All posts by Christian ambassador (Shawn Brasseaux)

Grace and peace! What a privilege to be an ambassador for the risen Christ here on WordPress! I am a Pauline dispensationalist Christian saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus plus nothing! My goal is to "have all men saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:3,4). I seek to preach Jesus Christ crucified for our sins, buried, and raised again for our justification as the only way to salvation. Also, I seek to edify and perfect the saints using dispensational Bible study and the Authorized Version King James Bible!

How is He “Jesus of Nazareth” if He was born in Bethlehem?

HOW IS HE “JESUS OF NAZARETH” IF HE WAS BORN IN BETHLEHEM?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Indubitably, the Lord Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem Judah/Judaea/Ephratah (southern Israel)—not to be confused with the Bethlehem of northern Israel (see Joshua 19:15).

The King James Bible says:

  • Micah 5:2 (written 750–700 B.C.): “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old [His humanity], from everlasting [His Deity].”
  • Matthew 2:1-2,5-6: “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him…. And they [the chief priests and scribes] said unto him [Herod], In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.”
  • Luke 2:4-7: “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David: ) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”

*NOTE: Alma 7:10 of the Book of Mormon claims Jesus was born in Jerusalem. Joseph Smith is wrong. According to God’s Word (the Holy Bible), Jesus was born in Bethlehem Judah, several miles or kilometers from Jerusalem! For more information, see our related study linked at the end of this article.

The Authorized Version, in 17 cases, labels the Lord as “Jesus of Nazareth.” If you want to look up the references, they are—Matthew 26:71; Mark 1:24; Mark 10:47;  Mark 14:67; Mark 16:6; Luke 4:34; Luke 18:37; Luke 24:19; John 1:45; John 18:5; John 18:7; John 19:19; Acts 2:22; Acts 6:14; Acts 10:38; Acts 22:8; Acts 26:9. Related verses are Matthew 21:11 (“Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee”), Acts 3:6 (“Jesus Christ of Nazareth”), and Acts 4:10 (“Jesus Christ of Nazareth”). If the Lord was born in Bethlehem, why is “Nazareth” so frequently part of His title? Is this not strange? The answer to this enigma can be found back in His childhood days. Are we willing to study and learn?

As Matthew chapter 2 recounts, when the Christ Child was born, King Herod the Great feared insurrection and thus sought to murder Him: “[13] And when they [the wise men] were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. [14] When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: [15] And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. [16] Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. [17] Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, [18] In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

“[19] But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, [20] Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life. [21] And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. [22] But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: [23] And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

As a two-year-old boy, the Lord Jesus had to temporarily leave the land of Israel and relocate to Egypt. Once Herod the Great died near age 70 (circa 4–1 B.C.?), however, Jesus returned to Israel. Instead of settling in Bethlehem Judah (Jesus’ birthplace), fearing Herod’s son Archelaus reigning there, Jesus’ stepfather Joseph transferred the family to Nazareth of Galilee (northern Israel). The town where Jesus spent His remaining childhood years was Nazareth. Apparently, Nazareth was where Joseph and Mary had lived prior to their marriage (Luke 1:26; Luke 2:4,39,51). Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar’s census forced them to move to Bethlehem Judah just before Jesus’ birth. (This pagan ruler had no idea he caused the 700-year-old Bible prophecy of Micah to be fulfilled!!!)

Read Luke 2:51-52: “[51] And he [the Lord Jesus Christ] went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. [52] And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” Jesus (age 12 in verse 42) went on to spend His early adult years here in Nazareth, just prior to entering His ministry at age 30 (read Matthew 2:23; Matthew 3:13; cf. Mark 1:9). After moving south to be water baptized of John the Baptist in the River Jordan, the Lord Jesus went back to Nazareth where He stayed at His ministry headquarters (Matthew 4:13) until unbelieving Nazareth attempted to murder Him (Luke 4:14-30) and He moved to Capernaum (Luke 4:31). Be sure to notice Luke 4:16, “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up:….” Overall, Christ lived in Nazareth approximately 25 years of His first three decades. He was born in Bethlehem, but He was raised in Nazareth, thus His title is “Jesus of Nazareth” not “Jesus of Bethlehem.”

“Nazareth” means “despised place.” Its reputation is emphasized in the remark of John 1:46: “And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.” Upon hearing the Messiah Jesus is of Nazareth (verse 45), Nathanael reacts with sarcasm, “What good thing could possibly come from Nazareth of all places? According to Luke 3:23, Jesus is roughly 30 years old when He began His ministry. The vast majority of His prior life was spent in Nazareth, the lowly place where Israel preferred Him to live! At His birth, He was laid in a manger (animal-food trough) because “there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). When Herod sought to kill Him, Israel wept for their babies slaughtered in Bethlehem but shed not one tear when young Jesus had to escape to Egypt for His life (Matthew 2:16-21). Even after He came back from Egypt, He was not welcome in Israel, having to live in “Nazareth” or the “despised place” (Matthew 2:22-23). Throughout His earthly ministry, He faced intense opposition, culminating in His shameful trials and horrific crucifixion. We can glimpse two summary passages now.

