In the 20th century alone, the United States saw the First World War or Great War, Russian Civil War, Second World War, as well as the Cold War, French Indochina War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, the Afghan War, the Iraq War, and the ongoing War on Terror. One would think that the United States was a warring nation, but almost all of the battles or wars were defensive or coming to the rescue of other nations. This world has seen tens of thousands of wars, most for selfish, sadistic reasons.
However, one ongoing battle has been playing itself out over the last 6,000 plus years that most do not consider. This is sad because the outcome for every human that has walked this planet could not be greater. There has been one line of attack after another engaged, with every kind of weapon thinkable. The opposition is not after land, wealth, or any minerals. No, these are simply after our minds. This sounds like a modern-day Hollywood movie, like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Just who is this enemy after the minds of the human race?
Revelation 12:7-9 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels made war with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels waged war, 8 but they were not strong enough, nor was a place found for them any longer in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole inhabited earth; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
The dragon had been strong enough to sweep away a third of the stars with a flick of his tail. But he was not strong enough to prevail over the angels led by Michael. The dragon was hurled down to the earth, and his angels with him. Thus, the stage expands from the skies to the land.
The big question is: When does this occur? Scripture suggests that Satan has been defeated (“booted out of heaven”) more than once. He appeared in the garden of Eden as the already fallen, evil ancient serpent (Gen. 3:1–15). That original fall is everywhere assumed in Scripture. (Some but not all conservative Bible scholars think that Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 give information about the devil’s prehistoric fall.) Also when the apostles of Jesus successfully cast out evil spirits, Jesus reported, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18). Satan’s second defeat occurred during the days Jesus was on earth.
Unless one takes the events of this chapter to reflect a flashback to the church age, the present event seems to be even later, at a time when Christian martyrs are being made (v. 11). Further, it is at a time very shortly before the end of the age, when “he knows that his time is short” (v. 12). This, then, must be a final exclusion of the devil from access to God shortly before Christ’s return.
During this time, the dragon will unmask further his wicked character. He is first the one called the devil. Devil is Greek in origin. It means “slanderer” (see v. 10). Second, he is called Satan. Satan, in both Testaments, is Hebrew in origin and means “accuser” (see Job 1). Third, he is the one who leads the whole world astray. Of course, this began with Eve in the garden of Eden and has affected every human generation (2 Cor. 11:3). The serpent will continue deceiving right down to his bitter end.
Are we affected by this battle? Yes, very much so, as it is like any other war, everyone is involved. As we learned from the above, Satan and his hundreds of millions of demon angels have had access to heaven since the beginning, the Fall of Adam and Eve. However, they also have had access to the earth as well, as Jude tells us “the angels who did not keep to their own domain but deserted their proper dwelling place [heaven].” (1:6) Satan’s original intent was to deceive Adam and Eve, having them rebel against their Creator, in which he was successful. He sought the worship of man, which rightly belonged to God. His next goal was to deceive other spirit creatures, i.e., angels and to have them join his battle. He accomplished this goal before the Flood of Noah, when he convinced an untold number of angels who became demons, to join him.
These rebel angels had the power at one time to materialize in human form, just like those who had remained faithful to God, when they delivered messages for Him to Abraham, Moses and others. (Gen. 18:1-2, 8, 20-22; 19:1-11; Josh. 5:13-15) The “proper dwelling” that Jude spoke of is Heaven, which these angels abandoned, to take on human form, and have relations that were contrary to nature with the “the daughters of man.” (Dan. 7:9-10) The Bible intimates that these rebel angels were stripped of their power to take on human form as you never hear of it taking place again after the Flood, only spirit possession thereafter. These disobedient angels are now “spirits in prison,” who have been thrown into “eternal chains under gloomy darkness [Tartarus],” which is more of a condition of limited powers, not so much a place, like a maximum-security prison. (1 Peter 3:19; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6)
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The offspring of these unnatural relations between materialized angels and women were the Nephilim, giant humans of about 9.5 feet tall, who were half angel and half human, demigods. The world had become so corrupt and violent that this is why God brought the Flood. It is in this environment that Enoch courageously preached the message of condemnation, which he was commissioned to deliver to that evil world. We know “all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God, and he was no more, for God took him.” (Genesis 5:23-24)
Satan’s third goal was to kill the long awaited seed, Jesus Christ, whose ransom sacrifice was to rescue humankind. (Matt. 20:28) This battle would determine the war because if Satan failed to prevent the seed from carrying out his mission, his fate was settled, and some of the issues he raised in the Garden of Eden were no longer viable. Well, Satan failed, as Jesus offered himself as that ransom sacrifice, and ascended back to heaven, seated beside the Father. From that day, Satan has become like a vengeful bank robber, who is caught in the back with hostages, surrounded with no way out. He wants to take as many followers with him, before he goes out in what he perceives to be a blaze of glory.
1 Peter 5:8 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
The Beginning of the Battle for the Mind
We must go back to the beginning, when this battle for the mind began with Adam and Eve. You will likely remember that God laid only one restriction upon the first human couple, “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Gen 2:17, ESV) Adam must have went over this restriction with his new wife often and very well as Eve had it memorized and took it more serious than is usually taught. Satan, as the serpent hanging from the tree, was very clever and ingenious in how he indirectly said, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Gen. 3:1) The woman replied to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”―Genesis 3:2-3
Notice how Eve, not only responded with the correct answer, but she was also very emphatic, going beyond the actual command, saying that they were to not only not eat from the tree, but they were not to even touch it. “You can be sure that you will not die,” the serpent said to the woman. “God knows that when you eat the fruit of that tree, you will know things you have never known before. You will be able to tell the difference between good and evil. You will be like God.” (Gen 3:4-5) The woman made two mistakes at that moment, (1) she did not consult her head, Adam, and (2) she entertained, cultivated this misleading, slanderous information. “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes, and the tree was desirable to make one wise, then she took from its fruit and she ate. Afterward she gave it also to her husband with her, and he ate.”–Genesis 3:6
Here Eve was deceived because she looked at the tree differently than she had before. Eve lost the battle for her mind based on this supposedly new set of “truths,” (1) she would not die, (2) the fruit of the tree would make her wise, (3) she would be like God, independent, able to determine for herself what is good and what is bad, setting her own standard. Now, this one tree looked no different from any of the other thousands of trees in the Garden of Eden. Yet Eve now says ‘the fruit of the tree looked good, it was pleasing to look at.’ The human eyes are the window to the human mind-heart, the seat of motivation. Eve, even though she was perfect, meaning that her natural desire was to do good, stumbled based on the principle that James gave his readers. “Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (James 1:13-16)
1:13–16. People sometimes complain, God is tempting me. Two insights about God show that he is not responsible for evil. First, God cannot be tempted by evil. God has no weakness or tendency which temptation can exploit. God’s holy character puts him out of reach of temptation. Evil has no appeal for God. Evil is repulsive to God.
Second, God does not use evil to tempt anyone. True, God sometimes places us in situations in which we can compromise (Gen. 22:1). However, he does not do this with a view to encourage our sin but to build us up.
Verses 14–15 outline the beginnings of sin in the human heart. First, openness to temptation develops from weaknesses in the human heart. Dragged away and enticed comes from the language of fishing. The first word described the act of luring fish from their hiding places. The second word pictured the enticing of fish as with a juicy worm on a hook. Evil desire is the bait which hooks the human being. The Bible will not let us blame heredity, an evil environment, or wicked companions for sin. The blame rests squarely on the individual, on you and me.
Verse 15 uses the language of childbirth to trace the development of evil desire. A conception occurs when persons surrender their wills to lust. The conception produces a child named sin. When sin becomes full grown, it produces death.
Practically speaking, sin occurs whenever a person’s mind approves the performance of a sinful act. Whenever the person repeatedly approves the same sin, the result is death. This is death in all its terror—a total disintegration of the personality, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It leads to a separation from God lasting for eternity. It all begins when an individual yields his will to evil. No one can blame God for this. I do it to myself.
The act of temptation itself is not sinful. Sin develops only when an individual assents to the deed and agrees that it is good or desirable. Our evil nature and disobedient wills provide an easy avenue along which temptation can stroll. Sin develops only when we invite temptation to leave the avenue and visit with us personally.
Verses 14 and 15 do not mention the role of Satan in temptation. The Bible pictures Satan as active in temptation (1 Pet. 5:8–9), but James was not presenting a complete analysis of all temptation. He only wanted to show that God was not the cause of sin. He laid the blame for sin upon human weakness and disobedience.
Verse 16 provides a solemn warning against being deceived by wrong thinking concerning the source of sin. We may apply the words either to what has immediately preceded (vv. 13–15) or the verses which follow (vv. 17–18). If we apply the words to the preceding statements, the warning is against excusing ourselves from responsibility for sin. If we apply the words to what follows, the warning is against a wrong view of God’s character. Either interpretation provides truth.
Verses 2–12 urge us to endure the trials of life. Verses 13–16 urge us to resist temptations. We can ask God for the wisdom to know whether to endure the trial or to resist the temptation. God can supply both grace to endure and strength to resist. He uses our endurance and our resistance to give us spiritual maturity and growth in holiness and stamina.
We notice too that Satan was so crafty that he was able to deceive another perfect creature to go against the grain of her perfected leanings, and violate God’s one prohibition, even though it had been so deeply ingrained in her. Eve was misled by misinformation and lies that were ingenuously presented in a very subtle, indirect way. Notice Paul’s words to the first-century Corinthian congregation, “But I am afraid lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds may be led astray from the sincerity and the purity of devotion to Christ.” Yes, Satan has misled Eve by his craftiness, leading her mind astray from what she knew to be true, getting her to accept the lie.–2 Corinthians 11:3.
Almost all translations translate Genesis 3:6 as follows.
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes, and the tree was desirable to make one wise, then she took from its fruit and she ate. And she gave it also to her husband with her, and he ate.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.
6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
As you can see from these English translations, the plain sense of the text is, Adam was with her. This creates a real Bible difficulty. Before I delve into why, I will say that if almost all of the translations are in agreement, generally, this should be respected, and accepted. It is very unlikely that the very best Hebrew and Greek scholars of the past 100 years are all mistaken. Now, the difficulty arises because, if Eve and Adam are standing there before the tree of knowledge as the serpent spoke to Eve, it means that Adam, the head, was very much involved in this process. Think as you read this commentary below, which is trying to rationalize how the situation played out, with both being there.
