Jesus said that Adam was made in the beginning (Matthew 19:4, Mark 10:6) Genesis 1 says Adam was created on day 6.
Real slow… 🙂
The earth was 6 days old when God created the Adam.
Genesis 5 (KJB)
Adam was 130 when he begat Seth. The earth was 130 years old when Seth was born.
Seth was 105 when he begot Enos…track with me… 130 + 105 = 235. The earth was 235 years old when Enos was born…
Enos was 90 when Cainan was born… 130 + 105 + 90 = 315. The earth was 315 years old when Cainain was born…
I’m not going to do this all day, the years are right there in Genesis 5…do the math…but from Adam to the flood…the earth was 1656 years old…by the way. Adam lived to be 930 years old…after the flood something happened…and people started living less and less…now about 70 years.
From Adam to Jesus…is about 4,000 years…again…we can add the dates. If the Bible is wrong about it’s history then it is wrong about it’s theology…and then what are we doing?
From Jesus to today (2019)…about 2,000 years…4,000 + 2,000 = 6,000 years. The earth is about 6,000 years old.
Science absolutely supports this…another time we can attack these details.
It’s simple by using the genealogy in the Bible (Genesis 5, Matthew & Luke)…we can add the years…to the Age of the Earth.
The Bible clearly says that Jesus created the earth in about 6,000 years. Anyone with BASIC math skills should be able to figure this out.
John 3:7, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”
Jesus tell Nicodemus he must be born again or is he telling Nicodemus that ALL
of us need to be born again? Does it
In John Chapter 3, Jesus is having a
conversation with a man named Nicodemus.
This is a private conversation between these two men. However, we get to look in on that
conversation and learn much from it.
Ultimately, while the conversation is between them, from examining the
Scripture in the King James Bible we will see clearly that this is meant for
all of us and not just Nicodemus.
John 3:7, “Marvel not that I said unto THEE,
YE must be born again.”
When we study the Bible, some of
the words used can make it difficult if not impossible to discern who is being
spoken too. Thee and Ye matter.
Remember, anything that begins
with a T is singular (thee, thou, thine, thy), if it begins in Y it is plural
(ye, you, your).
In other readings simply using
the word You as with the ESV, NIV, NKJV, et al.
“You must be born again.” Here
You can mean one person (Nicodemus) or many persons (all of us). With the King James Bible, there is not a
question. Ye means everyone.
Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a member
of the Sanhedrin and is mentioned Three times in the book of John:
He first visits Jesus one night
to discuss Jesus’ teachings (John 3:1–21). Immediately, we see the importance of the meeting and Jesus is
direct with Nicodemus and confronts him with the truth that we “must be born
We need to pause here and ask,
“Why is Nicodemus meeting with Jesus, alone, in the middle of the night?” My
suspicion is that Nicodemus was part of a secret band of believers who believed
that Jesus was who He said he was.
Nicodemus pretty much tells us this in verse two.
We also know from John 3:1 that Nicodemus was a Pharisee and part of the
Sanhedrin. At the time of Jesus, two religio-political parties consisted of two parties, The Majority (Sadducees)
and the Minority (Pharisees). The two
parties made of the Sanhedrin or the Council.
(see below for more)
Back to Jesus and Nicodemus… In
their conversation, Jesus immediately confronts Nicodemus with the truth that
he “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of
God.” (John 3:3).
Nicodemus comes across
incredulous, so Jesus very gently, perhaps reprimands him, telling him that
since he is the leader of the Jews he should already know this. (John 3:10)
Jesus goes on to give a further explanation of the new birth, and it is in this
context that we find (John 3:16), which is one of the most
well-known and beloved verses in the Bible.
The next time we encounter
Nicodemus in the Bible, he is functioning in his official capacity as a member
of the Sanhedrin as they consider what to do about Jesus. (John 7)
The final mention of Nicodemus in
the Bible is in John 19 after Jesus’ crucifixion. We find Nicodemus assisting
Joseph of Arimathea in Jesus’ burial. Joseph is described in John as a rich man
and in Mark
15:43 as a member of the Council. He
is also described in John 19:38 as a
disciple of Jesus. Here we have two
members of the Council, Nicodemus, and Joseph, who are disciples of Jesus,
albeit in secret because they were afraid of the Jews. Do you think there may have been others?
At this we have discussed, who
was at this secret meeting in John chapter 3.
We have determined whom Jesus was speaking about when He told Nicodemus
that , “Except a man be born
again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
We also learned that Nicodemus was a secret follower, among perhaps many
followers of Jesus. Nicodemus was part
of one of two religio-political parties, he was Pharisee, the minority party within
the Council or the Sanhedrin.
should also state that the Sanhedrin was the supreme theocratic
court of the Jews. The Sanhedrin’s
authority was broad and far-reaching, involving legislation, administration,
and justice. There was religious, civil, and criminal jurisdiction.
History of the “Born Again” Doctrine
There exists extra-Biblical literature
of the Born-Again Doctrine. The earliest
references or inferences to a new birth at the resurrection may be found in
literature in the first few centuries after Christ. Many “Church Fathers” and 1st
Century writers referred to the Doctrineof being Born again.
again Christians base their faith on receiving the Lord through the Holy Spirit
for a deeper acceptance of Jesus Christ.”
As we know from our text, the “born
again” and rebirth of Christ in a person can be traced to John 3:3-7 in the Bible.
Christ gave a very simple explanation of being born again, “Flesh
gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
In the 19th Century, the
Born-Again Doctrine really took root during the Charismatic Pentecostal
moving. Although it existed in the 1st
Century. The Born-Again Movement was
accelerated with the “Jesus movement” in the early 1970s.
Doctrine of Being Born Again
Matthew, Mark, and Luke do not speak
directly of it at all, though without directly naming it, they supply
supporting information. Also, the
epistles of Paul, Peter, and especially John that main branches of this
doctrine make appearances.
As we begin, it is helpful for us to
perceive the wide treatment of figures John uses to prepare us for how he uses
them to support the various elements of this important, foundational doctrine. John begins using symbolism immediately in
John 1, identifying Jesus as the Word, the central Figure in God’s spiritual
work in men’s behalf. He continues, speaking of light, darkness, baptism, the
Lamb of God, and the Temple, among others, before the reader arrives at John 3.
Let’s look at the imagery in John 2:18-22. “…Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up…” This is regarding the Temple and it is especially interesting because it immediately precedes Jesus’ discussion with Nicodemus on being born again. You will remember that the Jews immediately reject the teaching, being it is a physical impossibility. And indeed, it is impossible. And this is the same reason Nicodemus rejected Jesus. It is just not possible…when we look with our physical eyes (there is a whole new lesson here). a2
Remember in John 4, the woman at the well (verses 7-15),
immediately jumps to her own understanding, who own conclusion that Jesus is
speaking of water, and again in John 4:31-38, even Jesus’ disciples fail to grasp
that spiritual significance of food.
