Mystery # 1: The Invisible War: God stirs up the Spirits
1 Chronicles 5:25-26 And they transgressed against the God of their fathers, and went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land, whom God destroyed before them. And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul King of Assyria and the spirit of Tiglath-Pilesar King of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, and brought them unto Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozen, until this day.
The stirring up of the Spirits, what is it? God certainly stirs up the spirits as we shall see, but did you know that we have been exhorted to also stir up the spirit? It’s true, let’s reason together shall we? We will look at this installment of Mysteries of the Bible in order that we can gain a better understanding of what this really is all about. When the Lord stirs up a spirit, God inspires those individuals to go on to do not only great things but things they never even imagine they could or would be able to do. Case in point here is another scripture that clearly shows that God wants to encourage all those that would seek him earnestly to have their spirit stirred up.
In Haggai 1:14 we read The LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel, the Son of Shealtrel, governor of Judah and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest and the spirit of all the remnant of the people, and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God. So as the scripture indicates, at times God stirs up the spirits for inspirational and motivational reasons, in order to drive the heart and the mind forward in accomplishing a specific task that God desires to be completed by a certain individual or group of individuals. In this instance, it was Zerubbabel and Joshua just to name a couple of individuals whom God wanted to stir up their spirits. In other instances, God can stir up the spirits in order to prevent evil from taking its due course and there was such an event taking place in our feature passage in 1 Chronicles 5:25-26. The two tribes, the Reubenites and the Gadites and the children of the half tribe of Manasseh dwelt in the land from Basham all the way to mount Herron. They collectively had committed the worst type of idolatry imaginable. They were worshipping all the gods that had caused God’s Great Wrath upon Israel previously. Here they were, mighty men of valor, famous and well known men acting treacherously and defiantly against the God of their fathers. They played the harlot by whoring after the gods of the people of the land.
So what did God do about it? God stirred up the spirit of Tilgath-Pilesar III, King of Assyria to the point that the two tribes, the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half tribe of Manasseh were put into exile. We named this segment the Invisible War because of the actual physical outcome of the two tribes and half tribe of Manasseh being put into captivity. However, the actual war which was an unseen spiritual war, started long before then. This was a war waged by God against the spiritual realm of demons posing as gods, which still to this very day permeate both the New Age Movement and the false religions of the world (Buddhism, Hinduism etc.) This war of God against the false gods has been present for the duration of recorded time that the Word of God has historically made reference of and as most of us know, goes all the way back to the Genesis story. It was the serpent who planted the seed of temptation and doubt in Adam and Eve’s heads when he hissed to them, “do ye not know you are gods?” That of course is the essence of the New Age belief system as well as countless other false belief systems in the World today. The sense of you being divine has its roots in the theistic world of paganism and is the siren song calling many to begin to worship Mystery Babylon the final one world religion of the Last Days.
Going as far back as the Book of Exodus 34:15, the Israelites were warned not to prostitute themselves to these false gods or sacrifice to them either. The penalty for forsaking the Lord would be captivity for the two tribes seated on the east side of the Jordan and the half tribe of Manasseh as well. Focusing for a moment on the evilness that the father of the tribe of Manasseh had conducted, where he performed much evil in the sight of the Lord was a curse passed down through the generations and the bloodline. The sins of the Father had definitely been repeated here to the generation of Manasseh’s offspring. If you recall it was Manasseh who rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had torn down and destroyed. Manasseh also raised up the alters to Baal and even made a wooden image just like King Ahab had done before him. Manasseh sacrificed his own son to the Canaanite god Molech, who was worshipped with the burning of children. Manasseh practiced the occult arts including witchcraft and he summoned and communicated with familiar spirits and mediums. Manasseh was heavily influenced by Satan and even had a carved image of Asherah made and put in the house of the Lord of all things. Asherah was the Canaanite goddess of fertility and was worshipped through ritual prostitution. Manasseh in an essence turned the Temple of God into an Idolatrous brothel, dedicated to Asherah. Manasseh's ways were wicked indeed.
It was this sinful past that the two tribes and the children of the half tribe of Manasseh continued on with. This was an abomination to God and so consequently as what happened to the Israelites taken into Babylonian exile, now came the Assyrians exile for the two tribes and the half tribe of Manasseh. God stirred up the spirit of Tilgath-Pilesar III, King of Assyria into action. The Invisible war that God has been battling between Satan and himself is a battle for the hearts, minds and souls of God’s Creation, that is humanity and all those that were created in God’s Image. This is of course something Satan detests and is extremely jealous of. Satan has been corrupting and tempting man with false religion, false beliefs, lies and false gods from the very beginning when he introduced the New Age philosophy in the Garden. After all the lie was just a little one, a lie in the form of just a small bite of a harmless looking apple as a matter of fact. Aren’t apples supposed to be good for you? Well not this one! That one little bite from the apple from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is what got us to this point in the first place. Man could not resist temptation, plain and simple.
God had promised judgment against Judah for the sins of idolatry and this included the Assyrian exile. Manasseh had shed a lot of innocent blood during his reign much like Ahab, King of Israel had done. In fact worshippers of the one and only true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were persecuted and murdered during Manasseh’s rein. Among many others, Isaiah the Prophet was one that Manasseh had murdered. In his last days Manasseh did repent, but it was far too late. In and around 652 -648 BC, any attempts at reform were fruitless. Amon followed on the heels of Manasseh his father, and he had a 2 year reign of evil himself. Amon also did evil in the sight of the Lord and he also worshipped the false gods. Amon would eventually be assassinated by his own servants. This was the Satanic environment that the sons of Manasseh grew up in and this was what God was going up against, the Invisible war between God and Satan, spiritual warfare in the truer sense.Nothing has changed, as this invisble war rages on today and every saint of God must battle it in the power and strength of God by wearing the righteous armour of God. We will deal more with spiritual warfare at a later date.
We are told that we are in fact to stir up the spirit, that being the Holy Spirit as a way of personal exhortation of one another in the body of Christ. 2 Timothy 1:6 we are told that we are to stir up the gift of God, that gift is that of the Holy Spirit and the spiritual gifts are from God. When we stir up the spirit it is to ask of God that he work through us using his Holy Spirit. When God stirs up the spirits we can see that God uses this to exhort the spirit within us to conform to the likeness of God’s Holy Spirit. God seeks to do this in order we become obedient with his will, and as well, that we maximize the Holy Spirits Gifts that God has given us. The other reason is what we see in the feature passage that God out of necessity, needed to stir up the spirits, as a form of punishment for a disobedient and idolatrous Judah that had gone whoring after other gods.
Beloved, we are to be filled with God’s Spirit continuously. It is essential for our daily walk with God. By neglecting this we are not in accordance with God’s Will and we can fall into the snare of the enemy, Satan who waits to see who has strayed off the pathway that God wanted us to walk on, in order to pounce on them and devour them like a Lion. The supernatural battle, the Invisible war that is going on is the battle for the spiritual well-being of those created in God’s Image, man & woman. When we let God stir up the Holy Spirit in us, we can be fruitful and the evidence of that fruit is in the way we live our lives as we walk in the spirit and not the flesh.
