the ‘Bible Chess Game’
(ii) The Trinity?
(iii) Why a ‘Bible Chess Game’?
(iv) Jesus, God’s Son?
(v) Jesus, Son of the Man?
(vi) Why did Jesus become a Son of the Man?
(vii) God’s first move
(viii) Was there a ‘BIG BANG’?
(ix) Moments before the ‘BIG BANG’
(x) Satan’s first move
Concerning Genesis (pages 1-24)
(1) How long was the first day?
(2) Is a DNA manipulated child a true child?
(3) A ‘more excellent way’
(4) Concerning ‘rebirth’
(5) Understand the Scriptures
(6) ‘Kinder seid Licht’
(7) Humans are dichotomies
(8) Shadows can be out of shape
(9) Concerning Abraham’s eight children
(10) Concerning Isaac’s two children
(11) The renaming of Jacob
(12) Why does God allow persecution?
(13) Is Jesus preparing houses or, has he made an opportunity?
(14) Does God’s Constitution allow human rights and, freedom of speech?
(15) Has Jesus’ prayer, for you, been answered?
(16) If it has not been answered, who is to blame?
(17) Are they ‘church fathers’ or, were they grievous wolves?
(18) What is TRUTH?
(19) The ‘fathers of to-morrow‘?
(20) The ‘exercise chart’ for the Spiritually minded)
(21) Jesus fulfilled the role of both the ‘Böcke’ (Goats)
(22) An exceeding insensitive sentence passed on women
(23) Adam and Eve leave the Garden of Eden. Was it to our advantage?
(24) What now, six thousand years later?
AN INTRODUCTION: CONCERNING THE BIBLE (pages i-x)
The Bible can be likened to the game, chess. Each player too, has a strategy. I would like to believe that this, the first chess game, started millions of years ago. And still, the end is not yet. Who will first ‘stalemate’ the opponent’s ‘King’? In the ‘Bible Game’ the two players are:
(1) God, the Father–the Creator of the heavens and the earth, Isa. 40.-28-, “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding” and:
(2) Satan, (Lucifer)–the fallen angel–created by God, the Father, Isa. 14.12, “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?”
As in chess the ‘Bible Game’ too, has ‘white’ (light) and ‘black’ (darkness) players. God, the Father’s ‘pieces’ are the white, 1Thess 5.5, “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness”.
God, the Father’s opponents are the ‘blacks’, 2Corth 6.14, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?”
In the ‘Bible Game’, are the ‘playing fields’ equal? Has each player an equal chance to ‘checkmate’ his opponent’s ‘KING’?
Maybe the answers can be found by finding an answer for: Can darkness overpower light? Were one to equate light, to the sun, it would be possible for darkness to overpower light were one to stand on the dark side of planet Earth.
Darkness can only overpower in a shadow situation. A good example is the four phases of the moon. During full moon it is impossible for darkness to overpower the sun’s full reflection. The only reason why the other three phases exist is: The Earth had moved between the sun and the moon casting a shadow (darkness) on the moon’s surface. However, the sun has suffered no ill; it’s still shining; bright as ever!
Are the ‘playing fields’ equal? One could argue that it’s tilted in favour of ‘the blacks’. Morality plays a major role and God, the Father’s game is founded on the highest possible moral standards. Heb. 6.17-, “Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us”. Were one then a member of ‘the whites’ it would be possible to frustrate God, the Father’s, ‘game’ by one’s ‘immoral’ behaviour, Gal. 2.21, “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain”.
Satan has no moral standards. He is a liar, John 8.44. “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father of it”, and, a deceiver, 2John. 1.7, “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an Antichrist”. He also infiltrates the ranks of ‘the whites’, 2Cor 11.13-, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light”.
A ‘white’ may not make any defamatory remarks against Satan, “Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee”, Jude .8-. Adam had no knowledge of ‘morality’ not having eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Concerning God, the Father, his ‘title’ and, his relationship to the ‘Godhead’, “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead (Divinity); so that they are without excuse”, Rom. 1.19-.
It is necessary to understand that the word ‘God’ is, in reality, only a title. A God, relative to the Bible, is a Being worthy of worship, with the definite article ‘the’, it indicates the supreme Divinity, God the Father–the Most High God. It is, in a sense, a mystery in as much that there are so many interpretations concerning the ‘Godhead’. The notion that the ‘Godhead’ consists of a ‘Trinity’ has also further complicated matters.
For reasons of this study the ‘Trinity’ consists of Three Divine Beings:
1 God, the Father,
2 God, the Son–Jesus, the Christ, the Anointed One, and,
3 God, the Holy Spirit or, God, the Holy Ghost.
These Three are considered as one in a like manner that the two, Paul and Apollos are considered as being one, 1Co 3:6, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour”. They are ‘one’ in the same sense that a soccer team, consisting of eleven players, is considered ‘an unity’–of one mind and one purpose. Alternatively, the word ‘one’ refers to a person or an individual as in 1Jn 5:7, “For there are Three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these Three, ‘They exist‘ [they are].
For the purpose of this study, whenever the word ‘God’ is used it refers to ‘God the Father’, ‘Jesus’ refers to the One who has been anointed for a specific mission, “A Spirit of a Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord”, Luke 4.-18-. And, and this is important to note, whenever the definite article ‘the’ is used before ‘spirit’ it refers to God, the Holy Spirit. With an indefinite article ‘a’ it could refer to either a holy spirit or, an evil spirit. Unfortunately most translators have ignored this grammar rule and, it has been the cause of much confusion.
A good example, of the above phenomenon, is found in Luke 1.35, where the angel explains, to Mary, the mother to be, of Jesus, concerning her ‘conception’, “And answering, the angel said to her, ‘A holy Spirit will come upon you, and a power beyond compare will overshadow you, and so the holy One being born will be called God’s Son’”. In this translation, Analytical-Literal Translation of the New Testament of the Holy Bible, the translators have indicated that, in the original Greek manuscript, there was no definite article before ‘Holy’.
If, what the angel said, were then to be correctly understood, that which John wrote, John 1.1,2 and 14, would come to its own, “Towards a beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God, and the Word was a God. The same was in the beginning with the God… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of an only begotten of a father,) full of grace and truth”. ‘…and the Word was a God’ should be understood as: And the Word was Divine or, a divine being. Sad to say, this misunderstanding, of the angel’s message, has done great harm to the understanding the, so called, ‘mystery’ of ‘godliness’, 1Tim. 3.16, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: A God was manifest in the flesh, justified in Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory”.
If the Word were Divine, a God, and, He was, then, Zechariah’s foretelling, concerning Jesus, the Word, becoming ‘The Good Shepherd’ it then solves the problem concerning Jesus’ pre-existence and, above all, a second ‘Person’ in the Godhead, as it is written, “Awake, O sword, against my Shepherd, and against the Man that is my Fellow,” saith the LORD of hosts, “smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones”, Zech. 13.7-. It was Jesus, Himself, who, the night of his arrest, confirmed that He was that Shepherd, “Then saith Jesus unto them, ‘All ye shall be offended because of Me this night: for it is written, “I will smite the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad”’”, Matt. 26.31.
WHY? WHY, A ‘BIBLE CHESS GAME’?
The simple answer is: God wants children. The reason why He created the heavens and the earth was to make his ‘dream’, of having children by adoption, possible, Eph. 1.3-, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 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: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of his will”. But, why by adoption?
Why, could one ask? Could God not, after all He is all powerful, have children of his own? The risk would have been far too great. In adoption one is able to ‘select’ or, an important factor, reject, the child before adopting. Try and imagine a rebellious God. Paul writes concerning different ‘types’ of bodies, 1Co 15.34-, “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame. But some man will say, ‘How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased Him, and to every seed his own body.
“All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body”. Human beings, and this is important, have a free will.
In simple language, terrestrial beings are of different ‘flesh’, different species. Humans are different to fish, beasts and birds; they have a free will. Celestial beings are different. There are spiritual beings and, they differ. Angels are spiritual beings, created by God, Heb. 1.-14, “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” Gods are Spirits, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth …” John 4.24. Gods are not created but, are from eternity. It is a concept difficult to explain and, difficult to understand. It can only be accepted by faith, and, there is no reason to doubt it. “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory forever and ever. Amen!”, 1Tim 1:17.
A question that now begs to be answered is: If it were true, and it is true, that Jesus is the ‘Son of God’ why couldn’t God have more children? Why now want to adopt children? And, of more importance, why was it necessary for Jesus, ‘the Son of God’ to suffer the cruel death on a cross to legalise this adoption of children? Heb. 2.9-, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man. For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.”
The point is, when did ‘the Word’, Who ‘became’ flesh, Who ‘became’ ‘the Good Shepherd’ and, Who was God’s ‘Companion’, ‘become’, God’s Son? Of importance to note is: Adam is also called ‘son of God’, “And Jesus Himself began to be about thirty years of age being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli… Who was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God”, Luke 3:23, 38.