Jesus’ “eat my flesh, drink my
blood.” What kind of sick cult do you
guys belong to? John
6:32-63 Jesus’ Manna discourse
brings about an image that is so offensive that even some of His followers left
Him. We can see a constant failure through
the entire book where others fail to grasp the meaning. Like Nicodemus, man have misunderstood being
As children of God we must recognize
that must look at John 3 in a spiritual
sense. This is very important for our
spiritual lives and our growth. John 3:5 makes no mistake, UNLESS WE ARE BORN AGAIN WE WILL
NOT SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD! Jesus is
teaching that, besides being born a biological birth, begotten of our mother,
we must also experience a supernatural, spiritual birth.
We must recognize that this
spiritualizing continues in John 3. In fact, for the children of God, it not
only continues, but it also increases exponentially in terms of its importance
to their spiritual lives! It is an unvarnished truth that only those who are
born again will see and enter the Kingdom of God (John 3:5).
Jesus is teaching that, besides one’s biological birth, one must also experience a supernatural, spiritual birth. This is important, a Christian is not just biologically begotten, but born and likewise there is no such thing as a non-born-again Christian!
The Importance of
starts out by saying, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee”. This is a clear instruction that what I
(Jesus) am about to say next is significantly important and you need to pay
attention here. The weight of what Jesus
was saying was paramount to believers entering into Heaven. Don’t misunderstand me, it is not important
that we understand every last detail of this critical doctrine in order to be
saved. Although a deeper understanding
helps us to grasp all that God has for us.
sees us as His children, already party of His Family and we are able to function
as adults before Him in this world. It
also shows Him that we are a new creation
on a spiritual journey, by which we will grow in grace and knowledge of
Christ and we will be transformed into His image! Hallelujah!!!
born-again also teaches us how we should look at ourselves once we become a
Christian. We are not who we once were;
spiritually dead to God and all He has for us…but now we are ALIVE in Christ
and heirs of the throne, free from spiritual bondage, and we are left to be
able to pursue the holy, righteous character of our Savior Jesus Christ.
reveals how special we are to God, and that we are responsible for all that we
have been given, unlike the rest of the world.
2:1-6, the apostle Paul reveals a major detail of why a spiritual birth
you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the
prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of
whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh,
fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the
children of wrath, even as others.
God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye
hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in
Paul says in these six verses that we “were dead”—not physically dead
but spiritually dead. An individual cannot conduct his life before he is born,
nor can a dead person direct his steps and regulate his life. Clearly, God
perceives a person as spiritually dead before he is born again. Being born
again thus begins a convert’s progress toward his transformation into Christ’s
image and living in the Kingdom of God for all eternity.
When I lived in West Germany I was friends with a German man.
One day we were sitting around discussing languages. I asked him what the German words were for different English swear words. What else? 🙂 Ironically there was a German equivalent for every English word except one.
The F Word…Helmut tells me proudly with a hideous laugh, “we say it in English!”
So, what makes one word a swear word…and others not? We even have replacement, or our generic swear words that aren’t really swearing, only…yes, it is. We think by changing a few letters we are not actually saying the word in our mind…or somehow when we say frig that God doesn’t know what we mean? Wow, we smart we fool da crea’er of universe!
It really doesn’t matter who decided certain words we’re swear words or even that certain words are swear words. The fact is they are…and in any language, these are still cuss words.
And if not, like my friend Helmut, we will just pick a swear word in another language.
1 Thessalonians 5:22 in the time tested good il’ King James Bible, The Apostle Paul tells us to, “Abstain from all APPEARANCE of evil.”
Modern trash gives us the biggest, “well duh” moment, “Abstain from every form of evil.”. Well duh…of course we are to shun evil…but Paul actually took it a step further. He said to avoid the appearance of evil. The modern versions water down the Gospel and may be the very reason we are in this mess.
The Bible could not be clearer about sin…
James 5:12 – “But above all things, my brethren, swear not…”
Ephesians 5:4 – “Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.”
Matthew 12:34-37, “…for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. ”
Proverbs 4:24 – “Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.”
Proverbs 8:13 – “The fear of the LORD [is] to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.”
Leviticus 19:12 – “And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I [am] the LORD.
Ephesians 4:29 – “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth…”
So, now that I have shown you that your foul mouth is sinful. What are you going to do about it? Here is comes…”BLANK OFF!!! Don’t judge me.”
In your stammering and feigning innocence, now you are adding the sins of deception and deflection to Strong Language. I guess my mother was right, one sin does lead to another. And we shouldn’t use bad words.
When I hear a Christian swear I just cringe. In this society of if it feels good do it…we ignore Psalm 101:3 – “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.”. As we do the entire Bible. And let me just bookend this for you. Colossians 3:2 – “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
You see it’s cool these days to be a Christian who swears. It gives the curser an “I’m into Jesus, but I’m not legalistic” badge.
The problem is we are desensitized to swearing, public nudity, public sex…we are away from God. I said a moment ago that I cringe when I hear so called Christians swear. What’s worse is hearing someone take my Lord’s Name, a Name above all other names in vain. That’s right…MY LORD! Because if you do this…He is not your Lord. You and your OM- in your text! It used to hurt me…now it makes me angry.
Someone, I will not mention either parties name because I believe the perpetrator has repented. But someone called me and said, “Kevin, listen to this hateful message left on my machine.”. And they were quite noticeably upset —- shaky voice, crying, etc. I listened to about a two-minute message of an angry person…every other word profanity…and then they say said F you! And more insults, adjectives and swear words come out…and they ended with these words, in a calm. voice, almost sounded like a different person they say, “God bless you, I love you.”
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
I’m not even going to comment further…we all know or should know.
The other day, someone asked me, “Kevin, the other day I hurt myself and a swear word just slipped out. Was that a sin?”
First of all the Bible declares that, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” – Romans 3:23. And I may not swear, and the more you read your Bible, the more you pray, the closer you get to God, the more you declare war on sin and swearing…
Micah 3:8 – “But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.”
… profanity will not leave your lips. Does that mean that I am sinless? No way…I struggle with my own sin….but not deliberately and I try not to sin. So, while they sinned when they swore, and I asked them, ” did it just come out or is swearing part of your vocabulary?”
They assured me that it just slipped…so, while sin…sin we can repent of and ask God to help us not to sin. In Psalm 119:11, the author, probably David in his Prayer for Help, he says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
READ HIS WORD…the more we read it the less we sin. It’s a fact my friend!
But until you declare and as the Hebrew writer… probably Paul declares, “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” – Hebrews 12:4
So, until we resist sin with our whole being and declare war against Satan and all of Hell…we will always struggle with sin.
Now, if you are a new convert or you just “slip” once in a while…then you are probably saved…but need to apply Hebrews 12:4 and Psalm 119:11 and we’ll actually…the whole Bible…until you do…you will never have VICTORY in your life.