If laid to waste, we may fall prey to the seduction of the false gods, and then God will have to stir up the spirits in order to wake you up from your spiritual slumber. Such was the case of the two tribes of the Reubenites and the Gadites and the children of the half tribe of Manasseh. They paid a very steep price for their idolatry; they went into exile in Assyria after becoming captives of the false gods they worshiped.
The Apostle Paul while admonishing one member of his church stated in 1 Thessalonians 5: 19 for no one to quench the spirit. We all need to stir up the spirit in us and let God refresh us daily with his Holy Spirit. The Invisible war continues and will go on until evil is rid of for once and for all off the Earth. Until that time, when we let God stir up the spirit in us and when we walk in the spirit, we can walk with confidence, stand tall, and wear the full armor of God’s Righteousness, in order that we can put off the wiles of the Devil. The Lord can break all chains and bondages of sin and as well bind all demons that are holding you back from receiving the blessing of God’s Freedom from sin and the penalty of sin, if we let him set the captive free trapped in all of us at one time or another in our lives. He is waiting to break your chains of sin right now. He is ready to stir your spirit in order that you become redeemed and ultimately sanctified by his holiness.
Mystery # 2 - Don't Touch the Ark! : The penalty is Death
1 Chronicles 13 9-11 And when they came unto the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzzah put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and then he died before God. And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah: wherefore that place is called Perez-Uzzah to this day.
Uzzah was from the tribe of Levi and he had the enormous responsibility of maintaining the tabernacle and the contents therein including the Holy Ark of the Covenant. Yes the same Ark that God instructed Moses and Aaron to build so that God's Holy Presence may dwell with the people of Israel. For 20 years the Ark had not been moved, it sat dormant in the house of Uzzah’s father, Abnadab. One of the responsibilities that Uzzah had was to cover the Ark when traveling, which was considered an absolute necessity. The carriers of the Ark were very well instructed as to never touch the Ark under any circumstances especially when putting the cover over the Ark. The family of Kohath was in charge of carrying the Ark using the rings and poles provided. They were also instructed that if they touched the Ark, even by accident it was certain and sudden death as mentioned in Numbers 4:15
The Ark was to never be carried by anything but human shoulders. When one of the oxen stumbled for whatever reason, including the possibility of a lack of attention, Uzzah’s hand accidentally touched the Ark. God within a split second struck Uzzah dead on the spot. It happened in the blink of an eye, it was so fast. What was God wanting to get across to not just Uzzah but all those that witnessed his timely demise? God had certainly given fair warning of the consequences of touching the Ark and he wasn’t going to go back on his word about what would happen if one did so. But is there anymore to this story then this? Imagine making God so angry that he would strike someone down and they would be dead in an instant. What does it take to get God that angry? Scary thought when you think about it. On the one hand Uzzah didn’t seem to be doing anything malicious so did God go overboard on his wrath here? Of course not, we know God is a Just God. When he hands out justice it is for good reason and God alone is the only truly moral compass for the rest of us to know the standards of good and evil. Despite what those that think we evolved from apes or some ancient alien race, we would have never been able to understand or comprehend what good and evil means unless God had first supplanted us with a soul and a conscience. These distinctions that god gave us are what separates us from the animal species and all other living organisms on the Earth.
Dating back to when God first gave Moses and Aaron very detailed and specific instructions about how to handle and move the Ark of the Covenant, it was made known that no human hands should ever, under any circumstances touch the Ark of the Covenant. Certain death was always warned and advised as the consequence of such an action, with no exceptions. So throw out how innocent it may have seen of Uzzah to touch the Ark, even by accident. A penalty is a penalty with God. Why? Because again God is holy and the Ark of the Covenant is also holy and no flesh must come in contact with holy and consecrated ground or the things of God. That is why no flesh can enter Heaven, it is holy. Remember Moses and the burning bush, God asked Moses to take of his sandals as he was standing on Holy ground. The holiness of God must be respected or else there are dire consequences that is why when the Antichrist commits the Abomination of Desolation that the Book of Revelation speaks about, God will most certainly bring unspeakable wrath to the Earth as a result of this ultimate blasphemy of God’s Holiness.
Failing to heed God’s Words has always come with a strict penalty, and today it is no different. We may sin for a season or for that matter, our whole life giving into our addictions and sinful pleasures. However scripture is clear if we remain unrepentive of that sin and we do not invite the savior and our blessed hope, the Lord Jesus Christ to come into our hearts and lives to cleanse us of sin and redeem us, we have no hope and we have no redemption. God makes it clear, what will happen to us ultimately. Those who choose not to believe that God does exist and reason away that God could not be so cruel to send anyone to a place called Hell need to rethink their perspective. It turns out, God does in fact send no one to Hell. We send ourselves there by the choices we make not God making the choice for us. God never makes the choice for any of us, we do. He gives us freewill to make the choice of an eternity with God or without God. Hell is the place without God. God simply gives us the consequences of our choice and that is to either be written into the Book of Life also known as the Lamb's Book of Remembrance or be thrown into the flames of Hell fire. It really is black and white, either or. Not both and definitely not somewhere in the middle. The middle is lukewarm to God and like the Church of Laodicea he will spit it out of his mouth for it is neither hot nor cold and of no use to God for the "branch" bore no fruit for God's Kingdom and Glory.
Failing to obey God’s Commandments also is a reflection of a lack of reverence to God and even evidence of the sin of rebellion and disobedience. Remember the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all understanding and widsom, so we must fear the Lord and respond to his holiness with a healthy respect. God really does want us to love him and God wants us to see his tender mercies not always his wrath but we must never provoke the Lord to wrath by playing games with him or taking him for granted. God wants our best, our first fruits beloved, not our left overs.
In the case of Uzzah, it is possible that Uzzah became complacent. Since the Ark of the Covenant resided in Abinadab’s house for quite some time, Uzzah would have seen it many a time. Did he take for granted how holy the Ark of the Covenant is to God? We also can become complacent in our lives and start to get into a ritualistic type of religiosity where we read the Bible, pray in our prayer closet and go to church not because we really want to but because we feel obligated to do so, and we need to keep up appearances in order to look the part of a "true" Christian. God would rather that such a person did none of those things if they did it half-heartedly and not with a real zeal. God again wants our best, not our left overs and he certainly is not going to respond favorably to our going through the motions and rituals of religous based activities void of any true devotion. Don' t forget God knows our hearts better then we know them ourselves. God cares about the inner motivation, of what is in our hearts and not our outer apperance of how we appear to others.
Even though the oxen did stumble, the cart carrying the Ark did not fall and neither did the Ark itself. Did Uzzah over react? Did Uzzah lose his faith at that moment that something bad was going to happen and perhaps feared that God was not prepared for the Ark falling off the cart? Remember the disciples of Jesus who were so afraid when the storm caught up with them? In fact, Peter actually walked on water towards Yeshua until he looked down and became fearful and then doubt crept in and he began to sink into the water, didn't he?
But back to that moment during the storm, when the waves were tossing the disciples in the small fishing boat to and fro and yet there was Yeshua sleeping in the midst of the storm. Jesus told the disciples to calm down and then he made the waves calm down as well and the storm dissipated as just one of his many miracles he performed when on Earth. It was apparent that the disciples lacked faith at the time in God’s Capability to protect them at the time of their need.
