Copyright 1994 - 2023 Bill's Bible Basics
Authored By :
Published On :
April 18, 2001
Last Updated :
November 28, 2013
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 As such, it may possibly contain some outdated information, and/or ideas and beliefs which I no longer embrace, or which have changed to some degree.
The Word "Crap", Jesus' Hard Sayings, Mark Of The Apostate Backslider, God's Selective Program, Be Sensitive To Others, Love For Our Weaker Brethren, Spiritual Maturity, Stunted Spiritual Growth, Hypocritical Organized Religion, There's No Room For Compromise, Foul-Mouthed Americans, Lights In The World, Using The Word "Damn", God's Unorthodox Methods, Abraham And Sarah, Lot And His Two Daughters, Jacob Was A Deceiver, Judah Onan And Tamar, The Royal Tribe Of Judah And Patriarch Jacob's Prophecy Regarding The Mysterious Shiloh
Some time ago, a certain dear person wrote to me because she had become somewhat offended by my occasional use of the word "crap" in some of my communications. While this person wrote to me in private -- and I will of course respect and protect her privacy -- I have decided to make my response to her public, because I believe that what I am about to share are things which certain modern Christians really need to hear; even if they do find them offensive, or hard to accept. Let us not forget that the Lord Himself quite often said certain things, and did certain things, which not only caused His self-righteous, supposedly law-abiding religious enemies to become offended, but which also caused Him to lose some of His weaker followers as well. For example, as I mention in other articles, in John chapter six, after Jesus had given His "Eat-my-flesh, drink-my-blood" sermon, we find the following events occurring:
"Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him."
John 6:60-66, KJV
As I have noted before, I find it interesting that God has apparently chosen the reference John 6:66 as the mark of the backslider, just like the apostate 666; that is, the Mark of the Beast which is mentioned in the Book of Revelation. At any rate, the fact that some weaker Disciples tend to fall away, is a necessary part of the process of purging the grain which is brought into the Lord's garners; that is, into the granaries or silos. Only the best corn or wheat can be stored safely, and will not rot, until it is put to good use during a time of need; just as the Lord only chose those calibre of men which He knew would make the best Apostles during the formative years of our Christian faith. This issue is also discussed in some of my articles which address the topics of discipleship and spiritual growth.
Naturally, I am concerned, and sorry, when some individuals become a little offended by my usage of certain words, such as the word "crap", in my online communications. I think it is apparent to most people that I do try to remain sensitive to the sensitivities of others within reason; and I do my best to be careful regarding what I say in my articles, as well as when I am online. However, I will not go so far as to compromise the truth, in order to avoid hurt feelings. My responsibility is first, and above all, to God, and I must say and write as I feel led by Him.
Occasionally, there are certain things which I feel I should say, but I don't. Out of love for my readers, I purposely refrain myself from doing so, because I realize that some of our brethren are weaker spiritually than others. I have to consciously make an effort to tone things down a bit in my articles and comments, so that they do not become overly offended, and are at least able to receive the truth that I'm trying to share with them. As I told the person who inspired this series, Jesus did the very same thing. He realized that His Disciples were not yet able to bear certain things -- particularly regarding His coming Crucifixion -- so He chose to wait on revealing such things to them. The Apostle Paul did the very same thing. It was a sign of their love for the weaker brethren. Consider the following verses:
"I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now."
John 16:12, KJV
"I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able."
1 Corinthians 3:2, KJV
In fact, Paul tells us that those people who are mature in the faith should bear the infirmities, or mental weaknesses -- derived from the Greek word "asthenema" -- of the weaker brethren; that is, those Christians who are not yet able to bear the stronger meat of the Gospel of Christ. Consider these verses:
"We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me."
Romans 15:1-3, KJV
Yet, at the same time, there were also occasions when Paul apparently felt disappointed by the lack of spiritual growth in some of the Disciples. We find such an example in his Epistle to the Hebrews, where he writes the following:
"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."