However, and someone isn’t going to like this but I must be obedient…if your swearing is out of hand, part of your daily vocabulary and you make no effort to resist the devil…and as my mother used to say…one sin leads to another and I will bet that if swearing is part of your normal vocabulary…you have more sin. Probably a potato sack full of sin …and YOU ARE NOT SAVED! Meaning, and let me be clear…
Isaiah 59:1-5, 11-13 (read the whole chapter)
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you, that he will not hear…
We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us.
For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them;
In transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt…”
Our sin…our deliberate sin separates us from God and if that is you then you are going to HELL…forever and ever. And listen, forever is a long time my friend.
Finally, we, mere mortal humans measure sin and classify it. Some sin or this sin…MY SIN is not that bad…but oh my goodness look at his sin…I’m not that bad.
God looks at sin. Period. Period. Yes, the double period is for emphasis. I heard Joe Biden do that and I thought it was cool. 🙂 So, to God swearing is just as bad as lying and sexual. Sin, although sexual sin is the ONLY SIN God tells us to flee or run from, but you see to God sexual sin is no worse than cussing. “Oh, come on.” You gasp! Don’t look at me, I didn’t write the Book.
Should a child rapist go to Hell? Sure…I think we would all agree on that. Should you go to Hell for swearing? God says, ABSOLUTELY! And don’t forget what my mother used to say
Romans 6:12,23 Gives a strong warning.
“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof…For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
But ends with encouraging words. My friend do not be angry with me. Stop sinning…stop cussing. IF YOU CUSS YOU DO NOT BELONG TO GOD.
“For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
Romans 6 – “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”
There, that’s good news…and incentive not to cuss. I hope as Paul says…you are ashamed. And I have just shined a big bright flashlight, you know one of those uber cool police flashlights, super bright with like 50 million LEDs.
If you say, “yup, that’s me and I am ashamed, ashamed for not abstaining from all APPEARANCE of EVIL. I am ashamed of my sin and I need the blood of Jesus to cleanse me and help me never to swear again. Acts 3:19… Repent and turn from your side no sin. May God bless you and yours.
“…because I live, you will live also.” – John 14:19
Christianity is about faith – faith in Jesus Christ who rose from the dead. But have you realized there is also historical documentation of Jesus’ resurrection? Six different books offer documentation of Jesus’ nine live appearances afte lol lr His resurrection:
– He appeared to Mary Magdalene and other women the morning of His resurrection.
– He appeared to Peter.
– He appeared to two men on the road to Emmaus.
– He appeared to the disciples as a whole (except for Thomas, who wasn’t there).
– He appeared to the disciples with Thomas, and Thomas believed.
– He appeared to seven disciples at the Sea of Galilee and enjoyed a fish fry.
– He appeared to over 500 people at once.
– He appeared one final time to His disciples before He ascended to heaven.
That is a lot of evidence that He rose from the dead! I believe it and I surely hope you do, too!
The most fascinating, almost haunting thing for me that Jesus ever said is this: “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8) I have literally lost sleep thinking about this verse.
“The Son of man” is what Jesus called Himself on earth. The phrase literally means “Dude”. So, in essence, He is saying, “When this Dude comes…” 🙂
Absolutely awesome, Jesus, gotta love Him! 🙂
If He is omnipotent and omniscient, and He is, then why would He ask a question like that? It’s almost like the feeling is that it’s going to get so bad on earth before His return that He asks this question of whether or not there’ll even be faith left on the earth at His return to warn us. Warn us of the Hell we will need to put us with and warn us of how easy it is for us to backslide and to always…ALWAYS stay in check.
Jesus asks, “Won’t God answer His own elect who cry to Him daily?” (if you are a Christian you are His elect) prayer…Christians must more than ever pray! Pray without ceasing. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
In Matthew 24:12, where Jesus was speaking about the time just before His return, He said, “And because iniquity (sin) shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Boundless iniquity and a growing lack of love throughout the earth.
Then in II Thessalonians 2:3 Paul said about the second coming of the Lord, “that day shall not come except there come a falling away first.”
A falling away from faith in God throughout the earth. Maybe you haven’t fallen away or you live in a community where faith is still vibrant. But on a national and international scale, faith in God has declined dramatically in the last century or so, especially throughout the nations of the Western world.
My goodness, you would think the writers of the Bible got on Google and read today’s newspaper!
The Bible says the Antichrist will have “scattered the power of the holy people” (Daniel 12:7), just before the return of Jesus.
Maybe that’s why Jesus asked that question, “When the Son of man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” It’s going to be the toughest time in the history of the world for the people of faith.
Will Jesus find faith on earth? The answer seems to be yes. However, weeping and gnashing of teeth…wide is the gate that leads to destruction…for many, He will not find faith. This is a fallen world….just watch the news!
Isaiah 5:20, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Again, watch the news…wow!
God help us all to hold on to our crowns and to keep the faith unto the end, whatever that will be for each of us.
How to know if your “brother” or “sister” is saved or not.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.”, Matthew 7:21
I believe that there is probably no other Scripture in the entire 66 books of the Bible that is as tragic as this one.
The whole truth of the matter is that there will be people, a good many people, that stand before the Lord, assuming they are about to enter into the Glory of the Lord, the long-awaited reward…HEAVEN. Only these poor tragic souls will be told they’re on their way to hell. This is just reality folks. I am so sorry to tell you this. Can you imagine a worst possible illusion that you can have, one BIG mistake about your everlasting destiny? Can you imagine, for a moment with me, in that moment to be mistaken about your salvation?
I’m often asked the question, “Are Roman Catholics Christians (Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Buddhist, pick one)?” And I will turn it around and ask, “Do you think Protestants are just naturally Christians?” What about this one, “Are evangelicals necessarily Christians?” “But more important than any of these questions; Are you a Christian?” Now, believe they will not want to embarrass themselves any more than they have and they will always say, “Yes, yes I am a Christian.”
This tragedy would make a Shakespearean play tragedy of tragedies blush! Sadly, it will occur and it does occur and it will continue to occur that someone would sit in church and end up saying, “But, Lord, but, Lord,” only to hear, “Depart from Me, you workers of iniquity, I never knew you.”
Don’t you know my friend that, Christianity is filled with people in all kinds of religious activities? The church programs, etc. Just think of all the Christian organizations, there’s no end to them. With all of this confusion, with every shingle on every counselor’s door, every church building and crisis center will say, “Christian or Jesus”, how can we tell if someone is a Christian? Is it really that important to know if so and so is really saved?
Wouldn’t a better question to ask is if you are saved? Yes, that is a great question. Please see my essay, “How to Know You Are a Christian: Ten Ways To Keep The Devil From Barking.”
For now, how can we tell if someone is a Christian? Because he or she says they are? Because their Pastor says they are? Maybe they have one of them REALLY BIG BIBLES. Or maybe they own Jones & Smith Christian Counseling. Or maybe their Band is a Christian Rock Band called, I AM A ROCK!
