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We are in the second week of ways to study our Bible, which will cover what some folks call “reading the Bible thru”. Last week we learned to lean on the guidance of the Holy Spirit who lives in our hearts for the Bible says He is our teacher. Another point to keep in mind is that the Bible will interpret itself. It is impossible to understand certain points and phrases in the New Testament without knowing what is said in the Old Testament. I also recommended using a Strong’s Concordance to look up words in the original languages so we would not misunderstand meanings. Here is an example of misunderstood meanings. There has been ongoing debate in society and in the body of Christ over capital punishment, which is the execution of criminals. The folks against capital punishment quote Exodus 20 that states “Thou shalt not kill”. Taken at face value it says we should not kill, so it is understandable where the argument against capital punishment comes from, but looking at the definition in the Strong’s Concordance, which takes us to the original language, we see that the definition of the word “kill” as used in, “Thou shalt not kill”, means to not murder, slay, kill. To murder means to lay in wait with intention to kill.
In reading the Bible thru, you start at the beginning and read through to the end, and if you are new to reading the Bible and you are confused by the amount of deaths that occurred in the Old Testament, which were commanded by God, remember that Jesus loves you and gave his life in your place, and as a believer you will share the rest of eternity with God because of Jesus’ sacrifice, and also remember that what you understand is not the big picture. God sees the big picture and what God does is for your benefit.
There is a minister who shared his testimony of how God approached him in his calling, and one of his statements was, (paraphrased) It took a long time before I had enough of God’s word in my mind that the Holy Spirit could have an intelligent conversation with me.
As your understanding takes time to develop, remember to trust God and trust His love for you and keep on getting his word in your mind.
Let’s jump forward into the New Testament during the time of Jesus’ ministry. In Mark chapter 1 there was a man with an unclean spirit who recognized Jesus and said I know who you are the Holy One of God, have you come to destroy us? Jesus goes on to rebuke the spirit and command him to come out of the man. The account in verse 26 is not pretty and there is much to understand in that verse, but in the end, the result was the demon had to come out at the command of the Master. They were all amazed at this new doctrine that the demons obeyed Him. A point of interest is that they weren’t shocked that the man had an unclean spirit (demon), they were shocked that Jesus could cast it out.
At the cross, when Jesus shed His blood for the remission of sins, the believer was given a way to overpower demons and spirits who are attached to sin. The blood of bulls and goats in Old Testament sacrifice could not take away sin, so the spirits and demons remained. It is not a pleasant thing to think about, that people could be affected by demons or spirits associated with sin, and it is rarely discussed today, but is just as relevant as it was back in Jesus’ time. Does this help your understanding of why God commands us not to sin? Does this help your understanding of why certain sins warrant death in the Old Testament? The sinner, through death of the physical body was sent on to the Father.
Today, praise God, the blood of Jesus through the love of Jesus covers all sins if the person just turns their heart to Him in faith, speaks it with their mouth and trusts Him.
Until next time, God bless you and your loved ones.