Questions and challenges: Revelation 20 and the Great White Throne.

Questions and challenges: Revelation 20 and the Great White Throne.

The premise, posed far too many times, is that God sends everyone appearing before this throne to the lake of fire and it’s eternal hell.

Question: If all you used for your argument was Revelation 20 verse 15, could you find God showing anyone mercy there?
The mercy is there, but you have to look for it, and you have to take in the entire context of an aspect of God’s conversation that he is having with John, as he describes the judgment taking place there.

Before we dive in, there are some considerations to keep in mind.

  • The entirety of the Revelation is about Jesus Christ.

Revelation 1:1 KJV The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

  • This reference to a Great White Throne is only found here in the Revelation.

However, you can find references to, the throne of His kingdom; a great throne of ivory, covered over in gold (1Kings 10:18); the Lord’s throne (Psalm 11:4); His Holy throne (Psalm 47:8); Isaiah 66:1 says, Heaven is My throne; Jeremiah 17:12 calls it a glorious throne, and, Matthew 25:31 which declares that He will sit on His Glorious Throne.

  • This throne represents judgment.

Isn’t that odd, our introduction to Matthew 25:31 is presented by the translators of the NASB as the throne of judgment as well, and that idea is seen here in Psalm 9:7.

Psalm 9:7 But the LORD abides forever; He has established His throne for judgment,
In opposition to the throne of judgment, Psalm 76:9 tells us that His purpose is to save the humble of the earth.

To the Jews he said,

Jeremiah 2:35 Yet you said, ‘I am innocent; Surely His anger is turned away from me.’ Behold, I will enter into judgment with you Because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’

Ezekiel 20:35 and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face.

Ezekiel 39:21 “And I will set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed and My hand which I have laid on them.

But to those who have placed their hopes and lives into His hands, He says,

John 5:24 NASB “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Jesus, as recorded in John 5:25-27, tells us the same thing we see in Revelation 20. There is, however, a difference as he says, “when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.” Perhaps this can explain how the dead are now standing before the throne.

John 5:25-27 NASB “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26) “For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; 27) and He gave Him authority to execute judgment because He is the Son of Man.

Note how many of the aspects of this statement from 1 Corinthians parallels Matthew 25:31

1 Corinthians 4:5 NASB Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.

One last thing I want to consider as I ponder the potential for mercy in Revelation 20:15, is that all judgment has been given to Jesus and that all punishment for sins was placed upon Him, on the cross.

The evidence for this statement comes from several locations throughout the Bible; here are just a few.

Ezekiel 16:62-63 NASB “Thus I will establish My covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the LORD, 63) so that you may remember and be ashamed and never open your mouth anymore because of your humiliation, when I have forgiven you for all that you have done,” the Lord GOD declares.

Jesus declared and established this new covenant when He ate the last supper, with the disciples. For us, the cross was sealed with the blood of that covenant, His blood.

Colossians 1:20 NASB and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

To reconcile is to bring a thing back into harmony. Did that happen that day on the cross? Without a doubt. I know this because Colossians 1:20 tells me it happened through the blood of His cross.

Colossians 2:13-14 NASB 13) When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14) having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

So, with all that being said, what then are these people being judged for, as they are brought before the “Great White Throne”?

Perhaps the answer to that could easily be summed up with a verse or two.

John 12:44 NASB And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me.

Believe in Jesus and believe in the Father who sent Him. While there is always more to such a simplistic statement, the premise is just that simple. Here is a bit more depth.

John 14:10-13 NASB “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11) “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. 12) “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13) “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Romans 4:21-25 NASB and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. 22) Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. 23) Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, 24) but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25) He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.

Your belief in Jesus is tied in with your faith in the Father. That Father is Jehovah, Elohim, not Allah.

Occasionally, our men’s study leader takes a few weeks off and switches topics, but eventually, the judgmentalism creeps back in. When it does most of the men that attend the study, side with the leader and demand that all before that Great White Throne are sent to hell. While there is no doubt that some in that crowd get sent to hell, but it is only because they have chosen, in their arrogance, to go there.

2 Peter 3:9 NASB The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

As you can see from above, that God is not looking for reasons to punish anyone; and, He is certainly not going to penalize us merely because we currently have this built-in ability to create and participate in iniquity. I understand this based on the passages I have already shown you. If your actions include breaking the laws of man, then there is a prescribed punishment met out here on earth, and it often includes jail time. But God has set all sin aside, by putting the sentence and payment upon Jesus. Since that time God is looking for one thing, did you, in any way, act in the nature and character of God who created you?

Revelation 20:15 – We will start this dissemination here, with the KJV, as that was shoved in my face recently.

Revelation 20:15 KJV And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

As I have pondered these words a bit more, I can see that the KJV is not so ominous and that it does demonstrate some variability.

The phrase, “and whosoever was not found,” indicates that there was a serious look, in this case, into the Book of Life. Obviously, there were some who did not have their names written in that book. There is nothing about the phrase that indicates an all-encompassing number. It does, however, open the door to some quantity that was found there.

As I have talked about this Great White Throne scenario with a few open-minded people, I pointed out how this becomes little more than a cruel joke when you bring people before this throne of judgment, with the possibility that you might gain entrance into the kingdom of God; only to find that God knew all along that there was no hope for you. What I have described in this paragraph, is in complete opposition to who God is and how He acts. God already knows whether your name is there or not, and some of these people are found in God’s books. Look at this interaction between God and Moses.

Exodus 32:32-33 KJV Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. 33) And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

Without the assurance of salvation which we obtain in Jesus Christ, how did Moses understand that his name was written in God’s book? And then, God’s response, whosoever has sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. The implications are that we are erased, not written in.

How did King David know that his name was already in the book?

Psalms 139:16 CJB Your eyes could see me as an embryo, but in your book, all my days were already written; my days had been shaped before any of them existed.

When I was challenged about Revelation 20:15, it was an attempt to draw me into an ongoing argument with my father and another bible screamer who was a part of the dinner crowd that night. My dad pushed his phone at me, which was the KJV and said read it. I responded by bringing up the NASB and thrust it at him and said the same thing. My version reads, “if anyone.” This phrase takes no effort on my part to see that it is a variable. I used see statements like this in math. The variable is that He does look for their names and finds many.

I believe that what we see here in Revelation 20:15 is the same story as Matthew 25:31, only from a different perspective. The major differences are,

  • The Revelation focuses on Jesus as God, while the story in Matthew 25 focuses on Jesus as a gentle shepherd.

  • In Matthew’s account, it merely says that all the nations shall be gathered before him, while the Revelation tells us that all the dead are brought before Him.

How do you rectify the differences between the two versions? Walk through the known factors.

  • The church was caught up, and the dead in Christ rose first.

    This act, on God’s part, eliminates the church from the equation.

  • After the rapture, the wrath of God is now being poured out upon the earth, and people are being slaughtered for the testimony which they held. There is little to protect these people from 100-pound hailstones, and the other onslaughts being poured out and are therefore killed by God’s wrath and the wrath of humankind.

Those who die for their testimony are resurrected at the end of the seven-years and reign with Christ throughout the thousand years. So, they are not included among the nations or the dead we see before this throne.

So, who is left?

Keep in mind that since Christ formed the church, there have only been three people groups in the world: the Jews; the nations, and the Church. Since the church has been caught up, leaving only the Jews and the nations those who’ have not accepted God’s leadership, then you are left to fall under the category of the nations – those outside of a relationship with God. We know from the Revelation that the number of people who come to a relationship with Jesus Christ is innumerable.

From the beginning of time there have always been those outside of relationship with the Father, and these are the focus here at the Great White Throne, but the assumption is that you have to be alive to stand there, and that is not what we see in Revelation 20:12 “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God.”

The next question you have to ask is, do we ever really die? The answer is no. God then, brings in all those who have previously ceased to breathe, and, have no standard religious form of salvation, as the church requires. Some would argue that NO ONE comes to the Father except through Jesus and their path through the religious form would prove their acceptance into the kingdom.

Isaiah 26:19 KJV Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

Again Matthew’s gospel recorded one of Jesus responses which we find in Matthew 25:1-13. Here Jesus told us about the ten virgins, all receiving the same invitation to the wedding. However, half were not prepared and therefore missed the entry. If this is an allusion to the church, then next time you sit among your congregation look around, for half are not prepared and will prove their allegiance to the Father, during the time of wrath, with their lives.

Since the book of Revelation is the revealing of Jesus, then this is none other than Jesus sitting upon this great throne. Should they obtain mercy, then yes, they are only coming to the Father through Jesus, and the dilemma is solved.

Matthew 25 speaks only of the nations being brought before his throne of glory. I point this out in contrast to Revelation 20 where we only see the dead being brought before the throne. Once again, the church was taken out of the way, and the martyred saints were resurrected to reign with Christ, leaving only the Jews and the nations. This throne of judgment is set up at the end of the thousand-year reign, immediately after the mass deception where the nations have risen against God and the Holy City. Here, all those deceived are killed (caused to no longer breath.) While this number makes up a vast portion of those standing before the throne, there will be others and may include some Jews and pretend church people.

Since we can’t tell who the pretenders are most of the time, perhaps the best approach is to educate them on and in, God’s word.


Posted in bible study, End times, false teaching, gentiles, God's character, Jerusalem, Jesus, Jews, judgment, Matthew's gospel, Mercy, Our being caught up, Revelation, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A topic far too familiar and yet do we know how to study the Bible?

It’s not just that we don’t know our Bible but that we have so fragmented, dissected, and compartmentalized the Bible that we have lost sight of its great overarching story.”

Hugh Whelchel i

Occasionally I ask myself, what motivates me to write. In response, I would have to say it’s religious opposition and a deeply seated desire to see the church walking in truth. The idea of walking in truth, in my mind, means a church that is trained appropriately in the Word. I don’t see that happening at any of the churches I have been a part of.

An aspect of that opposition recently occurred as a “brother” in Christ, told a friend of mine, that I believe life has to be one-way, mine. Have you read any of my posts? Do I present myself like that? Hardly, I attempt to show God’s word as the only basis for truth, and, in a manner that people can understand. I suppose, to some degree, that means adding my commentary to what I write in an effort to promote understanding, but leaving the decision-making process to the reader, as they accept or reject God’s word. With that understanding you are not rejecting me, you are denying God’s truth and mercy, as you refuse what God’s word says.

Elijah, the prophet, bemoaned his situation and cried out that he was alone in Israel.

1 Kings 19:9-10 NASB Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10) He said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”

And yes, that is the way I feel some days. God’s response.

1 Kings 19:18 NASB “Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

I realize that I am not alone, but the number of those who are passionate about God are few. I am fortunate to sit with a few of them on a weekly basis.

Having had someone say of me, “he believes it has to be, his way or no way,” is somewhat like a slap in my face, and I can tell you I am highly intolerant of actions like that. So, why would someone say something like that about me? Perhaps it is because I am very passionate about truth and God’s word.

Sending everyone to hell at the Great White Throne has nothing to do with truth; it merely demonstrates how adamant this man is about judgment, something we are to leave to Jesus, [especially since ALL judgment has/or will be given to Him.]

The Apostle Paul was not put off by the scholars of the Berean community. In fact, he thought highly of them. This body of believers did their research and found that Torah and Tanakh validated what Paul was saying. Having legitimized Paul’s statements they believed. When you consider the limited resources, these men had, our accolades for them should be even more significant.

Let me give you an example of what this opposition to, and the rejection of, the truth looks like.

The man who leads the Monday morning study, once again pointed out that he was an ordained Bible study leader, not a pastor. As the leader, he has just about every week, exclaimed that everyone brought to the Great White Throne judgment is sent to hell. If you are a reasonable student of the Bible you should be asking, is that a correct statement? The answer is NO, but why would you know that?
Because you have read the Word of God, as you should; you looked at the context; compared alternate texts and scenarios, and, like a hungry pet who has, awaited you to come home so they can eat, chewed on and ingested every word so that you could understand the depth and meaning of the Greek words being used and their Hebrew origins. But here is where the problem lays, as statistically, no one does that?

