Monthly Archives: April 2018

Who are the “fearful” in Revelation 21:8?

WHO ARE THE “FEARFUL” IN REVELATION 21:8?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Revelation 21:7-8 stands near the end of the Bible: “[7] He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. [8] But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” As you can see, verse 8 lists numerous familiar transgressions… but what of “the fearful?” How can fear be a sin? What is this “fear” and who are those “fearful?”

Our 1611 translators rendered the Greek word deilos elsewhere two other times as “fearful.” It appears in the well-known account of Jesus calming the storm as He and His disciples are in a little boat on the Sea of Galilee. The disciples are so afraid of dying in a shipwreck that they frantically awake sleeping Jesus. As the omnipotent Creator, He arises and commands the wind and the sea to cease their violence. They do!

Notice Matthew 8:26: “And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.” The parallel verse, Mark 4:40: “And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?” People doubt God’s Word here. These are disciples, followers/students, of Christ. Not trusting God’s Word results in timidity, dread, cowardice (lack of courage). No matter the dispensation, God’s people can be cowards. God did not fail them; they failed God. Do you think Jesus would have let the boat suffer so much as a tiny leak… when He Himself was on that boat with them? Oh, certainly not! Yet, the disciples behaved like they were all in jeopardy of losing their lives.

So, is Revelation 21:8 speaking of believers in or followers of Christ being cast into the Lake of Fire? After all, believers can be cowards at times (see the verses above, and consider Christians today who refuse to take a stand for Jesus Christ and His doctrine because they fear negative reactions from others). We have to keep the verse in its context. It is not about us Christians in the Dispensation of Grace; it has nothing to do with believers losing their salvation because they doubted God’s Word.

Re-read Revelation 21:7: “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” Then verse 8 begins, But the fearful….” There is the prominent issue of “overcoming” in Israel’s last days. Remember, this is the prophetic program, not our mystery program. The first sense of “overcoming” was provided already in the opening chapters of the Revelation. They have to “overcome” the deception of the Antichrist—see God’s message to the seven churches in Revelation 2:7,11,17,26 and Revelation 3:5,12,21. God promises those who overcome, they will inherit all things (Revelation 21:7). They will share in Jesus Christ’s inheritance in the earthly kingdom. God will be their God and they will be His people (see verse 3, if necessary).

In contrast to the believers in verse 7, there are unbelievers and these are those in verse 8. There are eight categories of sinners in verse 8:But the (1) fearful, and (2) unbelieving, and the (3) abominable, and (4) murderers, and (5) whoremongers, and (6) sorcerers, and (7) idolaters, and all (8) liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

The first group is the “fearful.” This would not be Christians today but rather Jews who refuse to follow Jesus Christ for fear of persecution during the Antichrist’s (future) reign. They were God’s physical people (through Abraham) but they did not want to become His spiritual people (through Christ) because then they would ridiculed by sinful men. They did not want to confess Jesus Christ before men; they denied Him. How they did this was—we are looking back on Daniel’s 70th Week (as John is doing)—they accepted Antichrist and his mark and worshipped his image. Jesus had warned in Matthew chapter 10: “[32] Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. [33] But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” (This was spoken in view of His Second Coming, which is His return to destroy Antichrist and his followers.)

The “deniers” will not overcome because they will not believe that Jesus is Christ. They will completely reject God’s truth. They will fall for Satan’s lie and believe Antichrist is the true Christ. Facing death, they will choose Antichrist over Jesus Christ. They will rather keep their wealth, friends, and prestige than trust Jesus Christ and make a public profession in rejecting Antichrist. Frankly, they will be cowards.

First John chapter 5, especially verse 5, holds the key to Israel’s overcoming the evil world system present during the end-times: “[1] Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. [2] By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. [3] For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. [4] For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. [5] Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”

By believing that Jesus “is the Christ… the Son of God,” the “overcomers” will not be fooled into thinking that Antichrist is the real Messiah. Their faith is what prevents them from falling for the deception! Those who are “fearful,” however, they are too timid to take a stand. They will cave in to the peer pressure and refuse to have faith in Jesus Christ. They will naturally thus fall for Antichrist.