Eve “was indeed deceived,” but Adam “was not deceived.” Of course, this cannot be taken absolutely. It must mean something on this order: Adam was not deceived in the manner in which Eve was deceived. See Gen. 3:4–6. She listened directly to Satan; he did not. She sinned before he did. She was the leader. He was the follower. She led when she should have followed; that is, she led in the way of sin, when she should have followed in the path of righteousness.
The reason for the difficulty is this, they are taking it as though Adam and Eve are standing before the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and the serpent, Satan, starts to speak to Eve. They carry on a conversation with Adam simply passively listening. Satan deceives Eve, but Adam is not deceived, yet he does not argue with the serpent, snatch the fruit from Eve, but rather just stands there letting Eve eat the forbidden fruit, knowing she will die. Really? This author just cannot see how that can rationally be the case. I would argue that Eve was alone before Adam joined her.
Was Adam standing beside Eve when she had the conversation with the serpent, was deceived and chose to rebel against God? The Bible shows no indication that this is the case. The translations above make it appear that way though, “she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”
The Hebrew verb translated as “gave” is in the imperfect waw consecutive, as a result, it points to a temporal or logical sequence (usually called an “imperfect sequential”). Hence, a Bible translator or committee can translate the several occurrences of the waw, which tie together the chain of events in verse 6, with “and” as well as other transitional words, such as “subsequently,” “then,” “after that,” “afterward,” and “so.”
|Genesis 3:6 English Standard Version (ESV)
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
|Genesis 3:6 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desirable to make one wise, and she took of its fruit and ate, then she also gave some to her husband when with her, and he ate.
One has to ask themselves, would Adam have passively stood beside his wife Eve, listening to the conversation, between her and the serpent, as it spewed forth lies and malicious talk, especially, when Paul tells us explicitly that Adam was not deceived by the serpent? Are we to believe that Adam just stood there and remained silent? Are we to believe that Adam just chose not to interrupt the peddling of lies? Listen to the Bible scholar below, who thinks this is reasonable.
Genesis 3:6 makes it clear that he was “with her” during the interchange with the serpent, but he remained silent. He should have interrupted. He should have chased the serpent off. And when it comes down to it, when he is offered the fruit himself, he eats it–no questions asked, no protests given. Adam and Eve together rebelled against their Creator, so they both suffer the horrible consequences.
The conversation with the serpent reveals that Adam had previously carried out his responsibilities as the head, informing her of the command not to eat from the tree. (Gen. 3:3) It seems far more likely that Satan, through the serpent ignored this headship, going after the newer person in the Garden of Eden, i.e., Eve, when she was alone. Eve later replied, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Let us assume that this author is simply mistaken, and it should be translated, “and she also gave some to her husband who was with her.” Adam does not need to be clear on the other side of the Garden; he could have just been out of hearing range, and still have been with her. Suppose he was across the field, visually in sight, but still out of hearing range, it could still be said that he was with her. Husbands have you ever been in a huge store with your wife, like Wal-Mart, and at the same time you are on one side of the store (lawn-garden or automotive), and she is on the other side of the store. If you stated that you were with your wife at Wal-Mart, would that mean that you were necessarily standing right beside her. Let us say that an issue came up in the store, so you walked over. Now returning to the Garden of Eden, it was no small place (i.e., a city park); rather, it was like the size of a state park, possibly 18,000 acres of land and 3,000 acres of water. If Adam was in eyesight but out of hearing range, it could still be said that he was with her. She could have called him over after her transgression, at which point, he demonstrated that his love for her was greater than that of his Creator, and so he ate.
|1 Timothy 2:14 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and came to be in transgression.
14 but the woman was deceived
Genesis 3:13 has Eve herself stating, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Eve had been completely deceived by the serpent, consumed by the desire of the eyes, mind and heart for the prospects that lay before her, having only to eat of the tree, so she transgressed the law of God. As was stated in the above, this tree of knowledge of good and evil looked no different from any other tree; it was a mere symbol of God’s sovereignty. However, look again at Eve’s words, after she succumbed to the serpent’s deception, “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she ate”
Both Adam and Eve had a natural desire to do good. We in this imperfect age and flesh have a natural tendency to do bad. Listen to the words of one of the greatest Christians ever to walk this earth. “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Rom. 7:21-24) However, Paul knew the real source of his strength in weakness, as he goes on to answer his own question, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”
With Eve’s natural desire leaning toward good, it means that she really had to go against the grain, to violate her conscience. The human eye is a wonder of creation, but it is also a direct channel of communication to the mind, which in turn affects the emotions and actions, the figurative heart, the seat of motivation. Satan tempted Eve by having her look upon a tree that was no different, giving it a whole other look with the desire of the eyes. He did the same thing with Jesus, trying to persuade him to sin by reaching out inappropriately for things Jesus saw with his eyes. (More on this in a moment, Lu 4:5-7) The apostle John warns us,
1 John 2:15-17 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and its lusts; but the one who does the will of God remains forever.
1 Timothy 2:14 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman having been thoroughly deceived and came to be in transgression.
Adam was not deceived; he simply chose that his love was greater for Eve than it was for his Creator. Paul in 1 Timothy 2:14 is not shifting the blame on Eve; it is Adam, who was responsible for sin, old age and death entering the world of humankind. (Rom 5:12, 19; 1 Cor. 15:22) Unlike Eve, he was not deceived by the lie that they would not die, or that God was withholding good from them, such as special knowledge. Both Adam and Eve intentionally and willfully went on a course of self-resolve, and rebellion against God. Adam’s sin was far more severe than that of Eve. Moreover, it is his status as the head of Eve and of the human race, which laid the full accountability at his feet. However, we must realize that Adam also fell in the battle for his mind. Satan likely observed the couple for some time, and came to believe that he would choose Eve, the newer person to the Garden of Eden first. Further Satan must have believed that Adam would selfishly desire Eve over his Creator. In the end, Satan won this first battle for the minds of Adam and Eve.
It would seem that Satan began his rebellion in Eden by himself, having no other angels take his side at that time. The issues that he raised had never been raised prior to human creation. Therefore, he had no real arguments to get other angels to join him in the Garden of Eden. However, they were certainly waiting and watching, seeing how things developed. Some 1,500 years later, in Noah’s day, Satan could make the claim that he had misled all of humankind up unto that point, possible thousands, with the exception of only three men Abel, Enoch and Noah. His argument to the angelic body could have been something like this, ‘I alone misled thousands by myself, just imagine if I had had help, with an army of angels, I could have completely thwarted God’s plan, and humans would be worshiping us!’
Satan could have gone on to bolster his argument, by saying that he was winning against God, as fifteen centuries has passed since the rebellion in Eden, and where is this so-called promised “seed”? (Gen 3:15) He could have sold the idea that if the angels used their powers to materialize in human form, having relations with the women of earth, they would produce offspring of being who were half human and half angel, who could rule the earth, defeating God’s plan of saving humankind. These demigods, Satan could argue, could take over and rule the earth, but be under Satan and the angels, who would receive the worship that rightly was going to go to God. While this is certainly, an inference of how the argument, behind the scenes, with Satan and the angels could have gone, the Scriptures tell us, this is, in fact, how it went historically, leaving out the conversation behind the scenes.
Enoch lived in a very violent world, where he was the only faithful follower of God at that time. Enoch only lived 365 years in an era where everyone else lived over 900 years. The “sons of God” mentioned in Genesis 6 were disobedient angels. The same expression “sons of God” is found at Job 1:6 and Job 38:7, and is applied to angels. The apostle Peter supports this interpretation as well, for he writes, “he [Jesus] went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared.” (1 Pet 3:19-20) Moreover, Jude adds weight to this position as well, when he writes, “the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day.” (Jude 6)
Reviewing what was discussed earlier,
- These rebel angels had the power at one time to materialize in human form just like the ones who had remained faithful to God as they delivered messages for Him to Abraham, Moses and others. (Gen 18:1, 2, 8, 20-22; 19:1-11; Jos 5:13-15)
- The “proper dwelling” that Jude speaks of is heaven, which these angels abandoned, to take on human form and have relations that were contrary to nature with the “the daughters of man.” (Dan 7:9-10)
- The Bible intimates that these rebel angels were stripped of their power to take on human form as you never hear of it taking place again after the flood. We only hear of spirit possession thereafter.
- These disobedient angels are now “spirits in prison,” who had been thrown into “eternal chains under gloomy darkness,” which is more of a condition of limited powers, not so much a place, e.g., like a maximum-security prison.- (1 Peter 3:19; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6)
- The offspring of these unnatural relations between materialized angels and women were the Nephilim, i.e., giant humans of about 9.5 feet tall, who were half angel and half human, demigods.
The world had become so corrupt and violent that this was why God brought the flood. It is in this environment that Enoch courageously preached the message of condemnation, which he was commissioned to deliver to that evil world. We know that “all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God, and he was no more, for God took him.”–Genesis 5:23-24.
By faith, Noah “constructed an ark for the deliverance of his family.” (Hebrews 11:7; Genesis 6:13-22)
Noah was also “a proclaimer of righteousness” who also possessed great courage in preaching under the same conditions Enoch had; warning all that a great flood was coming. (2 Peter 2:5) Try to picture that evil world. You had the giant Nephilim causing everyone to live in fear, powerful angels materializing to take women, all living in debauchery, yet Noah and his family were walking with God, living a righteous life, doing all that God had commanded. Now, imagine having to go out and preach condemnation to these ones, saying that ‘a worldwide flood is coming because God has judged you, repent now and be saved!’ Imagine the ridicule, the threats that Noah and his family must have faced. How much faith it must have taken to work on the ark, day after day, month after month, all the while being threatened, taunted and mocked. Nevertheless, Noah did not allow fear of man, demigod, or even rebel angels to keep him from his commission as a preacher of righteousness. Unlike Adam and Eve, his love for God was greater than his love for man.
Hebrews 11:7 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
7 By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
11:7. Noah (Gen. 6–9) showed his faith in response to a specific warning from God. He took the warning to heart, built an ark, and saved his family. Noah’s act of building the ark condemned the scoffing unbelief of his generation and provided visible evidence that Noah believed God. Noah’s contemporaries must have been merciless in their ridicule of this “foolish” man who was building an ark so far inland.
In building the ark, Noah became an heir of faith righteousness, a theme echoing Paul’s discussion of the subject (Rom. 9:30; 10:6).
Genesis 6:13-22 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
13 Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 16 You shall make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit from the above; and set the door of the ark in the side of it; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds after their kind, and of the animals after their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after its kind, two of every sort will come to you to keep them alive. 21 As for you, take for yourself some of all food which is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be for food for you and for them.” 22 And Noah did according to all that God had commanded him. He did just so.