During the time of Moses, the people of Israel saw the “terrible God” in all of holiness and in all of his supernatural wonder doing miracles, sending plagues to their enemies and performing unfathomable signs and wonders, appearing as a cloud, fire, wind and on and on it goes. The Israelites had every reason to fear and tremble because God reminded them time and again, not just of his mercy and grace in forgiving them for their ongoing sins but also of his holiness and undisputable might. When the Ark was with the people of Israel, great miracles took place on a regular basis. Uzzah’s biggest mistake was forgetting about God’s Holiness and demand for reverance for just a split second, the consequences were fatal and tragic. So to for us today, if we forget God’s Holiness and we lose reverence then we will fare no better a fate ultimately than Uzzah did. Let it not be so, beloved. Let it not be so.
Mystery # 3 King David & the Deadly Census: Satan provokes King David
1 Chronicles 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.
We have recently looked at the ways of the serpent, Satan in the Book of Genesis. Now we once again revisit what the devil is doing to stir up trouble in Old Testament times. First of all it’s important to note that David already had committed a great sin with taking Bathsheba, a married woman away from Uriah, her husband and making sure that he was killed in battle. So the sins of adultery and murder were already woven into David’s heart and they served as a gateway for Satan to enter into David’s heart further and tempt him of even more sin. Sin often serves as a gateway to demonic influence whether it is using drugs, drinking heavily, meditation, viewing pornography, new age practices, witchcraft and all forms of occultism. David let Satan have free access to him, and Satan in turn walked into David’s life with more temptation, provoking him to sin some more, by numbering Israel.
It wasn’t the act of numbering Israel of course that was the sin, no it was the motive of the numbering that revealed the sinful act of pride on David’s behalf. God called for the census to take place back in the days of Moses for it was essential for the tithes to be collected from the community. David had other motives besides just taking a census however as we shall see. David in fact forced Joab to number the people, despite his own reluctance to do so. David’s sin was so severe it ended up costing many an Israelite their life as God sent the angel of the Lord to provide a lethal pestilence upon the land of Jerusalem as punishment. As we have seen previously, disobeying God comes with a cost, often a steep one at that. David’s pride provoked God to anger, simple as that. Here was David, a man after God’s Heart, now letting sinful pride into that very same heart that had held God so sacred and holy before.
Perhaps it was the fact that David let Satan have his way with him that angered God so much. However as we also have learned previously, God only allows Satan to do only so much evilness and Stan is in fact on a leash that God holds unto as we will see later when we study the Book of Job. Satan the very nemesis and enemy of God stood up against Israel. Israel was Satan’s target after all. Satan always tries to attack God where his devotions lie the strongest. Satan loves it when God is provoked to wrath and he takes it out on his children out of necessity do to his justness. However again God knows all, past, present and future and because of this God knows how to tip the balances of good and evil in his favor every time and so it is that the tables of course will turn against Satan ultimately and permanently in the final battle of good vs. evil. We know with the greatest certainty that the battle has already been won by God almighty, much to the chagrin of the devil. Satan’s job is to fool his blind followers elsewise that they still can win the battle when they already have lost it. This is why we hear so many stories about celebrities (including rock, pop and movie stars) all selling their soul to the devil for some fame and short term monetary benefit. Satan has fooled them into thinking they are getting a good deal when they are paving their way onto the road of eternal damnation.
What made this provocation by the devil more significant was that, it was David who was being influenced by Satan here. This show’s that no one is above reproach in being tempted by Satan, no one is untouchable. Everyone is fair game for Satan who for the time being is the god of this world. Remember it was Satan who offered Jesus his kingdom (the whole world) if he would only bow down to him when he made every effort to tempt Yeshua in the desert. How could he offer him his kingdom unless it was his to own (temporarily anyways). This is exactly what most of the movie stars and the rock stars do today anyways, they bow down to Satan and make a deal with the devil for fame and notoriety. What benefit a man to win the world and lose his soul?
Satan thought his strategy was sound, use David someone greatly loved by not only God but one whom all Israel loved and cherished. David was the one that Israel depended upon and trusted as well. Satan knew that David could get everyone to go along with being numbered. Satan strictly wanted to offend God, plain and simple, in order that God would destroy them all in his wrath. At least that was what Satan was hoping for. Satan does love to accuse us when he can but he prefers to have us sin against God by being lured into temptation against God. Then God’s Wrath becomes Satan’s weapon, or at least Satan thinks it does. God in his infinite wisdom sees through this, and can control the degree of his wrath, so that the devil does not succeed with his wicked plans being fulfilled. Satan, the accuser of the brethren, loves to destroy us, not with his own hands, but by our own hands. Think about drug addiction, alcoholism, or any other sin that digs you deeper and deeper into its bondage. Little by little we (with the devil’s help of course as our chief enabler) destroy ourselves. If we don’t break free from the sinful bondage, no matter what the sin is and how harmless it seems to be in the beginning, it will do its damage to us physically and spiritually. Sin for a season, is a way that man starts off. A little sin seasons the whole loaf according to scripture, overtakes us and eventually will kill us and damn us for all eternity unless we repent and get right with God.
Pride is so powerful a weapon, Satan uses it to divide and conqueror us all with it and especially in the Christian community, to divide the heads of Churches and the body of Christ whenever and wherever he can. With a great deal of spite, Satan launches his attack. Just as Joab with as much reluctance as he could muster, could not say no to David’s sinful pride. To make matters worse, David’s sinful ways of adultery and murder led to God’s Withdrawal of his grace and protection of David since he had not repented of these sins. This was a major reason that Satan being the tempter that he is, was able to get a foothold of David’s heart in the first place. Seeing that severe judgment came as a consequence of Satan’s temptation it would be hard to argue that Satan had temporary success in this situation. After all Satan seeks to destroy whomever, whenever and wherever possible and the angel of the Lord certainly did that by bringing pestilence to Jerusalem per the third choice David made as an agreement with God on a suitable punishment for his sin. Indeed one could say that in this instance, Satan stood up against Israel against God’s Wishes. The amazing thing is that God always uses everything for the good, even evil. God lets evil run it's course and evil will destroy evil as will happen during the time of Jacob's Trouble (the soon coming 70 weeks mentioned in the Book of Daniel - the Great Tribulation).
In 2 Samuel 24:1, we read a further explanation that David’s sin was not just a result of pride and arrogance but also his intentions no doubt were to maximize his military strength and to tax the people further. So David became the vehicle of attack, but the real target Satan was focusing on, was no doubt Israel, which Satan viewed with the greatest of envy, contempt and animosity. Satan always hated that Israel became God's Chosen People.