Well, let’s get into it and see if we can figure this out.
Jesus tells us that there are two ways to know if someone is saved, that is if they are going to Heaven when they die. This is important, I will explain why later.
They have LOVE FOR EACH OTHER. John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
BY THEIR FRUIT (what fruit? I’ll tell you in a second.) Matthew 7:16, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”
What FRUIT? The Fruits of the Spirit (big S…Holy Spirit) ….are these 9 things evident in their lives?
FRUIT (beneficial results):
LOVE (Love is the greatest gift God can give. This love is not a feeling, but a choice. It is the choice to be kind, to sacrifice, to consider another’s needs greater than one’s own (Philippians 2:3). Agape is used in all of the “hard” love verses in the New Testament. God’s children are the conduits of His love, as they are empowered by the Holy Spirit.)
JOY (Joy is the natural reaction to the work of God, whether promised or fulfilled. we have joy because of God’s grace. The next step in the progression is to allow our joy to become an action as we express it, although sometimes joy can be so great it is inexpressible (1 Peter 1:8). Possessing joy is a choice. We choose whether to value God’s presence, promises, and work in our lives. When we yield to the Spirit, He opens our eyes to God’s grace around us and fills us with joy (Romans 15:13). Joy is not to be found in a fallen world; it is only fellowship with God that can make our joy complete (1 John 1:4). ) PEACE (God’s methods of warfare are not what we expected. Instead of a battle, He sent us the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus’ goal in coming to earth was more than simply to cease hostilities; He came to bring about a full and abiding relationship of restoration and love. The cost of this peace was His life (Isaiah 53:5). Just as we cannot force another to be at peace with us, even Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross did not ensure that we would accept His terms of peace. The Spirit-filled Christian has a peace that is abundant, available in every situation, and unlike anything that the world has to offer (John 14:27). The alternative to being filled with the Spirit and His peace is to be filled with alarm, filled with doubt, filled with foreboding, or filled with dread. How much better to let the Spirit have control and perform His work of growing fruit to the glory of God!)
LONGSUFFERING (Having patience in spite of your troubles. Patience comes from a position of power. A person may have the ability to take revenge or cause trouble, but patience brings self-restraint and careful thinking. Losing patience is a sign of weakness. The opposite of patience is agitation, discouragement, and a desire for revenge. God does not want His children to live in agitation but in peace (John 14:27). He wants to dispel discouragement and replace it with hope and praise (Psalm 42:5). We are not to avenge ourselves; rather, we are to love others (Romans 12:19; Leviticus 19:18).)
Gentleness (Might restrained. Humility and grace, to be gentle is to recognize that God’s ways and thoughts are high above our own. we will correct others with easiness instead of arguing in resentment and anger, knowing that their salvation is far more important than our pride. Quick to forgive.)
GOODNESS (virtue and holiness in action, desire to be a blessing, uprightness of heart and life. It results in a life characterized by deeds motivated by righteousness and a desire to be a blessing. It’s a moral characteristic of a Spirit-filled person. Giving to the poor, providing for one’s children, visiting the sick, volunteering to clean up after a storm, and praying for an enemy. Expressions of goodness are as varied as the Spirit is creative.)
FAITH (strong belief in God, complete trust in God. Faithfulness is believing that God is who He says He is and continuing in that belief despite the vagaries of life. Functionally, that means we trust what God says in the Bible, and not necessarily what the world or our own eyes tell us. We trust He will work out everything for good. We trust He will work His will in us. And we trust that our situation on earth is nothing compared to our future reward in heaven. We are called to live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).)
MEEKNESS (Meekness is a valuable and important fruit and requires much study. Putting God first in all things. Meekness loves to learn. And it counts the corrective blows of a friend as precious (Proverbs 27:6). Meekness begins when we put our trust in God. Then, because we trust him, we commit our way to him. We roll onto him our anxieties, our frustrations, our plans, our relationships, our jobs, our health. James says, in this quiet confidence we are slow to speak and quick to listen (James 1:19). We become reasonable and open to correction (James 3:17). James calls this the “meekness of wisdom” (James 3:13). Meekness is so important that it is the third characteristic Jesus mentions in His foundational teaching, the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). Obviously, the world’s ideal of the perfect man is very different from His. The meek are among those so favored that they will share in Jesus’ inheritance of the earth. Three people in the Bible are specifically described as being meek: Jesus (Mt 11:29)
(Mt 21:5), Paul (2 Cor 10:1), and Moses (Num 12:3). Each of these men was amongst the most persecuted men in the Bible. MEEKNESS IS A SIGN TO AN UNBELIEVING WORLD THAT CHRIST IS IN US. Meekness does indeed require much study.
In Matthew 11:29, Jesus links meekness with lowliness: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle [meek, KJV] and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Ephesians 4:1-3 states:
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness [meekness, KJV], with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
The King James version is correct, as the Greek text uses prautes. “Gentle” and “gentleness” are incorrect because in this context they are only an aspect of the meekness we should express in our dealings with others.
Godly meekness cannot be divorced from its association with gentleness. However, this gentleness is not usually seen in the situations where the Bible’s writers use meekness. Notice II Corinthians 10:1: “Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you.” Here, meekness appears with gentleness, as though a similarity exists alongside a specific difference.
This does not mean the meek will take everything “lying down.” Notice Moses, who as we have seen, was the meekest man of his time. He did not hesitate to order the execution of about three thousand of the idolaters who worshipped the Golden Calf while he was with God on the mountain (Exodus 32:25-28). Against evil, this meek man was as stern as steel.
A meek person will feel the wrong done against him and feel it bitterly. But because he is not thinking of himself, his meekness does not allow his spirit to give vent to a hateful, savage and vindictive anger that seeks to “get even.” He will instead be full of pity for the damaged character, attitudes and blindness of the perpetrator. From the stake Jesus uttered, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).
A Valuable Fruit
This much misunderstood and maligned virtue is the antidote for most of the nervous anxiety that is greatly intensifying the normal day-to-day stresses of life. God commands us in Zephaniah 2:3:
Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility [meekness, KJV]. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger.
How valuable is that blessing?
There is more:
The poor [meek, KJV] shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek Him will praise the Lord. Let your heart live forever! (Psalm 22:26)
Further, “The Lord lifts up the humble (meek, KJV); He casts the wicked down to the ground” (Psalm 147:6).
The humble [meek, KJV] also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 29:19).
This is not a virtue to ignore because carnal men consider it a weakness. It may appear to them as weakness, but the spiritual reality is that it is great strength, an attribute of Almighty God and a fruit of His Spirit we greatly need.)
Temperance (abstinence from alcoholic drink, or self-control, self-restraint in all things. Temperance is the ability to control oneself. It involves moderation, constraint, and the ability to say “no” to our baser desires and fleshly lusts. Believers need self-control because the outside world and internal forces still attack (Romans 7:21-25). Like a vulnerable city, we must have defenses. A wall around an ancient city was designed to keep out the enemy.)