6:22 We have commented earlier that Noah’s obedience is a recurring feature in Noah’s tōlĕdōt (v. 22; cf. 7:5, 9, 16). Here, like the encompassing destruction to come, we are told that his obedience to God’s instructions is inclusive—“everything” (v. 22). The verse begins and concludes with the verb “did,” emphasizing the patriarch’s part: “Noah did (wayyaʿaś) … so he did” (kēn ʿaśâ, NASB). “So” (kēn) is reminiscent of creation’s first obedience to the divine word, “and it was so” (wayhî kēn; 1:7, 9, 11, 15, 24). The failure of the first Adam and the succeeding patriarchs does not obviate God’s commitment to bless the human family. However, disobedience has its painful consequences of toil, sorrow, and death, which they cannot escape. This execution statement is heard again at Moses’ completion of the tabernacle: “Moses did everything just as the Lord commanded him” (Exod 40:16). Israel could look to Noah as a model of covenant fidelity as they drew the parallel between God’s “command” for that ancient patriarch and the divine directives by the voice of Moses for their own times (cp. Exod 39:32, 42; Num 1:54; 2:34; 9:5).
Noah’s actions model for later generations the obedience and the efficacy of faith when it is placed in the veracity of God’s word (e.g., Heb 11:7). Noah’s venture to build his vessel upon dry land while awaiting the impending floodwaters is exemplary of a person trusting in what cannot be seen or proven (Heb 10:38; 11:1–2). As is the case for many of the saints, God is calling upon Noah to accomplish a task that has no precedent, for an experience that had no counterpart. Ironically, the destruction by water that dooms all the living is the vindication of Noah’s faith and credits him with righteousness. Such persevering faith in the word of promise motivated Peter to challenge the scoffers of his day who disputed the eschatological conflagration heralded by the prophets and apostles. The divine word declaring the “day of judgment” (2 Pet 3:6–7; cf. 2:5, 9–10) is just as certain as the cataclysmic waters of Noah’s generation.
2 Peter 2:5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
5 and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a proclaimer of righteousness, and seven others when he brought a flood on the world of the ungodly;
Yes, God thwarted Satan and his army of rebel angels, in the days of Noah. At the Flood, the giant Nephilim were destroyed, and the angels who had materialized in human form had to give up that body by dematerializing and going back to heaven. The angels, who were formerly “sons of God” did not return to the positions they formerly held, they were in heaven with their new master, Satan, becoming his demon army. Yes, God did not spare the angels who sinned, but held them captive in Tartarus, a prison like condition, with chains of darkness he handed them over to be kept for judgment.–2 Peter 2:4.
However, the war was far from over, as the next 2,100 years, the battles for the minds of humankind continued. The Scriptures are inundated with how the Israelites fell victim to the influences of Satan repeatedly throughout these centuries. Satan already had the pagan nations that surrounded Israel, very deeply involved in idolatry and immorality. Satan knew that the ongoing influence of these nations would eventually corrupt the minds of God’s people. This is why God had commanded the Israelites to displace these nations completely when he gave them the Promise Land. They were to keep themselves separate from that demonic influence. However, Israel failed to obey, they did not completely remove these nations, and in time, they were living right among this idolatrous, immoral influence. The Israelites eventually set aside the Mosaic Law, living by the defiled practices and false worship of the pagan nations. Much of the Israelite history has them being 9 parts rebellious pagan worshipers and 1 part Israel of God. On 2 Peter 2:5 Peter H. Davids writes,
The point in our work is that Noah was not just righteous, but a preacher of righteousness. This righteousness is apparently assumed for his family as well. (Since in that culture it was expected that a family would follow the religion of the head of the family, this assumption was a culturally appropriate one.) The contrast is, of course, between the righteous remnant that was delivered and the “ancient world of the ungodly” (to give a more formally equivalent translation) that was not spared. The implication is that God can bring the final judgment upon this world and spare the righteous while destroying the unrighteous. Indeed, the presence of the righteous is no safety for the unrighteous, for God can save the former in the midst of judgment, just as he did Noah.
The Battle for the Mind Builds
Centuries passed with God’s people in their on-again off-again relationship with God. It came time for God to keep his promise that he had made back at the time of Adam and Eve’s expulsion from Eden that he was going to send a seed that would eventually bruise Satan in the head, which is a deathblow. Yes, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son [born as a human about 02 B.C.E.], that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) The Word [Jesus] became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) Jesus was going to serve as the chief witness to the truth of the Father.
After his baptism in 29 C.E. by John the Baptist, Jesus went out into the wilderness for forty days and forty nights, which left him weak and hungry. It was then that Satan chose to tempt Jesus, waiting until he was in a weakened condition. Read carefully as Satan offers the first temptation for Jesus’ mind:
Luke 4:3 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
3 And the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”
First, Satan played on Jesus’ natural desire for food, as he deliberately waited until Jesus was in a weakened state from fasting. In addition, Satan knew that Jesus was the Son of God, as he had been in heaven with him. Notice how he is attempting to attack Jesus’ hunger, by starting his accusation with “if,” to get Jesus to use his powers for selfish gain. In other words, he wanted Jesus to be annoyed and say, ‘You know I am the Son of God, so watch as I turn these stones into bread!’ Was Jesus tempted into a selfish act, a needful feeling of proving himself right? No, Jesus did not permit Satan to bait him into rebellion.
Luke 4:4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”
Luke 4:5-7 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
5 And he led him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore if you bow down before me, it shall all be yours.”
One way of being emphatic in the Greek language is to front word(s) before others, and in this case, the second person pronoun (soi, “to you”) was fronted to the beginning of the Greek sentence by Luke to show just how important this question was. The English is not able to bring this out well, but the Greek makes it all too clear. What Satan was saying, is a bit like what a car salesperson might say, ‘Look, this deal is for you and you alone!’ Did Jesus even slightly consider Satan’s offer? No, he responds,
Luke 4:8 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
8 Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”
Luke 4:9-10 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
9 And he led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here; 10 for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
to guard you,’
Notice that Satan even quotes Scripture, but of course twists it to suit his misleading benefits. This temptation is much more subtle than one might think. Satan wanted Jesus to get caught up in himself, and take the easy way out, as opposed to the humble three and half year ministry that lay ahead. If Jesus had stood on the top of the pinnacle of the temple, at a time of the day when everyone was out, with all gathered to see him there; it would have made his ministry easier. Because if he had leaped in front of thousands of onlookers, and angels came to rescue him before he hit the ground, many would have had faith in him, based on his showmanship. However, Jesus knew his Father’s will was for him to have an education ministry of three and a half years, a ministry of humility. Moreover, how did Jesus feel about doing the will of the Father? Here are his own words, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.” (John 4:34)
Matthew 4:7 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
On many other occasions, Jesus used the Scriptures to help unsuspecting people escape Satan’s influences, as well as those of the overbearing Jewish religious leaders, who were twisting the Scriptures for their ill-gotten gains. Jesus made more than 120 references or quotations from the Old Testament Scriptures, from over half the books of the Hebrew Old Testament, in his three and half year ministry. This may appear to be trivial when you think of a three and half year ministry. However, notice what John says about Jesus, “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book.” (John 20:30)
John also said, “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” (John 21:25) Thus, if we take everything Jesus said in the Gospels, it would only amount to 3-4 hours of speaking. Now imagine four speakers at a religious assembly, giving an hour talk each, and each of them referencing or quoting some 30 Scriptures in their allotted hour. These would be considered highly biblical talks. Moreover, Jesus usually never had any scrolls in front of him. Therefore, his quotes and references were from memory. In the famous Sermon on the Mount, he directly or indirectly referenced dozens of Scriptures from memory.
No Longer Walk in the Futility of the Old Mind
Revelation 12:9, 12 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole inhabited earth; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! Woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows he has a short time.”
We see here that Satan the Devil is thrown down from the heavens to earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. The Bible talks about the heavens, and it is only by the context that one can truly determine what is meant. The heavens can be the earth’s atmosphere where the birds fly. (Deut. 4:17; Pro 30:19; Matt 6:26) The heavens can be outer space, which is on the other side of the earth’s atmosphere. (Deut. 4:19; Isa 13:10; 1 Cor. 15:40, 41; Heb. 11:12) The heavens can be midheaven, which is where the eagles fly; thus, within our atmosphere. (Re 8:13; 14:6; 19:17; De 4:11 [Heb., “heart of the heavens”]) Heaven can also be the heaven of heavens or highest heavens (Deut. 10:14; Neh. 9:6). “The Hebrew expression [heaven of the heavens], however, may be nothing more than poetic imagery.” This is an expression of completeness for the physical heavens, as they visually extended out from the earth in all directs as far as the eye could see.
Now that we have covered all of the aspects of the physical heavens, we can now turn our attention to the spiritual heavens. The spiritual heaven exist outside of the physical heavens, and is the home of God and all other spirit creatures, like the angels, cherubs and seraphs. (Jude 6; Gen. 28:12, 13; Matt. 18:10; 24:36) The spiritual heavens would have an infinite vastness, unlike anything we could possibly imagine. In other words, the spirit creatures, who share the spiritual heavens with God, do not have access to his presence at all times, beholding the face of the Father.
For example, consider our Milky Way galaxy. There could be as many as a trillion stars in our galaxy. If humans had a space ship that could travel at the speed of light, 186,282 miles per second, it would take 100,000 years to cross it. This boggles the mind does it not. Now, there are about 100 billion galaxies in our universe. We are not finished yet, because there are approximately 125 billion universes. Now, this is almost impossible for our human mind to grasp. What a backyard for the human family. Whoever said that we would get bored if we lived for an eternity, likely never considered the vastness of it all? Moreover, the universe is continuously growing, as are the others. If this is what we have, one cannot really wrap their mind around the spiritual heavens.
Satan and his angels, had access to the spiritual heavens in the days of Noah, and centuries later in the time of Job. “Again it came to pass on the day when the sons of God came to present themselves before Jehovah that Satan came also among them to present himself before Jehovah.” (Job 2:1) Even centuries later Jesus speaks prophetically of a future fall that Satan is to have, as a result of Jesus ransom sacrifice. Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” He also said, “Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.” John 12:31
We will never know the day and hour of Christ’s return. However, many Bible writers speak of the “last days” before that return. Paul wrote, “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”–2 Timothy 3:1-5, 12-13
While we may not know the day and hour of Christ’s return, the events of the 20th century and now the beginning of the 21st century suggest that we may very well be living deep in the “last days.” Even though the “last days” has been going on for almost 2,000 years from now, it is quite short, when one contemplates eternity. Some Bible scholars believe that Jesus’ return is very close [which they should not suggest]. However, they then go on to suggest, “be careful to obey the Scriptures and accurately interpret the evidences of Christ’s return without abusing the Scriptures in an attempt to somehow date his coming.”
