Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
May 10, 2000
Last Updated :
May 25, 2012
Why God Ordained For Jesus To Be A Stumbling Stone To Jews, Knowledge Can Keep Us From The Truth, Jews Ignored The Signs No Righteousness By Keeping The Law, Misguided Knowledge And Religious Zeal, Paul's Deception, Right Foundation, Modern Day Sauls, Herd Mentality And Political Correctness, Endtime Apostasy, God Rewards The Hungry, The Truth Is In The Word, Importance Of God's Word, Cleansed By The Word, Ask In Faith The Spirit Of Truth, Knowledge And Wisdom By The Holy Spirit Liberated Through The Word, Destroy The Old To Build The New
From the High Priest, Caiaphas, to the hardened Pharisee, Saul, the Jewish leadership did indeed reject their Messiah when He arrived. Why did this happen to them? Notice that Peter tells us that "they were appointed". As I also discuss in "Is God A Racist?", Paul explains to us in Romans chapter eleven, that God allowed this rejection by the Jews in order to bring about the Salvation of the Gentile world; a process which has been ongoing to this very day. He writes:
"I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy . . . For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in."
Romans 11:11, 25, KJV
As I explain in the aforementioned article, once the full harvest of Gentile souls has been brought into the Lord's symbolic garners, or granaries, being as we are referred to as wheat in the Scriptures, then the Lord will concentrate His efforts on redeeming a remnant of the seed of Israel as well. As I explain in "The Woman in the Wilderness and the 144,000", it is my current belief that this small remnant of saved Jews may be the 144,000 sealed servants of the Lord who are mentioned in the Book of Revelation.
Returning to our main topic, the Lord had to use a mechanism in order to cause this obstinate rejection by the Jews; and that mechanism, or catalyst, was sin and rebellion in their own hearts. Exactly what was the nature of their sin? As the previous verses from Paul's Epistle to the Romans indicate, in its simplest form, the sin was that they were so filled with their own wisdom, and knowledge of the Law, and what they felt was necessary for Salvation, that they no longer had the faith of a little child; and ultimately, this kept them from the truth. In other words, instead of having the simple faith to believe that the Messianic Prophecies of the Old Testament were being fulfilled in their very sight, and that the Messiah and Sacrificial Lamb had finally arrived, they purposely ignored the clear signs, and went about to establish their own form of righteousness, through their self-righteous works, as they pretended to adhere to the unbending and merciless mandates of the Mosaic Law. Jesus Himself chided them for ignoring the signs, as we see here:
"The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed."
Matthew 16:1-4, KJV
Because of their pride, it was impossible for the Jews to accept God's simple Plan of Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. In other words, they didn't want Jesus to save them. They were so deceived, that they thought that they could actually save themselves; but as Paul also makes very clear, that is totally impossible to do, because righteousness only comes through Jesus Christ, and not through anything which we might try to do. Consider the following verses:
"For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."
Romans 10:3-4, KJV
"But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:"
Romans 3:21,22, KJV
"That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."
Romans 5:21, KJV
"I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."
Galatians 2:21, KJV
"And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:"
Philippians 3:9, KJV
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"
Titus 3:5, KJV
It should be quite clear then, that our own righteousness, or better said, our vain attempts to attain to some state of righteousness and sinless perfection through our own works, absolutely stinks. In fact, the Prophet Isaiah wrote:
"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."
Isaiah 64:6, KJV
One of the reasons why the Apostle Paul was able to write so eloquently regarding faith and the Law, is because he knew well the heart and mind of his Jewish brethren. Prior to his conversion, he was living the very same delusion as the rest of them. In fact, as we all know, Paul was so convinced that he knew the truth, and that his knowledge of, and obedience to the Law would save him, that in his zeal, he even went about persecuting and killing those who opposed him; which of course were the First Century Christians. As I point out in other articles, Jesus warned His first followers that this would happen; just as they persecuted, and would eventually killed Him; all the while thinking that their religious zeal was pleasing to God:
"They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service."
John 16:2, KJV
"And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem."