Jesus, when on earth, referred to Himself as: ‘The Son of the Man’, Mat 12.31-, “Wherefore I say unto you, ‘All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of the man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost [rather a holy Spirit], it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come”. Jesus’ putting on flesh, made Him ‘The Son of the Man’ not a Son of the animal kingdom because the ‘flesh’ of the animal kingdom is ‘too weak’ [Rom 8:3] to ‘cleanse one’s conscience, Heb 9:13-, “For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling those having been defiled, sanctifies for the purity of the flesh, by how much more shall the blood of Christ, by reason of having an eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, will cleanse your conscience from dead works in order that we might serve the living God? He paved the way for ‘sons of man’ to become, ‘sons of God’. How it was to be achieved was one of the best kept secrets in God’s plan. It included the capturing of God’s ‘KING’ (as in chess).
Adam and angels are All ‘sons of God’ in the same way as Henry Ford is the ‘father’ of the motor car him having made the first motor car and, it is God who created Adam; the ‘Father’ of Adam. Likewise, one who is born in Africa is ‘a son of Africa’. We have established that Jesus, ‘became’ the ‘Son of the Man’ the day Mary, the wife of Joseph, gave birth to Jesus in a stable, in Bethlehem, more than 2000 years ago. We have established, too, that, prior to his ‘birth’–the Incarnation–He was Divine (a Deity), known as the Word, “And, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” Joh 1:14.
In his epistle, to the Philippians, Phi 2.5-, Paul confirms this, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Who, being in the form of a God, thought it not robbery to be equal with a God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
“Wherefore the God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is a Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.
- A Deity has now become flesh and blood?
We know that Deities are not a creation, they are from eternity, Rev. 1.8, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty”. Deities are the alphabet, They are not part of the alphabet, They are the possessors of LIFE and, because of this, ‘the Word’, Who laid down his Deity was a holy Spirit and could enter Mary’s womb without her needing ‘conception’ as such, Luk 1:31, “And behold, you shall conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS.”
That holy Spirit which entered Mary’s womb was life, all He needed was flesh, embodiment, to ‘become’ a human being with all its imperfections but, sinless. For this reason Jesus could say to Martha, the sister of Lazarus, John. 11.25, “I am the resurrection and the life. The person, who believes in Me, even though he dies, will live”.
Not only did Jesus make that important statement but, He further made this strange and, seemingly, impossible announcement, verse 26, “And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?” If that were true, and it must be true, by reason that that was what Jesus said. At another occasion Jesus said, John 14.6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”. To fully appreciate this amazing promise, made only to Christians, one should understand it as Jesus saying that one will: never ‘die’ or, rather, ‘sleep’ for ever.
If Christians do not understand what Jesus said they might find themselves in the same predicament as did the believers of Thessalonica, 1Thess 4.13-, “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, then also the God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep through Him,” those having been ‘buried with Him by baptism into death’, Rom 6:4.
The truth of the matter is Christians do die. There is no argument concerning this. However, Paul did introduce an, out of the ordinary, new concept. Instead of ‘those who die’ he wrote, “…them also which sleep in Jesus”. There is a day of ‘wakening’! a day known as ‘the first resurrection’, Rev 20:5.
Jesus, too, referred to death as, ‘sleeping’ on more than one occasion. His disciples, too, misunderstood Him when He said Lazarus was sleeping, John 11.11-, “These things said He: and after that He saith unto them, ‘Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.’ Then said his disciples, ‘Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.’ Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that He had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead.’”
Paul, in Acts 13.36- and 1Thess 4.14, adds a further dimension to the matter, namely corruption, meaning, decaying or, rotting, “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: But He (Jesus), whom God raised again, saw no corruption” and, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will the God bring with Him”. Christians who are alive will be changed, “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality,” 1Cor 15.53.
In horse racing one would put one’s money ‘on a horse’, believing that, that horse will win the race. This is what Jesus meant concerning those who ‘put their trust’ ‘into’ or, ‘onto’ Him. Some translators, unfortunately, mistranslated the Greek prefix ‘eis’ as being ‘in’; as if it were ‘εν’, ‘in’. John 3.36 reads, “He that believeth on (eis) the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on ‘eis’ him”. So, when Jesus spoke to Martha saying, John 11.26, “And whosoever liveth and believeth in (on–eis) Me shall never die. Believest thou this?” He meant: Not die for ever. So, when God’s ‘KING was taken’ it did not end the ‘game’. Satan had ‘cheated’, he had put an innocent Man to death, ‘for Jesus knew no sin’, 2Co 5:21.
‘In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed’, 1Co 15:53. Moreover, Rev 20:6 “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. The second death has no authority over these, but they will be priests of the God and of Christ, and will reign with Him a thousand years.”
God will be victorious over Death. Satan’s dream of, Isa. 14.14, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High”, will be shattered when 1Cor 15.51- is fulfilled, “Behold, I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”
As a Divine ‘Being’ Jesus was not the ‘Son of the God’. After entering Mary’s womb He ‘became’ the ‘Son of the Man’. Being of the human race He was ‘the Son of God’, ‘the anointed One’, ‘the beloved’. He was put in subjection to Death. However, in his overcoming Death He then ‘became’ the ‘Son of the God’. The God ‘woke Him up’! Being supposedly a ‘Son of Man’ made Him a sinner and, the wages of sin is death, Rom. 6.23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. As ‘sinner’ He had to die, Rom 5.12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”
The answer: “How and, when, Jesus ‘become’ ‘Son of the God’ is now becoming clear. Being supposedly a ‘Son of Man’ made Him a sinner and, the wages is death, Rom. 6.23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. As ‘sinner’ He had to die, Rom. 5.12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”.
This verse is one of most important aspects in the understanding of God’s adoption plan. The day Adam ate, of the forbidden fruit, we all ate. We are all descendants of Adam. We were all, so to speak, in Adam when he ate. Adam’s sin was imputed to all his descendants, Rom. 5.18, “Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation…” This principle of ‘imputation’ is demonstrated in Heb. 7.9-, “And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, paid tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchizedek met him”. Abraham paid a tithe to Melchizedek 430 years before the tribe of Levi began receiving tithes yet, they are considered as having paid, too, to Melchizedek, being ‘in Abraham’ when Abraham paid. Adam sinned and, all his descendants are sinners? Is that fair?
Sin entered into the world because of Adam’s eating of the forbidden fruit. The punishment for this ‘crime’ was the death, Gen. 2.16-, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely to death die’”.
And, Adam ate! And, Adam did not die! He lived to the ripe old age of 930 years? An important feature, in God’s adoption plan, is: God created mankind with a free will. Adam, of his own free will [he was deceived by Eve], ate of the forbidden tree. The fact that he was not deceived, by the serpent, is irrelevant, 1Tim. 2.14, “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression”.
Adam blamed the woman, that woman God had given him, Gen. 3.12, “And the man said, ‘The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat”. Men will not be able to blame women again. God has protected them against such a finger pointing, 1Tim. 2.12, “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”
Women, of their own free will, insist on ‘equal rights’? One finds them among the clergy and, churches differ in their teachings? God foreknew, hence the parable of the darnel, Matt. 13.36-. “…He who is sowing the good seed is the Son of Man, and the field is the world, and the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom, and the darnel are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is a full end of the age, and the reapers are messengers. As, then, the darnel is gathered up, and is burned with fire, so shall it be in the full end of this age…”
Adam’s sinning did not catch God by surprise. God foreknew this would happen and had made provision, even before He had created the earth, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you”, 1Pet 1.18-.
Peter, 2Pet 3.3, 7-, informs us that, prior to the present age, other ‘worlds’ existed, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.’ For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished. But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word, are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the Day of Judgement and perdition of ungodly men”.
The ‘Bible Chess Game’ began millions of years ago. God, being the First Cause, made the ‘first move’ in making his dream come true. God’s desire to have children, of his own, had its consequences. Were a God to be ‘born’ with a free Will what would have been the consequence? Yes, God could manipulate the ‘DNA structure’ of his Children in such a way that they will love Him and, do what pleases Him; born without a free Will. Who wants children without a free will? In contrast, who wants disobedient children?
GOD’S FIRST MOVE
God’s ‘first move’ was to create the angelic beings, each with a will of its own. Of Lucifer it is written, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” On a certain occasion, God made known his desire to have children. In spite of knowing the consequences, were He to carry out his plan of action, He was determined to do so. However, a time would come that someone would have to redeem them; be the Ransom. The question was, “Who would volunteer to be that ransom?”
And, the Word stepped forward and said, “I will go and be the ransom”, Heb. 10.8-, “Above when He said, ‘Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin Thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law.’ 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”. The offer was accepted.
The table was now set and God could put his plan into action. Important to note: In the Hebrew Manuscripts one would, more than often, find the name ‘God’ in the plural: ‘el-o-heem’. For reasons of their own, the translators insist on translating it as if it were written in the singular, ‘ale’, instead of ‘Gods‘, plural. A typical example of the singular form is found in Ex. 6.2, 3 where Gods appeared to Moses, “And Gods spoke unto Moses, and He said unto him, ‘I am a Jehovah (singular); and I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty; but by my name Yahweh I did not reveal Myself to them”. A Jehovah is someone who is ‘self-existent’, a ‘life-giver’, 1Co 15:45-, “The first man was named Adam, and the Scriptures tell us that he was a living person. But Jesus, who may be called the last Adam, is a life-giving spirit.”