Again, here is how we are to view Christ’s return. We should live as though it is tomorrow, but plan as though it is 50-years away. Again, how are we to apply this principle? We live as though Christ is returning tomorrow, by walking with God, having a righteous standing before him. We plan as though it is 50-years away by living a life that makes plans for a long-term ministry that fulfills our end of the great commission. (Matt 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8) Our sinful nature would not do well if we knew the exact day and hour. We do badly enough when we simply think Christ return is close. You have had religions that have set end of time dates, or are constantly saying, ‘the end is near!’ The ones who set actual dates for Christ’s return: quit their jobs, sell their homes, take all their money out of the bank, and take their kids out of school, either (1) to have a good time before the end, or (2) to spend the last couple years yelling from the rooftops that “the end is coming!” Those who are constantly saying, ‘the end is near,’ are similar, in that they do not take job promotions, because it would cut into their ministry, they do not allow their children to have university educations or plan careers, because the end is near. These groups are at least concerned about their ministry, but they fail to realize, that we do not know when the end is coming, nor are we meant to. Below, we will talk about the 50-year ministry plan, which is not saying that Jesus is returning in fifty years, because it could just as easily be three hundred years.
In dealing with Satan and his angels being kicked out of the spiritual heavens, and cast down to the earth says, Revelation 12:12 says, “O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” We do not know if this has specifically happened as of yet, but we do know that a great wrath will go with it, which will last for a short time. What a “short time” is specifically we do not know. To whom is that great wrath going to be directed toward? Certainly, Satan is not interested in the world of humankind, who is already alienated from God, but only in the chosen ones of God, and his sole efforts will be toward eradicating them, if he cannot turn them away. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus identifies the signs of Christ’s presence, and the conclusion of the age, followed by talk of the Great Tribulation. It would seem very likely that Satan’s being expelled from the spiritual heavens, having a great wrath for God’s people, because he knows his time is short, could very well coincide with the Great Tribulation, coming just before it.
Matthew 24:21-22 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22 And if those days had not been cut short, no flesh would have been saved: but for the chosen ones sake those days will be cut short.
Even if this has yet to begin, we know that we are likely living deep in the last days, with things deteriorating from bad to worse, and will culminate into the Great Tribulation such as this earth has never seen, nor will ever see again. We do know the devastation of the First and Second World Wars of the 20th century, and that this Great Tribulation is going to be so bad, these will pale in comparison. If we knew that a hurricane was coming to our beachfront property, and we did not prepare, this would be foolish.
We are losing millions of Christians every year to the progressive, modernistic world of humankind, who is alienated from God, and the Great Tribulation is not even upon us as of yet. In Satan’s attempt to acquire the minds of today’s true Christians, he uses fear. Right now, to be a truly conservative, evangelical Christian, who allows the inspired, fully inerrant Word of God to lead his way, is very unpopular, and these few are viewed as being different, the lepers of the modernistic society.
Eighty percent of “so-called” Christianity have abandoned their post, and joined the ranks of the world, because they cannot handle being different, and would rather be popular. It is these ones, who Satan is using to blind the minds of our Christian brothers, misleading them from their conservative position into the world of liberal-progressive Christianity. Instead of making their churches like a biblical church, based on criteria from the Word of God, these ones are making the church to suit the worldly people who would not otherwise attend their church. In this liberal-progressive environment, the churchgoers are 9-part world, and 1-part Christian. Moreover, even the modern so-called Bible translations, like the Good News Bible, the Contemporary English Version, the New Living Translation, have the translation philosophy that is focused on today’s reader, making every effort to translate the original language text so thoroughly that the modern language translation is easy to read on a 6th to 7th grade level. In doing this, they have,
- reduced the level of vocabulary from what you had written to what the translator regarded as a seventh-grade vocabulary level;
- cut your sentences down into a series of shorter sentences;
- dropped metaphors because he decided that a target audience did not know how to handle figurative language;
- changed words that he thought to be old-fashioned;
- eliminated words that he thought to be technical;
- changed words to match what he thought you had intended to say.
Satan has also used commercialism and materialism to sidetrack the Christian mind, brainwashing them into thinking that they need the latest of everything. Even true Christians are swept away in this battle for the mind, as they too are becoming as Paul put in the above, “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” The philosophy is that pleasure and material wealth are the single genuine goals in life. Another propaganda tool of Satan is the television, movie and music video industry. The eyes are the window to the heart, the seat of motivation is bombarded with scenes of graphic horror, scenes overwhelming the mind with rape, murder, robbery, arson and every other crime. The movie and television industry has a way of making the evil of this world look like the good thing, and Christian moral values a bad thing. (Isa 5:20-21) If true Christians are to survive this offensive material, then they must be selective about what goes into their mind.
Satan also uses our natural desires for a sexual relationship, which should be with our wife alone. This is seen as old fashioned in today’s world. Everything about this world reeks of sexual immorality. Many products sold on the internet or television, are sold having half-naked women advertising them. (Heb. 4:13) A recent sitcom in the United States is called, ‘The New Normal.’ The premise of the show is about two men named Bryan and David, who are a happy gay couple living in Los Angeles, California. The title of the show exemplifies the new mindset of the Western world toward homosexuality, the new normal. In other words, it is just an alternative lifestyle, which is now normal. Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9
Marriage is no longer honorable, as many live together outside of marriage, and of those who have married, about fifty percent end in divorce. (Matt. 19:6-9; Rom. 7:2, 3; Mal 2:14-16) The young ones these days are living in a world of nothing but parties, drugs, sex, and loud, hateful music. (1 Pet. 2:12) The apostle Paul’s words to the Ephesians are very fitting,
The Old and the New Person
Ephesians 4:17-19 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
17 This, therefore, I say and bear witness to in the Lord, that you no longer walk as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; 19 who being past feeling gave themselves up to shameless conduct, for the practice of every uncleanness with greediness. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard him and have been taught in him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that you take off, according to your former way of life, the old man, who is being destroyed according to deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and put on the new man, the one created according to the likeness of God in righteousness and loyalty of the truth.
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Satan is very crafty in using the natural desires that God gave us, which are now bent toward wrong, as a tool in his chest of weapons, in the battle for our minds. Yes, his battle for your mind, my mind, every true Christian mind carries on without letup. On Ephesians 4:17-19, Max Anders writes,
4:17. The Gentiles in Ephesus were particularly sinful. Ephesus was a leading city of commerce and culture in the Roman Empire, the home of the pagan temple of Diana, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Worship of Diana involved the worst immorality of degraded pagan religion. That influence made Ephesus a wretched hive of scum and villainy, a wicked place indeed. Temple prostitution, graft, crime, immorality, idolatry, and every conceivable form of sin abounded. Many of the Christians in Ephesus came out of that kind of background. In contrast with that evil background, Paul made his appeal, “Don’t live like that any longer!”
First, he says, it is futile to live like that. It leads to nothing.
4:18. Second, he says, it reflects darkened understanding, a result of having turned their backs on God. Their hearts are hard, and as a result, their mind is dark. Lives separated from God’s holiness are ignorant lives. This is hard for the sophisticated, educated people of Ephesus to accept. How dare someone call them ignorant. Paul did not contend they had no knowledge. He contended the knowledge did no good in leading them to a lifestyle that pleased God. Without such a lifestyle, their minds did not function properly.
4:19. Their hard heart, which yielded a darkened mind, led to an unholy life. Paul says they have given themselves over to sensuality, a life without concern for the consequences of their actions. Their desire for sensual pleasure overrode every other regard. No matter what they did, such desire was never satisfied. They always wanted more. Lust not love dominated their lives. Such Gentiles certainly did not serve as models for the church. They were not mature. They did not bring unity.
Romans 8:5-8 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For setting the mind on the flesh is death, but setting the mind on the spirit is life and peace 7 because setting the mind on the flesh means enmity toward God, for it is not subjected to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Satan cannot read our mind. However, our emotions, life, and actions, as well as what we say are indicative of our thinking. It is his goal to know how we think, so he can corrupt our mind. If we are ones who have our mind on the flesh, we will live in accordance with the flesh. However, if our mind is on the Spirit, we will live in accordance with the Spirit. If we are to desire the will and purposes of God in our heart and mind, it will only come through forming a longing for his Word, through the company of our Christian congregation, as well as personal Bible study and prayer. On Romans 8:5-8, Kenneth Boa and William Kruidenier write,
|8:5–8. Here, in different language, is Paul’s contrast between the deeds of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:19–23. He lists the deeds and the fruit in Galatians; here he explains from whence they arise. The mind of a human being can be set upon only one thing, either the desires of the flesh or the Spirit. The new way of life in the Spirit makes it possible for the mind of the believer to be set upon what the Spirit desires. Here is what Paul states, implicitly and explicitly, about the two kinds of people he is describing:
Paul is not defining two categories of people here: Christians versus non-Christians, or Spirit-filled Christians versus “carnal” Christians. Rather, he is using the opposite extremes of the spectrum to illustrate two ways of living life in God’s world. One way is to live it according to the desires and directives of the flesh, a way that produces hostility toward God and ultimately death. The other way is to live life according to the desires of God as revealed and empowered by his Holy Spirit, a way that leads to life and peace.
James Boice recounts a story from the life of the English abolitionist, William Wilberforce, that illustrates the vacuum of spiritual understanding manifested by those who are devoid of the Spirit. Wilberforce, a strong Christian, had tried unsuccessfully to get his friend, William Pitt the Younger, the prime minister of England, to go and hear the great British preacher Richard Cecil. Pitt was a nominal Christian only, a church member, and Wilberforce thought the preaching of Cecil might awaken saving faith in his friend’s heart.
Finally agreeing to go with Wilberforce, Pitt attended Cecil’s preaching service where the two sat under a powerful and wonderful presentation of the truths of God. Wilberforce was sure that his friend Pitt would sense the truth and embrace it wholeheartedly. But as they left the service, Pitt turned to Wilberforce and said, “You know, Wilberforce, I have not the slightest idea what that man has been talking about.” Boice concludes by saying, “Clearly, Pitt was as deaf to God as if he were a physically dead man” (Boice, 2:808–809).
