IN THE BEGINNING
It was Spiritual From the Very Start
"The Spiritual Side of Creation, Part I."
Originally written in December, A.D. 2000;
Updated in A.D. 2006; 2015,16&17
by: Ted Roberts
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Seeking the Everlasting Gospel Ministries,
Digging Scriptures for Truth
©copyright 2017 by Ted Roberts
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NOTE: All Scriptural quotes are from The King James Version, unless otherwise noted. The passages or words are sometimes in CAPITALS or BOLDING for emphasis. Words in italics, however, within quoted scriptures, are not for emphasis, but were placed within by the King James editors, who 'added' these words for ease of sentence flow, which were not in the original autographs. Text [within brackets] are my own thoughts inserted into the Biblical text for teaching purposes . . . All 'quoted' text herein, to the best of the author's knowledge, was free to use under such license as Creative Commons; for example, as for the use of Wikipedia's information: creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/; and, anything else which is public domain . . . Cover design by Ted Roberts.
This Book is part of a Set in the Seeking the Everlasting Gospel Teaching Series...
(some titles may not yet be available).
IN THE BEGINNING:
It was Spiritual From the Very Start
The Spiritual Side of Creation, Part I.
ADAM & EVE:
Natural Beings in a
The Spiritual Side of Creation, Part II.
THE SUN, THE MOON, & THE STARS:
Glories in the Heavens
The Spiritual Side of Creation, Part III.
(Click on Chapter of choice. Most Chapters are not available here)
AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM TED ROBERTS (this link will lead off from this page)
Chapter 4: The Beginning Cloaked in Mystery
END NOTES for Chapter 4
Chapter 5: The Clear Hebrew Sound
END NOTES for Chapter 5
Chapter 6: Summarizing
END NOTES for Chapter 6
Chapter 7: Analyzing Genesis
END NOTES for Chapter 7
Chapter 8: Will the Real Heaven Please Step Forward?
END NOTES for Chapter 8
Chapter 9: Continuing The Allegories of Genesis Chapter One
END NOTES for Chapter 9
Chapter 10: The Worlds Within the Bible
END NOTES for Chapter 10
A lot of folks aren't aware that I have actually been writing the Seeking the Everlasting Gospel teaching series since the year 2000 A.D, but were heretofore unpublished. However, I actually had a two page essay on Biblical doctrine written as early as 1999. Not only so, but I'd say from around 2006 I had a lot of the material written (or begun) in my teaching series, and by 2011 I had something written on just about every subject that I intend on covering . . . well, thus far, anyway . . . This mounts up to around 20 books worth of material for the foreseeable future! However, I have been going behind myself editing and updating the texts. Even though God's Word doesn't change, I've certainly progressed in my education on the Bible and History, and am wanting to make what I had written previously as perfect as I can, whilst adding new End Notes to make sure I cover every ground on these subjects as possible.
Besides this, and even before I began writing these things, I believe that God had given me certain insight to these said subjects in the form of the Sun, Moon, and Stars: which, incidentally, will be the third book title for "The Spiritual Side of Creation," in this particular part of my Bible teaching series. This had culminated into some charts that I drew up, the first two by hand in A.D. 1996, then a better drawing by computer design in 2006 (which drawings I am sharing within this Introduction). Please note, however, that even though these 'heavenly' elements are sometimes used to demonstrate teachings about astrology, I have no, nor ever had any intention to walk the steps that lead into that world of thought. Nay! − but, much to the contrary − I am instead using them (just as the Christian Bible uses them) to illustrate such natural phenomenon in comparison to deeper metaphoric understandings of God's Word − which the purpose of this present book is thus engaged.
Even though I have been reading and studying my Bible since I was 15 years of age (which was back in 1986), I did not understand the picture that I believe God began to show me just a few years afterwards. Indeed, from a personal experience that I had with God back in 1996, when I was aged 25, the scriptures suddenly began to open up to me in a way that I had never dreamt possible! I had compared the experience to viewing Stereogram hidden image pictures − that is, those pictures that have a repeated design all over the page to where, when you focus your eyes in such a way, a 3-D image, which was deeply hidden, suddenly pops out that wasn't noticeable before. Therefore, I had begun to see a somewhat clearer picture of what had ultimately led to the 'Salvation of Man' chart, which I finally updated by computer design, as I've mentioned, in A.D. 2006.
Of course, it has taken me these many years to see and understand the things that God was at first showing me − and even now I am still learning! Truly, I am amongst the number who believe that there is no man in existence who knows all there is to know about God, or even can expound to the very last sentence the full meaning of our Bibles. This is why I shudder to think that there are many who say we don't even need God's Written Word today, and that we should toss it into the trash can! Have we really figured out all that is written therein? I say nay! So, let's keep studying.
"In the Bible there is enough clarity to enlighten the Elect, and enough obscurity to humble them."
− Blaise Pascal
"Holy Scripture excels all branches of learning in the very way it speaks; for with one and the same expression, while it recounts history it utters a mystery."
− Gregory the Great
What I have written herein, and, indeed!, as in all my writings, is but a small portion of God's greatness that He was kind enough to enlighten me on. This is my lot, my small portion; and, happy am I to receive and to share.
As I've mentioned, most of the Seeking the Everlasting Gospel series has already been written; and, for about the past 15 years, I have been going back and forth over my writings (whenever God was kind enough to enlighten me a bit more on His Word), editing, rewriting, adding, subtracting, starting new subjects, and so-forth – hence, the updated dates that are seen on the first page. Therefore, and with that in mind, and even though I had first wrote this present book back in December of 2000 A.D. (on the topic of metaphors being as old as the Bible itself), I felt it necessary to continue to explain, throughout my other writings also, that there are parablistic understandings to be gained from a lot of scripture throughout the Bible − since I assumed that when I did finally publish these writings some folks may not read this book first, and I felt the need to explain certain things on that score further just in case, since I feel that the understanding of metaphoric usage to be of extreme importance in Biblical research. Indeed, I even cover such jargon in "Brotherly Love: The Gospel of Jesus Christ," the first book in my teaching series to get published.
So, in conclusion to those thoughts, I must apologize to the reader if it seems that the continual mentioning of such an idea seems to get repetitious in my texts (and, indeed, if they find some things repeated a second or third time in my other books, as well); but, such explanations, I hope the reader will see, is a road that must be fully driven if one is to inhale the massive spectrum and enlightenment that God offers those who desire Godly knowledge, wisdom, and understanding (Proverbs 2:6*). This present work, however, and the two other books that will follow in the "Spiritual Side of Creation" part of my teaching series, are actually the most detailed on that subject. And, hopefully, by the time the third book is published (again, in the "Spiritual Side of Creation" part of this series), the idea of metaphors, idioms, parables, etc., will be seen as a necessary ingredient into the understanding of God's Word.
Now, as to the 'Salvation of Man' chart itself (as developed in 2006), and as to its meaning, there is no way that it can be fully explained within this present book – i.e. this introduction to the base meaning of the chart. The full explanation is the core and foundation of all my writings combined! Therefore, I ask for patience as I delve into that matter one subject at a time − or, much rather, one book at a time.
Or, keep scrolling down to read chapter 1
For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
I have come to feel that the combination of these three elements (i.e. Godly Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding) will be the vehicle that God will use to further our salvation along. That is, to arrive at its completeness ... I also feel, as Paul describes in his letters, that these elements are in accordance to the Breadth, Length, Depth, and the Height of Godliness − of where we need to eventually be in His Kingdom:
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge [i.e. passes fleshly knowledge], that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
This present book will certainly be the introduction to the understanding of these things (again, Godly Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding); and, as I will (not only within this volume, but also in my other books to come) expound upon this idea further, and to show their importance in our walk with God, I will also show how it differs (as much as North differs from South), from FLESHLY Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding.
Or, keep scrolling down to read chapter 1
The main purpose of this book is to not only point out that there are indeed metaphoric teachings within the Christian Bible, but to also show how we can actually trace these said metaphors right to the very beginning of time! Since I will be covering the topic of metaphoric understandings in two other books (in this three part topic within the Seeking the Everlasting Gospel series − see page 4), I will only be covering 'the beginning' here, to show folks that this extraordinary idea can certainly be traced back a long, long way; especially since some people feel that metaphors, idioms, parables, and all such like similitude's, may have only come briefly into existence during the early church period − if at all! Or, I'll simply strengthen some folks' thoughts who already figured that those things were in there to begin with. Therefore, I am going to be pointing out, along with other ideas, the differences of both the spiritual and the natural camps of understanding of the Written Word of God. And, again, I shall do so by talking about the Beginning...
In the Beginning . . . God indeed created some wondrous and fantastic things, had He not? But, what exactly did God create? A literal, natural Heaven and Earth? Well, I for one think that there's no mistaking that God had created everything that our natural eye can see. For one to say that Genesis chapter 1 is a blueprint for the natural creation (that is, for all that we can scientifically observe), is a very good conclusion − one that's hard to dispute. In fact, there are a number of Creation Scientists* who have spent years in scientific research and study of our natural Earth and the surrounding heavens, and have come to some fantastic conclusions by using Genesis' first chapters as a literal, natural explanation of how God actually did it. Their analytic studies (though sometimes varied from one Creation Scientist to another), can't only withstand against those who cannot see the Bible as scientifically accurate, but with proper observations of the natural Earth, we can, in my opinion, prove that God created everything just as He says in the first part of Genesis.
However, in this book, my main focus is not on the natural creation, which did indeed happen in the way that it says that it did (and there are many good books already in print on that subject that expounds upon this*), but, rather, this is a study about the spiritual − the "invisible" – side of creation; a subject that only a few have explored, but is just as important as the natural counterpart . . . Nay! But, perhaps, is even of greater importance − for it paints a more vivid picture for the believer, illustrating their next step in their spiritual development, and a more solid ground for salvation.
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Yes, the invisible side of the creation, of what natural man and even science cannot see. For, I believe that the invisible side of creation was made along with, and at the same time, as the natural creation − and even today is still being used to convert new Christian souls over to God. And, we shall see, as we continue to plod along, of how that exactly works.
However, taking the Bible in only a naturalistic manner is what most Christians will do. And, by saying Christians, I am meaning those who actually follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, and who try to apply those teachings to their lives. But is this always the only route to take with the scriptures? Is this the only way to interpret the Written Word of God? That is, naturalistically? For instance, by saying that Noah's Ark, the flood, and even the Tower of Babel were literal, naturally observed events would be, in my opinion, a very good truth to expound upon − that is, as opposed to them just being simple moral stories with no historical value. As my belief furthers itself, I actually can see that the Ark of Noah is a literal, natural boat, and can even see that the flood was real enough to have actually overtaken the entire planet, being true historical events*. But, even if we can take these events as historically accurate, are we supposed take every single instance or thought ever written in the Bible as naturally interpreted events? No, we cannot. Why? Here is why:
All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
Quoting . . .
