7O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces
I'm in the middle of the second section of the study FIG LEAVES. If you've read this study, then you see how I'm tying the entire Bible together through the use of the Garden of Eden story in Genesis, and the last part of the Book of Revelation. The creation story has been relegated to an imaginary tale with no particular significance other than perhaps a description of how sin came into the world. It is not taken seriously by but perhaps a very few Christians and ministers of the Word.
That, the Garden of Eden story.
I've been doing some investigation into the background of the book of Revelation. I wanted to see what other people have to say about the book that to me carries with it so much importance and is the key, along with the Genesis account and the Tabernacle, to understanding the purposes of God. For all of my life the book of Revelation has been a book far beyond my comprehension. I have been able to see much of what is said through the symbolic pictures given, but I couldn't apply them to the future. I never had a moment of doubt that the book is a true account of the end times. This to me was a given. And I never dreamed that others who called themselves Christian, especially those who stand behind the pulpit, would have any doubts about its authenticity either.
For many years I have heard sermons about the Bible, and I noticed that when it came to the book of Revelation, preachers would give it but a moment of time, then back off from it. When they were pressed for an explanation about a certain passage from the book, they would toss the question off lightly, or they would give some quick answer that I knew was not even in the realm of probability.
I've also noticed that there are preachers who spend a great deal of time discussing the book of Revelation. And I noticed that all these are self-proclaimed prophets using the book to lend support to their later proven wrong predictions. The 70's were especially filled with such prophets and prophesies. And even though all these prophesies have fallen on their face, and most (if not all) were founded on what has turned out to be fabricated "evidence," people still listen to those faulted "prophets."
Is the Book of Revelation a fairy tale? Is it just a dream John was having? Is it the ravings of a madman? According to some this is just what it is. Let's take a look at a bit of the history of the Book of Revelation:
During the second century Christians in Syria rejected the Book of Revelation because a sect called Montanism accepted it. This sect was looked down upon and was considered heretical. So naturally the mainstream Christians could have no part in something a heretic group considers important. Is this unusual? Not at all. Today we have Christian groups who are considered heretics by the mainstream churches. These people have some very good insight into the Bible. And their ethics and their practices far outstrip those of the mainstream. But since these practices and beliefs are identified with the outcasts, they won't even be considered as worthy of consideration. The Christian world is not one to look for the best in one another with an eye toward perfecting the Church as a whole, but instead it is a body of segments that have built walls of hate, condemnation and despising to separate one part of the body from another.
Revelation was rejected because it was accepted by the "wrong" group. What does this tell you about our search for truth? What does this tell you about our understanding of what God wants us to hear, and what He has written to us? Are we seeking to find God's will for us? Or are we looking to see what fits us and to reject what we don't like? There's more:
Somehow, probably by God's intervention against all the thinking of the Christian mighty, the Book of Revelation was canonized at the Council of Carthage in 397. Had it not been, we wouldn't have one of the most important books in the Bible explaining our time and what lies ahead. We would still have the prophetic books of the Old Testament, but we would be lacking the key with which to unlock those books (see Isaiah 29:9-16).
"Neither apostolic nor prophetic....Christ is neither taught nor known in it ." These are the words Martin Luther wrote in his preface to his German translation of Revelation. Did you catch that? Martin Luther wrote a translation of a book he didn't believe, and even stated so in that preface. Now how much credibility would you give a book that was translated by someone who didn't believe what he was writing? How much credibility would you give a Bible written, or translated by a confirmed Atheist? (Don't misunderstand me, I'm in no way saying Luther was an Atheist.) The book Martin Luther fought to defend and was willing to die for he did not believe to be the true and accurate Word of God! It appears to me by the way many of the preachers behind the pulpits manipulate and change the Word in the Bible to fit their doctrine, they do not believe the Bible to be accurate either. Therefore preachers and theologians feel it's their responsibility and obligation to correct God's Word so that they state what they know to be true.
Martin Luther, who was so dogmatic in his attitude against the Book of Revelation apparently changed his mind and six years later he wrote a revised preface stating that Jesus was central to the Book of Revelation, just the opposite of what he believed in 1522. In six years Jesus went from not even being mentioned in the book (I count His name being mentioned 14 times, and in Rev 22:16 He even says "I Jesus." Martin Luther missed this, and yet he translate the book. Hmmm), now he says Jesus is "central" to the book. Does this cause you to wonder at all? I hope so.