We know from this and countless other scriptures that Satan will see his opportunities and then take full advantage of them and strike when his victim is most vulnerable and their guard is down. Satan is the ultimate opportunist in that way. Remember in the Garden of Eden, Satan saw the opportunity to tempt Adam and Eve, and took full advantage of it. Satan is indeed the adversary, he is also the accuser of the brethren. However it was David’s sin that opened the door to the devil’s temptation. If we do not give heed to the devil and when we are right with God, then Satan cannot and will not have his way with us. James 4:7 say it quite simply, Submit yourselves therefore unto God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Satan has no interest or patience for that matter (for time is running out for him and he knows it) in chasing you down if you are unwilling to make any time for him. If you close the door shut on him, he won’t bother trying to jar it open. In fact he won’t bother us at all and you know why? There are plenty of people leaving the door wide open for Satan to easily walk in and do his thing. There are millions of kids and teenagers making the devil’s hand salute,"the cornuto"(as satanists call it) without even knowing they are worshiping Satan (they think it’s a sign of rock and roll). The fact of the matter is there are are millions upon millions of people ready to take the mark of the beast and go along with the Antichrist and the New World Order right now. Satan loves to take teenagers in particular with pent up rage and fusteration and channel it into satanic devotion to himself. There are so many doors open to Satan where he can easily walk in and do his thing, he doesn’t need to waste his time on those being difficult with him. He is the roaring lion seeking to whom he may devour. Easy prey for Satan are those who already have a head start in hurting themselves both mentally, physically and spirtiually.
So what of you beloved, are you giving the devil a foothold, and a gateway with your sin or are you slamming the door shut in the adversary, the devil’s face?
Mystery # 4 -Uzziah The Leprous King
2 Chronicles 26:19 Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with persists, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense alter.
Uzziah, King of Judah, began ruling as king at the age of 16 years. That is insanely young for such a position and yet it really was true, it really happened. He reigned in fact, for 52 years in Jerusalem. In the beginning he did what was right in the sight of the Lord. As with the other kings, when he did right by God, he prospered. And when he transgressed God’s Laws including the one about the burning of incense in the Holy Temple of the Lord (something only the priests that were of the lineage of Aaron, such as his sons were allowed to do), God gave Uzziah leprosy in his forehead. He was banished and cut off from the House of the Lord and scripture says he had leprosy until the very day of his death.
So one must ask how could a man like Uzziah fall so far and so deep into rebellious sin, when at one time, he was so blessed by God having found to be highly favored by him? Here was a man that was greatly assisted by God in battle. God helped Uzziah against the Philistines, the Arabians and the Mehunims. Uzziah had mighty men of valor fighting alongside of him and for him. So many rallied around him and supported him. What happened to this man that he would lose sight of the reason he was prospering and became such a successful King in the first place? Did he forget that it was God and God alone that put him where he was in the first place and did he start thinking it was all done by himself? Perhaps he became complacent and took for granted God’s Blessings? We will look at these questions in just a moment or two, but first some historical background to put things in perspective.
It is believed by most bible historians that Uzziah reigned somewhere between 783 -742 BC. In the first 24 years of his reign, he was coregent with his father Amaziah which means that they ruled together as a father –son partnership if you will. Some historians date Uzziah’s leprosy taking place around 751-750 BC. Uzziah despite conducting the leprosy still lived tell around 740 -739 BC. There were not many reigns of Kings more prosperous then Uzziah’s (except maybe Jehoshaphat and of course King Solomon’s). In the early part of Uzziah’s reign, he listened to the man of God, the prophet Zechariah. He was faithful to God and conversely, God blessed him in just about every way imaginable. He had it all power, wealth, prestige and worldwide recognition. You could see how easy someone like Uzziah could become very prideful and how this could create a giant ego in him. It would have to take a very well-grounded person with a certain sense of humility to not become so heavily influenced by the degree of success that Uzziah had. Unfortunately Uzziah was not that well-grounded and the success may have very well gone to his head.
Indeed, perhaps it was pride that led to his downfall. He may very well have come to the point that he believed himself “untouchable” and that he could do anything and it would find favor with God. For what else could explain the audacity he had of burning incense on the alter at the Temple of God, something he knew he was forbidden to do. Surely he knew the accounts of what had happened to others who tried to attempt such a fate? Lest we forget, others did indeed die for such an offense as we already have covered in previous studies of Mysteries of the Bible. Aaron’s own sons, Nadab and Abihu if you recall (see the Leviticus 10: 1 Study) offered strange fire before the Lord by taking an incense burner and putting coals and incense in it. This is a very serious offense that our Holy God finds incredibly offensive to the point that Aaron’s sons were put to immediate death. There are something’s you just don’t do, like burn incense on the alter if you’re not supposed to or touching the Ark of the Covenant at anytime with your hands as we just found out about recently, two studies ago. We must remember God is Holy on a level we cannot comprehend as mortals and of mere flesh. Uzziah on the other hand was given leprosy and not death for his sinfulness and rebellion against God’s Commandments. The punishment of leprosy was probably severe enough and maybe even worse than death actually when we take in the full impact of it. Uzziah was driven from the temple and was forced to live in a secluded house all by himself until his death. After he died he was buried in a grave that was separated from all the others in a field all by himself. It was a grave that stood as a testimony that all earthly monarchs just like everyone else must bow down to the Glory of God. The King is indeed a King but he is not Yeshua, Jesus, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. All Kings must bow to him. This is something that our modern rulers should take note of and could learn a lesson in the modern world, that all must bow down to the Glory of God Almighty. This includes of course, every ruler, every President, every King, every Queen, every Prime Minister, everyone. When the Lord returns every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
But what of us today, what can we learn from Uzziah’s tragic life? One lesson we definitely can learn from is this, that you can have all the riches, power and influence and yet the moment any rebellion is allowed into one’s heart, none of those accomplishments or benchmarks mean anything. They can all be wiped away in the blink of an eye. How many times have we heard the stories of someone supposedly who had it all in the World, including fame and riches only to end up a wreck on drugs, worn out from chasing riches or even worse, dead from suicide. Something is definitely missing in their life’s, in the heart shaped vacuum that calls out for Yahweh to make himself known to them. How many people who at one time had good intentions found it all slipping away once they become ego driven by success and the love of money? The root of all evil is not money but the love of it, if you recall. It is a form of idolatry and for some people it is what is worshiped over God, sadly enough. It’s the misplaced love, forgetting your first love, God and replacing it with worldly riches that you cannot take with you into the next life for that is all of eternity. We either find God or we find a substitute that steals our time and ultimately all the joy and happiness we should have received by hearing and believing upon the Good News of what the Lord Jesus Christ wants us all to know. And that is that we can have life and life more abundantly by simply accepting what he has done for us and making him our personal savior and Lord.
Uzziah should have been buried in the sepulcher of the Kings of Jerusalem; instead he was buried in a field outside of the City of Jerusalem. The grave marker for Uzziah revealed nothing of his riches or accomplishments, it simply stated the words, “He is a Leper.” How sad and truly tragic an ending to what could have been a life of success and a wonderful testimony to God’s Grace and Blessing. This man who at one time was respectful of God’s Messenger and was a honored statesman, who was politically recognized both militarily and personally acknowledged for his success throughout the entire World, had fallen to a lowly state. Pride indeed comes before a fall. So be careful beloved, check your heart, check your motives and always ask yourselves, is pride getting in the way of your relationship with God and consequently keeping you from being blessed by God? Ask God to create in you a clean heart daily and he will be faithful to do that very thing by his grace and mercy and through the power of his Holy Spirit he will faithfully lead you to the promised land for all eternity.