The understanding, of these apparent contradictions, depends on many factors. The Dutch translators have included Ex. 6.1, in chapter five. Their chapter six commences with verse two. One could argue that the writer, of the Manuscript, is telling his readers that it were Gods (plural), not angels, that spoke to Moses, “And Gods (plural) spoke unto Moses”, 6.2(a). That, on an occasion, One of Them, a Jehovah, answered Moses, 6.1, “Then a Jehovah said unto Moses …” It is quite possible that 6.2(b) could have been on a different occasion and should have been the opening words of verse three, “And He said to him, to Moses, ‘I’m a Jehovah’”. After all, the original Manuscripts were not divided into chapters and verses. And, it was Gods ‘plural’, not angelic beings that created the heavens and the earth, Gen. 1.1, “In the beginning Gods (plural) created the heavens and the earth.”
Heb. 1.1- confirms that more than One Deity was involved in creating the heavens and the earth, “God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds”.
For obvious reasons this conformation, in 1John 5:6-, has been omitted in some translations. The KJV reads, “This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one”. And ‘These Three are one’ should be understood as, ‘The Three, the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost They are; Each One of Them exists’; They are Individuals in their own right.
These few verses are one of the most important pillars of the Christian faith. He, Jesus, came by ‘water and blood’. Not only was He baptized, He also died, physically. Being baptized, in water, a believer participates in Jesus’ death and, resurrection (Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?), Rom. 6:3-, “Except a man be born of (ἐκ, out of/from) water and of the Spirit,” finds its fulfilment in Rom 6:6-; the ‘rebirth event’.
Having created the angelic beings–the ‘sons of God’–the ‘Gods’ created the heavens and the earth. Wisdom claims to have played an important part, Pro 8:22-, “The LORD possessed Me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet He had not made the earth, or the fields, or the highest part of the dust of the world.
“When He prepared the heavens, I was there: when He set a compass upon the face of the depth: When He established the clouds above: when He strengthened the fountains of the deep: When He gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when He appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by Him, as One brought up with Him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before Him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
“Now therefore hearken unto Me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth Me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth Me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. But he that sinneth against Me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate Me love death”.
Foolish, it would be, to reject this offer offered by ‘wisdom’.
Scientists are spending trillions of dollars trying to find out what the situation was seconds before the so called ‘BIG BANG!’ Even Job was brought to stock when he and, his so called friends, were debating his condition, Job 38:1-, “Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou Me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or, who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or, who laid the corner stone thereof; when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”
To understand what happened one must distinguish between ‘worlds’, ‘earth’ and, ‘ground’. One can speak about ‘worlds without end’ in the sense that there are many ‘worlds’ in our galaxy made up of the same substance, earth/matter, as our planet Earth. ‘Ground’ or, ‘soil’ consists of the various elements of ‘earth/matter’. ‘Earth/matter’ being that material substance of which the entire universe is made. It has mass; it occupies space and is convertible to energy.
In a beginning [of the creation story], then, it were the Gods who created, Gen 1:1, “In a beginning Gods created the heavens and the earth”. And, verse two, “Gen 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”.
First the Gods brought forth the heavens and matter. The core, the basis of ‘matter’ is the ‘atom’.
Could one imagine all the building material needed to build a city the size of London all piled up on a huge heap? Or, rather, all the material compressed into a small container? Such was the state, of all the invisible atoms, ‘matter’, seconds before the command, “Let there be light!”.
Were it possible for our scientists to build a telescope large enough to ‘see’ far enough into the past, to enable them to observe the goings on in the ‘Spirit world’ and, equipped with microphones capable of picking-up their conversation, what they will see is a scene similar to that which John saw, Rev. 4:4-, “And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold… And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind… And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come… ‘”
The main difference: There would, most likely, be two thrones. The ‘Most High God’ would be seated on one throne; on the throne, to his right, would ‘God, the Word’ (the ‘Spokesman/Executive Power’ of the Most High God), be seated. The 24 members of the celestial council would be seated on their thrones. And, yes, all the angels will be there. The ‘strong angel’, John saw, will still be one of them, Rev. 5.2, 11, “And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice… And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands”. John, unlike the ‘scientists’, witnessed the happenings, in heaven, the day Jesus said He would be resurrected. The ‘strong angel’ he saw was none other than Satan coming to claim ‘victory’. It was the third day! And, where’s the ‘KING’?
Far, in the foreground, in ‘our dimension’, the scientists will see all the ‘building material’ needed to ‘build’ the entire universe, just as they speculated, ‘compressed’, according to the laws of gravity–‘Wisdom’ at her best, Pro 8:1, 22-, “Doth not wisdom cry? And understanding put forth her voice? …The LORD possessed Me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet He had not made the earth, or the fields, or the highest part of the dust of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there: when He set a compass upon the face of the depth.”
The scientists will be struck dumb with amazement when they see what John failed to adequately describe in Rev 4:6, “And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind”. They will see an IT system beyond their wildest dreams. At the impulse of God’s thought, there, on the ‘eyes’/‘screens’ will ‘appear’ all the necessary ‘information’, complete with all possible options. With all due respects, God would have had a ‘preview’ of the consequences of creating beings having a free will.
He could ‘zoom’ in on what Adam’s response would be should Eve offer him of the ‘forbidden fruit’. And, this He did and, He made provision in his ‘script’, 1Pe 1:17-, “And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers: But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”
Well aware of the consequences, should He go ahead with his ‘dream’ of having children of his own, the ‘Most High’ nodded, leant over towards the Word and whispered, “Let there be light”. The scientists will observe an immediate response from the throne, on the right of the ‘Most High’. ‘The Word’ (the Executive Power) will rise to his feet, knowing that He would be that ‘Lamb without blemish and without spot’.
And, with a word, the Word set off the ‘largest firework display’ ever, as is written, Heb 11:3, “Through faith we understand that the worlds came into being, and still exist, at the command of a God, so that what is seen does not owe its existence to that which is visible.” And the Most High’s request became a reality, Joh 1:1-, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God, and the Word was a God. The same was in the beginning with the God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” Moreover, Heb 1:1-, “The God, who at many times and in many ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by a Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the universe.”
Unfortunately it will not be possible to record the words that were uttered; it would have been drowned by what happened next. ‘All hell was loosed’ (excuse the pun)! One could ask, “What was first? the deafening roar? or, the burst of light?” The ‘BIG BANG’ they witnessed would far exceed that which they had ever dreamt. And, our little bundle of matter, our, to be, planet Earth, sped on.
What a breathtaking ‘fireworks’ display! It has continued to this day. How many million years did day one last on ‘Earth’? And, how far from the point of ‘explosion’ was our planet that first night it experienced? And, how close to the next nearest sources of light? All we know is, Gen 1:4-, “And God saw the light that it was good. And God divided between the light and the darkness. And God called the light, Day. And He called the darkness, Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”
Did Lucifer, (son of the morning), after witnessing that event, experience his ‘fig tree’ encounter? But, unlike Nathanael, John 1.47-, “Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and saith of him, ‘Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!’ Nathanael saith unto Him, ‘Whence knowest Thou me?’ Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.’” On the other hand, ‘son of the morning’, would have been found riddled with falsehoods.
In spite of that ‘observation’ God, knowing the consequences, went straight ahead with his plan. On the sixth day He said to his ‘Spokesman’, Gen 1.26, “And the God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” It would appear that God placed Lucifer (‘son of the morning’) as ruler over that first creation. Jesus, the Word that became flesh, witnessed concerning Lucifer’s future fall and expelling, “And He said unto them, ‘I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven’”, Luke 10.18.
SATAN’S FIRST MOVE was to rebel, Isa 14.12-, “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! For thou hast said in thine heart, ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.’” John, whist on the Isle of Patmos, writes concerning this ‘Beast’ with its seven heads. The Beast that ‘once was’ that ‘Morning Star’, Rev 17:7- “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit.”
That first creation was destroyed, 2Pet 3,-7-, “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men”. Of the angels that had sinned it is written, 2Pet 2.4, “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.”
Evil angels/spirits are considered the number one enemy of ‘Christians’, Eph 6.10-, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For, we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Concerning the ‘Big Bang’ episode only the following is recorded, Gen. 2.4, “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens”. God then replenished our planet. At that time, some 6 000 years ago, all that was left were the remains of previous creations or, creation. The age old fossils discovered, from previous eras or, era, are, mistakenly, ascribed to our present creation and, paved the way to the acceptance of the flawed evolution theory.
In the understanding of God’s ‘strategy’ one can only but reject this flawed theory. The Bible’s ‘Good News’ is based on the teaching that Adam is the ‘father of the human race’. When Adam ate of the forbidden fruit, everybody ate; all being in his loins when he ate. His sin is imputed to all mankind, him being the father of the human race.
The ‘playing field’ was levelled when God’s top secret was revealed, “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,” 1Corth 2:7-.
Jesus, because of the ‘virgin birth’, was ‘not in Adam’ and hence He was an ‘unblemished Lamb’ – He paid a debt He did not owe. ‘In Jesus’ one is ‘unblemished – ‘One must be born again’, John 3.7. Baptism solves this problem. The ‘old man’ is put to ‘death’; the coming up out of the water symbolises a rebirth, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ”, Gal. 3.27, ‘clothed in Christ’. “For he that is dead is freed from sin,” Rom 6.-7-, – ‘in Jesus’ one shares his righteousness.
