SEEKING THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL
FROM THE BIBLE TEACHINGS OF
TED A. ROBERTS
IN THE BEGINNING
It was Spiritual From the Very Start
"The Spiritual Side of Creation, Part I."
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
Seeking the Everlasting Gospel Ministries
Digging Scriptures for Truth
©copyright 2017 by Ted A. Roberts
www.facebook.com/truthdigging · www.facebook.com/seekingthegospel
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.
Even though the last paragraph (just above) is the text that appears in my book, I must warn the reader that this present website does not allow certain formats to carry-over from my original Word files. For instance, important italicized words do NOT show in the scriptural quotes below - unless I spend time (that I do not have) manually adding them back in! For certain, in my Paperback books and Ebooks, the formatting is how it should appear. Therefore, you might want to read scripture passages in your own Bible as well as on here to preserve proper italics in said scriptures. However, do not skip my quotes within the scriptures, for (and also of importance) I add my own notes within many of them.
FOR MORE OF TED'S BIBLE SUBJECTS, AND OF OTHER UPCOMING BOOK PROJECTS, PLEASE CHECK OUT TED'S BIBLE SUBJECTS PAGE,
AND TED'S BOOKS PAGE...
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 Spiritual Garden
The Spiritual Side of Creation, Part II.
THE SUN, THE MOON, & THE STARS:
Glories in the Heavens
The Spiritual Side of Creation, Part III.
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 scriptures 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*1). 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.
Ted A. Roberts
EXPLANATORY NOTE for THE INTRODUCTION
EXPLANATORY NOTE for THE INTRODUCTION
*1. Godly knowledge, wisdom, and understanding...
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.
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 the topic of metaphoric understandings will also be covered in two other books (in this three part topic within the Seeking the Everlasting Gospel teaching series − see page 4), the ‘beginning' will only be spoken on 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, if some folks have already figured that those things were in there to begin with, their thoughts will simply be strengthened. Finally, it’ll be pointed out, along with other ideas, the differences of both the natural and the spiritual camps of understanding of the Written Word of God. And, again, that will be accomplished 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*2 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*3), 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.*4 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.*5
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:
Saint John 3:12 (Jesus talking with Nicodemus)
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,*6 let Him circumcise our ears*7 and our hearts,*8 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.
St. John 19:12
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 St. John 19, may hold the key:
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 prophesied 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.*9
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.*10 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*11 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, carnal man to teach us anything.
EXPLANATORY NOTES for Chapter 1:
EXPLANATORY NOTES for Chapter 1:
*2. A number of Creation Scientists...
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.
*3. There are many good books already in print on that subject that expounds upon this...
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: youtube.com/channel/UCxiEtqPja47nnqsJNrdOIQQ ... (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 Spirit 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.
*4. And were true historical events...
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.
*5. Parable / Proverb...
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.
*6. An ear to hear...
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.
*7. Circumcise our ears...
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.
*8. Circumcise our hearts...
...all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.
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 Israel.
*9. There is nothing new under the sun...
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 there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
*10. Are in need of being taught...
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?
*11. Out of his belly...
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.
MORE TO COME SOON...
MORE TO COME SOON...