Hebrews 5:12-14, KJV
So, basically then, it is a matter of realizing what kind of an audience one has, and then giving them as much truth as they can possibly bear, and then going no further. In the case of my online ministry, some people have been with me for several years or longer now. Because of this fact, I expect them to be able to bear more truth, and more strong meat than the average worldly Christian who may possibly be a Christian in name only, and who may not possess a strong foundation in God's Word. Sometimes I will test our flock with a certain comment in order to see how they will react. It is a good way to determine their spiritual temperature, as well as the loyalty of individuals. There will always be those people who agree and who are happy to accept the truth of God's Word -- regardless of how strong it may be -- while there will also be those people who protest, because their spiritual growth is rather stunted, and they can proceed no further. The reasons why this occurs are varied. I likewise discuss this topic in the series entitled "Are You Just a Baby Huey?".
This weakness on the part of some brethren is often due to the fact that they come from very conservative -- and to be honest -- very self-righteous, religious backgrounds in the church system. As some of you will know, it is a place where a lot of people tend to play the holier-than-thou game with each other. They walk on glass with each other, and must be careful about every single little word they say which might be offensive to someone, or which might make them look bad before friends or family, or which might cause a complaint. As I have often said, there is a great deal of menpleasing and falsehood occurring within the church system. Act like a saint, and then go home and live like the devil, seems to be the mentality of many churgoers.
This attitude is nothing short of hypocrisy. In my view, it is a feel-good-in-the-flesh-for-an-hour kind of faith; just like some Sunday worship services. If our Christian faith is not practiced on a day-to-day and hour-to-hour basis, then it is not real Christianity. It is a counterfeit religion. So while I try to remain sensitive to others in my writing, at the same time, as I stated a moment ago, I must endeavor to never compromise the Gospel message. I must always speak and write as I am led by the Lord, because I am first, and above all, accountable to Him. In the words of the Apostle Paul:
"Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?"
Galatians 4:16, KJV
Moreover, I likewise believe that there is such a thing as righteous indignation. Furthermore, there are times when that indignation against wrong, evil and sin can best be expressed with stronger words, as I have sometimes done. While some non-Christians will no doubt find this humorous, when I say "stronger", let me clarify that "crap" has been about the extent of it. You will never find me using more vulgar four-letter words, which are so common on the street, and in the American entertainment industry. Quite frankly, I find the language they use totally unnecessary, and totally unacceptable. It is indeed tragic that a once God-fearing people have reduced themselves to such a base level. That is not what I call being a light to the world, as the following verses instruct us to be:
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
Matthew 5:16, KJV
"That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;"
Philippians 2:15, KJV
Now, there have been a few times when I have wanted to use the word "damn", because I have felt that it was appropriate for the situation; yet I haven't, because I love my readers, and as I have already stated, I know that some of them are simply too weak too handle such a graphic word. They have been heavily influenced by that self-righteous spirit which originates with organized religion. If I have the accusatory finger pointed at me for merely using the word "crap", how much more would I be demonized for saying "damn"? The word "damn", or a variation thereof, is used throughout the Holy Scriptures. It is a reference to judgment, or condemnation, sometimes by God, and sometimes by our own conscience; such as in the following verses:
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation."
Matthew 23:14, KJV
"Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?"
Matthew 23:33, KJV
"But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:"
Mark 3:29, KJV
"And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."
John 5:29, KJV
"For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body."
1 Corinthians 11:29, KJV
"Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith."
1 Timothy 5:12, KJV
"And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not."
2 Peter 2:3, KJV
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
Mark 16:16, KJV
"And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin."
Romans 14:23, KJV
"That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
2 Thessalonians 2:12, KJV
So even though this word is widely used in the Bible, I am forced to be cautious with using it in my communications. Why? Is it because I am wrong to use it; or is it because certain people have had their minds and attitudes shaped by their religious background within organized religion?