Our next Mystery of the Bible is...
Mystery # 5: Job : Facing the Tests of Life
Job 1 : 6-8 Now there was a day when the Sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, from going to and fro in the earth and from walking up and down on it. And the LORD said unto Satan, hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
Job. What does that name from the Bible mean to you? Long suffering perhaps. How about faith and justness or righteousness and God fearing? Maybe so much more, maybe so much less. There might not be another figure or name in the Bible that more people can relate to or think they can relate to then Job. However, that being said, there might not be another figure in the entire Bible that many people cannot relate to at all then Job. So how can it be that so many can relate to Job on one level and yet at the same time on another level, many can’t seem to relate to Job at all? Okay enough of the riddles and rhetoric. We will look at several different scriptures as well as several different aspects to God’s Testing of Job. We will learn not only of how God deals with man during his times of suffering but also the Justness of God as well and the care he takes in the sanctification process of each and every one of his children.
So here was the scene at hand, the Sons of God, angelic beings had an appointment to come before God’s Throne in Heaven. For whatever reason, Satan, always the opportunist, somehow managed to tag along, perhaps he thought it wise to do so as it would serve as his best chance to get in front of God and command his attention. How Satan actually pulled this off, the Bible does not make clear, however one thing we do know is that Satan is the accuser of the bretheren and his agenda no doubt had much to do with his attempt to accuse and slander the brethren as often as possible and in this case that someone turned out to be Job. So here was Satan standing before Almighty God, who basically admitted to God that he was walking around the Earth, seeking how much trouble, mayhem and destruction he could create.
God mentioned Job’s name in a praise worthy manner which catches Satan’s fancy as anything that God delights in, Satan delights even more in attempting to ruin. God of course being all knowing, obviously knows how Satan is going to react and propose. So Satan being Satan as he always does, replies with a question that he attempts to challenge Job’s motive behind his worship and devotion to God. Satan always tries to get others to second guess God, remember the lies he told Eve in the garden that God didn’t want Eve to know about the tree of knowledge not because God was looking out for her and Adam’s best interests but that God would be jealous if she became enlightened like him. Of course this was a bold lie, God was indeed watching out for Adam and Eve’s best interests. So once again here was Satan, the father of lies, lying about God once again. Satan wanted to downplay Job’s devotion to God by implying that God had blessed him so much, that it was very easy for Job to feel devoted to him. What Satan proposed and what Satan wanted was for God to take away all his blessings from Job, so that it would expose and show that Job was not so devoted to God and was a fraud, Of course we know all too well who the real fraud is here. God could see right through Satan's plans and complies with his wishes.
The truth was, these were all lies. These were lies coming from the father of lies, the serpent, the devil, Satan, the accuser. Job served the Lord from the heart and God knew of Job’s devotion to him, that is was indeed pure devotion with no other agenda or motive. It was God’s Purpose to not humor Satan but to allow the trials to happen to Job, in order to sanctify Job further so that he could be purified and strengthened beyond what his faith was at this current time. Satan wanted God to believe that if God removed his blessing from Job that Job would begin to curse God to his face. Satan knew that God put a hedge of protection around Job and he knew that if God could be convinced to remove it, Satan could have a field day with Job. So here was this man named Job, living in the land of Uz, who would go from such a blessed man to a man of great suffering, who would lose much of his livelihood including the loss of his wife and children, his closest friends, his servants, his house and his herds and herdsmen as well as his personal appearance while suffering excruciating physical pain as well. Can you imagine losing all the physical wealth that he lost and then on top of that to be basically stabbed in the back by his own wife and supposedly "best” friends? They showed little to no compassion for Job is his time of suffering and they were much like Satan falsely accusing him of probable sin as the cause of the degree of suffering that he was experiencing. Job’s wife even told Job to pray for forgiveness from God and then just die, does it get any colder than that for a lack of compassion?
What makes the story of Job even more incredible is that Satan came before God, not once, but twice, most likely to get another crack at destroying Job for good. God reminded Satan that he failed to break Job’s spirit the first time around and that Job remained upright and his integrity was left intact despite Satan’s vicious attack upon him the first time. So Satan once again challenged God this time implying that if God sends Job an infirmity of the flesh, Job would in fact break down and begin to curse God once and for all. The Lord handed Job over to Satan for a second time with one condition, that Satan could not take Job’s life. God would not permit that to happen. Was it God’s Great Confidence in Job that he would persevere over anything Satan afflicted him with, that led to God handing Job over to Satan one more time? Perhaps it is because God knows the future and he also knows the outcome, something Satan does not, so this put God in a great advantage over his enemy. Also God knows that he is not going to let anyone endure more than they can handle, so he would never let Job get to the stage where he had a breaking point, if indeed he had one at all.
This time around, Satan inflicted Job with unsightly and devastatingly painful boils all over his body. It was at this precise time, when Job probably needed the support of his closest friends and his wife and yet it was at this exact time, that they blamed him for the boils and based it on presumed sin. His closest friends turned on him and this led Job to complain to God about why he was born to end up this way and to what purpose was it required of God for him to end up this way? He indeed was struggling to find out the source of his affliction more than he felt sorry for himself. He wanted to know whether sin in his life or some unknown reason was to blame for this. No matter what the cause, the important detail here was that Job never abandoned his faith in God, he never uttered a curse against God or blamed God for a moment. What of us, would we have started cursing God by now? Even when Job’s so called friends rebuked and reprimanded Job and bared false witness against him, Job held steadfast to his faith in God. He didn’t rely on what men said to him, he only cared what God thought of him. Isn’t that the way we should be as well, today beloved? Why do we try so hard to win over the favor of man, when it is God and only God whose opinion of us matters? It is God and only God who has the final say on where we will spend eternity, not man. So why do we waste so much time, trying to win over the favor of our fellow man?
One of the more interesting passages in the Book of Job comes in Job 1:16 where it is stated that the fire of God had fallen from Heaven and burned up the sheep. There are several thoughts on this. One of the perspectives is that the fire did indeed originate from Heaven, but that it was all part of God’s Control and that it was no different than God allowing evil to take it’s course. God was not the source of evil (think of all the times in the Bible that the angel of the Lord had to destroy people and cities in God’s Name as punishment of willful sin and wicked rebellion against God) as much as he allowed evil to play a defined role in a much larger picture that ultimately leads to an outcome of goodness and righteousness.
Job for the most part suffered the horrendous pain he felt, in silence. He suffered when everything around him that was dear to him was destroyed. When his World was turned upside down and his best friends turned on him and his own wife told him to curse God and just die. So Job suffered in silence. Yet on the other end, Job was sanctified. Job was restored in the end. Job had even greater wealth and prosperity and even much more happiness then he could have ever dreamed of. As scripture tells us to seek first the Kingdom of God and all things will be added on.