I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.
Now, just what is a parable?
Parable, H4912, from Strong's Hebrew Dictionary (published 1890; public domain):
A pithy maxim, usually of a metaphorical nature; hence a simile (as an adage, poem, discourse): - byword, like, Parable; proverb.*
By reading these, we can see that a parable should not be taken naturally. If you do take every thought in the Bible as naturally understood only, you may be in danger of misunderstanding a particular thought, and could read something in the Bible that's not even there − not being able to see past the shadowy examples that hide spiritual truths, which are heavenly sayings . . . For example:
If I have told you earthly things [natural things], and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
There are obviously heavenly meanings as there are earthly meanings. But, if this is so, then which scriptures do we now see as metaphorical, and which do we take as natural or historical? Let us see what the Apostle Paul teaches us...
2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
God can actually divide His Words of Truth for us into their proper perspectives, and into their rightful camps of spiritual and natural. The Bible has truth − granted! − and IS truth; but, the scriptures must be divided properly, the spiritual from the natural, to see exactly what deep things God is trying to tell His children. Let Him give us an ear to hear, let Him circumcise our ears and our hearts, so that we will be able to receive the proper Word of Truth; and let's not take everything written therein as simple tales, and at natural face value only – and, all in the wrong places. These parables (as can be seen in Psalms 78:2-3) were given shadowy meanings − and, so strong are these shadows that even the most dedicated Christians can sometimes miss them. Yet, then again, we do not receive the understanding of them automatically, nor overnight; but we learn them over time, as the Spirit sees proper to give us insight.
Now, let's dig even deeper; and, I will make notes [within brackets] along the way in these next quoted scriptures:
1 Corinthians 2:6-14
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect [mature in Christ]: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought [nothing]: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden [invisible] wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory [again, see Psalms 78:2-3; and, too, this will show us how metaphors were developed at the beginning of His entire work]: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him [i.e. parablistic metaphors, with the deep meanings of God, hidden in shadowy sayings]. But God hath revealed them unto us [the Elect] by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God [hidden things, hidden from carnal minds]. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God [that is, when we get an ear to hear]. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth [only the Holy Ghost can teach us these things]; comparing spiritual things with spiritual [spiritually understood things]. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
What can be said of all this? Can we not see that there are hidden messages in God's Written Word? But why? If that is really so, then why would He hide them? Why couldn't all His truths be thrown out in plain sight for the whole world to see? . . . Let's take that question to the next step:
And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He [Jesus] answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you [the Elect] to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven [which are hidden messages], but to them [the non-Elect] it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias [Isaiah], 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 [which is something that God, obviously, does NOT want to do!]. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
Now, let's go even further with these thoughts:
Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep [not literally dead, but dead to God's truths], and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book [i.e. the Word of God] that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.
Now, we need to analyze the scriptures that we just went over − not only Isaiah 29:9-14, but also Matthew 13:10-17, and even 1st Corinthians 2:6-14. Surely, we can see now that the Bible certainly does hold hidden messages. But hidden to whom? And, again, why? . . . Let's first try and figure out whom the 'princes of this world' are from 1st Corinthians, and then see if they coincide with the 'bad guys' of Isaiah; and, indeed, with those to whom Jesus wanted to hide the spiritual meanings from during His ministry.
First, who were, or are, the 'princes of this world?' Now, the first thought that comes to our minds are worldly, political leaders. For instance, Caesar of Rome. Or, even his cronies throughout the Empire − even down to Pontius Pilate himself . . . But, to this assessment, I'd have to disagree . . . Let's consider Paul's words:
1 Corinthians 2:6-8
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: 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.
As we should remember, Pontius Pilate actually found no fault with Jesus, and had wanted to let him go. But, there was another group of folks that wouldn't let Pilate do so.
And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him [Jesus]: but the Jews [instigated by the Jewish religious leaders – the main antagonists!] cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.
We can see plainly here that Pilate's hands were being forced. But, by whom? If Pilate was the person who ordered the execution, doesn't that make him the Prince of whom Paul said (in 1st Corinthians) that he wouldn't have crucified Him had he known the wisdom of God? Well, the scriptures just above verse 12, in
Then saith Pilate unto him [Jesus], Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
So saying, those who actually delivered Jesus to be crucified are the responsible and guilty party. Having said this, can it make any sense to say that the Jewish leaders of Jesus' day were considered the princes of this world? Well, we can trace, all the way back to the Garden of Eden, where mankind wanted to be something that they are not. In Adam and Eve's case, they wanted to be as gods. In the Pharisees' case, they wanted power − and power they did wield − so much so, that they crucified the Lord of glory. So, yes, it would make sense to say that these are the same men that Isaiah spoke about in Isaiah 29:9-14, who were blind to the truths of God; and, is also the same men to whom Jesus purposely hid truths from, by masking them behind the institution of parables. Even if during the instance in scripture, when Jesus spoke his parable in Matthew chapter 13, didn't actually say that the Pharisees were present − or even the Scribes or Sadducees − we do know that they tried their best, during Jesus' ministry, to be involved in what He was doing, simply to try and find something that He said or did to their disliking, so that they could hold it against him in the near future . . . We also should consider his ending statement:
Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Naturally, most folks have ears! But, we know that he meant (metaphorically) that those who had ears to hear spiritual things, let them so hear. But, as for folks who had darkened hearts, and were only there for ill intent, their eyes and ears were closed, as Isaiah points out in Isaiah 29:9-14. If we are to say that the religious leaders (or even their henchmen) weren't in the crowd that had gathered in Matthew 13:2, then why did Jesus find it necessary to even make that statement in verse 9? That is, "Who hath ears to hear, let him hear?" Nay; but, since folks were there with evil intentions, as much as they could be, Jesus spoke to the crowd in parables (metaphors), just as it was prophesied of Him in Psalms 78:2, and confirmed in Matthew 13:34-35.
Considering these things, can we truly say that all of God's truths are out in the open to where ANYBODY can hear and understand? Or, should we say, rather, that God's truths (His real truths) are hidden behind the curtain of spiritually understood parables and metaphors − meant only for the true children of God (the Elect) to understand? Therefore, and if that is really true, we better roll up our sleeves and get to work on asking God to help us to decipher His hidden Word. Do we really want to be left in the dark on His truths?
However, I have heard it said several times before that the Bible is open, and plainly understood, and that we don't need some Bible expert to help us understand what God says plainly to the whole world. Well, as far as that thought is concerned, I think that the Pharisees would have disagreed! But, and at the same time, I'm certainly not downing those folks who believe this. After all, we do have statements by the Apostle John that says things on this wise:
1 John 2:27
But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
But, allow me to also point out another set of scriptures:
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 in 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!
1 Corinthians 1:21
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
So, do we need a preacher to enlighten us, or not? I will say that the folks, of whom read 1st John 2:27, and have understood John to mean that we have no need of preachers to teach us truths concerning the Bible (and especially hidden truths in the Bible), are, in my estimation, misunderstanding what's being said by John. The funny thing is, a lot of people who say that we don't need a called Biblical teacher to teach us truths about God's Words are claiming to be preachers themselves. Seriously, if we are having ministers teaching such ideas, then I'd have to ask what possessed them to contradict the job of a preacher in the first place? Wouldn't preaching such a thing be refuting their own words, since they are preaching and teaching against preaching and teaching? But, I will certainly agree that we don't need preachers like the Pharisees. And, believe you me, there are many preachers out there with that kind of a spirit! Those are the ministers (princes of this 'religious' world) who are actually contradicting God's Word, and of whom God has blinded the eyes of, and of whom God hides His hidden truths from on purpose . . . And, did you notice how I snuck in the statement "princes of this 'religious' world?" For, that is my assessment of whom the 'princes of the world' are from Paul's letter; that is, not being of this 'ungodly' world, but rather of the 'religious' world. And, there are some like this today − 'princes of this present religious world' − who have the same spirit that the Pharisees had all those years ago . . . Surely, there is nothing new under the sun!*
Now, back to what John meant, in 1st John 2:27, is that we have no need for a man to teach us who is NOT anointed with the Spirit of Truth. This gives us our perfect balance between 1st John 2:27, Romans 10:13-15, and 1st Corinthians 1:21, in that one passage says that we don't need a man to teach us, and the others paint a picture that we do. When we first come to the Lord, we aren't at the point of being teachers ourselves, but are in need of being taught.* And, as John points out, it is very true that the Spirit of Truth (i.e. the Holy Spirit, when it is in teaching form) is the true teacher, in that it will line up with an anointed teacher of God (even though they are human), and ring true in our hearts (having a spiritual ear to hear what's being said). However, if we are of the spirit of Pharisee, then no matter what's being said, we will be blind to truths, seeing as we have no Spirit of Truth (the anointing) abiding within us, and we will not be able to receive anything − no matter what kind of preacher is speaking! Therefore, we have no need that a man of his own flesh and speaking teach us; for, when a person preaches from the very throne of God, it's not him speaking anymore, but God is speaking through him...
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly* shall flow rivers of living water.
Again, let's not take this naturally, but rather metaphorically (as I point out in detail in my End Note for Belly], that when an anointed preacher of God speaks, rivers of living water will proceed out of him. Could a Pharisee do this? And, notice, too, what is said in the very next verse:
But this spake he of the Spirit...
Again, this is the anointing, the Spirit of Truth, which proceeds out of a true teacher of God, and not a Pharisee. This is where truth springs from when we are anointed by God. But, without this anointing, we have no need for a man (that is, just man alone, and without God's assistance) to teach us anything. So, in other words, if a person is not anointed to teach or preach, then listening to them would be a complete waste of our time. This is the theme of what John was meaning − it's the anointing of Christ that compels truth to be conveyed. And, without it, we have no need for a natural man to teach us anything.
End Notes begin just below for Chapter 1...
For example, Dr. Carl Baugh: creationevidence.org
Ken Ham: answersingenesis.org
Dr. Kent Hovind: 2peter3.com
Eric Hovind: creationtoday.org
Dr. Walt Brown: creationscience.com
Dr. Henry Morris: icr.org
Dr. Duane Gish: creation.com ... and, etc.
