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Location: Poughkeepsie, New York, United States
Interests: Bible Studies, writing about God, helping out in my community and church. Enjoying life and all that God has given me. Reaching those who are hurting with the love of God.
Expertise: Questions and more questions, trying to sort out God stuff.
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Back again after a long hiatus. Decided to write notes from current Bible studies first, then go back and play catch-up. My husband and I felt this was a dynamite study - taught Friday, March 13, 2013
John 5:1-4 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.
Whoever stepped in first.
John 5:5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.
Thirty-eight years!!! That's a long time.
John 5:6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that conditiona long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
Jesus asked the man - Do you want to be made well? We think, well of course he wanted to be made well. Jesus knew he was there a long time through a Word of Knowledge, it wasn't that Jesus saw him each day of those thirty-eight years. Jesus was just in town for the feast. This question is pertinent for today, because there are people who are still sick in our culture and church. Not all who are sick really desire to get well.
John 5:7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.
Notice, the man did not answer the question. He's sort of saying, "Are you joking? Here I am coming to the pool thirty-eight years." Pastor Don said that the man's paralysis was limited - he could get to the pool, but not into the water.
We looked at verse six in the Amplified Bible When Jesus noticed him lying there [helpless], knowing that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, Do you want to become well? [Are you really in earnest about getting well?]
Jesus was asking the man and us, "How motivated are you?" We have to want to believe divine healing is available yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We are bound by the parameters of our desire and our motivation. Everyone who is sick doesn't want to be made well.
Pastor Don told us about how, during one service, the Holy Spirit let him know that the anointing for healing for one of the ladies attending. She had been in a car accident. Pastor went to lay hands on her and pray for her healing. He said to her, "I believe the Lord told me that if I lay hands on you, you will be healed." The woman said, "Don't touch me, Don." He asked, "Why?" She said, "If you touch me, I'll get healed and I want to sue that SOB that hit me. Don't lay hands on me."
Pastor was stunned and he told the woman, "The healing anointing is here for you now, I can't guarantee that after the lawsuit that it will be available."
She insisted she wanted to get that man.
Pastor Don said that the criterion for healing is not so much God's criteria, but our own. This woman rejected the possibility of healing. Often, we are the problem.
Then Pastor Don said, that there were many people at the Pool of Bethesda, and Jesus only went to this one man. How come the others waiting at the pool didn't look at Jesus and ask, "What's your criteria for healing? Are you willing?" The leper went up to Jesus and asked him if He was willing, and Jesus said He was willing to heal.
So, we need to be aware that it is our criteria that is preventing the flow of what God wants to do. We limit what God wants to do because of our stuff. Sometimes we are not obedient. We don't drop our criteria to accept God's.
Verse 7 is a coping out about the problem. The problem for this man wasn't faith or belief (he believed if he would get into the pool, he would be healed) it was obedience. He was at the pool for so many years that he was obviously believing something.
Pastor reminded us that when we visited Israel we looked at the pool - one side was a high wall, and you had to climb a series of steps to reach the pool and there was just a narrow walking area maybe three to four feet wide. People would lay on these steps waiting for the waters to stir. Because of the nature of this man's disability, he was able to get to the steps but unable to be the first in the water. An able bodied person would have been able to reach the waters.
It was mentioned that Jesus had healing in His wings. Pastor Don took us to Malachi 4:1-3 “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,” says the Lord of hosts, “that will leave them neither root nor branch. But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves. You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I do this,” says the Lord of hosts. “Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
Pastor Don illustrated this by using a prayer shawl - showing how, when wearing one, the person praying could pull it completely over their heads and have their faces hidden from view (prayer closet). And how, if one wears a prayer shawl, grabs the ends and lifts their arms it looks like wings of a bird. And the tassels (talit) were the hem of this garment that the woman with the issue of blood reached out to touch.
The Jews believed that such a garment would build up a healing power because of the prayers prayed while wearing it. Jesus is the Sun of Righteousness. He would have worn a prayer shawl because no Orthodox Jew would be caught without his prayer shawl.
The Day of the Lord did not come at the appearance of the Messiah, they took this prophesy out of its setting.
Healing came through Jesus' prayer shawl because they believed and had faith for it. God accepts those who hear the truth and obey. Those who are faint of heart can be changed when their ignorance is replaced by the truth that God holds us to. God won't bless our ignorance.
Pastor Don shared that when he first began to believe God and lay hands on people he felt the presence of God for healing as a tingling on his arms. When the tingling appeared, he knew that the healing anointing was available. As Pastor grew in his faith, the tingling stopped. He realized that he had to believe, by faith, that the anointing for healing was there. And he realized that, if he relied on an outward sign like the tingling of his arms, that the enemy could imitate that and fool Pastor into believing it was God.