Revelation 14:9-11 serves as a warning for any person living in the Tribulation period: “[9] And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, [10] The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: [11] And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” This is the cross-reference to Revelation 21:8. It has nothing to do with followers of or believers in Jesus Christ, either today or yet future. It is unbelievers during the end-times.

Also see:
» How are the Beast and the False Prophet “cast alive” into the Lake of Fire?
» Is Hell almost full?
» Must I maintain my fellowship with God?

Why is Jesus Christ called “The Word of God?”

WHY IS JESUS CHRIST CALLED “THE WORD OF GOD?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

This epithet is exclusive to the Apostle John’s writings—the Book of John, the Book of 1 John, and the Book of the Revelation. It, or its abbreviated variant “The Word,” appears seven times in the whole Bible canon. John’s Gospel Record is designed to underscore Jesus Christ’s Deity. (Compare the openings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. John 1:1-4 is unique to John; Matthew, Mark, and Luke all begin their accounts with events relating to Christ’s humanity.) It is thus not surprising that John’s special phrase, “the Word of God,” is intended to accentuate Christ’s Deity:

  • John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
  • John 1:14: “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.”
  • 1 John 1:1: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;….”
  • 1 John 5:7: “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
  • Revelation 19:13: “And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.”

The term “word” carries the idea of communication. In Greek, it is logos. Depending on the context, logos can be rendered as—“preaching,” “something said,” “utterance,” “reason,” “saying,” “speech,” “talk,” “account,” and so on. Think of our related English words logic and logo. A “logo,” for example, is a symbol or design that represents a group, idea, line of products, and so on. This symbol conveys a message. The Greek word is the same line of thought.

According to Scripture, there are three Members/Persons in the Godhead or Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 5:7). Unless they make themselves known in a special way, we cannot see them with our human eyes. The Person of Jesus Christ (God the Son) is a representative of the Godhead. Turn to John 14:6-9: “[6] Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. [7] If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. [8] Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. [9] Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”

What the Father and the Holy Spirit want us to see and know, Jesus Christ reveals it to us so we can see and know. If we want to see how God lives, all we have to do is read the Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). This is how God conducted His own life in His own human flesh. Even today, we can see God living His life in human flesh. This is the Church the Body of Christ (all present-day believers in Jesus Christ). It is called “the Body of Christ” because it is His life being manifested through Christians—we are His arms, His legs, His hands, His feet, and His voice. We accurately portray His life as we walk daily in faith in His Word to us (more on this later).

Father God sent Jesus Christ as His spokesman to the nation Israel. For example, John 7:16: “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.God the Father had given some information to Jesus Christ, so Jesus Christ could then relay it to Israel. Jesus is the Spokesman of the Godhead. He is “The Word of God” in this sense.

Now, read Matthew 15:24: “But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Hebrews 3:1: “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle [sent-one] and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;….” When Jesus Christ left Earth and ascended back into Heaven, He sent His 12 Apostles to be His spokesmen to Israel. They were to repeat what He taught them.

Matthew chapter 10: “[5] These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: [6] But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel…. [16] Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” And verse 40: He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” Mark 3:14: “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,….” John 20:21: “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” Finally, John 13:20: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.”

God the Father sent Jesus Christ as His Messenger, and Jesus Christ sent messengers (12 Apostles) to Israel. If Israel rejected the 12 Apostles, they were really rejecting Jesus Christ who sent them, and they were rejecting God the Father who sent Jesus Christ to them in the first place.

After His ascension into Heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ sent the Apostle Paul to be His spokesman to us Gentiles. Look at two verses. Firstly, Acts 22:21: “And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.” Now, Acts 26:17: “Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,…..” Paul thus wrote in Romans 11:13: “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle [sent-one] of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:….” And, remember Jesus’ words in John 13:20: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. If we reject Paul, then we reject God’s messenger to us!

Whenever there were appearances of God in the Old Testament economy, they were Jesus Christ in pre-incarnate forms. It was not Father God, and it was not the Holy Spirit. First Timothy 6:16: “[Jesus Christ] Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; [God the Father; verse 13] whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” And John 1:18: No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” Colossians 2:9: “For in him [Christ] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” The way we see and hear Father God is by paying attention to Jesus Christ: He is the one Mediator between God and men.