Of course, the short list of gentlemen, of whose names I give in the previous End Note, entitled: "A number of Creation Scientists," would be the leading writers and commentators on these subjects. I know that there are many others who contribute to this wonderful research, but these are the scientists who head the list for me; and, I highly recommend their work to any of my readers who have an interest in studying the subject of the natural creation. And, even though every one of them are experts in their own fields, and that I enjoy them one and all, I would suggest (if you are new to this subject) to first listen and watch the Creation Seminars (eight in number) of Dr. Kent Hovind. They are available for purchase in DVD format at his official website: 2peter3.com; or, are available for viewing on his official YouTube channel, at:
(I know, it's a crazy address!). Or, you can simply do a search on YouTube for them. Once you reach his official YouTube page, simply scroll downward until you see 'Creation Seminar.' ... Also, I want to point out that even though I agree with a lot of these men's scientific assessments, that I do not necessarily agree with everything that they say, nor with their other doctrinal or futuristic insights into the scriptures. However, I feel that this is no cause to totally ignore other people's thoughts on the Written Word of God − that is, if not all of their views matches the person concerned. If a person is dedicated to God, and is doing their best to serve Him, I think that God will enlighten them on His Word in many areas, and especially of what He wants them to know; though, He may not enlighten them on all areas of scripture ... In our continued endeavor to learn as much as we can about God's Word (and, indeed, as I point out on pages 5-6 of this book), we must realize that a sincere Christian would never try and deceive God's children with what they teach; but, and because we are all housed within flesh, we are apt to make mistakes (myself included in this!), and we must be patient with teachers, to try and discern God's truths with the Sprit of Christ that He has placed within us ... But, and on the other side of this thought, there are many who teach who have the spirit of a Pharisee (in that they are all for themselves, and are in it only for self-gain). These people may certainly have been blinded by God to His truths on purpose [2nd Thessalonians 2:7-12] ... For more information on this, please keep reading in chapter 1 of this present Book, for I truly get into the subject about those who have this spirit of a Pharisee.
Again, and as I have done in two previous End Notes, I will recommend the Creation Scientists that I have listed for full explanations on these areas of history. Their arguments (or, rather, apologetics) for the historical accuracy of a world-wide flood (if given time, and observed with an open mind) will be seen to be extremely adequate, and a major contribution to the world of scientific and historic study.
I can appreciate this Strong's entry for advancing so quickly to the point of explanation. But, for the average layman, these small details could cause further confusion for some of us who don't use words like 'pithy,' 'maxim,' 'simile,' 'adage,' or 'byword' in our everyday vocabulary ... Therefore, I will expound:
Pithy, from Webster's Dictionary (published 1828; public domain): 1) Containing concentrated force; forcible; energetic; as a pithy word or expression. 2) Uttering energetic words or expressions.
Maxim, from Webster's Dictionary: An established principle or proposition ... generally received or admitted as true. It is nearly the same in popular usage, as axiom in philosophy ... Axiom: A self evident truth, or a proposition whose truth is so evident at first sight, that no process of reasoning or demonstration can make it plainer.
Proverb, from Webster's Dictionary: 1) A short sentence often repeated, expressing a well known truth or common fact, ascertained by experience or observation; a maxim of wisdom. 3) In Scripture, it sometimes signifies a moral sentence or maxim that is enigmatical; a dark saying of the wise that requires interpretation. Proverbs 1.
Metaphor, from Webster's Dictionary: A short similitude [simile] ... reduced to a single word; or a word expressing similitude without the signs of comparison. Thus "that man is a fox," is a metaphor; but "that man is like a fox," is a similitude or comparison.
Simile, from Webster's Dictionary: In rhetoric, similitude; a comparison of two things which, however different in other respects, have some strong point or points of resemblance.
Adage, from Webster's Dictionary: A proverb ... a wise observation handed down from antiquity.
Byword, from Webster's Dictionary: A common saying; a proverb.
Therefore, in usage of these explanations, we can come to a clearer understanding of Strong's definition for the word parable: "A pithy [an energetic expression] maxim [A true, established principle or proposition], usually of a metaphorical nature [a figure of speech not to be taken literally]; hence a simile [similar comparison of two things] (as an adage [old proverb], poem, discourse): - byword [proverb of antiquity], like, parable, proverb." So, basically, what we come up with for parables are nothing more than metaphors! Which, again, are symbolic words that, as they convey truths, aren't to be taken literally ... But, even so, I need to add a postscript to these thoughts – especially since I will be quoting the following sentence very soon in the main part of the book: "By reading these [i.e. Strong's Dictionary meanings for 'parable'], we can see that a parable should not be taken naturally." Keep in mind, while reading this, that just because something is spiritual, rather than natural, that it doesn't automatically make the metaphor itself unrealistic; or, that it can't also be physically tangible – as if a parable were nothing more than a simple, moral lesson only, which has no basis in reality. Indeed, one of the definitions, according to the Webster's 1828 dictionary for Parable, has us believing that it's quite possible for a parable to be mere fiction: "A fable or allegorical relation or representation of something real in life or nature, from which a moral is drawn for instruction." As we will continue to see in the upcoming chapters of this book (as I slowly build my case), parables and metaphors actually go much, much deeper. But, that's not to say that this Webster's Dictionary meaning should be tossed out the door. He was giving round-about meanings to fit different situations in life; and, a 'fabled story' was only one possible definition. The two others included 'an allegorical relation,' or even a 'representation of something real in life or nature' ... As I hope to show in this book, nothing in the Bible is a fable, or unreal – even though there are moralistic lessons to be learned thereby ... Also, and on another note, one will see my general usage of the word 'metaphor' throughout. I've decided to primarily use this word when describing 'spiritually understood' verses in the Biblical text. Even though there's a small array of other words that the Bible uses – and, I will also use them, too – such as parable, proverb, allegory, figure, and etc. (and, even though they're in the same immediate family with one another, each one has some differences to them, which can be viewed in Webster's Dictionary), I primarily wanted to try and simplify these thoughts as best as possible in this present book for the reader. So, with that in mind, I have rounded all of them off with the simple word 'metaphor' for several reasons: 1) it's a modern word that most folks can relate to and understand; 2) these other words (and, basically, as I've said in point 1) aren't in general use in today's society; 3) I'm merely wanting to point out, by the usage of this word, that there are many verses in the Bible that should be looked upon in deeper ways; 'metaphor' seemed the best word for a general sense; and 4) usage of all these other descriptive words can get a little confusing; but, we are to simply understand (as I've said several times before – and, to which all of these other descriptive words are basically saying), is that there are some double-meanings to what we're reading in the sacred text; of which wording demands further research than what a mere, quick reading would produce ... Therefore, I will conclude that my take of a metaphor is that it's an illustrated explanation (of a very real and tangible person, place or thing – or even a situation – though they are of the spiritual realm) that is demonstrated colorfully by the usage of natural things or elements (that are at our disposal, and of which we can relate to) for easier understandings. And this is working within the confines of our earlier Webster's Dictionary meaning for metaphor; well, at least the first part of it, when saying that it's "A short similitude [simile] reduced to a single word." But then, who also proceeded to describe that when the metaphor becomes a full length comparison of two things, then it actually becomes a full-fledged simile. Despite that, however, they still work hand-in-hand with each other, and it all falls into the category of metaphor. This wide-viewed definition to our word simply tells us that it's a non-literal explanation to many Biblical situations which actually have 'heavenly meanings' rather than mere literalistic and natural interpretations.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches...
This phrase is repeated in Revelation 2:11; 2:17; 2:29; 3:6; 3:13; 3:22; and 13:9.
To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.
Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
...all the house of
In that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart...
Thus saith the Lord GOD; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of
"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is thereany thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us."
Paul even illustrates this point to some who, being in God's services for a while, were still in need of teaching:
"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat."
And, of course, the thought must arise: who would teach these folks if there is no need for teachers that are of mankind?
As you continue reading down from this point (in the main part of the book), Jesus, as it is told by John (in verse 39 of the Gospel of John, chapter 7), meant for his true listeners to understand that He was speaking of the Holy Spirit (or, much rather, the Spirit of Truth − in flowing with Godly wisdom and Godly words) when He told of the living waters proceeding out of their bellies. If we use these passages correctly, and metaphorically, we won't be picturing natural water spewing out from people's stomachs! By mentioning the Spirit, in a similitude of natural water, Jesus, in this passage, demands us to look upon this thought spiritually, rather than naturally ... But, even so, what does the belly supposed to represent in this instance? Well, for one, let's simply go to the original Greek meaning for belly...
Belly (Koilia), G2836, from Strong's Greek Dictionary: A cavity, that is ... the abdomen.
Cavity, from Webster's Dictionary: A hollow place; hollowness; an opening; as the cavity of the mouth or throat. This is a word of very general signification.
Abdomen, from Webster's Dictionary: The lower belly or that part of the body which lies between the thorax and the bottom of the pelvis.
Of, course, that's the natural interpretation. But, let's continue:
Belly, G2836, continued from Strong's Greek Dictionary: ...by implication the matrix...
Matrix (Rechem), H7358, Strong's Hebrew Dictionary: the womb.
Womb, from Webster's Dictionary:
1) The uterus or matrix of a female; that part where the young of an animal is conceived and nourished till its birth. 2) The place where any thing is produced. 3) Any large or deep cavity.
Belly, G2836, continued from Strong's Greek Dictionary: ...figuratively the heart: - belly, womb.
Of course, this last entry for Strong's definition of Belly is very interesting, and obviously on the right track for what we are seeking. As I'm pointing out in this book, Jesus loved using metaphors to teach; and, He certainly meant for the children of God to catch these things when He spoke − especially in making references to water spewing forth from our bellies! Necessarily, Strong's often gives definitions for both the natural and spiritual meanings for words. In this case, the natural definition is stomach; but, when it comes to the spiritual meaning (or, as it says, figuratively), it gives reference to the heart. Of course, being figurative, we aren't going to make the mistake in thinking that this means our natural heart. The best thing that our natural hearts do is in pumping our natural blood; but, a metaphorical heart can certainly do more than that. And, in trying to make our connection (from belly to heart), we need also to use the other definitions that Strong's gave, such as Cavity, and Matrix − seeing as one is defined as "A hollowed opening," and the other is "A deep cavity where something is produced." So saying, the heart (when metaphorically looked upon) can show us how there can certainly be something planted within our unfilled mass by God's Holy Spirit, which works on the inside of us; and will, eventually, show up on the outside for those who can observe it. Therefore, and in anticipation of that, we must admit that the most functioning item within our natural bodies (which God will make use of for His Kingdom) is our mind − which is another definition, metaphorically, for heart ... Taking for instance:
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
We cannot take this passage to mean that only folks who don't have a 'heart disease' will see God; but, metaphorically, we have to agree that it will be those whose minds are pure. Especially when Strong's defines heart as thus:
Heart (Kardia), G2588, from Strong's Greek Dictionary: The heart, that is, (figuratively) the thoughts or feelings (mind).