I BELIEVE THAT GOD DIDN’T JUST PUT WORDS IN HIS WORD TO FILL UP SPACE. EACH WORD, UNLIKE MY RAMBLINSG ?, EACH WORD HAS SPECIFIC MEANING AND VALUE. Jesus taught us how to separate the sheep from the goats…the sinner bound for hell and the Christian saved by Grace on his way to Glory because of Christ’s finished work upon the cross.
Why is it so important that Jesus made sure we knew how to tell if someone was a Christian? I believe that answer is simple and to the point.
Ephesians 4:14, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;”
In order to protect us. It is one thing to be a Christian and yet and entirely different thing to say we are a Christian. If someone says they are a Christian…and they preach a gospel…and they are not saved, you will be blown to and fro…confused with the knowledge of the true gospel. Remember, GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF CONFUSION, 1 Corinthians 14:33, BUT THE AUTHOR OF PEACE.
Colossians 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.”
I have seen the face of mental illness. I have seen what it is like when people are unable to hear God because their minds are broken and cannot seem to connect to God even when they want to connect to God. And I know whatever gets your mind gets you. So one of the most important things we need to learn and teach others is how to guard, strengthen, and renew our minds because the battle for sin always starts in the mind.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
It is important to know God’s Word, be in prayer. The Bible says that if any man lack wisdom to ask for it. James 1:5 We must know we are saved and we must have confidence in our salvation. See my essay, “How to Know You Are a Christian: Ten Ways To Keep The Devil From Barking.”
Even though they are in church many people are uncertain of their salvation. Some denominations teach that you can lose your salvation. Some Christians believe they can lose their salvation. Some teach and others believe you can’t lose your salvation. Which is it and if it be so, how to keep from losing your salvation.
How can you be sure that you are a Christian? Here are 10 true Christian values that will keep the devil from barking and you can rest assured that you have the Holy Spirit inside of you, working in you, which provide solid, biblical evidence that you are a Christian and that you can know that you are saved. On the other hand, we may prove that even though you think you are saved, that you are not, even though you truly desire to be saved.
Let’s get to the truth and at the end, I promise that either way, if you want to be saved, you will be and you will have confidence that you are. On the other hand, if you read my thesis and decide, nahhh, I’m fine, who cares, you will not be saved and you will know why. Why in the world would you want to read my poorly written essay if you had no desire to be saved? ?
The 4th commandment tells us to keep the Sabbath Holy. All through scripture we see this command. Many Christians who love God, sort of hang their hat on this commandment. And, there is nothing wrong with this, in fact, God bless them. Jesus said if we love Him we would keep His commandments. Although, He probably was not just speaking about the 10 commandments found in Exodus. (John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”) Christians that try and truly “keep the Sabbath” as we understand it, are really saying, “I LOVE YOU JESUS.”Who can argue with that?
No Sabbath Day holder would ever disagree with the following statement, “The primary purpose of the Sabbath is for us to rest from our worldly labors and to seek God.” As an avid student of the Creation account and the Bible in general, I can assure that God was not tired after is creation work was complete. *God set aside a special time for His people. We will discuss the last sentence in more depth later. God blessed the Sabbath and sanctified it or set it aside for a holy purpose. We are commanded to set aside time for a holy purpose.
In this essay, I would like to discuss why I chose to not go to church on Saturday and I do not honor some of the traditions surrounding the Sabbath.
*The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.
Mark 2:23-28 “… The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.”
Isaiah 58:13-14The Sabbath was intended to be a delight, not a burden. The focus of the Sabbath should be on what we can do and not what we cannot do. (More on this later) The Sabbath is a time we put down our own desires and spend time with God.
When is the Sabbath?
Leviticus 23:32, “It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.” This scripture is clear that on the 9th day of the month from evening to evening we should celebrate our Sabbath. Is this every Saturday? According to this passage it may not even be on Saturday to begin with.
Saturday in Hebrew is Shabbat, which means rest.
Except for the Sabbath day, the individual days of the week have no names, just numbers.
When God created the heaven and the earth, there were no calendars. Thus, no way to tell us when the first day of the week was. Perhaps He may have begun on a Wednesday and ended the following Monday.
It is only from our tradition that we assume that God started His creation process on Sunday and ended on Friday.
Rabbi Yose ben Halafta (Died in 160AD) changed the Jewish calendar. So even the Jewish calendar cannot be relied upon.
Exodus 20:8-11 “remember the Sabbath and keep it Holy.” “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.“
I THINK IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT WE DO NOT LET THE “DAY” BECOME MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE “INTENT”. Don’t let the “day” become more important than the “intent”.
From Scripture there is no way we can tell when the Sabbath was. Even from outside evidence all we know is in the Hebrew it means “rest” not specifically what day of the week it is. We cannot simply compare it to our weekly calendar and say, “well, we are not complying”.
In today’s modern society it is impossible to keep the Sabbath.
I am sure that, “Sabbath Holders have run into this before and have their answer. Which is fine, but I cannot get away from what the scripture says.
Exodus 20:10, “But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:”
If you use lights, gas, eat food or do anything that causes anyone else to work then you are not keeping the Sabbath.
If your dog fetches your paper or your slippers you are not keeping the Sabbath.
There are other activities that the Bible tells us to refrain from in order to keep the Sabbath.
Going to Church…Worship on the Sabbath.
Luke 4:16 is an example and Hebrews 10:25 tells us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves.
We should go to church on the Sabbath and we need fellowship, uniting in worship and prayer.
Today, it takes electricity to run the lights…causing people at the light company to work. If we flush the toilet then we cause the person at the water company to work.
What did Jesus do with the Sabbath day?
While nowhere in scripture can we find an example of Jesus preaching on the 4th commandment, given He preached on the other 9, we do find examples example as in Luke 4:16 where Jesus entered into the Tabernacle on the Sabbath.
This is different that “Keeping the Sabbath”. He did go to “Church”, showing us as in number 4 above that we need to be in church on the Sabbath. Nothing more could or should be read into this.
JESUS PREACHED ON ALL 10 OF THE 10 COMMANDMENTS EXCEPT THE 4TH COMMANDMENT, THERE IS NO PREACHING ON THE SABBATH BY JESUS.
Jesus was clear in His teaching of the Sabbath, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath!” He also proclaimed that HE WAS LORD OF THE SABBATH. Matthew 12:8, Mark 2:28, Luke 6:5
Isn’t someone who created something the owner of it? Can’t they do whatsoever they please with it? In this way, Jesus, being the Creator (John 1:3; Colossians 1:6), has every right to do whatever He pleases on the Sabbath, just as anyone of the disciples had when they were with Him. That’s why Jesus said that He was Lord of the Sabbath. The word Lord denotes sovereign rights and ownership so who can tell Jesus what He can and what He cannot do on the Sabbath? Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of the day because they were making the Sabbath something that no one could possibly
Matthew 12:5-6, “Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?…” Jesus was saying that even though the priests violated the Sabbath it was okay because there was something more important than the Sabbath. The temple and the sacrificial rites were more important.