The statistical work I am going to show you were undertaken by Lifeway Research in 2014. Here is an excerpt from Christianity Today.ii

Some Stats to Consider

Bible Reading

Americans read the Bible on occasion—churchgoers a little more. In a recent LifeWay Research study, we learned the following about our Bible reading habits among church attendees. They indicated that they read their Bible as follows:

19% – Every day

26% – A few times a week

14% – Once a week

22% – At least once a month

18% – Rarely or never.

There are a couple of interesting takeaways from this study. Almost 60% of churchgoers open our Bibles at home during the week at least once. And for every person who is reading his/her Bible every day (19%), someone isn’t… at all (18%).”

Do you think, in this condition of apostasy, that the numbers would improve any as time progresses?

I was pondering this idea before pulling up the statistical information. My guess/estimate would have been about 20% of the “church” actually reading their Bibles every day. But even then I could see a problem with that number because I sit with some of these 20% per-centers, and know for a fact that they will not move off their traditional interpretations and understandings regardless of what you show them in scripture. Are you beginning to see a problem? Illiteracy has no option but to run rampant through the church; And, it is not just the church. I just read yesterday, 5/10/2018, that schools have found they are going to have to take down the analog clocks on the schoolhouse walls and replace them with digital clocks because no one can read them.

Let’s go back to the significant false teaching of the morning “bible” study – how that everyone coming before the Great White Throne goes to a fiery hell.

The first question is: how does one study the Bible? It seems to me that everyone should know how to do this; in truth, I had to learn how.

Every student should:

  • Read the text without a premise.

    As you read ask, what is this passage supposed to be saying to me?

    Do not merely assume that the teacher standing before you, saying things like, “What Paul is saying here,” is the truth. [Here is a heads up. Paul, a former Pharisee, a man who was very skillful at what he did, had no problem speaking to JEWS, about this new life and grace found in Christ. This is the case as Saul/Paul spoke about the Hebrew wording within the Law and the Prophets and pointed out the evidence in those words, which led to an understanding, in those who chose to listen, that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah they longed for. Paul made it clear that our acceptance of Yahshua brought about this life and the hope we have come to understand.]

    The idea of reading without a premise can be applied to my pastor’s sermons since he has a motive and a point to be made. In pushing his motive, he has created a premise and is working to make the scriptures fit his premise. These directed efforts often work in opposition to my understanding of Bible study.

  • Look at the context.

    An example of this applies to what I am going to analyze momentarily – Matthew 25, where we see the sheep and the goats at the throne of judgment. The context surrounding this word picture begins in Matthew 21, when Jesus rides into Jerusalem, on the back of an unridden donkey – the Rolls Royce of the day, and He is perceived as the Messiah Israel hoped for. Unfortunately, He did not do what the disciples, nor the people expected, as He overturned the sellers tables, chairs, and loosed their merchandise where they had been selling, in the court of the Gentiles. And then, Jesus got into a verbal confrontation with the elders and Pharisees. All this activity shook the disciples and prompted them to ask, “when will all these things come to pass, and what will be the sign of your coming as the Messiah.

    I am always analyzing the scriptures even as the pastor speaks. I examine the context and what the interlinear Greek or Hebrew dictionary says the words mean. Occasionally, the pastor is preaching in opposition to what the words mean. As a side note: Pastor and I had a bad moment one day, as he challenged me about my intensive focus on end times and the eschatology books of the Bible. In his indictment of me, he said, “Notice how in my sermons, I present the gospel in a manner that brings about change in people.” I try not to overthink the pastor’s words that day, but isn’t that what the Word of God is supposed to do, change people?

  • Look for a comparative text.

    Many of the Calvary Chapel pastors, like Don Stewart or the late Chuck Smith, used to say, “allow scripture to define scripture.” What does that mean? As I read the Revelation, I see where John, on two occasions, in speaking to the churches, uses the term the Synagogue (Rev 2:9, Rev 3:9.) Why is this significant? Because John, was not writing in code as some would ascribe, he was writing to Jewish converts/followers of Christ. And therefore, spoke in a language they would immediately understand. Greek, of course, was one aspect of this language but the other carried the oral history and word stories from the Old Testament. The evidence for this is rather extensive and is demonstrated in the writings of James (James 2:2) and the Apostle Paul. Read Acts 18. In every city we find Paul entering the local Synagogue and preaching. For over fifteen years Paul preached, almost exclusively, to Jews. It was only after years of abuse at the hands of religious Jews that Paul finally said, and I am taking this message to the Gentiles.

    The Apostle John, James, Peter, and Paul focused their attention on the Jewish community. Peter, although he had a brief exchange with the Roman Centurion’s family, maintained, as did James and John, a focus on Jews. [Read Paul’s account in Galatians 2,] Many of these believed for years that this gospel of Jesus was meant exclusively for Jews. Peter, in 2 Peter 3:10 says,

    But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.” NASB

    This passage has clear and definite associations with Isaiah 13:9; Jeremiah 46:10 among others.

    In conjunction with the idea of comparative texts, was the indication that everything, aside from direct revelation from the Holy Spirit, came out of the Torah and Tanakh. Paul’s letters; James words on wisdom, and the Revelation that John conveyed, all came from the Old Testament. We can put this idea of comparative texts into action where Revelation speaks of a multi-headed beast with crowns and horns (Revelation 13:1). This imagery is found in multiple locations but primarily in the words of the prophet Daniel (Daniel 7:7).

Matthew 25:31-45, where we see the sheep and goats, is a comparative text. The words Jesus spoke were in response to questions His Jewish disciples ask him, and those words made sense to a Jewish audience. If you had been a student in Synagogue school you were expected to memorize the Old Testament teachings. Therefore, one might expect that these people were looking for these events to happen.

  • Try to take in as much of the background wording into consideration as you can.

    When I look at Matthew 25:31-45 in the NASB, the segment that speaks of the sheep and goats carries the headline, The Final Judgment. That headline in itself gives me nothing of value except as a reference point. If I were looking for a direct association to the final judgment, there is nothing within these verses that define this explicitly by using that terminology.

    Can I find an inference of final judgment in verse 31?

Matthew 25:31 NASB “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.

  1. Here you see the Son of Man coming in His glory.

    This is the same Jesus that Stephen saw, as he stood before the Jewish council (Acts 7:55-56,) and it is the same Jesus that Daniel saw in Daniel 7:13.

  2. And, He will sit on His glorious throne.

    There is a passage in Joel 3:12 that would cause the audience listening to the speaker that day to take note. Joel 3:12 LITV Let the nations be awakened and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat. For there I will sit to judge all the nations all around.

This passage in Joel can easily be associated with the judgment we are about to see in Matthew 25. These two points alone do not convince me, as we see Jesus coming in Revelation 19 prior to Him being seated for judgment, and, there is no account of Him sitting upon His throne in Revelation 19.

To be honest, I have to stretch my mind a bit to see the final judgment. However, if I look at the next verse, the finality suddenly becomes clearer, especially if I have an understanding of Joel 3:12. [Mat 25:32 And before Him shall be gathered all the nations;]

There is only one glorious throne.

Is this the same throne that we see in Revelation? We have to look at Revelation 20:11 and see if there is something here that matches.

Revelation 20:11 NASB Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.

    • A great white throne

      Our only references to a white throne come from 1 Kings 10:18 and 2Ch 9:17, and they are effectively the same story

      1 Kings 10:18 NASB Moreover, the king made a great throne of ivory and overlaid it with refined gold.

      Ezekiel tells us what he saw, Ezekiel 1:26 NASB Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, was a figure with the appearance of a man.

lapis lazuli – Sapphire – Clear heavenly blue. Apparently, the color is insignificant.

In 1Kings 10:18 it is clear that this is a great throne, and in Daniel 7:9 Daniel sees the throne as being fiery flames.

Although you don’t see this happening in Matthew 25, Revelation 20:7-8 tells us that after the thousand years, Satan is released from his prison and he deceives the nations. Those nations, in turn, surround the city of God in an attempt to kill God and His people. Those gathered are killed in an instant. The next event scripture shows us is the gathering of the nations, or, as Matthew 25 puts it, the dead are brought before this great throne.

Although my methods of sorting out what I read, and disseminating the false teachings I hear, might be different than what you learn in seminary, they work for me. You also just got the added benefit of some insight into a false teaching that seems to enjoy sending all who approach the throne of judgment, to hell. A serious look at scripture will demonstrate that such a teaching is blatantly false and damaging to our understanding of who God is.

iThe Church’s Secret: Biblical Illiteracy in the 21st Century, Hugh Whelchel, writing for the Institute for Faith, Work and Economics. March 13, 2017.

Posted in Apostasy, bible study, Cult teachings, deception, false teaching, gentiles, God's character, grace, healing, hypocrisy, In Christ, Jesus, Jews, Law of liberty, Mercy, Peace, Prophetic, recovery, The supremacy of Christ, The Word was God, Thoughts, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A study/commentary on 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-4

I primarily use the NASB, but occasionally I find it deficient; I will insert other translations if they can clarify the context. Those translations will be duly noted.

Chapter one was an appropriate greeting, but chapter two stands alone and begins to immediately address fears that have come as the result of some false teaching.

This theme was not a new to Paul as he had written to the Christ-followers in Thessalonica on a previous occasion.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 NASB 13) But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15) For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16) For the Lord, Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17) Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

Considering the years between these two letters, the new members that had been added to the church body, and the addition of some false teachings, the fear has had a chance to creep in. I see the effects of false teachings frequently in the church bodies I have had dealings with, as people espouse things they know so little about; all the while continuing to cloud the issue.

So let’s dissect the passages and see if we can understand all that Paul is trying to say.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 NASB 1) Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2) that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,”

Coming – is the Greek word parousia; a being near, that is, advent (often, return; specifically of Christ to punish Jerusalem, or finally the wicked.) Strong’s concordance.

In the explanation above I see two distinctly different things.

  • One being Jehovah’s return in the clouds to catch His church away. This catching away is called the harpazo, but it is also known as the advent or return.

  • The second possible understanding is this idea of the punishment of Jerusalem or the wicked. This concept pertains to the wrath of God being poured out. One of the keys to understanding the difference between Jesus return for His church and His coming as the conquering Messiah hangs on this phrase – “ the day of the Lord.” Using the NASB concordance, the expression shows up in 22 verses. 18 of those references are found in the Old Testament. Since the Tenach is designed for a Jewish audience then the language and references are expressly Jewish; that means that the phrase – the day of the Lord, is almost exclusively about the return of the Messiah.

    Of the four verses left and found in the New Testament, three of them are exclusively about the catching away of the church. This catching away is that time when Jesus comes back in the clouds for His church, and they will be caught up to meet Him in the air. 2Peter 3:10 leans more toward the time of the end, as it tells us that, “the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.” While all of these things are a part of the seven-year period the implications are that this will happen almost all at once when Jesus returns to the earth for the final time. You see, this is one of those areas that are not that black and white.

    So, let’s see if the context of the passage answers the question about when this event will happen.

While I understand that Paul was addressing the body of believers in Thessalonica (a primarily Jewish audience,) these words also apply to us. I do not hear this complaint or question anymore, but I am aware that many do believe that Christ has already returned. If that is the case, what are we doing and why are we wasting our time?

But Christ has not already returned. How do I know that? Well there are markers, or some might think of them as guideposts along the way, and Paul spells them out.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 NASB 3) Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4) who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

  • The apostasy comes first.”

    Since apostasy means a falling away, I ask you, has that happened? Absolutely, and at an exponential rate.

  • and the man of lawlessness is revealed,”

I want to show you some alternate readings.

This second selection is from the Complete Jewish Bible, and it translates this passage entirely different from anyone else. Why is this significant? Because even the Muslims have prophecies, and one of them describes such a man;

2 Thessalonians 2:3 Darby Let not any one deceive you in any manner, because it will not be unless the apostasy have first come, and the man of sin have been revealed, the son of perdition;

2 Thessalonians 2:3 CJB Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. For the Day will not come until after the Apostasy has come and the man who separates himself from Torah has been revealed, the one destined for doom.

  • A man who is a descendant of Aaron –

    The priests were to come from the lineage of Aaron. Since we know that the temple will be rebuilt, then practically every preparation would have to be made at this point, for a high priest to be installed. He then would be the one to enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood of the lamb.

  • The Muslim prophecies tell us that this Jew will reject the Torah, pay homage to the Mahdi, and follow him.