We need to step out in faith, believing that once we take that first step, God will meet us. God frees us to operate more effectively.
We were reminded that there was nothing in the appearance of Jesus that would stand out in a crowd, his appearance was ordinary, so when people approached Him, it was not because of anything physical.
A question was asked about sin and sickness, how the Jews believed that all sickness was caused by sin. Pastor pointed out that this is not always the case using the following Scripture.
John 9:1-2 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
The Jews assumed that there was a direct connection between sin and sickness, sin and poverty, sin and misfortune. They didn't do like we do today and say that everybody is a good person so anything bad happening is an act of God. God does not bring sickness, disease, and death, that is the enemy who does this.
We were reminded that in Deuteronomy 28 there is a long passage of blessings and curses that would fall on the Israelites depending on whether they obeyed God or disobeyed God.
Our discussion then went to the role of husbands as the spiritual head of the family.
Pastor said that it is not surprising that the Holy Spirit is linked to the feminine - wife - teacher and comforter.
More women attend church than men. The woman needs to fake it until her husband steps into his role as spiritual head of the family. Even if women know the answer to spiritual questions, it is important to take the questions to their husband so that the husband steps up to the plate and answers them. As we defer to our husbands, then the husbands fulfill the role that God placed them in.
The biggest obstacle to faith is disobedience and not obeying the law.
How come Christians go to church, are good people and they believe that they are redeemed from sin, but they don't believe that Jesus also died for healing.
Galatians 3:13-14 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
We are redeemed from the curse of the law, not because we did anything to cause this, but because we believed it.
Two thousand years later, we believe Jesus died for our sins, but we don't believe that He died for our healing. It should be as easy for us to believe that Jesus died for our healing as it is for us believing for salvation.
Pastor Don said that one day he drove to a local filling station, did not have money. He asked the clerk if he could leave his driver's license so he could go to get money from the bank and then return to pay for the gas. When he got to the bank he reached his hand into the back pocket and pulled out a twenty dollar bill. He didn't know he had that. Even though he had enough money to get enough gas, that money didn't do him any good because he didn't realize he had that money.
It is the same with healing - we cannot make use of the power of healing that Jesus died to provide for us unless we realize that we have that power within us because of what Jesus did on the cross.
Where is our faith? We sometimes think that we are not qualified to heal or be healed. God just says that all we need to do is come in faith believing. Do we dare believe in God? Remember Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. We believe, sight unseen.
We don't always act like we believe that there is a Heaven to be gained. We fight so hard to hold onto life.
When our prayers for healing don't work the way we want them to, we doubt God. We aren't always honest with ourselves. Often we say we are believing for a healing when we are really wishing and hoping, but don't have the faith for healing. We need to get honest with the Holy Ghost. We can go to God and honesty say like the man with the sick son - Lord I believe, help my unbelief.
John 5:8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”
The presence of God can change any circumstance.
John 5:9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.
Notice, the man made no more excuses. He said to his self, "Self get up and walk." He had faith in God, the person of God who talked to him.
The Church says they have faith, but they don't live by faith. We have to get brutally honest with ourselves. Often, we can't get past the lack of seeing.
If you tell a seven-year-old Santa is coming, the child races downstairs in the morning expecting. If you tell the same thing to an adult, they will not believe because they have lived longer and have seen things that hinder their faith.
We have to purpose that nothing on earth or in earth will hold us in sickness. Only the devil and you can hold you in sickness. The devil wants us to feel unworthy and unacceptable to God, because then the devil can hold us in bondage.
There is no place in Scripture that Jesus has us fill out forms or ask us questions about why we should or shouldn't be healed.
Why did Jesus go find this guy? Jesus followed the promptings of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit told Jesus that if he didn't get to this guy the devil and other people would hold him in bondage.
This man had the presence of Jesus. We believe for healing by faith. John 17:20-21 I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
Jesus prayed for us, who believe because of the Word, not because Jesus was physically present for us.
Jesus climbed over all the people lying by the pool looking for one who really had faith for healing. When Jesus told the man to rise up and pick up his bed, the man immediately did this. He didn't question Jesus or say, I don't think I can do this, I'm a cripple. He immediately obeyed.
Don't sign up for less than the best - the devil is glad to give you disease and hurt your faith. Trust Jesus and know that not only did He die for our salvation but also for our healing.
I apologize for not updating my blog for a few weeks. My plan is to make regular posts from now on.
Last enemy is death and the resurrection of life
1 Corinthians 15:1-2 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
Notice the "if" makes this conditional. Salvation is based on what you believe - believing makes the difference. Christ conquered death. All men have to face death and their fear of death. On what is your faith rooted and grounded? There is a spiritual mandate to overcome death. In dying we are raised up from death. But if we don't believe Jesus was raised from the dead our faith is useless. So many Christians are afraid of death. We need to believe in the resurrection of the dead and our personal resurrection.