Was Martin Luther right the first time? Or was he wrong the first time and right the last time? Is truth, truth? Or is it not? Do the theologians recognize truth? Or do they not? Is God talking to the theologians and the pastors? Or is He not? What is your thinking on this, and who is it you follow blindly to perdition? Consider, if you, a follower of some creed or doctrine or man of God, are doing the very right thing, but you are doing it blindly because you happen to belong to the "right" church or whatever, you will receive no credit for what you've done. All you will have done is follow rituals and do the "works" you were told to do. There's no honor in doing by mistake what is right. However, if you were to take the wrong road, and you do so because you have searched the word diligently, and tried your best to do as you see for yourself what is right, then, as I see it, you will even be given credit for having taken the wrong road, that is, if when you see it's wrong, you correct your direction. For an example of this see the life of David, and even more to the point, the life of Paul.
John Calvin wrote a commentary on the Bible. That's a nice thing to do. I can say that because I do so myself all the time albeit in a different form. I'm blowing my own horn you might say. Calvin wrote commentaries, but he never wrote a commentary on the Book of Revelation. It's probably a good thing he didn't since he didn't believe it to be true. Besides, how in the world can a person write a commentary on such a complicated book if they aren't led by the Spirit, or if they can't fathom what it's saying? People do it all the time, but look at the mess it's causing.
In Jesus day the Sadducees, who were very powerful and influential in the Church of the day, were very much like the theologians of today. They went through the motions of religions. They did everything they were suppose to do. They taught the people what they knew. The only problem is, they didn't believe the Bible they were reading from and teaching from! (Acts 23:8; John 3:11-12; Mat 16:6-12; 6:1-2; 5:6-9).
It appears to me as how the understanding of the Book of Revelation is that of a SiFi book or a toaster manual that's either read just for the fun of it, or stuck under a drawer just because that person might have a toaster that goes along with it. That's a pity because the Book of Revelation, when considered along with the rest of the Bible, is a most fascinating and informative book.
The Book of Revelation is not only the final book of the Bible, it is a summery of the creation of God; it is an explanation of earth's history and its future; it is a warning to the churches; and it is a beautiful picture of the end of God's plan and how it effects us. But since we dismiss the book, and we don't try to understand the book through the Spirit, we lose out on God's plan for us and run off instead with a fanciful picture of the working of God.
There is one part of the Book of Revelation that receives a great deal of attention in some circles. That one part is the Tribulation. And well it should receive our attention (see Mat 24 all, Mark 13 all, Luke 21 all). It is a warning to us of what we can expect if we don't change our ways. However, instead of using this warning to change our ways, we use it to write fanciful books and make fanciful movies showing how those who don't take a bath in the appropriate church will suffer the consequences of this Tribulation, a Tribulation designed to punish the unfaithful church, the wayward bride, not the unbelieving world. The world will indeed be eliminated, just as it was in Noah's flood. But the purpose of the Tribulation will be the same as Noah's flood: to wipe out the unrighteous and to preserve those proven righteous and carry them into the next world.
I picture a child with chocolate spread over his face and hands, thumbing his nose at his clean brother while mother is asking who got into the cookie jar. It's you, the church, that "mother" is looking at while taking down the whipping strap, not your brother.
We've seen that throughout history the great minds of Christianity wanted, and tried, to keep the Book of Revelation out of the Bible. Why didn't they do it? It seems they had the power to dismiss the Bible. If you read the original Bible as the Roman Catholics accept it you will see some pretty bazaar and obviously silly books that have been accepted and used for Scripture. In fact most of the fantasies that are universally believed are rooted in these spurious (not genuine or authentic) books. They got in and are highly accepted today, so why didn't the church fathers kick out the Book of Revelation since they didn't like it? Because the authenticity of the Book of Revelation was indisputable. All of the other books might be doubted, but apparently the book they least wanted in the Bible was the one they couldn't deny. I might be overstating the point here, I wasn't there at the time to verify the fact. I was born a year or two later. But as far as I can tell they have traced the Book of Revelation to before 200AD. That's quite a record.
