Overview of the Bible
In order to pursue a Biblical scholarship, one must know the Bible, specifically, the Authorized Version (British spelling) of the Bible. And in order to know and understand the Bible, one must be born again, for,...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. I Corinthians 2:14
This is not to say that the Bible is not for the unbeliever. He can come to know the Lord through the reading and hearing of the scriptures--Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
But until a man knows God, a Biblical scholarship is not his. He cannot receive it. It is foolishness to him and he cannot know it because it is spiritually discerned.
In the book of Acts, chapter 16, the Philippian jailer asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" The answer was, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved."
- In order to be saved, we must repent of our sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. We must believe that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day (I Cor 15:1-6).
- It is not enough to just believe. James 2:19 says that even the devils believe and tremble. We must obey the teachings of Christ. This self-evident doctrine is under attack in the false church today. Jesus Christ is become the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him (ref. Heb 5:9). Jesus came to save us from sin, not in sin (Matt 1:21).
The Lord Jesus said, "If ye continue IN MY WORD, then are ye my disciples indeed." (John 8:31) It is only then (when one follows the scriptures) that one can call himself a Christian, a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. "Disciple" means "follower."
- It is good to confess the name of God and Jesus, but that is not enough. Psalms teaches that GOD HATH MAGNIFIED HIS WORD ABOVE ALL HIS NAME (Ps 138:2). It is not enough to say, "God" and "Jesus." We must deal with God's word faithfully. We must believe AND FOLLOW the scriptures. This seems self-evident but in these days of deception, many church people think that they can live like the world and simply say that they love Jesus. They derisively call obedience, "Lordship salvation."
The Bible teaches that a disciple must hate the world, but many so-called Christians love the world. They watch tv, get divorced and remarried (thereby committing adultery), and live like the world (the only difference is that they go to "church"). Many professed Christians are greatly deceived--they believe that the Roman Catholic "church" is a Christian church, that all Bible versions say the same thing, etc. For those who are not aware of what is happening, the website at this link may help you in your journey. This website is for true disciples, those that read and obey the Authorized Version of 1611 of the Bible. The end times are here and many unauthorized versions are flying off of the printing presses--for more information on the Authorized Version, the reader may wish to see, The Authorized Version of the Holy Bible: The Precepts of a Mighty Nation and Commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible.
At this link, you can download the Authorized King James Version (Pure Cambridge Edition) of the Bible Publishers of the Authorized King James Bible (including Cambridge) are no longer trustworthy--they have been making alterations. I suggest that each person print out and bind their own King James Bible. You can read the King James Bible online at this link.
Please note that this overview is a work in progress
and is edited and updated at different seasons.
MANY CHRISTIANS DO NOT KNOW THE BIBLE, ESPECIALLY THE OLD TESTAMENT
In today's false church, there is not only false teaching, but also an ignoring of the flow and substance of the Old Testament. The Old Testament is only looked upon as a place of sermon illustrations and "Bible stories". There is practically no sound teaching available showing the flow and substance of the Old Testament. Unfortunately, one cannot depend on preachers, seminaries, books, and study Bibles for this information. These are the days of apostasy. The falling away of II Thessalonians 2:3 has occurred.
For more than 200 years, men of corrupt minds have been wresting with the scriptures to their own destruction under the names of "Biblical Criticism," "Biblical Scholarship," "Higher Criticism," "Bible translation," etc. They continually cast doubt on the holy scriptures whenever they can. They devote themselves to this practice. The devil has used them mightily to destroy souls across the face of the earth. These are the scorners who write the Bible commentaries, Bible dictionaries, study Bibles, Biblical archaeology magazines, etc. in the name of Biblical Scholarship. Anyone who has learned from them is infected--whether they know it or not. That includes the hireling preachers that make ignorant proclamations about "the original Greek"--they look up a word in a corrupted Greek lexicon and then present themselves as experts in Greek. Worse yet, they actually think that we do not have the Bible in the English language, they say that it is only found in "the originals" which NOBODY has. When they make their proclamations about the "original Greek" (which nobody has), they make their audiences think that the word of God is not found in the English language. This is an outright lie. We do have the word of God in the Authorized Version of 1611. The name says it all, AUTHORIZED. For more information on the modern counterfeit Bibles, click here. [Aside: not everyone believes that all those "older and better" manuscripts--on which the modern version are based--are authentic.]
[Note: Heathen publishers have been tampering with the Authorized King James Bible, incorporating alterations to the text and adding all kinds of abominations (e.g., "study aids," commentaries, illustrations, cartoon pictures, geneaological record sheets, etc.) . Download and bind your own Authorized King James Bible (Pure Cambridge Edition) (has two columns like a traditional Bible. Free.)]
The apostasy of these last days reaches into the most conservative of groups. For our sanctified homeschool, I consulted a conservative Mennonite workbook that showed that Israel did not cross the Red Sea when God brought them out of Egypt! This blasphemy is found in their "God Chooses a Family" Book 5, page 125, Code 97-3-02, Catalogue 17521, Copyright 1997. This Mennonite group (Rod & Staff) also sold me the Baker's Bible Atlas, a book that I had to throw away. These blasphemers, called "Biblical Scholars," are the men who teach in the seminaries and write the college textbooks. These false teachers teach the "religious studies" classes in classrooms worldwide to multitudes of impressionable young people--tomorrow's rulers who will grow up to become twofold more the children of hell than themselves. Fellow Christians and honest seekers, ignore these blasphemers, for they will pervert your mind with their hateful "scholarship." Years ago, I somehow received a free copy of a "Biblical" Archaeology magazine. It had to be discarded. With hatred it attacked the scriptures and seemed to grudingly report about new archaeological finds confirming the scripture record. The result of all these sustained Satanic attacks has been a general disbelief of the scriptures. We would all do well to take heed to II Timothy 2:15--
Study to shew THYSELF approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
In these days of apostasy, it is basically every man for himself. Today is the day to get into the word for yourself.
Even after going to church services for years, I knew that my Old Testament knowledge was severely lacking. So in the fulness of time I took a tape and workbook correspondence course entitled, "Surveying the Old Testament." It steered me in the right direction. The course's introductory letter said that by learning the Old Testament, one could move up from being a lieutenant in the Lord's army to being a captain. This was not an overstatement. The course was put out by a group that, I believe, teaches a separation between Israel and the church which is an error (I didn't know that they taught this at the time I ordered it); but this study did help me immensely. It was true to its name.
Having an overview of how the Old Testament flows, I found myself systematically--through personal study and our sanctified homeschool--going through the Old Testament. As a result of these studies I have found that the entire Bible is available to me. Should not the children's bread be available to them? or is it only for hereticks, false teachers, and blasphemers to wrest with to their own destruction?
I no longer have to overlook the Old Testament because I do not understand it. At various seasons in my life, I think about what book I should read for that season. Now that I have an understanding of the Old Testament, the whole Bible is available to me to choose from. I can now find a place to read without having to overlook the Old Testament because I do not understand it. There is meat in the Old Testament. There is prophecy. There are precepts. There are explanations. There are directions for how to live. There is healing medicine. Not knowing the Old Testament can keep a Christian weak in the word and in understanding.
Amazing and wonderful revelations await those disciples that embark on an exploration of the Old Testament. With this new understanding, one comes to realize that he has been previously reading the New Testament scriptures with very little understanding. The book of Hebrews will take on whole new significance. One's life and outlook will be changed. The greatness, power, mercy, lovingkindness, tenderheartedness, and superintending hand of God will come into greater view. Strange and peculiar revelations will arise. A new, ever-fresh world will emerge. This is my testimony.
[A word of warning is in order here. There are groups that have arisen that teach that Christians must keep the laws of the Old Testament and must learn and observe all the Jewish feasts. The Hebrew Roots movement is an example of this. This type of teaching is proven to be an heresy when one reads the book of Galatians. We are become dead to the law by the body of Christ that we should be married to him (ref. Rom 7:1-13).]
What you are about to read is an overview of each book of the Bible and how they flow together to form one exquisite volume. This is only an overview of the Bible. It is meant to serve as a catalyst to further the understanding when it meets with the faith of the one who reads it with a ready heart.
The Bible consists of sixty-six books--
- I Samuel
- II Samuel
- I Kings
- II Kings
- I Chronicles
- II Chronicles
- Song of Solomon
THE BIBLE CONSISTS OF TWO TESTAMENTS
The Bible consists of sixty-six books and is divided into two sections--
1. The Old Testament
2. The New Testament
[Note: The apocrypha is not part of the Bible.]
What is a "testament"?testament, n., A solemn authentic instrument in writing, by which a person declares his will as to the disposal of his estate and effects after his death. This is otherwise called a will. (Webster's 1828 Dictionary)
You may have heard of a person writing his last will and testament. A will, or testament, is not in force until somebody dies (Heb. 9:17). A testament requires death. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament required blood. These are blood covenants.Old Testament: In the Old Testament, God required man to shed the blood of cattle (lambs, sheep, kids, goats, bullocks, heifers, firstlings) and fowl (turtledoves, young pigeons) in order to atone for sins. Blood was required because God will not let man's sins go unpunished. Sin must be paid for with blood. Prescribed blood is the only way that a person can receive forgiveness. No blood, no forgiveness. Moses sprinkled blood on both the book and the people after he read the book of the covenant to them (Hebrews 9:18-22; Exodus 24:6-8).Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
New Testament: In the New Testament, God required the sacrifice of his Son (the Lamb of God). The blood of Jesus was shed in order to save us from our sins (ref. Matt 1:21) and to purge our conscience from dead works to serve the living God (ref. Heb. 9:14). The people under the law were sprinkled with the blood of beasts, we are sprinkled with the blood of Jesus (Heb 12:22-24; I Pet 1:9). The blood of Jesus is the blood of the everlasting covenant (Heb 13:20), that speaketh better things than that of Abel (Heb 12:24) and that purges the conscience, unlike the blood of beasts that only sanctified to the purifying of the flesh (Heb 9:13). And unlike those beasts under Moses, the sacrifice of Jesus was a one time sacrifice of everlasting value and worth. The sacrifice of beasts could never take away sins and had to be repeated over and over again, morning and evening, year in and year out, with all kinds of extra sacrifices for the transgressions of the people.
THE EVENTS OF THE BIBLE OCCURRED IN SPACE AND TIME
The events of the Bible occurred in a specific, identifiable region of the earth. The events of the Bible occurred at specific, known times. The events of the Bible deal with real people and substances.
The events of the Bible can be traced. It is an historical record like no other in existence.
Space. Having a basic knowledge of the geography of the region is essential to good understanding of the scriptures. Locating Israel is a good start. Find Egypt in the upper northeast corner of Africa. Find the triangle next to it (called the "Sinai peninsula") and then find Israel next to that. Draw your own homemade map to get a feel for how things are situated. Here's a homemade map. Look at the landmarks in Israel--the sea of Galilee to the north which flows into the winding Jordan River which flows into the salt sea (Dead Sea) in the south.