Not only can one liken the Bible to the game Chess but, and this is extremely important, it is a thought-provoking Legal Document, as well. Unlike any other religion, the Bible allows the reader access to God’s strategy. In Genesis, a foundation is laid and certain laws were established. Chapter one records the events, as they happened, when God created the heavens and earth (not our planet ‘Earth’) but, all the ‘building material’, the ‘atoms’. Gen 1.1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was unformed and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters.” ‘Earth’ did not contain any living organisms.
It was only on the third day that God said, 1.11-, “And God said: ‘Let the earth put forth grass, herb yielding seed, and fruit-tree bearing fruit after its kind, wherein is the seed thereof, upon the earth.’ And it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, herb yielding seed after its kind and tree bearing fruit, wherein is the seed thereof, after its kind; and God saw that it was good.” Creation was not an evolutionary process.
The evolution theory is a falsehood fabricated by God’s opponent, Lucifer, Joh 8.44, “Ye are of your father the devil and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” It is impossible to be a ‘believer’ and, at the same time, a supporter of the Evolution Theory.
How long did the ‘first day’ last? For many million years our planet, Earth, was; no doubt, not close enough to provide for a ‘24 hour day’. It was only on the fourth day that our star, our sun, it being a third generation star, became our source of light, Gen 1.17-, “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”
Carefully read 2Pet 3.5-, “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished. But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the Day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men,” allows one to accept that the present ‘world’ was replenished some six thousand years ago. In replenishing the ‘sequence of events’ differ to the events of chapter one.
It will, no doubt, remain a mystery as to how many humans God created in 1.27- and, if they were hermaphrodites that is, self-fertilising. “And God blessed them, and God saith to them, `Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, subdue it, rule over fish of the sea, over fowl of the heavens, and over every living thing that is creeping upon the earth.’”
In chapter two God forms but one male from the ‘dust of the earth’, .7, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils a breath of life; and man became a living soul.” God then, .8, ‘established’ a garden or, a habitat, “And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed.”
And, to Adam’s surprise, “And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil,” .9. The man, Adam, was put in the garden, but, alas! there were ‘terms and conditions’ making it, as it were, a legal arrangement, 2.16-, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die the death.’”
Millions of years have now passed since God expressed his wish to have children. It is no problem for humans to, under normal conditions, have children of their own. If this, for some or other medical reason, is not possible, one can always adopt children. One can also gain children by marriage gaining sons-in-law and, daughters-in-law.
There are, of course, many illegal ways of obtaining children. Technology has paved the way for one to manipulate the DNA and/or RNA structures of an unborn child. Could such a child be considered a ‘true’ child?
Jesus said, John 15.1-, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.”
Being the ‘true vine’ implies the possibility of ‘cultivars’. Paul, in 2Corth 13.5-, warns concerning such a possibility, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates”
Satan, God’s ‘Chess opponent’, is a master masquerader, 2Corth 11.13-, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”
DNA ‘manipulated’ children may be ideal children but, can it be said, “They are ‘true’ children”? God’s adopted children are to be ‘true’ and ‘pure’ children. A ‘true’ child may not always be an ideal child; it may turn out to be a rebellious child and, it is for that very reason, I believe, Gods dare not have children of ‘Their’ own unless, of course, their ‘DNA’ structure is so manipulated that They will always be obedient and always LOVE their ‘Parents’.
In God’s kingdom love prevails; it is the one and only law that exists for, God is love, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1Joh 4:7, 16, “And, we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God and God in him.
In past generations God had given many laws or, instructions. However, they were but ‘schoolmasters’ unto Faith, Gal. 3.24-, “Wherefore the law was our (the Jews’) schoolmaster to bring us (them) unto Christ, that we (they) might be justified by Faith. But after that Faith is come, we (they were) are no longer under a schoolmaster. For, ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”
Jesus, at the end of his mission, gave a new law to his disciples, John 13.34, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” It is obvious that it is impossible for one to commit an offence if there is no law. The potential to commit an offence exist because of laws, 1Co 15:56-, “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
God, a God of love? Does it mean that He does not become angry? That He does not punish, ruthlessly? No! It only means: Love is the rule of his kingdom. To remain in his kingdom one must practise love. Humans, ‘sons of Adam’, are not of God’s kingdom. God’s kingdom is a heavenly, a celestial kingdom. ‘Sons of Adam’ are ‘flesh and blood’ and, concerning ‘flesh and blood’, it is written, 1Co 15.50, “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”
LOVE? What is the definition of love? God sees Christians as a ‘peculiar people’ and, as such, He provided that they receive the necessary ‘protocol training’ to equip them for the great day when all the ‘adoption procedures have been completed’. They will then know how to ‘behave in their new environment’, ‘in the new City He has prepared’, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light”, 1Pet 2:9.
Concerning that day, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as He hath chosen us in Him, Jesus, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love; having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,” Eph 1.3-.
The Bible likens Christians as each being part of a ‘body’ and, each has a function. The ‘head’, of this body, is Christ. It is written, 1Co 2.16, “For who hath known the mind of a lord, that he may instruct him? But we have a mind of Christ.” And, “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,” Rom 12.4-.
Now, and to fully understand the scheme of things, one should read chapter twelve of 1Corinthians; God had put in place trainers, 12.27-, “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that, miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way…”
Another reason, for these trainers, is, Eph 4.11-, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
Practising love is a ‘more excellent’ way to obtain, ‘unto a perfect man’, 1Co 12.31-, “But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all Faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not.
“Charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things” Love is absolute within ‘the Body’ but, practising love among ‘outsiders’ is a different kettle of fish.
The ‘table was now set’. Satan’s sole purpose was to ‘take’ God’s ‘KING’. And, ‘IT WAS GOD’S MOVE’.
Would Adam have been ‘the perfect man’? Would he have been a child after Gods own heart? The only way was to put him to the test. Moreover, what if he fails the test? Would Satan be victorious? How many years Adam spent naming all the animals one cannot say. During all those years, he never ate of the forbidden fruit. It was Eve that ‘taught’ him to eat of the fruit; the Knight was taken. When Adam was confronted by God his defence was, “The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat,” Gen 3.12.
Adam blamed God. Had God not given him a wife he would not have eaten. Was God caught by surprise? God forbid! 1Pet 1.-18-, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”
Imagine the scene–‘all eyes’ were fixed on God. Yes, Satan, still disguised in the snake, had not left the ‘scene of crime’. Satan’s attitude was, no doubt, of total defiance; surely, he had ‘won’ this round. And, Eve? Strictly speaking, she was not yet named ‘Eve’ but, ‘Woman’. Why the name change? Well, Adam was the source or, starting place of her life but, now, she, the female, will become the mother of life. This renaming had a far-reaching outcome.
In conversation with Nicodemus, John 3.-5-, “Jesus answered, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”'” Suffice, for now, to state that baptism, by immersion in water, that the water is the ‘starting place’ of a ‘born again’ person. The going under is the dying to sin and, the coming ‘out of the water’, the beginning of the ‘new life’, the receiving of a holy Spirit the sharing of Jesus’ life, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy He saved or rather, He made us whole by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of a holy Spirit,” Titus 3-5. That’s when a ‘believer’ becomes a ‘Christian’.
Jesus demonstrated this ‘process of rebirth’ when He, John 20.-22, “…breathed on them, and saith unto them, ‘Receive ye a holy Spirit.’” It is important to note: In the Greek Manuscripts there is no definite article before ‘Holy Ghost/Spirit’; (πνευμα) – ‘και λεγει αυτοις λαβετε πνευμα αγιον’ – it reads, “And He said to them, ‘receive ye a spirit holy’.” They had accepted Jesus as the Christ, been baptised in his Name but, at that stage Jesus had not yet ‘passed the test’ – not yet been ‘glorified’.
After his resurrection He first had to appear before the Father, Joh 20:-17, “Jesus saith unto her, ‘Touch Me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.’” It was at that meeting with his Father that Satan was put to shame, Col 2:15, “And having spoiled principalities and powers, He, the God, made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
Satan thought he had ‘won the final round’ and, like Goliath of old, set the challenge, Rev 5:2, “And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the book, and to lose the seals thereof?’” The challenge was met, by the Seed of David of old, .5, “And one of the elders saith unto me, ‘Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Jude, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.’
“And I looked, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, amidst the elders, a Lamb stood, as if it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him sitting on the throne. And when He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one having harps and golden vials full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
In one accord, the angels burst out in song, “They sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals, because you were slaughtered. With your blood you purchased people for God from every tribe, language, people, and nation,” .9 (take note, I, with intent, chose the ISV translation. It was the angels that sang that song; not ‘us’.
The angels were in no need for a Redeemer; people are in need). The NIV translation nullifies a pre-tribulation rapture and suggests either, a mid-tribulation rapture or, a post-tribulation rapture. The Bible states that the rapture brings an end to the tribulation ushering in ‘the wrath of God period’ from which those, who refused the 666 mark, are saved, 1Th 5:9, “God has not destined us for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jesus said that the gospel will be preached to all the world and then the ‘end would come’. Rev 14:6-16 is the fulfilment. Compare Mat 24:29-31.