For the most part what we're seeing here is the personal expressed opinion by people who don't matter in most of our eyes, and about a book that is not as significant to the Christian as are many of the others in regard to church doctrine as we perceive it. But I would like for you to stop and consider for a moment. Not all people are merely expressing their personal opinion. Many are behind the pulpit or on the tube spouting poison to anyone who will listen. Their opinion is neither their own opinion, nor is it innocent. They preach what they have been taught, and they preach what their denomination allows them to preach. Just about every preacher or pastor has attended a seminar or a college where they have learned about the Bible, and about preaching. They learn much more than just how to give a sermon; they learn how to operate a church, how to sell the church (manipulate people) and how to sell what they're preaching (manipulate feelings and attitudes). You might assume that all these people, the ones behind the pulpit and on the tube, are in contact with the Lord and that's where they received their understanding of the Bible. This just is not so. In the schools they learn many things, but what they do not learn is how to think for themselves and how to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in order to understand what the Lord is telling us in the Bible. In fact, as likely as not, they will be taught that the Bible is not the infallible Word of God.
I would like for you to take a moment and consider such groups as the Jesus Seminar. What a lovely sounding name for a very large group of people to gather under and put their minds together in order to decipher the truth of the Word. That is what one would expect. But this is not so. Take the time, get on the web and research the Jesus Seminar. Their aim was not to promote and study the truth of the Bible, but to undermine the Bible under the guise of Christian unity and a search for truth. Check out the findings of this group. See how they've "proven" that Jesus is not the Son of God, that He wasn't virgin born, and all the other things they've shed doubt upon if not outright thrown out the window. See if you would like any of them teaching your child about Jesus and what it means to be a Christian. Then take a look at the credentials of these men. Impressive, is it not? Look at the Bible institutions they've attended, and what's more, look at the Bible institutions they teach for. They are the teachers of the ones who are preaching to you and your children. They are the ones who write the "authoritative" books read by scholars, teachers, and you and I. They are teaching, often in an underhanded way because they can't come outright and say so, what they believe. And what do they believe? They don't!
Now, watch the boob-tube. See those very flashy and impressive "specials" shown throughout the year, and especially on Christmas and other "religious" holidays. So much to learn from those specials. So beautifully produced. But listen to the words. Watch carefully the "evidence" they provide. It's all an attempt to discredit and negate the truth of the Bible, not to promote it. Notice the "expert" they have on almost every one of those programs, no matter which program it might be. Catch the name? It's the same one who's so instrumental in forming and promoting the Jesus Seminar. Watch carefully for his credentials. The man knows his Bible. I should know the Bible even a fraction of a fraction the way he knows the Bible. The difference is I fully believe the Bible. He does not. He uses the Bible for his own ends. I wouldn't trade places with him for all the money he must make, nor the notoriety he gains from all his endeavors.
Who is it you're listening to? How "famous" is he? How fine a speaker is he? How well does he know the Bible? None of these questions are the questions you should be asking. You should be asking: Is he truly following the Holy Spirit? Don't ask the man of the cloth, you already know what he's going to say. Ask the Lord. And if you don't have a relationship with the Lord where you can come to Him and talk to Him and receive an answer, then all this really doesn't matter anyway, does it?
We say Jesus will meet us half way, that is, those who say we have to walk at all because, in their mind, Jesus does it all. I don't agree with either account. I believe Jesus has already come all the way except for one step. And man, that one step is a doozie!!