    Do you grasp the depth of this action? Many who have esteemed this Jew enough to appoint him as the high priest over the new temple will be deceived, turn from the true God, and follow his actions as they too will bow to the Mahdi in worship. This Mahdi appears to be the Islamic religious leader that will soon be saying peace, peace. Most of this takes place 1260 days into the time of wrath upon the earth.

I am always concerned that people will see my words as unbelievable.

If, you are a follower of Jesus Christ, then, you are under a mandate to study to show not only, yourself, to be approved by God, but to judge the words being said to you, as to whether they are true or not. You are not doing this type of study to bash people, although I sometimes think that many should shut their mouths, but you are studying these things so that you can know what is right.

Let me show you an example: I believe in the pre-tribulation rapture, regardless of the poor choice of words we traditionally use. Although there is a voluminous amount of those in opposition to this understanding, I did my homework and became even more thoroughly convinced that Jesus is coming back for His church that is waiting for Him, and, He is going to do so before God’s wrath is poured out upon the earth.

Specific reasons why I believe in a pre-wrath rapture.

  • Matthew 3:7 NASB But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

    The obvious thing I see here is that Jesus just acknowledged that it is purposeful to flee from the wrath, and, that there is wrath coming.

  • Luke 21:23 NASB … for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people;

    Here we can see that the intended target is the land and these people. Now the statement, “to this people” is relatively generic and needs some clarity. Luke 21:24 NASB tells us that “they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations;”

    It is easy enough to see that a part of this fulfillment comes upon Israel and it’s people, the Jews. However, pay attention, and you can see one other group, the Gentiles. The Gentiles and the nations are the same. If you are not a Jew, and you are a follower of Christ, then you have been engrafted into the vine and no longer fall under the category of being a Gentile in God’s eyes.

    Those with a veil over their eyes will not get this concept. Since we are “in Christ” then we are part of the church and not subject to this wrath.

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

    What is evident to me is the terminology, the wrath of God. Pay attention to the words being used and upon whom they are directed. Romans 1:18 can be taken as a somewhat broad spectrum statement.

    An example of this broad spectrum idea – I know a man who came to church for a time and did all the appropriate things. He came down front, cried his eyes out, made sorrowful and repentant statements. Why he even got baptized in a swimming pool as a symbol of this new and changed life he wanted to live. That didn’t last long. Does he belong to God and is therefore not going to be subject to this wrath because he is part of the church. I do not know, because any fruit he produces is rotten and stinks before it falls off the tree. This pattern has been going on for years.

  • Ephesians 2:3 NASB Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

    The Apostle Paul taught that we were formerly children of wrath, and no longer subject to the “wrath of God.”

  • 1 Thessalonians 1:10 NASB 10) and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

    1 Thessalonians 1:10 is one of the most specific examples that Paul gave us. Since we are in Christ, Jesus has rescued us from the wrath that is to come.

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:9 NASB 9) For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

    Many think that we deserve punishment. Well, that might have been true, but as followers of Christ, we are of those who have agreed to and accepted His salvation. You see, you need to have a firm grasp on what Jesus did. I am continually trying to remind people that all sins were forgiven – past, present, and future. Then what are people being punished for? Look at what Colossians 3:5-6 tells us,

    Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6) For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, NASB

    Simply put, you either follow Jesus, or you follow the god of this world, Satan. He will go to an eternal punishment, as will all those who choose to follow him. This punishment, as many want to believe, is not the end-all statement, as God is a merciful God beyond everything else; ask Jonah. And that is why we have the sheep and goats of Matthew 25. Take the time to study that.

  • Revelation 6:14-17 NASB 14) The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15) Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; 16) and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17) for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

    There are three things I want you to see here. Verse 15 gives us a description of some of the people affected by what is happening: kings of the earth; great men; commanders; the rich and strong, and every slave and free man. No one upon the earth is left unscathed by what is coming.

    In verse 16 we see them crying out to be hid from the presence of “Him who sits on the throne, AND from the wrath of the Lamb. This lamb is Jesus Christ. Since I used an example from the Revelation, let me point something out to you. This entire book is a Revelation of Jesus Christ. Even the rich, in this scenario, understood that God played a hand in this, and at the same time, they are acknowledging Jesus. It’s all about Jesus.

    And the last thing, although I have already intimated it, is that this wrath is coming from God/Jesus.

Since we are going to be like Bereans, a people who had enough sense to verify that what Paul was teaching was right, what then do we use as a basis for what is true? Keep in mind, that the Bereans did not have Bibles, they had some scrolls. Those scrolls were so valued that only a limited number of priests could handle them, and so the Torah and Tanakh were read aloud. This idea of scrolls changes the whole idea of Bible study. The Bereans had no New Testament, it was being spoken in their ears by Paul and lived out right in front of them. I, on the other hand, have over thirty translations of the Bible on my computer, and over forty commentaries that I can glean from. I have no excuses.

The answer to the question is The Word of God. Now, since we know that there are errors across translations, is it wise to merely open the NIV for example, read it, and then say, “this is how that is supposed to be understood!” NO, because, as I said, there are errors. (Do not for a moment think that these errors are on God’s part, as God’s wisdom has been substantiated by His ability to get His message across plainly to those who choose to pursue this wisdom.)

So, what am I saying to you? Be open but alert; trust the Holy Spirit to guide you; judge everything against the word of God, and, remove yourself, if you can, from false teachers. They will corrupt you with the simplest of things, such as David conquering Goliath when David was only four foot tall. That is not even close to the terminology used in the descriptions of David. King Saul, who knew David well for David was his ARMOR bearer, called him a youth. But what does that mean? Are these things critical to the story? NO, but if you are willing to build false images about the nature and character of David, what else will a false teacher do with God and His word.

I can tell you what some will do, for I have experienced this first hand. These false teachers send everyone that comes to the Great White throne judgment to hell. There is nothing about that scenario that definitively points to that happening; these same teachers refuse to see that Matthew 25 and the story of the sheep and the goats, is just another picture of the Great White Throne. In other words, they will twist the gospel so tightly that in time, you will not be able to understand what is true.

Posted in 2 Thessalonians, Apostasy, Apostle Paul, bible study, End times, false teaching, gentiles, Jesus, Jews, judgment, Revelation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What about Jacob? Or, Can a man find healing in a woman? Part three

I introduced a section within my first post in this series, as one of the most unbelievable scenarios you could read. In that section you have Rebekah and Jacob pulling off the deception of a lifetime, as Isaac is tricked into believing that Jacob was Esau merely by strapping a piece of sheepskin on Jacob’s arm. I have to ask, have you ever seen sheep? They exceed the hair of man about 100 to one.

While most would have run for their lives but not Jacob; and, I cannot give you any good reason why? As you see in Genesis 28:6-7, Isaac, after the deception, has instructed Jacob not to take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. After hearing this Jacob leaves toward Haran in order to comply and his mother goes with him. What just happened?

Watch what Esau does.

Genesis 28:6-7 NASB Now Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan-aram to take to himself a wife from there, and that when he blessed him he charged him, saying, “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan,” 7) and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and had gone to Paddan-aram.

This is the first time I noticed this aspect of the story. Note how it says, “and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and had gone to Paddan-aram.” When you think about the reality of the situation and how furious Isaac should have been at Rebekah, then it makes all the sense in the world for her to with Jacob. Besides that, she may need to make the introductions and marriage arrangements for this favorite of sons.

Esau, on the other hand, seeing how irritated his mother became about the women he married, (This is the same mother who deceived Isaac his father, and helped to cheat him out of his rightful inheritance,) went out and found himself a few more.

Genesis 28:8-9 NASB So Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan displeased his father Isaac; 9) and Esau went to Ishmael, and married, besides the wives that he had, Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebaioth.

This next section focuses entirely on a dream that Jacob had.

Indeed, it was a very vivid dream, in a manner similar to the dream that Abram had, it was as close to reality as you can come. You have to wonder how much understanding Jacob had about God, or where he got that understanding. The only thing we see is Isaac praying to the Lord in chapter 25. Isaac, being the son of Abraham, I can understand how and where he learned of the Lord, but the apparent influence on Jacob is not seen.

Genesis 25:21-23 NASB Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22) But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If it is so, why then am I this way?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23) The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples will be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger.”

Jacob’s Dream – Genesis 28:10-22

But first Jacob has to kneel before his father, apparently at his father’s demand.

Genesis 28:1 NASB So Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and charged him, and said to him, “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan.

This is the second time Jacob has been blessed, however, Isaac is well aware of the deceitful methods that were used on him. Without going any farther, I already see a prime example of the nature and character of God, as Isaac overlooks the “sin” and bestows a purposeful blessing upon Jacob.

Blessed is the Hebrew word bāraḵ: A verb meaning to bless, kneel, salute, or greet. The verb derives from the noun knee and perhaps suggests the bending of the knee in blessing.

  • Would we expect to see Isaac kneeling before Jacob at this point?

    Not a chance, so it is Jacob, this time with intention, kneeling before his father.

  • Do you think it is possible that Isaac could bring some punishment upon this son?

    No, and again, this is an example of God’s grace, as we too, caught in our sins, deserved punishment, but what happened? The Son Jesus took all punishment on our behalf.

I am well aware that I have no key character, in this scenario, that takes the punishment for Jacob. What I do see, is Jacob suffering abuse, at not only the hand of Laban but his own sons when we get to them.

Pay attention to what Isaac tells Jacob.

Perspective: The flood has come and gone, and, with it, should have been the giants and the evil and violence that were associated not just with them, but people in general. And, secondly, this has taken place before Moses and prior to the law.

  • Is that what happened?

    Not exactly, for men still had the right to choose how they would live, and the giants returned. Genesis 6:4 tells us that afterward, they showed up again. After what? The flood.

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.” Genesis 6:4 NASB

Two pieces of evidence for giants after the flood comes from Numbers 13:33 and 2Samuel 21:16, both of which speak of giants still permeating the land. Canaan was one of those places and we learn of it when Israel sent 12 men to spy out the Land of Canaan.

You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan.”

Do a word search and the first place Canaan shows up is in Genesis 9.

Genesis 9:18-27 NASB Now the sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem and Ham and Japheth; and Ham was the father of Canaan. 19) These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated. 20) Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. 21) He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. 22) Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23) But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness. 24) When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. 25) So he said, “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brothers.” 26) He also said, “Blessed be the LORD, The God of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant. 27) “May God enlarge Japheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant.”

Notice how Canaan is pointed out as the son of Ham; this is not a favorable distinction.

Genesis 28:2 NASB “Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father; and from there take to yourself a wife from the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother.

The town of Bethuel gained it’s origins in a man, as was the case with every city.

Genesis 22:20-23 NASB Now it came about after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, “Behold, Milcah also has borne children to your brother Nahor: 21) Uz his firstborn and Buz his brother and Kemuel the father of Aram 22) and Chesed and Hazo and Pildash and Jidlaph and Bethuel.” 23) Bethuel became the father of Rebekah; these eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham’s brother.

So here is your ancestry moment, It was told, Abraham:

  • Milcah also has borne children to your brother Nahor

  • Uz his firstborn and Buz his brother and Kemuel the father of Aram 22) and Chesed and Hazo and Pildash and Jidlaph and Bethuel.”

    Kemuel produces a son Aram. Note the similarities to Paddan-aram!

  • The son to be born to Nahor is Bethuel.

  • Bethuel became the father of Rebekah

Rebekah is the wife of Isaac, the mother of Esau and Jacob. This also means that Bethuel became the father of Laban.

Jacob, still kneeling before his father Isaac, receives all these instructions and blessings; as though what he stole was not enough.

Genesis 28:3-5 NASB “May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. 4) “May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham.” 5) Then Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Paddan-aram to Laban, son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.

  • May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples.”

    • May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham.

      What were the blessings of Abraham?

      Genesis 12:1-3 NASB Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; 2) And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3) And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.

      Genesis 17:6-8 NASB “I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you. 7) “I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. 8) “I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

    • I will make you a great nation

    • I will bless you

    • and make your name great

    • I will bless those that bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse.

    • In you, all the families of the earth will be blessed.

    • I will make you exceedingly fruitful

    • and I will make nations of you

    • kings will come forth from you

    • I will establish my covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you … for an everlasting covenant.