So, and in seeing these things, we can understand Jesus' words to mean that when God fills us with His Spirit (when we were before empty of anything Godly), He can now use us as His instruments to deploy Godly words, which will flow out of us like living waters ... and, again, living waters is certainly a reference to the Holy Spirit. See, for instance, Isaiah 44:3 and 1Corinthians 12:13.
Ask yourself a question: what is the Bible really about? What is it trying to say to me, personally, for my salvation? Is it simply a book of morals? Of how to be a good person? A book of rules and regulations? A good history lesson? Or, is it only a book of poetry and literature, meant to be a better source of entertainment than Shakespeare?
Even though the Written Word of God is a book of morals; even though it does tell me how to be a good person; even though it has rules and regulations; even though it relays accurate histories; and even though it is chock-full of poetry and literature that reads better than Shakespeare, the Bible is much more than all these things combined! More importantly, it is a spiritual manual, telling the potential student of light how to become a child of the living God; of how He resurrects us unto life eternal; and, of how we can transform into the very image of Jesus Christ. Is not then the spiritual meanings more valuable to me for my salvation than the natural, historical meanings? Ultimately, can the natural, historical understandings of the scriptures save my soul?
Please, do not misunderstand me here, for I am perfectly aware of the historic and scientific value of the Written Word of God − and that value is substantial! Not only so, but such things (as the natural, historical, and scientific explanations that are written within, and accurately portrayed) can be a tremendous launching pad to get folks to the right place in their lives to where God can start working with them spiritually. In fact, it's really a necessary step for many people. As one team of Biblical Archaeologists* has pointed out, such natural illustrations (in this case, literally digging up facts that support the scriptures) certainly are helpful, because many folks have lost their faith in the Bible, since there has been tremendous success from others (from some Atheists and some Evolutionists*) whose main function, it would seem, is to destroy our trust in the Written Word of God. They truly are out there − hard at work − trying desperately to destroy people's faith in the Biblical text by supposedly proving that the Bible's not accurate at all (either scientifically or historically), and is therefore a false document in its representation of those fields. If these said Evolutionistic teachers and Atheists can successfully destroy people's faith in the Bible (ripping it up piece by piece!), then they could destroy people's faith in God's own existence, too.
However, what I was trying to point out, was that after we can straighten up from such unscrupulous propaganda from non-believers, then we need to jump to the next step in our walk with God; and, that's not only a personal relationship with Him − and not only that we try to get into Christ − but that we, also, have Christ get into us. This is why I say that it's more important to understand what God is saying to us in His Mysteries, than what He has said in His History.
As I've already pointed out, that even though it's of extreme importance to learn of what had been in the past, and even understand what is to become of our future, God, however, is mostly concerned with what is happening for us right now − today!* − and of how we can transform into His image, and of how we are to obtain His Divine Nature, so that we'll be able to treat one another, in proper fashion, with agape love* What can be more important than that? Would it be more important for us to dwell on a past that has already come and gone? Or, of us dwelling on a future that hasn't even come yet? I'm declaring boldly that the scriptures are MAINLY focused on whom we should be in our present walk with God. That is, they are metaphorically speaking to a Christian of just how we are to have a personal relationship with Him at this present time. Not the past. Not the future. But, here and now! Though the scriptures use elements of our past to shape us (as it culminates, ultimately, into whom we are to become in the future), its main focus, again, is on us at this present time, on us as Christian individuals, and of how we treat one another with love and respect, rather than participating in man's religion − or even in worldly, ungodly events. To me, this is THE most important thing that a striving Christian should be focused on and concerned about: of how to please the Lord with their life, and with their walk; of how to become a living epistle that is to be read of all mankind; of how to love one another as He loves us. History cannot teach us that firsthand; gaining knowledge of future events cannot teach us that; but, by obtaining the Spirit of Truth, God can lead us, and can teach us, to strive for the High Calling, which is only in Christ Jesus. And it is to these things that I believe the metaphorical, parablistic teachings of the scriptures are focused. Even though they also teach us about past events and future events, they only do so to help us learn of what not to become − such as past mistakes that are not to be repeated, and of what some individuals will become in their future because of these past mistakes. Concentration then grips onto the Elect of what's expected of them for their current walk: the correct and narrow path that leads to Christ today.
Now, on to deeper matters: Let's observe some very curious scriptures in our Bibles, and let us see how metaphors are used therein, and then talk more about how they should be understood:
Song of Solomon 4:12,15
A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.  A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the LORD have spoken and have done it.
But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God...
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life...
The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in
And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
And, finally . . .
Genesis 2:8-9 (Which brings us back to the beginning)
And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in
By reading these scriptures, we can clearly see that just because the Bible mentions gardens and trees, the only understanding of them therein cannot only be taken at face value; or, rather, that all the passages that mention these are simply to be seen as natural, which we would find within a natural setting . . . Even though I am making some observations on natural greenery, this is not, obviously, the theme of this book − even though trees and a garden are certainly included in the beginning of God's carefully planned work. I merely wanted to point out just a very small portion of scriptures that cannot be taken at natural face value, but that can be seen, instead, within a parablistic light . . . But, again, why does God wish to convey his great messages in parables? Even though we've already been over this, I'd like to approach that question from another angle. Consider the following passages:
He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.
So, if that's the case, then why, pray tell, do we study to show ourselves approved if we labour in vain and won't be able to find out about God anyway? Or, rather, what God's work and plans are for the occupants of the Earth, and of the Kingdom. Well, what can be gleaned from the above two scriptures is that those who were trying to seek God's plan were not only doing so with the mind and spirit of man, but (as I've pointed out in chapter 1) they were also doing so with the wrong intent in their heart. We know that God's ways are not our ways, and neither His thoughts ours;* so then, we must find out how to make His thoughts and ways ours in order to find out exactly what His plans will be for us − to have a vision of the workings of His Kingdom − and, too, of how we are supposed to grow into the full stature of Christ. We must also realize that not all men and women have the mind of Christ to think with, and not all have the spirit of God within them as a guide . . . Let's see this play out:
So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.
These people, whose only function was to think and act with the only thing that they had in them up until that time − that is, having only the mind and spirit of man (i.e. having only fleshly knowledge, wisdom, and understanding) − were not only unable to find out about the ways of God, but, too, they were being plagued by the oppressor: which, in this case, was nothing more than their own carnal flesh,* which was blinding their eyes from the workings of God, and of which was keeping them from serving and worshipping God in the way that man was initially meant to do. And, because of that, they could not, and cannot, nor shall they ever be able to gain access into His Kingdom, or be able to be showered with real truth . . . That is, nobody can without the comforter as their guide.
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.
We have need of the Comforter to teach us of God's ways, and to make God's ways our ways, and His thoughts our thoughts. It will feed the mind of Christ, which will be with us from that day forward...
1 Corinthians 2:16b
...we have the mind of Christ.
...allowing us to grow into the full stature 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 fulness of Christ.
...and with the knowledge of God − instead of merely having man's knowledge.
Or, Keep scrolling for Chapter 2 END NOTES...
End Notes begin just below for Chapter 2...
This is in reference to the Wyatt family; and, in particular, Mary Nell Wyatt, writing in A.D. 1993 for her late husband Ron Wyatt (who actually passed in 1999). Mr. Wyatt was a controversial, Biblical Archaeologist, who worked in the field from around the mid 1960's until the 1990's. My quote is rough, at best; but, the idea is what was meant ... Here is the web address for the actual quote: wyattnewsletters.com/ articles/faith.htm ... We will speak more on the Wyatt family in the upcoming chapters of this book.
I am, by no means, insinuating that if a person is an Atheist or an Evolutionist that it automatically causes them to launch a campaign to destroy people's trust in the Bible, or even in God Himself. However, and it must be admitted to, that the people who do these types of enterprises certainly come from such factions. After all, your premise must begin in the belief that there is no God in order to launch a campaign against His followers for believing in Him and His Word. Of course, there are other factions who do the same, but it would seem that these two are the most influential for doing such a thing to begin with [For more information on this Evolutionistic stance, please see "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," a movie by Ben Stein. Also, for help in seeing this, please view the Creation Seminar series by Dr. Kent Hovind: 2peter3.com] ... It must also be admitted to that there has been much success in these areas, for a lot of Christians have been buying into the propaganda that has been laid out by these said factions. These anti-Biblical thoughts certainly have made their way into the modern church, for I myself have heard it said, on several occasions, that man's hands have contaminated our Bibles, and therefore the Written Word, as it has been passed down to us today, cannot be trusted, since man's dirty hands have tampered with it. And, that belief, in turn, leads a lot of folks into utter confusion ... Confusion, of which, God is not responsible for, but man is:
1 Corinthians 14:33
For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
I find such arguments flawed, especially considering that if God is truly God, then He is MORE than capable of preserving His Word fully intact, even if He used man for its composition. Not only so, but such thoughts makes the Bible itself a liar when it says such things as:
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
But, He didn't add the clause in there that said: "But, hopefully, it won't be contaminated, along the way, by man. In that case − sorry!" What are we to say, then, if man did contaminate it? Whoops? Oh, well?
2 Peter 1:20-21
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation [i.e. man didn't create scripture from their vain imaginations]. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
The People's New Testament:
That no prophecy ... is of any private interpretation. Is not an interpretation of the knowledge and feelings of the prophet, but of the will of God. The next verse  shows that this is the meaning. No scriptural prophecy is due to the will of man, but all came from men speaking from God when moved by the Holy Spirit. Prophecy is God's word, not the words of man.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
So, how much scripture is given by the inspiration of God? Some? Nope – all! If that's not true, then as 2nd Timothy describes (or, much rather, as the Apostle Paul describes), it cannot be beneficial for reproof, correction, or instruction in righteousness, so that the man of God could be perfect (that is, complete), nor thoroughly furnished unto all good works; or, rather, and as the KJV expresses it, 'throughly' furnished unto all good works. If just a little leaven leavens the entire lump of natural bread [Galatians 5:9], then how much more with the Word of God, the spiritual bread? Which, incidentally, is what Galatians 5:9 was really trying to say to begin with, and in a metaphorical way [Also, see Matthew 16:11-12]. I mean, either the Written Word is God's Word or it's not, right? Who are we to decide which parts of the Bible are inspired by God and which aren't? When did God make us that kind of a judge?