Look at that picture again. Do you see the region where Eden was located? Do you see Babel where God confounded the languages? Do you see the mighty Euphrates? Do you see where mount Ararat is? How about Gihon and mount Sinai? [Note: some believe that mount Sinai is located on the Sinai peninsula towards the south--but the real mount Sinai is located in Arabia (ref. Galatians 4:25)--I do not know if the ancient borders of Arabia extended to what is now called the Sinai peninsula. If not, then what many call mount Sinai is not mount Sinai. I've seen where mount Sinai may have been located in the south of the Arabia on what looks like the heel of a boot, just east of the Red Sea.] How about the region of the seven churches of the Revelation? How about Armaggedon and mount Carmel where Elijah faced the prophets of Baal? They are all there in that simple map. There are only a few keys to know to get your grounding in the geography of the region. You've received one already. Here is another: do you see that Y to the east of Israel past the winding Jordan? The westward river of that Y is Euphrates. The eastward river is Hiddekel (called "Tigris" today). In between them is Mesopotamia. It is in and around this region that:
- the languages were confounded in Babel,
- Abraham received his call to leave his home in Ur of the Chaldees,
- God brought Israel through the Red Sea on dry land,
- The Hebrew kings reigned,
- the Assyrians of the north set forth to conquer a disobedient Israel,
- the Babylonians of the south, led by powerful king Nebuchadnezzar, conquered a disobedient Judah
- Shusan...the palace where Nehemiah served (Neh 1:1), where Queen Esther lived with King Ahaseurus (Est 2:8), where Alexander the Great died.
Maybe you already know all this, but if not, will you learn it now? Will you grab a pencil and sketch/trace a map of Egypt, triangle, Israel? Will you then add in the tiny sea of Galilee, the winding Jordan, and the salt sea? Maybe you'll go further and produce the whole map, labeling Euphrates, the Tigris and Mesopotamia. This kind of information can be learned in kindergarten (that's what we did)--within days (spread it out, lay your foundation)--and it will stick through the years as you teach your child from the scriptures. Grab your globe and a few homemade worksheets and go to work. At some point, we'll look to share our own.
Time. Why are there so many genealogies in the scriptures? Can we look back at these things to determine how long the earth has existed and approximately how many generations there have been? Might we find--by internal evidences alone--that the earth is about 6,000 years old and that there have only been perhaps 200 generations? What else might we find?
The following abbreviated timeline shows the approximate times of major Old Testament events. All 39 books of the Old Testament are found in the general era in which they occurred. Within the scriptures you will find contemporaries like Haggai and Zechariah under whose prophesying the people prospered when rebuilding the temple (Ezra 6:14).
I believe that this is a sound timeline based upon my researches and continued use of these dates through the years. Knowing that King David lived around 1000 BC has provided a useful reference point for me more than once. The scriptures give a lot of information to help us to understand approximately when these various events occurred, e.g., genealogies (e.g., Gen 5:3-32) and statements of the numbers of years between events (e.g. Gal 3:17). This is to say that there are internal Biblical evidences for this information.
ABRAHAM, ISAAC, & JACOB
MOSES, THE LAW, & ENTRANCE INTO THE PROMISED LAND
THE HEBREW KINGS
Israel starts out as one kingdom, but because of Solomon's sin, it is soon split up into two kingdoms under his son, king Rehoboam. The two kingdoms were (1) Israel to the north and (2) Judah to the south (see the overview for I & II Kings).
- I, II Samuel
- I, II Kings
- I, II Chronicles
- Song of Solomon
ISRAEL--THE NORTHERN KINGDOM--CARRIED AWAY BY THE ASSYRIANS BECAUSE OF DISOBEDIENCE
(II Kings 17:6-23)
JUDAH--THE SOUTHERN KINGDOM--CARRIED AWAY BY THE BABYLONIANS BECAUSE OF DISOBEDIENCE.
MOVED BY GOD, CYRUS, KING OF PERSIA, FREES ISRAEL TO REBUILD THE TEMPLE
LAST BOOK OF THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHESIES OF THE COMING OF JOHN THE BAPTIST AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
click here for a timeline from Creation to the Revelation of Jesus Christ...
Matter. The Bible tells us about all kinds of substances in heaven and earth. The people of the Bible were real people like us. In fact they are our relatives--we all have a common father, Adam. Many people do genealogical research on their families. In the scriptures, God recorded the first ten fathers of every single man on earth. This is ancient knowledge. Can we name them by heart? Can we teach these fathers rhythmically to our children and ourselves?
- Ma-ha-la-leel and
- E-noch was not
- La-mech and
The black man, the white man, the Indian, the Asian, and the aboriginie all came from Adam, the first man. The Bible even tells us what we are made of, the dust of the ground, clay. Do we ever stop to really think about this amazing information? Do we ever stop to think about what happened at Babel? Do we know where it is? When studying a foreign language, do we ever stop to consider why we have to study to communicate with our very own brethren? Our teachers sure are not going to bring this information to light.
The Bible does not only tell us about men. Throughout the scriptures, in richest narrative, we read about plants, fish, fowls, beasts, deserts, metals, stones, buildings, angels, devils, lepers, lunaticks, clothing, waterways, seas, air, engines, jail, pits, suburbs, cities, and more. We read about measurements that are so helpful. It is handy to know your cubit, your span, and your handbreadth--many, many things can be measured and estimated very nicely without a ruler or measuring tape, just stick out your arm.
In the Bible, we read about bodies celestial and bodies terrestrial. When we read about the conies that make their houses in the rocks (Ps 104:18; Pro 30:26), do we know what they look like? Would not a Biblical Scholar pay special attention to the exact substances in the scriptures as he comes across them in life, e.g., brimstone? Might one have a better understanding of the world around him and a better understanding of the scriptures if he did this? If one has read the scriptures without these basic, natural understandings of things, how good is his understanding of what he readeth? What is his reading based on? Is not his reading out of focus? How is he reading if he does not understand?
The Bible is the word of God and clearly reveals itself to be so by telling us things that we could not possibly otherwise know. By way of example, the Bible teaches us that man was made from the dust of the ground/clay (Gen 2:7; Job 4:19, 33:6; Isa 64:8). This amazing graphic came from two different sources (1) a pottery book (these are natural colored clays. Only the black clay had a pigment added--which is what we see in people) and (2) a children's magazine article teaching about "evolution." We know that man is made from the dust of the earth because the Bible says so. I had no "scientific proof" of this, I already had the truth. It happened to be that in recent years, certain information has presented itself before my eyes. It shows that scientists have the truth right in front of their eyes. Just looking at the chemical composition of man, we see that man is made of the dust of earth. When we take iron pills, etc. we are just taking in what we already are. See:
- A glaring example of how false science holds the truth in unrighteousness. See how the chemical composition of man shows that he is made of the dust of the earth.
- The human body...is made up of those same basic minerals and elements that are our natural resources. Another witness that man is made of the dust of the earth.
- What's in People Another witness that man is made of the dust of the earth.
Where was Eden? Did you ever ask yourself that question and then try to answer it based on the internal evidences of the scriptures? The river that went out of Eden to water the garden that was eastward in Eden came to four heads (Gen 2:8, 10-14):
Euphrates is still called by the same name. It is in the region of modern day Iraq. Does that not put Eden somewhere in or near the middle east? Could Hiddekel that goeth toward the east of Assyria (modern day Iraq) be what we call the Tigris? Might Gihon that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia be what we call the Nile? Might Ezekiel 31:16 hold a clue?
Ashfall Fossil Beds is located in the state of Nebraska. There have been rhinoceros, camel, and horse skeletons found there. How did they get half way around the world if Noah and the animals landed on mount Ararat in modern day Turkey? Might the days of Peleg (Gen 10:25) and Babel (Gen 11:9) shed light on this mystery? At one time was the earth one solid land mass? According to the scriptures, the earth was divided in the days of Peleg. Was it during the days of Peleg that the earth was divided into the continents and islands that we see today? Would that not give light on how you could find a rhinoceros in Nebraska? Wherever an animal was during the division, that is where he stayed. Can we take the scriptures, and get further revelations about other phenomena that we see around us?
Why are there Indians in the mountains of South America who call themselves the elder brothers of mankind and everybody else younger brothers? And why do the Inuit eskimos call themselves, "the real people"? What about some Cherokee Indians who called themselves, "Ani'-Yun-wiyd'," which means, "real people"? May it be that after the confounding of the languages at Babel those that understood each other determined that the others that did not understand them were inferior in rank? Or could it be possible that they identified themselves as sons of Japheth the elder son of Noah (ref. Gen 10:21) and others as born of the younger brothers?
And why are versions of the Genesis flood account found in practically every region on earth where men dwell? These flood stories have been told for generations in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe by their native peoples. Chinese people told it. So did Scandinavians, Native Americans, Greeks, Aboriginies, Indians, Masai, Tanzanians, Welsh, Hawaiians, Polynesians, Russians, Iranians, Vietnamese, and many others. Old world missionaries were amazed to find remote, previously unreached tribes already possessing flood stories so similar to the Biblical account. Although the tribal versions are imperfect, elements of them often parallel the Biblical account, e.g., warning of a coming flood, construction of a boat in advance, storage of animals, the inclusion of family, and the release of birds to determine if the water level had subsided. The overwhelming consistency among flood accounts found in distant parts of the world indicates that they were indeed passed down through the generations. Given the nature of oral transmission, it is no surprise that details of the accounts would be changed...
As you can see in the above maps, all of the events of the Bible occurred in one small region of the world. The Bible records extensive geographical information about this region. It gives cardinal directions, landmarks, topographical features, flora, fauna, and other detailed information so that these places can be found and noted. It gives the who, what, why, when, where, and how of various events. There is no other record like it on the face of the earth. Even wicked men have used it in order to figure out what happened in the past--and where it happened. Make no mistake, the stones of archaeological ruins do not tell the story. Honest historians, albeit grudgingly at times, must acknowledge that they (or their sources) have had to consult the scripture history. Men have actually taken the Bible in hand in order to go back in time. They have discovered cities that no one would have ever known existed without the scripture record.
THE BIBLE IS A PECULIAR BOOK
The Bible is not like other books where you get an overview and then you do not need to read it again. It is peculiar and its workings in the life of a child of God are peculiar. It effects changes, all of which tend to holiness. This page is an overview of the Bible, however, it must be noted that the Bible actually provides overviews of itself in places like Acts 7, Psalm 105, Psalm 106, Psalm 78, Psalm 136, Hebrews 11, Deuteronomy 9, Nehemiah 9, and Ezekiel 20. What you are about to read is only information to introduce you to some of the contents of the Bible. This is vanilla, smooth, easy-to-understand information. This is only the beginning of your journey in the word. It is meant to help orient you to the holy scriptures. As you keep reading, studying, and living the word, you will find MUCH BIGGER meanings to the accounts and doctrines that you read about in the Bible. This page is ONLY to get you started.
The following is not the Bible, just some of my comments about what is in the Bible. As you read the Bible for yourself, be like the Bereans and see if these things be so (ref. Acts 17:10-11).
OVERVIEW OF THE BOOKS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
Genesis is a book of beginnings. It tells about the beginning of time, the wonderful creation of the heaven and the earth and all that in them is. It is here that we learn about the first two people who ever lived, Adam and Eve, our parents. Adam and Eve lived in a perfect world that God set before them. They could freely eat with the exception of one single tree. We learn in chapter three how the serpent (also called the devil and Satan) tempted Eve to disobey God. She listened to him and ate. She also gave to her husband who did also eat. They were driven from their home, Eden, with judgments, as a result of that rebellion against God's word lest they eat of the tree of life and live forever in their iniquitous state.