Acts 9:1,2, KJV
Through an abundance of Scriptural evidence, we have now seen that some knowledge, whether we're discussing worldly wisdom, philosophy and science, or spiritual knowledge, such as certain religious doctrines and preconceived ideas, can be deceiving and harmful both to ourselves, as well as to others, and it can even keep us away from the real truth of God's Word. In fact, as I explain in the article entitled "Science and Technology: The Forbidden Knowledge?", knowledge wrongfully applied can be downright evil.
In the case of the Apostle Paul, it wasn't until the Lord humbled him on that road to Damascus, so that he was finally willing to forsake his pride, and his erroneous teachings, and become a born-again child of God, that Paul was able to take the Lord's Hand, and with childlike faith say, "Okay, Lord; you lead, and I will follow. You teach me your ways, and the things which I need to know, in order to be used by you." Up until that point, Paul's knowledge stood in the way of his faith, and thus in the way of his spiritual growth. He couldn't become a child, as Jesus had taught, because in a spiritual sense, he had deceived himself into thinking that he was already a man. The truth of the matter is that he was spiritually stagnant; just like his Jewish brethren; but one powerful jolt from the Spirit of God put him on the right track.
Once Paul humbled himself and became a child who quietly listened at the Lord's feet, he began to grow. Once he rejected, and discarded, the false foundation upon which he had built his life as a dedicated Pharisee and keeper of the Law, the Lord could set him upon the one true Foundation, that is, the Rock of Jesus Christ, and begin to teach him anew; but this required childlike faith. It is for this reason that Paul would later write the following in his first Epistle to the Corinthian church:
"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."
1 Corinthians 3:11-15, KJV
Today, there are still many Pauls in the world, or perhaps better said, Sauls. Some of these people are filled with worldly wisdom and the cherished teachings of men. Others are trapped by religious indoctrination and traditions which have been passed down in some cases for many generations. After a while, something is passed along for so long, that it is automatically assumed to be true without question. No one, or at least very few, pause to really investigate what they believe, and why they believe it. They have become a part of the vast crowd which follows the herd mentality of political correctness. If certain community or government leaders say that something is true, then it must be true. If the local priest, pastor, minister or preacher asserts that something is no longer true, or that we have misunderstood it, or that we are living in modern times and must therefore "adjust" our religious beliefs a little in order to remain acceptable to society, then most people simply nod in assent; after all, just like the Scribes and Pharisees of old, if anyone ought to know the truth, they should; right? Not necessarily.
What about you? Have your head and heart become so stuffed with vain worldly knowledge and wisdom, or with misguided religious indoctrination, that your faith has died? In your confused, darkened mind and alienated state, has God merely become something in which foolish, ignorant and backward people believe? If this is how you truly feel, then be it known to you that Jesus Himself, and even the Apostles Peter and Paul, saw this sad day coming; for they indeed said of the Endtime:
". . . Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"
Luke 18:8b, KJV
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [Christ's Second Coming] shall not come, except there come a falling away first . . ."
2 Thessalonians 2:3a, KJV
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? . . ."
2 Peter 3:3-4a, KJV
On the other hand, if you recognize your sad, dismal state; if you realize that your pursuit of worldly knowledge and wisdom has left you feeling spiritually dry and empty; and if are willing to abandon your preconceived ideas and false erroneous beliefs; if you are willing to tear down the false idols of ungodly education and modern wisdom which you have foolishly constructed in your life; and if you sincerely desire to learn and know the truth, God will certainly not disappoint you. He will reward you if you seek after it with your whole heart with childlike faith. He will surely reward you if you dedicate yourself to a serious and open-minded study of His Word, because that is where the truth is to be found. As Jesus said, and as the Apostle Paul wrote:
"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."
John 17:17, KJV
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
2 Timothy 2:15, KJV
Notice that while King Solomon advises us to abandon our vain study of the many books written by worldly men, Jesus and Paul instruct us to delve into the wonders of God's written Word. Thus, we have the problem revealed to us, as well as the simple solution. Solomon's father, King David, was definitely in love with God's Word. This is why his Psalms are filled with such verses as the following:
"BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word."
Psalms 119:9, KJV
"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
Psalms 119:11, KJV
"More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb."