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out [by fleshly minded men]! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him?
Do we have the skills to determine, without the Spirit of God as our guide, what is even right or wrong in this life without the Bible? Especially when we've all fallen short of the glory [Romans 3:23]? ... Now, this is not saying that every English translation out there are perfect translations. There's an entire study even on that score as to how God truly translated His Word into an acceptable English. As Benson Bobrick (author of the wonderful book, entitled: "Wide as the Waters: The Story of the English Bible and the Revolution it Inspired," 2001 A.D., Penguin Books) had pointed out, on the back, in the book's description: "In the beginning was the Word of God. And that Word was Hebrew and Greek." We must therefore seek God's ultimate Word in the original languages, and then try and match them up with the best possible English translations. This may seem a tough task ahead for any potential student of the Bible – especially since we have none of the original autographs at our disposal. And, yet, we must realize that it's not an impossible task – and, God can certainly give us analytical abilities to interpret His Word properly, if we can but ask with reverence, and can await these answers with patience. And, all the while, we must realize that, as I have pointed out in chapter 1 of this present book, God has done it that way on purpose, to hide His truths from the wise and the prudent [Matthew 11:25]. That is, those who are wise in their own eyes − in fleshly wisdom.
1 Corinthians 3:19
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
Now, I certainly do realize that I've made some really bold statements about the Bible's accuracy – some may even think me nearing fanaticism in my approach! But, I, by no means, am sorry for what I've expressed thus far over God's ability of perfectly preserving His Word intact. However, some of what I've said may appear contradictory, especially with my explanation that God's accuracy does not lie in any single translation into a person's own language, the vernacular – making it appear as if man did, indeed, contaminate the English translations after all. But, that's not what I'm saying. For many, many years, even the Hebrew Bible went through this same predicament. Before the Authoritative Masoretic Version of the Hebrew scriptures came into existence in the tenth century A.D. – particularly by Aaron ben Moses ben Asher (whose version became the basis for modern critical editions of the Hebrew Bible, and was also the text used for translation by William Tyndale, the King James Bible Editors, and even the more recent J.P. Green Sr. Literal Version), there was a surmountable problem with other Hebrew Bibles Versions of those days [who were not, obviously, as concerned with Biblical preservation as the Masoretes tradition]; of which other versions had become corrupted because man wished to improve on God's text – especially when they felt there were mistakes within, simply because it either didn't comply with their beliefs, or with what they considered their own common sense. This is no different for the many English Versions at our disposal today; and, that's why there's a great amount of confusion in this world over which version is proper for us to use – since so many variations have been produced. Of course, I am officially reserving the full study of this topic for my upcoming book, 'The Bible is not a Buffet,' but I need to continue to say a few things on this herein for clarity of what I've already said. Again, the problem of man trying to improve on what was set out before them, in written form, has led to many corrupt versions (both today in our varied Bible Versions, and even in olden days with the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts), and it was these kind of corruptions that had led the aforementioned Aaron ben Moses ben Asher, in the tenth century A.D., to finally come out with an Authorized Version of the Hebrew and Aramaic scriptures that everybody could actually agree on. The premise of the Masoretes tradition was simple: for many years (and even before ben Asher's famous Authorized Version came to be – and despite all the corrupted versions that were being made on all sides of them) they took great pains to ensure that spelling and wording of the original scriptures did not change. Even what man had considered obvious imperfections were copied to the very letter (for more information on the history and tradition of the unbiased Masoretic Text, please see 'Reader's Digest: The Bible Through the Ages,' pages 266-269; and, too, wikipedia has good things to say about the subject). Their task very much paid off, and even when the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in the twentieth century A.D., and when compared with the Masoretic Text (especially with the fully intact, great Isaiah scroll of the Dead Sea), scholars were shocked to find there to be [after sifting through both works with intense analysis] only a 5 percent difference in the compared texts: which were simply spelling variants and sentence placements. Even though the pros and cons of this comparison varies amongst credited scholars and theologians (though all of them admit to the incredible accuracy of two documents that were composed about a thousand years apart!), this 5 percent is certainly confirmed by some of them as to being an incredible feat – and no less than an historical miracle – especially considering that the two documents in question were the same, word for word! This is confirmed by Gleason Archer, Jr., a credited scholar himself, in his book, called: 'A Survey of Old Testament Introduction,' Moody Press Chicago 1964 and 1994, on pages 25 and 29. He had also cleverly stated, in response that errors had crept into our Bibles, that there's a great difference between a document which was wrong at the start and a document which was right at the start but was miscopied; insinuating that just because there have been errors in Bible versions (or, even totally corrupt versions in existence), it certainly doesn't mean that the original texts were so; and, neither does this imply that God didn't preserve His Word unscathed, or that there isn't a way to sift through all the mess to find it. Mr. Archer concluded that even in the best manuscripts, where we find obvious slips of the pen and variations of spelling, that it doesn't mean it's enough to affect God's message to His people in the slightest. I will also add that this kind of reasoning (that is, in justifying the few so-called 'errors' that one will find in variant older manuscripts), is also true for the Greek New Testament manuscripts, in that a wonderful case can be made in favor of these documents, too. One can find further logical reasoning for Biblical accuracy and preservation in the highly acclaimed book by Lee Strobel, called, 'The Case for Christ (Harper Collins, Zondervan, 1998),' in chapter 3 during his interview with Dr. Bruce Metzger ... Again, we will investigate these kinds of claims, and in better detail, in my upcoming book on that subject ... But, even so, what is to be said of all the folks who used the 'corrupted' Hebrew scriptures instead the Masoretic text? Especially before the ben Asher family composed the best of all of them? Did these people simply miss out? Nay; but, as God has always (even in terrible life situations) opened up people's eyes to His hidden truths, He was certainly more than capable, in this situation, of helping people to understand where and when man tried to corrupt these texts; and, it did not affect those folks in being able to obtain the kernel of the Word of truth – much the same for us today when faced with the problem of which Bible Version to use:
And when he [the good shepherd] putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his [God's] voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
Even when somebody is using a version that has terrible mistakes in it (and, yes, there are many out there that have massive mistakes within!), God can still show His own voice therein...
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
But, who is to say that, like us today, there weren't better versions for folks to use during these olden times (in both the Hebrew texts, and in the Greek New Testament texts)? I'm certainly not insinuating otherwise; for, as I've already stated concerning the Masoretic Text (and even in the mentioning of the wonderful preservation of the New Testament manuscripts), I do believe that God's Word, in an acceptable and uncontaminated form, wasn't as hard to obtain throughout church history as many people like to make it seem. But, the terrible and corrupt versions, like I've also been saying, have always been there, challenging people's faith in God's ability to preserve His Word intact ... But, that still shouldn't give us excuses for our continued usage of these bad Bible Versions. Surely, if and when God deals with us on this score, we should flee from things that have other voices within. Especially in our own day and age when Biblical Science is at such a high pitch, and when we truly have the freedom to choose the right version. So, Why dally? Why linger? Why tolerate thin pieces that have very little substance? When God speaks, we must act ... But (and I am fully aware of this), we can only do so when God makes this obvious to us. There is no shame in just doing the best that we can when we are uncertain. I am only speaking roughly (if I am speaking roughly at all) of when we actually know to do better, and we willingly stay behind for terrible reasons, such as laziness or unconcern ... However, and please understand me, I, by no means, am trying to say anything bad about folks who continue to view the Bible as nothing more than a corruption from man. Believe it or not, there was a point in my life when I thought so, as well. And, as far as any arguments that can be made against the notion of having a pure Bible (which isn't corrupted by man), I may have thought of just about every reason myself as to why man did interfere, to where we can't get the complete truth, or a pure Bible, even if we tried. Thankfully, though, the Lord intervened on my thoughts, and has enlightened me to the truth of this matter – else, I would still be stuck on contrary thoughts ... But, on the other hand, I also know that there are folks out there who aren't just confused on this matter, but who are actually going out of their way to destroy people's faith and trust in, not only the Bible, but in God Himself. As to those individuals, of whom I've described in chapter 1 of this book − that is, those who are wise in their own eyes, and who have a Pharisee spirit about them − then, I say, that they will never come to the knowledge of the truth [2 Timothy 3:7], no matter how hard they may try. And, yet, God can still help those folks if He so wishes to. But, unto those who have a pure heart (even if they are simply confused at the moment), then I say that the task ahead will not be one of too much difficulty if we try and keep an open mind; for, if we have a love for God, and a love and a desire to know the truth (simply because it can better our lives), then He will lead us and guide us into that truth very smoothly (even if slowly) − for such is His will, that all His true children will walk into the light of the knowledge of God [2 Corinthians 4:6] ... Not only so, but even if we continue to use a corrupted Bible Version (in saying that God just simply didn't deliver us from it, and we remained in ignorance of that fact), then I am certain that a person can still make it to be with God in the afterlife. After all, perfect Godly love is the core matter of life eternal, and not the usage of the correct Bible Version – even though the right version could teach us of that love in a clearer way. I'm confident, though, that God will lead His sheep into the directions that pleases Him – in not only choosing certain Bible Versions (which may be contrary to what we choose), but also to what church denominations that they decide to attend – whether we approve of that individual's movements or not. We need to be careful, therefore, on whom we judge unworthy ... I will be covering the reason why God allowed some supposed 'mistakes' (which, we will see, weren't really mistakes) to creep into our English translations (especially in the King James Version) in an upcoming End Note, for chapter 8, called: 'But, what is permissible for us, is the scrutinizing of these 'added' words...' Being of a similar topic (and actually completing this one – though, also, covering italicized words within translations), we will continue this discussion there, at this later End Note, which this present End Note has already begun speaking on...
In reference to us focusing on what's important for a Christian presently, let's consider the following verses ... Even though, technically, these verses were written about two thousand years ago (and some even older than that), the theme is the same − that is, on how God's children should focus on the here and now − and of their current walk with God. Remember, the only thing that exists for us is now. The past is gone and the future doesn't exist yet. This is what the teachers of the Bible were trying to have their students learn. Even though educated on the past, and alert to the future, they nevertheless threw greater importance onto the present:
Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts...