We must get our priorities straight, we need to seek first God’s Kingdom, to hunger for him, for his righteousness and to have a true heart after God. When we do so, God then at the right time adds on all the other things that we desire (that are in keeping with God’s Biblical Principles)
God is our Father and as such he truly knows what is best for us. God knew that Satan couldn’t ultimately damage Job. God knew that Job would come out stronger and better in every way. How about you beloved? How do you react when God sends you a challenge? How will you respond? Will you be like Job, faithful, patient and never doubting God’s Goodness and Righteousness or will you delight Satan and turn on God and curse him out and turn your back on him? If you do that you will make Satan very happy indeed for he seeks to destroy your relationship with God so that he can have a chance to destroy you as well in the process. While God does allow Satan to test us, God promises we will never endure more than we can handle so know that the refiner’s fire is there to help keep the vine and the branches bearing good fruit. God the Father is the gardener and the evidence of the spiritual fruit of our lives is how much we allow him to ‘prune” us into the image of his son, the Lord Jesus Christ. May there be a great harvest of souls won for God’s Kingdom in these last days before Yeshua’s second coming. No matter the cost now, the implications are eternal.
Our next Mystery of the Bible (MOB) is:
Mystery # 6: The Messanic Psalms
The Book of Psalms is a series of writings or praises to God. The Hebrew word for praises is Tehillim. Another translation of this word can be found in the Septuagint (a translation of the Hebrew Bible and some related texts into Koine Greek) which refers to the stringed instruments used in the worship of God Almighty. So in essence, the one major theme running throughout the Book of Psalms is the praise of God in song. David, long before he was a King was a psalmist and David was an author of many of them and he most likely sang them while playing his harp. Therefore the major theme of the Psalms is Praise of God in song.
So in order to start our journey off right, there are a good number of Messianic Psalms that are clearly referring to the Messiah and are Messianic in nature as they point directly to the life of the Lord Jesus Christ or Yeshua as he is known in Hebrew (his real and actual name). You can find these Psalms that we are about to cover, clearly and distinctly in the New Testament. We will begin in chronological order and work our way to the final Messianic Psalm that we will be covering here in Psalm 118. One will have a greater appreciation of the marvelous tapestry found in God’s Word as prophetic evidence that scripture is not only indisputable but is indeed “God Breathed” and inspired by God and his Holy Spirit (the Rauch Hakodesh in Hebrew). The following Psalms are referred to in various places in the New Testament:
Starting with Psalm 2:7 which states I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. The apostle Paul in Hebrews 1:5 in speaking of the Lord, uses this exact verse. This Psalm written about the King echoes the ministry of Christ as God’s only begotten son. When we hear the word begotten we instantly think of Yeshua and no one else.
Psalm 8:2 states Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast Thou ordained strength”. In Matthew 21:15-16 Jesus himself uses this exact same text in reference to when the religious leaders gathered around him, asking the Lord to stop the children singing praises to him as they found the action to be blasphemous. The Lord replied back to them Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise? Here the Living Word is proclaiming the Word of God.
Also in Psalm 8:4-6 we read the following passage What is man that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visiteth him? For Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet In 2 separate instances, Paul states these exact verses in Hebrews 2:6-11 and Hebrews 2:8. The context was concerning the dual nature of Christ’s Humanity and his Divinity. The distinction of who Christ is, has been made clear as he represents all of humanity and he is also the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who has been given complete authority over all of creation.
Psalm 16:10 states For Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption. It was the disciples of Jesus, Peter and Paul who used this verse concerning the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Book of Acts in a number of places (Acts 2:25-31, 13:25, 15:12-17). This psalm is indeed prophetic concerning the resurrection of the Lord.
The following Psalm, Psalm 22 is considered Messianic due to the content that describes many things regarding the death and resurrection of the Lord. Psalm 22 is quoted from and referred to on numerous occasions in the New Testament as we shall see next.
In Psalm 22:1 we read, My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me? Most everyone recognizes those words as being some of the final words used by Yeshua on the cross, but before that these exact same words were used by the Psalmist David who was not only conveying his own suffering (in having his Father’s Protection being withdrawn making him quite vulnerable to attack) but as well that the Lord’s Suffering on the cross, just prior to his death. (Matthew 27:46).
Psalm 22: 7-8 More from David in the way of Messianic Psalms as he writes, All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that He would deliver Him: let Him deliver Him, seeing He delighted in Him. These were not only the words of David who felt the impact of scoffers around him, but as well the words of the scoffers that gathered to watch Christ die on the cross. In Matthew 27:39 we read, They that passed by reviled Him, wagging their heads. Also in Luke 23:35, And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided Him, saying, He saved others; let Him save Himself, if He be Christ, the Chosen of God.
Psalm 22:15 Once again words are echoed that are exactly the same as what Christ said as he was dying on the cross and his thirst became unbearable. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws. (John 19:28).
Psalm 22: 16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and feet. We see a foreshadowing of Yeshua’s crucifixion here that lets us know that Jesus will indeed be pierced for our sins. The Gospel writers tell us about the nails that pierced the hands and feet of the Lord, and that a spear pierced his side. (John 19:34).
Psalm 22: 18 They parted my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. Another amazing Messianic verse that originated long before in the Psalms but no doubt prophesies the time when the soldiers cast lots for the clothing of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Matthew 27:35; John 19:23-24).
Psalm 22 :22 The apostle Paul has Yeshua saying, I will declare Thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto Thee, (Hebrews 2:12). Paul was very knowledgeable about the Psalms so it is likely that he saw this verse as indicating that Jesus would bring eternal life to all that believed in him, therefore making them the children of God.
Psalm 34:20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. This verse predicts precisely what happened to Jesus; he died before his legs could be broken. In John 19:31-37 again we find the exact Messianic prophecy coming true as John tells us that the soldiers went out the break the legs of those who hung on the crosses, but when they came to Yeshua they found that he was already dead. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of Him shall not be broken. (John 19:36).
Psalm 35:11 False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not. Jesus was falsely accused by witnesses who were bribed by the religious leaders. Still another example of a Messianic psalm. (Mark 14:57).
Psalm 40:6-8 Sacrifice and offering Thou didst not desire; mine ears hast Thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast Thou not required. Then said I, Lo, in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do Thy will, O my God: yea, Thy law is within my heart. The Apostle Paul uses these words to describe the obedience of Christ to the Father and it was his delight to do his Father’s Will. (Hebrews 10:5-7).
Psalm 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. Jesus quoted this verse and applied it to His betrayal by Judas Iscariot, who did indeed partake of the Passover meal (Yeshua’s Last Supper –Pesach in Hebrew for Passover). (Luke 22:48).
Psalm 45:6-7 These two verses find fulfillment in the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul applies these verses to Him in Hebrews 1:8-9 as he referred to the divinity and eternal kingdom of Christ.
Psalm 68:18 Thou has ascended on high, Thou has led captivity captive: Thou hast received gifts for men. This statement is used in Ephesians 4:8 in reference to the Lord’s Ascension into Heaven to rule as the head of the church and to bring many into His kingdom.
Psalm 69:4 They have hated me without a cause is quoted in John 15:25. Words that Jesus told the disciples that they would be hated for his namesake.
Psalm 69:9 In John 2:17 we read, And His disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of Thine house hath eaten me up, this was after Yeshua had cleansed the temple the first time. The second part of this verse, The reproaches of them that reproached Thee are fallen upon me is quoted in Romans 15:3 by Paul as he spoke of Christ’s Obedience.