    • Be a God to you and to your descendants.

    • And, I will give you and your descendants … all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession.

So, tell me, is this what you say to someone who has just deceived you? And yet, this is exactly what Isaac just did. “May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham.”

Genesis 28:10-11 NASB Then Jacob departed from Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11) He came to a certain place and spent the night there because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place.

Haran, isn’t that the place where Abram was and God told him to go to a land that He would show him? Yes, it is. But it is also the place where so many things will take place, and now Jacob is going there to find himself a wife. Fortunately, Jacob has his mommy with him to make the introductions; although we are not told that, it works for the moment.

Genesis 11:26-31 NASB Terah lived seventy years, and became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. 27) Now these are the records of the generations of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran; and Haran became the father of Lot. 28) Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans. 29) Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and Iscah. 30) Sarai was barren; she had no child. 31) Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there.

Note this: “Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there.

It seems God has His hands in everything, doesn’t it?

  • He came to a certain place and spent the night there because the sun had set;”

    Genesis 28:19 NASB He called the name of that place Bethel; however, previously the name of the city had been Luz.

  • And he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place.”

    Genesis 28:18-22 NASB So Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on its top. 19) He called the name of that place Bethel; however, previously the name of the city had been Luz. 20) Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, 21) and I return to my father’s house in safety, then the LORD will be my God. 22) “This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.

God’s house? This statement is immensely significant, and so is this, “and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”

Without any motivation of “law,” Jacob has made a commitment to tithe.

Posted in bible study, Deception, deception, false teaching, Genesis, grace, healing, Jacob, judgment, Mercy, recovery, redemption, strongholds, Thoughts, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What about Jacob? Or, can a man find healing in a woman? Part two.

This entire blog was spawned from a sermon entitled, What about Jacob? Or, can a man find healing in a woman? To make this brief, I did not understand, nor was I able to track with what the pastor said, as he tried to prove his point about Jacob. Sorry, I can’t really see it but I am enjoying the study, as usual.

As we finished part one of our look at Jacob, the grand deception was complete. Do you think Rebekah and Jacob gleefully danced around the campfire that night as they celebrated how well they pulled it off? Hardly, for Esau, as you will see, has every intention of killing Jacob once Isaac is dead.

Notice how there is no concern on the part of Esau for how this will affect his mother. And, all this evokes another question, is it possible for Esau to regain his birthright? I don’t think so, at least not in God’s eyes.

Cheating not only Esau but your father as well, you would think that Jacob would be gone already, but only minutes from now Issac calls Jacob before him and commands him to not a wife from the same cluster of women that Esau had chosen from. Isaac directs Jacob to Laban, Rebekah’s brother. Maybe, Isaac knows full well what kind of man Laban can be considering the backhanded maneuver Rebekah has just pulled on Isaac.

With that said, let’s continue on.

I mentioned in the previous post, that Esau did not take this selling of the birthright serious. If he had

  • Wouldn’t it seem logical to say something to Isaac?
  • Wouldn’t Isaac have known?
  • Why would Esau bother to respond Isaac as though there was not a problem?

As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac, his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting.” Jacob logically only has seconds to get out of Esau’s presence, and, his fathers.

Genesis 27:30-37 ESV As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac, his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting. He also prepared delicious food and brought it to his father. And he said to his father, “Let my father arise and eat of his son’s game, that you may bless me.” His father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?” He answered, “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.” Then Isaac trembled very violently and said, “Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it all before you came, and I have blessed him? Yes, and he shall be blessed.” As soon as Esau heard the words of his father, he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me, even me also, O my father!” But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing.” Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has cheated me these two times. He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing.” Then he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?” Isaac answered and said to Esau, “Behold, I have made him lord over you, and all his brothers I have given to him for servants, and with grain and wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son?”

The deception is pulled off, and now you would think that Jacob has to flee, an exile. And Esau is the reason.

Genesis 27:38-41 NASB Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father.” So Esau lifted his voice and wept. 39) Then, Isaac, his father answered and said to him, “Behold, away from the fertility of the earth shall be your dwelling, And away from the dew of heaven from above. 40) “By your sword, you shall live, And your brother you shall serve; But it shall come about when you become restless, That you will break his yoke from your neck.” 41) So Esau bore a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him; and Esau said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”

So Rebekah calls Jacob in once again.

Genesis 27:42-45 NASB Now when the words of her elder son Esau were reported to Rebekah, she sent and called her younger son Jacob, and said to him, “Behold your brother Esau is consoling himself concerning you by planning to kill you. 43) “Now, therefore, my son, obey my voice, and arise, flee to Haran, to my brother Laban! 44) “Stay with him a few days, until your brother’s fury subsides, 45) until your brother’s anger against you subsides and he forgets what you did to him. Then I will send and get you from there. Why should I be bereaved of you both in one day?”

But Jacob still hasn’t left. To make matters worse, we now learn of Esau’s wives and what grief they are causing Rebekah.

Genesis 27:45 NASB until your brother’s anger against you subsides and he forgets what you did to him. Then I will send and get you from there. Why should I be bereaved of you both in one day?”

In response to Rebekah, Issac calls Jacob in once more.

Genesis 28:1-5 NASB So Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and charged him, and said to him, “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. 2) “Arise, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father; and from there take to yourself a wife from the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother. 3) “May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. 4) “May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you, that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham.” 5) Then Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Paddan-aram to Laban, son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.

While Isaac’s command is that he get a wife from Laban’s daughters, we don’t see anything that tells us he knows what he is looking for. Jacob, in a sense, stumbles upon Rachel, and she is a vision of how a girl should look. He wants her and is willing to work for her to get her. There is an irony here in that Rachel, is not an accident by any means, for Laban, her father is Jacob’s uncle. (Consider: If Rebekah knew how to be devious it only makes sense that Laban, Rachel’s father, would also know how to be underhanded.)

Jacob makes no effort to negotiate for her but tells Laban that he will work seven years for her. (That timeframe may be significant on several levels. Seven is the number of perfection, redemption, and a theme that recurs throughout scripture.)

It may be essential to consider Rachel’s age at this time. I doubt he would have pursued her if he did not think she was old enough to marry.

Joseph married at about age 30 (Gen_41:45). This was old by Egyptian standards, since most males were still only boys when they married. Yet it is clear that a boy had to be not only sexually mature but also able to provide for his wife and thus settled in his occupation before he married. Girls seem to have married between about twelve and fourteen. They did not have to wait until established in a career. Some royal marriages, occurring for dynastic or other political reasons, took place when the individuals were very young. For example, Tutankhamen died at the age of eighteen or nineteen after a nine-year reign and marriage, so he must have been nine or ten when married.”
NELSON’S Bible Manners & Customs, How the People of the Bible Really Lived,

Jacob does not do what many desperate men would do, and rape her, he waits the seven years. He then goes to Laban and demands that she be given to him for he has paid for her.

Laban deceives Jacob just as Jacob had deceived Esau and gave him Leah.

Laban makes a statement here, in response to Jacob’s shock and disappointment, that I never noticed before.

And Laban answered It is not done thus in our country, to give the younger before the elder. Genesis 29:26 Brenton)

As that particular pastor exclaimed: “this had to cut Jacob like a knife, as this is precisely what Jacob and his mother had done to Esau.” And, Uncle Laban may well have been told of it. If not, it is amazing how the Holy Spirit puts words in your mouth.

According to the pastor, the premise behind all this is that Jacob, a broken man, (I am not so sure he could understand that for a long time,) pursues Rachel, the vision of perfection, in hopes that she would heal him and make him a better man. I am not sure I see all that, but it makes sense, as most men do just that. While the hope of finding something that calms the inward brokenness he feels may be going on in the back of his mind, it is not directly noted in scripture; many things aren’t, and yet the more in-depth answers and subjects are there if we pursue them.

One of the things that I see in scripture is that God is in control, regardless of how lousy the circumstances seem to be.

The pastor said, “that God gives us examples of people who are messed up so that we can know what not to do.” If that theory is correct, then why would God tell Israel, explicitly, not to learn from the surrounding nations, for the surrounding nations were doing everything wrong, worshiping idols, and sacrificing their children to gods. While I might argue that learning from my neighbor how to work with Iron could be a necessity that would allow a civilization to create water pipes. However, there is often a hazard in close associations, especially with those not so grounded, as it can cause us to be drawn away by the deviant and those used by Satan. Along that line, I have had several acquaintances that claimed to be Christians. One, it turns out, was in a men’s home (the men’s home is somewhat irrelevant except that you can make an obvious assumption – and that is that the person from the home has had some mighty struggles in the past.) While the leadership of the men’s home had mandated church services and Bible studies they had to attend, they could not seem to get the world out of this brother. He, in a short period, took a job on the night crew, and I rarely saw him after that. His reattachment to the world seemed to grow and he left the group home he was a part of.

You shall make no covenant with them or with their gods. They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against Me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you. (Exodus 23:32-33 AMP)

And you shall consume all the peoples whom the Lord your God will give over to you; your eye shall not pity them, neither shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you. (Deuteronomy 7:16 AMP)

You didn’t merely live by their ways and act according to their disgusting practices, but in a very short time, you acted more corruptly than they in all your ways. (Ezekiel 16:47 CJB)

Is it the person becoming the snare? Perhaps, but what we do know is that Satan will deceive you through any means possible. In some cases, it might be an innocent but attractive looking woman.

Yes, Jacob’s life is one huge psychodrama. He is a liar, a cheat, and a general a mess; he does not even seem to slow down all those years later when he meets Esau again. But there is a method to God’s madness. God seems to use broken people; he even seeks them out. He seems to find pleasure in lifting them up and healing them. On the plus side, our savior is a descendant of the line from Jacob.

My point: That no matter how messed up the narrative, or, our story is, we can and should glean as much as we can from each one, for it is God’s story. Sure, you think it is all yours, but it is never anything less than God’s plan, you merely get to be a part of it.

“For I know what plans I have in mind for you,’ says Adonai, plans for well-being, not for bad things; so that you can have hope and a future. ” (Jeremiah 29:11 CJB)

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What do we know about Jacob, or, can a man find healing in a woman? Part one

This article was first posted on 05/09/2011.

It has been heavily edited and covers a lot of ground.

The story is found in Genesis 25-31.

One of the churches we were going to at the time had Saturday night services. The pastor was talking about relational issues between husbands and wives, and this night he threw Jacob into the mix. He, of course, had to do a quick overview in an attempt to explain what interactions “created” this man Jacob we read about. In other words, what were the family dynamics that made him respond to situations the way he did? I remember thinking, some are blatantly obvious, what else can there be?

The pastor opened with, “The story equates to a broken man. A man that looks to a woman, Rachel, to bring him wholeness.” I did not take the best notes as my mind went racing off to find the origins of some word the pastor had focused on.

You may not be into humor, but this transition about words reminds me of a movie I watched years ago called, The Three Amigos. The movie is about three comedic American actors around the 1940’s, finding themselves in old Mexico. There was a point in the film where the bad guys were sitting around the fire while trying to assess the situation; when one of them says, Mi Jefe, I have seen them, and there is a plethora. To which the jefe responds, I do not think you know what plethora means. Do not use words for which you do not know the meaning.

What am I trying to say here? I listen to pastors, and teachers throw out words as though what they are saying is the authoritative definition of that word. Unfortunately, I am frequently disappointed, for as you look into a good concordance, you usually find that there are multiple meanings for the word, proving that perhaps they should not use words for which they do not know the meaning. Occasionally, you find that the word they chose is in opposition to the context. I will simply say, that I can’t wholeheartedly see the association between Rachel and Jacob’s so-called search for wholeness if that is what he did; and yet, as I edited this post for readability, I found so many fascinating things that comprise this family. Things that many would bring little more than reproach in most peoples eyes. Essentially, I keep seeing that God is in control. If you take one thing away from this, I hope it is that God is in control.

Let’s start off this look at Jacob with a strong shocker!

We are all broken, and though we may not want to admit to it, most of us are looking for something that dulls the pain and takes our mind off of it for at least a few moments. Sometimes that thing that dulls the pain takes the form of a woman. Why, because, for several reasons we won’t talk about, she quiets the storm momentarily?