Late, the same afternoon, Jesus appeared first to the two travellers on their way to Emmaus and explained to them why He had to die, Luke 24.25, “Then He said unto them, ‘O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.” How their hearts burnt while He opened the Scriptures to them!
Knowing what the future held God ignored Satan’s look of contempt, Eve’s look of regret and Adam’s look of self content and, with no sense of forgiveness, started passing judgement. First, He addressed the snake, Satan. It is important to understand that ‘spirits’ have the capability to enter into, not only a human body but, that of an animal, too. Jesus, while on earth, addressed the man from Gadara asking him what his name was, Luke 8.30, “And Jesus asked him, saying, ‘What is thy name?’ And he said, ‘Legion,’ because many devils were entered into him.”
The spirits requested permission to enter the swine that were feeding on the mountain. Jesus gave them permission. ‘Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herds ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.’ Therefore, God was not passing judgement on the snake but, on Satan (inside the snake).
The question can now be asked: In passing sentence, on Satan, was God speaking metaphorically? Seeing that Satan chose a snake, a reptile that ‘went on its belly’, as a disguise. God saw it fit that Satan, too, shall ‘go on his belly’. Satan will always be in submission, to God. His ‘life-long dream’ to, Isa 14.-14, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High,” will not come to pass; he will always ‘eat the dust’ (figuratively speaking), Gen 3.14, “…upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life”.
What is one to understand from the second sentence God pronounced on Satan, .15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman.” Were one to use the antonym of ‘enmity’, no cooperation, it would concur with the sentence passed on Eve. Satan will never again be able to rely on a woman as a colleague. It was with her help that he managed to ‘trick’ Adam. ‘Terms and conditions’ will, however, apply.
A later law, given to the Israelites, illustrates, Num 35.10-, “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, ‘When ye be come over Jordan into the land of Canaan; then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares. And they shall be unto you cities for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die not, until he stands before the congregation in judgment.
“But if the slayer shall at any time come without the border of the city of his refuge, whither he was fled; And the revenger of blood find him without the borders of the city of his refuge, and the revenger of blood kill the slayer; he shall not be guilty of blood because he should have remained in the city of his refuge until the death of the high priest. But after the death of the high priest the slayer shall return into the land of his possession.”
In a like manner, as long as the woman remains ‘in her place of safety’ there is no danger of her being misused by Satan. Concerning ‘the role of women in the church‘ the link is made with that of Num 30:-16, “These are the laws which the Lord gave Moses in relation to a man and his wife, or a father and a young daughter who is under his authority…” and 1Co 11:-10-, “For this reason it is right for the woman to have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels.”
The third sentence was: ‘and between thy seed and her Seed.’ A ‘seed’ has a source. On an occasion, Jesus accused the ‘scribes and Pharisees’ of having the Devil as their ‘father’, John 8.44, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” One’s lusts and, one’s manner of speech, reveals one’s ‘father’: ‘the Truth’ or, ‘the Lie’.
A careful study of John 8 gives one an insight of the implications of the sentences. Verse 12 introduces a further dimension: ‘light’ and ‘darkness’. Moreover, verse 18 likens the ‘One that is sent’ as being the ‘Seed’ of the ‘Other’, his Son. By identifying a ‘seed’, one can establish its origin and, a tree is known by its fruit. ‘An orange tree cannot bear a fig’, is what Jesus in suggesting, “In your own law it is written that the testimony of two people is valid. I am testifying about Myself, and the Father who sent Me is testifying about Me.” Then they said to Him, “Where is this Father of yours?” Jesus replied, “You do not know Me or my Father. If you had known Me, you would have known my Father also.”
Deeds speak louder than words. An indication of one’s characteristics is the message of Joh 10:37-, “If I am not doing my Father’s works, do not believe Me. But if I am doing them, even though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me and I am in the Father.” There will always be this ‘enmity between Satan and the woman, and between his offspring and her offspring’ between ‘light and darkness’.
All humans are, by nature, ‘children of darkness’. We were all in Adam when he ate. Therefore, ‘one must be born again, become a ‘Christian’, John 3.3. A ‘born again’ person is a ‘child of Light’. ‘The Christians of Corinth are addressed as ‘his beloved children’. He then explains to them the ‘facts of life‘–pertaining to this ‘new life’, 2Co 6:14-, “Don’t be unequally yoked with unbelievers, for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? Or what communion has light with darkness?
“What agreement has Christ with Belial? Or what portion has a faithful with an unbeliever? What agreement has a temple of God with idols? For you are temples of the living God. Even as God said, ‘I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’ Therefore, ‘Come out from among them, and be separate,’ says the Lord, ‘Touch no unclean thing. I will receive you. I will be to you a Father. You will be to me sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty.’” There will always be this enmity between the ‘two seeds’; the faithful and the unbeliever.
The fourth sentence, ‘by Him will your head be crushed and by you his foot will be wounded,’ has reference to Jesus’ death. The ‘Seed’ will be victorious, Rev 20:10, “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 forever and ever”. Satan, in fulfilling that ‘prophecy’, “And by you his foot will be wounded,” made the biggest mistake of his career; he ‘played right into the hands of his Opponent, God’ and, received a ‘yellow card’, “Unfair tackle!”
An innocent person was put to death, Joh 13:2, “After supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him.” Satan, not knowing God’s strategy, ‘took God’s KING’, “Instead, we speak about God’s secret wisdom that has been hidden, which God destined for our glory before the world began. None of the rulers of this world understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory,” 1Co 2:-7-.
The GOOD NEWS, Luk 24:5, “Why are you looking among the dead for Someone who is living?” Satan was ‘publicly put to shame’, Col 2:12-, “When you were buried with Him in baptism, you were also raised with Him through faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead. Even when you were dead to your offences and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Him when He forgave us all of our offences, having erased the charges that were brought against us with their decrees that were hostile to us. He took those charges away when He nailed them to the cross. And when He had disarmed the rulers and the authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in the cross.” Then God immediately put his KING ‘back on the board’ as: KING of kings!
Being ‘publicly put to shame’ happened in this way. On the cross Jesus cried out, Mar 15:34, “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lima sabachthani?’ which is translated, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’” It is written, a prophecy concerning Jesus’ crying out, Psa 31:21-, “Blessed be the LORD! In a marvellous way, He demonstrated his gracious love to Me, when I was as a city under siege. When I said in my panic, ‘I have been cut off in your sight,’ then You surely heard the voice of my prayer in my plea to You for help. Love the LORD, all his godly ones! The LORD preserves the faithful and repays those who act with proud motives. Be strong, and let your heart be courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD.”
David’s title to this Psalm is, ‘For the Leader’, putting words in Jesus’ mouth, “In thee, O LORD, have I taken refuge; let Me never be ashamed; deliver Me in thy righteousness. Incline Thine ear unto Me, deliver Me speedily; be Thou to Me a rock of refuge, even a fortress of defence, to save Me. For Thou art my Rock and my Fortress; therefore for thy Name’s sake lead Me and guide Me. Bring Me forth out of the net that they have hidden for Me; for Thou art my Stronghold. Into thy Hand I commit my spirit; Thou hast redeemed Me, O LORD, Thou God of truth.”
Jesus uttered those words knowing that ‘those who read’ will understand, Luk 23:44-, “Now it was about the sixth hour, and darkness came upon the whole land until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into Your hands I will commit My spirit.’ And after He said these things, He expired.”
Prior to this, Jesus’ cry was, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Why did God forsake Jesus? Jesus was made the ‘Scapegoat’, 2Co 5:14-, “The love of Christ controls us, because we know that one Person died for everyone; so all have died. He died for all so that those who live would not continue to live for themselves. He died for them. Moreover, was raised from death so that they would live for Him. From this time on, we don’t think of anyone as the world thinks of people. It is true that in the past we thought of Christ as the world thinks. However, we don’t think that way now.
“When anyone is in Christ, it is a whole new world. The old things are gone; suddenly, everything is new! All this is from God. Through Christ, God made peace between Himself and us. And God gave us the work of bringing people into peace with Him. I mean that God was, in Christ, making peace between the world and Himself. In Christ, God did not hold people guilty for their sins. And He gave us this message of peace to tell people.
“So we have been sent to speak for Christ. It is as if God is calling to people through us. We speak for Christ when we beg you to be at peace with God. Christ had no sin, but God made Christ become sin so that in Christ we could be right with God.”
In tarrying at the tomb, Jesus was late for his ‘next appointment’. It was the ‘third day’ and Jesus said He would rise after three days and three nights. Mary thought Jesus was the gardener, Joh 20:11-, “Meanwhile Mary remained standing near the tomb, weeping aloud. She did not enter the tomb, but as she wept, she stooped and looked in, and saw two angels clothed in white raiment, sitting one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been.
“They spoke to her. ‘Why are you weeping?’ they asked. ‘Because,’ she replied, ‘they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have put Him.’ While she was speaking, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but did not recognize Him. ‘Why are you weeping?’ He asked; ‘who are you looking for?’