“And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matthew 8:19-20). “And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Luke 9:57-58). Animals have their homes, but Messiah/Christ Jesus has no certain dwellingplace, for His very people have obstinately refused Him (John 1:11)!

The night of His betrayal and arrest, the Lord Jesus Christ encouraged His Apostles: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you…. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father…. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause (John 15:18,24-25). He will be crucified on Calvary’s cross in less than 24 hours!!

Finally, go over to John chapter 7: “[40] Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. [41] Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? [42] Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?… [52] They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.” This is natural-man thinking and “scholarship” (1 Corinthians 2:14). What spiritual ignoramuses!!! Jesus indeed had been born in Bethlehem, David’s hometown (1 Samuel 16:1-18), but He had also been forced to flee to Egypt and then Galilee (Nazareth) when Israel refused Him during His childhood years!! Even there, in John chapter 7, they hate Him.

Whenever the Bible links the Lord Jesus Christ to Nazareth, it does not refer to His place of birth but rather His place of childhood and early adulthood because of His rejection. To wit, “Jesus of Nazareth” is another way of saying, “Jesus of the Despised Place” or “Jesus of the Rejected Place.” It accentuates the rank unbelief in Israel, their national refusal to trust Him as Messiah or Christ.

Also see:
» Was Jesus born in Jerusalem?
» Is Matthew 2:23 a mistake?
» Was Jesus’ last name “Christ?”
» Was Jesus born on the 25th of December?
» Were there really three wise men?
» How can Luke 2:1 report “all the world” was subject to Caesar Augustus?
» Is there an historical mistake in Luke 2:1-2?

What is a “sheepcote?”

WHAT IS A “SHEEPCOTE?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

We find three references to a “sheepcote” in the King James Bible:

  • 1 Samuel 24:3: “And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.”
  • 2 Samuel 7:8: “Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel:….”
  • 1 Chronicles 17:7: “Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel:….”

Of course, upon initial glance, we can surmise a “sheepcote” must have something to do with sheep and shepherds. Yet, what about the “cote” portion of this compound word? A “cote” is simply a shelter, small shed, or pen for mammals or birds. When you see “cote,” think “cottage” (they are actually related through Old English). Therefore, a “sheepcote” is just a place where sheep are kept (“sheepcote” is British English, the 1611 Bible being from England, remember). In other contexts, the Hebrew word for 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles (“nave”) is rendered “habitation,” “dwelling.” As for the 1 Samuel reference, that Hebrew term (“gedera”) is elsewhere handled as “wall,” hedge,” “folds” (that is, “enclosure”).

Also see:
» What is the “shambles?”
» What is a “charger?”
» What is a “battlement?”

What is a “maul?”

WHAT IS A “MAUL?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

The word “maul” is found a solitary time in our Authorized Version: “A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow” (Proverbs 25:18). From the context, we deduce “maul” has to be a sort of weapon—and we would be correct in that inference. In fact, it is a hammer or mallet, or a heavy club. Our English word is derived from the Latin “malleus” (“hammer”). We are more familiar with the verb form of “maul,” however, conveying the sense of “to bruise or injure with a rough beating.” In the case of the Proverbs passage, the idea is metaphorical, but still communicates a literal truth. A gossip—someone who spreads misleading information about another person—crushes like a maul/club, cuts like a sword, and pierces like an arrow. The overall concept is character assassination, great internal or emotional trauma inflicted on the unfortunate soul. A maul shatters, a sword chops, and an arrow punctures—all graphic illustrations of the consequences of lies told about another person.

Also see:
» Can you explain, “Standing against the blood of thy neighbour?”
» What is a “battlement?”
» What does “brutish” mean?

What are “benefactors?”

WHAT ARE “BENEFACTORS?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

On the night of Christ’s last Passover, the following exchange was held between Him and His disciples. Luke chapter 22: “[21] But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. [22] And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed! [23] And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing. [24] And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. [25] And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. [26] But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. [27] For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. [28] Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. [29] And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; [30] That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

The Lord Jesus’ words in verse 25 describe despots, bullies, or tyrants—people striving to be on top so they may dominate or oppress others. The Gentiles were idolatrous and under Satan’s control (Acts 14:15-16; Acts 17:29-30; Ephesians 2:2,11,12; Ephesians 4:17-19). Consequently, they were competing with each other to obtain the highest offices of government; in doing so, they would be at the center of attention, having the most influence over people (“exercise lordship”). Even today, such narcissists oft occupy political offices all around the world—including (sadly) church leadership positions!! The Lord Jesus knew such an attitude did not belong in His Father’s kingdom, so He sharply rebuked His disciples for their rivalry in Luke chapter 22. This was a recurring problem among them!!! See Matthew 18:1-6, Matthew 20:20-28, Mark 9:33-37, and Mark 10:35-45.