This is Paul’s point. A person with his or her mind set upon the things of the flesh cannot “accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14). All one has to do is look around societies and cultures to see the results of living life with the mind set on only that which the flesh desires. The result is not life and peace—it is death and destruction. But that is the easy observation to make, the one down at the far end of the spectrum. What about those who claim to be Christians who yet manifest many of the same characteristics as those who make no such claim? What are we to do with the indicators from contemporary polls that suggest the practices of “Christians” are often not much more spiritual than those who live in and of the world? Paul is about to suggest a serious implication.
Be Holy as Obedient Children
1 Peter 1:13-15 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
13 Therefore, gird the loins of your mind, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As children of obedience, do not be conformed according to the desires you formerly had in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, you also be holy in all your conduct; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
The Greek here for “prepare your minds for action” (ESV, LEB, HCSB, and NASB) is literally “gird up the loins of your mind (mental perception).” “Girding up your loins” infers that one is getting ready for action. This is a reference to the custom in Bible times of “tucking up the skirt of a garment into a belt and tightening it so the legs would be free.” Peter was here using the expression as preparation for vital and strong mental or spiritual activity. The Greek behind “being sober-minded” has the sense of one keeping their senses. Bible scholar R.C.H. Lenski states, “Soberness is the opposite of infatuation with the things of the world, a calm, steady state of mind which weighs and estimates things aright and thus enables us to make the right decision.” (Lenski 1945, 2008, 52) As you know Satan is seeking to get at our thinking, to corrupt it, and we need to prepare our minds for strong mental or spiritual activity. On 1 Peter 1:13-16, David Walls and Max Anders write,
1:13. This verse sets the time line boundaries for our behavior. The first word, therefore, points back to the preceding discussion that focused on our salvation hope. We entered into that hope when we committed ourselves in faith to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The last words in this verse, when Jesus Christ is revealed, point ahead to an undisclosed day in the future when Jesus Christ will come to earth the second time. Christians must not forget the first chapter of our salvation or ignore its final chapter. The first affects the second. The second affects the first. From the outset believers are to live each day for that great final day.
How do we do this? First, prepare your minds for action. In the first century, people who wanted to walk or run quickly faced a problem. Before they could quicken their pace, they had to gather up their loose flowing robes with a belt so they would not trip and fall flat on their face as they set off for their destination. Translating that into daily living, Peter said, “Pull your thoughts together. Don’t let anything hinder your mind as you put it to work for God.” In other words, have a disciplined mind.
Be self-controlled expresses the same idea. A loose paraphrase might be, “Stay on your toes spiritually.” Be realistic about what you face in your life as a Christian. Be alert and ready in your whole spiritual and mental attitude, because it is so easy to slide, especially when you are suffering. In those moments it is very difficult to “pull your thoughts together,” and to “be realistic” about your circumstances. The tendency of our mind is to scream exaggerations and denials. The inclination is to lean away from spiritual concerns.
That will be our fate unless we set [our] hope fully on the grace to be given [us] when Jesus Christ is revealed. The main emphasis is on putting one’s hope completely in the final demonstration of the grace of God in Jesus Christ. At this moment, we enjoy only the beginning of that grace. What we have experienced of grace up to this point in our lives does not begin to compare with the grace that will be ours at the second coming of Christ. We must have the long view in mind, or the short run will kill us. Peter is really issuing a command: “Keep looking toward your final salvation, which will be fully experienced when Christ returns. You have been saved, you are being saved, and you will be saved, so don’t get off course.” Our future hope is not simply a theological doctrine with little or no practical application. It is, in fact, an ethical hope. It has behavioral consequences. If we really believe in the second coming of Christ, this belief must make a difference in the way we live.
1:14. The difference in the way we live is described by Peter’s words, as obedient children. Obedience does not produce a believer in Jesus Christ, but true belief will always produce obedience in a believer in Jesus Christ. Part of this obedience is our nonconformity to evil desires. The verb conformed means “to be fashioned into something.” The word describes the practice of adopting for oneself a pattern or mold of life that is changeable and unstable.
The emphasis of verse 14 helps us see that this conformity does not begin with outward actions, as much as it begins with our attitude, our mind-set, our character. Peter is referring to a conformity of thought and purpose. What God requires in us is a total change of purpose. Our outward life will change only as it is a natural outworking of an inner change. Conformity is a lack of obedience that adopts the attitudes, mind-sets, and purposes of the culture of which we are a part. Conformity belongs to the time of ignorance when we did not know Christ and so lived like the world.
One of the prevailing attitudes of our culture is, “I don’t want any problems, any pain. I do not deserve to experience difficulties or trauma in any measure.” As believers, we are not to adopt that mind-set. We are to conform to the example of Christ, the Suffering Servant.
1:15–16. The alternative to conformity is holiness. Among God’s characteristics, as he has revealed himself, none is more significant than his holiness (see Lev. 11:44–45; 19:2; 20:7). Both the Old and New Testaments speak more about his holiness than any other attribute. The implication is that believers who cultivate Christian hope must also cultivate personal holiness. The root meaning of the word holiness could be expressed as “different or distinct.” It describes a qualitative difference. Holiness includes a specific moral sense of separation from evil and a dedication to a life of right living. The lives and attitudes of Christians should be qualitatively different because of their relationship to God through Jesus Christ. Holiness produces in our lives a loving conformity to God’s commands which ultimately produces the character of God in us.
Philippians 2:2-5 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
2 If there is therefore any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassions, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. 4 Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Christ’s Humility and Exaltation
5 Have this mind in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
The Christian body of Christ needs to have oneness of mind with each other, as well as humility, taking care of each other in these difficult times. We must set aside any prideful tendencies, for those that are proud refuse to accept biblical guidance, which is direction from God himself. The apostle Paul put it this way, “he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions.” (1 Timothy 6:4)
Another misstep for today’s Christian is a laziness of mind. Many comments like, “Bible study is really not necessary, or the Holy Spirit tells me what the Word of God means” contributes to this laziness of mind. Another is, “God is looking for people with a heart that is receptive to him, not all of this head knowledge. God is not impressed with what you know.” While these statement have some measure of truth to them, they are misrepresenting the truth of the matter, and only lead to a lifetime of living as a spiritual babe, as opposed to a mature Christian. A mind at rest will stay at rest, as it needs to be fed the deeper things of God, if it is to be alert, strong and ready to offensively teach another, as well as to defend against Satan’s vessels, which are used to undermine the Christian faith and the Word of God. We do not want to be like the Jews of the first century, whose “minds were hardened” to the point that they were unable to recognize the Son of God. (2 Cor. 3:14) On Philippians 2:2-5, Max Anders writes,
|2:2. Paul instructs his readers to make my joy complete in practical responses with the following outlook toward one another:
1. being like-minded
2. having the same love
3. being one in spirit and purpose
These sentiments are viewed by Paul as being normal for Christians. Being united in Christ, believers work together for the same purposes rather than seeking areas of disagreement and division.
2:3. After revealing the positive way for believers to behave toward one another, Paul gives negatives to avoid. Unity in love means selfish ambition and vain conceit have no place in the Christian life. Such characteristics rise from pride, not from love. Instead, humility is to characterize the Christian. We are not to exalt ourselves above others.
You are probably thinking that this is easier said than done. Yet, Jesus, himself, said: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. All men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34–35). Biblical love is selfless. The opposite of this kind of love is selfishness. Humility does not mean putting ourselves down but rather lifting others up.
2:4. Looking out for our own interests comes naturally. We need, and receive, no instruction for that. We are instructed to look out for the interests of others. We are to keep an eye out to discover ways we can help others even when they do not see they need such help. The apostle stated in Galatians 6:2: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
2:5. Paul proceeds to give examples for the Philippians to emulate. The first is Christ. He is the supreme example of humility, love, and selflessness. Christ’s model brings to life Paul’s words. As believers are united with Christ, we are to have the same attitude as Christ, one of humility. Paul expresses the same thought in Ephesians 4:2: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” All believers should share this humble, selfless mind-set of Christ.
James 4:8 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
If we draw close to God in our worship, as well as our commitment to him, he in turn will draw close to us. Many, who shy away from putting the effort into buying out the time to get to know God better, which requires deepening our knowledge of him in personal Bible study, will say that head knowledge will get you nowhere. Well, yes that is true to an extent, but a deeper knowledge of God’s power, love, wisdom, and justice, among other outstanding attributes, will give us guidance for our godly life, meaning the head knowledge as some like to call it, will get down into our heart, the seat of motivation.
“‘Deep’ study is no guarantee that Mature Faith will result, but shallow study guarantees that immaturity continues.” – Dr. Lee M. Fields.
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We can be double-minded, doubting, wavering persons when we live as the world does, because we would not actually have faith in the promises of God, or whether they are going to come true. In other words, we are playing both sides of the fence, just in case. We have one foot in the world of humankind alienated from God, and the other in Christ. Jesus said, “You are either for me or against me.” There is no fence sitting.
Sensible thinking, thinking that contributes to one lovingly surrendering one’s life to God’s will and purposes, is what will defeat Satan’s efforts to enslave our mind. If a wrong desire enters your mind, it needs to be immediately dismissed, giving no ground to Satan. When the anxiety of living in a world plays to the materialistic side of our nature, we need to determine within ourselves that we are going to control our mind. When we feel enraged over an injustice, or a wrong perception, challenge our irrational thinking with biblical thinking. Who are we going to let control our mind, our fleshly desire, Satan and his world that caters to our sinful nature, or God’s Word? Have we not matured, enough to apply the Spirit-inspired Word of God? We live in a time like no other, as there are provisions that will help us correctly understand the Word of God, so that we can find the knowledge of God.
Reaching Forward to God’s Goal
Philippians 3:12-16 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
12 Not that I have already obtained it or am already perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers, I do not count myself as having laid hold of it: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 Only to what we have attained, let us go on walking in the same.
Again, we turn to Max Anders, who writes,
3:12. Paul’s description of his desires pointed forward to a goal. He had not “arrived.” Not yet mature, he was still very much in the race of the Christian life. The perfection he would have at the future resurrection was not yet attained. He still had to deal with what in Romans 7 he calls “the flesh,” an innate pull to sin. He had to deal with his sinful body and was only too aware of the need for further spiritual growth. He purposes to press on as he had not attained the intense personal knowledge of Christ that he desired and had not become all that Christ wanted him to be. He did not press on out of personal power or will. He did so because Jesus had chosen him and on the Damascus road grabbed hold of his life. Paul always held God up as the source of every part of the salvation experience. A fact of the Christian life is that the more you mature the more you realize how much further you have to go to become like Christ.