If a man were honest, he would tell you that there is little that removes all the hurt inside. It is moments like this you need to get real. You know the moment – it’s those times you stand there looking at yourself, and you see the pain. Scripture itself tells us that all of creation is crying out for redemption, so how can you be excluded; you can’t.

Romans 8:22-23 NASB For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23) And not only this but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.

What do we know about Jacob?

Esau, the first-born becomes a man, a very hairy man. Jacob, of course, was born second. When you are young, this second child thing is not that important to you. But, depending on how you were treated in the home there may be a massive sibling rivalry problem, that in some cases lasts a lifetime as a result of the favoritism was shown toward the elder brother in this case. For example, your father makes sure that you understand the position that you do not hold, and it’s not first-born. You are taught that the older will rule the family when the father is gone, and the eldest son will get the lion’s share of any inheritance; this being born first could work in the opposite as well, as oftentimes the eldest is held to a higher standard and takes more punishment for mistakes they did not make (I speak from experience on this one.)

Whatever the case is with these two we do not know, but there are clues.

Genesis 25:23-26 NASB The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb; And two peoples will be separated from your body; And one people shall be stronger than the other; And the older shall serve the younger.” 24) When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25) Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau. 26) Afterward, his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob; and Isaac was sixty years old when she gave birth to them.

Esau was first-born, but then there is this prophecy given in a dream, how the older will serve the younger.

Gen 25:27 NASB tells us: “When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents.”

What does Gen 25:27 mean when it comes to Jacob?

While one was always outdoors and active, the other seems to be busy cooking and cleaning the tent. In the eyes of a father that wants to pass on the family business, Esau is the boy you want to brag about in the marketplace. If this was the case, this incessant bragging has to play a role in the character of Jacob.

Outside of speculation, we do not know, at this point, what made Jacob such a conniver. Some would begin an argument at this point, and to a degree, they would be correct, but then, who do we have as a deceiver in this family? Issac is one of those who described his wife as his sister. For the sake of space, I have not included the full text here. I suggest you look it up. Genesis 26:7-13.

Genesis 25:28 LITV And Isaac loved Esau, for game was in his mouth. And Rebekah loved Jacob.

Here is what we have next.

One day, Jacob was cooking some stew, when Esau came home hungry and said, “I’m starving to death! Give me some of that red stew right now!” That’s how Esau got the name “Edom.” Jacob replied, “Sell me your rights as the first-born son.” “I’m about to die,” Esau answered. “What good will those rights do me?” But Jacob said, “Promise me your birthrights, here and now!” And that’s what Esau did. (Genesis 25:29-33 CEV)

While you probably do not pick up on a dominant attitude with most translations, there is no doubt that it is there. Interpretations range from a polite please; to I am starving give me, or feed me.

Here is an example of a similar attitude that Jesus spoke of.

The parable of the rich man and poor Lazarus. Both characters have died. However, Lazarus is now comforted, and the rich man is now demanding, pretty much just as he had always done, that Lazarus is sent back to warn his family. This parable is an example that probably escapes most people, because the interpreters inserted the word please, as though the rich man was now polite when it was his custom to order people around; and, he still thinks that he can order Lazarus around.

And he said, Father, it is my request that you will send him to my father’s house; (Luke 16:27 BBE)

Esau, though probably not on the verge of death, is hungry enough sell his birthright to Jacob.

  • Doesn’t this imply that the birthright issue has been part of Jacob’s thinking for a long time?
  • If you felt confident that you were going to be taken care of by your father then why would you steal what was not meant to be yours?

Apparently, Jacob did not feel very confident.

So Esau sells his brother his birthrights.

Sure he did (in a sarcastic tone,) apparently Esau believed these were meaningless words and had no intention of giving up what was his. Besides that, how do you enforce an illegal sale (where are the witnesses,) with a father who is the only one who has the right to give it, and who is probably not that fond of Jacob anyway?

Genesis 27:1-4 LITV And it happened when Isaac was old and his eyes were dim for seeing, he called his elder son Esau and said to him, My son! And he said to him, Behold me. 2) And he said, Behold! Now, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. 3) And now please lift up your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go to the field and hunt game for me. 4) And make for me delicious things, such as I love, and bring to me, and I will eat; so that my soul may bless you before I die.

If Esau had thought he had thrown away his birthright, why did he act like nothing was wrong when his father said, “that I may bless you before … my death.?
He knew what those words his father would speak meant; and, he knew what they meant to Jacob.

Now we add Rebekah into the mix.

Genesis 27:5-6 GNB “While Isaac was talking to Esau, Rebecca was listening. So when Esau went out to hunt, 6) she said to Jacob, “I have just heard your father say to Esau,”

It would seem that she knew about the deal that Jacob had made with Esau, and, she has decided that she is going to make this deception happen. The turmoil that was about to begin started long ago with these words:

Genesis 25:23 LITV And Jehovah said to her, Two nations are in your womb; even two peoples shall break from your body. And one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

Under the category of things we don’t know:

  • Does she remember those words Jehovah spoke to her all those years ago?
    Are those words the motivation for what she is about to do?
  • Or, is she merely a player in this plan God has, where we do what we think is beneficial for the moment, and yet God is directing every move regardless of how it looks?
  • Do you suppose that she is aware of the grief she is about to cause, or the humiliation Issac is about to face as he is tricked into blessing the wrong son, according to tradition?

Rebekah makes her move to protect Jacob.

Genesis 27:8-10 NET. Now then, my son, do exactly what I tell you! 9) Go to the flock and get me two of the best young goats. I’ll prepare them in a tasty way for your father, just the way he loves them. 10) Then you will take it to your father. Thus he will eat it and bless you before he dies.”

Sometimes, even the best of schemers forget a detail and so Jacob includes that possibility.

Genesis 27:11-12 NASB Jacob answered his mother Rebekah, “Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man and I am a smooth man. 12) “Perhaps my father will feel me, then I will be as a deceiver in his sight, and I will bring upon myself a curse and not a blessing.”

Rebekah is willing to bear the blame.

Genesis 27:13 NASB But his mother said to him, “Your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, get them for me.”

There is little about what happens next that is believable, and yet it does. Sheepskin, with all that hair, a voice had to be decidedly different, and Esau was not the cook. The trap is set, and the deception works.

Genesis 27:14-29 NASB So he went and got them, and brought them to his mother; and his mother made savory food such as his father loved. 15) Then Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her elder son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. 16) And she put the skins of the young goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17) She also gave the savory food and the bread, which she had made, to her son Jacob. 18) Then he came to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?” 19) Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn; I have done as you told me. Get up, please, sit and eat of my game, that you may bless me.” 20) Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have it so quickly, my son?” And he said, “Because the LORD your God caused it to happen to me.” 21) Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come close, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not.” 22) So Jacob came close to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23) He did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands; so he blessed him. 24) And he said, “Are you really my son Esau?” And he said, “I am.” 25) So he said, “Bring it to me, and I will eat of my son’s game, that I may bless you.” And he brought it to him, and he ate; he also brought him wine and he drank. 26) Then his father Isaac said to him, “Please come close and kiss me, my son.” 27) So he came close and kissed him; and when he smelled the smell of his garments, he blessed him and said, “See, the smell of my son Is like the smell of a field which the LORD has blessed; 28) Now may God give you of the dew of heaven, And of the fatness of the earth, And an abundance of grain and new wine; 29) May peoples serve you, And nations bow down to you; Be master of your brothers, And may your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be those who curse you, And blessed be those who bless you.”

While the premise is that we are supposed to be looking at Jacob, we have spent a lot of time on Rebekah. However, taking a serious look at what makes us dysfunctional forces us to consider background information; Rebekah and Issac play a huge role in that background. Consider how much dysfunction a child, up to about the age when they learn to say NO, has buried within them. It would seem none, as they have to learn to be liars, and deceivers, as Jacob did. And his parents taught him.

Consider another huge factor, sin. I bring this up because of the legalists among us, as they try to tell you that sin pushes you to do what you do. But consider, in the garden did Satan push Eve? No, he deceived her. So, when Adam then partakes, was he pushed? No, and neither was he deceived, he merely followed his wife’s lead. Sin is little more than missing the smallest of bullseyes as you go through your day, the process of which is a perpetual task that sometimes borders on the impossible. Sin then is that motivation to do what we want to do, and sometimes I grow weary of trying hit the bullseye on targets that seem to be several hundred yards away and no bigger than the head of a nail.

Stay tuned as part two has Jacob getting out of the house and fleeing toward Uncle Laban’s, as he looks for the woman of his dreams, maybe.

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On the subject of vengeance.

Several weeks ago the Monday morning study leader announced that the following week we would be starting a study on vengeance. To show that the carnal side of me still exists, I wrote this on my notepad, Coming up next week, Vengeance!, Yeah baby! I was messing around, as the first reaction I had, was to moan because every study is a fitful barrage of legalism. However, when that particular “study” ended, I turned to my friend and said, that wasn’t all bad.

The leader was giving an introduction, but he had already lost me, as I was looking up passages on vengeance. The first thing I came to was a passage in Leviticus.

Leviticus 19:18 ISV “You are not to seek vengeance or hold a grudge against the descendants of your people. Instead, love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.”

The first thing I realized is that this is “the law,” and we, are not under the law; or, are we? If we are not under the law, then what do I do with this statement from the Apostle Paul?

Romans 12:16-19 ISV Live in harmony with each other. Do not be arrogant, but associate with humble people. Do not think that you are wiser than you really are. 17) Do not pay anyone back evil for evil, but focus your thoughts on what is right in the sight of all people. 18) If possible, so far as it depends on you, live in peace with all people. 19) Do not take revenge, dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath. For it is written, “Vengeance belongs to me. I will pay them back, declares the Lord.”

Wait a minute, Paul, the reformed Pharisee, and one of the most prominent advocates of grace; tells his audience of Jewish converts, and us, do not put yourself back under the bondage of the law. And yet, here it is.

Nahum 1:2-3 AMPC The Lord is a jealous God and avenging; the Lord avenges, and He is full of wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on His adversaries and reserves wrath for His enemies. [Exodus 20:5] 3) The Lord is slow to anger and great in power and will by no means clear the guilty. The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet. [Exodus 34:6-7]

There are many scriptural illustrations that Paul could have pulled from, but Nahum conveys the idea of vengeance well. If Paul could be comfortable drawing examples from the “law” while speaking of those same laws as a return to bondage, then your spirit should be telling you that there is something more involved in this idea of bondage than mere constraints put on us by God. The “laws,” such as, love your neighbor as yourselves, are, at the very least, a better way of living; And, they are the very thing that keeps us out of God’s way, as we focus on the positive rather than our hidden agenda of supplanting God by dishing out vengeance and judgment.

So then, even the New Testament conveys constraints that parallel the law.

I have mentioned, many times, how we live under the perfect law of liberty.

James 2:10-12 NASB For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. 11) For He who said, “DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY,” also said, “DO NOT COMMIT MURDER.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12) So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty.

James is also the one who tells us that we are blessed when we walk in this law.

James 1:25 NASB But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

We then, do not have the freedom to seek vengeance, nor are we entirely free from the God’s law.

As the morning’s study progressed a brash statement was made, when we get to heaven, you will not find a Pharisee there as they will all be in hell. A quick inventory in my head put me in remembrance of Nicodemus, Simon of Arimathea, and the Apostle Paul, all of which, were prominent Pharisees who displayed a love of Jesus Christ.

Several minutes passed and I raised my hand. When the leader finally acknowledged me, I said, as a recovering Pharisee who struggles with judgment I want to share a story with you. At this point, I told them about a stepson who had inappropriately taken one of my handguns into the backyard to show a friend of his. You need to understand that there had been a series of events that ended with a stolen bicycle, and this young man in my backyard had played a role in that. I that moment, with them fondling my revolver, I merely held out a hand, and my stepson placed the gun in my hand. I simply said, had you asked me I would have taken you to the range and taught you how to respect the weapon and shoot it, but since you chose to go behind my back you have lost that opportunity. I began that day to pray that God would remove bad influences from my stepson’s life. Two weeks later, the other boy shot himself in the head while playing Russian roulette. The important thing was I merely asked God to intervene, but I did not try to tell Him what to do about it.