What made ancient authoritarians so hypocritical was they were styled “benefactors.” “Benefactors” is “euergetes,” taken from two Greek words: one is “eu” (“good”), the other is “ergon” (“work”). To wit, a “benefactor” is a “worker of good,” synonymous with “philanthropist.” It was a title of honor or flattery, a favorite name especially among the Greek kings of Egypt and Syria. Ironically, these so-called “benefactors”—that is, “doers of good” (HA!!)—were usually self-centered. “Benefactor” was actually a misnomer. Whatever “good” they did for their people, it was simply to advance their own political career and acquire more praises and loyalty from their subjects. Stated another way, it was a popularity contest… and the Lord spoke up because He absolutely refused to let His disciples behave so foolishly and sinfully.

Also see:
» Is it a truly good work if done for selfish reasons?
» Are the Christian life and ministry about bossing people around?
» What are some verses to help me stop focusing on myself?

Can you explain how Jesus “set his face” in Luke 9:51?

CAN YOU EXPLAIN HOW JESUS “SET HIS FACE” IN LUKE 9:51?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Luke chapter 9 conveys these Divine words: “[51] And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, [52] And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. [53] And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.” The Lord Jesus has departed Galilee (northern Israel) bound for Jerusalem (southern Israel): He must therefore pass through Samaria (central Israel). He is looking toward Jerusalem out in the distance, having already made up His mind to establish it as His destination. The Samaritans are displeased with Him, thus refusing to lodge Him as He journeys southward (see our “Was Jesus Christ a dispensationalist during His earthly ministry?” study linked at the end of this article).

Just a short time prior in chapter 9, we read: “[20] He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God. [21] And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; [22] Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day…. [30] And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: [31] Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease [departure, death] which he should accomplish at Jerusalem…. [43] And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples, [44] Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men. [45] But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.”

Verse 51 says Christ “stedfastly set his face.” That is, He is resolute or determined to go to Jerusalem, despite the impending danger of which He most assuredly is aware. Jerusalem is ultimately where He will be murdered—and He knows it. Yet, His earthly ministry has about six months left, so He must be about His Father’s business in teaching, preaching, and healing. In fact, Luke chapter 9 apparently overlaps with John chapter 7, the Lord going to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. This would be the autumn just prior to the spring (Feast of Passover) during which He will die. In Luke chapter 17, verse 11, we find Him on His final pilgrimage to Jerusalem (this is Passover).

Also see:
» Was Jesus Christ a dispensationalist during His earthly ministry?
» Why did Jesus offer Himself to Israel if He knew they would reject Him?
»  Did little boy Jesus know He was going to die?

Was Jesus Christ a dispensationalist during His earthly ministry?

WAS JESUS CHRIST A DISPENSATIONALIST DURING HIS EARTHLY MINISTRY?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Dispensational Bible study has its critics—and that is no secret. Allegedly, we who “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) are “Bible choppers,” “church splitters,” “troublemakers,” among other names. Additionally, we are told, “I do not follow some man such as the Apostle Paul, I follow Jesus!” Immediately after stating thus, our opponents flee to Matthew through John, the Lord Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry (which they assume is Christianity for today), and proceed to denounce us as “heretics” for “taking away” from Jesus’ words. They have made some serious accusations against us, so do we have Biblically-based answers for them? In this, our special-edition 900th Bible Q&A article, we examine this matter in light of God’s Word. “For what saith the Scriptures?”

WHAT IS A “DISPENSATION?”

Before we look at Jesus’ earthly ministry, we should provide some basic background on dispensationalism. While much could be written, and much has been penned already (see our studies linked at the end of this article), suffice it here to say a “dispensation” in the Bible is “a specific set of information God gives to man for his faith and obedience during a particular time period or age.” It is the noun form of the verb “dispense” (to distribute, supply, deliver). The English word “dispensation” appears four times in the Authorized Version King James Bible (1 Corinthians 9:17; Ephesians 1:10; Ephesians 3:2; Colossians 1:25). Modern English versions eliminate most or all of these four references, replacing the word with “stewardship,” “commission,” “responsibility,” “job,” “administration,” “charge,” or some other weak interpretation.

Nevertheless, here are the verses as found in the King James Bible:

  • 1 Corinthians 9:17: “For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.”
  • Ephesians 1:10: “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:….”
  • Ephesians 3:2: “If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:….”
  • Colossians 1:25: “Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;….”

Now that there are 100 modern English versions that eliminate “dispensation” partially or entirely, the average Bible reader has been robbed of an important Bible term that English-speaking Christians had used for centuries. Whereas it could be argued 150 years ago “dispensational Bible study” has support from the Scriptures—for the very word “dispensation” appeared in the English Bible text!—those familiar only with modern English versions have a much harder time seeing dispensationalism as a Bible-based belief system because “dispensation” is no longer in their Bible!