3:13. Paul, in this verse, underlines his denial of personal power or attainment and his single-minded focus. To describe that focus, he employs the image of a runner in a race who hopes to win the prize. He cannot look back. He cannot cloud his mind with past memories. He strains every muscle in his body to achieve forward motion. Eyes focus on the finish line. Paul forgets the guilt of persecuting the church. He forgets the pain of prison and physical punishment. He forgets the frustration of disobedient church members and false teachers. He looks ahead to see the resurrection, where he will meet Jesus face-to-face.
3:14. With this focus he pursues his goal intently. His goal is to win the prize for which God had called him in Christ Jesus. He wants to hear God call his name and summon him to the victory stand, where he will meet Jesus face-to-face and know him in perfect intimacy. Earthly prizes do not last. Eternal prizes do. The goal can never be realized on earth. It is a goal that pulls us heavenward. Note 1 Corinthians 9:25: “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” In the late 1950s, Jim Elliot, former husband of author Elisabeth Elliot, gave up his life to reach a hostile tribe in the jungles of Ecuador. His words have been immortalized: “He is not a fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” While Paul was not spiritually where he thought he would ultimately be, he intended not to be distracted by anything as he pursued his goal (Heb. 12:1–2). Both discipline and determination are required to accomplish this objective.
3:15. Paul believed that all spiritually mature Christians would agree with or would share his philosophy toward life. Mature translates the same Greek term as did perfect in verse 12. Paul pointed to a difference of opinion as to the meaning of perfection. His opponents thought they had obeyed the law and achieved perfection in this life. Paul knew he would never obtain perfection. The only persons who could claim to be part of the “perfect ones” were those who knew that running the race and seeking the goal was the only mark of perfection possible on earth. If they thought differently, Paul was confident God could cause them to change their minds, since Paul’s human arguments could not. Paul was content to shed some light on the subject.
3:16. As followers of Christ, we are responsible to live out or put into practice what we have learned. We are not perfect, but that is no excuse not to run the race and seek the prize. God is calling us to the victory stand. We must run as hard as we can to cross the finish line.
Do Not Be Anxious Over Anything
Philippians 4:4-7 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your gentleness be made known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
4:4. Again Paul returns to the key theme of this letter: joy. He calls believers to rejoice at all times and repeats the call for emphasis. This includes the bad times as well as the good (compare Jas. 1:2–5). Christians should be known as joyful people. Such joy resides not in circumstances or positive attitudes toward life. Joy reigns in the heart only when Christ is Lord of life. Joy is always in the Lord.
4:5. A practical way to have joy is by exhibiting gentleness to all. This lets the church and world see that you belong to the Lord. The Greek word epieikēs means “yielding, gentle, kind.” It includes the ability to go beyond the letter of the law in treating others, to provide something beside strict justice. It does not insist on personal rights or privileges. Christ embodied such gentleness in his dealing with all people (2 Cor. 10:1; compare 1 Tim. 3:3; Titus 3:2; Jas. 3:17; 1 Pet. 2:18). Why should we surrender personal rights for others? The Lord is near. In both time and space, God is available to us. He is not far removed in heaven but present in our hearts to hear and relate to us. His nearness also means he knows us and what we are. In time, God is near, for he is coming again. Then we will receive our rewards for living like Christ rather than like the world.
4:6. Joy replaces anxiety in life, so Paul advises the Philippians not to be anxious about anything. The cure for anxiety? Prayer! Worry and anxiety come from focusing on your circumstances such as imprisonment or persecution which Paul and the Philippians faced. Anxiety or worry doesn’t accomplish anything, but prayer does (Jas. 5:16). Jesus warned against worry which demonstrates a lack of trust in God (Matt. 6:25–34).
4:7. The peace of God comes from prayer involving both asking God for earthly needs and thanking God for his presence and provision. The expression appears only here in the New Testament. God’s peace reflects the divine character, which lives in serenity, totally separate from all anxiety and worry. Such peace is like a squad of Roman soldiers standing guard and protecting you from worry and fret. Such peace is not a dream of the human mind. The human mind cannot even comprehend this kind of peace, wholeness, and quiet confidence. Such peace protects the two organs of worry, heart and mind that produce feelings and thoughts. Such protection is real, available in Christ Jesus. Those who do not trust and commit their life to Christ have no hope for peace.
- What are some of the wars that the United States has faced, but what is the greatest war facing humankind?
- Who is the main person involved in the battle for the human mind, and when was he finally kicked out of heaven?
- What was Satan’s original goal, and was he successful?
- What was Satan’s second goal, and when was the success?
- What power did these rebel angels have at one time, and what inferences from Scripture suggest they no longer have it?
- What did these rebel angels do just before the flood in Noah’s days?
- What was the Nephilim?
- What was Satan’s third goal?
- What suggests that Adam went over the restriction of the tree of knowledge very well with Eve?
- What two mistakes did Eve make in that moment if sinning?
- What principle I the book of James did Eve violate, which led her to eating of the forbidden fruit?
- How does most English translation read, as to Adam physical relationship to Eve, when she ate of the forbidden fruit?
- How does Adam being with her (inferring beside her), when she eats the forbidden fruit, create a real Bible difficulty?
- How does one commentary by William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker try to rationalize this Bible difficulty?
- Why does it seem so unreasonable that Adam was standing beside Even, during the conversation, and at the time, she chose to eat?
- Explain the Hebrew verb translated as “gave,” which is in the imperfect waw consecutive.
- Are we to believe that Adam just stood there and remained silent? Are we to believe that Adam just chose not to interrupt the peddling of lies?
- How does the commentary by Longman, How to Read Genesis, suggest the account went? Why is this unreasonable?
- Assuming that this author is wrong about the Hebrew grammar, how can it be said that ‘Adam was with,’ but not be standing right beside her?
- How did Satan alter Eve’s mindset?
- What does 1 John 2:16-17 warn us of that is directly related to the account about Even sinning?
- Why did Satan choose Eve to begin his battle for the human minds?
- How might have the conversation went between Satan the angels, causing them to rebel in the preflood world?
- Who were the “sons of God” in the days of Enoch and Noah, mentioned explicitly in Genesis 6, and what other texts support this?
- In what environment did Enoch and Noah carry out their commission to preach?
- What did the flood in Noah’s days wipe away?
- How did Satan get the control of the Israelite minds?
- What happened in each of Jesus three temptations in the wilderness?
- What did Jesus use on many occasions to help people escape Satan’s influences?
- Where are the spiritual heavens located?
- What time might we be living in?
- How do we live as though Jesus’ return is tomorrow, but plan as though it is 50-years away?
- Why does it seem logical that Satan being ousted from heaven would come before the Great Tribulation?
- How are we losing millions of Christians to the progressive, modernistic world of humankind?
- How large is liberal-progressive Christianity, and what impact are they having on the truly conservative few?
- How has liberal Christianity impacted our Bible translations?
- How has Satan used commercialism and materialism to sidetrack the Christian mind?
- How is Satan using the television, movie and music video industry to affect the Christian mind?
- How has Satan long used the natural desire of a sexual relationship to influence the Christian mind?
- Even though Satan cannot read our mind, what can he use against us?
- What is meant by preparing your minds for action?
- What is a oneness of mind?
- What is a laziness of mind?
- What is double-minded?
- Who are we going to let control our mind, our fleshly desire, Satan and his world that caters to our sinful nature, or God’s Word?
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Christian Apologetics and Evangelism
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God’s will is that “all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4) God has assigned all Christians the task of proclaiming the Word of God, teaching, to make disciples. (Matt. 24:15; 28:19-20: Ac 1;8 That includes men and women who profess a non-Christian religion, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam to mention just a few. If there are Hindus, Buddhist or Muslims are in your community, why not initiate a conversation with them? Christians who take the Great Commission seriously cannot afford to ignore these religions…
Evangelism is the work of a Christian evangelist, of which all true Christians are obligated to partake to some extent, which seeks to persuade other people to become Christian, especially by sharing the basics of the Gospel, but also the deeper message of biblical truths. Today the …
MOST Christian apologetic books help the reader know WHAT to say; THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST is HOW to communicate it effectively. The Christian apologist words should always be seasoned with salt as we share the unadulterated truths of Scripture with gentleness and respect. Our example …
…THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK is a practical guide (for real-life application) in aiding all Christians in sharing biblical beliefs, the Good News of the kingdom, how to deal with Bible critics, overturning false beliefs, so as to make disciples, as commanded by Christ. Matthew 24:14; …
The reader will receive eight small introductory books in this one publication. Andrews’ intention is to offer his reader several chapters on eight of the most critical subject areas of understanding and defending the Word of God. This will enable the reader to lay a solid foundation for …
…The Culture War. How the West lost its greatness and was weakened from within outlines how the West lost its values, causing its current decline. It is a forceful attack on the extreme liberal, anti-religious ideology which since the1960’s has permeated the Western culture and …
EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY will give its readers a thrilling account of first-century Christianity. When and how did they come to be called Christians? Who are all obligated to be Christian evangelists? In what way did Jesus set the example for our evangelism? What is the …
Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or congregation, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” OURS is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the …
The intention of this book is to investigate the biblical chronology behind Jehovah’s Witnesses most controversial doctrinal position that Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven in October 1914. This biblical chronology of the Witnesses hinges upon their belief that the destruction of …
In order to overcome and church problems, we must first talk about the different problems of the church. Many of the church problems today stem from the isms: liberalism, humanism, modernism, Christian progressivism, theological liberalism, feminism, higher criticism, and biblical criticism. Moreover, many are simply not a biblically grounded church regardless of how much they claim to be so. The marks of a true Christian church would be like the different lines that make up a church’s fingerprint, a print that cannot belong to any other church. The true Christian church contains their own unique grouping of marks, forming a positive “fingerprint” that cannot belong to any other church. William Lange Craig wrote, “Remember that our faith is not based on emotions, but on the truth, and therefore you must hold on to it.” What truth? Jesus said to the Father in prayer, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17) Are you doing the will of the Father? Is your church doing the will of the Father? – Matthew 7:21-23; 1 John 2:15-17.