1 Corinthians 3-4 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures...
Any time the Scriptures mention the third day there is a reference to the rapture.
Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days.
There are 300 prophesies about the resurrection of the dead.
The first mention of the third day is with the Creation.
Genesis 1:9 Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so.
In Scripture, waters refers to both people and water - and the gathered together in one place -
When the rapture occurs the antichrist will be revealed (dry land) dry implies no water, and Scripture also refers to the Water of the Word.
There is always a reference with third day/month/week. The Bible doesn't use the term rapture - it refers to a quickening, catching away, resurrection.
1 Corinthians 15:4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
Rose again on the third day.
1 Corinthians 15:5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.
This is an important verse - nonbelievers ask how do you know he rose from the dead. They imply that the disciples might be agreeing to lie about this. But the disciples died terrible, torturous deaths instead of denying that Jesus rose from the dead. Cephas is another name for Peter. So Jesus was seen by the twelve, but the following verse adds more details to this.
1 Corinthians 15:6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.
Soul sleep is not what this is referring to, but fallen asleep refers to death. There were over five hundred who saw Jesus at once, and many of them are still alive when this letter was written. Any one of them could have denounced the truth of seeing Jesus.
John 11:3-4 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Jesus is not saying Lazarus is sick so that God can get the glory. But God can take what the enemy means for harm and turn it to good. When good comes of a sad situation, God gets the glory. The devil is the one who brings sickness, disease, and death. When you get healed, God gets the glory. The devil would rather you feel the situation is hopeless instead of seeking God's help.
John 11:6-11 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.”
Jesus stayed two days before making the journey. He wanted the Jewish mourners to be sure that Lazarus was dead. When Jesus says that Lazarus is sleeping, it is really that he is dead.
John 11:12-15 Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.”
The disciples misunderstood Jesus, and Jesus tells them plainly that Lazarus is dead. But, as Jesus told them, This sickness is not unto death.
There is physical death, where the body dies and the spirit leaves the body. And then there is spiritual death. Spiritual death is eternally separated from God. God does not will that for man, but if man really wants to be separate from God, God will not force Himself on man. The only place man can go is the place God reserved for the sinning angels and those who blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the lake of fire.
Someone in our Bible study asked if they could inadvertently commit the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, and Pastor Don assured them that only those who operate fully in all the gifts, who have accepted Christ as their Savior, and are well-grounded in their faith, if with that full knowledge, they choose to turn their backs on the Savior, they have committed blasphemy. New Christians, those who are hurting that might be angry with God for a season are not in this category. This is reserved for mature Christians. Because Jesus died once for our sins.
2 Corinthians 11:13-14 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
There are false apostles and deceitful workers who speak for the angel of enlightenment. Don't forget that satan was the angel of light until he fell. Now he tries to trick people into accepting his teachings as truth, even though the teachings go against the truth of Scripture.
2 Corinthians 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
This verse will not happen until the Day of Judgement. We need to have discernment in these last days. There are many who claim that they are of God, but they are not teaching the truth and the fruit of their ministry doesn't match up with the truth of God. We let evil slide and don't call it for what it is. One example of false teaching is those churches that claim that Jesus doesn't heal any more and the miracles of the Apostles are not for today. How could a loving God let us spend times in these end days without equipping us to deal with the powers of darkness? Isaiah tells us that by His stripes we are healed. Jesus told us that we would do greater works than He did.
James 5:13-15 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
If James tells us to lay hands on the sick, how can these churches claim that Jesus doesn't heal any more?
2 Corinthians 11:4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!
Paul is saying that people may come preaching things Jesus didn't say. Don't tolerate wrong teachings or evil. Make sure you don't follow erroneous teachings.
2 Corinthians 11:28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.
Paul is saying that he is worried about the churches. The Holy Spirit tells us not to worry because if you are worried you are not in faith.
2 Corinthians 11:29-30 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.
boasting is a sin, if you are boasting for yourself and what you do. It is not sinful boasting if you are praising God for what He did.
2 Corinthians 11:31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.
Paul was willing to boast that what he was able to accomplish he did through Christ Jesus.
In the Bible the original scrolls were not divided by chapter and verse. So chapter 12 is a continuation of what is discussed in Chapter 11.
2 Corinthians 12:1 It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord:
Paul is not boasting - he is going to share a revelation he had from the Lord. When the writers of the Bible wrote about themselves they did not say "I or Me" so he is going to say I know a man...
2 Corinthians 12:2-4 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
He was caught up into the third Heaven. He was caught up either in the body or in his spirit, and he heard words that were inexpressible. Because we see a vision does not mean that it is meant to be shared with others.