Inspired? I write fun stories. I hear a word or see something in the clouds and I just have to run to the typewriter and write a story about it. I love to write just from my imagination. It just takes a butterfly or a puff of wind to get me inspired to write what turns out to be a hundred page book. I have over 500 stories started, and notes for hundreds more. Some of these unfinished stories are nearly finished, but I got inspired to start others before I could proof read them. I am easily inspired. I read the inane comments on Revelation quoted here and I had to drop everything and write my opinion on it. Inspired? If the Word of God is merely inspired, then Jesus' statement about every jot and tittle being of God, and will be fulfilled, can not be believed. And if I can't believe every Word of God (not the translation, I take no stock in them) can be believed, then I might as well just hang it all up and go play baseball. I'm not smart enough to pick and choose through the Bible to find what's true and what's not. So the likelihood of my finding the truth is nil to nothing. And if I can't count on knowing the truth, then my chance of making it through the Judgement is the same as that of my finding the truth. Others may have such confidence, and you may have such confidence, but not I. Besides, in the years I've been making these extensive studies and writing what I find, I have yet to find a single contradiction in the Bible or in the findings that have been given me. I see where almost everything I find contradicts the common view held by the churches, but then again every view held by any of the churches conflicts with the church next door to it. Contradiction and confusion is just part of this Apostate and segmented church. But the Word of God is just as stable and as true as it has ever been. Praise God!
I hear all these pastors arguing about this and that as a means to escape the judgement. This and that ranges from everybody saved eventually to those who are baptized in a certain manner are going to float out of here on a cloud and miss the judgment and the Tribulation altogether. Some preachers will add a bit of works needed to give evidence of their faith. It's all baloney. None of that matters a whit. We're all going to die, and we're all going to face the judgement (Heb 9:12). If your preacher believes otherwise, he's wrong, dead wrong. And so are those who believe and follow him (Mat 15:14). We all have to die. We can either die and be sent to hell when it's all over and done, or we can die right here where we stand. If we die to ourself now, then the Holy Spirit can give us life, and if we truly have the Life of God, then we're already dead and we will remain alive through the Spirit of God (Rom 8:10-14). That's the second death for those of us who desire to miss hell (Rev 20:14-15). I don't think there are many people who really believe there is a judgement, or a hell, regardless of what they claim, because if they did believe they would do all they could to avoid such a place (James 2:17-20). I see very few Christians making any effort whatever toward that end. If a person truly believed their house was on fire, they would spend every moment, every thought, every effort to get themselves and everyone they cared for out of that house (1John 3:14-19). They would even risk their life to save their pet parakeet. Do you see anyone making such an effort? Are you?
We all have to face the judgement. Don't let anyone fool you. You will face your Lord in Judgement. It's all through the Bible, and there's no escaping it. It's not a matter of if we face the judgement, but when we face our judgement. Like death, we can either do it here and now, or we can do it when it's too late (1Cor 11:32). If we choose to do it here, first of all we have to die to ourself and turn our life over to the Lord (Mat 10:38-39). There's a lot more to turning our life over to the Lord than an occasional prayer and attending Sunday School. It requires more than does your job or your school. It demands more of you than does the military. It demands all your heart, soul and mind (Luke 14:26-27; Mat 22:36-39). It requires that you devote every action, every thought, every desire to doing what the Lord wants you to do, and wanting more and more of the Lord (John 14:10-12, 20-21). Of course that's a task too great for any of us, but it's a task we must undertake if we're to miss the Judgement Seat of the unredeemed. Some of us will succeed 30 fold, some 60 fold, and some of us will be total overcomers as were the Apostles, Enoch, and Job.
Sound like too much? Yes it is. It's literally impossible for us to do all that's required of us. That's why the Lord provided a helper and a comforter Who will see us through, if we will let Him (John 14:15-17, 25-26; Mat 5:48; Eph 4:11-13). He will point out what in our life has to go. That will of course involve the stuff that obviously has to go, but it may well include the nice things we consider important, even Godly (John 15:1-8; 1Cor 5:7-8; 2Tim 2:21; 2Peter 1:5-11). Jesus mentioned some of these good things such as our spouse, our children, and yes, our own life as well. Whatever stands between us and the Lord has to go (Heb 2:10; 1Peter 5:10-11). I've found this doesn't always mean a physical separation. In fact we're told we're to remain close to our spouse, and to raise our children properly. Those who think they have to pack up and abandon their family are listening to a wrong spirit. This goes against God's Word, and God doesn't contradict Himself. When there's an apparent contradiction of the Word, then we have to reevaluate our understanding, not change the Words of God. For myself (and I don't say this is the way He works with everybody) I had to physically get rid of a lot of my "toys" that I had collected for years. Then I had to stand back, look at my house, my car, and everything I own and value, and see them as gone up in smoke. Every once in a while I have to do this again. And occasionally I begin to build up my collection of toys, and I have to give them away or throw them away. They're just a burden in my Spiritual backpack.