In Genesis, we see some of the disastrous results of their revolt. They had a son, Cain, who grew up to murder his brother Abel. As time went on, iniquity abounded all over the earth and God, who so lovingly crafted a beautiful earth for us, was grieved at his heart.Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Genesis 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
We still feel, see, and experience the aftermath of our first parents' rebellion. We are born ready to sin in due time and must all die today because of our transgressions. But all is not lost, in the fullness of time, God sent us a Saviour to save us from our sins so that we might be reconciled to him. His name is Jesus.
In Genesis, we learn about the patriarchs--the fathers of every person who walks the earth today. We learn about the worldwide flood in Noah's day, the first occupations (see Cain's three sons), the tri-fold division of nations*, the division of the land mass into continents in Peleg's day, the confounding of the one language into the many languages.
*all nations on the earth today come from one of Noah's three sons--Shem, Ham, or Japheth. I do not know if there is an ethnologist alive that does not know this fact. This is common knowledge amongst them. This information comes exclusively out of our Bible so I do not know why it is hidden from most Christians. Here is a basic map showing how these three families were divided after the flood. As time went on they migrated to various regions. Examine several maps and compare them to what you find in the scripture record.
Genesis also accounts the beginning of the nation of Israel. It all began with a man named Abram. One day, God told Abram to leave his country, Ur of the Chaldees in Mesopotamia (in the region of modern day Iraq) to go to a place that God would show him. Abram obeyed. Abram, whose name was changed to Abraham, was a man who loved the Lord and obeyed him. Therefore, God made him two great promises in Genesis 12--
- that Abraham would have a son and many descendants even though his wife Sarai (later Sarah) was barren; and,
- he would possess all the land of Canaan.
Abraham believed God's promises, and that belief was accounted to him for righteousness (Gen 15:6; Jam 2:23).
Just as God promised, God gave Abraham and Sarah a son. They named him Isaac. Isaac had a son named Jacob but his name was changed to Israel after he wrestled with a man (an angel) all night (ref. Gen 32:24-30). Israel had 12 sons, each of whom was the head of a tribe of people. These are called are called the 12 tribes of Israel. This is important to know because you will read about the 12 tribes of Israel from Genesis to Revelation.
Abrahamic Descent of the 12 Tribes of Israel
As we near the end of Genesis, we read about Joseph, who was one of the 12 sons of Israel. Joseph was a just man and his father loved him more than his brothers. His brothers hated him for this and sold him into slavery. He ended up in Egypt. After going through sore trials, God used Joseph to tell Pharaoh (King of Egypt) that there was going to be a severe famine in the land. As a result, Pharaoh made Joseph second in charge of his kingdom to prepare for the forthcoming famine. At the close of Genesis, we find the other 11 tribes of Israel going to Egypt to live with Joseph because of the famine in the land. This is how the Israelites got into Egypt. See Ps 105:16-23 for an overview of Joseph and Israel going into Egypt.
After Joseph died, a new Pharaoh arose that did not know Joseph. He looked around and saw the Israelites (descendants of Jacob/Israel) prospering. Pharaoh decided to enslave them. The Israelites then became slaves for 400 years. During that time, they increased more and more and became a nation, a multitude of people just like God promised Abraham in Genesis 12.
The Israelites cried out to God because of the affliction that they suffered as slaves--and God heard them. He raised up a man named Moses to deliver the people out of Egypt. God performed many wonders in Egypt by the hand of Moses. When Pharaoah would not let the people go, God sent a total of ten plagues on the Egyptians. The last plague, the 10th plague, was the slaying of all the firstborn of Egypt. In order to escape this plague, Israel was told to slay a lamb without blemish and put its blood on the side posts and upper door post of their houses and to eat the lamb roast with fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. And when the Lord passed through the land of Egypt that night, he smote all of the firstborn, but he passed over those houses where he saw the blood of the lamb. They were safe. But the firstborn of all the Egyptians died whether man or beast--including Pharaoh's son.
After the 10th plague, Pharaoh said that the people could go, and the people departed. But then he changed his mind and his army began to chase after the Israelites. The Israelites found themselves on the border of the Red Sea.
It looked as if they were trapped. Then Moses said unto the people,14:13 ...Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
14:14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
14:15 And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:
14:16 But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.
14:17 And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.
14:18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.
14:19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:
14:20 And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.
14:21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
14:22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
14:23 And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
14:24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians,
14:25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians.
14:26 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.
14:27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
14:28 And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.
God magnified the scope of his power when he overthrew Egypt for his people. This great event is recounted over and over again in the scriptures. The Israelite slavery was long and hard, but in the fullness of time, after they had become a nation, after their incubation in Egypt, their enemies were destroyed having served their purpose. In Romans 9:17, the Bible teaches that Pharaoh was raised up to shew God's power. May we never forget what God wrought in Egypt and may we truly consider what was happening during each of the plagues.
After the Israelites were delivered from Egypt, they spent time in the desert, the wilderness of Sinai. Moses went up to Mount Sinai to receive God's law for his people. Mount Sinai is located in Arabia (Gal 4:25).
This recently freed people needed laws to govern their nation just as any other nation needs laws, rules, and regulations.
In Exodus 20, God gives Moses the ten commandments while he is on mount Sinai. Every man should know the ten commandments by heart--
- Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
- Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
- Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
- Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy.
- Honour thy father and thy mother.
- Thou shalt not kill.
- Thou shalt not commit adultery.
- Thou shalt not steal.
- Thou shalt not bear false witness.
- Thou shalt not covet.
While Moses was on mount Sinai receiving the ten commandments, the people called on Aaron (Moses' brother) to make them a golden calf to worship. This Israelite rebellion would be repeated over and over in the scriptures.
The ten commandments are sometimes called the moral law. In Exodus, God shewed Moses a pattern for building a portable tabernacle. He also gave them a priesthood and told them how to make sacrifices. God gave them additional laws and statutes for criminal law (e.g., what to do if someone steals), civil law (e.g., someone borrows an animal and it dies, recompensing someone you hurt accidentally) as well as other statutes and ordinances for things like sanitation, disease, and diet.
After Israel escaped Egypt, God set up a priesthood while they were still in the wilderness with Moses. He selected the sons of Aaron (who was Moses' brother and from the tribe of Levi) to perform the office of the priesthood. Other Levites performed various functions in the tabernacle. That is why this book is called LEVIticus.
The New Testament teaches that we are a royal priesthood. It would therefore do us well to study the law of the priest found in Leviticus. Deuteronomy 10:8 gives three reasons why God separated out the Levitical priesthood--Deuteronomy 10:8 At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day.
The book of Leviticus also covers sundry ordinances and prescribes how to identify the plague of leprosy. Those infected had to dwell outside the camp, quarantined--something that we STILL need to practice, especially with plagues like AIDS--places for people with debilitating infectious diseases until they are cured.
In the scriptures, God tells us why he gave Israel all these ceremonial laws, procedures and rituals. One of those reasons was--Leviticus 11:47, To make a difference between the unclean and the clean...
The priesthood has a responsibility to teach people right and wrong--Ezekiel 44:23, And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.
God's priests are called to teach the difference between holy and profane. We are to cause people to discern between what is unclean and what is clean. By God's grace and anointing, we are to open people's perception.
In the Old Testament, God uses natural things in order to teach us great spiritual realities. I look for the natural first and then the spiritual (I Cor 15:46).
[Aside: Perhaps this goes without saying, but with the rise of heresies such as the "Hebrew Roots of Christianity," I will say it: Christians do not perform the carnal rituals and ceremonies found in the law of Moses--the washings, slaying animals, avoiding certain animals, etc. We are under the New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, not the Old Testament of Moses which Hebrews teaches is vastly inferior to the New Testament and inadequate for salvation. Anyone who tries to keep the Old Testament law is fallen from grace (Gal 5:4).]
God told Moses to take several numberings, or censuses, of the children of Israel while they were out in the wilderness--men able to go forth to war, Levites, etc.
It is in the book of numbers where we read about that fateful event when the 12 spies (one from each tribe of Israel) were sent out to search the land of Canaan, the land that God had promised Abraham. After looking it over, all the spies agreed that it was a good land, flowing with milk and honey--but only two of the spies believed that God would allow them to overcome their formidable enemies. Their names were Joshua and Caleb. The other spies brought forth an evil report saying that the land was good, but that their enemies were great. The people listened to the unbelieving spies. Therefore God said that Israel would wander and die in the wilderness for their unbelief. They wandered for 40 years until all that generation died out and a new generation (their children) had come into adulthood. Then another numbering was taken. Out of that generation, only Joshua and Caleb survived and were able to go into the promised land.
In this book, we find more laws that God gave to govern Israel. We also find narrative of what happened when Israel was wandering in the wilderness from place to place. We read of Korah and others who wanted to take over Moses' position. We also read about Moses' disobedience at the waters of Meribah--that one act prevented him from going into the promised land. We read about Balaam and his ass that spake with man's voice. We read how the Israelites became idol worshippers and how God destroyed 24,000 of them with a plague.
Here we find Moses' final instructions to Israel before they go into the promised land. Deuteronomy is a book of blessing for the obedient and a book of cursing for the disobedient. It is also a reminder of the ten commandments and other laws. In Deuteronomy, Moses blesses and lays hands on Joshua, his successor. Moses gets to see the promised land (but not enter) and dies at 120 years old. His eyes were not dim and his natural force was not abated. Deuteronomy ends the books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy).
Joshua was a mighty man of valour, a warrior, who successfully led Israel's army across Jordan and into the promised land of Canaan. This book chronicles the conquests of the children of Israel and the dividing of the land once it was conquered. God fulfilled every promise that he made to Abraham (Joshua 21:43-45). He cast out seven nations greater and stronger than Israel and gave them houses that they did not build and vineyards that they did not plant. Here is a map showing the territory of the kingdom of Israel.
The following is a map of how the land was divided among the twelve tribes of Israel. Notice the sea of Galilee in the north, the river of Jordan, and the salt sea. Levi had no inheritance in the land (ref. Nu 18:20-26), the LORD was his inheritance.
After the death of Joshua, God raised up various judges to judge Israel.
As one reads Judges, a cycle emerges--
- Israel would listen to the Lord while the judge was alive
- when he died, they would go back to idol worship
- God would deliver his disobedient people over to their enemies to be afflicted
- The people would cry out for deliverance from their affliction
- God would give them another judge to deliver them from oppression.
This would happen over and over again. In Judges we read about the exploits of the strong man Samson, and other judges including Deborah, the only female judge, who dwelt under a palm tree with her husband, Lapidoth.
If we take a step back and look at God's chosen government for his people--judges--we find that the legal system of ancient Israel was based on every man understanding God's law and simply keeping it as he dwelt under his own vine and under his own fig tree. God's people were to be a self-governing people free from overbearing kings and rulers. If a matter arose that was too hard for them in judgment, then they would go unto the priests, the Levites, and to the judge to enquire and receive the sentence of judgment (see Deu 17:8-13).