First Timothy 2:3-6: “[3] For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; [4] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. [5] For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; [6] Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” As God, Jesus Christ can take God by the hand. As Man, He can take man by the hand. He thus joins them together through His finished crosswork at Calvary. The barrier of sin is demolished because Jesus Christ died for our sins. Without God communicating that information through Jesus Christ, and then Jesus Christ giving that information to Paul, we would not know it.

Jesus Christ is thus “The Word of God”—the embodiment of the whole message God wants to give to mankind! In 1 John 1:1, Jesus is called “the Word of life,” meaning God’s entire communication to man can be summarized as “life.” If we want to see what true life is really like, how God designed it to function for His glory, we look to “the Word of life,” the Lord Jesus Christ! If we want eternal (spiritual) life, we look to the Lord Jesus Christ! 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.”

SUPPLEMENTAL #1: THE CHIEF SPEAKER

To better reinforce in our minds what the title “The Word of God” is actually conveying as pertaining to Jesus Christ, turn to Acts chapter 14: “[9] The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, [10] Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. [11] And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. [12] And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.” Focus on “the chief speaker” at the close of verse 12. In Greek, it is, ho hegoumenos tou logon.” As Paul was the “chief speaker [logos]” of the Paul–Barnabas duo, so Jesus Christ is the “chief speaker” among the Members of the Godhead.

SUPPLEMENTAL #2: THE HOLY BIBLE

“The word of God” is also a title of the Holy Bible. Hebrews 4:12, for example: “For the word of God 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.” In Scripture, we find the communication from God. The only way to know the Living Word of God (Jesus Christ) is through the Written Word of God (Holy Scripture). While far beyond the scope of this study, there is a very close affinity between the Living Word and the Written Word. Both are necessary to learn everything the Godhead has to tell us.

Also see:
» Did not God send messengers to Gentiles prior to Paul’s apostleship?
» Has God’s Word failed?
» Does Jesus Christ save us, or does the Gospel save us?

How are the Beast and the False Prophet “cast alive” into the Lake of Fire?

HOW ARE THE BEAST AND THE FALSE PROPHET “CAST ALIVE” INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Revelation 19:20 says as pertaining to the Second Coming of Christ, “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” How are the Beast and the False Prophet “cast alive” into the Lake of Fire? Does that mean they will be unconscious once they wind up in there?

When the Bible text says thus, it means that the Beast and the False Prophet will not experience physical death before entering the spiritual realm. They will be alive on Earth and Jesus Christ (at His Second Coming) will suddenly pick them up physically and toss them right into the Lake of Fire. In other words, there will be no burial for either, and thus no bodily trace of them left on the planet. They will not defile the Earth once the Second Coming occurs; namely, their graves will not even be here to corrupt the Promised Land.

These two men, the Beast (Antichrist, political leader) and the False Prophet (religious leader), will have deceived the world for the seven years leading up to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Now, they will experience the wrath of God, eternal judgment, in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone (Sulfur).

Even after 1,000 years in the Lake of Fire, they will still exist. They will not be consumed, for the fire will preserve them! Look at Revelation 20:10: “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet ARE, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” You will notice in the earlier nine verses that 1,000 years have passed since the close of chapter 19 (our study’s opening verse). Stated another way, it is a millennium later that Satan himself meets the fate of the Beast and the False Prophet. They three, along with all of God’s other enemies (unsaved mankind and fallen angels), will “be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” There is no ended punishment; it is a literal eternity of suffering, full consciousness! If you want to see the human element added to the Lake of Fire, look at verses 11-15.