I remind you of Romans 12:19 which says,

19) Do not take revenge, dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath. For it is written, “Vengeance belongs to me. I will pay them back, declares the Lord.”

I don’t know how I did it because I was angry in the days that preceded that young man’s death. I was the one who walked my son into the police station and made him “return” this obviously stolen bicycle, and this entire process was laden with humiliation and fear for both of us, but it worked out, as they apparently realized that my actions had ingrained a serious lesson in my son.

Once again look at what James has to say.

James 2:12-13 NASB So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. 13) For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

Pay close attention to verse 13 where it says, “For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy.” In my story above I feel like I did it right. I feel no blame for the young man, but I grieved with his father who explained how they had seen unusual patterns beginning to develop.

I can assure you that there were multiple times that I did not get this right, and here is one.

Having been raised in the church, I was severely wounded by a few sarcastic church elders. I carried their wounds most of my life. Did they always occupy my mind? No, but a string of events that I can relate to codependency, seemed to bring their brutal tongues to the forefront of my thinking. The bottom line here is that in my mind I hated them and wanted them to suffer slow, prolonged, and painful torture, for what they did. When you think about the logic in all this, you can see that this pain I believed I inflicted upon them, and the chains I held them in, was all in my head. That means I gave them too much free space in my head. And never, were they aware of this bondage I held them in. During the time involved, I had to maintain the chains, keeping the rust off those chains by oiling them. All this maintenance cost me a tremendous amount of time and energy. Sadly, I felt justified in all this.

Primarily I learned I needed to forgive them.

Yes, I needed to forgive; the problem is, I had no idea of what to do. Oh sure, mother had her designs, which amounted to letting people continue to slap you until you are spinning, but that was not going to work for me either (anymore.) Thankfully there was a day when a prophetic woman stopped me and said, you have to forgive those men who hurt you! I responded with, alright, but how? She said, it’s simple, you merely release them from the debts you think they owe you. To be honest, it only took me a couple of days to realize that I was having no impact on them and that my efforts were simply me, judging them. After, what seemed like a lifetime I released them from the bondage that I felt they owed me. Quickly, I began doing that with ex-wives and others that had offended me.

I have, over time, told these truths to others, only to have them say its hard to forgive!

I respond briskly with, no, it’s not. The only difficult part is you letting go of the imaginary control you think you have. You see, when we set ourselves up as judges and put people into the prison of our minds, we have set ourselves up as God. We have supplanted God and tried to take over His job. In doing this, we have set up our own fates, which James spells out.

James 2:12-13 NASB So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. 13) For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.

Since we are not under the law, and yet have an almost identical command in the New Testament, then let’s try one more and see if we can find the freedom in it.

Deuteronomy 32:35 CJB Vengeance and payback are mine for the time when their foot slips; for the day of their calamity is coming soon, their doom is rushing upon them.’

On one hand, this tells us that all vengeance belongs to God, while on the other hand, it speaks to payback, which is His also. Their day will come, whether they be religious or ungodly.

I will show you Romans 12:19 once again.

Romans 12:19 ISV Do not take revenge, dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath. For it is written, “Vengeance belongs to me. I will pay them back, declares the Lord.”

By taking yourselves out of the judgment seat, you are putting these people back into God’s hand. As the ISV translation says, leave room for God’s wrath.

Alright, there is time for just one more story.

On a particular day, I was put in charge of the office where I was outnumbered by women who had taught us men, how to install and repair pay phones. A particular lady, who had a horrific case plantar fasciitis, whined incessantly about how she could not do the job. I suspect that I misread her that day, and thought that she was saying that she could not do the added dimension of installing the wiring. I asked her to stay in the office for a moment and proceeded to tell her, in my most Pharisaical tone, that as a Christian I was ashamed of her because, we, as believers, can do all things through Christ. The short of it, within about six months my judgment came back on me, and I found myself ashamed of my actions. I don’t know what became of her, but I lost everything dear to me. So, I understand how this works, and you don’t want to get into the judgment game.

Posted in Apostle Paul, bible study, false teaching, Freedom from sin, God's character, Hearing God, judgment, Law of liberty, Peace, Things I have never noticed before, Thoughts, Thoughts on scripture, Vengeance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An intensive look at Enoch. Part 3 – the end.

Growing up in church about the only thing we knew of Enoch was that he walked with God and was no more. Common sense tells you there is more; and, when we add in dimensions that include the probability of interactions with giants, and a strange vagueness about the lineage leading to Noah. I always found myself puzzled as I waited for the details and reasons as to why Noah’s family was the only one found worthy of saving, but they never came. Doing this intensive study has shown me that Enoch was no less righteous than Noah; that Methuselah was a living prophecy and an indicator of the judgment that was coming. And, that Enoch had a “global” influence, but that information, in the form of The Book of Enoch, or the writings of Tertullian, was taken from us.

Here is where I interject some history and hopefully validation. Feel free to skip or fast forward.

The Book of Enoch had been an integral part of the early Church and had been read aloud among the church body for 700 years. Early Church fathers, such as Clement, Barnabas, and Irenaeus referenced and quoted from the Book of Enoch. Th D. JR Church published the book, “Enoch, The First Book Ever Written,” and he does the commentary on it as it progresses.

From; we have this information on the origins of The Book of Enoch.

Sir Walter Raleigh, in his History of the World (written in 1616 while imprisoned in the Tower of London), makes the curious assertion that part of the Book of Enoch “which contained the course of the stars, their names and motions” had been discovered in Saba (Sheba) in the first century and was thus available to Origen and Tertullian. He attributes this information to Origen,[59] though no such statement is found anywhere in extant versions of Origen.[60]

Better success was achieved by the famous Scottish traveler James Bruce, who, in 1773, returned to Europe from six years in Abyssinia with three copies of a Ge’ez version.[62] One is preserved in the Bodleian Library, another was presented to the royal library of France, while the third was kept by Bruce. The copies remained unused until the 19th century; Silvestre de Sacy, in “Notices sur le livre d’Enoch”,[63] included extracts of the books with Latin translations (Enoch chapters 1, 2, 5–16, 22, and 32). From this, a German translation was made by Rink in 1801.

The first English translation of the Bodleian/Ethiopic manuscript was published in 1821 by Richard Laurence, titled The Book of Enoch, the prophet: an apocryphal production, supposed to have been lost for ages; but discovered at the close of the last century in Abyssinia; now first translated from an Ethiopic manuscript in the Bodleian Library. Oxford, 1821. Revised editions appeared in 1833, 1838, and 1842.

In 1838, Laurence also released the first Ethiopic text of 1 Enoch published in the West, under the title: Libri Enoch Prophetae Versio Aethiopica. The text, divided into 105 chapters, was soon considered unreliable as it was the transcription of a single Ethiopic manuscript.[64]

In 1833, Professor Andreas Gottlieb Hoffmann of the University of Jena released a German translation, based on Laurence’s work, called Das Buch Henoch in vollständiger Uebersetzung, mit fortlaufendem Kommentar, ausführlicher Einleitung und erläuternden Excursen. Two other translations came out around the same time: one in 1836 called Enoch Restitutus, or an Attempt (Rev. Edward Murray) and one in 1840 called Prophetae veteres Pseudepigraphi, partim ex Abyssinico vel Hebraico sermonibus Latine bersi (A. F. Gfrörer). However, both are considered to be poor—the 1836 translation most of all—and is discussed in Hoffmann.[65]

The first critical edition, based on five manuscripts, appeared in 1851 as Liber Henoch, Aethiopice, ad quinque codicum fidem editus, cum variis lectionibus, by August Dillmann. It was followed in 1853 by a German translation of the book by the same author with a commentary titled Das Buch Henoch, übersetzt und erklärt. It was considered the standard edition of 1 Enoch until the work of Charles.

Jude, the author of his own New Testament book, quotes a prophecy from Enoch that is not in our Bibles and can only be found in the Book of Enoch. The writer of Hebrews places Enoch in the hall of fame for his great faith, by which he walked off this earth and into God’s arms, never to see death (Hebrews 11:5). And we find the name of Enoch in Luke 3:37, where he is listed in the lineage of Jesus Christ.

There is nothing that tells us that Enoch merely sat in one spot.

The man lived 365 years, and we have links between Enoch and Egypt and Africa. One of those who articulated regarding Enoch was Tertullian.

His full name was Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, c. 155 – c. 240 AD and he was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa. Born:160 AD, Died:220 AD, Carthage, Tunisia [Wikipedia]

Others, including “Arabic writers, tell us of pyramids and pillars erected by him, on which he engraved the arts and the instruments of them; and some writers ascribe the invention of letters of letters and writing of books to him.” JR Church on page 23 of his book The Book of Enoch, tells us that he obtained this information from John Gill, D.D., Ch. 2, Pg. 36 of his book A Dissertation Concerning the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, Letters, Vowel Points, and Accents.

Diane Severance, PH.D. Writing for the website Christianity Today, tells us that “Tertullian coined the phrase Trinity, a word that does not appear anywhere in the Bible, to help us to understand the New Testament teaching about what God is like.” “In later life, he lost favor with much of the Church when he at least temporarily took up with the Montanists– what we would probably call today a puritanical-charismatic sect.”

This Egyptian and Northern African influence may explain why writings on Enoch were found in the Ethiopian nation.

Since we understand that the earth had become so dangerous that the thoughts of every man were only evil; and, that, men like Nimrod were merely violent chieftains and hunters of men, then one can safely assume that this was the universal theme of all those who had come from a fallen angel descent.

This man Enoch, though perhaps less vague now, still leaves many questions. One of those questions arises as we try to ascribe names to the two witnesses we see in the Revelation. These two witnesses who stand in the streets of Jerusalem, testifying to Jehovah; performing miracles; stopping the rain; calling fire down from heaven, and preventing, for 1260 days, any attempts at harming them, are removed from the earth and back to the Father at the midpoint of the seven years of wrath.

Let me attempt to address some arguments that may arise.

Genesis 6:1-2 NASB Now it came about when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, 2) that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.

Note that the verse tells us:

  • they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose.”

    The Hebrew word for took also means to fetch, seize, and use.

    I seriously doubt there was much anyone could do about it.

  • when men began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them,”

The Hebrew word for multiply also means to cast together, that is, increase, especially in number; also to multiply by the myriad:

There is nothing about this statement, that limits it to the chronological period exclusive to Genesis 6:1, and may well have been applied to babies created in the garden before the fall.

I said it before, but it bears repeating. Eve had children prior to the fall of man.

Genesis 3:16 Darby To the woman he said, I will greatly increase thy travail and thy pregnancy; with pain thou shalt bear children; and to thy husband shall be thy desire, and he shall rule over thee.

  1. There would be no reason to make this assertion we see in Genesis 3:16 unless she had already been having children, as the statement would make no sense. 
  2. The Darby translation demonstrates an increase in the travail. The Hebrew word iṣṣāḇôn also denotes pain and sorrow. So pain and sorrow are both over and above whatever Eve deemed ordinary.
  3. Having a man and a woman run naked through the most serene atmosphere you can imagine would have only evoked their passions for each other.
  4. After Cain kills his brother and gets admonished by God, he shows some concern as he says, people will kill me. I have heard the illogical arguments that project far into the future where Adam and Eve would have eventually filled the earth with children. But we ignore the context and tense, as what Cain describes is a present threat. Cain also gets himself a wife; here again, we project into the future in hopes that mom and dad will produce a daughter that Cain can have for a wife. There is something sick and distasteful about the very idea.

The evidence is clear. Adam and Eve had children prior to the fall.

Genesis 6:3 NASB Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”

  • My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh,”

    While this will impact the lineage of those extending out to Noah, the effect is not felt until after the flood. The evidence for this can readily be ascertained from virtually any of the people that existed prior to the flood. Methuselah lived 969 years, and when he died, the flood came.

    But there was a more pressing concern. So God, to constrain these violent, enormous hybrids who were part flesh and breath, restricts the age of everyone who will live on earth for a maximum of 120 years.

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward.”

Genesis 6:4 CJB The N’filim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came into the daughters of men, and they bore children to them; these were the ancient heroes, men of renown.

After what? The flood.

Does that mean that some of these titans survived the flood and lived on? No, it means fallen angels continued their sick game plan, to disrupt and destroy God’s plan, by filling the earth with hybrids. Look at what the verse says,

when the sons of God came into the daughters of men, and they bore children to them.”