2 Corinthians 12:5-8 Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me. And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
This passage has been misinterpreted. Some say that Paul had eye problems or a sickness. That God would use sickness to teach Paul a lesson. Paul suffered, but not at the hands of God. It was a messenger of satan which came to buffet him, to keep him humble. Paul wrote 63% of the Gospels. He paid a high price with his body. We read of shipwrecks, imprisonment, stonings, and he still persisted in sharing his message despite all the obstacles that the enemy tried to put in his path.
A lot of Christians use this passage to say that they are suffering sickness or setbacks for the glory of God. God is not glorified by our suffering, but He is glorified when we use His principles to overcome suffering. Most who say they are suffering for the Lord are not really doing that, the ones who suffer for the Lord are the ones doing God's will and if difficulties come, then it is suffering for the Lord. Not every sickness or disease is for the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
To understand this passage, we need to realize that grace is not the same as mercy. Mercy is unmerited favor, but grace comes with the idea of empowerment from God to do the work that God wants us to do. In the Greek, infirmities mean weaknesses, emotions, psychological problems, lack of ability. We can trust that God will help us to overcome these challenges. So when we are challenged, we rely on the grace of God (empowerment) to do what we cannot do on our own, and thus we give glory to God.
Pastor Don pointed out that there are many things that become traditions in our churches that are not biblical. He told us that in the Baptist church, before communion they were to examine themselves to see if they were in sin before they took communion. This practice is based on the following verse.
2 Corinthians 13:5-6 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.
But the passage does not say to see if you are in sin - it says to examine yourself to see if you are in faith. If you are not in faith it is displeasing to God, so we are to examine ourselves to see if we are in faith. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. We can sin in thoughts and deed. But if we find sin, it is not hard to come back in alignment with God. All we need to do is remember 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This verse is true past, present, and future. When we go to God and confess our sins, He forgives all our sins. We are not in sin when we confess, for our sins are covered by the Blood of the Lord. We need to be in faith and take communion in faith.
2 Peter 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.
Are we in faith to believe that Jesus did this for us?
Jesus never said that we had to examine ourselves to see if we are in sin. This is what He said.
2 Corinthians 11:24-26 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
Jesus told us to eat the bread and drink the cup and use that to remember what He did for us until the day He comes.
Communion should be the happiest time for it is a way to help us remember what Jesus did and also the fact that He will come again.
Jesus is our bread of life. Even in the Old Testament God provided Manna in the wilderness to preserve life until the people reached the promised land. Now we are offered the bread of life to give us strength and courage until He comes again.
Praying your day is blessed.
This Bible study was taught November 11, 2011. Pastor asked me to start teaching because he was in a meeting. He came down midway and listened to the teaching. After I finished Chapter 13 of Judges, Pastor Don made a few comments that added depth to what was taught. What a blessing. As I was teaching about wives going to their husbands for spiritual advice, he realized that there were widows and unmarried women in the group and he expanded the teaching to incorporate it for them as well. It taught me to make sure to see who is in the group and make sure that what I'm teaching applies to every circumstance. I loved learning how to be a better teacher. We are so blessed to sit under Pastor Don's teaching and also blessed that he pushes us to be even better at our tasks.
One of my sources for Jewish history is a wonderful website: www.torahclass.com. I also use Strong's Concordance (the number in parenthesis behind the name is the Strong's number), and Holman's Bible Dictionary
We've been studying the book of Judges, seeing the pattern that the Israelites did: obey God, fall into sin and idolatry, the enemy comes in, the people cry out to God, God raises a judge, and the people line up with God's will and God helps the judge to remove the enemy. When the people are obeying God, their land is in peace, but this cycle of sin mentioned twice in the Book of Judges shows that the people continue in the pattern. Our focus in these studies has been to look at the events around the time of the judge emerging, the meanings of the judges names, the meanings of the enemy's names, and the meanings of all the cities and places mentioned to see what God is trying to show about each circumstance. With Samson, we are going to see a brilliant leader being used by God, with God using all of Samson's weaknesses and temptations to further God's plan so that the Israelites are not comfortable with the enemy. We can very easily fall into sin, and expect that God's hand of protection and God's power will be there only to find out that we have stepped out from underneath the covenant and God does not have to protect us. If you recall the story of Samson you will remember that in the end Samson's symbol of power, his hair, was cut. Samson lost his power and he also lost his sight because the Philistines destroyed his sight. Interesting that Samson's name means sunlight and windows - for Samson became spiritual blinded through his disobedience. When Samson finally comes to his senses and asks God for one more time to fight the enemy, Samson will do more damage to the enemy in one act of obedience to God than he did in all of his fleshly pursuits against the enemy. I suggested to the people at the Bible study that this shows us, if we link up to God in obedience, we can do far more than if we keep doing things our way.