Perhaps this may help you better understand the Beast and the False Prophet being cast alive into the Lake of Fire. Remember, there are other people who do not die in Scripture. For example, Elijah never died physically—he was caught up alive into Heaven (2 Kings 2:11). Neither did Enoch die physically—he too simply went to be with God (Genesis 5:23-24). Members of the Church the Body of Christ who are alive at the Rapture (future) will never experience physical death either (1 Corinthians 15:51-54—“we shall not all sleep [die physically];” 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17—“we which are alive and remain… we which are alive and remain…”). As Elijah, Enoch, and the living Church the Body of Christ meet eternal bliss without enduring physical death, so the Beast and the False Prophet meet eternal damnation without experiencing physical death!

Also see:
» Are 2 Thessalonians 1:9 and Revelation 14:10 contradictory?
» Did Pharaoh drown in the Red Sea?
» How can a “loving” God send people to hell forever?

Is Hebrews 13:3 a reference to the Body of Christ?

IS HEBREWS 13:3 A REFERENCE TO THE CHURCH THE BODY OF CHRIST?

by Shawn Brasseaux

In Hebrews 13:3, we read the following directive: “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” What is this “body?” Is it the Church the Body of Christ?

This is a most bizarre reading of the Bible text; I have never heard of it until now. Evidently, it is based on the common (yet flimsy) assertion that the Apostle Paul wrote the Book of Hebrews. However, there is abundant Scriptural proof that Paul did not write Hebrews. (See our study linked at the end of this article.) Furthermore, the anomalous language of Hebrews 13:3 would not allow us to substitute “the Church the Body of Christ” for the generic noun “body.” Scripture would be violated chiefly because there is no qualifier of Christ” attached to “body.” Never once do we read of the Church the Body of Christ in the Book of Hebrews.

When the Holy Spirit through Paul referred to the Church the Body of Christ, notice how He handled the term:

  • Romans 12:4-5: “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”
  • 1 Corinthians 10:17: “For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.”
  • 1 Corinthians 12:12-13,27: “For as the [physical] body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ [the Body of Christ]. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit…. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”
  • Ephesians 1:22-23: “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”
  • Ephesians 2:16: “And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:….”
  • Ephesians 3:6: “That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:….”
  • Ephesians 4:4,23,16: “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;…. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:…. From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
  • Ephesians 5:23,30: “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body…. For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.”
  • Colossians 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.”
  • Colossians 1:24: “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:….”
  • Colossians 2:19: “And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.”
  • Colossians 3:15: “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”

Having reviewed the above “Church the Body of Christ” verses, we can see Hebrews 13:3 is something else entirely. It simply does not fit into the list. “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” The verse, and its context, does not mention explicitly which “body” it is, but again, to what purpose would it be to have the Body of Christ brought up here anyway? Hebrews spent over 12 chapters without saying a word about it, and then, in the final chapter, make one obscure reference to the Body of Christ? Impossible.

We have no choice but to infer that the “body” of Hebrews 13:3 is the flesh-and-blood body (the same in which we ourselves live right now). These Jewish readers know what their brethren are enduring: they all know living in these physical bodies has its hardships. When we consider that the Book of Hebrews is part of the prophetic program—namely, Israel living the end-times scenario (Hebrews 2:3-5)—we see that the believing Jews are suffering under the Antichrist. All those believing Jews are facing persecution. Whether early Acts, mid-Acts, or post-Acts—which all loop toward the future beyond our Dispensation of Grace—they have their trials and tribulations as people living in fallen (sinful) bodies in a fallen (sinful) world.

Along the same line of thought as Hebrews 13:3, 1 Peter chapter 5 encourages the Little Flock: “[8] Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: [9] Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” They are all suffering for Jesus Christ—imprisonments, difficulties, worries, beheadings, and so on. Being brothers and sisters in Christ, they are to be mindful of one another. “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” This, however, has absolutely nothing to do with us, the Church the Body of Christ.

Also see:
» Who wrote the Book of Hebrews?
» Will Israel’s Little Flock be put to death or not?
» Who are the poor in Galatians 2:10?

“Whom no man hath seen, nor can see”—who is this in 1 Timothy 6:16?

“WHOM NO MAN HATH SEEN, NOR CAN SEE”—WHO IS THIS IN 1 TIMOTHY 6:16?

by Shawn Brasseaux

First Timothy 6:16 reads: “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” Who is this, He “whom no man hath seen, nor can see?”