I, II Samuel
Samuel was a judge. It was in his days that Israel decided that it wanted a king like the nations instead of judges. They did not want God ruling over them. God gave them what they asked for, but there would be a price to pay. Samuel details many exciting historical accounts. It is here that we meet King Saul, the first Hebrew king. We also meet David, a man after God's own heart, who slew the giant Goliath. We read here how David develops a deep friendship with Saul's son, Jonathan, and how David lives on the run because he is hunted by King Saul. We also read about how David became king after Saul died and how David committed adultery with Uriah's wife,Bathsheba, and then had that noble man killed. As a result, the sword (troubles) never left the house of David after that.
I, II Kings
First and Second Kings continues the history of the Israelites. At the beginning of I Kings, David is old. It presents two contenders for the throne (both of whom are David's sons)--Solomon (David's choice) and Adonijah (who exalted himself to be king). Solomon became king. Solomon asked God for wisdom to rule God's people. In response to this request, God gave Solomon much wisdom as well as riches. Solomon built a permanent temple for the Lord with those materials that his father David had laid up for that purpose.
Now that Israel was settled in the land, they had a permanent, fixed structure at which to worship. During the times of Solomon all of Israel was still under one king. They were a united kingdom. This did not last too long, however. A problem arose. Solomon loved many strange women who turned his heart away from the Lord. Solomon even built a mount of corruption to other gods. God said that as a result of this, he would tear away much of the kingdom from Solomon's son, Rehoboam, who became the next king of Israel. God took Solomon's servant, Jeroboam, and raised him up to eventually be a king over Israel. In the end, Jeroboam had ten tribes and Rehoboam, Solomon's son, only had one tribe. Jeroboam introduced idolatry into his kingdom, Israel, from which they never recovered.
Israel was now a divided kingdom and would remain that way throughout the times of the kings. Israel was divided into two kingdoms--one was in the north with Jeroboam. It became known as Israel. The capital of Israel was Samaria. The other kingdom was in the south with Rehoboam. It became known as Judah (David was of the tribe of Judah). The capital of Judah was Jerusalem. These kingdoms were so separate that they would even make war against each other at times.
As in the times of Moses, the Israelites were rebellious and disobedient to the commands of the Lord. Moses told them, "Ye have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you" (Deu 9:24). During the reign of the kings, God sent them various prophets to show them their errors and to urge Israel to repent. Prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, etc.
When reading about the times of the kings, it is striking to see that the kings of Israel all seem wicked, some less so than others. I cannot recall reading about even one good king in Israel. In Judah, on the other hand, we do read about some good kings and their exploits--like good king Josiah and good king Hezekiah who believed in the Lord and wrought righteousness. In the end, however, both Israel and Judah fall to their enemies because the Hebrews refused to repent of their disobedience to God's commands. Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians around 700 BC and Judah was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, around 600 BC Nebuchadnezzar took the vessels out of the temple and destroyed the temple. The people were taken captive to Babylon. This is called the Babylonian captivity. According to the word of the Lord through the prophet Jeremiah, the Babylonian captivity lasted 70 years.
Once the kingdoms of Israel and Judah were carried away, they never arose again under the Hebrew kings. The next and final and everlasting king of Israel would be her Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
I, II Chronicles
A chronicle is the setting forth of facts in order. I and II Chronicles, like I and II Kings, chronicles the Hebrew kings and their acts. The northern kingdom, Israel, had a series of kings (beginning with Jeroboam) and the southern kingdom, Judah, had a series of kings (beginning with Rehoboam, Solomon's son). The kings of Israel came from different families and different men would fight to gain the throne. The kings of Judah came from the lineage of David. There seemed to be more stability with the kings of Judah, the tribe from which our Lord Jesus Christ would come to reign as king of Israel.
The first chapters of I Chronicles include important genealogical information on the tribes of Israel. Our Lord would come through the lineage of Judah and David and so the names of the fathers are thus set in order to establish this fact. In the New Testament, in Matthew 1 and Luke 3, we also see genealogical information establishing that our Lord is of the lineage of David. The Old Testament prophesies of the son of David that would sit upon the throne of David. The Bible, at various points, traces how our Lord lineally descended from David.
It is said that Chronicles focuses more on the exploits of the kings of Judah while Kings focuses more on the kings of Israel. They both record the various kings and their acts. One can get different aspects of the same king in by reading both Kings and Chronicles.
Both the kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Judah did wickedly and ran after heathen gods. As a result, they both eventually fell to their enemies. Israel, the northern tribe, was carried away by Assyria (II Kings 18:11), and about one hundred years later Judah was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, who destroyed the temple in Jerusalem. This is often referred to as the "Babylonian captivity" which lasted for 70 years as prophesied by the prophet Jeremiah. As we will read a little further on, Ezekiel and Daniel were both prophets during this time of the Babylonian captivity.
At the end of the Babylonian captivity, God raised up workers to rebuild the temple that Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed. Ezra emerged as a teaching priest who had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments (Ez 7:10).
Nehemiah was the king's cupbearer in Shushan the palace (Interesting note: Daniel and Esther were also in Shushan the palace in Babylon. Alexander the Great of Greece died in Shushan the palace. Read the review of Daniel to learn more about the four world kingdoms--the last of which is still in power.) God raised up Nehemiah to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. He and Ezra were contemporaries. Nehemiah was a clean up man who cleaned up many abuses that had occurred in Israel.
Esther, a comely, adopted Jewess, was chosen to marry a heathen king during the reign of the Medes-Persian empire. This book tells how she risked her life to save her people.
Job was a man from the land of Uz, south of Israel. Job was an upright man who feared God and eschewed evil. But God tried Job. He permitted Satan to kill all his children, take his cattle and smite Job with boils all over his body. Job and his friends debate about why this happened to him. Job said that he was just and his friends say that he was being punished for being wicked. In the end, a young man named Elihu reproves Job for justifying himself instead of justifying God. (This is a lesson for us--no matter what happens we better give God the glory for he is right and all his works are done in truth. He allows what he wants to happen to us.) Finally, God himself powerfully enters into the conversation and reproves Job for his utter ignorance. He also reproves Job's friends for not speaking that thing which was right concerning himself. Job sees that he spoke wrongly and acknowledges this fact. He prays for his friends and God restores all he lost and gives him even more.
Psalms is the sacred songbook of Israel. The Psalms contain praises and expressions that also give vent to the full range of emotions that we have--sorrow, joy, contrition, repentance, etc. They express vengeance on enemies. We cannot take vengeance, but God will. The foot of the wicked will slide in due time. The Psalms rehearse the acts of the Lord and history. They prophesy of the coming Messiah. Many Psalms were written by King David, the sweet psalmist of Israel (II Samuel 23:1). Psalm 119 is the longest chapter of the Bible. In it, the psalmist extols the many merits of God's word.
In a time of deep oppression, we found the psalms a healing balm to our souls. From that night onward, we incorporated them into our school at the top of our school day. My experience with them has shown them to be medicine for the soul and mind in times of oppression and depression.
Proverbs is a collection of wise sentences from a wise father (King Solomon) to his son. It is full of practical everyday wisdom. Looking at it from a wider view, the Father is God and the son is each of us his children who is reading his words. It shows us how to behave ourselves and live uprightly amongst men and how to be diligent and wise. As with all scripture, it is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (ref. II Tim 3:16-17).
Ecclesiastes, or The Preacher
Here King Solomon discusses the vanity of life. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. A man who had all that the world had to offer invites us to look around at the world and see the folly of it all. Wide in scope, and beautiful in presentation, Ecclesiastes directs and focuses our attention on what we are doing and what we are a part of. At the end of this discussion, Solomon draws a conclusion--fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
Song of Solomon
This is the song of songs, which is Solomon's. It is a dialogue between a man and a woman. It reveals the rich physical love between the man and his wife and their exchanges. As we look at the Song of Solomon in wider view--the church is the wife (bride) and Christ is the husband (bridegroom). Each of us disciples has a peculiar and highly personal relationship with Christ that parallels a husband-wife relationship. Our Maker is our husband (Is 54:5). We make prayers and worship and praise God. We read his word and sing songs to him. We spend time with him and good works are conceived in us as a result of this relationship. People are not there to see those works conceived, but they do see them as they mature within us and finally are born into the world. When God looks at his true people, he does so with love and desire and the closer we draw to Christ, the more we can understand the Song of Solomon.
What is a prophet? A prophet is someone who tells men what God wants them to hear. God has a message to his people and the prophet's ministry includes relaying that message to men.
Many of the book titles in the Old Testament are the names of the prophets who prophesied in Israel and Judah under various kings. A few of the prophetical books are directed toward the heathen--like Jonah and Obadiah. One commonality that we often see in the prophets is the call to Israel to repent of their evil works. The prophets were despised, persecuted and suffered affliction. Prophets are the watchmen of the church. We see that some prophets prophesied to the northern kingdom of Israel and some prophesied to the southern kingdom of Judah. In their books we can often see to whom a particular prophet prophesied.
The Old Testament prophets foretold the coming of the Lord and of judgment. They foretell what is yet to come in the future. They also express the feelings and experiences that we have as we look around and see so much injustice and wickedness both inside the church and outside of it. The writings of prophets also give us hope that things will one day be better, just, and equal, and that all injustice will be avenged.
Isaiah prophesied during the reigns of four kings of Israel. His book is full of observations on Israel's behaviour, God's judgments against the nations and Israel, as well as prophecies regarding the end times. There are also many beautiful and comforting portions for the elect. Many call Isaiah the prince of the prophets. It is said that his book is the one most quoted and referred to in the New Testament.
Isaiah foretold that Christ would be born of a virgin and that he would suffer for our transgressions. Isaiah 53 has opened the eyes of many Jewish people, showing them how Christ Jesus is the prophesied Messiah of Israel.
As with the other prophets, Isaiah called Israel to repent. In the latter chapters, we find much beauty, comfort, and promises of relief. We also find is several chapters, beginning around chapter 40, a series of statements where God makes clear that there is no other God beside him (e.g. 43:10; 44:6, 8; 45:5, 6, 21, 22). Mormon males are told that they can (and have) become gods like God the Father. These scriptures make clear that they have been taught a lie.
Jeremiah prophesied to Judah. He kept warning the people to repent, but they would not listen. Jeremiah told the people that they were going to go into captivity for 70 years for their disobedience. Jeremiah was thrown in a pit, kidnapped and taken into Egypt, and had his life threatened. He prophesied until the captivity when king Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple and took Israel captive.
These are the lamentations of Jeremiah. He is weeping over the city because it has been taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Jeremiah is often referred to as "the weeping prophet".
Ezekiel was a prophet of the Babylonian captivity. God showed Ezekiel many visions and told Ezekiel to prophesy to Israel, "a rebellious house". Israel clave to idols and idol worship in spite of the second commandment to make unto themselves any graven images.
As with many of the prophets, Ezekiel warned Israel of God's coming judgments. He also made known to them the pattern for the new temple different in size from the tabernacle of Moses and the temple of Solomon. Hearing of this temple and form was to make Israel ashamed. And if ashamed, they were to learn the particulars of the house. These are obscure and dark sayings, however, a careful reading of Ezekiel and the temple can reveal new truths and insights to those diligently seeking the Lord. Sketching what is revealed about the temple on a verse-by-verse basis can be very helpful. Where something is not understood, draft what seems to be understood and in the end, one better understands.
