Copyright 1994 - 2019 Bill's Bible Basics
Authored By :
Published On :
April 9, 1998
Last Updated :
September 5, 2012
NOTE: This article or series has not been updated recently. As such, it may possibly contain some outdated information, and/or ideas and beliefs which I no longer embrace, or which have changed to some degree.
Walk Humbly Before The Lord And Our Christian Brethren, Give Glory To God Alone, God Uses Weak Despised Foolish Things Of The World, Well-Dressed Preachers With Their Megachurches, Gideon Defeats Midianites With Small Band Of Three Hundred Men, Victory By The Lord's Spirit, Trust In God And Not Arm Of Flesh And Personal Ability, God Chose Israelites Because They Were Few In Number, Motivated By Pride King David Takes A Census Of Israel, David Has Slain Ten Thousands, Heavenly Government In Isaiah And Revelation, Different Levels Of Authority And Responsibility, Jesus Sits On His Own Throne On The Right Hand Of God The Father, Beasts And Twenty-Four Elders, Seven Spirits And Archangels, Angels And Ministering Spirits, Messengers And Warriors, Archangel Michael And The Devil Battle In Heaven, God Created All Things Through Jesus
Continuing our discussion from part one, following are some additional verses where we also are admonished to walk humbly before the Lord, and before our Christian brethren as well:
"And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
Luke 14:7-11, KJV
"But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up."
James 4:6-10, KJV
"Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:"
1 Peter 5:3-6, KJV
As we learned in part one, the God of Israel is a jealous God, and He will have no other gods before Him. That must, by necessity, likewise include the false gods of human pride and ego. He will not share His glory with another. As these additional verses reveal, all glory belongs to God alone, and not to man, who is but a worm:
"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 1:27-31, KJV
"Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;"
1 Corinthians 3:21, KJV
"And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?"
1 Corinthians 4:6-7, KJV
"For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!"
1 Corinthians 9:16, KJV
"But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth . . . Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:17-18, 31, KJV
"For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake."
2 Corinthians 4:5, KJV
"But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
2 Corinthians 10:17, KJV
"Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me."
2 Corinthians 12:5-6, KJV
"Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another."
Galatians 5:26, KJV
"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."
Galatians 6:14, KJV
"Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ."
1 Thessalonians 2:6, KJV
"How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?"
Job 25:6, KJV
"But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people."
Psalm 22:6, KJV
As the previous verses from the Apostle Paul's first Epistle to the Corinthians reveal, God doesn't specialize in numbers. He seems to prefer using the weak, the poor, the downtrodden, the despised, the foolish, the uneducated, and those people who realize that they are nothing without Him. Compare this with our modern, high-profile, well-dressed, rich, popular, super-educated preachers with their richly decorated churches and megachurches, and one must really begin to wonder where we got off-track. If you would like to study more extensively regarding this topic, please consider reading such articles as "The Only Credentials You Need!", "So You Really Think You Are So Humble" and "The Wisdom of God Versus the Philosophy of Men".
In contrast, a prime example of the Strength and Power of God at work in a few can be found in the story of Gideon. You can read about it in Judges chapters six through eight. For those of you who may not know this story, the Lord raised up Gideon to deliver the children of Israel from their oppressors, the Midianites. When Gideon first initiated his war campaign, his forces totaled thirty-two thousand men. However, God knew that that with so many soldiers, they might be tempted to take the credit to themselves, if the battle were to be won. So, after conducting a series of tests, Gideon was left with only a band of three hundred men against a Midianite army which numbered in the many thousands. In fact, the Bible describes the armies of the Midianites, the Amalekites and their allies as being a very great multitude which numbered like grasshoppers or the sand by the sea. Consider these verses:
"And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place. So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley. And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand. But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host: And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host. And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude."