Jesus, however, is more important than the temple and its sacrifices. The logical conclusion is that he is also more important than the Sabbath. Even before his death and resurrection, he was more important than the Sabbath.
Although Christianity tends to reject the temple and the rites…the principle is still the same…”Some things are more important than the Sabbath.”
The Pharisees needed to worry more about Jesus (The Holy One) instead of a holy activity on a holy day.
Jesus then summarized his argument about the Sabbath and about his own identity: “If you had known what these words mean, `I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” (verses 7-8).
Jesus is telling the Pharisees that love for humans is more important than sticking to worship rituals.
The Sabbath was holy only because God had designated it so, and here was God himself telling them He was Lord of the Sabbath.
Then they tried to set Jesus up in (V9-11). Healing on the Sabbath was work that was for forbidden. Jesus replied, “If your sheep fell in a hole would you not get him out?” Meaning, sometimes we have to do things even if on the Sabbath. If your child drank a bottle of bleach…would you take him to the emergency room on the Sabbath?
There are other examples of Jesus healing on the Sabbath in the Gospels.
John 5:1-18 — The Gospel of John has some additional stories about Jesus’ Sabbath activities, and they reinforce the emphases we have already seen. On the Sabbath, Jesus healed a man who had been an invalid for 38 years. And he told the man, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk” (verse 8). The Jews accused the man of breaking the Sabbath because he was carrying his mat.
I think accusing a man of breaking the Sabbath by carrying his mat his mat is an example from God’s Word of how we can get carried away with (no pun intended) our keeping of the Sabbath.
Jesus risked His life by His activities on the Sabbath.
Jesus never broke the Sabbath, nor did he teach others to break the Sabbath. But neither did he teach against circumcision and sacrifices. He could point out administrative problems, and present himself as the Lord, but it was not yet time to publicly reject any particular law (see John 16:12-13). But the implications are there. When John describes Jesus as working on the Sabbath, he does not feel compelled to explain that Christians cannot. When Luke says that people are freed on the Sabbath, he does not feel compelled to qualify what he said. Jesus’ example regarding the Sabbath is liberty, not rules.
If Sabbath work actually dishonored God, then the Sabbath would have priority over humans in need and sheep in pits, since correct worship of God is more important than human lives and sheep. If absolute rest were essential to worship, then Sabbath-keepers should let houses burn down, since that would only be a monetary loss, and God’s honor is far more important than our material goods. This indicates that the command to rest on a specific day is a ceremonial matter rather than a moral one. God’s spiritual law does not have any exceptions.
The only time Paul mentions the Sabbath by name is when he exhorts us not to judge one another concerning the Sabbath days (Colossians 2:16-17). Respectfully, asking if I keep the Sabbath or I conform to the Sabbath is the wrong question. I wonder how Jesus would have responded to that? His answer may have got Him stoned.
The Sabbath was made for man and not the other way around is perhaps the most profound statement in this whole discussion. God created the Sabbath for man…and God healed on the Sabbath and partook in other activities on the Sabbath. Jesus’ example regarding the Sabbath is liberty, not rules. What a blessing the Sabbath is.
There is also no way we can determine the exact day or days (sometimes it is plural) of the Sabbath. There was no calendar when the Sabbath was created by God. Even the scriptures seem unclear; calling it day, days and the 9th of the month. My thinking is the “day” is not so important as is the “intent”.
The Bible says that we are not to cause others to work, not even strangers on the Sabbath. There is no one…not one who can “keep the Sabbath”. If this is all there is to the Sabbath. There has to be more to the intent than a day or whether we do some work.
We see from the Apostles, the early church and Jesus (God) that the Sabbath is going to Church. We also see in the same breath this is for fellowship, worship and prayer…not forsaking the assembling of one another.
Finally, we have Jesus’ own actions concerning the Sabbath. Jesus did not (and this is not meant to be a mockery) hide in his house from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. He worked on the Sabbath and he went to Church on the Sabbath. He even rebuked the Pharisees over the Sabbath telling them there were more important things like the Temple and people than the Sabbath. Jesus is Lord over the Sabbath!
The Sabbath is very important to me as a Christian. We need to just as the scriptures demand; keep the Sabbath Holy. We need to set aside time for God. Sundown to sundown…frankly, I don’t think this is enough. The intent has got to be more important than the day. I have joked with my Seventh-day Adventist friends saying, “I am a seven day Adventist” meaning, I try to keep every day holy. However, I am like Paul; I am not judgmental on how anyone cho oses to honor the Sabbath. If it is sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday…God bless them. If they do this Wednesday…God bless them. If it is Sunday morning in Church…God bless them.
I think we should be in worship and in church. The point is we need to give God or time and that time needs to be holy and hollowed. After all, He took the time to come down from Heaven, was beaten, tortured and murdered for us. He deserves our worship; more worship than we can humanly give. God wants more than our Saturdays. He wants our Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays too!
With all the unrest in the world today, in this Presidential Race and certainly I am feeling a storm brewing in my personal life I think that today is a good day to draw on that peace that surpasses all understanding.
Friends, ultimate peace is not the absence of storms, but inner peace in the middle of the storm. Hear me this morning, you will never find lasting inner peace until you find peace with God. You will find peace in spite of life’s storms when you surrender to God.
Have you found that peace? I hope that you will. Knowing Christ as your Lord is the beginning of the peace that surpasses all understanding.
MEMORIZE Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
A person who is “born again” starts a new life similar to that of a newborn infant. Years ago I ran across seven rules that promote good health in babies . These can be adapted and applied to a Christian’s spiritual growth:
1. Daily Food. Take in the “pure milk of the word” by study and meditation.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth!” 2 Timothy 2:15
2. Fresh Air. Pray often or you will faint. Prayer is the oxygen of the soul.
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16
3. Regular Exercise. Put into practice what you learned in God’s Word.
“And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.” Luke 8:21
4. Adequate Rest. Rely on God at all times in simple faith.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13
5. Clean Surroundings. Avoid evil company and whatever will weaken you spiritually.
“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Proverbs 13:20
6. Loving Care. Be part of a church where you will benefit from a pastor’s teaching and from Christian fellowship.
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25
7. Periodic Checkups. Regularly examine your spiritual health.
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 2 Corinthians 13:5
When you were a kid did your parents stand you against the wall and mark off your height? How exiting it was TO SEE THOSE TICK MARKS GO UP UP UP THE WALL. Of course we can’t measure spiritual growth by mere marks on the wall. But as we study the character of Christ, each of us can examine our life to see if we are growing more Christlike.