Years ago, this verse puzzled me also. If you have not yet noticed the difficulty, start with verse 13 and read through to verse 16: “[13] I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; [14] That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: [15] Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; [16] Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.”

Did you get the impression that verse 16 claims that no one has seen, or can see, Jesus Christ? Is this the proper reading of the verse though?

Try John chapter 1: “[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…. [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.” Now, 1 John chapter 1: “[1] That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; [2] (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us; )….”

Over 500 believers saw Jesus Christ after His resurrection. Even in His glorified (heavenly, ascended) state, Saul of Tarsus saw Him. First Corinthians chapter 15: “[3] For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; [4] And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: [5] And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: [6] After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. [7] After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. [8] And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”

Notice Acts 22:13-15: “[13] Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. [14] And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. [15] For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.” (Paul heard Jesus Christ and saw Him in Acts chapter 9.)

Scripture is quite clear that Jesus Christ was made flesh and dwelt among men. He was not only seen by human eyes, but was also touched with human hands. We just surveyed a few verses to prove this point. First Timothy 6:16 therefore must be referring to someone else when it says, “whom no man hath seen, nor can see.” This cannot be Jesus Christ. Who is it then?

The chief reason why 1 Timothy 6:13-16 is so challenging is that it is a single sentence in the King James Greek text and now transferred into English! Our Apostle Paul used nearly 70 Greek words to form it; it translates to over 90 English words. (If this “short” sentence intimidates you, take a look at Ephesians 1:3-14!) With such massive sentences, it is easy to get lost in pairing clauses, connecting nouns to their pronouns and adjectives, and so on. If we can take each verse at a time, though, it will become easier to grasp. We are not so much interested in covering every little point of 1 Timothy 6:13-16. Our primary goal is to demystify verse 16.

Back to 1 Timothy 6:13-16 for some cursory analysis!

“[13] I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;….” There are five persons here. Firstly, there is Paul (writing and commanding). Secondly, there is Timothy (whom Paul is writing and commanding). Thirdly, there is God (the Father is inferred). Fourthly, there is Christ Jesus. Fifthly, there is Judaean governor Pontius Pilate.

“[14] That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:….” Here, we have only two persons—Timothy and our Lord Jesus Christ.

“[15] Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;….” There is only Jesus Christ here.

“[16] Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.”

Verse 16 is where it gets especially tricky. How many persons are here in this verse? At least one. Who is the first person? He “only” has immortality—no one else is like Him. To be “mortal” means “subject to death;” “immortal,” consequently, means “unable to die.” Appealing to what we established at the beginning of the sentence, and using the process of elimination, we can figure out who this is. Is it Paul? Timothy? Pontius Pilate? Of course not. They were all subject to die—and did die. That leaves two possibilities—Father God and Jesus Christ. Father God never possessed a physical body, so He was never on the verge of dying anyway. Jesus Christ, however, assumed a physical body and did die.

(Colossians 2:9 says, “For in him [Christ—verse 8] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” The emphasis here is on the word “bodily.” There is a physical body likened unto ours. It is something that can be seen and has been seen. God the Father and God the Holy Spirit cannot be seen directly, but they can be seen indirectly in the Person of Jesus Christ [God the Son]. Jesus Christ is their representative, the Spokesman and Representative for the Trinity/Godhead.)

Jesus was resurrected, never to die again. As of this moment, He alone has been resurrected. He is the unique Person of the universe. He is a spirit being, still in a physical body that cannot and will never again die. He alone has immortality. “Dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto” would also be true of Jesus Christ.

The semicolon between “unto” and “whom” in the middle of verse 16 splits the thoughts to make them easier to grasp. “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; [different person] whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.”

The “who only hath… can approach unto” has already been established to mean Jesus Christ. The “whom no man hath seen, nor can see” must refer to someone else. As noted earlier, there are too many verses that prove that Jesus Christ was seen of men and can be seen of men. Returning to our list of people in verse 13, we use the process of elimination once again. It would be totally absurd for Scripture to say no man has seen or can see Paul, Timothy, or Pontius Pilate. The only person not accounted for is now Father God. Father God has to be Him “whom no man hath seen, nor can see.”