Psalm 69:21 Matthew 27:48 informs us that Jesus was given gall and vinegar to drink as He hung on the cross. This is exactly what this verse predicts.
Psalm 69:25 Let their habitation be desolate; and let another dwell in their tents. Peter, when speaking of who should replace Judas used this verse.
This Psalm, along with Psalm 22, is one of the most frequently quoted psalms in the New Testament.
Psalm 89:4 The New Testament see the fulfillment of this verse in the Lord Jesus Christ. In Acts 13:23 Peter states: Of the man’s seed hath God according to His promise raised unto Israel a Savior, Jesus. And the angel Gabriel revealed to Mary: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David … and of His kingdom there shall be no end (Luke 1:32-33, 69).
Psalm 102:25-27 … These verses are quoted in Hebrews 1:10-12 referring to Christ’s Part in the creation of the universe and His eternal nature.
Psalm 109:8 Let his days be few; and let another take his office. This is another verse that speaks of the replacement for Judas Iscariot and may have been referred to in Acts 1:20.
Psalm 110 This entire psalm speaks of the Lordship of the Messiah, His priesthood, His judgment on unbelievers, and His reign upon the earth. It is quoted seven times in the New Testament in relation to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Psalm 110:1 Yeshua applied this verse to Himself when speaking of His deity (Matthew 22:44). Peter used it to emphasize the Lordship of Christ (Acts 2:33-35, 5:30-31). Paul did the same in Hebrews 10:13.
Psalm 110: 4 and Hebrews 5:6 and 6:19-7:28 makes use of this verse to prove that God made Christ a priest forever.
Psalm 118:22-23 Jesus applied these verses to Himself because He was rejected by Israel, his own people. He became the chief cornerstone of God’s New House - the church. This verse is mentioned in Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11; Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:7).
Psalm 118:26 Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the LORD. This was sung during Yeshua’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:9). The “Hosanna” part of the song comes from verse 21, “Save now” - (Hebrew: hosh`iana, Greek: hosanna).
Lastly, just after Christ rose from the dead and just prior to his ascension, Christ reminded his disciples to not forget what he had taught them. He mentioned that all things should be fulfilled as was originally written in the laws of Moses, the prophets and the psalms concerning himself. Throughout the Old Testament we see glimpses of the Messiah and who he really was and is, this coming Savior, the Son of Man, this anointed seed of David, this suffering servant, this Prince of Peace. Yeshua mentioned the Psalms spoke of him in Luke 24:44. Jesus body of work, his miraculous life, his betrayal, his suffering, his death and his resurrection are herein contained in the Book of Psalms. So we leave this edition of Mysteries of the Bible with this last verse from the Book of Psalms.
Psalm 2:10-12 Now therefore be wise, O ye kings: Be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve Jehovah with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and ye perish in the way. For his wrath will soon be kindled. Blessed are all they that take refuge in him.
Next, the Mysteries found in the Book of...
Our topic from the Book of Proverbs...
Mystery # 7 : Messanic Mystery? : The Messiah in the Book of Proverbs
The Book of Proverbs or better known as the wisdom writings of Solomon hold many truths and mysteries as well. Our feature scripture on this occassion deals with a Messianic Mystery that may actually be no mystery in actuality at all. Sorry to disappoint right from the get go, but we promise it will still be every bit worth your time to investigate. Unknown to some, the Book of Proverbs has a good number of Proverbs that speak specifically of the Messiah to come, the Lord Jesus Christ, Yeshua. Today we take a look at a few distinctive instances or references in Proverbs that paint a picture of Messianic Prophecy. And as we did just before this edition of Mysteries of the Bible, in the Book of Psalms, we showed the fulfillment in the New Testament many years later. We will do the same thing here once again showing the supernatural nature of the Bible that it can’t be faked or forged and the messianic prophecies (over 360 of them) are all accurate accounts documented by historical fact. Indeed as the angel said to John the Revelator in the Book of Revelation Ch. 19 V.10, the testimony of Yeshua is the spirit of prophecy. So we will look to the propehcies of the Lord as found in the Book of Proverbs.
The very first characteristic of the Messiah is that the Messiah would be from everlasting as we read in Proverbs 8:22-23, The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning or ever the earth was. Proverbs 8 is chock full of messianic proverbs and we will return to it shortly. Let’s first take a look at the fulfillment of this verse in the New Testament. In John 17:5 we see again that we have a sense of the everlasting presence of God as read And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. John has at least 3 other places where this everlasting theme is played out as well as Colossians and in as many as 4 different references to it in the Book of Revelation.
What else can we learn about the Messiah in the Book of Proverbs? We can know that the Messiah would ascend and descend from Heaven. In Proverbs 30:4 we read Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bond the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou can’st tell? Isn’t that interesting, what is his name is the first question asked to be followed by the second question, what is his son’s name? No matter how you intepret this part of scripture , it is clear we are dealing with a father & son relationship here. We find this fulfillment of the father & son relationship very clearly detailed in the New Testament in no less then 3 places. In John 3:13 it is stated, And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the son of many which is in heaven. Not only does this idea that the only one who qualifies for both ascending and desending to and from Heaven is Christ the Lord but also that Yeshua Jesus is referred to by his title son of man. So the idea of the son of the father in Heaven is played out here. In John 6:38 we see again that the father /son relationship is very well established in the New Testament. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. Yeshua the son is making it known, he is about his Father’s Business and seeks to do his will. This same Jesus who descended to Earth originally, will do so once again. When he ascended , he took his rightful place at the right hand of God, the Father. Mark 16:19 states So then, after the LORD had spoke unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
Still another attribute or characteristic type of the Messiah in Proverbs can be found in Proverbs 30:4, concerning the concept that God would have a son, his only begotten son. Matthew 3:16-17 states And Jesus when he was baptized, went up straight away out of the water, and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the spirit of God decending like a dove and lightining upon him. And lo a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved son, In whom I am well pleased. Before we go any further as we look into more details of Proverbs 8, it is necessary to point out that as we mentioned in the introduction, the Book of Proverbs are the wisdom writings of Solomon. It is important to note that Jesus while he was on the Earth during his ministry days lived out and fulfilled the Book of Proverbs. Yeshua was the ultimate man of widsdom and he knew both the Old Testament and the Prophetic texts inside and out. As the second person of the trinity, Jesus embodies the personification of wisdom. We will see how Proverbs 8, personifies wisdom in such a way, that it clearly points the way, that the Creator and the Lord Jesus,are one in the same. How else can we interpret Proverbs 8:27-28, I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep. Both Proverbs and the New Testament are consistent in portraying the picture that Yeshua was very actively involved alongside the Father as Co-Architect and Chief Designer of the original creation event.
