THE HARDEST CHAPTER IN THE BIBLE

Most people look to Revelation as being the most difficult thing in the Bible to understand. Some even say that it’s impossible for men to understand it. This is folly. Revelation comes from the Greek word Apocalypse, which means  “reveal”. To reveal something that you’re not allowed to understand? That doesn’t sound right. Revelation is indeed very difficult, but it’s not impossible to understand to a pretty good length. It is true, most are not allowed to fully understand all of it, but that goes for the entire Bible. Everyone outside of the election of grace has the spirit of slumber. When prophecies come to pass that aren’t clearly defined in Revelation, believers will point them out while nonbelievers will say the believers are twisting Revelation’s words to show proof their beliefs are right. The murkiness serves a purpose.

The hardest chapter in the Bible to understand to its entirety is without a doubt Romans 11. In order for you to fully understand it, you pretty much have to get to the end of every mystery that you are confronted with, and then read it and understand in hindsight that this one chapter revealed the secrets of just about everything. It reveals why we are here in the human flesh. It reveals how God chose His prophets. It reveals why the rest were given the spirit of slumber.

Ba’al was much more than just a pagan God in the eyes of Paul, Elijah, and God. To hold back its secrets, they didn’t reveal what he truly was. Ba’al was the deity of the planet of Venus as well. With some studying, you will see a connection to the planet of Venus with another entity.

The election of grace was chosen by God for nothing they’ve done in this life. Many foolish Christians believe once you accept Jesus, that you too are one of the elect, thus equating your decision with God’s decision. Some even believe all Christians were destined to become Christians. There are many parables Jesus gave that proves otherwise. The parables of the wedding, the ten virgins, and others shows that people who could indeed find righteousness fail to find because of the hardness of their hearts. Jesus speaking of the man who had ninety-nine sheep but lost one got that lost sheep back and was overjoyed.

How many people did Jesus speak to during His life? Many multitudes. How did He speak to them? In parables. Matthew 13:10-16 reveals the spirit of slumber. The disciples asked Jesus why does He speak to the people in parables. He said because they don’t have eyes to see or ears to hear. Isn’t that what is written later in Romans 11? Weren’t those multitudes Christians? Christians, but didn’t have it in them to have that understanding. Jesus then revealed to the disciples that they do have eyes and ears, so He was allowed to reveal the secrets of the kingdom to them.

Even with the spirit of slumber being upon nearly all, that doesn’t mean people are not allowed to understand God’s word to a good extent. That comes with diligence. One must be willing to forsake the traditional teaching of men and never be afraid to ask questions about church or common knowledge doctrine. Never get to a point where you have questions but refuse to ask them because it does your insight no good. No matter how high God has your ceiling, you can lower it by not being a diligent student of His word. Everyone is allowed to build their faith. If you show your diligence with absence of fear, God just might raise your ceiling.

Take into account Jeremiah 1:5 where God said to Jeremiah that He chose Jeremiah before any work he could have done in the human flesh. God said He knew Jeremiah before he was in the womb. No work accomplished to be chosen, but grace alone. Jeremiah was destined to become a prophet before this age even started. That was when the election of grace were chosen. Before any work. Before any were dispersed. Before any of the seven thousand would be put in the flesh. This grace was bestowed upon them for not any work they’ve done in this life, but God did not choose these people at random. There must have been something that they either did or didn’t do at some point before they were born which proved their worth. That is revealed … guess where… Romans 11.

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6 comments on “THE HARDEST CHAPTER IN THE BIBLE

  1. Peter says:

    In 1 Kings 19, the reader finds Elijah feeling that he alone remains in the northern kingdom of Israel who is faithful to the LORD. God’s response in part is to encourage Elijah that he is not alone, but among 7,000 at the time who are faithful. Perhaps Obadiah and his hundred prophets are included. But one can understand Elijah’s discouragement. After his lone battle with the prophets of Baal and Jezebel’s death threat, he feels alone.

    Paul faces a somewhat similar situation in his day. Most of the Jews had rejected their own Messiah. “Has God rejected His people?” Romans 11:1. The he makes an analogy. As God had reserved a remnant of 7,000 people in Elijah’s day, so also God had reserved a remnant (the number is not specified and need not be 7,000) in Paul’s day. Paul himself, he argues, is a case in point.

    Whether in Elijah’s day or Paul’s God’s election of the remnant, or more broadly those who are saved, depends on God’s mercy. Mercy is undeserved, unmerited. God is free to extend mercy to whomever He chooses (if to any).

    You suggested, “There must have been something that they [meaning the elect or the saved] either did or didn’t do which proved their worth.” How does that conclusion square with, for example, Romans 9:11, 15-16, 18; 11:5-6, and with your own claim that “grace was bestowed upon them for not any work they’ve done in this life”?

    If you mean that faith (e.g., 11:20) was the “something” that “proved their worth,” (you previously claimed that “faith is a work”), your language implies salvation by merit rather than by grace and mercy (cf. Romans 4:4-5), though at present I doubt this is what you intend.

    P.S. Have you seen Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology text? I think you might find it helpful, and it will reward you for the labor you put into understanding it. Try looking for it, for example, on http://www.christianbook.com/.

    P.P.S. I hope you received my response today to your question to me on another of your posts.

  2. Peter says:

    Hi Jesse! You certainly touch on matters long debated in the church. I for one agree with the idea that God reserves or elects certain ones for salvation (cf. John 6:37, 17:6, 9 as well as Romans 9 and Ephesians 1). And unlike Wayne Grudem, I am no great systematic theologian, for example with respect to the doctrine of election. I prefer a primary method close to what you do reading the text of Scripture for myself and using a concordance. I find cross references helpful too.