A colon, not a comma, immediately follows this, and the Bible text reads thereafter, “…to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” This would have to be referring back to the beginning of the verse. The word “power” links to “Potentate” in verse 15, and the “only Potentate” (powerful), “the King of kings and the Lord of lords,” is none other than Jesus Christ (cf. Revelation 17:14 and Revelation 19:16).

In summation, with the persons’ names added, personally, I would read the passage as follows: “[13] I [Paul] give thee [Timothy] charge in the sight of God, [God/Father] who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who [Jesus Christ] before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; [14] That thou [Timothy] keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: [15] [Our Lord Jesus Christ] Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; [16] [Our Lord Jesus Christ] Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; [God/Father] whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom [our Lord Jesus Christ] be honour and power everlasting. Amen.”

Also see:
» “No man hath seen God at any time?”
» Is the Trinity/Godhead a biblical concept?
» Can Jews who believe in God, the Father, but who reject Jesus, be saved from eternal damnation?

Can you explain the “spot” in Deuteronomy 32:5?

CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE “SPOT” IN DEUTERONOMY 32:5?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Moses, speaking prophetically as the Holy Spirit leads him, declares in Deuteronomy 32:5: “They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.” What exactly is this “spot?”

Deuteronomy chapters 30-33 are Moses looking ahead to Israel living in the last days, thousands of years into the future (even beyond our day, actually). The Holy Spirit permits him and the nation Israel to see what will happen to them once they enter the Promised Land under Joshua. Moses will soon die (chapter 34), so these final chapters of Deuteronomy contain his farewell admonitions. He warns the nation repeatedly about not repeating the sins of their ancestors; they are to remain true to JEHOVAH God. What will the Jews do in God’s land once they settle in it? Deuteronomy chapter 32, according to verse 44, is a “song”—the “Song of Moses.” Moses is to teach Israel this song of doctrine: they will deliberately leave JEHOVAH God, wind up in unspeakable error, but He will still be faithful in keeping His promises to them.

Keep reading in Deuteronomy chapter 32: “[12] So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him. [15] But Jeshurun [Israel] waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. [16] They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. [17] They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. [18] Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.

“[19] And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters. [20] And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith. [21] They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.[36] For the LORD shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left. [37] And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted, [38] Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.”

Based on these verses, friend, what do you suppose were Israel’s most basic sins? Unbelief and idolatry! Israel, once prosperous, became ungrateful; she forgot how God had delivered her from Egyptian slavery and blessed her so abundantly. She refused to be His people; she wanted to do her own thing, and she did it in spite of what JEHOVAH God instructed her.

Re-read it: “[16] They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. [17] They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. [18] Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee…. [20] And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith. [21] They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation…. [37] And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted, [38] Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.”

This is the context of Deuteronomy 32:5, which says: “They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.” We have some built-in clues as to the meaning of this “spot.” “Perverse” here is the idea of “stubbornly contrary, obstinately unreasonable, adamantly unacceptable.” “Crooked” carries the meaning of “distorted, twisted out of shape.”

Moreover, Satan did not just come along and contaminate Israel. They “corrupted themselves.” They willfully chose to follow Satan’s policy of evil. When the Bible here says, “their spot is not the spot of his children,” the “spot” is a fault, blemish, defect, or stain. God has a controversy with Israel—she has been willfully unfaithful to Him! As a wife would be physically unfaithful to her husband, Israel has had intimate spiritual relations with pagan idols. The Jews no longer resemble JEHOVAH God’s people; in fact, centuries after Moses, He actually divorced Israel for breaking the Old Covenant (the Mosaic Law, Exodus 20:1-6, commanded Israel not to have other gods before JEHOVAH and not to make or worship idols).

Read what the contemporary Prophets Hosea and Isaiah say of Israel’s spiritual condition several centuries after Moses. Hosea chapter 1: “[1] The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel. [2] The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD…. [8] Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. [9] Then said God, Call his name Loammi [“not my people”]: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.(Moses’ prophecies in Deuteronomy were proved correct!!)