In fact, the main reason that we are made into His image, and obtain the Divine Nature (of which nature Peter speaks on in 2nd Peter 1:4) is so that we'll be able to treat one another with the proper respect, and with Godly Love − which the Greek refers to as Agape. A lot of folks believe that we try to better ourselves so that we can become better than anybody else. And, yet, the scriptures plainly teach us that we only better ourselves so that we can help others to come up unto that same position as we. That is, we become better by humbling ourselves, and by preferring others above us ... I fully cover this subject in my first book in my teaching series, called: "Brotherly Love: The Gospel of Jesus Christ."
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
One can certainly argue that this oppressor was the devil himself. But, since I don't want to get off onto that long trail here, in this book (for I will do so in great detail in a set of upcoming books − within the Seeking the Everlasting Gospel Teaching Series, entitled: "The Evil Side of Creation" − and especially in part 2 of that series, in the book entitled: Satan, the Devil, and Hell), I will simply say for the moment that it's not extremely important to identify the oppressor at this time − though, that's certainly not saying, in the least, that the subject itself is not important. This is just not the right book to discuss it, for that's not the direction, herein, that I am wanting to head. But, I will simply say that whomever or whatever he (or it) is, that he/it certainly wasn't good! But, too, it must be admitted that the King James Version does not simply say 'oppressor' in the singular sense, but does, instead, imply 'oppressors' in the plural − indicating more than one, showing that perhaps it's not a single Being doing this. And, even though both the J.P. Green translation and the New International Version agree with the plural usage of the word, one may actually see my point as non-important, seeing as somebody could easily throw in the speculation that they may have been the devil along with his demonic cronies in tow. Ironically, though, the original Hebrew word âshaq, that's translated as Oppressors, doesn't even indicate any Beings whatsoever.
Âshaq, H6231, Strong's Hebrew Dictionary:
A primitive root; to press upon, that is, oppress, defraud, violate, overflow: - get deceitfully, deceive, defraud, drink up, (use) oppress ([-ion], -or), do violence (wrong).
This simply indicates the 'action' of oppression; that is, it's the bad situations one will find themselves in rather than pointing a finger at any Being, showing us how the word 'oppressors' can be in the plural. But, even though this is the result of one oppressed, it certainly can be argued that it was caused by a Being in the first place – which can be true enough – and is a point that I wouldn't dispute in the least, as it shows us that some 'force' is actually behind these oppressions, leading us right back around to the argument of whom it may be. But, the fact remains that there can be many speculations as to whom or what, as I will certainly, and thoroughly, explore in my upcoming set of books (that is, 'The Evil Side of Creation"), where I will show why I'm pointing fingers at the flesh as the culprit; or, much rather, the fleshly knowledge, wisdom, and understanding of man.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
At this time, I feel that it's essential to discuss a modern scholastic problem (which a lot of folks are having these days) in that they are believing the Old Testament isn't really for a New Testament church. After all, it's only written for and meant for the Hebraic peoples of long, long ago − so, what possible use could it serve us in this modern age? I do believe that this is a necessary road to travel if we are to take any messages in the Old Testament seriously − especially if we can but consider any of them helpful for our salvation.
What we must realize is that there is really only ONE Testament of God and not two. It's simply the 'Testament of God.' It is divided, however, into two separate camps of thoughts and lifestyles. One camp we will call "natural understandings" and "natural prophetic fulfillment." The second camp we will call "spiritual understandings" and "spiritual prophetic fulfillment." And yet, we will find the natural and spiritual explanations and understandings in both of what we call the New and the Old Testaments, simply because they really are one and the same. What is referred to as the New Testament today is merely a flashlight that shines onto the 'spiritual' understandings that are hidden within the Old. In fact, you won't find any new teachings within the New that wasn't already written and expressed in the Old: it's just that the New Testament digs up things that a lot of folks didn't (and, sometimes, still don't) know is there in the Old. Even some of the Old Testament folks themselves didn't always see them – such as in Daniel 12:8-9 and Colossians 1:26*. And it took Jesus and His disciples (including Paul) to show the world the hidden messages that were locked away in the Old . . . So, to sum up this entire thought, I'll say this: The Old Testament, in definitive terms, is the observance (in seeing, understanding), in living (experiencing), and in worshiping (bodily) of God through naturalistic means; and, the New Testament, in definitive terms, is the observance (again, in seeing, understanding), and in living (experiencing) of God through spiritual means – which has no dealings with the fleshly world, at all, in either our carnal senses, or in the practice of worship rituals which deal with the natural body on any level whatever.*
I know that this reasoning may seem absurd to a lot of folks (even to those who have read their Bibles for many years), but when viewed with an open mind, we will be able to see that the idea of the Old Testament (in its natural interpretations, practices and renderings), can be very open and plain for all the world to see and understand − similar, in fact, to the showbread that was lain upon the table in the first compartment of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness . . . And, yes, I am referring to that Tabernacle/Temple/Tent which, in the days of Moses and Aaron, was constructed during their wilderness sojourning before they ever arrived at the Promised Land, and that we can read extreme details of in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, in which the actual Tabernacle was both being constructed and used. As we shall see, during this chapter, Paul actually compares this Tabernacle allegorically (and, specifically, concerning the two very important compartments [rooms] that were within this Tent), to the two Testaments/ Covenants of God with His people.
Again, the bread on the table, in the first compartment of the Tabernacle, was lain bare, to where any priest could come in and see it, and partake of it. Which bread, by the way, actually decayed after a week's time*. But, the other bread (the hidden understandings, metaphorically speaking) were placed within the second compartment − called the Holy of Holies − and inside the Ark of the Covenant, to where only the high priest alone, and only once a year, could come into that section. But, being hidden away inside the Ark, as that bread was, the priest, who entered thereunto once a year, never did see it or eat it – especially considering the fact that it wouldn't even be available to eat (again, allegorically speaking) until the New Testament would finally commence on the Day of Pentecost . . . That hidden bread − i.e. that 'hidden manna' − which, as I've said, was inside of the Ark (inside the golden pot within*), actually represented the 'true' bread (the 'Living' Word of God), which contains the effects of eternal life.
Please understand, I am highly spiritualizing this bread for us today. The bread (in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness) that was both placed onto the table, in the first compartment, and the bread which was placed inside the golden pot (which, in turn, was placed into the Ark of the Covenant), in the second compartment, were actual, small loaves of bread. Of course, the bread on the table had to be replaced weekly, but the bread in the
1 John 3:14
We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
Friends, that's what all this is about! This is why I begun this entire 'Seeking the Everlasting Gospel Teaching Series,' in my first book, on explaining all the ins and outs of brotherly love, because it's the very Gospel of Jesus Christ; and, it's what will raise us from death unto life.
Whoso despiseth the word [i.e. the Word of God] shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment [again, the Word of God] shall be rewarded.
And I know that his commandment [again, the Word of God] is life everlasting...
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
For all the law is fulfilled in ONE WORD [i.e. the Word of God], even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
This is eating the true Bread of Life . . . Also, it shouldn't seem a strange thing that I'm making metaphorical comparisons to the Tabernacle in the Wilderness to the Testaments/Covenants of God, for Paul himself does the very same thing in Hebrews chapter 9. In fact, in the very last verse of chapter 8, Paul makes it clear as to why he is even going to be covering this Tabernacle in the next chapter:
In that he saith, A new covenant [Testament], he hath made the first old [i.e. Old Testament Covenant]. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away [making way for the New].
Then, immediately, in chapter 9 (the very next verse), and as a follow-up, he begins covering the Tabernacle:
Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first [compartment; metaphorically the Old Covenant/Testament], wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle [the second compartment; metaphorically the New Covenant/ Testament] which is called the Holiest of all.
I do not believe that it was a coincidence that Paul was speaking on the Covenants (or, and much rather, the Testaments) when also speaking on the Tabernacle that Moses pitched in the wilderness. Surely, we know that there has been two Covenants, just as there are two Testaments, right? Let's see when the first ceased:
For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
Here, we are given the exact time of when the first Covenant (or, Testament) had ended. That is, Jesus, the Living Testator (i.e. the Living Testament), ended the first Covenant and Testament with His passing on the cross. We must realize, then, that the second had to come into play soon afterwards. In fact, our best candidate for the right day (as I've mentioned) would be the Day of Pentecost. But, if this is the case, then it raises more questions, such as: If the first Covenant (or, Testament) ended with Jesus dying on the cross, then why do I say that there is no separation of Old and New Testaments? For, surely, His death made a separation of the Old and New. I'm saying this because the relevant messages of the Old Testament – i.e. the messages which primarily concern and effect Christians since the Day of Pentecost, all the way down to us today – had actually changed into 'spiritually understood' messages, whereas it once was only 'naturally understood' for the Old Testament folks; because, that (i.e. the naturally understood passages) is what effected and concerned them in their day and time. Therefore, the scriptural words themselves were the exact same for them as it is for us! It's certainly separated on that score, but are still one and the same because the words, as I've said, are the same words. God had taken the very same text, and unearthed (if I may so say it that way) the hidden meanings that were buried within, and revealed them by revelation through His Son Jesus, and His Son's disciples − the Apostles – for a New Testament audience. Therefore, the separation, if we find one (and, yes, I really do believe that there is one), is demonstrated in this sense. That's what makes it two-fold, in the fact that from the same manual we can get both natural and spiritual meanings* . . . Now, going back to Hebrews 9:1-3, we see a very good spiritual (or, rather metaphorical) picture of God's Covenants/ Testaments in play, and by Him using the Tabernacle for the illustration of them. The first compartment (which I am using, metaphorically, as the first Covenant − or, first Testament − had (amongst the candlestick and alter of incense) the table with the showbread lain upon. Now, let's think about that for a moment. Why was it called Showbread? Believe it or not, that's a subject that has much debate about it. A lot of scholars contend that the original meaning was that it simply meant "Bread of Presence," since it was laid out before the Lord, for God to see it. Albert Barnes, in his Notes on the Bible, says this:
"The Hebrew phrase rendered “show-bread” means properly “bread of faces,” or “bread of presence.” The Septuagint renders it "artous enōpious" - foreplaced loaves. In the New Testament it is "hē prothesis tōn artōn" - “the placing of bread;” and in Symmachus, “bread of proposition,” or placing. Why it was called “bread of presence” has been a subject on which expositors have been much divided. Some have held that it was because it was “before,” or in the presence of the symbol of the divine presence in the tabernacle, though in another department; some that it was because it was set there to be seen by people, rather than to be seen by God..."