According to Daniel 1:1-6, Daniel was taken from his homeland when he was a child. He was taken after Jehoiakim king of Judah fell before Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (Daniel 1:1-2, II Kings 24:1-2).
About twenty years later (after the reigns of Jehoichin and Zedekiah), Judah, as a nation, would fall before Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. At that time, the Babylonians would destroy the temple and take Judah captive into Babylon. This was the beginning of what we now call "the Babylonian captivity". Daniel would rise to become a powerful prophet of the Babylonian captivity. He lived in Shushan the palace directly under Nebuchadnezzar the king as one of his wise men. It appears that Daniel's presence there under the master of the eunuchs (Dan 1:3, 7, 9-11) was a fulfillment of II Kings 20:17-19 where Isaiah told king Hezekiah that some of his seed would be made eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon--17 Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried into Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD. 18 And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. 19Then said Hezekiah unto Isaiah, Good is the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken. And he said, Is it not good, if peace and truth be in my days?
Daniel is an interesting book full of exciting accounts, dreams, and visions. Of especial note, Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of a great image (Dan 2). Of all the wise men of Babylon, only Daniel could make known the dream and the interpretation thereof. That great image is of the utmost importance to us today. It tells of four world kingdoms--and only four. It began with Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar as the head of gold. Here are the four kingdoms in order:
In the book of Daniel, we read about the first three kingdoms (Babylon, Medes-Persians, Greeks). By the time Christ was born, Rome was in power. In Luke 2, we read that the Roman Caesar Augustus sent out a decree that all the world should be taxed. As the scriptures continue, we read about other caesars as well--Tiberius (Luke 3:1) and Claudius (Acts 11:28 & 18:2). In the subscript to II Timothy it mentions Paul being brought before the Roman emperor Nero.
What you are reading here is not an obscure interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream. These are historical facts that can also be seen in books and museums--in this exact order. What the museums and books do not know--or do not reveal--is that Rome is still in power. They say that the Roman empire died in 476 AD. Rome is still the world power, but in a new form,
the ROMAN Catholic church.
Through the centuries, the popes have continued to take the styles and names and forms of imperial Rome. The pope is still called pontifex maximus which means, "high priest" just like the caesars were. There are many other such styles that they have retained. They are modern emperors, they live in a palace, the Vatican, and are far richer than any other king who has ever lived. MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT is truly a mystery in many ways, but exploration of her at this time is outside the scope of this treatise.
All history is not equally important. With the four kingdoms of Daniel in hand, those that understand can properly focus on what is relevant--and its workings as we near the end. Modern day locations of the four kingdoms--
- Babylon (in modern Iraq)
- Medes-Persians (in modern Iran)
- Grecia (Greece)
- Rome (Rome, Italy)
In speaking of the abomination of desolation, the Lord Jesus directed us to the book of Daniel (Matt 24:15, Mark 13:14). Daniel is for us today. Daniel was curious about the revelations that he received, but was told to seal up the book for it was for the time of the end. These times in which we live are the end. It is time for the visions of Daniel to be loosed and understood. Daniel 11 teaches that in the end times, those that know their God shall be strong and do exploits and they that understand among the people shall instruct many.
For additional information on this matter, see the entry for Revelation (the last book of the Bible) below. For information about the four horns of Daniel 8 (Daniel prophesied that after Alexander the Great (the great horn) died, four horns would arise to take his place) click here.
Hosea prophesied during the time of the kings. God told him to marry an unfaithful whore to demonstrate that like a whore, Israel was unfaithful to the Lord.
Joel calls the people to repentance and prophesies of fearsome endtimes. He warns of the day of the LORD when the LORD will gather all nations into the valley of Jehoshaphat when the harvest is ripe, the press is full, and the fats overflow. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
Amos prophesied to Israel during the reign of the kings (ref. Amos 1:1). As with many other prophets, Amos warns Israel concerning God's judgments against Israel and other disobedient nations.
Amos said this of his calling, "I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit: And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, 'Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.'"
Obadiah prophesied against the heathen nation of Edom. Edom is the nation of Esau, Jacob's older brother spoken of in the book of Genesis. Edom is located in the region south of Israel.
Jonah is sometimes called, "the reluctant prophet". God told Jonah to go and warn the Ninevites of impending judgment for their sins. But Jonah did not want to do it. He did not want to warn his enemies, so he ran away on a ship in another direction. There was a storm at sea and the ship had trouble because of Jonah. Jonah told the mariners to throw him overboard because he was the one causing the trouble.
When they threw him overboard, a great fish/whale swallowed Jonah and he was in the whale's belly for three days. Jonah prayed to the Lord out of the fish's belly. God had the whale to vomit him out and Jonah did what God told him to in the first place. The Ninevites repented at the preaching of Jonah and God spared the city. Jonah was very angry, even unto death, because God did not destroy the Ninevites, but rather had mercy on them.
Micah prophesied during the times of the kings. As with many other prophets, he reproved Israel of its idolatry. He also prophesied that Christ would be born in Bethlehem.
Nahum foretells the ruin of Nineveh.
Habakkuk complains of all the wickedness of the people. They are lawless, disobedient and doing whatever they want to--just like in the church today. He asks God, "Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance?" God answers him in chapter two that Habakkuk is to, "write the vision and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it." God had Habakkuk to write down the prophecy so that the Lord's people could run. We get our footing in the scriptures. In chapter three, Habakkuk rejoices in the Lord, "I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places."
Zephaniah prophesied during the time of the Israelite kings. He warned of God's judgment and the day of the Lord. That day is a day of wrath. Zephaniah also prophesies of the comforts to God's people when they shall be free in Zion and the heathen are perished....wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.
Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. Zephaniah 3:8, 14-15
Haggai was a prophet of the post-captivity after the Jews were permitted to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple that Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed. The Medes-Persians were still in power at this time. Haggai prophesied during the times of Ezra and Nehemiah and is mentioned in Ezra. The people prospered under their prophesying (Ezra 6:14).
Zechariah was a contemporary of Haggai. The people prospered under their prophesying (Ezra 6:14).
Malachi was also a prophet of the post-captivity. His is the last book of the Old Testament. Malachi reproves the people and the priests for their polluted service to God. He also tells of the faithful in Israel--But those that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD and that thought on his name.
And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Malachia 3:16-17
In chapters three and four, Malachi prophesies of the coming of the Lord, and his messenger, John the Baptist. Malachi ends the Old Testament. It would be 400 years before the coming of the Lord and the New Testament scriptures.
This consists of those 400 years between the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is here that we witness the events that gave rise to groups like the Pharisees and Sadducees, politically minded religious rulers under Israel's foreign captors. [more forthcoming...]
OVERVIEW OF THE BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST
In the fullness of time, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is born the fulfillment of all the prophets. He is God manifested in the flesh. He came down here to die for our sins and transgressions. No man took his life from him, he laid it down of himself and then took it back again when he rose from the dead.John 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
John 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
No man past, present, or future has this type of power. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world and is the only way by which any man will come to the Father.John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John--the first four books of the New Testament--are known as the gospels. The gospels record the words, mighty acts, and person of our precious Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel, who came into this world to save sinners. He came here to die in our place and to save us from our sins and everlasting damnation in hell and the lake of fire. The law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is Emmanuel, God with us (Matt 1:23). He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last (Rev 22:13). He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
While on earth, the Lord Jesus Christ told us what God wanted us to know and revealed things to us that we could not have not otherwise known, e.g., the coming of the abomination that maketh desolate, the end of the world, and his return to judge it.
At the end of his earthly ministry, our great High Priest, our precious Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ offered up a perfect sacrifice that God would accept--himself. He allowed himself to be crucified for us. His blood that he shed on the cross was accepted by God as the propitiation and payment for our sins. In the Old Testament, Israel sacrificed beasts to get forgiveness for their sins, but it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins (ref. Heb 10:4)--that is why they had to keep on offering them over and over again. The Lord Jesus Christ came into this world to offer himself and to die for us--Hebrews 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Unlike, the Levitical priesthood of the Old Testament, our Lord needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, for this he did once, when he offered up himself (ref. Heb 7:27). And because our Lord continueth ever, he hath an unchangeable priesthood (ref. Heb 7:24) and is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them (ref. Heb 7:25). Anyone who will repent of their sins and believe that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again will be saved--those that continue in his word are his disciples indeed.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the Son of David. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The New Testament begins with the book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. This opening puts into perspective the exact times of Jesus Christ, when he was born into this world. The Bible is based on real time, real events, real places. All the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations (ref. Matthew 1:17). There are 42 generations between Abraham and our Lord (from approximately 2000 BC until AD/Anno Domini, "the year of our Lord." The world over, we date time from the birth of our Lord notwithstanding the current attempts to obscure this great fact by changing BC and AD). Luke chapter three traces our Lord's genealogy through David and Abraham and all the way back to Adam. All has been recorded in the Authorized Version of the Bible.
According to John (in the book of John), there are many things that our Lord Jesus did which are not written down. John said that if all these acts should be written every one, he supposed that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written (John 21:25). Those things that were written down were written that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing we might have life through his name (ref. John 20:31). We should never stray far from the gospels and the words of our precious Saviour.
Note: In the New Testament focuses on the same region of the world as the Old Testament. Remember Egypt, Triangle, Israel? We are still there, but things look differently now because Israel has been dispossessed due to her disobedience. The following map is a rough sketch of three major regions of Israel that we read about in the New Testament--
Israel never did return to the kings. Rather she found herself under a succession of rulers--
- Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar) destroyed the temple and took over.
- The Medes-Persians (Darius) took over from Belshazzar during the times of Daniel (Dan 5).
- The Greeks (Alexander) took over as prophesied in Daniel (Dan 8:1-21). [Aside: As prophesied in Daniel, when Alexander the Great (king of Macedon and Grecia) died his four generals took over (Dan 8:22).]
- The Romans took over from Greece.
The Romans were in power when Christ was born. Caesar Augustus (Luke 2:1) was on the throne of the Roman empire. [Aside: Augustus/Octavius was nephew to Julius Caesar].
The Acts of the Apostles chronicles the activities of the apostles after the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Having received their anointing, they turned the world upside as the preached the word with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. As they went forth, God confirmed his word with signs and wonders. People were added to the church daily such as should be saved in spite of fierce opposition to the gospel. It is in Acts that we meet Saul of Tarsus whose name was changed to Paul. At first he was a persecutor of the church, but was converted and wrought mightily amongst the Gentiles for the Lord Jesus Christ. We read of his fruitful missionary journeys into regions where Christ was not previously known. Paul wrote 14 of the 27 New Testament books.
The New Testament reveals that the gospel was spread throughout the Mediterranean--and beyond. In trying to identify the places found in Acts and other books, the geographic perception is opened for those of us whose knowledge of geography is limited. As you can see in the map below, the book of Acts shows the gospel going to three continents--Asia, Africa, and Europe. Noticeably absent from the following graphic is Ethiopia to the southeast of Egypt. Europeans would later spread out around the world and on some of those ships there were true Christians who took their Bibles with them to their new homelands. Just as God had prepared the Greek language to spread the New Testament throughout the world, God would later prepare a European language--English--to make a complete Bible with both Old and New Testaments that would go throughout the world.