Judging ourself is not an easy thing to do. In fact in the beginning it's very difficult to do because we've developed a habit of justifying ourself (Luke 16:15) and comparing ourself to others who aren't doing as well as we are (2Cor 10:12) . But in order to judge ourself, we have to compare ourself to the Judge Himself, which is Jesus (Heb 12:1-3; 1Cor 2:13). When we compare ourself to Jesus, how do we stack up? If you don't see yourself on the same level as Jesus then you know you still have a ways to go to pass the Judgement seat without the smell of smoke.
We're told we will be purified as if by fire. Tribulation and persecution is part of the fire we must endure in order to be refined. This is a hard concept to grasp. But as hard as this process may sound, the judging and dealing with ourselves is even harder. It's hard to rid ourselves of the habits and the pleasures we've allowed ourselves all our life. And the older we are, the more self-indulged we've become, and the harder it is to identify and correct our crooked ways.
We're told in many of the churches that Jesus died to pay for all sins. This is not true, nor is such a statement made in the Bible. If that were true, then the Universalists would be correct, that is, everyone would make it into Heaven. We know this is not so. Therefore, if such is not so, then Jesus did not die to pay for all sins. Jesus is not a free ticket past Go. We have to do our part. In the Old Testament era, the time Jesus lived, the sacrifice of an innocent animal had to be made to pay for our sins. This was a conditional sacrifice. It only paid for sin until the true, the yearly sacrifice could be made by a purified and sanctified High Priest. This High Priest had to undergo a very regimented routine that caused him to be cleansed of sin so that he could be "righteous" enough to stand before the Lord and sacrifice for the nation and the people. This sacrifice, the sacrifice made by the High Priest did not do away with the personal sacrifices made by each individual. But the High Priest's sacrifice was absolutely necessary for the nation to continue, and for sin to be eradicated (the sins of the people) for the coming year. Paul said:
The entire book of Hebrews covers this aspect of the High Priest and how Jesus fulfilled that responsibility once and for all. The High Priest's responsibilities are now performed, and this forever. The final destruction of the Temple where such a sacrifice has to be made is evidence of the finality of the High Priest's responsibilities. Jesus has served as the yearly sacrifice. But there still remains the individual sacrifice each of us has to make in order to cleanse ourself each and every time we sin. And instead of Jesus doing away with our responsibility, as is so commonly claimed, He raised the bar and made it so we have to make even more sacrifices than was necessary while the Temple stood. Jesus said:
Uh oh. Now I'm sinning even when I think of sin. If I owned a cattle ranch I'd be bankrupt before the month was out. Why would Jesus make it so even our thoughts are sin?
Now we run into a problem. We can't kill an animal and sacrifice it for all our sins. So what do we do to cleans ourself? Jesus has taken care of the High Priest's job, but what can we do?
Under the old law we were able to let a perfect animal take our place on the alter of sacrifice. It had to be perfect. It couldn't be less than perfect. Now there is no animal sacrifice, so we have nothing to take our place when we sin. It's left up to us to sacrifice ourself. But how can we do that? We have two problems we run into when we consider offering ourself as a sacrifice. One, we're dirty sinners, so how can we offer something pure and perfect as a sacrifice when we ourselves are the sinner who needs to find a sacrifice to cover our sin? That's our first problem. The second problem is that such a sacrifice has to be made at the Temple by a priest. But the Temple is gone, and so are the priests. So now what?
5And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (Rev 1:)
Did you catch that? Now I ask you, where is it we go to make our sacrifice? Where is the Temple of God? Who are the priests?