Samson is given several chapters in the book of Judges. Some judges only have a few verses. When God spends so much time on one circumstance, there is an important message He wants us to learn, so let's see what God has to say about Samson's birth.
Samson – (8123) sunlight from 8121 to be brilliant, the sun, the east, a ray, a notched battlement, surprising, windows,
Judges 13:1 Again the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years.
The Israelites went back to their old ways. Notice, there is no mention of the people crying out to God for deliverance. Until we realize we need God and ask for His help, God does not need to answer our needs. That is not to say that, in some circumstances, He will act even when we are out of order. The people were content to be in the hands of the Philistines for forty years. Forty years is a long, long time to be in captivity. Sometimes we get so used to captivity we forget the freedom God offers us.
(torah.com) According to Hebrew History there is some overlap in the various Bible chapters here. The time when Jepthah was judge was the same time that Samuel was functioning. There wasn’t a single tribe in Israel who wasn’t fighting for their lives. Samson judged from about 1070 BC to 1050 BC, about the time Eli the High Priest and Samuel lived. As you can see from the map, the various tribes and judges operated in different parts of Canaan and the judges only affected a few tribes. Samuel operated with Judah and the southern tribes, Abdon operated in the north. The Ark of the Covenant had been stolen, and Eli and his evil sons die. Samuel will be the priest. The Philistines were oppressing the Israelites, but they weren’t seeking to annihilate them.
Dan never firmly held any of the territory it was allotted, they started to move into other secure territories of other Israelite tribes. Some moved near the Lebanon border and for a time lived in a city called Dan, that was more pagan in nature. But Samson and the other Danites stayed, living under the government of the Philistines, and many assimilated into Philistine society.
Samson's birth will be announced by an Angel of the Lord. Unlike other judges, Samson never raised an army or led his tribe in an uprising against their oppressors. He assaulted the Philistines on his own, and a lot of the circumstances and battles were caused by his lack of self-control and moral lapses. He did not follow many of the precepts that God laid down for the Israelites such as no intermarrying.
Judges 13:2 Now there was a certain man from Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had no children.
Zorah (6681) to screech exaultingly, shout
Danites (Dan - 1835) (1839) so of Jacob, Dan, dawn
Manoah(4495) – same as 4494 – quiet, a settled spot, a home, place of rest.
God often uses barren women to bring forth salvation for Israel - a barren woman was one past childbearing years and past the time when she can naturally bear a child. In those times, it was thought that God had cursed the woman and prevented her from having a child, even though it could also be the man who was at fault.
Judges 13:3 And the Angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, “Indeed now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and bear a so.
The angel of the LORD, when it is written like that is a pre-incarnate visitation from Christ, (torah.com) malach YHWH – malach means angel or messenger and YHWH is the formal name of God.
She is not certain who this person is, but she listens carefully to His instructions that follow:
Judges 13:4-5 Now therefore, please be careful not to drink wine or similar drink, and not to eat anything unclean. For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. And no razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.”
He is to ba a Nazirite from the day of the womb – drinking no wine, not eating anything unclean, and no razor on his head. It is normally a vow that is taken for a specific period of time. Samson is to live this vow for life.
We see the details of this vow in Numbers Chapter 6
Numbers 6:1-8 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When either a man or woman consecrates an offering to take the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the LORD, he shall separate himself from wine and similar drink; he shall drink neither vinegar made from wine nor vinegar made from similar drink; neither shall he drink any grape juice, nor eat fresh grapes or raisins. All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, from seed to skin. ‘All the days of the vow of his separation no razor shall come upon his head; until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the LORD, he shall be holy. Then he shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow. All the days that he separates himself to the LORD he shall not go near a dead body. He shall not make himself unclean even for his father or his mother, for his brother or his sister, when they die, because his separation to God is on his head. All the days of his separation he shall be holy to the LORD.
The vow: 1) no wine, no similar drink, nothing made from wine or vinegar, nothing from seed to skin, no going into a vineyard. 2. No razor on his head. 3. Not go near a dead body so he doesn’t become unclean, not even if father, mother, or any family member dies. 4. Be holy and separate to the Lord.
Since Samson's mom was not a Nazirite, why did she have to do these things? This shows that God knows that the child is connected to the mother in the womb and what the mom eats and drinks is passed on to the child. Since the child is to be a Nazirite from birth and birth begins in the womb, mom needs to follow these food restrictions.
Spoiler alert – Samson will break every one of these vows.
Notice the angel says Samson will BEGIN to rescue Israel. Sadly, he won't finish the job. And in the time after Samson, Dan still won't eliminate the Philistines and they will fall back into their old ways.