As we see in the above verses, the Dispensation of the Grace of God was given to the Apostle Paul. The Lord Jesus Christ, post-resurrection and from Heaven’s glory, revealed to Paul some information He wanted Paul to pass on to us Gentiles (non-Jews). We dispensationalists believe all 66 Books of the Bible, Genesis to Revelation, are God’s inspired Word and words (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21). Yet, here is something often overlooked: the Scriptures are a progressive revelation. Whatever God told man at the first may not what He tells man later on. That is, God reveals some information to people at one point on the Bible timeline while simultaneously withholding other information. What He wants humans to believe and do in one dispensation may differ from what He desires they believe and do in another dispensation. The easiest way to prove this is to consider dietary food laws in the Scriptures:

  • Genesis 1:29-30: “[29] And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. [30] And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.” The LORD here says people are to eat plants only—no meat!
  • Genesis 9:2-4: “[2] And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. [3] Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. [4] But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.” Here, God grants people permission to eat whatever animals they can catch!
  • Leviticus 11:46-47: “[46] This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: [47] To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.” According to this, people can eat only certain animals!
  • 1 Timothy 4:3-5: “[3] Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. [4] For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: [5] For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” Finally, the Scriptures say we are free to eat any animals we want!

At this point, someone would cry out, “Oh, look at all those Bible contradictions! Should we eat meat? No, Genesis chapter 1 says not to! Can we eat all meats? Yes, Genesis chapter 9 and 1 Timothy chapter 4 tell us we can! No, we cannot! Leviticus chapter 11 forbids the eating of some meats!” We could see how a reader would get confused here. The Bible speaks affirmatively and negatively about carnivorism or flesh-eating: in fact, it is entirely forbidden (Genesis chapter 1), as well as permitted to some degree (Leviticus chapter 11), and completely approved (Genesis chapter 9 and 1 Timothy chapter 4)! How do we proceed in resolving these conflicts? Bible verses disagree with each other, so would it be possible for us to appeal to these very words to settle their incongruities? Why, yes it would—and is!

One of the most helpful Bible study tips is to recognize the audience of a particular passage of Scripture. We always need to look at contexts—especially who is speaking and to whom are they speaking. Never forget, cults and other denominations have resulted because people have carelessly ripped verses from their surrounding words. If we go back to our four passages about food laws in the Bible, the varying instructions are not all expressed to the same audience. Genesis chapter 1 was directed to Adam and Eve (see verse 27); Genesis chapter 9 was God talking to Noah and his sons (see verse 1); Leviticus chapter 11 was the Law of Moses given to Israel (see verses 1-2); and 1 Timothy chapter 4 was the Apostle Paul writing to Timothy, a member of the Church the Body of Christ (chapter 1, verses 1-2). Whatever the LORD told Adam and Eve, is not what He told Noah, is not what He told Israel, is not what He told Timothy and the Body of Christ. These dispensational boundaries must be respected—or we do not have a prayer in all the world in understanding and enjoying the Bible!

The Scriptures’ aforementioned dietary instructions are best explained as a change or further development in Divine revelation. It is wholly impossible for all these verses to be true at the same time, for they are mutually exclusive. We cannot obey Genesis chapters 1 and 9, and we cannot follow Leviticus chapter 11 and 1 Timothy chapter 4. Exactly what would God tell us? What is His will for us? Of course, it would be Paul’s writings, Romans through Philemon, for Paul is the Lord’s “Apostle” (sent one) to us Gentiles (Romans 11:13) concerning “the Dispensation of the Grace of God” (Ephesians 3:1-2). We are expected to follow 1 Timothy chapter 4—God’s Word to and about us. It would be absolutely improper for us to argue, “But I want to follow Leviticus chapter 11, Israel’s kosher food laws.” (We are not Israel!) It would be utterly wrong for us to contend, “But I want to follow Genesis chapter 1, Adam and Eve’s food laws.” (We are not them, and we are not living before sin’s entrance into the world!)

When Genesis chapter 1 was in effect, there were no other food laws from the LORD. Man was simply expected to follow what God had revealed about the subject. Once the Great Flood came, however, and Noah and his family exited the Ark, the dietary orders in Genesis chapter 1 were replaced with those of chapter 9. The LORD God expected man to follow these new rules from Him—and not appeal to chapter 1 as before! By the time Israel left Egypt and wished for the Law of Moses, the LORD gave them a new set of directions. The food laws of Genesis chapter 9 were no longer true; Leviticus chapter 11 was His Word to them! Lastly, when the Dispensation of Grace began, the LORD God told the Church the Body of Christ they were not under the Mosaic Law of Leviticus; all types of flesh could be eaten without exception. God changes His dealings with man because man changes. As we come up through the Bible timeline or human history, that expands beyond mere dietary restrictions.

From the above example, we can understand how it is important not to “name and claim” a concept simply because it is in the Bible. “God performed healing miracles in Scripture, so I can expect the same! He blessed others with financial riches, so He will do the same for me! If this person in the Bible declared this prayer promise, I can do the same!” These are three of the most popular clichés in Christendom, “feel-good” Christianity, all based on the false assumption God always behaves the same way throughout the Bible—what He did yesterday, He does today, and what He does today, He will do tomorrow. It is said, “His words to man never change through history.” These statements underscore the appalling ignorance that has plagued the professing church for centuries. Denominationalism has replaced dispensationalism.