Great Christian leaders agree that we can measure our growth in grace by the growth of our love for private Bible study. And we can be sure that there is something seriously wrong when we lose our appetite for the Bread of Life. Perhaps we have been eating too many sweets; or taking too little exercise; or we have not been regularly breathing in the fresh air that sweeps over the mountain tops of spiritual communion with God.
This next Sunday my cousin Melody is getting baptized. I just spoke with her on the phone. She is so excited. For years I have tried to share Christ with her…and she would smirk and perhaps make fun of me a little bit. A few months ago…she gave her whole heart to God. She is not perfect….but I see her growth. It is exciting to watch her. She said her new bed partner was her Bible and devotional books. She goes to church, women’s group…home group. She just wants to be involved.
Oh to be young again! Remember the zeal you had when you were first saved? The zeal that Melody is experiencing right now…we can all experience.
John MacArthur says: “The more we grow, the more exciting the Bible becomes to us. The Word is a source of life that helps us mature and grow stronger. Then we are able to defeat Satan, and we come to know more about God and His character. We are enriched in every possible way.”
If you are not growing…maybe you need to have a look at our walk.
I get questions like this all the time: “I have been dreaming a lot about my grandmother baking cookies and then it changes, and I am playing with my kids at the beach with my labradoodle.” A couple of issues, my grandmother has been dead 18 years. I do not have any kids and for that matter I am not married. Ummmm, what’s a labradoodle? What is happening to me?”
My sister recently had a question for me that went something like this: “Can our loved ones who have died give us signs; like in a dream?” There is absolutely no biblical example of this. The answer must be no, however, what about God speaking to us in our dreams? keep reading…
If you stumbled here looking for some scientific reason or medical reason for your dream. That, you will not find here. But wait! Please don’t click off, I believe I have some answers. I will do my very best to interpret dreams in light of Scripture. The Bible (Specifically, the King James Bible) is our final authority in all matters of faith and principle.
THE GOALS FOR THIS ESSAY:
1.) We will try and find a biblical understanding for our dream or dreams.
2.) We will attempt to find a reason for our dream and what we should do in order to find the reason.
3.) I will try and answer the question, “Is my dream real?”
4.) Lastly, is there a purpose to dreams or do they just give us something to do while we sleep?
EXACTLY, WHAT ARE DREAMS?
As I said in the introduction to this essay, I will be using a biblical definition, it may not be what you have read in science journals or online and that is fine. My authority comes from the Word of God and my understanding of it.
As we discover from our reading of God’s Word, dreams are an important part of many Biblical stories and passages. Sometimes dreams may even offer us insight into actions or decisions that should be made. What might be including in a dream? Some dreams may include visions of symbols or even the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus might be sharing wisdom or a divine look at the past or future. Sometimes even, a dream may provide an example of danger or what could go wrong. This can especially be true if God’s will is abandoned in our lives.
Let’s begin with one of the most famous dreams mentioned in the Bible.
JACOBS DREAM Genesis 28:10-22
When we are thinking of dreams we typically think of when we are asleep. Day dreaming also comes to mind. For the purposes of this essay we will be focusing on the dreams that occur while we are asleep. The Bible defines a dream in Job 33:15 , “In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed;”. The Bible says several things in this one verse. First of all, a dream is a vision of the night. The verse also teaches that a dream occurs when deep sleep falls upon men. According to the Bible, a vision is something that occurs when a man is awake, while a dream is something that occurs when a man is asleep. Some who study dreams say that we are always dreaming when we sleep, but we only remember the dreams right before we awake. This would actually fit with the scriptures in several cases where men remember a dream that actually woke them up.
I just can’t help it…I need to stop and worship God right now!
Raise your hands and bless the Lord right now…worship His Holy Name!
WHAT IS CAUSING ME TO DREAM THIS?
From everything that I have read about dreams, it seems as though we still do not have solid answers as to what causes them. Again we turn to the Bible and we will see if we can draw some wisdom from the man of great wisdom, David’s son and third king of Israel, King Solomon.
Together let’s look at Ecclesiastes 5:3
“For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words..”
I have read that many who study dreams tell us that while our body is at rest (we are asleep) our mind is very busy. What does, ”a multitude of business causes dreams?” In the book LIVING BEYOND OUR DREAMS by Dr. Miracle I. Anyanwu (I know what a name.) on Page 32. He says, “The Bible specifically says that, the MULTITUDE OF BUSINESS causes dreams to manifest. This could be the multitude of physical and emotional business or it could be the multitude of mental business, but either way it appears that this is what causes us to dream. Though your body settles in rest, your mind can keep right on working and thinking. In other words, out of the abundance of our daily physical and emotional ventures, we dream (Food for thought.)” He goes on to say on Page 32-33, “It would interest you to know that most of these dreams are as a result of our endeavors in the physical world. They can be a reflection of our daily activities. Most of the desires a man has in the physical world are reflected in his dreams. These desires can either be heavenly inspired or ungodly. Whatsoever that occupies a man’s heart controls (dominates) him.
IS MY DREAM REAL?
Dreams can appear to be very real. I am paralyzed from the waist down. I always dream where I am walking. I had one dream that I was at the bus or train station. I asked to use the phone. The ticket master sent me up this dirt road to a pay phone that was in a wooden box that hung on a pole. I walked the hill…when I reached the phone, I discovered the phone was out of order. In disgust and anger…I walked back down the hill and sat in my wheelchair. Another dream my wheelchair was in the back of a food delivery truck, and there I was standing and assisting in getting my wheelchair off the truck. These dreams seemed very real to me and I believe there is a message is. I control my future. I control this chair. I decide if I walk of not. This chair does not nor, will it ever define me.
Sometimes we might wake up scared or full of anxiety, sometimes mad and sometimes sad, yet we realize after a while that it was just a dream and we settle down. I have woken many times very anxious. My mind races to determine if what I dreamt was real, or part of it was real or if it was all fiction. I struggle to see what message if any is for me. All of this is especially true when I dream about demons and my battle with them. Sometimes they appear in my dreams as the preverbal Hollywood style demon, other times as a woman or man or even animals. Believe me, these can be incredibly disturbing.
The Bible speaks of this in Isaiah 29:8, when it says, “It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.“
You may dream of eating or drinking, but when you awake you are still empty. It may have appeared real, but was it? No.
Remember, dreams do not always have to mean something. There may be something else to consider.
Consider Ecclesiastes 5:7:
“ For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.“
King Solomon is clear. Dreams, many dreams can mean absolutely diddly squat! Rather than trust our dreams, no matter how real they may seem we are not to trust them; we are rather to fear God.
DO MY DREAMS HAVE A PURPOSE?
God uses various dreams in the Bible for specific purposes. This is especially true for the Old Testament. While it would seem impractical to state them all in this essay, I will cover three that really stand out in my mind. Let’s see if you agree.