As for what I see in the scriptures, I am more inclined to believe the latter thoughts on this; namely, that the bread was set there to be seen by the people, rather than by God – of whom the bread was in the continual presence of anyways. But, why do I say this? Well, as we can see in that this bread decayed once a week, it really represented what is temporal and natural, whereas the bread that was in the second compartment [the Holiest of all], and inside of the Ark of the Covenant (which, as we've seen, never did rot, nor decay), it therefore represented that which is eternal . . . For further study on the hidden manna, please read Exodus 16:31-35; but, especially in 16:32b, where it says: "Fill an omer of it [manna/bread] to be kept for your generations; that they may see the bread wherewith I have fed you in the wilderness." The only way that they could see it, after all those years, is if it didn't decay . . . So, then, the bread in Covenant [or, Testament] number one was only natural, and did decay after a short time. It was the 'showbread' that could (and still can) be seen and understood by just about anybody; that is, in metaphorical terms, it's a comparing of that bread with the 'Written' Word of God. But, the bread which is in the second compartment cannot be seen but by those of whom God chooses to bring into the second Covenant, because the understanding of it is hidden to natural observances. That would make the second Covenant/Testament to be everlasting and eternal. That is, in metaphorical terms, a comparing of that bread with the 'Living' Word of God.
Now, I'd like to speak further on the words Testament and Covenant themselves, for it could seem to some that I may have been a bit cavalier in my usage of the terms. I am well aware of the controversy over the two words, in that a lot of scholars aren't convinced that the words really have the same meaning. As can be seen from my above statements, I certainly am using them as to meaning the same − despite the fact that the modern dictionary does give the words more than one meaning (well, at least the word Testament, anyway) . . . Let's quickly define the terms:
Covenant (Beriyth), H1285, from Strong's Hebrew Dictionary:
[From the Old Testament] From H1262 (in the sense of cutting (like H1254)); a compact (because made by passing between pieces of flesh): - confederacy, [con-]feder[-ate], covenant, league . . . AMG's Annotated Strong's Dictionaries, © 2009 A.D., adds this: "Covenant, Treaty,
Covenant/Testament (Diatheke), G1242, from Strong's Greek Dictionary:
[From the New Testament (By the way, in the King James Version, both English words − covenant and testament − derive from the very same Greek word)] From G1303; properly a disposition, that is, (specifically) a contract (especially a devisory will): - covenant, testament . . . AMG's Annotated Strong's Dictionaries, © 2009 A.D., adds this: "A Covenant, i.e. a mutual Agreement or mutual Promises upon mutual conditions. In the NT [New Testament], spoken of God's Covenants with men; i.e. the divine promises conditioned on obedience; Of the Abrahamic Covenant; Of the Mosaic Covenant; Of the New Covenant promised of old, and sanctioned by the blood of Christ."
Covenant, from Webster's Dictionary
(published 1828; public domain):
To come; a coming together; a meeting or agreement of minds... 1) A mutual consent or agreement of two or more persons, to do or to forbear some act or thing; a contract; stipulation. A covenant is created by deed in writing, sealed and executed; or it may be implied in the contract. 2) A writing containing the terms of agreement or contract between parties; or the clause of agreement in a deed containing the covenant. 3) In theology, the covenant of works, is that implied in the commands, prohibitions, and promises of God; the promise of God to man.
Testament, from Webster's Dictionary:
2. A solemn authentic instrument in writing, by which a person declares his will as to the disposal of his estate and effects after his death. This is otherwise called a will. A testament, to be valid, must be made when the testator is of sound mind, and it must be subscribed, witnessed and published in such manner as the law prescribes. 2) The name of each general division of the canonical books of the sacred Scriptures; as the Old Testament; the New Testament. The name is equivalent to covenant, and in our use of it, we apply it to the books which contain the old and new dispensations; that of Moses, and that of Jesus Christ.
"[the word 'Testament'] occurs twelve times in the New Testament (Hebrews 9:15, etc.) as the rendering of the Greek diatheke, which is twenty times rendered “covenant” in the Authorized Version, and always so in the Revised Version."
It would seem, however, that most modern commentators today, which I read from, insists that the word Testament is mainly in usage with a dying person's last will and testament toward their beneficiaries, and therefore does not have the same meaning as Covenant. I believe that this is due, in part, to some misunderstanding about a couple of passages in Hebrews . . . Let's once again quote this passage, that I had quoted earlier, to see what I am meaning:
For where a testament [diatheke] is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
These passages are implying, simply, that the Old Covenant itself ceased to exist when Jesus died upon the cross; and had, also at that time, made available the New Covenant to commence: which actually didn't do so until the Day of Pentecost . . . However, both Covenants/Testaments certainly did contain benefits and promises; so, and with that in mind, if one wanted to argue the fact that just like a dying person's last will and testament (and also considering the fact that Covenants commence with death, and with the shedding of blood), that the word Testament certainly can fit in with that tradition − that is, with a last will and testament − then I'd say fine to that comparison, of which I certainly have no problem with! But, even so (and just as the KJV, Authorized Bible Version, shows – which, unlike some Biblical commentators insist on, I believe was no mistake on the Translators' part), I believe that both words are still one and the same!* Especially since The Old Testament/ Covenant was commenced with death and the shedding of blood − since we must consider the animal sacrifices (and especially with the shedding of a lamb's blood) which commenced the Old Covenant − just like it did, later, the New − considering that Jesus is likened to the Lamb that was sacrificed for the New Testament.
Now, summarizing on the manna, just like the natural example before it, which literally was nestled inside the golden pot (way back in that day and time), this spiritual bread (which that bread merely represented) never decays, nor rots; and, Jesus (as I had already said) compared Himself to that bread that had come down from Heaven (and, in turn, was placed into the Ark – and, not on the table in the first compartment!), comparing it to His own body – which He had offered for folks to eat; for, again, it does not decay . . . The folks of the Old Testament ate bread that was only on the show-table; that is – allegorically speaking – of what could be seen out in the open by the whole world; though, it had lasted but for a week, and was temporal. It was the only bread that they could eat, not having access to the hidden manna in the other compartment; but, it wasn't enough to sustain them for eternity*, because that temporal bread wasn't capable (and, neither is it now capable for us), as the other is, to give them eternal life. But, again, that was the only thing available to them at that day and time. So, if we can but eat of the bread inside the
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Let's think about this . . . We learn, from Ephesians 6:17, that the Word of God is compared to a sword – which is true, and is what most folks are already familiar with. Yet here, Paul (the same author from the Ephesians letter) says that the Word of God is sharper than a two-edged sword. How can that be, if the Word is that sword? We must realize that Paul is here, rather than from the Ephesians letter, making reference to the Living Word of God, whilst Ephesians makes reference to the Written Word of God, which has two edges; that is, the Written Word (as referenced in Ephesians) has two edges: the Old and New Testaments. Therefore, we see (from Hebrews) that not only is the Living Word more powerful than the Written Word, but, too, it's strong enough (as Paul also says therein) to separate the soul from the spirit – meaning, specifically, the inward man from the outward man – as one is the creature of the Old Covenant, and the other is the creature of the New Covenant . . . Let's see just exactly how this works...
1 Corinthians 2:14
But the natural man [outward man] receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
So, if there is a natural man who can only understand things of a fleshly nature, is there, then, a spiritual man who understands things of a spiritual nature?
1 Corinthians 15:40
There are also celestial [heavenly/spiritual] bodies, and bodies terrestrial [earthly/fleshly]: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
Let's define this deeper:
1 Corinthians 15:45-50
And so it is written, The first man Adam [of the Old Testament] was made a living soul; the last Adam [Jesus, of the New Testament] was made a quickening spirit [remember Hebrews 4:12, and of the separation of the soul and spirit!]. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural [Adam wasn't spiritual, but natural]; and afterward that which is spiritual [Jesus, however, was spiritual]. The first man is of the earth, earthy [fleshly, carnal]: the second man is the Lord from heaven [spiritual]. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy [Old Testament creatures, who are nothing more than 'outward man,' are only fleshly, and can see only fleshly things]: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly [New Testament folks, who are 'inward man,' observes things of a spiritual nature]. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly [This can and will happen to us, just as it did Adam and Jesus, our first examples]. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the
This is what the Living Word will do for us as opposed to what the Written Word has done. And, this tells us how the Living Word can separate a soul from a spirit; or, and much rather, it shows us the difference between a living soul and a quickening spirit . . . Yes, my friends, there is definitely a huge difference!
As I will certainly cover more on these two creatures in some upcoming books (and, especially since I don't want the topic of it to overshadow our present one), I will leave the matter for now . . . But, I will say this in summary before doing so, that the Old Testament is for an old creature, an old man, an outward man, who will observe things only with a carnal, fleshly mind, and does not understand things of a spiritual nature, and can only worship fleshly, too; whereas the New Testament is for the new creature, a new man, an inward man, who observes the spiritual understandings of the Word of God, applies them to his life as God meant for him to understand them in His Mystery. He observes them spiritually, and understands them with the Mind of Christ; and, therefore, worships God in spirit and in truth, without the institutions of outward rituals, called carnal ordinances. Hence, and from another angle, we have our separation of the Old and New Testaments; for, and again, it's not to be seen or understood merely as old books, but it is to be seen as either living a lifestyle carnally and naturally, or − and much better − as spiritual and heavenly . . . It takes time, and with the Spirit of God training us, for us to be able to cross that line from the Old to the New...
Again, to sum up what we've been saying thus far (in this present chapter), there are two separate books, called the Old and New Testaments. And, within both of them, we can view natural and spiritual interpretations . . . However, that's not what defines the Old and New Testaments, since they are two separate covenants for two different time periods – because, within each, folks lived different kinds of existences: namely, one had a natural existence whilst the other has a spiritual existence; one was a natural Kingdom, and the other is a Spiritual Kingdom. Therefore, our separation of the two Testaments are found within the confines of one being stuck in the natural, and the other aspiring to the spiritual. However, since they both tell of the same story (a progressive story, which begins at the bottom, then elevates to the top), we see both Testaments as to being one big, single Testament – especially since all that was needed to be said was already defined in the book called the Old, and was merely enlightened, by extremely gifted teachers sent by God, in what we call the New . . . This assessment will not only be continued to be defined within this present book, but will also filter throughout my other upcoming books, too.
Now, to end this chapter, let's learn about pivoting scriptures. Pivoting scriptures? Yes, pivoting . . . As we've been learning that we have both natural and spiritual understandings within the Written Word of God, a lot of times we can find this situation in the very same passages! That is, a passage that we can read naturally, we can turn right around and read that very same passage spiritually. This new thought is actually setting us up for the next upcoming chapter, where we shall discuss seeing examples of this in the very first chapter of Genesis . . . Now, that I have said all this, I will be able to introduce my readers to the spiritual beginning, which is cloaked in mystery and dark sayings...