Judges 7:2-12, KJV
Naturally, it was humanly impossible for Gideon and his small band of three hundred dedicated soldiers to defeat so great an army as this. For any secular army officer, it would seem suicidal to even attempt such a mad strategy. However, Gideon was not a regular man. As previous verses reveal, he had been specifically chosen by God to undertake this great task. In fact, the Lord had to convince Gideon two times that it was His Will that he do this for Israel. Furthermore, Gideon's soldiers were men of faith who trusted in the Lord, and not in their human abilities or arm of flesh. In short, Gideon's small army of soldiers had something which the armies of the Midianites did not have. That is the fact that the Lord was on their side. As a result, we are told that they eventually won the war, despite the odds being so great against them. Hundreds of years later, the Lord would say the following to Zerubbabel:
"Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts."
Zechariah 4:6, KJV
So the key to victory -- any victory -- whether in battle or in our personal walk of faith, is the Lord's Spirit, and not trusting in the arm of flesh; that is, not trusting in our own selves, our own abilities, and what we think we can do. In fact, it becomes evident that ever since the Lord first liberated the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, this was an important lesson that He was trying to teach them. We find this very same important message revealed in the following verses where Moses reminds the descendants of Israel that the reason why the Lord chose them in the first place, was not because they were great in number, but rather because they were actually the fewest of all people:
"The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt."
Deuteronomy 7:7-8, KJV
So, because they were the fewest of people -- you may recall that Jacob first went down into Egypt with seventy members of his household -- God was able to make them great in His time, and in His way. It was when they forgot this important lesson that the Israelites repeatedly ran into trouble with the Lord.
With this background information, we can now understand why the Lord's anger was kindled against King David. He had his thirty-seven mighty men who performed heroic acts for their king. Israel was populated by about one million souls. The Philistine giant Goliath and his giant brothers were dead. He had made a name for himself and was both known and feared by his enemies. He was rich, powerful, popular and had his wives and concubines. In fact, David was so popular with the women of Israel, that they even sang songs in which they boasted of his victories, which were greater than those of his boss, old King Saul In short, things were looking rather well for King David. He was on top of the world, and that is when his pride and vanity became his downfall. Consider the following verses:
"And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely: and Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul's servants. And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? And Saul eyed David from that day and forward."
1 Samuel 18:5-9, KJV
"And David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath. And the servants of Achish said unto him, Is not this David the king of the land? did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?"
1 Samuel 21:10-11, KJV
"Then said the princes of the Philistines, What do these Hebrews here? And Achish said unto the princes of the Philistines, Is not this David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, which hath been with me these days, or these years, and I have found no fault in him since he fell unto me unto this day? And the princes of the Philistines were wroth with him; and the princes of the Philistines said unto him, Make this fellow return, that he may go again to his place which thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he be an adversary to us: for wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master? should it not be with the heads of these men? Is not this David, of whom they sang one to another in dances, saying, Saul slew his thousands, and David his ten thousands?"
1 Samuel 29:3-5, KJV
So in his foolish pride, David wanted to conduct a census in order to determine exactly how big and how powerful Israel really was. He was gloating in the arm of flesh. He was also beginning to forget that it was the Lord who had really given him his greatness and everything that he possessed. In other words, motivated by his vanity, David wanted to take a little bit of the credit to himself. He wanted to savor the moment, when in reality, all glory, and all credit, is supposed to be reserved for the Lord alone. That was David's major mistake. As you will see in a moment, his pride cost him dearly.
Returning to the question which began this series, why are we told in one verse that the Lord was angered with Israel and moved David against them -- by conducting the census against the advice of Joab and his other counselors -- while in the second verse we are told that Satan stood up against Israel and provoked David to perform the census? Who really motivated David to conduct the census? What is God, or was it actually Satan? If you have been following this series closely, then you will probably realize that despite outward appearances, there is absolutely no contradiction in these two verses whatsoever.
If we read a sufficient amount of the Bible, we discover that similar to any secular government, God has established a particular chain of command in His Kingdom. He maintains order throughout His Heavenly Government. In fact, consider the following prophecy regarding Jesus that is found in the Book of Isaiah, which briefly describes Jesus' position in this Celestial Government:
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."