1 Corinthians 1:30 explicitly states that Jesus is the wisdom from God made manifest in the flesh and then glorified in the spirit. Colossians 2:3 states that in Christ is hidden all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Do not forget that Jesus promised his diciples that he would give them all the words and wisdom that they needed, so even after he ascended into Heaven, they would not be neglected or suffer from a lack of support from God. Scripture is full of many verses especially in the New Testament about wisdom. So in a grander scale the true fulfillment of Proverbs, beyond the Messanic Proverbs themselves, is that wisdom has been fully defined for all those that follow in Messiah Jesus’s footsteps. In James 1:5, we find that wisdom is a gift available for the asking as James declares, If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generousl;y to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
We can see the trail of the Book of Proverbs woven throughout the New Testament concerning God, his wisdom and the Lord Jesus Christ. Yeshua is the fulfillment, the wise man of Proverbs and not so much, Solomon who simply wrote the wise sayings down. For it is the life lesson we learn from Jesus (and not Solomon) that when we live wisely according to proverbs, we are in fact living like Christ, being conformed to his image and reflecting his glory to the world around us. For it is Jesus himself who lived a life of wisdom and purity, refraining from sin and temptation and showing us how to walk in the spirit and resist the flesh. It is now the model on display for us all and the challenge is for all of us to live a proverbs driven life by the power of the Holy Spirit of the Living God. We can put all of our trust in Christ for as we learn in Proverbs 8, Christ existed before creation and he was with the Father at the time of creation. We close with this passage from Proverbs 8:30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him, and I was his daily delight, rejoicing always before him. It is this very same Yeshua that gives us wisdom and in return delights the Father’s Heart and all the sons of men.
Mystery # 8 : Meaningless Life ? : The Mystery of the Immortal Soul
Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
Now we touch on a subject of universal appeal in fact the age old question that every single human that ever lived on the planet has asked since the dawn of man’s existence. What of the afterlife, is there indeed one? What happens to me when I die? Anything? Nothing? What is this life for? Is this all there is or is there something more to this life? Questions that haunt all of us at one time or another and questions that consume all of our very existence from the time we are born to the day we die. It turns out that God has revealed the answer for us through the faith we must place in him that indeed the after life plays a major role in our relationship and understanding of him as well as the reason we are placed on the Earth in the first place. It goes past the meaning of life, it trancends the question of why am I here, for what purpose?
From Genesis right on throughout the entire Bible, we have addressed time and again, clues and information surrounding the truth of the immortal soul. In Genesis 5:24, we learned that Enoch was no longer on Earth when God took him with him. Enoch just like Elijah and had been transformed by God with a new spiritual body. It is hard to tell from the passage of whether Enoch actually died for he walked with God, but to be in the presence of God means to be absent from the body and does require a physical death of the flesh. We will look into this further in just a little bit. The bigger question of course is where did God take Enoch exactly? Well if we go to the New Testament we learn the answer, that indeed the soul exists even after death. In 2 Corinthians 5:8 scripture says We are confident, I say and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. The Lord is not in the same place that one’s physical body is, there is indeed separation at the point of death. This is not a New Testament only belief as it was well documented in the Old Testament as well. Let's take a look at some Old Testament scripture and see for ourselves.
There were those who acknowledged their belief of an existence after death in the Old Testament. Case in point, David fully expected to be one day reunited with his dead child in 2 Samuel 12:23. Then there was Job, who we just recently discussed. In Job 19:25 Job clearly mentions how he is looking forward to a bodily resurrection someday and a direct communion and presence with God in a spiritual dimension and not of this earth. Our upcoming Book of study, Isaiah, also makes mention of life after death in Isaiah 26:19. The passage speaks of dead men coming to life again from the very dust they came from. Psalms which we also recently covered has a number of Psalms that deal with rewards and punishments awaiting us after death in Psalms 17:15, 49:15, 73:24 and pretty much all of Psalm 26.
Here in Ecclesiastes in chapter 12, a case is made for man being of both a physical and spiritual essence. At the mention of dust /ashes, the Bible is of course referring to the material and physical nature which we will return to our rightful place of origin (God formed Adam/ man followed by Eve from the dust in the ground). The spirit of course is the immaterial part of us, that which returns to God, the rightful owner who supplied it to man at his creation. Genesis 2:7 states that God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.
The Apostle Paul perhaps summed up the hope that is in all believers that one day our body and our spirit will be reunited together on the Day of Resurrection. 2 Timothy 1:10 states He abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. The only ones who see there being a true mystery when it comes to our immortal souls are those who haven’t accepted the Lord as their savior. Without the indwelling constant presence of the Holy Spirit, man is void of the spiritual realm and cannot walk in the spirit nor comprehend the things of God through the Power of the Holy Spirit. By being filled with the spirit we engage in a type of spiritual warfare battle to decide who is going to fill our vessel up, will it be God or his enemy, Satan and his counterfeit demonic spirits? Something will fill our heart shaped vacuum, no vessel will go empty. Contrary to how some of us think, there is no neutral ground, we were created to freely desire to worship God, plain and simple and so we either worship him or the god of this world. So indeed we engage in a spiritual warfare of sorts, a battle for the heart and mind that continues in our current existence in a World of both physical and material demands along with the spiritual kingdom of God at hand. We must daily be filled to the brim of our being with the Holy Spirit for our human vessel will not remain empty without either God or a counterfeit spirit occupying it.
So getting back to the big question, where do we go when we die? Yeshua said it best on the cross to the thief beside him as they both were dying from being crucified. The thief had decided to choose to believe in Jesus just moments before his passing. Luke 23:42-43 And he (the thief) was saying, Jesus remember me when you come in your kingdom. And Jesus said unto him verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in Paradise. Did Yeshua say Heaven? No, he said Paradise. So what exactly is Paradise then? Well right now Paradise is a temporary holding place, but it is for all intents and purposes, it is really a synonym for Heaven. The word Paradise is mentioned again in the Book of Revelation Ch. 2 V.7 when it is mentioned that all those who “overcometh” will eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. When the Apostle Paul wrote of one who was caught up to Paradise in 2 Corinthians 12: 4, he was obviously referring to Heaven as well. When the Lord Jesus Christ comes back to judge the World on it’s lack of belief in him as well as all believers in him, there will be a resurrection of the body and the spirit. All believers will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ to receive rewards based on faithful service to him. The second resurrection will be of unbelievers who will stand before the Great White Throne of God’s Judgment. By this time Hell will have full occupancy and as well the new Heavens and the new Earth as Revelation 21-22 describes, will be ready for the multitudes of believers to occupy.
So what of you beloved, do you have the assurance of knowing where you will spend eternity? Be rest assured it will be somewhere and not just in the ground to rot. We were created in the likeness of God with an immortal soul and it is up to us, to decide by our beliefs and our actions taken to decide what we will do with the opportunity to be in possession of an immortal soul. The tag on the back if you will on our immortal soul says God but for some he will have no choice but to rip that tag off when they choose darkness over light to spend eternity. It is not God’s Wish or Desire to do so but some of us will leave him no choice by turning away from him with disdain as he has knocked on the door of our hearts over and over and over again with little to no reply from us, to even open the door to let him in and sup with him as he says in the Book of Revelation Ch.3. That immortal soul will go somewhere; it will certainly no longer be with our bodies when they shut down for good once our life is played out on Earth.
While there’s still time and the window of grace remains open, pray and ask God to speak to your heart, so that you can be confident in knowing that God loves you enough to have sent his only begotten son to die for you, so that you may have life and life more abundantly now and ever after. You will spend eternity somewhere beloved, the choice amazingly enough is yours to make. Make it today, before the Lord comes to meet his saints in the air, to take us home to be with him forever.