“She, supposing that He was the gardener, replied, ‘Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have put Him and I will remove Him.’ ‘Mary!’ said Jesus. She turned to Him. ‘Rabboni!’ she cried in Hebrew: the word means ‘Teacher!’ ‘Do not cling to Me,’ said Jesus, ‘for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But take this message to my brethren: ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God (I’m the Wave Offering, Heb 9:11- “Christ came as the high priest of the good things now here. He also went into a much better tent that wasn’t made by humans and that doesn’t belong to this world. Then Christ went once for all into the most holy place and freed us from sin forever. He did this by offering his own blood instead of the blood of goats and bulls”).’”
Jesus ascended to the Father. There, Jesus, according to John, was that ‘Wave Offering’, the First Fruit from death. John, whilst on the Isle of Patmos, describes his ‘visit’ where he became an active spectator of the events before Jesus’ arrival. John saw, lying on in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a scroll, having been written inside and outside, and having been sealed with seven seals.
Then he saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Rev 5:2, “’Who is worthy to open the scroll and to break its seals?’ And no one in heaven above or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, nor to look at it.”
John, no doubt, realised that, that strong angel was none other than the accuser of the saints, Satan. Satan had just arrived from down-under. Yes, Jesus was still ‘safe and sound’ down there. What he did not know is that God had, in the meantime, did that which Paul spoke about, Act 13:28 -, “And finding no cause for death, they asked Pilate that He be executed. And when they finished all the things having been written about Him, taking Him down from the tree, they put Him in a tomb.
“But God raised Him from the dead… And we proclaim to you the good news of the promise which was made to the fathers, that God has fulfilled this promise for us to their children, when He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.’ And when Jesus, after speaking to Mary, arrived He found John weeping because no one was found worthy to open the scroll, or to look at it.
One of the elders, in the meantime, had comforted John, “Do not weep” he said to John, “behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome, to open the scroll and its seven seals.” And John looked and saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living beings, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb standing as if slain. ”
And the Lamb came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him that sat on the throne. And, Satan was publicly put to shame. Likewise, anyone who because of what God did, who raised Jesus from the dead, believes in God and gives Him glory, that one’s faith and hope are in God too. Such a one has purified his/her soul having been born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, As is written, Rom 6:3-, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
“Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be in the likeness of his resurrection; knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, so that the body of sin may be done away with, that we should no longer serve sin. For he who has died has been justified from sin.
“But if we died with Christ, we believe that we also shall live together with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, no longer dies. Death is no longer master over Him. For what death He died, He died to sin once for all; but what life He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, consider yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts, nor present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” And the same will apply, ‘You are my child, today I have begotten you’. That’s what Satan told Adam when he ate of the fruit, “Now you are mine.”
Jesus died that death. John tells it as it is, 1Jn 3:1-, “Behold what manner of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God! On account of this the world does not know you, because it did not know Him.
“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
“And you know that He appeared that He might take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Everyone who abides in Him does not sin; everyone who sins has not seen Him nor has he known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. The one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who practices sin is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. For this reason the Son of God appeared that He might destroy the works of the devil.
“No one who has been born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Everyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. Because this is the message which you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.”
Sad to say: The significance of the fifth sentence is lost by reason that the majority of Bible interpreters failed to notice its symbolic value. The fifth sentence is an extension of the fourth, Gen. 3.15(b), “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her Offspring. He will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.”
In the game Chess one has ‘pawns’; the pieces of lowest value. On the other hand, the KING’S attendants, the queen, the bishops, the knights and the castles, are of higher value. One can compare ‘the head’ to the ‘KING’ and ‘the heel’ to a ‘pawn’. Before Jesus’ embodiment, He was of ‘the highest order’ He was ‘of Godly nature, He was Divine, Phi 2:5-, “Have this in your mind, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, existing in a form of a God, didn’t consider it robbery to be equal with a God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men.
“And being found in human form, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death, yes, the death of the cross. Therefore the God also highly exalted Him, and gave to Him the name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, those on earth, and those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is a Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
The God was not addressing the snake, the ‘pawn’, when He passed the sentence. The ‘Seed’ of the woman, Jesus, will crush, Satan’s head. Satan, on the other, will bruise the Seed of the women; ‘the Son of man’. Satan ‘bruised the heel, not the head’; Jesus was not in his ‘Godly form’ but, ‘in the likeness of men. On the cross Jesus’ dying words were, Luk 23:46, “’Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!’ Having said this, He breathed his last.”
Humans are dichotomies–a body and, a spirit, Gen 2:7, “Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils a breath of life; and man became a living soul. As a combination, the ‘two’ are a living soul. A soul cannot exist on its own. One can liken ‘soul’ to ‘marriage’. A marriage comes into existence the moment the man and the woman have ‘signed on the dotted line’.
One can improve on one’s marriage relationship, one can pray God’s blessing on one’s marriage but, the moment one’s partner breathes its last, the marriage ends. The ‘head’ has reference to one’s ‘spirit and, the ‘heel’ refer to one’s ‘body’.
Why was it necessary for Satan to ‘but bruise Jesus’ heel? The answer, to this important question, became clear when, an animal was put to death providing coverings for Adam and Eve, Gen 3:21, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” In this act the principle of reconciliation was establish. It pleased God in that; the blood of an animal was shed instead of Adam dying for his wrongdoing.
The problem remained; an animal’s blood could not serve as atonement for human beings; its ‘flesh’ being of a ‘lower order’. However, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus sets one free from the law of sin and death, Rom 8:3- “For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to deal with sin. He condemned sin in the flesh so that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not live according to flesh but according to Spirit. For those who live according to flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set our minds on the flesh leads to death, but to set our minds on the Spirit leads to life and peace. That is why the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile toward God.” The difference between the ‘flesh’ of Adam and, that of Jesus is: Jesus was not of Adam’s seed and, for that reason, not a partaker of Adam’s sin. Satan, in his ‘bruising’ Jesus, put an innocent Man to death!
Had Satan known God’s top secret he would not have caused that ‘wound’–the putting to death of the ‘Seed’. It was because of that ‘bruising’ that a way was paved ‘homewards’, 1Pe 2:25, “For you were like sheep that kept going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” Most Bible interpreters have it as ‘wounds/stripes’ instead of ‘that wound/stripe’ as in the original manuscripts, 1Pet. 2.24, ‘τω μωλωπι’ and, Isa. 53.5 ‘חברה’ (both are in the singular form).
Israel, God’s chosen nation, had sinned against God and, God punished them severely. Isaiah ‘sees’ better days ahead, for them, and encourages them, Isa 51. They are, however, warned against, again falling into sin. Chapter 52 are words of encouragement–they are referred to as ‘Jerusalem’, .9, “Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the LORD hath comforted His people, He hath redeemed Jerusalem.” When, in exile (to Babylon), Jerusalem became ‘ye waste places of Jerusalem’.
God chose Israel (Abraham) for a specific purpose. The promise, made to Abraham, Gen 12:3, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed,” was not ‘deciphered’ until after Jesus’ Ascension, Gal 3:-5-, “He therefore who supplies the Spirit to you, and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith? Even as Abraham ‘believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.’ Know therefore that those who are of faith, the same are children of Abraham.’ “The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘In you all the nations will be blessed.’ So then, those who are of faith are blessed with the faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse. For it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who doesn’t continue in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them.’
“Now that no man is justified by the law before God is evident, for, ‘The righteous will live by faith.’ The law is not of faith, but, ‘The man who does them will live by them.’ Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. For it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,’ that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
Now, it is important to note that, ‘…that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith’, does not refer to the ‘Comforter’, the Holy Spirit, Jesus had promised, Joh 14:26, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” That Comforter was promised not to those of ‘flesh’ but to them who are ‘of spirit’ i.e. spiritual, Rom 8:-5-, “For the ones that are according to flesh mind the things of the flesh. And the ones according to Spirit mind the things of the Spirit. For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace.”
One, who is ‘of flesh’ who believes the ‘Good News’ and is baptised that one becomes one ‘of spirit’ i.e. a ‘spiritual person’. Only ‘spiritual people’ will enter the kingdom of God; ‘live in the city of gold’. This is the ‘city’ God promised Abraham, the ‘father of Faith’, Heb 11:-13-, “These all died by way of faith, not having received the promises, but seeing them from afar, and being persuaded, and having embraced and confessed that they are aliens and tenants on the earth. For those saying such things make clear that they seek a fatherland. And truly if they remembered that from which they came out, they had time to return. But now they stretch forth to a better, that is, a heavenly land. Therefore, God is not ashamed of them, for Him to be called their God; for He prepared a city for them.”
Sad to say, Abraham’s descendants rejected that ‘promised Seed’, Rom 11:-11-, “I say, then, ‘Did not they stumble that they fall?’ Let it not be! But by their slipping away came salvation to the nations, to provoke them to jealousy. But, if their slipping away is the riches of the world, and their default the riches of the nations, how much more their fullness?” It is not that God’s word had failed, Rom 9:-6-, “For not all those of Israel are Israel, nor because they are Abraham’s seed are all children, but ‘In Isaac a Seed shall be called to you.’ (Gen. 21:12) That is: Not the children of flesh are children of God, but the children of the promise are counted for a seed.”