    Nonetheless, each of us is by necessity an amateur theologian as far as we go, whether we are right or wrong on a particular issue.

    Your concept of “spirit of slumber” seems close (directly or indirectly) to my understanding of various texts, among which are Deuteronomy 29:4; Psalm 115:4-8; John 12:39-40; Romans 1:21, 11:8; 1 Cor. 2:14 and other passages I will remember right after submitting this comment or at 3:00 AM this morning.

    Even Jesus’ disciples had their problems understanding things spiritually, Mark 6:52, 8:14-21, though note that their misunderstandings here occurred before the cross and before the giving of the Holy Spirit. I leave you to read the various verses in their respective contexts.

    I think we would agree that salvation is by grace and mercy, and that election is for God’s glory. God does what He pleases (Psalm 115:3, 135:6).

    However, drilling down further into God’s reasons or motives often seems to beg questions about merit in the ones chosen, which seems to conflict with grace and mercy. He chose or elected sinners despite themselves rather than because of anything He saw in them save His purposes (note Ephesians 2:7).

    You may suggest above that such an idea is arbitrary (eenie meenie …), but remember that is a human illustration and we are talking about the only living God. I prefer to believe He elects His own for His glory and leave it at that. He is the potter. I am merely the clay.

    I realize the discussion could branch off into the free will debate or divine foreknowledge, but at this point I would rather admit that Rome wasn’t built in a day. One thing at a time; I have other demands on my time.

    As an aside … the account in the Gospels immediately following Jesus’ claim that “there are some people standing here that will not taste of death until the Kingdom comes” is the Transfiguration. I am not alone in inferring that the (Mount of) Transfiguration event was what Jesus meant by some seeing the coming of the Kingdom.

    One of the typical theological phrases that captures much of such teaching (called eschatology, after a Greek word meaning “end,” “last”) is “the already and the not yet.” For example, the Kingdom came already at the Transfiguration AND is not yet fully come. Certainly there were disciples of Jesus who had not yet tasted of death at the time of the Transfiguration, but who witnessed that event. Do you not think this a possible explanation?

    As to comments ending in your spam box, unfortunately I am not a geek. You may benefit from the ten free (or more if paid) videos on wordpress blogging at becomeablogger.com (no affiliation with me) or of course wordpress.org–I don’t know, maybe in http://codex.wordpress.org/Troubleshooting#Comment_Spam or the blog section or something. Hope that helps. Gotta run.

  3. Jesse Norman II says:

    Greetings Peter. I’ll just check now and then and move your comments from the spam folder and approve them. As you said about the disciples, they didn’t really get their gifts of understanding until sometime after Jesus’ crucifixion. They were able to heal, but before Jesus rose they had problems with understanding. If you look closely, they actually don’t receive many of them until Pentecost Day. A new spirit was poured upon them. Even though they were born destined to understand, until Pentecost Day they were still students learning with better eyes and ears than the rest. It will actually be that way also in this generation. On Pentecost Day, the elect will receive their knowledge and gifts whenever that day comes.

    Romans 8 says that God’s elect have already been judged and predestined. That is for the elect and the elect alone. Their souls are innocent despite their sin in the flesh while children have innocent bodies while their souls have not been justified yet. Some sadly may never receive the justification that pleases them or God, but that is on them. Everybody’s soul is much older than their bodies. Just because we cannot remember things before our birth, it doesn’t mean they didn’t happen.
    When Jesus said that there will be some standing here who have not tasted of death, He was referring to the very end of this age. There wouldn’t be people alive at that time that will see the end, but there will be in the future. Just as is written in the original conversation between Elijah and God saying God has reserved to Himself 7000 men (and women) who have not bowed the knee to Ba’al in Israel. As I wrote, Paul added on his own saying there is still a remnant according to the election of grace. Paul then added later that these people were not chosen for any work they’ve done in this life. Taking those things in and asking oneself “how does God reserve to Himself a person?”, the only conclusion is that those 7000 were not in Israel at that time but will be. I didn’t put it in this blog purposely, but read Revelation 11:13. Notice it happens in the same hour as when the two witnesses will be taken up to heaven. Where will this earthquake happen? I would bet in Israel, wouldn’t you? God bless.

  4. Jesse Norman II says:

    To Peter: You wrote “In 1 Kings 19, the reader finds Elijah feeling that he alone remains in the northern kingdom of Israel who is faithful to the LORD. God’s response in part is to encourage Elijah that he is not alone, but among 7,000 at the time who are faithful.”

    I just found some new understanding that further shows the 7000 that are mentioned there in !st Kings 19 weren’t the 7000 that never bowed their knee to Ba’al. Children were included in that population. Children cannot be held accountable for their faith or lack thereof. I do believe that 7000 was not a coincidence, but a way to make it harder for people to understand who the 7000 that never bowed their knee really were.

  5. Mary says:

    I have a question. First I would like to say that all thru the bible especially the OT, there are types in many situations. You mentioned there couldn’t be children. 1. If a child is one of the elect, they wouldn’t be accountable to their faith anyway right? 2. I know there are kids out there right now with more knowledge and faith than a lot of adults! So why couldn’t there be children of the elect? I thought I read on your site somewhere that the elect are not accountable, as we both know it’s what they did in the 1st earth age. Thank you this one threw me.

    • Jesse Norman says:

      I meant that a child can’t be held accountable for their faith, not that a child can’t be one of the elect. I was a child once. There is an age of accountability. Faith about if God exists, who He is, who the Son is, and the Bible is God’s word doesn’t exist in the elect. They were born knowing such things. They only have faith on what is yet to come and what they can do when the time comes. I hope there are some very wise children out there because they will be adults sometime soon.

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