Let us now take a look at some other examples which are found in the Bible. Perhaps by the time I am done, you will come to the conclusion that my use of the word "crap" is a very light thing, and is by no means unChristian, as some individuals have erroneously been led to believe. With the following examples, you will plainly see that God is in fact an idol-smasher. He is an iconoclast. He will not hesitate to shock people out of their sins when it becomes necessary; even by utilizing some very graphic, and sometimes extremely unorthodox methods when it suits His purposes. Naturally, I cannot possibly share them all in this series, but I believe that my point will be well made with those I have chosen to include here.
To begin with, are you aware of the fact that Abraham, who is the father of the Jewish nation, and also the spiritual forefather of all Christians as well, not only married his half-sister, but then proceeded to trick Pharaoh, king of Egypt, into thinking that she was just his sister, in order to save his skin; that is, to save his life? The Scriptures tell us that Sarah -- who was then known as Sarai -- was in fact rather beautiful, and that poor Abraham was afraid that the Egyptians might kill him, in order to take his wife from him, and give her to Pharaoh. So what did Abraham do? He told a little white lie. Following are the key verses from that particular story:
"And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon: Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee. And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair. The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house. And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels. And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife. And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife? Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way."
Genesis 12:11-19, KJV
So it is clear that Abraham told a bald-faced lie, in order to save his life. Not only that, but he convinced his wife to go along with his deception. Surprisingly, this is not the only time that Abraham used this ruse. He did the very same thing with Abimelech, who was the king of Gerar. Again, Abraham's deceit came to light, and he finally confessed; as we see by the following verses:
". . . Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake. And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother."
Genesis 20:11b-13, KJV
Now, please notice that Abraham states "at every place". In other words, he was a continual liar. He did not just pull this stunt in Egypt, or in Gerar, he did it where? "At every place". Did God hold this against Abraham? Did He punish him for his dishonesty? Apparently not. Why not? Allow me to tell you why: Because since the very first chapter of the Book of Genesis, God had set a plan in motion -- that is, the Plan of Salvation -- and dear Abraham and his descendants were all a part of that wonderful plan. They had to survive come what may, in order to eventually produce the Savior through the tribe of Judah. So apparently, God was willing to overlook certain flaws in their characters.
Just prior to the previous story regarding the exploits of the Patriarch Abraham, we discover that the two daughters of Lot -- who was Abraham's nephew -- committed what in today's terms would be considered blatant seduction and incest with their aging father. As you may know, Sodom and Gomorrah had just been destroyed -- which Abraham witnessed from afar -- and the three of them -- that is, Lot and his two daughters -- were hiding out in a cave. They apparently thought that it was the end of the world, or at least that there were no men left to raise up a seed for them; that is, to continue the family line. So what did they do? They purposely made their father Lot drunk, and then they engaged in sex with him, as we see by the following verses:
"And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day. And the younger, she also bare a son, and called his name Benammi: the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day."
Genesis 19:30-38, KJV
Many of you will be familiar with the story of Jacob the Deceiver. Jacob was the son of Isaac, and the grandson of Abraham. First, Jacob stole his brother Esau's inheritance by taking advantage of Esau's need -- Esau came home hungry -- and then, following his own mother Rebekah's counsel, he tricked his own father, Isaac, into believing that he was Esau the elder. The reason why Jacob did this was so that he could receive his father's blessing, even though he was the younger son, and was thus not entitled to that particular blessing. So Rebekah and Jacob actually conspired together in order to commit this clearly dishonest deed. Yet again, it was all apparently a part of God's Divine Plan. Following are some of the key verses from that story:
"And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright."
Genesis 25:29-34, KJV
"And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob. And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son? And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me. And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the LORD thy God brought it to me . . . And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands: so he blessed him. And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am . . . And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting . . . And when Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father. And he said, Thy brother came with subtilty, and hath taken away thy blessing. And he said, Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?"
Genesis 27:17-20, 22-24, 30, 34-36, KJV
Let us take a look at another shocking example that is found in the Scriptures. Are you aware of the fact that the act of ejaculation is plainly mentioned in the Scriptures? The Bible informs us that while engaging in sex with Tamar -- who was the wife of his deceased brother -- Onan selfishly ejaculated on the ground -- that is, he spilled his semen on the ground -- because he did not want to impregnate her, which was his obligation to do according to the Levitical Law, in order that the family line might continue. Consider these verses:
"And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also."