The theme for Paul's epistle (letter) to the Romans is, "The just shall live by faith," (Ro 1:17). In the book of Romans, Paul powerfully proves this doctrine (the just shall live by faith) which is critical for understanding the condition of all mankind no matter what race or geographic location.
The just shall live by faith. Just means, "innocent, blameless, without guilt." The just shall live by faith. If any man is going to be just before God, it will only be because he has faith in Jesus Christ. No man will ever be just because that man is good for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Man's righteousness is as filthy rags before God. In Romans, Paul shows that everyone, Jew and Gentile, is condemned before God without Christ, because no one is good. There is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. (Eccl 7:20).
In Romans, Paul proves that--
- the Gentiles have sinned (ch 1)
- the Jews have sinned (ch 2)
- all have sinned (ch 3)
- even the patriarch Abraham was justified by faith and not works (4)
In Romans chapters 5-8, Paul shows the fruits of justification by faith such as peace with God, access into grace, rejoicing, and sanctification.
In Romans chapters 9-11, he examines Israel's unbelief and eventual restoration.
In Romans 12-15, he gives guidance for how to walk in sanctification.
In Romans 16, he gives closing words and an admonition to mark and avoid those that cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine that we have learned.
I, II Corinthians
Here Paul writes to the church at Corinth, which has a number of issues just like we do today. He address their glorying in men, fornication, carnality, and other errors. In addressing these issues, new testament doctrines are laid down for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. It is difficult to summarize these books, as they contain such bedrock information that is so wide ranging in scope. By way of example, I Corinthians 13, tells us that every work done without charity profits us nothing. Chapter 12 reviews spiritual gifts. Chapter 14 speaks about prophesy, tongues and church order. How can one summarize the meat and substance of I Corinthians in a space like this? Who even knows it all? Who is sufficient to summarize I Corinthians 15 and the glories to be wrought in us by our all powerful Saviour?
In II Corinthians, we learn that Paul's admonitions in I Corinthians wrought repentance in the Corinthian church. We also learn more details of the hidden inner workings of gospel ministry in II Corinthians chapters 3-6.
At different seasons, we can find that different books of the Bible draw us to read them. As we grow, what we thought we knew takes on new dimensions. This "summary" is insufficient. May the honest seeker simply read the scriptures, pray, obey them, and read them again and again.
The church of Galatia had turned away from the truth of the gospel. They had once believed the gospel of Christ, but someone came preaching "another gospel" and they believed this other gospel--Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Galatians 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Galatians 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
This other gospel required the Galatians to keep elements of the Old Testament law along with their new faith of Christ. [This is reminiscent of the Hebrew Roots and Seventh Day Adventist movements today. Many of the Messianic Jewish groups embrace strange mixtures of dispensationalism and rabbinic cultural traditions.] In response, Paul expounds the superiority of faith and the role of the law as a schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ. He sets forth Abraham as an example to show that faith was always required in order to please God and to be accounted righteous (ch. 3). In chapter 4, he reveals that the lives of Sarah and Hagar were not only historical personages but were allegorical and representative of the two covenants--one of FAITH where there is liberty and the other of the LAW which gendereth to bondage. Paul preaches liberty from the law through our Lord Jesus Christ.
In Galatians, the venerable apostle Paul is on a search and rescue mission to save these souls that had jumped from the ship of truth into the shark-infested waters of heresy. Why did they jump? They were bewitched by false teachers (Gal 3:1). May the reader beware of reading books, surfing the internet, listening to radio preachers, etc. All these false teachers seek to bewitch you and seduce you away from the truth.
Let us go back and look at this other gospel that Paul identified; notice that this other gospel is not really another gospel, but a PERVERSION of the gospel of Jesus Christ--Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Galatians 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
These deceivers go to the Bible, take out elements and pervert them. They deceive people with the name of Jesus and also with scriptures in churches, on street corners, in books, in seminaries and colleges, in textbooks, on radio and television, on the internet to a worldwide audience, and anywhere else they can. They are agents of the devil deceiving in the name of Jesus. They become preachers and pastors too. They take the name of Jesus and, with a Bible in hand, ascend into pulpits and preach a false gospel and a false Jesus (II Cor 11:4) and then pass the offering plate around and collect the money.
Today there are many false gospels masquerading as the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some may write their own Bible like Charles Taze Rusell (founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses), or add their own book(s) to the Bible like Joseph Smith (founder of the Mormons) or like Ellen White, founder and false prophetess of the Seventh Day Adventists. There was a proliferation of these cults in the 1800s. The Mother of them all, the "Holy Mother Roman Catholic Church," the biggest, oldest whore in the world, is the chiefest in this deception and has spawned and inspired all the other synagogues of Satan. Revelation 17 identifies Roman Catholic institution as, "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." The city that sits on seven hills, is an amalgamation of imperial Rome and false gods without number. Minerva, Diana, Athena, Jupiter, Mercurius, and others take on new names like, "Mary," "Jesus," "Paul," "Barnabus," "St. Anthony," etc." That is why Catholics pray to "saints." They are really those old devil god idols with Bible names. That is why they are led to buy little statues to pray to and bring them good "luck." That is why it was so easy to mix hoo doo, voo doo, Santeria and any other abomination with Romanism. Time and space do not a permit a thorough examination of this here but if a person knows the scriptures, they will be able to dismantle every lie as it comes their way. Even in New Testament times, false brethren had crept into the church unawares to bring the people into bondage, but Paul did not give place to them by subjection, no, not for even one hour. John said that if any man come to you and bring not the apostle's doctrine, do not receive him into your house and neither bid him God speed.
Given the ever-worsening, toxic spiritual environment in which we live, an additional warning is warranted here. The ecumenical movement is a movement where all "other gospels" are embraced and accepted. Those who do not participate in this movement are called "intolerant" and "filled with hate" (the truth is not hate, they just hate to hear it). Now is the time for those who know and believe the true gospel of Jesus Christ to take their stand and stay outside of this accursed global movement. We need not take up picket signs, but rather stay outside of this movement.
Anybody looking for the truth today may have to go through a circuitous route to get to it. We need to know what the gospel is (I Corinthians 15:1-8) and we need to be able to articulate it. And if any man preach any other gospel to us, let that man be accursed for so doing. We should be ready to give an answer to every man that asketh us a reason for the hope that lieth in us. We should also be able to earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:3). Studying the New Testament scriptures will allow us to do this by the Spirit of the Lord. The sword of the Spirit is the word of God. The word is "...is quick and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Heb 4:12).
In these days of deception, we must know our God and we must know the fine points of these holy scriptures. This will come through study and application--II Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
The deception is deepening day by day and moment by moment. It is increasing in sophistication. A thousand are falling at thy side and ten thousand at thy right hand, but it shall not come nigh thee, faithful, enduring Christian soldier. Those with eyes to see can see this happening before their very eyes. The Bible teaches that more--much more--is coming. The gathering forces will foist upon mankind signs and wonders so great and so deceptive that the Lord Jesus said that *IF* it were possible, false Christs and false prophets would deceive the very elect (Matt 24:24). The elect are those of us who know our God. That is how powerful their sorcery is. But God be thanked because IT IS NOT POSSIBLE! The Spirit of the Lord knows his own. The ones who have been studying the word are already prepared to see these LYING signs and wonders manifested. When they see these signs and wonders they will know that they are lying. The Lord knows his own. The despised ones that don't care what anybody says, they believe the Bible, the holy scriptures.
Notice in the scriptures that the liars are going to manifest as Christs--false Christs--these final enemies will attempt to usurp the place of Christ. Things will be so bad that the saints will want to see Jesus (Luke 17:22). But he warns us go not after them (Luke 17:23). As the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be (Matthew 24:27).
May all take heed to read the scriptures carefully, seeking God through prayer, obedience, and studying that they might understand exactly what they read.
In the book of Ephesians, we see a great mystery revealed--that Jew and Gentile form one church--and that this was God's plan from the beginning. He was going to take those who were, "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world" (Eph 2:12) and bring them nigh to himself. We learn that this great and wondrous salvation was wrought by one man--and one man alone--the man Christ Jesus, that chief cornerstone, elect, and precious. Come and let us worship him.
And as we worship him and wait for his coming, let us behave ourselves in a seemly manner and also put on the whole armour of God that we may be able to stand against the wiles of our enemy, the devil (ref. Eph 6:10-18). It is not flesh and blood people that we are wrestling against. It is the wiles of the devil--principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness in high places. Carnal weapons don't work on a spirit. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds (II Cor 10:4). We have to put on the whole armour of God--Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints
This battle that we are engaged in is for the minds of men. The devil blinds men's minds (II Cor 4:4) and will blind us too if we don't stop him at the ranges. Committing sin deceives us. We must be holy. We must cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God (including false, anti-Biblical knowledge), and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ, having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience when our obedience is fulfilled (ref. II Cor 10:5-6). The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force (Matt 11:12).
In his bonds (Phil 1:7, 12-17), Paul boldly testifies to the church in Philippi. He makes it known that for him to live is Christ and to die is gain. He relates that many brethren in the Lord waxed confident by his bonds and were much more bold to speak the word without fear. In the increasingly hostile environment in which we live, Paul epistle to the Philipians encourages us to stand fast faith and to be terrified in NOTHING by our adversaries.
We are exhorted to love one another, have the mind of Christ, and to rejoice. And Paul warns us against evil workers and the concision--let us not get off track listening to those who tell us that Israel is separate from the church or that tell us we need to learn Hebrew or that we need to keep Old Testament feasts, etc.
Amongst the precepts, exhortations, warnings, and doctrines of Colossians, the apostle Paul magnifies the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. This he did likewise in Philippians and Hebrews. Jesus Christ is God. The gospel of John also magnifies the deity of Jesus Christ. In Revelation, Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last.
1:14-20 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
1:10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
1:11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;
1:12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
10:30 I and my Father are one.
In presenting these overviews, I must confess that I do so with much trepidation. Who am I? Let me say again that this overview page is not the Bible. It is presented to assist disciples as they endeavor to learn the flow and substance of the scriptures. May each true disciple study the scriptures for himself and get good understanding, strength, and power. When one reads the scriptures and obeys them, more and more truths are learned and more and more experiences with God occur. This overview is to assist and encourage and provoke others to read the scriptures. These overviews do not cover every verse. I encourage every reader to read, obey and live by the scriptures.
I, II Thessalonians
I Thessalonians shows the care and entering in that Paul had amongst the Thessalonians in reaching them with the gospel. Wise master builders would do well to consider these things. He also gives comforting words concerning the resurrection of the saints. Both of these epistles speak of the coming of the Lord and II Thessalonians gives information concerning the man of sin (II Thes 2:3), that Wicked, whose coming is after the working of Satan (II Thes 2:8-9).
I, II Timothy
Paul gives Timothy precepts for governing the church of the living God which is the pillar and ground of the truth. We would all do well to examine these precepts that we might know how a true church should operate and how we should behave ourselves in it.
In both of these epistles, Paul foretells of the wickedness of the last days. Those days are the days in which we now live.I Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
4:5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
II Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
3:9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.