The above few verses are the ‘key’ to the solving of the ‘mysteries’ of the Old Testament, the shadow of the things to come, Col 2:-16-, “Let no man therefore judge you in eating, or in drinking, or with respect to a feast day or a new moon or a Sabbath day, which are a shadow of the things to come; but the body is Christ’s.” A ‘shadow’ is often out of shape. One only needs to look at the object (the body) that casts the shadow to recognise the shadow. In the same way one need only to ‘look’ at the ‘works’ of Jesus, the Christ, to understand the Old Testament. At times, one needs to ‘look’ at the Old Testament to appreciate Jesus’ sayings and actions.
A typical ‘mystery’ is that of, the two goats, Lev 16:-8-, “And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats: one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for Azazel.” The first goat was a sin offering. The second goat, the ‘scapegoat or, ‘the goat of departure’ it had a specific function.
In the same way Jesus, too, was, on the one hand, led into the ‘wilderness’ to be tempted. On the other hand, He not only suffered for our sins he also entered Satan’s stronghold, 1Pe 3:18-, “Christ died once for our sins. An innocent person died for those who are guilty. Christ did this to bring you to God, when his body was put to death and his spirit was made alive. Christ then preached to the spirits that were being kept in prison,” and, ‘on the third day’ He took those captives, who believed in Him, captive, Eph 4:8-, “Therefore He says: ‘When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.’ But that ‘He ascended’–what it is but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?” For this reason Peter warns us, 1Pe 4:1-, “Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, you also arm yourselves with the same mind, because he who suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the remaining time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
“For we have spent enough of our past lifetime to accomplish the will of the Gentiles–having walked in wantonness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they are surprised that you do not run with them in the same flood of debauchery, reviling you. They will render an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. Unto this end was the gospel proclaimed also to those who are dead, in order that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but that they might live according to God in the spirit.”
The scapegoat was that goat which, on the Jewish Day of Atonement, was the goat on which the high priest symbolically loaded all the sins of the community before sending the animal out into the wilderness, Lev 16:21, “And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, even all their sins; and he shall put them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of an appointed man into the wilderness.”
Jesus was the sin offering, Heb 13:-11-, “For the bodies of animals, whose blood is taken into the sanctuary by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp. That is why Jesus, in order to sanctify the people by his own blood, also suffered outside the city gate.” Before He died He was made the ‘Scapegoat’, “God had made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become God’s righteousness in Him”, 2Co 5:21. And, He cried out with a loud voice, Mat 27:46, ’Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani? which means, ‘My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?’”
The ‘mystery’, of the two goats, deepens, as it were, were one to continue with Isaiah’s prophecies. Israel, chapter 49:3, is ‘seen’ as God’s servant, “And said unto me, ‘Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’” It is important to remember that Abraham is the ‘Father’ of the Jewish nation. The ‘promise’, God made concerning the ‘crushing of Satan’s head by Eve’s ‘Seed’, must still happen. Moreover, the ‘Seed’ that will, one day, do the ‘crushing’ must be identifiable as being the ‘Seed’ of the woman, not of the man. For this purpose God judged it fitting to set apart a ‘nation’ who would record the processes as they unfold leading to the Incarnation of this Son, Heb 1:1, “In many parts, and many ways, God of old having spoken to the fathers by the prophets, in these last days did speak to us by a Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He did make the ages.”
Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac; besides the six he had by his second wife, Gen 25:1-, “Abraham took another wife, and her name was Keturah. She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.” Ishmael and Isaac are considered an allegory, Gal 4:22, “For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the handmaid, and one by the free woman. However, the son by the handmaid was born according to the flesh, but the son by the free woman was born through promise. These things contain an allegory, for these are two covenants.” Of all Abraham’s children, Isaac was the only son ‘of promise’.
God then tested Abraham’s faith. He required, of Abraham, to sacrifice that son of promise. Isaac was well in his twenties. Ishmael, and his mother Hagar, were ‘driven from home’ some twenty years earlier, Gen 21:8-, “The child grew, and was weaned. Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking. Therefore she said to Abraham, ‘Cast out this handmaid and her son! For the son of this handmaid will not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. The thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight on account of his son. God said to Abraham, ‘Don’t let it be grievous in your sight because of the boy, and because of your handmaid. In all that Sarah says to you, listen to her voice. For from Isaac will your seed be called.”
Abraham did not disappoint God. He believed God was mighty enough to raise Isaac from the dead, Heb 11:17-, “By faith, Abraham, being tested, offered up Isaac. Yes, he who had gladly received the promises was offering up his one and only son; even he to whom it was said, ‘In Isaac will your seed be called;’ accounting that God is able to raise up even from the dead.” That ‘sacrifice’ too, was a symbol of the ‘Seed’s’ sacrifice, some 2 000 years later, when Jesus was crucified and, brought back from amid the dead with these words, Act 13:32-, “We bring you good news of the promise made to the fathers, that God has fulfilled the same to us, their children, in that he raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second psalm, ‘You are my Son. Today I have become your father.’ Concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he has spoken thus: ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’” There is an estimated 300 fore-castings concerning Jesus’ first advent. All of them were fulfilled. To name but a few, Math 2.1-, He would be born in Bethlehem, He would be called from Egypt and, be called a Nazarene (“…and lived in a city called Nazareth; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophets: ‘He will be called a Nazarene’).”
As we are circled by so great a cloud of witnesses, Heb 1:-,”It is inconceivable that one can reject the gospel message. Believers, let us keep on running in the way, which is marked out for us. Having our eyes fixed on Jesus, the guide and end of our faith, who went through the pains of the cross, not caring for the shame, because of the joy that was before Him. And who has now taken his place at the right hand of God’s seat of power.” That ‘joy’ is that we will, one day, share his glory, too. Rejecting Jesus, as that ‘Son of God’, is rejecting a most proven fact.
To Isaac a twin was born. Whilst still in their mother’s womb Jacob, the second born, was chosen, Rom 9:5-, “Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, they that are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, ‘At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.’ And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth). It was said unto her,’ The elder shall serve the younger’. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”
In later years, Esau, the firstborn twin, sold his birthright to Jacob, Gen 25:-33, “And Jacob said, ‘Swear to me this day’; and he swore unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.” Isaac had no knowledge of this ‘deal’. When the time came for Isaac, to pronounce the ‘firstborn blessing’, Jacob, disguised as Esau, received the blessing. Esau was most upset, 27:41, “And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.”
Jacob fled, with his father’s blessing, to his mother’s brother, Laban, who lived in Haran, Gen 28:1-, “And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, ‘Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padan-aram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother’s father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother’s brother. And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people; and give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which God gave unto Abraham.’ And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padan-aram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob and Esau’s mother.” Do take note of, ‘the land wherein thou art a stranger’ with regard to Gen 15:13, “…your seed shall be a stranger in a land not theirs. They will be forced into slavery…”
After serving Laban for 20 years, fourteen years for Laban’s two daughters and six years for his cattle, he and Laban came to words, Gen 31:-41-, “Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times. Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me; surely, thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands (see Isa 49:-4- ), and rebuked thee last night.” However, he and Laban made a covenant (a pillar) and parted in peace.
He had an ‘encounter’ with God, at the river Jabbok, where he had a name change, Gen 32:28, “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.” It was with reference to these events that Isaiah spoke, on behalf of Jacob (Israel), Isa 49:1-, “Hearken, O isles, unto me, And attend, O peoples, from afar. Jehovah from the womb hath called me. From the bowels of my mother He hath made mention of my name. And He maketh my mouth as a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand, He hath hid me, And He maketh me for a clear arrow. In His quiver, He hath hid me. And He saith to me, `My servant thou art, O Israel, in whom I beautify Myself.’ And I said, `For a vain thing I laboured. For emptiness and vanity my power I consumed, but my judgment is with Jehovah and my wage with my God’”.
Isaiah, in Isa 49:5-, is now speaking on behalf of Jesus, “And now, saith Jehovah, who is forming Me from the belly for a servant to Him, to bring back Jacob unto Him…” It is important to note this change else one is in danger of misunderstanding the message of hope to the descendants of Jacob.
Jacob, so to speak, answers Isaiah, Isa. 49:4, “But I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely the justice due to me is with Yahweh, and my recompense with my God.” Jacob (Israel) was right. As God’s servant, he did what was expected of him. Laban was at fault. However, that night, God interceded and Jacob/Israel was rewarded, Gen. 31:42, “Unless the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely now you would have sent me away empty. God has seen my affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked you last night.”
Sad to say, the nation Israel, God’s ‘servant’, failed God on many, many occasions. In the time of Moses, Ex. 32:10, God even considered consuming them, “Now therefore leave Me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them, and that I may consume them; and I will make of you a great nation.” Moreover, God chose Isaiah as prophet and instructed him to ‘confuse’ the nation, Isa. 6:9-, “He said, ‘Go, and tell this people, ‘You hear indeed, but don’t understand, you see indeed but don’t perceive.’ Make the heart of this people fat; Make their ears heavy, shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, turn again and be healed.’ Then I said, ‘Lord, how long?’ He answered, ‘Until cities are waste without inhabitant, and houses without man, and the land becomes utterly waste’…”
Isaiah now, 49:5-, introduces another Servant, the One, Moses spoke about, Deut. 18:18-, “I will raise them up a prophet from among their brothers, like you; and I will put my words in his mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I shall command Him.” He, too, claims that He was called to be God’s servant whilst in his mother’s womb, “Now says Yahweh who formed Me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, and that Israel be gathered to Him (for I am honourable in the eyes of Yahweh, and my God is become my strength).”