Not only must we be Scriptural, we must also be dispensational. Again, it is Scriptural for us to obey Leviticus chapter 11—it is Scripture! But, is it dispensational for us? That is to say, it is God’s Word—but is it God’s Word to and about us? NO! It is Scriptural to follow Genesis chapter 1—it is Scripture! But, is it dispensational for us? To wit, it is God’s Word—but is it God’s Word to and about us? NO! If we could now re-phrase our statements to fit modern Christendom. “God ordered them not to eat meat in Genesis chapter 1, and what He told them He tells us!” (Wrong!) “God said not to eat certain meats in Leviticus chapter 11, and what He told them He tells us!” (Wrong!) If we would not be foolish so as to ignore audiences in these verses, why are we incessantly ripping other verses from their contexts and blaming God when He “disappoints” us by failing to do something He never told us?

With all that introductory in mind, let us see if the Lord Jesus Christ Himself handled the Bible the same way we just presented it regarding food laws.

PROOF #1: CHRIST’S RESPONSE TO HIS TEMPTATIONS PROVE HE WAS A DISPENSATIONALIST

The temptations of Christ are documented in Matthew chapter 4, Mark chapter 1, and Luke chapter 4. Matthew and Luke provide the most details. Satan desires to trick Jesus, to cause God’s Son to move away from God’s Word, on three separate occasions. (The Devil is a most crafty individual!) We will focus on one of these three temptations.

Matthew chapter 4: “[5] Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, [6] And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. [7] Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

Luke chapter 4: “[9] And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: [10] For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: [11] And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. [12] And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

We never want to fail to appreciate Satan’s cleverness. It may surprise us, but he was more than willing to quote the Scriptures to achieve his goal. Satan did not tell Jesus, “Throw away the Bible!” The Devil himself actually appealed to God’s Word, the Hebrew Bible. Read Psalm 91:11-12: “[11] For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. [12] They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Never could Jesus deny this is what the Bible said. (Satan, in fact, misquoted it—adding words, subtracting words, and deliberately ignoring verse 13 that foretold his destruction!) The Devil argued most wisely, “Jesus, show Your Deity by jumping from the roof of the Temple. Remember, the (!) Bible (!) says (!) God will send His angels to protect You!” While he would fool (and has fooled) millions upon millions of Christians today with this sloppy approach to the Scriptures (They would jump, “naming and claiming” Psalm 91 for God to save them!), Satan’s lie was far from convincing to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalm 91 was and is Scripture. While Jesus would be Scriptural to wait for guardian angels to keep Him safe, He would not be dispensational. This passage was not for Him to follow. In fact, rather than His First Coming, it applied to His Second Coming, when angels will save Israel’s believing remnant from suffering the judgments of Daniel’s 70th Week (see Psalm 91:1-16, in light of Matthew 24:7, Mark 13:8, Mark 16:17-18, Luke 21:11, Revelation 6:8, Revelation 12:6-17, Revelation 16:1-11, et cetera). That is to say, Jesus reasoned, “I cannot follow Psalm 91. My Father did not tell Me that. Those promises are for another dispensation, another time, another audience.” Consequently, the Lord Jesus did not jump from the Temple pinnacle!

PROOF #2: CHRIST’S FIRST RECORDED SERMON PROVES HE WAS A DISPENSATIONALIST

In Luke chapter 4, the Lord Jesus visits Nazareth to deliver His first sermon as recorded in the Bible: “[16] And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. [17] And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, [18] The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, [19] To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. [20] And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. [21] And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”

Christ’s message was based on Isaiah chapter 61, written some 700 years prior: “[1] The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; [2] To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; [3] To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

A careful comparison of Jesus’ words in Luke with Isaiah’s original statements yields an eye-opening realization. Luke 4:18-20 again: “[18] The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, [19] To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. [20] And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down.” Jesus stopped reading Isaiah in mid-sentence, quitting after He said, “to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” However, Isaiah himself continued in verse 2: “To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” Why did Jesus not read about the “vengeance?” Why did He not read about the “comfort?” Why did He not read until the end of the sentence? His audience was captivated (see Luke 4:20).

The key is to notice Luke 4:21: “And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” What was being fulfilled was Bible prophecy—His preaching to them in Nazareth, conducting His earthly ministry, in perfect accordance with, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD….” However, the rest of Isaiah’s prophecy—the “vengeance” (Daniel’s 70th Week) and the “comfort” (Millennial Kingdom)—would be fulfilled at His Second Coming. For now, His First Coming had to run its course with Isaiah’s previous statements. Divine wrath against sinners would not come prior to Calvary. Again, Jesus knew where He was on the Bible timeline—what His Father was doing and saying at that moment, and what His Father was not doing and saying at that moment. Our last proof further accentuates this fact.

PROOF #3: CHRIST’S WORDS TO JAMES AND JOHN PROVE HE WAS A DISPENSATIONALIST

A third example of Jesus being a dispensationalist during His earthly ministry is provided for us in chapter 9 of Luke: “[51] And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, [52] And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. [53] And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. [54] And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? [55] But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. [56] For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.”