They took what they wanted and always produced offspring.

Notice one more thing in this verse.

It says, “these were the ancient heroes, men of renown.” What our frightened little minds do, is to attribute this statement to men like those that gathered with King David, as they too were mighty men. But this was not the case with the pre-flood giants, for these titans became the imagery and god-like characteristics from which all myths are made.

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An intense look at Enoch. Part two.

In the last post, you were introduced to Enoch and how he came to walk this earth. It’s no great mystery, fathers have children and those children then have their own families.  But, what that lineage does not show, nor explain, is why Cain, the first born, was set aside. Nor does that lineage expressly explain how Enoch came to have a relationship with God that so closely paralleled what Adam had. Neither does Enoch’s lineage explain the influence of the giants. Because of a few key paragraphs, we have clues as to why this man Enoch seemed to stand alone; that is not exactly true, as Methuselah and Noah also stood as upright pillars. I am hoping you begin to see an odd vagueness as this story leads to Noah and speaks of giants. There is nothing subtle about this story, and, as the Prophet Daniel said,

Daniel 12:3-4  “But those who can discern (CJB) will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. 4) “But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.” NASB

We are in those days and many are beginning to point people to the truth that is in the Word of God. Choose to be one of those who shines.

An intense look at Enoch. Part two.

Now move forward in time to the fall of man. We only have two people in the middle of the garden at this time so we can assume that no one else was aware of what happened by hearing or seeing. Just as Eve experienced death, everyone alive suddenly felt dead on the inside, in their spirits.

How does someone, who for an extended period had creative and dominant abilities comparable to their father Adam, react to a world that they can no longer control?

Genesis 3:15 Darby And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; he shall crush thy head, and thou shalt crush his heel.

As soon as Satan heard this statement from God we see in Genesis 3:15, the game was on. So what does this all add up to? The implications are that the fallen angel hybridization program began immediately, and we are still seven generations away from Enoch at this point.

One of the things I must give some consideration to is lineage and the impact of the Nephilim on Enoch’s life. Nephilim is the offspring of fallen angels breeding with humans.

Let’s bring Cain back into the picture for a moment. What if in taking a wife, Cain has chosen a Nephilim? Then everything produced through this union would have been a hybridized being, whose eventual motivations were only evil and violent.

Genesis 6:5 Darby And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of Man was great on the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart only evil continually.

Okay, let’s try another scenario with Cain and his lovely bride. What if their son Enoch married (use that term loosely) a hybrid? There again the only possible result ends up with a hybrid. If you are not getting the point here, it is that the hybridization program was meant to eliminate an untainted humanity, and thus prevent the seed, God spoke of, from being born.

I already pointed out that Enoch is the seventh generation from Adam. (Gen 5:4-21). Without background information, I have nothing more than numbers. However, numbers are not a bad thing as they allow me to do the math and figure out things like the availability of Adam to share his wisdom with Enoch, or when Methuselah died. These all, as we have seen, had to deal with the oppression and violence of these giants.

Let’s attempt to consider what role these immense beings played.

There were Giants, but not just giants, they were Titans. A Swedish museum has the remains of a skeleton that is over 3 meters tall; that equates to being over 21 feet tall. Other remains have been found placing the heights of these titans to be as much as 60 feet tall. But thanks to a concerted effort by the Smithsonian Institute which led a massive effort to gather and eliminate any evidence of giants when they became known, virtually everyone is a skeptic. There is no doubt in my mind that such evidence would only make the Bible more valid, and people would then put their trust in the stories that scripture tells, and Satan, therefore, made a stand against that truth by removing the evidence. Explore this piece of information about evidence found on World Net Daily.

Genesis 6:4 MKJV There were giants in the earth in those days. And also after that, when the sons of God came into the daughters of men, and they bore to them, they were mighty men who existed of old, men of renown.

they were mighty men who existed of old, men of renown.”

The preceding statement doesn’t sound so ominous, as mighty men and men of renown could be the description given to a leader in business. Perhaps another translation will provide us with some insight.

Genesis 6:4 CJB The N’filim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them; these were the ancient heroes, men of renown.

These Titans are the people from which the ancient myths and legends were formed, and there it is in front of us, in scripture.

The word translated giants is the Hebrew word nep̱iyliym.

The following is from the Word Study Dictionary.

“A masculine noun used only in the plural meaning giants. The celebrated, puzzling passage where this term is first used is Gen_6:4 which merely transliterates the Hebrew word into English as NePhplim. These beings evidently appeared on the earth in the ancient past when divine beings cohabited with woman, and NePhplim, the mighty men or warriors of great fame, were the offspring. This huge race of NePhplim struck fear into the Israelite spies who had gone up to survey the land of Canaan (see Num_13:31-33). The sons of Anak, a tall race of people, came from the NePhplim (Num_13:33; cf. Deu_2:10-11; Deu_9:2; Jos_15:14). Eze_2:21, Eze_2:27 may have the NePhplim in mind, possibly equating them with the mighty men or mighty warriors in the passage. These beings were not divine but only at best great, powerful men.”

In spite of physical evidence and what scripture says, many will still dispute the existence of giants. Those who try to challenge their existence have difficulty when the story of David arises where he lops off the head of Goliath who was easily over nine feet tall. Goliath, however, was not the only giant, as Og, the king of Bashan, had a bed made for him that was over thirteen feet long.

Deuteronomy 3:11 ERV (Og was the king of Bashan. He was one of the few Rephaites still alive. His bed was made from iron, and it was over 13 feet long and 6 feet wide. The bed is still in the city of Rabbah, where the Ammonites live.)

The premise behind the giants was that fallen angels cohabited with human women and produced offspring. We get this from the book of Jude and Genesis 6:4. However, we can learn that Enoch spoke of it as well.

Jude 1:6 NASB And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day,

Genesis 6:4 ISV  The Nephilim were on the earth at that time (and also immediately afterward), when those divine beings were having sexual relations with those human women, who gave birth to children for them. These children became the heroes and legendary figures of ancient times.

Domain is the Hebrew word archḗ and means chief (in various applications of order, time, place or rank): – beginnings. Abandoned comes from the Hebrew word apoleipō and means to leave behind. “Their proper abode.” conveys the idea of a personal residence. Their personal residence was heaven and they it, however, my guess is that they were thrown out with Satan. WSD

 Jude 1:6, as we saw above, includes an ominous statement.

He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day,

A logical assumption is that the “He” in this verse, is God. The idea of keeping is from the Hebrew tēréō, and means to warden, guard, or keep an eye on. If, in your attempt to sort this out logically, you come to this passage in 2Peter 2:4. Wouldn’t you then say, that the fallen angels are all taken out of the way as they are held until judgment comes?

2Peter 2:4 (AKJV)For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved to judgment;

And yet we see that as yet they are not all kept in bonds under darkness.

What do you then do with this statement from Job?

Job 1:6 (AKJV)Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said to Satan, From where come you? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

The apparent fact is that Satan and his fallen crowd are still walking about in the earth. We are made aware that several fallen angels are chained in the Euphrates river, awaiting the day they are to be released to bring havoc on the earth as part of God’s judgment, during the seven years. But it is evident that not all are chained up.

If these angels that we see in the book of Job, are not chained and restricted from doing things like cohabiting with human women, then perhaps this idea of fallen angels, once again, after the flood, creating a hybridized race of people is not so absurd.

In looking at Genesis 6:4 once again; there are only a handful of translations bold enough to tell this story as it is.

Genesis 6:4 ISV The Nephilim were on the earth at that time (and also immediately afterward), when those divine beings were having sexual relations with those human women, who gave birth to children for them. These children became the heroes and legendary figures of ancient times.

The God’s Word translation merely integrated the sons of God as some aspect of humanity, like they were some self-proclaimed demigods. This statement is not that far-fetched, for, in Genesis chapter ten, we see Nimrod, the son of Cush. It is the elaboration that should catch our attention.

Genesis 6:4 GW The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, as well as later when the sons of God slept with the daughters of other humans and had children by them. These children were famous long ago.

The point here is, that these beings had sex with human women and produced children. As I stated previously, this concept is one that is not foreign to us. Why not? You would have been living under a rock, without electricity, not to be aware that people have claimed to have been abducted by aliens and impregnated. Can you imagine the women in the time of Genesis, trying to tell someone what happened to them? Mary, the mother of Jesus, had a similar problem as she informed the women who challenged her about her pregnancy, that this baby in her womb was God’s baby.

Having shared this information in conversations,  one of the arguments thrown back in my face is, that the “angels are sexless because they can’t give and take in marriage.” Seriously, we have people all around us having intercourse and they are not married. So there is obviously something more to this. This basis for this challenge comes from a question that the Pharisees ask Jesus while trying to trap him. It began with this,

Matthew 22:23-24 ISV  That same day some Sadducees, who claim there is no resurrection, came to Jesus and asked him,  24)  “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for his brother.’

Matthew 22:28 ISV  Now in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be, since all of them had married her?”

Jesus response was,

Matthew 22:29-30 ISV”You are mistaken because you don’t know the Scriptures or God’s power,  30)  because, in the resurrection, people neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like the angels in heaven.

The IVPBBC explains this sentence like this,

“That is, they shall be elevated above the circumstances of mortality, and live in a manner and in a kind of conversation similar to that of the angels. It does not imply that they shall be equal in intellect, but only “in the circumstances of their existence,” as that is distinguished from the way in which mortals live.”

Without an intense theological background, I tend to go with the obvious answer. Jesus told them, people will not marry nor will they be given in marriage in heaven. They are, however, like the angels. This is not a denial or confirmation that angels can mate, but virtually every observance we have of angels is that they are large and powerful warriors. That tends to give them male characteristics, and Genesis tells us that the fallen ones did have intercourse with human women.

I also realize that we can only understand the world through our inner brokenness; a brokenness that happens to like sex. Unfortunately, that desire is deeply tied to our selfish motivations and desires. Angels, with the exception of the third that followed Satan, have no selfish desires, and merely do what they are told. Marriage and intercourse then, are not a part of their job description. Obviously then, it is feasible.

Nimrod came after the flood, but there are some similarities that might help us understand these giants.

With a little bit of background research into the Hebrew words used to describe him, we can determine that Nimrod, is probably not an offspring of one of these fallen angels. However, this description we have of Nimrod in Genesis 10 has some ominous words used in association with him.

Genesis 10:8-11 NASB Now Cush became the father of Nimrod; he became a mighty one on the earth. 9) He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD.” 10) The beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. 11) From that land he went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh and Rehoboth-Ir and Calah,

he became” This word became is interesting as it is used two times in the passage from Genesis 10:8, and yet, each instance is a different Hebrew word. For example:

  • Cush became the father of Nimrod.

    What can I learn from that? Since Cush is a human, then Nimrod should be a human also. But, even though scripture almost implies that the offspring were only males, that is not the case. Therefore, just because the word gibbôr, which can also mean an overwhelming influence and not height does not exclude the possibility that Nimrod was a massive man.

    When verse eight speaks of Nimrod, in saying, he became. It is using the Hebrew word hâyâh which means to exist or to come to pass. Since we already know that Nimrod didn’t simply appear, then we also know that who he became was a process. The NASB concordance indicates the word chalal in association with the phrase “he became.” “chalal,” we are told, is a primary root and means; to pollute, defile, profane. It seems logical to assume, that Nimrod became polluted, defiled and profane. He also became a principal polluter and defiler of the representation of God. As corroborating evidence, when Nineveh comes up in the story of Jonah, most do not realize that Nimrod, and his defiling ways, was the founder and builder of Nineveh. Although it is not told to us in the story of Jonah, the prudent can learn that a significant influence on the Assyrians, the people of Nineveh, is Dagon (a prevalent god throughout the Middle East,) the half man – half fish god. In Judges 16 we see Samson pulling down the Philistine temple of Dagon.

a mighty onea double usage of the word gibbor which means, [powerful; by implication warrior, tyrant: – giant.] [The Hebrew word gibbor is a derivative of another word gabar and also carries the implications of – one who conducts himself arrogantly, and surpasses.]