Now, Isaiah chapter 1: “[1] The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. [2] Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. [3] The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. [4] Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. [5] Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. [6] From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” (Yea, Israel is spiritually ill!)

Fortunately for Israel, God also said through Moses in Deuteronomy chapter 32: “Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people. Praise God for verse 43! Despite Israel’s sin, her breaking of the Old Covenant, and God’s divorcing her, He will (yet future) bring about a new covenant at the Second Coming of Christ. This New Covenant, based on the sinless blood Jesus Christ shed at Calvary, will be the means whereby God can cleanse Israel of her sins and make her His people forever. God will permanently get rid of Israel’s “spot!”

Jeremiah 31:31-34: “[31] Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: [32] Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: [33] But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. [34] And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

The above prophecy from the Prophet Jeremiah is quoted or alluded to on several occasions in what we call the “New Testament” Scriptures—Acts 3:18-21, Romans 11:26-27, Hebrews 8:8-13, and Hebrews 10:15-17. For more information on idolatrous Israel, see especially the “foolish nation” and “jealous” articles linked below.

In light of all this, the Apostle John penned in Revelation 1:5-6: “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, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” Israel’s “spot,” that horrible stain, will be “washed” by the blood of Christ, and she will at last become His kingdom of priests that He originally intended her to be in Moses’ day (Exodus 19:3-6)!

Also see:
» Is God finished with Israel?
» Who is the “foolish nation” in Romans 10:19?
» How can God be “jealous” and not sin?

What are “kine?”

WHAT ARE “KINE?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

“Kine” is an archaic word; that is, it has fallen away from common usage. However, it appears 24 times in the King James Bible. Notice the context is animals:

  • Genesis 32:15: “Thirty milch camels with their colts, forty kine, and ten bulls, twenty she asses, and ten foals.”
  • Genesis 41:2: “And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow.”
  • Genesis 41:3: “And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river.”
  • Genesis 41:4: “And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke.”
  • Genesis 41:18: “And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow:….”
  • Genesis 41:19: “And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness:….”
  • Genesis 41:20: “And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine:….”
  • Genesis 41:26: “The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one.”
  • Genesis 41:27: “And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine.”
  • Deuteronomy 7:13: “And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee.”
  • Deuteronomy 28:4: “Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.”
  • Deuteronomy 28:18: “Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.”
  • Deuteronomy 28:51: “And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee.”
  • Deuteronomy 32:14: “Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape.”
  • 1 Samuel 6:7: “Now therefore make a new cart, and take two milch kine, on which there hath come no yoke, and tie the kine to the cart, and bring their calves home from them:…”
  • 1 Samuel 6:10: “And the men did so; and took two milch kine, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home:….”
  • 1 Samuel 6:12: “And the kine took the straight way to the way of Bethshemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left; and the lords of the Philistines went after them unto the border of Bethshemesh.”
  • 1 Samuel 6:14: “And the cart came into the field of Joshua, a Bethshemite, and stood there, where there was a great stone: and they clave the wood of the cart, and offered the kine a burnt offering unto the LORD.”
  • 2 Samuel 17:29: “And honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine, for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness.”
  • Amos 4:1: “Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, which say to their masters, Bring, and let us drink.” (By the way, this instance of “kine” is God being sarcasm. These are not literal animals. He is actually talking to luxurious women caught up in materialism and idolatry!)

The Oxford English Dictionary says of “kine:” “(archaic) cows collectively.”

Strong’s has the following: “H6510 פָּרָה pârâh, paw-raw’; feminine of H6499; a heifer:—cow, heifer, kine.” Our 1611 translators rendered it as follows: “kine” (18 times), “heifer” (6 times), “cow” (2 times). This Hebrew word appears 26 times in the Hebrew text of the King James Bible. Two other Hebrew terms are translated “kine” as well: they are ‘eleph (H504 אֶלֶף) and baqar (H1241 בָּקָר). For simplicity’s sake, we will not discuss them. If you want to see how else baqar can be used, see our “beeves” study linked below.

Also see:
» What are “beeves?”
» What is the “caul?”
» What is a “wen?”