Evangelist Norman Robertson claims that “Tithing is God’s way of financing His kingdom on the earth.” He asserts that “It is His system of economics which enables the Gospel to be preached.” Not bashful about telling his followers of their duty to give, he flatly states: ‘Tithing isn’t something you do because you can afford it. It is an act of obedience. Not tithing is a clear violation of God’s commandments. It is embezzlement.’ Most likely you accept that giving should be part of Christian worship. However, …
DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH by Fred DeRuvo asks Does It Matter How You Worship? There are 41,000 different denominations that call themselves “Christian” and all would claim that they are the truth. Can just any Christian denomination please God? Can all be true or genuine Christianity if they all have different views on the same Bible doctrines? DeRuvo will answer. He will focus on the largest part of Christianity that has many different denominations, the charismatic, ecstatic Signs and Wonders Movements. These ecstatic worshipers claim … DeRuvo will answer all these questions and more according to the truth of God’s Word.—John 8:31-32; 17:17.
Translation and Textual Criticism
…THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION (CGBT) is for all individuals interested in how the Bible came down to us, as well as having an insight into the Bible translation process. CGBT is also for those who are interested in which translation(s) would be the most beneficial to use.
There are more than 150 different Bible translations in the English language alone. Some are what we call literal translations, which seeks to give the reader the exact English equivalent of what was written in the original language text, thus allowing the reader access to the actual Word …
…THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT was copied and recopied by hand for 1,500 years. Regardless of those scribes who had worked very hard to be faithful in their copying, errors crept into the text. How can we be confident that what we have today is the Word of God? Wilkins and Andrews …
Edward D. Andrews boldly answers the challenges Bart D. Ehrman alleges against the fully inerrant, Spirit-inspired, authoritative Word of God. By glimpsing into the life of Bart D. Ehrman and following along his course of academic studies, Andrews helps the reader to understand the …
A comprehensive book on HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE by observing, interpreting, and applying, which will focus on the most basic Bible study tools, principles, and processes for moving from an in-depth reading of the Scriptures to application. What, though, if you have long felt that you are not studiously inclined? Realize that the primary difference between a serious Bible student and a less serious Bible student is usually diligence and effort, not being a gifted student. Being a gifted Bible student alone is not enough. Efficient methods of Bible study are worth learning, for those seeking to become serious Bible students. The joy missing from many Bible students is because they do not know how to study their Bible, which means they do not do it well. Perhaps you dislike Bible study because you have not developed your study skills sufficiently to make your Bible study enjoyable. Maybe you have neglected your Bible study simply because you would rather be doing something else you enjoy.
How can we find more enjoyment in studying the Bible? How can we make our study periods more productive? What circumstances contribute to effective personal study? How can we derive real benefit and pleasure from our Bible reading? From what activities can time be bought out for reading and studying the Bible? Why should we watch our spiritual feeding habits? What benefits come from reading and studying the Scriptures? There is a great and constantly growing interest in the study of the English Bible in these days. However, very much of the so-called study of the English Bible is unintelligent and not fitted to produce the most satisfactory results. The authors of this book already have a book entitled “HOW TO STUDY: Study the Bible for the Greatest Profit,” but that book is intended for those who are willing to buy out the time to put into thorough Bible study.
Why is personal and family Bible study so important in our life now? How can we apply the Word of God in our lives? How can we use the Bible to help others? How can we effectively use the Scriptures when teaching others? How can we make decisions God’s way? How can Bible principles help us to decide wisely? Why should we have faith in God and his word? The Psalmist tells us, God’s Word “is a lamp to my foot, and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105) Since the Bible is a gift from God, the time and effort that we put into our personal Bible Study is a reflection of how much we appreciate that gift. What do our personal Bible study habits reveal about the depth of our appreciation of God’s Word? Certainly, the Bible is a deep and complex book, and reading and studying are not easy at times. However, with time and effort, we can develop a spiritual appetite for personal Bible study. (1 Peter 2:2)
Correctly interpreting the Bible is paramount to understanding the Word of God. As Christians, we do not want to read our 21st-century worldview INTO the Scriptures, but rather to takeOUT OF the Scriptures what the author meant by the words that he used. The guaranteed way of arriving a correct understanding of God’s Words is to have an accurate knowledge of the historical setting, cultural background, and of the people, governments, and religious leaders, as well as the place and time of the New Testament writings. Only with the background, setting, and context can you grasp the author’s intended meaning to his original readers and …
The life of Christ is an exhaustless theme. It reveals a character of greater massiveness than the hills, of a more serene beauty than the stars, of sweeter fragrance than the flowers, higher than the heavens in sublimity and deeper than the seas in mystery. As good Jean Paul has eloquently said, “It concerns Him who, being the holiest among the mighty, and the mightiest among the holy, lifted with His pierced hands empires off their hinges, turned the stream of centuries out of its channels, and still governs the ages.” …
Stalker’s Life of St. Paul became one of the most widely read and respected biographies of the Apostle to the Gentiles. As an insightful compendium on the life of Paul, this work is of particular interest to pastors and teachers who desire to add realism and vividness to their account of one of the greatest Christians who ever lived. …
Delving into the basics of biblical interpretation, Edward D. Andrews has provided a complete hands-on guide to understanding what the author meant by the words that he used from the conservative grammatical-historical perspective. He teaches how to study the Bible on a deep, scholarly …
…Linguistic and literary factors are analyzed so that the various genres of Scripture are examined for their true meaning. The importance of having sound principles of interpretation cannot be overstated as to ignore them will result in all manner of erroneous assumptions. Beville presents …
Once upon a time, Postmodernism was a buzzword. It pronounced Modernism dead or at least in the throes of death. It was a wave that swept over Christendom, promising to wash away sterile, dogmatic and outmoded forms of church. But whatever happened to postmodernism? It was regarded …
…church. It offers an appointment with the Great Physician that no Christian can afford to ignore. Developing Healthy Churches: A Case-Study in Revelation begins with a well-researched outline of the origins and development of the church health movement. With that background in mind the …
…liberties in a multi-cultural society that is becoming increasingly secular. This work provides an ethical framework in which euthanasia and assisted suicide can be evaluated. These issues are on the radar indicating a collision course with Christian values. It is time for Christians to be …
…Journey with Jesus through the Message of Mark is an insightful and engaging survey of Mark‘s Gospel, exploring each major section of the text along with key themes. It is a work that can be enjoyed by laypersons as well as pastors and teachers. Pastors will find the abundant use …
What are angels & demons? Can angels help us? What does the Bible say about angels? What is the truth about angels? Can Angels affect your life? Who were the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2? Who were the Nephilim in Genesis 6:2? Who is Michael the archangel? Can Satan the Devil control …
An Encouraging Thought elucidates the ways in which Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are informed by and communicate a biblical worldview. This book will help readers appreciate the ways in which a biblical worldview informs Tolkien’s work, to the end that their own faith may be confirmed in strength, focused in understanding, deepened in joy, and honed in its ability to communicate the Gospel.
What is the Bible’s viewpoint? Without delving into an endless stream of what man has said, Andrews looks at what the Bible says about death and the like. Why do we grow old and die? What happens at death? Is there life after death, or is this all there is? Do we have an immortal soul? …
Herein Andrews will give the reader exactly what the Bible offers on exposing who the Antichrist and the Man of Lawlessness are. If we look at the texts that refer to the antichrist and the man of lawlessness, we will have lines of evidence that will enable us to identify them. Why is it …
Throughout the Scriptures, God is identified as the Creator. He is the One “who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it.” [Isa 45:18] He is the One “who forms mountains and creates the wind” (Am 4:13) and is the One “who made the heaven and …
The information herein is based on the disciples coming to Jesus privately, saying, “Tell us, (1) when will these things be, and (2) what will be the sign of your coming, and (3) of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) What will end? When will the end come? What comes after the end? Who …
What Really Is Hell? What Kind of Place is Hell? What Really Happens at Death? What Did Jesus Teach About Hell? How Does Learning the Truth About Hell Affect You? Who Goes to Hell? What Is Hell? Is It a Place of Eternal Torment? Does God Punish People in Hellfire? Do the Wicked Suffer in …
Miracles were certainly a part of certain periods in Bible times. What about today? Are miracles still taking place. There are some very important subjects that surround this area of discussion that are often misunderstood. Andrews will answer such questions as does God step in and solve …
Today there are many questions about homosexuality as it relates to the Bible and Christians. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Does genetics, environment, or traumatic life experiences justify homosexuality? What is God’s will for people with same-sex attractions? Does the …
If you’ve struggled in the world of difficulties that surround you, you’re not alone. Maybe you have looked for help, and you have been given conflicting answers. 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS: Coming-of-Age In Christ, can help you. Its advice is based on answers that actually work, which are found in the Bible. God’s Word has helped billions over thousands of years to face life’s challenges successfully. Find out how it can help you! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS includes seven sections, with several chapters in each. It includes the following sections: Sexual Desires and Love, your friends, your family, school, recreation, your health. You need advice you can trust! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS will give you that. This author has worked with thousands of youths from around the world. The Bible-based sound advice helped them. Now you can discover how it can help you.
Young ones and teens, you are exposed to complex problems that your parents may not understand. Young Christians, you are bombarded with multiple options for solving everyday problems through social media. Where do you turn to find answers? Where can you look to find guidance from Scripture? In order to provide a Christian perspective to problem-solving, the author of this devotional book decided to take a different approach.
This devotional book follows the author’s own faith journey back to God. Significant life events can shake our world and distort our faith. Following life’s tragedies, a common reaction is to become angry with God or to reject Him altogether. Examples of tragedies or traumas include life-changing events such as physical or sexual assault, destruction of one’s home, the tragic death of a loved one, diagnoses of terminal diseases, divorce, miscarriages, or being a victim of a crime. Tragedies or traumas can cause feelings of anxiety, depression, shame, and guilt.
Throughout the book, common themes emerge to support caregivers. The reader will find interesting Bible Scriptures, offering a Christian perspective, for handling issues that may arise. These inspiring passages will assist the caregiver in finding peace and faith as they travel their journey as a caregiver. Although caregivers may not know how long they will play this role, they take on the responsibility without any question. Taking care of others is often mentioned in the Bible and, as noted in this devotional, this self-sacrificing, highly valued, and often challenging service will ultimately be rewarded.
Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air.
Paul counseled, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” (Col. 3:2) It is, for this reason, Marshall has penned the DAILY DEVOTIONAL: Daily Musings From the New Testament, which can help us be protected against Satan’s efforts at controlling our mind and heart. For each day of the year, DAILY DEVOTIONAL provides a Daily Bible Reading and comments for consideration.
BREAD OF HEAVEN helps the reader to have a greater understanding of the timeless truths of Scripture and a deeper appreciation of the grandeur of God. It offers meditations on selected Scriptures which will draw the reader’s attention upwards to the Savior.