Genesis 38:8-10, KJV
As you can see, God was so angry with Onan due to his selfish act, that He killed him. It is because of this Levitical Law, that in the New Testament, we find some of the self-righteous religionists -- who were known as the Sadducees -- tempting Jesus with the following discussion. Please note that these were the fellows who didn't believe in the Resurrection, the Spirit World, or the Afterlife:
"The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine."
Matthew 22:23-33, KJV
Returning to Tamar, Judah had one more younger son named Shelah; who by law, should have become Tamar's next husband. However, out of fear that he too might die, Judah refused to give Shelah to Tamar when he was grown, even though Judah had given Tamar his word, that she would have him for a husband. Judah was clearly rebelling against God's Will. He was not yielding to the Spirit. So what did persistent Tamar do? She pretended to be a harlot, a whore, a prostitute, in order to entice Judah -- who was her very own father-in-law -- into engaging in sex with her. This he did, which resulted in the birth of Pharez and Zarah; one of whom was an ancestor of Jesus Christ, as well as an ancestor of all of the Judean kings. Again, here are some of the key verses from the story:
"And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold thy father in law goeth up to Timnath to shear his sheep. And she put her widow's garments off from her, and covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife. When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face. And he turned unto her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee; (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me? And he said, I will send thee a kid from the flock. And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it? And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him."
Genesis 38:13-18, KJV
Of course, that is not how the story ends. Judah is so out of tune with what God is trying to do, that when he is informed that Tamar is pregnant outside of wedlock, we are told that he wants to have her burned. Whether that means that he wanted to burn her at the stake like a witch, or whether it means that they were to burn her genitals so that she could no longer engage in sex, I am really not certain. This will require more research on my part, as I am not completely knowledgeable regarding the Levitical customs of that time period.
However, the main issue to consider here is that Judah was about to make a major mistake by destroying what God had just carefully created. How did God go about fulfilling His purpose? He actually used Judah's own sexual urge against him, in order to trick him into doing His Will, so that the Judean line would continue. Now, tell me. How is that for a totally unorthodox method? God tricked Judah into engaging in sex with his own daughter-in-law, Tamar! Judah basically tricked Tamar -- by refusing to give her Shelah as had been promised -- and then God tricked Judah in return!
If you are familiar with the story, then you will know that eventually, everything was brought to light, Judah realized his sin and the error of his ways, and he in fact confessed that Tamar had acted more righteously than himself, as we see by the following verses:
"And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt. When she was brought forth, she sent to her father in law, saying, By the man, whose these are, am I with child: and she said, Discern, I pray thee, whose are these, the signet, and bracelets, and staff. And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more."
Genesis 38:24-26, KJV
About six months later, Pharez and Zarah were born. As you may recall, before his death, Jacob specifically prophesied that the sceptre -- that is to say, the rod or staff of authority, derived from the Hebrew word "shebet" -- would not depart from the tribe of Judah until Shiloh came to claim it as his own, as we see by the following verses:
"Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:"
Genesis 49:9-11, KJV
Exactly who is this mysterious Shiloh? While there is some speculation amongst certain Bible scholars, personally, I am convinced that it is a reference to none other than Jesus Christ. Why? The previous verses are full of hints. Notice the reference to a foal, to an ass's colt, to garments washed in wine and the blood of grapes, and to the fact that it clearly states that "unto him shall the gathering of the people be." If we follow my longtime practice of comparing Scripture with Scripture, we can only arrive at one obvious answer, which proves that these verses are an Old Testament prophecy to the Jews, regarding the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, via the Tribe of Judah, which was not the priestly line. Please consider this verse:
"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."
John 12:32, KJV
The previous verse is a fulfillment of Jacob's prophecy; and it was spoken by Jesus Himself. As Jacob prophesied, "and unto him shall the gathering of the people be."
Please go to part two for the continuation of this series.
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