There were times when God used a dream to:
…give a warning. Look at Matthew 2:12, where the Bible says, “And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. ”The Lord came to the wise men in a dream to warn them. He warned them not to return to Herod, in fact find another way home. It is interesting to note that in the very next verse Joseph is also warned of the Lord in a dream to flee into Egypt with the Lord Jesus. In my exploration of scripture the first dream that I have seen in the scripture is when God spoke to Abimelech. God warned him that he had taken another man’s wife. Do you think that it is a common purpose of God to warn His people in dreams?
…to reveal prophecy. There once was a man named Joseph. Joseph was subject to dreams and the interpretation of them. He was even called upon by the great Pharaoh of Egypt to interpret his dreams.
In Genesis 37, Joseph dreamed a dream about his brethren bowing down to him. If you know the story of Joseph, you know that the dreams are the only evidence of this occurring until he was promoted to the second in command under Pharaoh. Had it not been for these dreams over the last 13 or so years; Joseph had nothing to hold on to but these dreams that told his future. I am a huge fan of the Book of Daniel. I love this book. If you have studied Daniel, you will remember that Nebuchadnezzar had many dreams that were filled with prophecy. A careful study of dreams in the Bible we will find many other dreams that fit this category.
…to encourage. There is not a strong occurrence that I can find in the Bible for dreams that bring us encouragement. But they do exist, at least enough for me to say, “Hey, God appears in our dreams to encourage us.” 🙂 Let’s turn to the book of Judges.
This book is an interesting book. It is generally thought of to be part of the Deuteronomic history, a single narration from Joshua through Kings, covering the period from Israel’s entry into the land through the time that the land was lost in the Babylonian exile. The overall them, if I had to narrow it to two words I would say, “KNOWING JESUS!”, which makes it incredibly relevant for today. It records Israel’s fall into sin and the terrible consequences that follow. There are 12 larger than life heroes in Judges. However, a detailed look at their lives we see they are imperfect just like us. Judges is a stiff reminder that God will punish our sin in the severest of ways, however, His love for us is immeasurable and He stands at the ready with open arms ready to receive the broken and the repented heart back unto His own. Praise God!
Okay, after my little trip down the rabbit hole, lets read Judges chapter 7. In this chapter we find God thinning out the army of Gideon. Here is the trouble with this. Gideon is ready to battle the vast army of Midian. Gideon begins with an army of 32,000 soldiers. God continues to dwindle this army down to 300 soldiers. Say what? 32,000 to a mere 300! The question that should be running through your mind in a boggling alarm mode (did that even make sense?) you should be asking right now is, “What in the world is God doing?”
For me the answer is clear, I think. But I want to look to God’s Word and see if my “guess” is supported by God’s Word. Let’s start with a familiar passage in Zechariah 4:6, “Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.“ Ever hear that before? Better, ever read that before? Then let’s see what the Psalmist has to say on this matter, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.“, Psalm 20:7. Clearly the purpose of God was so that Gideon and his men would know beyond any shadow of a doubt that it was the Lord and not their own might. What a powerful lesson. There are so many places where this would apply in our own lives. There are many sermons that could be preached from Psalm 20:7, and preacher if you can’t find it then you ain’t got no preach in you.
Imagine, having an income of $80,000 and then all of a sudden God dwindles that income down to $28,000. In a dream the Lord of Hosts may encourage you saying, “You will learn to lean on me and do more with less. I am the Lord thy God.” Woh! That’s exactly, what happened to me…with those very numbers. How about you? Maybe your life sucks right now because you have not learned to lean on Jesus for EVERYTHING. And if you cannot lean, then you do not trust Him and if you cannot trust Him, do you truly belong to Him and if you do not belong to Him, what does that say about your eternity?!?!
Remember the buddy trust game? One would stand facing forward, eyes closed, hands across chest…then fall straight back TRUSTING your buddy to catch you. Remember? Perhaps you never played. Let’s kick it up…imagine you are standing heals against the edge of a cliff, the bottom is a mile down. If you fall…you most assuredly will fall to your death. You cross your arms and fall backwards (please don’t do this, it’s an illustration…sigh…and I gotta say it. 🙂 ) , would you trust Jesus to catch you? If your answer is not YES! Then, what are you doing my beloved? What are you doing?
Now, just as the Lord instructed Gideon that if he was afraid, he should go down unto the host and then he would be strengthened; we too can lean on Christ for our strength. When Gideon arrived in the host, he heard a man telling a dream to another man. The interpretation of the dream just so happened to be that the army of Gideon was going to defeat the Midianites. Immediately upon hearing of this dream, Gideon was strengthened, and he worshiped God. Surely the whole purpose for this man’s dream was the encouragement of Gideon. Will you be strengthened and worship God right now?
DREAMS OF THE BIBLE AND DREAMS TODAY
I do not hold to the heretical position that God no longer speaks to us. This is just stupid thinking. You have heard it said before, either God is a liar, lunatic or He is exactly who He says He is. And who does He say He is? When you determine the answer to that then ask yourself if this is true: Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”
Malachi 3:6, “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.”
James 1:7, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
Many well-known preachers whom I love, and respect will split with me on this. But I am right, and they are wrong. 🙂 God most definitely speaks to us through our dreams today. God’s not dead! God is ALIVE! These heretics will argue that the now we have the Bible and that we no longer need visions and dreams. Where do they get this? Their own imaginations. I want to share two scriptures of warning at this point. The first, 2 Peter 1:20, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.“ Scripture is not open to any private interpretation. When this happens preacher, you are stepping over the line.
The second warning is this: “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.”, Colossians 2:8Scripture is not to be biased with deceit and tradition. Remember the movie, “Fiddler on the roof.” I can still hear Tevye singing and snapping his fingers saying, “Tradition, Tradition! Tradition! Tradition, Tradition! Tradition!” “dai, dai, dai, dai, dai, dai, dai,dai!!!!” I love that movie…and traditions are fine…except where the tradition replaces the intent of our Living God Jehovah!
As a matter of fact, the Psalmist said, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11) This is a scripture the heretics use to “prove” that God does not use dreams and vision. In fact, David did not mean anything close to that. They say, “another point to consider is Joel’s reference to prophesy, dreams and visions.” In Joel 2:28 he says, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:”. I disagree that Joel’s prophecy was fulfilled in Acts 2:17. God is not dead! Joel tells is via prophecy that God will dreams will be used of God to speak to men. Acts 2:17 confirms not fulfills Joel’s prophecy!
I very strongly believe that God can and will allow people to have dreams that could turn them to Him. For example, I believe God would allow a man to have a dream about Hell if it would keep him from going there. See Bill Wiese’s account…23 Minutes in Hell where he actually went to Hell…not only as a warning to him but to others as well.
We can give just as much weight to our dreams today as they did in the Bible. Ultimately when we dream, and it causes us concern, we ought to go to God and ask Him if He is trying to teach us something.
If the Lord does not burn it into your heart that He is trying to teach you something, then chalk it up to a multitude of business and go on about your day. Because as we discussed earlier not every dream is meant to be interpreted…it may just be a dream and I think most are just that, a dream.
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