Judges 13:6-7 So the woman came and told her husband, saying, “A Man of God came to me, and His countenance was like the countenance of the Angel of God, very awesome; but I did not ask Him where He was from, and He did not tell me His name. And He said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. Now drink no wine or similar drink, nor eat anything unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.’”
She does not report all that the angel said, she doesn’t mention the Philistines, and the angel only told her Nazirite from the womb, nothing about his death.
Nazirite – (5139) separated from 5144 to hold aloof, abstain (from food, drink, impurity). To set apart to sacred purposes, consecrate. Earliest use of Nazir is Genesis 49:28 blessings of the father shall be on he head of Joseph, separated from his brothers, and he was for he became the savior of his father, his brothers, and their families. Two types of Nazirite vows, one was temporary and the other perpetual. There were only three in the Bible who had perpetual vows – Samson, John the Baptist, and Samuel
According to the torahclass.com the wife felt it was a man of God, an ish elohim – which is what they called a prophet. She thought He was human, not a spiritual being, but she felt He had a face of an angel of God.
She was wise. She went to her husband and reported what was said to her. She did not ask where he came from or his name. In those days, as we have been seeing, a name tells us a lot about their physical and spiritual heritage, and the names had meaning.
One of the best things about marriage is having a spouse to bounce ideas and experiences on. When we share with our spouse, we have their wisdom and experience to help us to not make mistakes. My husband is awesome. He helps me not to worry about unnecessary things. He points out paths I didn't consider. If I'm saying or doing something that would hurt my cause, he points it out. I'm also able to help him and give him ideas. We have three kids and sometimes we joke that between us we have one mind. Other godly perspectives can prevent a multitude of errors.
Judges 13:8 Then Manoah prayed to the LORD, and said, “O my Lord, please let the Man of God whom You sent come to us again and teach us what we shall do for the child who will be born.”
Manoah asked God to let this Man of God come again, so that he could find out the important information they would need to raise the child the way God wanted. We need to do that with our children. God has entrusted them (spiritual and physical children) into our lives and we should continually ask God's guidance for how we should rule them.
Judges 13:9-12 And God listened to the voice of Manoah, and the Angel of God came to the woman again as she was sitting in the field; but Manoah her husband was not with her. Then the woman ran in haste and told her husband, and said to him, “Look, the Man who came to me the other day has just now appeared to me!” So Manoah arose and followed his wife. When he came to the Man, he said to Him, “Are You the Man who spoke to this woman?” And He said, “I am.” Manoah said, “Now let Your words come to pass! What will be the boy’s rule of life, and his work?”
So God answers Manoah's prayer and he asks God for more information.
Judges 13:13-14 So the Angel of the LORD said to Manoah, “Of all that I said to the woman let her be careful. She may not eat anything that comes from the vine, nor may she drink wine or similar drink, nor eat anything unclean. All that I commanded her let her observe.”
The Angel of the Lord repeats what He told the woman. He does not answer Manoah’s question about the boy's rule of life and his work. The Angel of the Lord's concern was that the mother obey all the rules. Sometimes God gives us an instruction, but how the outcome is, remains a mystery. We must follow Him step by step, walking in faith. God doesn’t give us a road map. We want the whole picture and God wants us to walk by faith doing the next step that He tells us, then God will give us the next step. We want the total picture, but sometimes it is in our best interest to only know our next step. God won't give us more than we can handle at one time. If we lose our place, all we need to do is to go back to where we lost our focus and take the next step. God wants obedience in faith.
Judges 13:15 Then Manoah said to the Angel of the LORD, “Please let us detain You, and we will prepare a young goat for You.”
Manoah offers to honor the Angel of the Lord with hospitality and to prepare a special meal. A young goat is an acceptable sacrifice to God.
Judges 13:16 And the Angel of the LORD said to Manoah, “Though you detain Me, I will not eat your food. But if you offer a burnt offering, you must offer it to the LORD.” (For Manoah did not know He was the Angel of the LORD.)
The Angel of the Lord refuses and says it should be offered as a burnt offering to the Lord. This lets Manoah realize that this meeting wasn't what it initially appeared, that this man/angel was special.
Judges 13:17 Then Manoah said to the Angel of the LORD, “What is Your name, that when Your words come to pass we may honor You?”
Manoah finally gets around to asking the Angel of the Lord His name. He wants to honor the Angel of the Lord, but is thinking he is a human prophet.
Judges 13:18 And the Angel of the LORD said to him, “Why do you ask My name, seeing it is wonderful?”
King James says, “seeing it is secret” (6383) remarkable, secret, wonderful, it means incomprehensible, extraordinary, beyond one’s ability to understand. Another versions say his name is unknowable. So, in a way, the Angel of the Lord is saying what difference does it mean to know my Shem (name) it is beyond anything you can comprehend. (Torah.com - great source for the Hebrew interpretation of a passage)
Jesus is also called wonderful, counselor….