Psalms 19:10, KJV
The Old Testament Patriarchs Moses and Job also realized how important it was to maintain God's Word as a central part of one's life. In fact, Jesus was repeating something which He had instructed Moses to tell the children of Israel, when He responded to Satan in Matthew chapter four:
"And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live."
Deuteronomy 8:3, KJV
"Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food."
Job 23:12, KJV
"But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
Matthew 4:4, KJV
So from these few verses, we can see that the Word of God should be a very important part of our lives. Sadly, it is because many people have cast God aside, and because they have rejected the truth of His Word, that the world is in such a terrible state today, filled with fear, confusion, widespread violence, unbridled passions, selfishness, etc. Many people have swallowed Satan's lies, and accepted his pleasures of sin for a season, instead of accepting God's truth. When we neglect God's Word, we are no longer clean. We became filthy from sin, and from the ways and spirit of the world. This is why the Bible teaches us that when we believe in Jesus, and accept the truth of His Word, we become spiritually cleansed:
"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
Isaiah 1:18, KJV
"Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you."
John 15:3, KJV
Throughout the New Testament, we are repeatedly told that receiving things from God is simply a matter of exercising our faith, and believing that we receive them; knowing that, as King David was inspired to write, God will not withhold any good thing from them who walk uprightly. In fact, Jesus said that our Heavenly Father already knows our needs even before we ask. Of course, as John writes below, we must ask according to His Will; and it is in this context that we must understand the words "good thing". Consider the verses which follow:
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"
Matthew 7:7-11, KJV
"(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things."
Matthew 6:32, KJV
"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."
Matthew 21:22, KJV
"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."
1 John 5:14-15, KJV
". . . no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly."
Psalms 84:11c, KJV
If there is one thing which God certainly desires to give us, it is the truth. In order to know the truth, the Bible teaches us that we must be filled with the Spirit of Truth; that is, with the Holy Spirit. As with other things, Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit is freely available to those who ask for it:
"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"
Luke 11:13, KJV
Both Jesus and Paul explain to us that the Holy Spirit acts as a type of Guide and Teacher. It is like the Voice of God quietly speaking within our hearts. In fact, Paul informs us that two of the various Gifts of the Spirit are Wisdom and Knowledge; and in his Epistle, James also tells us that we must simply ask in faith in order to receive these Gifts:
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
John 14:26, KJV
"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."
John 16:13, KJV
"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;"
1 Corinthians 12:7-8, KJV
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."
James 1:5-8, KJV
So as you can see, in order to receive the Holy Spirit, and the Wisdom and Spiritual Guidance which accompany it, all you have to do is to sincerely ask for it, and the Lord will indeed fill you up; and as He does, and as you continue to read and study His Word, He will begin to open the eyes of your spirit, so that you will begin to understand things, not just with your mind, but with your heart as well. Many doubts and questions which have lingered in your mind will finally be answered. You will begin to learn the Wisdom of God, and not just the wisdom of the world; and it will be a truly liberating experience for you; for as Jesus said to those Jews who did accept His message:
". . . If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free . . . If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."
John 8:31b-32, 36, KJV
So what about you? Are you ready to accept the spiritual freedom which God offers you through the truth of His Word? Are you ready and willing to be liberated from the false ideas, erroneous misconceptions, and vain wisdom of men which have enslaved you? Are you willing to pay the price in order to gain such freedom? Are you willing to admit to God and to yourself, that you have been wrong in some ways? Are you willing to allow God's Word to tear down and destroy the idols in your life, in order that He might build you back up upon His foundation of truth? When God sent the Prophet Jeremiah to expose the lies and the deception of his day, this is basically what He told him as well:
"See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant."
Jeremiah 1:10, KJV
As we have seen throughout this article, sometimes God has to destroy what we think is true, before He can show us what is really true; and this is not always an easy process. Our pride and rebellious heart do not like to be exposed. For most people, it is simply easier and more comfortable to live in a state of delusion, than to receive the truth. This is why the Apostle Paul also wrote concerning the deceived Jews of the Endtime who will accept their false messiah:
". . . because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:"
2 Thessalonians 2:10-11, KJV
In conclusion then, are you willing to accept the New Wine of the Spirit with the faith of a little child? That is what it will take. The choice is really up to you. I pray that you will do the right thing. And remember; the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
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