Not only was this Prophet to bring Jacob back to God (my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob) He would, furthermore, be a light to the Gentiles, Isa 49:6, “I will also give You for a light to the Gentiles, that You may be my salvation to the end of the earth.” This Prophet (the Seed, Jesus) although He ‘failed’ to bring back the nation Israel, He was successful in his mission, :5, ”Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.”
Israel, as a nation, although they were God’s chosen, will remain ‘confused’ until God’s words, spoken to Isaiah, are fulfilled. It was for this reason that Jesus, when on earth, spoke to them in parables, Matt. 13:10-, “And the disciples came, and said unto Him, ‘Why speakest Thou unto them in parables?’ He answered and said unto them, ‘Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, “By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive”. For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them…’”
Israel received their promised land but failed to serve God. To this day Moses’ words are being fulfilled, Deut 28:-63-, “And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to naught; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods…” Read the chapter and, feel sorry for them. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
We, the Gentiles, should be careful that we, too, not become ‘confused’ by our behaviour towards God by rejecting Jesus, the Christ, God’s ‘free gift’ to eternal life. We, too, have been warned, Rom. 1.-16-, “…For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness. Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead so that they are without excuse…
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents. Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, argumentation, deceit, malignity; whisperers, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful. Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
Was God caught by surprise by that nation; Israel’s misbehaviour? Indeed no! He knew they would and, planned accordingly, Rom. 11:-11-, “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.” We are, however, warned against boasting against the Jews as if we are now the so-called ‘chosen’, by saying, :19-, “The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.”
The answer is loud and clear, Rom 11:20-, “Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear. For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again…”
The ‘punch-line’ is, “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 fullness of the Gentiles be come in”, Rom. 11:25-. There is a ‘cut-off time’ determined for the Gentiles. The Gentiles consist of ‘Christians’, ‘believers’, ‘unbelievers’ and those who have never heard the ‘Good News of Jesus’ resurrection and what it entails. Moreover, there will always be ‘And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed’, between ‘light and darkness’.
Christians, too, will be persecuted and, put to death. Moreover, God allows it. Yes, indeed! However, ‘terms and conditions apply’. Rev. 6:9-, “And when He had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?’ And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”
When the ‘cut-off’ time is reached God’s covenant, with Abraham, concerning the promised land will be fulfilled, Rom 11:26, “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, ‘There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.’”
Why were the Jews put to test? Moreover, why are Christians to suffer? How else could God determine sincerity? Paul explains, 2Th 1:3-, “Brothers, we are bound to give thanks to God always concerning you, even as it is right, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of each one of you multiplies toward one another, so as for us to boast ourselves in you in the assemblies of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions, and the afflictions which you endure, a clear token of the just judgment of God, for you to be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you indeed suffer.”
One must never loose sight of the ‘story, behind the story’. The crux of the matter is: God wants ‘children’, Eph 1:3-, “Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies with Christ. Even as He elected us in Him before the foundation of the world, for us to be holy and without blemish before Him in love, predestining us to adoption through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.”
There is only one way one can ‘become’ a child of God, a Christian. Jesus spoke about ‘The many mansions in His Father’s house’, John 14.1-. Jesus continues by saying, .4, “και εαν πορευθω και ετοιμασω υμιν τοπον παλιν ερχομαι και παραληψομαι υμας προς εμαυτον ινα οπου ειμι εγω και υμεις ητε” (Joh 14:1-, “Do not let your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places. But if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you! And, if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will receive you to Myself, that where I am you may be also).
The words, “And if I go and prepare a place for you…” could, for the same reason, have been translated as, “And if I go and prepare an opportunity for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also”. The same word, “…τους κατηγορους τοπον τε απολογιας λαβοι περι του εγκληματος”, Acts 25.16, is translated, “…the accusers face to face and may receive an opportunity for defence concerning the charge”
The ‘opportunity’, Jesus spoke about that evening–less than twelve hours before his crucifixion–was his dying on the cross. The ‘way of the cross’ is the predestined way; God’s way for one to become his child, Heb 10:-8 -, “Above, saying, ‘You did not desire nor were pleased with sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and sacrifices concerning sins, (which are offered according to the Law’), then He said, ‘Lo, I come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first in order that He may set up the second; by which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all,” and, Heb 2:-10-, “For it was fitting for Him, because of whom are all things, and through whom are all things, having brought many sons to glory, to perfect Him as the Author of their salvation through sufferings.”
That same evening Jesus said, Joh 14:6, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” The question that begs to be asked is: How can Jesus’ death and, ‘you will strike him on the heel’, be applied? The answer, to this important question is twofold:
1 Adam sinned but, he did not die–an animal died, appropriately, in his stead providing a covering for his ‘nakedness’, Gen 3:21, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them”. We know, Heb 10:4, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” Being of the ‘seed of Adam’, ‘clothed in Adam’, one is, so to speak, ‘born a sinner’. The ‘only way out’ is to be ‘in Jesus’; is for one to ‘be clothed in Christ’.
In SA, we boast concerning our Constitution, which allows for ‘human rights’. In ‘God’s Constitution’, one only has the right to choose. One can choose to either, ‘remain in Adam’ or, one can choose to be ‘clothed in Christ’. Should one choose to remain in Adam one has no right on eternal live–one will surely ‘die’ the ‘death’.
Concerning this ‘death’ it is written, Rev 20:11, “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. 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. 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. And, death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Laws are made by the government authorities and, gazetted. If laws are not gazetted, they cannot be enforced. The same ‘rule’ applies concerning ‘God’s Constitution’. Normally one cannot claim ‘ignorance of a law’ and so escape punishment. In God’s economy, one can claim ‘ignorance’ of not knowing that one is a born sinner–‘clothed in Adam’.
There is no respect of persons with God, Rom 2:12-, “For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves. Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another), in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.”
On the ‘Day of Judgement’, they will be judged according to moral values–‘they do by nature the things contained in the law’. If found ‘not guilty’ they will enter life on the new earth and be subjected to its ‘Constitution’, Rev 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.”
There is only one way one can gain ‘eternal life’ and that is by having an opportunity to accept this ‘free gift’, Rom 10:9-, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, ‘Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed’. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And, how shall they believe on Him of whom they have not heard? And, how shall they hear without a preacher? And, how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!’ But they have not all obeyed the gospel for Esaias saith, ‘Lord, who hath believed our report?’ So then: faith cometh by hearing, and, hearing by the word of God.”
God, however, made a ruling, Eze 33:4-, “Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from Me. When I say unto the wicked, ‘O wicked man, thou shalt surely die’; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.”
The onus, of spreading the ‘Good News’, is on the Christians, Mat 28:19-, “Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
Today, you have read the ‘Good News’; God raised Jesus from among the dead. Do you also want to be ‘raised from among the dead’, be born again? If so take to heart the following, Act 8:26-, “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, ‘Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot reading Esaias the prophet.
“Then the Spirit said unto Philip, ‘Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.’ And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, ‘Understandest thou what thou readest?’ And he said, ‘How can I, except some man should guide me?’ And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
“The place of the scripture which he read was this, ‘He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? For his life is taken from the earth.
“And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, ‘I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself or of some other man?’ Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?’
“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.’ And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they came out of the water the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away and, the eunuch saw him no more but went on his way rejoicing,” read: The Million Dollar Question
If you have believed that God raised Jesus from the dead, have yourself baptised. The difference between a Christian and a ‘believer’ is, ‘baptism’, Mar 16:9-, “Now Jesus, having arisen early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons. She went and reported to those who had been with Him, as they were grieving and weeping. And those, when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they disbelieved.
“After that, He appeared in a different form to two of them as they were going into the country. And those returned and reported it to the rest; but neither did they believe them. Afterwards He appeared to the eleven as they were reclining at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who saw Him after He had been raised. And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim this good news to all creation. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that does not believe shall be condemned.’”
Paul’s ‘last words’, 2Ti 4:1-, “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who is going to judge the living and the dead in accordance with His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all patience and teaching.
“For there will be a time when they will not put up with sound doctrine, but according to their own lusts, they will heap up for themselves teachers, tickling their ears, and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to myths. You however be watchful in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry. For, I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has arrived.
“I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not only to me, but also to all those who have loved His appearing.
”Be diligent to come to me quickly. For Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and travelled to Thessalonica–Crescens to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Luke alone is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry. And Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. Bring the cloak which I left with Carpus at Troas when you come–and the books, especially the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works; whom you also should guard against, for he has greatly resisted our words.
“At my first defence no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be reckoned to them.
“But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fulfilled, and all the Gentiles might hear, and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!”
We are living ‘in that time’. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling… Do all things without grumbling and disputing. Fight the good fight. Complete the race! So be it for, Rev 22:20-, “He who testifieth these things, saith: ‘Yes, I come quickly.’ ‘Amen! come Lord Jesus!’ The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with all the saints. Amen.”