Isaiah 9:6-7, KJV
Another very interesting glimpse of the structure of God's Heavenly Government can be found in the Book of Revelation, as we can determine by the following verses which open the fourth chapter:
"After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come."
Revelation 4:1-8, KJV
Within His Holy Government, God has different positions and levels of authority and responsibility. God the Father sits on His Throne, while Jesus sits to the right of Him on His own Throne. Jesus most certainly does not occupy His Father's Throne, as some Christian writers have erroneously supposed. To do so would in affect be to usurp the Divine Authority of His Father. That Jesus actually sits to the right of Him is made quite evident by verses such as the following:
"Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."
Romans 8:34, KJV
"Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,"
Ephesians 1:20, KJV
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God."
Colossians 3:1, KJV
"Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high . . . But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?"
Hebrews 1:3, 13, KJV
"Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;"
Hebrews 8:1, KJV
"But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;"
Hebrews 10:12, KJV
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:2, KJV
"Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him."
1 Peter 3:22, KJV
In addition to our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus who each sit on their own Thrones, there are likewise the Four Beasts, as well as the Twenty-Four Elders who are seated on their own Thrones around God's Throne. Furthermore, there are the Seven Spirits who burn like very bright lamps, who I suspect may be synonymous with the Seven Archangels. Below them in rank are an unspecified number of other Angels. Each Angel and Spirit -- or Ministering Spirit -- fulfills the functions to which they have been assigned by their superiors. As you may know, the word "angel" -- derived from the Hebrew word "malak" and the Greek word "aggelos" -- means "messenger". While certain Angels serve as messengers to humanity, other Angels -- such as Michael, for example -- are great warriors. This becomes evident by certain verses that are found in the Books of the Old Testament -- such as in the Book of Daniel -- as well as by the fierce battle between Michael the Archangel and Satan that is described in chapter twelve of the Book of Revelation, as we see by these verses:
"And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time."
Revelation 12:3-12, KJV
If you are interested in learning more about the nature of Angels, please consider reading such articles as "Sex, a Bowl of Soup and the Nature of Angels", "The Judgement of Angels, Demons and Men", "The Book of Enoch: Truth or Heresy?", "Who Hindered the Antichrist?" and "Nephilim: The Giants of Genesis". The phrase "ministering spirits" is used in the following verses which are found in the Epistle to the Hebrews:
"And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire . . . But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?"
Hebrews 1:7, 13-14, KJV
What we see in some cases is that God the Father will give an order to Jesus, who will then carry out that mandate. In other words, God is the real Director and Supervisor of the show. One excellent example of this is the Creation account itself. While many people who are not very knowledgeable of the Bible erroneously assume that God the Father created the Universe, there is plenty of Scriptural evidence to indicate that this is not an accurate statement. My understanding is that God the Father gave the Creation order to His Son, and then Jesus carried it out. At the very least, Jesus created all things under the direct supervision of His Father.
Consider the following verses. Carefully notice that while we are informed that all things are of God and proceed from God -- meaning God the Father -- at the same time, we also find phrases concerning Jesus Christ which say "by whom are all things, and we by him" and "who created all things by Jesus Christ":
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made . . . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
John 1:1-3, 14, KJV
"And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:"
Acts 14:15, KJV
"God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands . . . For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring."
Acts 17:24, 28, KJV
"For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen."
Romans 11:36, KJV
"But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him."
1 Corinthians 8:6, KJV
"And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:"
Ephesians 3:9, KJV
"For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence."
Colossians 1:16-18, KJV
"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;"
Hebrews 1:1-3, KJV
"For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings."
Hebrews 2:10, KJV
"For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God."
Hebrews 3:4, KJV
"Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."
Hebrews 11:3, KJV
"For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:"
2 Peter 3:5, KJV
"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created."
Revelation 4:11, KJV
Please go to part three for the conclusion of this series.
⇒ Go To The Next Part . . .