END OF CHAPTER 3
OR, KEEP SCROLLING DOWN FOR CHAPTER 3 END NOTES
The Old Testament's Reliability, and the Vision of the Allegorical Tabernacle in the Wilderness
KEEP SCROLLING DOWN TO THE READ THE END NOTES
And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints.
And, let's again consider Matthew's words (especially at the end of verse 35):
All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
I will deal with this bold statement of mine, and in detail, in my upcoming book, entitled: 'Carnal Ordinances: The Naturalistic World That Had Come To An End.'
As we read in Exodus chapter 16, the manna that fell down from the sky with the morning dew, and of which substance the children of Israel in the wilderness made small cakes or loaves of bread with, was a very natural substance, and was very delicate, for it not only became rancid with the strong afternoon sun, which came out strongly later in the day, but the manna also became worm infested and stunk heavily. Neither could any extra of it be stored overnight (even away from the sun) to where it could be worked with the following day. Not only so, but all the people had to eat what they had gathered that day, and retrieve fresh batches each morning. We cannot imagine that even when they baked the stuff, and made cakes and loaves of bread out of it, that it would last very long before it rotted, as well. Neither can we be certain of how long it lasted once cooked; but, we do know that several baked loaves of it lasted an entire week upon the table in the first compartment of the Tabernacle for worship purposes. Now, whether that bread was just sturdy enough to last that long on its own, or whether God simply blessed it to have this longevity, we cannot say for sure. But, we can ascertain, from Leviticus, that God wished for the priests to actually eat the week old bread before placing fresh loaves thereon.
And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth deals shall be in one cake. And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before the LORD. And thou shalt put pure frankincense upon each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto the LORD. Every sabbath [after one week] he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being taken from the children of
Of the things that we've been speaking, the Apostle Paul maps all of this out for us in Hebrews chapter 9 – please read the whole chapter for a better understanding. But, specifically, concerning the manna inside the golden pot, we read:
And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all [i.e. the second compartment in the Tabernacle]; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant.
We see how this works by comparing these scriptures:
I am that bread of life.
I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us...
By putting all of these verses together, we will begin forming a picture. A picture that, in this present book, I will try and be vague about. Not that I'm trying to hide anything, or that I don't have an understanding as to what they're implying, it's just that I am saving the full thrust, and the deep kernel of the matter, for my future book (as I've mentioned in an earlier End Note), entitled: 'Carnal Ordinances: The Naturalistic World That Had Come To An End.' Once revealed there, it'll be seen clearly why I had chose to wait to explain the details therein; for it – truly – takes a while to explain, and I certainly don't want that topic to overshadow this present one. So, for now, I will simply point out the obvious connection of Bread, Word, and Flesh – which all three paint a picture of the body of Christ; i.e. the Living Word ... I'm sure that a lot of folks already know where I'm going with this; but, again, I want to be very careful not to expound any further, for I'm already saying too much about the Carnal Ordinances in here, and I really don't want to spoil the fun of my upcoming book!
My dad used to warn me not to over-spiritualize the Bible away. In fact, I remember one man, that got up to speak in a house-meeting I attended years ago, who said that Jesus Himself was only a parable, and that He never actually existed in the flesh! There are some Creation Scientists who are extremely leery of anybody 'spiritualizing' the Bible at all – especially in the first chapters of Genesis – and are warning folks not to listen to anybody who does this, for many of them do say, admittedly, that Genesis is nothing more than a moral lesson, which holds no historic value. Therefore, they continue to say, the stories in them, though inspired by God, are mere parables [i.e. fables, in their estimation] that do not reflect any actual events of any historical personages. Much the same, as many of them continue to think, of when Jesus told His parables, telling only simple stories which conveyed moralistic lessons only; even though His parables, as they apparently are unaware, did contain historic truths. Without doubt, such thoughts can certainly open the door for complete evolutionist thinking – seeing the need for scientific explanations for our natural beginnings if those folks believe that the Bible fails in that area. In such a predicament, it is therefore easy to rely upon secular scientists (who were not directed by God – nor who had the Bible in mind to explain their theories by) to start explaining this planet's origins. But, there's a problem with that, because, just as Phillip E. Johnson, in his wonderful book 'Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds,' [1997 InterVarsity Press], points out to us that modern mainstream scientific views of a Deity demand that evolutionist processes did not have God in mind. He then, in chapter 1, on page 15, begins to amply quote the 1995 official position statement of the American National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT); which, even though giving the routine example about how life evolved, added that the process was 'unsupervised,' and 'impersonal.' Which certainly shows us that mainstream evolutional science does not comply with Genesis chapter one, or that they anywhere near believe that God had anything to do with this planet's origins. And, even though many Christians think that there's perfect harmony between evolutional science and the Bible, the mainstream evolutionists, however, completely disagrees. And, not only did these secular scientists not have God in mind whilst making their views known, but many of them even began their premise that He, along with His Bible, should be left out of the equation at all costs! Therefore, if examined closely, their conclusions are the complete opposite to what we read in God's Written Word – especially when we carefully analyze the compared data between the two views ... But, and even though that were the case, after years of consideration to Mr. Johnson's concerns, the NABT, after a few bouts amongst themselves, had finally decided to drop the words 'unsupervised' and 'impersonal' from their initial statement; though, not all of them wanted to. This crusade, to drop the words was, surprisingly, championed by Dr Eugenie C. Scott, one of the biggest opponents to the Creationist world scientific view. You can read her own words, and to her reasons why she campaigned the idea, at this website: ncse.com/library-resource/science-religion-methodology-humanism. However, and even though they've reluctantly dropped the two words, it does not change the fact that they still see it the same way that they always have! ... Even though I certainly do not agree with the American National Association of Biology Teachers' initial assessment, this is not the book to produce the cons of such an idea. However, I will certainly recommend for my readers Phillip E. Johnson's well written book, which I have just mentioned, along with another of his that I found most intriguing, called 'Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law and Education,' [1995 InterVarsity Press] ... On another note, I want to prove, in this present book, that there is a satisfactory middle ground for both the spiritualizing of the scriptures and the naturalizing. I also feel that just like somebody can over-spiritualize them, one can also over simplify by naturalizing them too much, as well. This is why, as I've said earlier, that God wishes for us to rightly divide the Bible into its natural and spiritual camps. I feel that I've given sufficient proof, by quoting the Written Word, that there are scriptures therein that have to be spiritualized, to where there can be no other way of getting around them. But, too, I certainly feel that if one were to take away the natural, historical interpretations, then one can miss out on truths, also. Both are equally important to the salvation of man, because one of them (the natural) is a step toward the other (the spiritual); though, as I've stated in an earlier chapter, it's the spiritual implications which actually lead to eternal life – such as obtaining pure, agape, Godly love (which – again, as I've explained in my first book – is a spiritual love): of which, the natural cannot obtain, nor produce. Not only so, but we must also remember that without any natural implications, the spiritual road could never even be reached to begin with. Therefore, one without the other is completely impossible. In most cases, before there can ever be any spiritual interpretations, the natural examples have to exist first so that we can obtain the proper understanding. This is why the natural interpretations are also termed as 'similitude's,' in that one is similar to the other; and, they belong to one another. This mirrors perfectly the balance of God, in that there are 'two's' of things in nature, such as two eyes, two legs, two arms, male and female, hot and cold, left and right, forward and backward, up and down, north and south, east and west, good and evil, night and day, happy and sad, sane and insane, love and hate, hard and soft, etc ... just as there is natural and spiritual, old and new Testaments, old and new Covenants...
'E-Sword, the Sword of the Lord with an electronic edge,' says: "
William Tyndale also translates diatheke as 'Testament' in his translation of the book of Hebrews; however, J.P. Green Sr., in his Literal Translation, does not. He translates the word as 'Covenant' instead. In fact,
A contract or agreement between two parties. In the Old Testament the Hebrew word berith is always thus translated ... The corresponding word in the New Testament Greek is diatheke, which is, however, rendered “testament” generally in the Authorized Version. It ought to be rendered, just as the word berith of the Old Testament, “covenant.”
This should not cause us any problems, for I think the argument is just splitting hairs! Frankly, I cannot see why we cannot see both Testament and Covenant as to being the same word. God made a Covenant with Moses on Sinai, and it became the 'official' commencement of the Testament of God, which we now call the Old Testament – especially when blood was spilt by sacrificing a lamb offering to commence that Covenant [Hebrews 9:18 – Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood]. Then, in the same manner, when the Lamb of God (Jesus) was sacrificed on the cross, with the spilling of that Lamb's blood, it allowed the New Testament/Covenant to commence on the Day of Pentecost, as the last will and testament of Jesus Christ, who did, indeed, die ... Praise be to God, though, that He rose again! ... Too, we do not have technical difficulties in also recognizing that the book of Genesis was enveloped within that Old Testament/Covenant, just as we shouldn't have any problems in including the Four Gospels into our New Testament books ... First of all, and just like Paul points out in Romans 5:14, death had reigned from Adam to Moses (for this was before the actual Written Law, and its official commencement); but, it certainly doesn't mean that God wasn't still working with those folks prior to Moses within the confines of that particular Covenant and Law. In fact, we see traces of that Law as far back as Adam, when God told him not to eat of the forbidden fruit [Genesis 2:16-17]. Indeed, the basic sense of what God told him is certainly found in the Ten Commandments, since that forbidden fruit wasn't actual, literal fruit; but, that fruit was none other than the fruit of the flesh, which we read about in Galatians 5:19-21 – which is the exact opposite, and is in opposition to the fruits of the Spirit: Galatians 5:22-23. And, as far as including the Four Gospels in the New Testament/Covenant, we can do so (despite me saying that it officially commenced when Jesus died on the cross and with the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost) because Christ came to not only fulfill (bring to a close) the Old Testament/Covenant, but also to teach the ways of the New – just as John the Baptist prepared folks for the New, because all those people were right at the doorstep of the next Testament ... On a side note, and as we will see in an upcoming End Note for chapter 10 of this present book, Jesus was already in the 2nd Covenant prior to his death on the cross ... Really? Yes; but, He was the only one there at that particular time. I'll give you a hint: Jesus said so Himself in John 3:13c ... Let that whet your appetite!
John 6:48-51 (Jesus speaking)
I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna [natural bread] in the wilderness, and are dead. This [however – i.e. Jesus] is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread [i.e. the Living Word] which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.