Judges 13:19-20 So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it upon the rock to the LORD. And He did a wondrous thing while Manoah and his wife looked on— it happened as the flame went up toward heaven from the altar—the Angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar! When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell on their faces to the ground.
So the food was offered on a rock as a burnt offering. What was brought for an offering was acceptable to God – a goat, and grain. So it fit the Law of the sacrifice. Now this is interesting because God in Leviticus instructed that people were to bring their sacrifice to the Tabernacle and that they would offer their sacrifice on the bronze altar, not their private altars. So, in this instance, Manoah is sacrificing to God on a stone. Remember what is happening in Israel's history at this time. Eli, Eli's sons, and the priesthood were not acting in accord with the law. The priests had limited power, and didn’t fully follow the regulations of the Torah – they did what was right in their own hearts.
And the Angel ascended in the flame of the altar, the sacrifice was acceptable to God, and Manoah and his wife fell on the ground and worshipped.
Judges 13:21-22 When the Angel of the LORD appeared no more to Manoah and his wife, then Manoah knew that He was the Angel of the LORD. And Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, because we have seen God!”
Here, they realize that they have seen an Angel of the Lord, God. They were afraid because no one was to see the face of God and live.
Judges 13:23 But his wife said to him, “If the LORD had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering from our hands, nor would He have shown us all these things, nor would He have told us such things as these at this time.”
This is another good reason for marriage bond, the ability to talk things over with one's spouse and sort things out. She points out The Angel of the Lord accepted the offering and told them wonderful prophesies. If He was going to kill them, he would have done so before this.
Judges 13:24-25 So the woman bore a son and called his name Samson; and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him. And the Spirit of the LORD began to move upon him at Mahaneh Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.
Well, they acted in faith, the husband and wife beyond childbearing years believed, acted, and produced their son, and God blessed him.
Mahaneh Dan (4265) camp of Dan from 4264 encampment, army of men or angels, cattle, locusts, stars, host
Zorah (6678) a station, a region
Eshtaol (847) intreaty, from 7592 a request, demand, desire, require, borrow, salute, earnestly beg, lay to charge, consult.
As we watch Samson’s life, we will see that He will disobey every one of the vows, will toy with the power he has. It won’t be until much later that he effectively acts for God’s Kingdom. He will squander a lot of what God had for him in his lifestyle. He will ultimately end up blind – sort of a spiritual blindness and darkness that is similar to what is happening today. We are operating in spiritual blindness to what is happening in these end times.
Samson will begin to eliminate the oppression of the Philistines, King David will be the one to complete it. It will take God’s king (David) to subdue the Philistines, and in our day and time it will take our King, Jesus Christ to subdue the Philistines of our day.
PASTOR DON MOORE'S COMMENTS
There is safety in a multitude of counsel. Better to have the right answer with agreement, so that we use our wise counselor's discernment and make sure that we aren't missing something.
If you do not have a spouse, or help-meet, find a spiritual person to stand in for you. Make sure that it is someone who is able to help you. For example, if you are asking questions about marriage, seek someone who is successfully married, not someone who has been through many divorces.
You want to find people who will challenge you if you are making a false assumption, not someone who will agree with you when they know you are making a mistake.
If you seek help from people who operate in faith you will get a faith answer, not a flesh answer. Don't seek someone who fills you with doubt and unbelief.
Ask for wisdom so you can hear the truth of God.
Pastor Don pointed out that Manoah was full of doubt and unbelief. He sought guidance and brings balance to the situation.
Judges 13:22-23 - he lost balance when he thought that because He saw the face of God that he would die.
Judges 13:18 And the Angel of the Lord said to him, “Why do you ask My name, seeing it is wonderful?”
This is a spiritual secret beyond understanding. This occurs 1500 years before the Messiah, the Word of God. This prophesy will come true.
We need to be aware that there are times when we've entertained angels unaware.
Since Exodus the Jews have talked to the Angel of the Lord. We need to remember that Jesus is the Angel of the Lord, and nobody ever spoke like this man.
Judges 13:6-7 So the woman came and told her husband, saying, “A Man of God came to me, and His countenance was like the countenance of the Angel of God, very awesome; but I did not ask Him where He was from, and He did not tell me His name. And He said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. Now drink no wine or similar drink, nor eat anything unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.’”
Notice the sentence in verse 3 when the Angel of the Lord tells her about the child, she tries to determine if he is a prophet or man of God.
In verse 23 But his wife said to him, “If the LORD had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering from our hands, nor would He have shown us all these things, nor would He have told us such things as these at this time.”