A routine classified telepathic interrogation of a potential terrorist, followed by an assignment that doesn’t go as planned thrusts Tabatha – the world’s only telepathic human – into the public eye. The exposure leads an evil neuro-scientist requesting a meeting with her in hopes of luring her to his cause as well as unveiling a deadly creative work that has spanned three decades of research and development.
…desert but none of such significance as a handful of scrolls retrieved from a buried Roman satchel (presumed stolen) at this site. The discovery has since come to be known as ‘The Diary of Judas Iscariot.’ In The Diary of JudasIscariot Owen Batstone relates the observations and feelings …
Kevin Trill struggles with the notion that he may have missed the Rapture. With nothing but the clothes on his back and a solid gold pocket watch, he sets off towards Garbor, a safe haven for those who haven’t yet taken the mark of thebeast. While on his way to Garbor, he meets up …
There grew an element in the valley that did not want to be ruled by the Light of the Word. Over time, they convinced the people to reject it. As they started to reject this Light, the valley grew dim and the fog rolled in. The people craved the darkness rather than the Light because they were evil. They did not want to …
When an ancestor saddles them with the responsibility to purge Australia of a demon threatening to wipe our humanity with black flames, fraternal siblings Amber and Michael Hauksby lay their lives on the line. As the world crumbles around them into chaos, and ancient marsupials wreak havoc in their hometown, they must journey into …
“Write Place, Right Time” follows the pre-apocalyptic misadventures of freelance journalist Don Lamplighter. While on what he expects to be a routine Monday night trip to a village board meeting, Lamplighter’s good nature compels him to help a stranded vehicle. Little does he know that by saving one of the car’s occupants, he sets forth a chain of what to him seem to be unrelated events where he must use his physical and social skills to save himself and others from precarious situations.
 This author would not consider Satan’s appearance in the Garden of Eden, as a time when he was “booted out of heaven,” but rather abandoning his proper dwelling place.
 Kendell H. Easley, vol. 12, Revelation, Holman New Testament Commentary, 211 (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998).
 Tartarus is found only in 2 Peter 2:4. Tartarus is not to be confused with Hades or Gehenna. It is more of a condition than a place.
 The issues raised in Eden, as well as in the days of Job were:
(1) Satan called God a liar and said he was not to be trusted, as to the life or death issue.
(2) Satan’s challenge therefore took into question the right and legitimacy of God’s rightful place as the Universal Sovereign.
(3) Satan also suggested that people would remain obedient to God only as long as their submission to God was to their benefit.
(4) Satan all but said that humankind was able to walk on their own; there being no need for dependence on God.
(5) Satan argued that man could be like God, choosing for himself what is right and wrong.
(6) Satan claimed that God’s way of ruling was not in the best interests of humans, and they could do better without God.
 Some Bible translations give a different impression. The King James Version renders the text: “She took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” The Hebrew verb wattitten for “gave” is “with a prefixed pronoun SUBJECT and a sequential waw [waw is explained below], hence signifying a time-based or logical sequence of the events.” (A Systematic Glossary to the Andersen-Forbes Analysis of the Hebrew Bible) Are we to believe that Adam simply stood by, passively watching this conversation and events, without interjecting anything into it? German Bible scholar J. P. Lange comments on just that: “The presence of the man during the act of temptation, even his keeping quiet, is hardly imaginable.” And in explaining the phrase “with her,” Jewish commentator B. Jacob mentions that it does “not [mean] who was standing with her (during the previous act or while she ate).”
 Thomas D. Lea, Hebrews, James, vol. 10, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 261–262.
 William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, vol. 4, Exposition of the Pastoral Epistles, New Testament Commentary, 110 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953-2001).
 Within Hebrew grammar, you have what is known as the Waw Consecutive Theory. Before addressing that, the waw is a letter in the Hebrew alphabet, the consonant “w or “v”, and is pronounce “w” as in way. The Hebrew letter looks like an upside-down hockey stick (See Image above). However, the Hebrew waw also serves as a conjunction that has the basic meaning of “and.” It never stands alone, but is always joined with another word, normally with the Hebrew verb, forming one word with it. For example, wattanah would be “and came to rest.” The waw in this excursion will look like the letter in the parentheses (ו).
The Waw Consecutive Theory is believed by some Hebrew grammarians that the waw (ו), has the power to convert from one state to the other (i.e., from the imperfect [not completed] to the perfect [completed] and from the perfect to the imperfect), which has been greatly debated for a century. This writer, like other Hebrew grammarians, do not believe that the waw (ו), has this converting power. The explanation below is a little complex, but it is this author’s hope that context and a good English dictionary will pull the reader through.
The theory of Waw Consecutive: Concerning this theory, O. L. Barnes, in his work A New Approach to the Problem of the Hebrew Tenses and Its Solution Without Recourse to Waw-Consecutive, Oxford (1965), pp. 4, 5, wrote: “The matter has been needlessly complicated by the introduction and slavish adherence to the doctrine of Waw Consecutive, or its more ancient forebear Waw Conversive (the latest name proposed for it is Waw Conservative). Very briefly, though there have been a variety of modifications of the theme, this states that the ‘and – Waw ו’ appearing before the first of a series of consecutive Hebrew Verbs in the Imperfect Tense, if preceded by a Hebrew Verb in the Perfect Tense, indicates that all of them should be read or taken as Perfects (instead of what they really are: Imperfects) and vice versa, provided of course certain vowels associated with the Waw ו in the Imperfect are present.” C
Commenting the reasonableness of this theory, O. L. Barnes wrote on p. 1 of his work, “We may rightly ask why the ‘and – Waw ו’ has this strange converting power. Some recent grammars, in an attempt to by-pass the absurdity, state that it is not really the ‘and – Waw ו’ that has this converting power, but it is the key or guide we must look for to indicate the conversion; in end-result, therefore, it amounts to precisely the same thing. I trust it will be evident from what is stated here that in fact the ‘and – Waw ו’ neither has this power, nor is its assumption necessary to explain the rapid, sometimes abrupt, change in sequence of the Hebrew Tenses. In other words, we may dispense completely with the mythical Waw-Consecutive theory invented by grammarians.”
 by way Satan using it as his mouthpiece
 Longman III, Tremper (2005-05-12). How to Read Genesis (How to Read Series How to Read) (p. 111). Intervarsity Press – A. Kindle Edition.
 Thomas D. Lea, Hebrews, James, vol. 10, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 201.
 A resinous wood, possibly cypress (wood). The exact identity of the wood is unknown; “gopher wood” is simply a transliteration of the Hebrew.
 I.e. One cubit equals approx. 45 cm or 18 in.
 I.e. One cubit equals approx. 45 cm or 18 in.
 I.e. One cubit equals approx. 45 cm or 18 in.
 Or window, i.e., an opening for the provision of light.
 I.e. One cubit equals approx. 45 cm or 18 in.
 I.e., top
 K. A. Mathews, Genesis 1-11:26, vol. 1A, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996), 369–370.
 Peter H. Davids, The Letters of 2 Peter and Jude, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2006), 226–227.
 Quotation from Deuteronomy 8:3
 I borrowed the car salesman analogy off of Dr. Darrell Bock, but it is a bit revised.
 A quotation from Deut. 6:16
 , vol. 2, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised, ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley, 713 (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1979–1988).
 The “last days” is not some future event to which we look. It is now, Jesus Christ initiated this epoch, and it will continue uninterrupted until his return.–Holman New Testament Commentary (p. 301) http://biblia.com/books/hntc73th/2Ti3.1
 Towns, Elmer (2011-10-30). AMG Concise Bible Doctrines (AMG Concise Series) (Kindle Locations 6138-6140). AMG Publishers. Kindle Edition.
 Or the elect
 In this chapter percentages are rounded.
 The word liberal in liberal Christianity denotes a characteristic willingness to interpret scripture without any preconceived notion of inerrancy of scripture or the correctness of Church dogma. Progressive Christianity is the name given to a movement within contemporary Christianity characterized by a willingness to question tradition, acceptance of human diversity with a strong emphasis on social justice or care for the poor and the oppressed and environmental stewardship of the Earth, as opposed to carrying out the Great Commission Jesus commanded. Evangelicalism is a Protestant movement of the Christian Church whose members believe in the authority of the Bible and salvation through the personal acceptance of Jesus Christ.
 Leland Ryken. The Word of God in English: Criteria for Excellence in Bible Translation (p. 28).
 Or “loose conduct,” “sensuality,” “licentiousness” “promiscuity” Greek, aselgeia. This phrase refers to acts of conduct that are serious sins. It reveals a shameless condescending arrogance; i.e., disregard or even disdain for authority, laws, and standards.
 An interpretive translation would have, “put on the new person,” because it does mean male or female.
 Max Anders, Galatians-Colossians, vol. 8, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 153–154.
 Kenneth Boa and William Kruidenier, Romans, vol. 6, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 250–252.
 I.e., prepare your minds for action (mental perception)
 I.e., obedient children
 Clinton E. Arnold, Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary Volume 4: Hebrews to Revelation., 129 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002).
 David Walls and Max Anders, I & II Peter, I, II & III John, Jude, vol. 11, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 11–13.
 Or any sharing of spirit
 That is, thinking the same thing
 Lit together in soul
 Lit lowly mindedness
 Lit not the (things) of themselves each (ones).
 Lit be thinking, mental attitude
 Max Anders, Galatians-Colossians, vol. 8, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 224–225.
 If we do not have head knowledge, how can we expect to recall any Bible verses in time of need? In addition, it is obvious when reading Scripture, that the Bible authors often and continually recalled OT passages, which they inserted in their writings. Without the writers’ head knowledge, the NT would be devoid of OT quotes.―Bruce Prince.
 Phroneo … signifies (a) “to think, to be minded in a certain way”; (b) “to think of, be mindful of.” It implies moral interest or reflection, not mere unreasoning opinion.
 Max Anders, Galatians-Colossians, vol. 8, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 244–246.
 Or “The Lord is near.”
 Or “your mental powers; your thoughts.”
 Max Anders, Galatians-Colossians, vol. 8, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999), 261–262.
 If you are doing this book alone, do not fear the idea of Hebrew grammar, read what is written slow, meditating as you go. If this book is a part of a Bible study at the church, have the leader of that study read the paragraphs and footnote, step-by-step, reiterating in even easier to understand terms as he moves along. He should ask questions at each step, making sure his listeners are with him.