3:10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
3:11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
And what about Romans chapter one? Do not Paul's words describe American society today?
1:21 ...when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Paul tells why he left Titus on the the island of Crete--Titus 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee
Paul gives Titus instructions on the qualifications of church leadership and words of exhortation that Titus should preach to the people.
Paul the aged shews himself a minister of reconciliation in this epistle. Apparently Onesimus, a servant, wronged Philemon and departed from him. But during his departure, Onesimus came to know the Lord through Paul. In this epistle, Paul is asking Philemon, a fellowlabourer, to receive Onesimus as a brother not only in the flesh, but also in the Lord.
In Paul's epistle to the Hebrews, we learn that Jesus is better.
- He is so much better than the angels. (Heb 1:4) 7:7
- He brought a better hope. (Heb 7:19)
- He is surety of a better testament. (Heb 7:22)
- He is better than Moses. (Heb 3:3-6)
- He is mediator of a better covenant which was established on better promises (Heb 8:6)
- He is a better high priest (Hebrews 9:11)
- He is a better sacrifice (Heb 9:23)
- His priesthood is a better priesthood than the Levitical priesthood
- His blood of sprinkling speaketh better things than that of Abel.
I believe that this list is partial.
Hebrews opens up the meaning and significance of the Old Testament system, its shadows and types. An understanding of the Old Testament is essential to be able to get the full significance of the book of Hebrews.
Hebrews 11 is known as the great faith chapter. It is a powerful chapter that rehearses the faith of some of the Old Testament saints.Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
11:2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
11:5 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.
11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
11:11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
11:12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
11:14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
11:15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
11:18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
11:19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
11:20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
11:21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.
11:22 By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.
11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
11:28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
11:29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
11:32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
11:33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
11:34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
11:35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
11:36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
11:38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
James exhorts us to live righteously in this present world through many precepts. He tells us to lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save our souls. He tells us not to have the faith of Jesus Christ with respect of persons. He tells us the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. He tells us that the friendship with the world is enmity with God. May we read and take heed to this word.
I, II Peter
I Peter presents precepts for living the Christian life--and the suffering that comes as a result of living it. II Peter chapter one tells us how to abound and never fall in our walk with Christ. It also reveals how the written word of God is more sure than hearing a voice from God himself. II Peter exposes the hereticks of the end times and is similiar in scope to the book of Jude. Hereticks are a tremendous scourge to the church of Jesus Christ. Day after day they bring in damnable heresies among us. According to Jude, the deny the Lord God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Today, they openly teach that the Lord does not have to be your Lord (Master) and that obedience to the gospel is not required in order to be saved. The only way to be safe from them and other enemies of the gospel is to read and obey your King James Bible--this includes living separate from the world. This does not mean that you physically do not live amongst people, but that you live according to the scriptures. No Christian should watch tv, go to the movies, use credit cards for credit, go in debt, send their children to the heathen for education, and be at home in this world. If any man love the world, the love of the father is not in him (I John2:15).
I, II, III John
I John makes a difference between the clean and the unclean. He that sinneth and he that sinneth not. He that is of God and he that is of the world. This is a timely teaching for today. The hordes of the false church claim to be Christians but they walk in darkness--television, movies, fashions, books, magazines, lasciviousness, gossip, worldliness.
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 But 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.
4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
III John 1
11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
The apostle teaches in the plainest terms not to sin and yet lets us know that if we do sin, we have an advocate, Jesus Christ the righteous.1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
In I John 2:1, the apostle John gives the reason that he wrote this epistle--so that we would not sin. Do not sin is the message.1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.
We are holy and sanctified. Set apart for God. We do not walk around in sin like we once did. It is no longer our course in this life. We are no longer thieves, whoremongers and liars. WE DO NOT LIVE LIKE THAT. Of a truth I can say that I do not do those things AND NEITHER DOES IT COME TO MIND TO DO THEM. I can clearly see what "he that commiteth sin is of the devil" means. We are delivered from the power of sin and the devil and no longer walk under him. We walk under the scriptures. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from our sins and actually purges our conscience. Our desires and affections literally change so that we do not love the world.
When I do wrong, I am very aware of it, even if others are not aware of my wrongdoing. I confess my pride or impatience to God. As we walk through this life, we can be dirtied by the sins of others. One day, something was bothering me--whether my own sin or somebody else's. In the wee hours of the morning, I heard, "Go wash at the laver." The laver was a place for the priests to wash. Walking around in this world you get dirt on you just like the priests got dirt on them from the ground. Go to the laver--prayer--to get your cleansing.
God has severed us from among other people that we should be his (ref. Lev 20:26). Let us embrace and enjoy this peculiar, holy, sanctified relationship--Leviticus 20:26 And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.
When we sit and reflect on it, much of the New Testament doctrine is spent rending us away from ourselves--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. We leave those things behind in order to move on to perfection. There is a whole other world, a whole other way of being once we lay aside the sin that doth so easily beset us. It is a strange, peculiar, palpable world--and it is only a step away. The only requirement is to mortify your members upon the earth (Rom 8:13, Col 3:5) and get in line with the doctrine of the Lord.
"Soulwinners" in the false church--especially Baptist churches--often try to assure new "converts" that saying "the prayer of salvation" assures them of eternal life no matter what they may do in the future. That is a lie. Assurance comes when we love God. This love is not based on a religious feeling, but on keeping the commandments of God--1 John 5:3 For THIS is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
II John 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments...
The way that we know that we know God is that we keep his commandments. A cursory look at our lives will tell us this--1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
1 John 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
The false church scorns those that speak this truth calling them names like, "Pharisees" and "legalists". The false church says that it has "Christian liberty"--as if keeping God's commandments restricts their liberty. No where in the New Testament does it teach that we have the liberty to do evil. The opposite is true--once we get saved WE NOW HAVE THE LIBERTY TO DO RIGHT. The Bible teaches that we did not have this liberty when we were unsaved, back then even our righteousnesses were as filthy rags (ref. Is 64:6). NOW WE CAN DO RIGHT. Those of us that know and believe and live the truth joy in being inside God's word. We are not seeking excuses to embrace the world. We say, "The word of the Lord is right and all his works are done in truth!" We praise him for his word whether it is "Thou shalt," or "Thou shalt not." Whether it reproves us or exonerates us.
In I John, the apostle warns us to not believe every spirit that comes up to us but to try the spirits whether they be of God. In I and II John, he identifies the spirit of antichrist--1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1 John 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1 John 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
2 John 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
2 John 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
Don't be surprised when worldly people don't listen to you when you speak the word--including church people--they cannot hear you. They are like a deaf adder to righteousness because they are of the world.
1 John 4:5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
1 John 4:6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
2 John 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
2 John 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
2 John 1:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. [This includes the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons that may come knocking at your door]
Jude exhorts us to earnestly contend for the faith as we find ourselves amongst a generation of mockers walking after their own ungodly lusts. A number of precepts in Jude are also found in II Peter chapter 2.
If you ask a Christian, "What is the most mysterious book in the Bible?" they may tell you, "Revelation," but this ought not to be because Revelation 1:1 teaches that the Revelation was given to to reveal what must shortly come to pass. In fact, the root word of "Revelation" is "reveal."Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass...
There is blessing promised in the book of Revelation, for those that keep the sayings of the book of Revelation (be not a forgetful hearer) (notice the following verses come from the first and the last chapter of Revelation).Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
Revelation 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
Yet more verses concerning blessings (for those that meet the conditions)--
Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
Revelation 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
I heard one preacher say that if a person reads the Revelation twenty-five times in a row they will understand it. In other words, the more we read and study it, the more we will understand it. The events of the Revelation can be overlaid with many other scriptures like Matthew, Mark, Luke, Ezekiel, Joel, Daniel, Zechariah, etc. in order to get a picture of what is coming (yea, now is) in the last days.
We often think of the antichrist when we think about Revelation; however, this book is the Revelation of Jesus Christ. It reveals details about the events that will occur before, during, and after the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ (the first coming was when he was born in Bethlehem, lived amongst us, was crucified, rose from the dead, and ascended back up to heaven where he came from).
One of the things that must come to pass before the return of Jesus Christ is the rising of the beast, a Satanically powered individual who will rule the world. His power will be so far reaching that a person will not be able to buy or sell without his mark. This strange, wicked individual will exalt himself above every god and will make war on the saints and will overcome them (Rev 13). I believe that the book of Daniel teaches that he must come out of the fourth kingdom, Rome. He will not regard women--he is not interested in them. He is wicked and will exalt himself above every God. He will blaspheme and open his lips wide. He will make war against the saints. By peace, he shall destroy many. He will not worship the God of his fathers--he may be Jewish. For our part, we must patiently endure this great tribulation to the end if we want to be saved. While we have time, let us read, pray, and serve and understand that the future of the true church is the woods--we will not be able to buy and sell. There is no pre-tribulation rapture. That is a false teaching of the comfort-loving false church. Why not begin to live as if we have nothing, or very little? Might we not find a new kind of self-sufficient life for ourselves and our children while weaning ourselves from off of this system? I know that I have--and it has been an exciting, liberating, and satisfying journey...
In Revelation 1:4-7, John addresses this revelation to the seven churches which are in Asia. He confers on them an apostolic blessing and reminds them of their position given them by Jesus Christ who hath made us kings and priests unto God --4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
5 And 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,
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
We would do well to understand what it means that we are kings and priests unto God. We are kings, rulers in the earth as we examine ourselves, the church, and the events occurring in the world itself. We make judgements and pronouncements based on the word that are binding on mankind--not because we said them--we are only speaking forth God's decrees. Through study of and obedience to the word, we become able ministers of the New Testament. We understand its precepts and are able to rightly divide it. We are to judge the things that are happening all around us and make appropriate pronouncements.
According to Revelation 1:6, we are also priests. The saints are a spiritual house, an holy priesthood made to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. We are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that we should shew forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvellous light. We Gentiles are those which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. (ref. I Pet 2) We are a strange people, transformed from what we once were into something else. After I got saved, my parents thought that something was wrong with me. I talked to an old acquaintance and after about 30 seconds, she said, "Did you get saved or something?" I wasn't even trying to sound spiritual. Reader, are you holy? Are you a priest? Do you live like a king? Can you feel it? Are you aware of it? Do you perform the priestly duties? Do you know what they are? Have you ever read Leviticus in order to better understand the law of the priest?
All of the Old Testament types and shadows are written to aid us in understanding the new covenant, including the Levitical priesthood and the sacrifices. Our great high priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, is passed into the heavens and is a minister of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man, and called a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. We are priests under him. What are we supposed to be doing? Do you know? What did the high priest do? What did his sons do? What was their ministry?Deuteronomy 10:8 ...the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day.
I see three priestly responsibilities here in Deuteronomy 10:8--
- to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD (to carry the law of the Lord in my heart ready to distribute it at any moment)
- to stand before the LORD to minister unto him (to be prepared to serve the Lord at any second of the day or night)
- to bless in his name (to bless mankind in the name of the Lord by whatsoever means he has ordained.)