We run into two more problems now. The first problem is that in order to make use of the Temple, which is us, the Temple has to be sanctified, that is, it can't be polluted. If it does become polluted, it has to be ritually cleansed. We are both the dirty scoundrel that needs to offer the sacrifice to cleanse us, and we're the polluted Temple. How can we have our sins forgiven and cleanse the Temple of God, which is us, at the same time? God provided the means to do both, and both at the same time. Remember, what we're looking for is to have our sins forgiven. That's the reason for making the sacrifice. And once we're forgiven, and once again made sanctified, thereby holy, then the Holy Spirit can inhabit us. Does all this make sense to you? I doubt it agrees with any doctrine of any church, at least none that I've ever heard of. And I'm going to tell you the truth. I didn't know any of this until I started writing it. I've wondered about it, but I never expected to have my questions answered. Perhaps you can see by this why I love to write these studies. I learn so much. Ok, back to purifying ourselves and the Temple:
Pay close attention here, there's several very important issues being discussed. One to take special note of is this: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. Does your church teach that Jesus died to cover all sin, therefor you have no more sin? Take a look again at the verse. See if it agrees with such a teaching.
If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. Did you read this carefully? If we walk in the light, that is in the true Word of God, then we have fellowship with others who are in the light, and also with the Lord who is the light. Is this making sense to you? Are you learning anything new? I am.
While I'm on this subject, that of being in the light: I find the more free of my sins I am: my lusts, and my ego, the less guilt I feel, and the closer I feel to the Lord. If I have thoughts that bother me, or temptations that I'm not casting off too well, then I feel a distance between me and the Lord. If I have temptations, and I'm able to resist the temptations, I feel good about myself, and I feel as if the Lord feels good about me. Is this all just in my head? Maybe. It really doesn't matter. The fact still remains it seems to work in that I get to feel good about myself, I feel close to God, I seem to receive a clearer understanding of the Word, and I'm doing something that's good for me. It's a win-win situation whether it's real or not.
Now, how do we cleanse our Temple (actually the Lord's Temple since we are not our own 1Cor 6:20) and also sanctify ourself once again so we can stand in the presence of the Lord:
9Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (1Cor 6:)
Be not deceived, Paul says. We're not sanctified once and for all at our baptism. Not by a long shot. It's an ongoing purification process carried out by each of us and the Lord through the Holy Spirit.
There's a great many more verses of Scripture supporting this concept. But I don't have to tell you where the are, you've very likely seen them for yourself but didn't know what they mean because they don't fit what most of the churches teach.
Don't let anyone fool you into slacking off by telling you because you had a bath Jesus is going to automatically cover you with a pure robe of white. As much as you would like to believe this fantasy, you know in your heart it isn't true. And when you read the Bible (at least I assume you read the Bible) you see that such thinking does not line up at all with Scripture.
We must keep ourself holy. The Church must keep itself holy. The church keeps itself holy the same way we individual are to remain holy. They must cast out any and all sin, which means the sinner if the sinner won't repent. And if the church doesn't cleanse itself, the Holy Spirit leaves the church altogether. Many churches don't even talk about individual sin anymore, leastwise condemn it and cast it out (except in word and in accusation toward other churches and other people, not themselves, believing everyone in their church is perfected), so the churches become more corrupt by the week, and the Holy Spirit is leaving more of the churches.
Is there something wrong with this picture? Is God speaking to these people or not? Are they being led by the Holy Spirit or are they being led by their own rebellious spirit? For two thousand years we've had a church that we've followed unquestioningly, even though that church is segmented into thousands upon thousands of different views.
Jesus referred to us as sheep. Sheep follow whoever designates themself as a shepherd. Get one sheep moving and the others will follow blindly behind. This certainly is the state of the Christian church today. There are the leaders who stay Spiritually blinded by their doctrinal view, and there's the blind sheep who can't see they're following a wolf. We hate to think for ourselves. It's too much trouble. But when it's all said and done, and there's billions upon billions of people standing on the wrong side of the throne of judgement, finding themselves with the goats instead of the sheep they believe themselves to be, then I suspect there will be a great deal of thought given, both to the future, and to the unthoughtful and blind past.
In the study of the Fig Leaves, as well as other studies, I use the Book of Revelation and the creation account as keys and an index to the rest of the Bible. I find no discrepancies or conflicts in Revelation, even though by the very nature of the study I'm doing, such conflicts would be expected. The Bible is a book of mysteries. The Bible itself tells us so (Eph 6:19; Mark 4:11-12). But with the leading of the Holy Spirit these mysteries are unraveled and made clear. If we go our own way, the Bible will seem like nothing but a mass of confusion and conflict (1Cor 14:32; James 3:16). As seen in this page such is apparently the case with many theologians and ministers in the Christian Church.