It is an understatement when we say the Jews and the Samaritans hated each other. A Samaritan woman even reminded Jesus, “for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans” (John 4:9). Why the hostility? The Samaritans resulted from the intermarriage between Jews and Gentiles during the Assyrian Captivity, some 700 years before Christ (see 2 Kings 17:24). Samaritans and Jews were not only of different nationalities, they had separate religious systems. The Lord’s exchange with the Samaritan woman characterizes this: “[20] [She said] Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. [21] Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. [22] Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.”

Whereas the Jews worshipped at Jerusalem (Mount Zion), the Samaritans preferred Mount Gerizim. Since Jesus was a Jew, and He is headed to worship at Jerusalem, the Samaritans dislike Him and refuse to lodge Him on His journey down south. Refer back to Luke chapter 9: “[51] And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, [52] And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. [53] And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.” Clearly, Jesus’ rejection bothers the Apostles James and John, as Luke further relates the matter.

“[54] And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? [55] But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. [56] For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.” Jewish James and John disliked the Samaritans as much as the Samaritans loathed them. When these two brothers, sons of Zebedee, heard of the Samaritans rebuffing their Lord, James and John felt the urge to retaliate most violently. “Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?” They are familiar with the Prophet Elijah’s actions in 2 Kings chapter 1 (see verses 5-16), calling down fire from Heaven to consume unbelievers. James and John are Scriptural, for they argue, “even as Elias did(that is, “If Elijah was allowed to do it, can we do it too?”). Yet, are they dispensational?

“[55] But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. [56] For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.” Although Elijah was permitted to call down fire from Heaven and destroy apostates, the Lord Jesus knew this was fully inappropriate for His earthly ministry. Under no circumstances would unbelievers be judged now (remember, a timeline). What was true of Elijah would not be fitting for James and John. Remember, as we stated in Proof #2, “vengeance” is reserved for the Lord’s Second Coming, not His First Coming. Again, “For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” Compare that to Matthew 18:11: “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” Also, see Luke 19:10: “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” As Jesus’ earthly ministry was to save sinners, not judge them, so the disrespectful Samaritans of Luke chapter 9 were spared. James and John were forbidden to destroy them. Like with chapter 4, the Lord Jesus knew the events of His First Coming and how to differentiate them from what would happen at His Second Coming. The First Coming was not to pour out His wrath; He would die for sin at His First Coming. Divine vengeance would be for His Second Coming; here is when He would judge sin (remember, a timeline).

Unfortunately, this third point is greatly watered down or entirely lost in modern English versions (they rely on questionable manuscript evidence to introduce significant alterations to the Gospel Record of Luke here):

  1. Nearly every modern English version eliminates “as Elijah did” from Luke 9:54, thus obscuring the 2 Kings chapter 1 cross-reference from their readers (ASV, Amplified, CEV, Roman Catholic Douay-Rheims, ESV, TEV/GNT, GW, HCSB, Living Bible, Message, NASB1995, NASB, NET, NIV, NLT, NRSV, Jehovah’s Witness New World Translation, RSV). The Voice brackets it as doubtful.
  2. With the exception of KJV, NKJV, and Roman Catholic Douay-Rheims that contain it; and the Amplified and NASB1995 that bracket it as an unlikely portion of Luke’s original manuscript; all modern versions omit “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of” (ASV, CEV, ESV, TEV/GNT, GW, HCSB, Living Bible, Message, NASB, NET, NIV, NLT, NRSV, Jehovah’s Witness New World Translation, RSV, Voice).
  3. Regarding the sentence, “For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them,” the KJV and NKJV contain it; the Amplified, NASB1995, and Voice bracket it as doubtful. This statement is entirely absent from ASV, CEV, Roman Catholic Douay-Rheims, ESV, TEV/GNT, GW, HCSB, Living Bible, Message, NASB, NET, NIV, NLT, NRSV, Jehovah’s Witness New World Translation, and RSV.

Again, while much more could be said, this is sufficient to answer the question at hand.

CONCLUSION

Indeed, the Lord Jesus during His earthly ministry was a dispensationalist. He knew what parts of Scripture were valid for that time, and which portions were not. Instead of mindlessly quoting Scripture like so many Christians today—“If God’s Word says it, I can do it!”—the Lord Jesus Christ handled the Holy Bible ever so carefully. Verses that applied to His Second Coming could not be forced into His First Coming. To think otherwise would be doubt not faith. Psalm 91 was Scripture, but not for Him to fulfill during His earthly ministry. Isaiah chapter 61 was Scripture, but not all of it was to be accomplished during His First Coming; the vengeance (for the lost) and comfort (for the saved) would be at His return! Second Kings chapter 1 was entirely appropriate behavior for the Prophet Elijah, but not for the Apostles James and John. It is not enough to be Scriptural; we must also be dispensational. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself understood that, and practiced it. For all those who like to point out they “follow Jesus in His earthly ministry,” we believe they would do well to follow Him when He used the Scriptures rightly divided, quoting verses in their dispensational contexts. They would therefore learn what Father God is doing today (Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon), and what He is not doing today (the rest of Scripture).