It could easily be said of Nimrod that he was a giant, but it is clear that he was also a powerful tyrant. Is there any wonder why Jonah wanted these people dead.

hunter– is the Hebrew word tsûd. A primitive root meaning to lie alongside – in wait; by implication to catch an animal (figuratively men).

One of our reactions as civilized people is to refuse to consider the possibility that Nimrod could have been hunting people. Based on the context we cannot exclude the idea; and, sadly, we have the testimony of Israel’s history and Jonah that tells that Nimrod’s Assyrians did hunt other humans and brutalized them.

If the implications are nothing less than scary, then what does that mean to Enoch. Perhaps nothing, perhaps everything, but if I am going to go any farther, then I have to expand my focus.

Genesis 6:5 NET. But the LORD saw that the wickedness of humankind had become great on the earth. Every inclination of the thoughts of their minds was only evil all the time.

Because of sin – the predisposition to act out of selfishness, along with corruption from fallen angels, the uncorrupted human gene pool had been reduced so severely that there was only one family line left that was uncorrupted.

My point? With righteous men like Enoch and Methuselah, I would have thought we would have seen a more significant impact on relatives, and thus would have had them on the Ark with Noah.

As we read, we assume things like Methuselah being destroyed by drowning in the flood, but that did not happen. Several times now I have come across a definition of Methuselah’s name that states when he dies, it will come. The idea is that Methuselah was a living prophecy.

Posted in angels, bible study, creation, David and Goliath, Deception, Dispelling myths, End times, fallen angels, false teaching, Genesis, Goliath, judgment, Nephilim, Nimrod, Prophetic, Things I have never noticed before, Thoughts, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An intensive look at Enoch. Part one.

I have been looking at Enoch and attempting to write about him, and his surroundings, for weeks now. It has been nothing less than a struggle as the things I talk about here, are controversial (I know this because I have been around religion for a long time and I have had first-hand experience with this.) And, as I will mention in the post, there seems to be so little known about the man; at least that is the impression we were given growing up in church.

May I interject something here? Growing up in church rarely brings you to an understanding of who God is. Oh sure, you can walk away with a boatload of traditions and opinions, but few of them are correct, accurate, or appropriate. For example: In today’s morning study, the leader said, “you will not find a Pharisee in heaven.” I do not believe that is a valid statement, nor was it appropriate. For weren’t Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimethia Pharisees?

Mark 15:43 CJB  Yosef of Ramatayim, a prominent member of the Sanhedrin who himself was also looking forward to the Kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Yeshua’s body.

John 3:1 NASB Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews;

So for someone to make such a brash statement like NO Pharisees will be found in heaven, is blatantly untrue. There is a point to this tirade and that is, that there is a multitude of things being preached and taught that are at worst decrepit lies, and at best, false teachings;  none-the-less, both can send you into a pit of deception. If we have bought into the lies, choosing to not challenge what we hear by reading the Word of God for ourselves. Then how will we know what is true? Jesus, by the way, is the one who said, “no one comes to the Father but through me.” Is it possible that: the tearing of the veil in the temple; giving himself as the final sacrifice; pouring out his own blood on the heavenly altar, and giving his life as the payment for the redemption of the world is the thing that restored our way back to the Father?  Seriously, the price has been paid; and all that is required is that WE acknowledge and accept Jesus as that final lamb that slaughtered for us.

But what does religion do? It clouds the issue, creates more rules, and condemns every stupid thing we do as we stumble through this thing called life.

Having said all that, I give you an intensive look at Enoch.

Enoch is a man that few talk about, and yet, Enoch’s legacy is found in Genesis, the book of Jude, Hebrews 11 and 2 Peter 2. We also see Enoch’s name entwined in the history of Middle East. There is no doubt that Enoch interacted with the Nephilim, and, that he walked with God in such a way that he was able to walk off the earth.

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. (Heb 11:5, UKJV)

A man like this is worthy of a concentrated look and study.

The first reference we have to the name Enoch is in Genesis 4:17 where the wife of Cain, (the man who killed his brother Abel,) is having a baby. They named that baby Enoch. This child is not the Enoch we are looking for but is the son of Cain and the father of another called Enoch. This son of Cain built a city and named that city after his son, Enoch. However, neither of these play a role in getting us to the Enoch we desire to understand. If I look carefully at the genealogy provided in Genesis chapter five, I find that Cain played NO role in the bloodline that leads us to Noah. We will probe a possible reason why Cain is excluded further on in the thesis.

Do we have other methods of determining which Enoch we want, as there are two so far?
Yes, and one of the answers comes from the book of Jude.

And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints, (Jude 1:14, UKJV)

Genesis provides an excellent genealogy through Seth, not Cain.

And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he brings forth sons and daughters: And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died. And Seth lived a hundred and five years, and brings forth Enos: And Seth lived after he brings forth Enos eight hundred and seven years, and brings forth sons and daughters: And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died. And Enos lived ninety years, and brings forth Cainan: And Enos lived after he brings forth Cainan eight hundred and fifteen years, and brings forth sons and daughters: And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died. And Cainan lived seventy years and brought forth Mahalaleel: And Cainan lived after he brings forth Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty years, and brings forth sons and daughters: And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died. And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and brings forth Jared: And Mahalaleel lived after he brings forth Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and brings forth sons and daughters: And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died. And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he brings forth Enoch: And Jared lived after he brings forth Enoch eight hundred years, and brings forth sons and daughters: And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died. And Enoch lived sixty and five years and brings forth Methuselah: (Gen 5:4-21, UKJV)

Since Jude says that Enoch was the seventh generation from Adam, let’s test the claim. Adam; Seth; Enos; Cainan; Mahalaleel; Jared; Enoch. There it is, seven generations.

The name Enoch alone tells us much about the man, as his name means dedicated or disciplined. This dedication must have been a predominant aspect of his life because we have this,

And Enoch walked with God after he brings forth Methuselah three hundred years, and brings forth sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. (Gen 5:22-24, UKJV)

What do we have that could explain Enoch’s understanding of God and how to communicate with God as if that is a big mystery?

If we do the math, we find that Adam was 622 years old when Enoch is born, and Adam lived to be 930 years old. Therefore Adam may have had a substantial impact on Enoch, and Adam is the only logical choice to influence Enoch.

If Adam was able to inform Enoch and demonstrate what this idea of walking with God looked like, Why then didn’t Adam merely walk off the earth as Enoch did?
Maybe the answer, as with Cain, has more to do with their cataclysmic errors in judgment.

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges explains this walk that Enoch lived as a combination of fellowship and progress.

[walked with God] The phrase here, as in Genesis 5:24, used of Enoch, has passed into common use to express intimacy of communion with God. It denotes more than either standing in His presence, or walking before Him (Genesis 6:9, Genesis 17:1), or following after Him. It combines the ideas of fellowship and progress. It is the picture of one who has God with him in all the various scenes of life.

The word took, is explained in the Cambridge Bible commentary as well.

This expression is used to denote an unaccountable disappearance, cf. Genesis 42:13; Genesis 42:36; 1Kings 20:40. In order to make it quite clear that the words did not imply death, LXX renders οὐχ εὑρίσκετο; Vulg. “ non-apparuit.” The shortness of his life as compared with the other patriarchs might have been regarded as a proof of Divine displeasure if the next sentence had not been added to explain the circumstance. [for God took him] “Took,” or “received,” him, i.e., into His own abode, without death.

The Hebrew word for took is lāqaḥ: A verb meaning to take, to get. Its exact meaning must be discerned from its context. It is used of grasping or seizing a person or an animal. Word Study Dictionary.

You will also find the word lāqaḥ used in Ezekiel 8:3 where Ezekiel describes the spirit, lifting him up by the hair and taking him, by visions, to God.

This word lāqaḥ is very similar to the Greek word Harpazo, which also means to snatch away. Harpazo is the Greek word that we substitute for the word rapture. In either case, it conveys the rapid removal of the church from the earth prior to God’s wrath being poured out on the planet – just like Noah and the flood; and, just like Lot before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

In the book of Jude, we have a prophecy attributed to Enoch which cannot be verified in the Old Testament by direct comparison, because it is only found in The Book of Enoch (Enoch 1:9.)

Jude 1:14-15 MKJV And Enoch, the seventh from Adam, also prophesied to these, saying, Behold, the Lord came with myriads of His saints, 15) to do judgment against all, and to rebuke all the ungodly of them concerning all their ungodly works which they ungodly did, and concerning all the hard things ungodly sinners spoke against Him.

Assuming you don’t have a copy of the Book of Enoch, is a statement like this so odd?
Hardly, and here are some examples that convey that theme, although they came long after Enoch.

Daniel 7:18 But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.

Zechariah 14:5 MKJV And you shall flee to the valley of My mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. And Jehovah my God shall come, and all the saints with you.

There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus will come as described in Revelation 19:14 with all the armies of heaven, just as Enoch described.

If this was all the Biblical information I had on Enoch, what then do I make of this man.

I think it would be safe to say that:

  • Enoch was a good man.

    While the majority of the world was going crazy, Enoch remained sane.

    Genesis 6:5 NASB Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

    The passage implies that the whole world had gone mad. Even if one man had not, then I should not be allowed to say all. It is safe to assume that something close to all is being suggested, however, Enoch cannot be counted among that number.

    While it is safe to assume that Enoch was a good man, all we have is Hebrews 11:5 to validate that claim. There is something certain about Hebrews 11:5, as the writer of Hebrews had no more information about Enoch than we have, unless they had access to a copy of The Book of Enoch, as J.R. Church claims they did. Suddenly it seems the Bible itself is validating this Book of Enoch.

  • He was a worshiper of God.

    Enoch seems to have taken worship to the next level; something I wish I could attain. But again, there is nothing in the Old Testament to validate this claim outside of this,

    Genesis 5:24 NASB Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.

    There is, however, this line we find in Hebrews 11:5,

    for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.

    The words obtained and witness are the same word marturéō which means (according to the Word Study Dictionary) To bear witness, to testify to the truth of what one has seen, heard, or knows. Now, did God bear witness to Enoch, or did Enoch bear witness to God? Since The Book of Enoch was known and read throughout the early church for the first 700 years of its existence; then it is safe to say that Enoch bore witness to: not only the current and future acts of the living God (prophetically,) but also the activities of the fallen angels – as they attempted to prevent God from bringing in the seed (through man) that would crush Satan’s head.

  • It is safe to say that Enoch walked the earth at the same time as the Titans.

    Dissecting this requires that we use our brains and think outside the religious boxes in which we entrench ourselves. Our principal source of information comes from Genesis 6. What is the problem with that? The problem is that we make immediate and critical assumptions based upon the placement of the information in the, so called, Bible “chronology.”

    Allow me to explain. We know that God created man (male and female,) put a body on them, and placed them in the garden. We assume that garden was a small selective spot and that they never left it, but neither of those ideas is valid. All you have to do is travel a bit, stop at the local museum, and you find that the barren location you are now standing on was once a vibrant, tropical garden.

    What we do know is this,

    Genesis 3:1-3 NASB Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” 2) The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3) but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'”

    In this expansive place called a garden was a plot of ground considered to be the center. Here is where the fall of man took place.

    Another assumption we make is that there were no children born to Adam and Eve until the fall. If that was the case, then why would God have to make this declaration to Eve?

    Genesis 3:16 NASB To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain, you will bring forth children;

    This comment by God would make no sense to Eve unless she was producing children without all the pain and discomfort normally associated with childbirth. Add to this piece of logic a question recently thrown at me, once again; “where did Cain get his wife?” The answer lies in setting aside tradition, assumption, and faulty teaching. Since we legitimately do not know how long Adam and Eve walked this earth prior to the fall. It is only natural to think that two naked humans would have had intercourse, only without the self-serving motives sin brings. And, this, is the only reasonable explanation for Cain to obtain a wife. The alternative, of Cain, waiting for his parents to produce a female child is ridiculous. Besides that, we relish the idea of clinging to twisted chronological logic, which cannot explain why Cain would say, people, will kill me, especially when we want to believe that there were no other people. And do we have any reason that logically explains why Cain was able to go to a city? Mind you, at this time in civilizations history; a city could have been several thatch huts and a fire pit. It still implies others living there and the probability of families of their own.

    If this idea of children before the fall is valid, then what kind of mentality would they have had? They were just like their parents, godlike.

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