We had better know these things if we would rise to the true intention of the gospel and stop living ignorantly. We do not have to go to school to become a priest. Christ has already made us priests. All we have to do is rise to our calling by reading and obeying the scriptures which the Holy Ghost teacheth us himself.1 John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
When the apostle John wrote the Revelation, he was on the isle of Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. He had apparently been exiled there. One day he was in the spirit on the Lord's day and the Lord told him,What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches when are in Asia; unto Ephesus,, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
...Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter...
John was told to write what he saw. What we hold in our hands today is the record of what the Lord wants his church to know in this last and evil day. The Lord had a message for each of the seven churches in Asia and, by extension, he has a message for us. The messages to the churches (found in Revelation chapters two and three) reveal that the Lord Jesus Christ knew their specific works and that he had an opinion about those works. The Lord Jesus Christ walks in the midst of his candlesticks observing our every move--and he has an opinion about our works. He will praise what is praise worthy and he will rebuke what is rebuke worthy. He will warn us too that we might correct ourselves before he has to step in. The Lord has a reward for obedience and chastisement for disobedience. Let us fear and tremble before him.Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
The Lord Jesus Christ loved the church and shed his blood in order to sanctify and cleanse us by the washing of water by the word that he might present us to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that we should be holy and without blemish. He told us to be perfect. Why should we expect him to desire an unclean vessel? He is a great king. Before beautiful Esther could be presented to the earthly king Ahaseurus she had to purified six months with oil of myrrh and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women. It would behoove each of us to get ready for that great day to meet the king face to face. If we live right at this present time, we can expect the joys of the abiding and intimate presence of Christ. If not, we can expect fear and a dry and thirsty land...
Each of the seven churches was located in modern day Turkey (each is indicated with an asterisk in the following graphic)--
I had intended to provide a chapter by chapter summary/overview of Revelation. This may occur at some point, but for now we shall examine Revelation 17 because it provides key information that has been lost and that we need today. [Note: With this information, one can understand and put together history and what is happening in the world today. The powers and principalities are moving at breakneck speed for their New (Satanic) World Order because their master, the devil, only has a short time left (ref. Rev. 12:12)...]
Revelation 17 tells of a woman who is called "the great whore" (Rev 17:1).whore, n. a harlot, a prostitute.
prostitute, v.t. to offer freely for a lewd use.
She is also called THE MOTHER (Rev 17). For those unfamiliar with her, she is known today as the, "Holy MOTHER Roman Catholic Church". This whore has been prostituting herself with the kings of the earth for many years. One can go way back to the times of the caesars, Pepin, Charlemagne, Holy Roman empire, etc. and come on up to Mussolini, Hitler, Ante Pavelic, etc. Even the United States has ambassadors to her and one sees pictures of U.S. presidents visiting with the pope of Rome who is supposedly a religious ruler. The Lord Jesus said that his kingdom is not of this world. The world hates Christians. MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, is completely mixed in with the world and is living deliciously (her splendor and wealth are obvious) in accordance with Revelation 18:7.James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? WHOSOEVER THEREFORE WILL BE A FRIEND OF THE WORLD IS THE ENEMY OF GOD.
When compared to the Bible, one sees that the whore's doctrines and deeds are blasphemous, heretical, and abominable; she is not a Christian church. Remember Daniel's fourth kingdom? It was Rome. It formed the legs and feet of the image. There were no more monarchies after her. King James could say hundreds of years ago that Rome would be here at the end of time. The next step is for that stone cut out without hands to smite the image on its feet and break them to pieces (Dan 2:34, 45).
Modern historians say that Rome fell in 476 AD. Rome never fell. What they call "imperial Rome" only changed form. The caesar/emperor is now called "pope" and dons a religious costume. In fulfillment of Daniel, the iron is now mixed with the clay kingdoms of the various nations she gets in the bed with. The Roman practices basically continue--the vestal virgin is now called a "nun." The diocese, the basilica, etc. all retain the same names. Diana/Minerva/Jupiter, etc. are now called Mary, Jesus, St. Paul, St. Barnabus, St. Anthony, etc.
There was a man of their number, a former Roman Catholic Jesuit priest, named Alberto Rivera, who by God's almighty and miraculous power was able to escape her clutches. His story is told in fascinating cartoon form (see Alberto series at www.chick.com) and gives important information about this menace. There are links to his preaching on this page.
Revelation gives us a detailed description of this drunken whore, her activities, her clients, her clothes, and even her jewelry. Make no mistake about it she is a woman of infamy and she flaunts her extensive wealth in full view. Even Isaiah was prophesying about her over 2,000 years ago. Let's look at her.Revelation 17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
Revelation 17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
Cassok (also Soutane)
The close-fitting, ankle-length robe worn by the CATHOLIC CLERGY as their OFFICIAL GARB. . .The COLOR FOR BISHOPS AND OTHER PRELATES IS PURPLE, for cardinals scarlet. . . [Our Sunday Visitor's Catholic Encyclopedia as quoted in A Woman Rides the Beast, by Dave Hunt, page 74; emphases ours]
Cassok (also Soutane)
The close-fitting, ankle-length robe worn by the CATHOLIC CLERGY as their OFFICIAL GARB. . .The COLOR for bishops and other prelates is purple, FOR CARDINALS SCARLET. . . [Our Sunday Visitor's Catholic Encyclopedia as quoted in A Woman Rides the Beast, by Dave Hunt, page 74; emphases ours]
gold, precious stones, pearls -->
"...After an indiscreet remark by their press spokesman this week, church authorities agreed to reveal part of the collection [our note: of the treasure of Lourdes, France]...[some] floor-to-ceiling cases were opened to reveal 59 solid GOLD chalices alongside rings, crucifixes, statues and heavy GOLD brooches, many encrusted with PRECIOUS STONES.
"Almost hidden by the other treasures is the 'Crown' of Notre Dame de Lourdes, made by a Paris GOLDsmith in 1876 and studded with DIAMONDS. [The treasure described here is only part of that which is kept in one location, the small town of Lourdes, France!]" [The European, April 9-12, 1992, p. 1. as quoted in A Woman Rides the Beast, pages 76-77; emphases ours]
golden cup -->
"...After an indiscreet remark by their press spokesman this week, church authorities agreed to reveal part of the collection [our note: of the treasure of Lourdes, France]...[some] floor-to-ceiling cases were opened to reveal 59 SOLID GOLD CHALICES alongside..." [The European, April 9-12, 1992, p. 1. as quoted in A Woman Rides the Beast, pages 76; emphases ours]
"The Roman Catholic Church possesses many thousands of SOLID GOLD CHALICES kept in its churches around the world." [A Woman Rides the Beast, page 74; emphases ours]CHALICE, n. A CUP, bowl; usually, a communion cup. (Webster's 1828 Dictionary; emphases ours)
Revelation 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
Revelation 17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
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CRITICAL ENDTIMES INFORMATION CONCERNING
THE GREAT WHORE OF REVELATION 17:
Please note that the great whore, Mystery, Babylon is not only mentioned in the book of Revelation, but is also found in Old Testament books such as Isaiah and Jeremiah. Know the truth for yourself and teach it to your children (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). King James VI & I (the king who specially commanded the translation of the Authorized (King James) Version of 1611), spoke much of the Roman Catholic institution and the pope as antichrist. Concerning THE MOTHER, he notes--"...spirituall Babylon...the mother of the whoredomes and the abhominations of the earth; for from her shall proceed the greatest, and in a maner, the onely chiefe abuses and heresies...and as a mother, she shall not onely breede but shall be the chiefe nourisher and maintainer of [abuses and heresies]. And this is called a mysterie, because although this abuse shall be publike, as is signified by being written on her forehead, yet none shall consider the abuse thereof, but onely such, whose eyes it shall please God to illuminate for that effect."--King James VI & I
A Paraphrase Upon the Revelation
The Workes of the Most High and Mightie Prince James, p. 54
When one looks around with opened eyes, the witnesses against the mother are without end--whether the blood of martyrs, Christian writers, secular writers, child abuse victims, other victims of the confessional, former Roman Catholic priests and nuns, her own writings revealing her blasphemous teachings, etc.
- The Roman Catholic "Church" is not Christian (When comparing her doctrines to the Authorized Version of 1611 of the Bible, they are clearly seen to be heresies and blasphemies.)
- Deception XVIII: THE MOTHER (access some of the many witnesses concerning MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH)
- Deception XIX: Why is the great whore called, "Babylon"?
- Why the apocrypha isn't in the Bible.
- The names of the seven mountains on which the woman sitteth.
- The woman drunken with the blood of the saints--a look at the Inquisition, an institution instigated and sustained by the popes of the Roman Catholic "Church".
- Roman Catholic Terror in Croatia: An Index of Articles
- The Roman Catholic Jesuit Order
- "...from this chamber, I govern...to all the world, without any one to know how I do it."
- The Ultramontanes ("I had come across the word 'ultramontane' a few times, but could not figure out what it meant--even with a dictionary in hand.")
- The Pattern of Papal Persecutions, Then and Now "Peace, peace; when there is no peace" (Written by a former Roman Catholic priest. Rome's strategy--get laws on the books and then get the State (the government) to enforce those laws. Article notes that Rome's grab for power was not consigned just to the dark ages--it is now and she essentially uses the same strategems. )
- Out from her (The critical text that underlies almost all modern Bible versions is based on manuscripts that came out of the Roman Catholic institution.)
- Codex Sinaiticus (not everyone believes that those "older and better" manuscripts are authentic.
- Jesus-is-Lord.com index page letter containing the major themes of these end times (It is long, print it out and read it on your daily walk, on the deck, in the tub, etc. you may wish to have pencil and highlighter handy.)
- Is there really a separation of church and state in the United States of America? (or is there a fusion?)
- Roman Catholicism: The Cult of Mary
- Contemplative prayer: A quick road to hell for a disobedient church (the end times spirituality is devil worship. It is now entered the fallen visible church as "contemplative prayer", "ancient future Christianity", etc. It blasphemously promises direct unmediated contact with God, which is completely a lie when we look at the Authorized Version of 1611 of the Bible. To get to God, a person must go through the one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. What the direct-contact people are performing is devil-reaching techniques. All mystical traditions are now all getting together coming out of the woodwork and revealing to deceived people the techniques for reaching evil spirits. The techniques of the old time Roman Catholic mystics, Loyola's "spiritual exercises", etc. are right out there with other mystical/occult/magic traditions, e.g, hinduism/yoga (kundalini SERPENT rising), Buddhism, Greek orthodox Hesychast, kabbalism (a Jewish mysticism), etc. If a person is not worshipping the God of the Bible, he is under the reign of the prince of the power of the air, the devil (see Ephesians 2:2). The devil is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). The things that the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils (I Corinthians 10:20). Revelation 9:20-21 teaches us that the people will not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk and they will not repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts. Counterfeits on parade in the false church--another Jesus, another spirit, another gospel (actually a perversion of the gospel) this is happening now. The end times are upon us.
I heard one preacher say that if a person reads Revelation 25 times in a row they will understand it. In other words, the more we read and study it, the more we will understand it. The Revelation can be overlaid with many other scriptures like Matthew, Mark, Luke, Ezekiel, Joel, Daniel, Zechariah, etc. in order to get a picture of what is coming in the last days.
The Deception Series Index
Keywords: Overview of the Bible, Bible Overview
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