Also see:
» “But what if they read the Bible at my church…?!”
» Do not Hebrews 13:8 and Malachi 3:6 disprove dispensational Bible study?
» How many dispensations are there?
» Do we make “too much of Paul?”
» Are we Pauline dispensationalists anti-Jewish?
» Can you explain Paul’s ministry during Acts?
» Did not God send messengers to Gentiles prior to Paul’s apostleship?
» Was the Apostle Paul a false prophet?
» Must one be a “King James Bible Pauline dispensationalist” to have eternal life?
» Should we hate the denominational people who misled us?
» Are denominationalists deliberately lying?

» Does Mark 16:9-20 belong in the Bible?

What does “ruddy” mean?

WHAT DOES “RUDDY” MEAN?

by Shawn Brasseaux

The King James Bible uses “ruddy” in four verses, which we now read before explaining any definitions:

  • 1 Samuel 16:12: “And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.”
  • 1 Samuel 17:42: “And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.”
  • Song of Solomon 5:10: “My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.”
  • Lamentations 4:7: “Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire:….”

Upon a cursory examination, we can gather “ruddy” concerns outward appearance. One clue is that it contributed to David’s good looks (see the two Samuel verses above). Another hint is in Lamentations, for “ruddy” is here linked to rubies. Of course, the very sound of the word removes any lingering doubts as to its meaning. “Ruddy” sounds like “red,” and, that is no coincidence, for “rud” is Old English for “red color.” Instead of a pale, white, or bluish complexion (as in a sickly or dying individual); a ruddy or rosy red face indicates health, or flowing red blood and sufficient oxygen supplied to skin cells. Of course, bright red is not desirable! As for David, the adjective may be descriptive of his hair color as opposed to skin color.

Also see:
» What is “the hoary head” in the Bible?
» Is it sinful for women to wear makeup?
» What is “shamefacedness?”

Can you explain “penury?”

CAN YOU EXPLAIN “PENURY?”

by Shawn Brasseaux

The term is used twice in the Authorized Version:

  • Proverbs 14:23: “In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.”
  • Luke 21:4: “For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.”

By giving attendance to context clues, we gain a general sense of the definition of “penury.” In Proverbs, it is contrasted with “profit.” That is, one who works will obtain an income, but one who talks will suffer “penury.” (Can you guess what it is yet?) In the Luke passage, we have people with “abundance” distinguished from a woman of “penury.” (Surely, by now, you know its meaning!) This English word is derived from the Latin “penuria,” which is defined as “need, scarcity.” In other words, “penury” is extreme poverty.

The Hebrew word in Proverbs, “mahsor,” was elsewhere rendered—“poverty” (Proverbs 11:24), “poor” (Proverbs 21:17), and “lack” (Proverbs 28:27), among other translations. As touching the Greek term in Luke, “hysterema,” it was translated—“which was/is lacking” (1 Corinthians 16:17; 2 Corinthians 11:9; 1 Thessalonians 3:10), “want” (2 Corinthians 8:14; 2 Corinthians 9:12), and “which is behind” (Colossians 1:24), among other renderings.

Also see:
» “Ye have the poor always with you?”
» Who are the “poor” in Galatians 2:10?
» Must I tithe 10 percent of my income?

What does “gainsaying” mean?

WHAT DOES “GAINSAYING” MEAN?

by Shawn Brasseaux

“Gainsaying,” in three forms, occurs five times in a King James Bible:

  • Luke 21:15: “For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.”
  • Acts 10:29: “Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?”
  • Romans 10:21: “But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.”
  • Titus 1:9: “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”
  • Jude 11: “Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.”

When attempting to guess the meaning of “gainsaying,” we likely think of “gain” as in addition. However, we are incorrect here. Instead, the word can be traced back to the Old English “gean–,” which simply means “against.” Hence, “gainsaying” can be thought of as “against saying.” To wit, someone is speaking words to contradict what was previously stated. A person is setting forth an argument to dispute an earlier declaration. Other synonyms for “gainsaying” are naysaying, opposing, and denying.

In Luke’s case (see above), during the end times, God the Holy Spirit will endow Israel’s believing remnant with such supernatural wisdom that its enemies will be unable to refute (see Matthew 10:19-20; 1 John 2:20,27). For instance, Acts 4:14: “And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.” (“Say against” here is the same Greek word, “antepo,” as translated “gainsay” in Luke.)

As per Peter’s experience in Acts chapter 10 (see above), after receiving a vision with instructions to visit Gentile Cornelius, Peter went without argument. In Romans 10:21 (see above), God is commenting on unbelieving Israel’s attitude during the Acts period, a repeat of Isaiah 65:2: no matter what the Lord says to them, whether through Peter’s preaching or Paul’s preaching, apostate Israel debates and refuses to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Concerning Titus (see above), the bishop or pastor (church leader) is to be so grounded in sound Bible doctrine to the point he can successfully answer those who oppose it—even persuading them to see their error.