I consider myself one who is Spiritually blind. I don't see myself as intentionally blind, but I know there are huge areas of truth that I either am not aware of as yet, or that are not clear to me. But I find that as I move, in faith that the Word is true, these things become clear to me little by little (Isaiah 28:10). Were I to venture into a study having no faith in what I'm studying, or believing the Bible I'm studying has errors, or if I were to try and find only evidence to support a preconceived theory, then the Bible would work against me and I would learn nothing. If I were to learn nothing having taken the wrong approach, rather than recognize and admit my error and seek to correct that error, I would state that the Bible has been misinterpreted, or (such as we have seen with the Book of Revelation) dismiss it altogether as being other than the Word of God. This is what I would do if not led by the Holy Spirit. This is what I see being done by theologians. Therefore I assume such views, those not in line with the Bible, are not being led by the Holy Spirit. Do you agree? Or do you disagree with my reasoning?
I ask again: Is the Bible, the entire Bible the explicite Word of God? Or is it not the Word of God? If it is the Word of God, then let's treat it as such and quit playing games with it. If it's not the explicit and absolute Word of God, then let's forget the whole thing and do like so many of the churches are doing today, toss the Bible in the trash can and forget it.
21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 28And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. (Mat 7:)
27And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (Heb 9:)
44How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? (John 5:)
6And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. 7And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. 8So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. 9I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. 10I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. 11I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD. 12Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. 13For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name. (Amos 4:)
17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (Mat 5:)
8For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Rev 22:)
8For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both. (Acts 23:)
11Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 12If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? (John 3:)
6Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. 7And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. 8Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? 9Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 10Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 11How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? 12Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. (Mat 16:)
1Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. (Mat 6:)
6And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. 7Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Mat 5:)
19What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (1Cor 6:)
13But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 14Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (Mat 15:14).
10And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 12Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Rom 8:)
31I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. (1Cor 15;)
23And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? (Luke 9:)
24Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 25For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. (1Peter 2:)
14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Rev 20:14-15)
17Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. 19Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (James 2:)
49For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. 50Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another. (Mark 9:)
11For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if any man build upon this [What foundation? Jesus. And it can't be a foundation of fables and half truths, but of the complete truth as delivered to us] foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (1Cor 3:).
6Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. (1Peter 1:)
21Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. (Jude 23:)
19Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; 20Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. (James 5:)
14We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 19And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. (1John 3: see also Mat 18:16-30 and Luke 16:20-26)
15And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God (Luke 16:)
12For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. (2Cor 10:)
1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. (Heb 12:)
10But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. (1Cor 2:)
31For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. (1Cor 11:31-32)
38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. (Mat 10:)
26If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:)
36Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Mat 22:)
10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. 12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.. (John 14:)
20At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (John 14:)
15If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:)
25These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:)
48Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Mat 5:)
11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (Eph 4:)
10For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. 13And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. (Heb 2:)
10But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 11To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. (1Peter 5:)
1I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. (John 15:)
7Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1Cor 5:)
19Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 20But in a great house [see John 14:2. Both house and mansion have the same meaning, that of an abode, dwelling place. Consider the Church.] "there are not only vessels of gold and of silver [Those striving for perfection and enduring the fires of purification], but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. [Consider wolves and tares in the Church.] 21If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. (2Tim 2:)
5And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (2Peter 1:)
11And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. (Mark 4:)
19And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, (Eph 6:)
32And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1Cor 14:)
13Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. (James 3:)
5For the LORD had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee. 6And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by the mount Horeb. 7And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp. 8And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle. 9And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses. (Ex 33:)
17When they stood, these stood; and when they were lifted up, these lifted up themselves also: for the spirit of the living creature was in them. 18Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims. 19And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out, the wheels also were beside them, and every one stood at the door of the east gate of the LORD'S house; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above. (Ezek 10:)
1Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 2I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. (Rev 2:)
17These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. 18For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 19While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 20For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. (2Peter 2:)
1It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. 2And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, 4In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? (1Cor 5:).
20But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. 24Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. (1Cor 15:)
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