Pastor Don pointed out that if we discern the actions and activity of God, our personalities will draw the proper conclusion. The husband's fear of seeing the face of the Lord shows he didn't have an accurate interpretation of events. Fortunately the husband listened to his wife and changed his attitude. But, if you are married and have a husband (or wife) that is negative, know that you can say what you want, but be prepared for his negative reaction.
Discern your expectations, and know that if you are expecting something negative to happen, your expectations are projected by fear. Don't let your expectations ruin your day.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
If you keep the fruits of the Spirit and stay humble then you cannot violate the Law. Stay humble when offering your opinion.
You don't see Jesus rebuff people until He hears them speak. He listens and then questions their opinions. He offers His opinion nicely. When the rich young ruler spoke with Jesus he spoke gently letting the man realize he was close to the Kingdom of Heaven, but there was one thing he needed. Jesus was always humble.
Judges 13:23 (see above) She held on to the truth. When we feel cut off from the Lord, we need to get back to the truth, to remind ourselves of the Words of God and what God has said.
Manoah could kill God's plan if he persisted in the negative. But he did what he needed to do to further the birth of this son.
I hope this teaching blesses you.
Pastor Don Moore taught this on 11/4/11
Job 1:6-9 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing?
The sons of God - in Hebrew mentioned in Genesis 6 in conjunction with fallen angels mating with humans to produce nephilim and giants. This is reprehensible to God and it was part of satan's plan to pollute the bloodline so that the Savior cannot be born.
Job 1:10 Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.
Good to know that God provides hedges for us.
Job 1:11-12 But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
God permits satan (satan cannot do this without God's permission). God removes the hedge of protection from around Job, but instructs satan that satan cannot kill Job or lay a hand on his person.
Job 1:13-19 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house; and a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided them and took them away—indeed they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
Great devastation occurs to Job, a great wind comes - tornadoes and hurricanes, these are not only acts of God, but angels can affect the natural. And these disasters can only happen if God removes his hedge of protection.
Joshua 24:19-20 But Joshua said to the people, “You cannot serve the Lord, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. (20) If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you, after He has done you good.”
God's protection is dependent on the condition of verse 20. God always first blesses us and we can testify to the goodness of God. When things are tough, we can remember how God blessed us and loves us.
In the Greek there are four words to express love. The English language has only one. In Greek there is fraternal love, sexual love, and friendship. The kind of love God has for us is agape, the kind of love that is based on what is best for the other - it is not a selfish love. There is a loving motive that God has behind removing His hand of protection. His goal is to make the child of God realize that they are out of position and cause them to turn back to God and draw near to God. God cannot honor disobedience.
When challenges happen we may not know how to pray or we may blame God. In the Old Testament the only way to reverse the devastation is to throw ourselves on the mercy of God. In the New Testament, we can center our heart and spirit on the grace of God which empowers us to do better, and with God's help to cover our situation in the Blood of Jesus.
We bring our situations on ourselves and we need the mercy and grace of God to overcome and empower us to go beyond the circumstance.
God is sovereign, in a battle you can be whipped and still be righteous. You can cling to the truths of the Word and come out of your trial better when you get to the other side.
As a child of God we want to identify the sin, even if it is subtle. We don't want to operate out of fear, for fear and faith don't mix.
Some teach that God abandoned Jesus on the Cross, but He did not abandon Jesus. Jesus was in God's perfect will, doing what God planned, why would God abandon Jesus who was obeying God completely? That would not be a comforting view of God. God never abandoned Jesus. Jesus was perfect, sin-free. He was able to go and preach to the souls in Abraham's Bosom and led captivity captive. If He was not in God's perfect will or if He was not sin-free, He would have not been able to leave Sheol.
Jesus has delivered us, h freed us from our captivity. Our deliverance is a sure thing. He wants us to have faith for God's manifestation. We are operating in a false sense of captivity similar to being in a jail, the jailer leaves the door open and we can leave the jail, but, instead we sit in the jail even though the way to escape has been left open.
God has put everything out. He is waiting for us to come and get it.
Fear tolerated is faith contaminated.
Revelation 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Death and hades are spirits. hell is a place. Death and hades are cast into the lake of fire, the second death. Anyone not found with their names written in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire. God did not intend for us to go to hell. But, if our deepest desire is to be nowhere near God, the only place where that is possible is the lake of fire. If we make the choice to not have God in our lives, He will honor that choice, but that was not what He intended. God does not condemn us to hell, we make the choice ourselves.
God told Adam and Eve that if they disobeyed Him they would die that day. The Bible states that one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day. They lived to 996 years and then they died. None of them lived beyond the day (God's timing) because of their sin.
1 Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
I hope this teaching blesses you.
Have a wonderful day.
Here is a link to a website that contains the first chapter of my memoir. Note - there are some swear words and a precursor to incest scene.
Let me know what you think.