Finally, in Jude (see above), during the end times, unbelieving Israel under the Antichrist’s influence will deny God’s truth to the Jews, hearkening back to the days when Korah challenged God’s leaders Moses and Aaron (Numbers chapter 16). “Gainsaying” here is “antilogia,” rendered “contradiction” in Hebrews 7:7 and Hebrews 12:3.

Also see:
» What does “untoward” mean?
» What does “froward” mean?
» What does it mean, “Shake the dust…?”
» How long should I keep witnessing to the same person?
» Should the lack of worldwide revival in our dispensation discourage us from witnessing?

Does the King James Bible in Luke 14:10 suggest Jesus encouraged people to worship fellow humans?

DOES THE KING JAMES BIBLE IN LUKE 14:10 SUGGEST JESUS ENCOURAGED PEOPLE TO WORSHIP FELLOW HUMANS?

by Shawn Brasseaux

The Authorized Version King James Bible relates this portion of Luke chapter 14 to us in the following manner: “[7] And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, [8] When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; [9] And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. [10] But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. [11] For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

Supposedly (as one “scholarly” critic argued), the King James Bible has a gross error in verse 10: “But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.” The complaint is that the translators of our Authorized Version condoned or even encouraged human worship. After all, why would Jesus advise them how to have “worship” in the presence of others? In modern English versions, the Greek word “doxa” has been here rendered either “honor” or “glory;” allegedly, they have a superior reading. If the King James is correct, then Jesus sounds like He tolerated idolatry. While this author strongly disagrees with this assessment of the Authorized Version’s rendition of Luke 14:10, he must present it to you so you can see the charge laid against the King James Bible. Let us see how strong it is.

Before stumbling over verse 10, it would greatly help us to go back to verse 1 for the context: “[1] And it came to pass, as he [the Lord Jesus Christ] went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him. [2] And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. [3] And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? [4] And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go; [5] And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? [6] And they could not answer him again to these things.” (As touching the issue of “dropsy,” see our study linked at the end of this article.)

The Lord Jesus is attending a feast at which many religious elitists are present (verse 1). Re-read verse 7: “And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them,….” He notices how they are so egotistical they are presumptuously selecting the “chief rooms” (most prominent or important seats) at the table. Later, He will speak out against this hypocritical crowd. “But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,…” (Matthew 23:5-6). “And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts:…” (Mark 12:38-39). “Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts;…” (Luke 20:46).

Back to verse 7 and onward: “[7] And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, [8] When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; [9] And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. [10] But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. [11] For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

To the self-absorbed crowd, Christ offers them a “parable”—a “throwing alongside” or analogy—to describe their behavior. This Parable of the Great Supper spans verses 8-24, and is based on Proverbs 25:6-7. (Jesus knows His Hebrew Bible! Do they? “Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men: For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.”) He advises them to take the seat of lesser status, for if a superior person enters the room they will have to, most awkwardly, remove themselves from the seat of higher prestige. It is far better to let the host of the feast promote you than to advance yourself and he subsequently demote you (see Proverbs 27:2: “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.”).

Concentrate now on Luke 14:10: “But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.” Again, the King James translators have been faulted for rendering “doxa” as “worship” here, for, they are allegedly insinuating Jesus encouraged people to “worship” others. (Modern English versions have “honor” or “glory.”) Could the Authorized Version scholars have actually placed into the lips of the Lord words of idolatry? We think not! Although “doxa” is often rendered “glory” in the Authorized Version New Testament (almost 150 times), Jesus’ usage of “worship” here may be seen as sarcasm or mockery. Essentially, “If you conceited people are seeking worship from your fellow man, here is how you get it! You let the host do it, not yourself!” The point is stronger in the King James Bible; however, this thrust is lost or watered down in modern English versions, including the New King James Version.

Verse 11 is a fitting conclusion to our study: “For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Of course, as Christ rightly pointed out, their problem is pride—particularly religious pride. Two other verses should come to mind here. “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted” (Matthew 23:12). “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Luke 18:14). You are strongly encouraged to read the contexts of these verses. The arrogant will be brought low, for apostate Israel will be destroyed in God’s wrath; believing, humble Israel will be magnified in the Kingdom. “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4).

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:5-8).

Saints, if the Lord of glory could humble Himself, then so can we!

Saints, please remember us in your monthly giving—these websites do cost money to run! 🙂 You can donate securely here: https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux, or email me at arcministries@gmail.com. Do not forget about Bible Q&A booklets for sale at https://arcgraceministries.org/in-print/booklets-bible-q-a/. Thanks to all who give to and pray for us! By the way, ministry emails have really been backed up this year. I am handling them as much as humanly possible. Thanks for your patience. 🙂

Also see:
» What is “dropsy?”
» What are some verses to help me stop focusing on myself?
» Is it permissible for us to be proud of our accomplishments?
» Is it truly a good deed if done for selfish reasons?