The word for “individual” in Hebrew is “goy”. It is the standard Hebrew biblical term for a “nation”. In the beginning, it did not mean a single person as we westerners tend to believe, but it meant a “group of people”. The meaning of the word “goy” shifted from the meaning of “a people” applied to only the Hebrews/Jews, to meaning “a people other than the Jews”. In later generations, a further shift left the word as meaning an individual person who belongs to a non-Jewish people. So, a number of important changes to the word “individual” have taken place with varying degrees of adoption and influence.
The word “individual” in Latin means UN-divided. You are you and no one else is you. You cannot divide yourself and remain you. But God can. Which is what makes the original meaning so beautiful!
God can bring us forth as an expression of Himself without being divided in any way. Example: If your natural father were to give you a kidney, he would be left with one kidney instead of two. But God is Spirit, unlike matter that can only be broken up. God can give Himself to another individual and remain whole. This is how He can bring forth a people in His own image. This is what makes us family. He is our Source/our Father.
Now we can understand 1st Corinthians 1:13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? AND… 1st Corinthian 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
Perhaps going back to the original meaning of individual… a nation, would help us learn to be kind and loving to one another. If we begin to truly realize we are un-divided, will we begin to act un-divided?
G. Campbell Morgan, “God’s Methods With Men”, pp. 185-186
Let me say to Bible students that we must be very careful how we use the word “eternity”. We have fallen into great error in our constant usage of that word. There is no word in the whole Book of God corresponding with our “eternal”, which as commonly used among us, means absolutely without end.
Elliott’s Commentary on the Whole Bible
Matthew 25:46: Everlasting punishment — life eternal. The two adjectives represent the same Greek word (aionion) AIONIOS — it must be admitted (1) that the Greek word which is rendered “eternal” does not, in itself, involve endlessness, but rather, duration, whether through an age or succession of ages, and that it is therefore applied in the N.T. to periods of time that have had both a beginning and an ending (Rom. 16:25), where the Greek is from aionion times”, our version giving “since the world began”. (Comp. 2nd Tim. 1:9; Tit. 1:3) — strictly speaking, therefore, the word, as such, apart from its association with any qualifying substantive, implies a vast undefined duration, rather than one in the full sense of the word “infinite”.
# 3 IS GOD’S WILL ALWAYS DONE IN THE EARTH?
Would it surprise you to know that most people do not know the answer to that question? Because people believe that God is in control, they think nothing can go against His will, even though this is troubling to them.
Let me say this: Often we do not see God big enough! You see, God gave us a choice between life and death and told us to choose life. When we make the wrong choice, God spontaneously creates a circumstance that will lead you to the same situation you got wrong in the first place until you finally make the right choice. It is as if each time, the circumstance gets a little more difficult; so, it is just easier to make the right choice the first time. Our Father is big enough to get you to His desired end without violating your right to choose.
There would really be no sense in “thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven” if His will is always done. He intervenes when necessary, as Governor of the Universe (imho) but He is more interested in a relationship with you that does not require treating you like a robot, so He gave you a choice. Choose wisely as He will control you and your earth on the basis of your choices.
#4 WHO ARE THE CHILDREN OF GOD
Matthew 21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, (Speaking to natural Israel) and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
Romans 9:38 For I could wish myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertains the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; (God called them to handle His word). Whose are the Fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children; but in Issac shall thy seed be called. That is, they which are the children of the flesh, these are NOT the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, (speaking of the children of the promise) there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
#5 SINFUL FLESH
Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh.
We have never heard anyone say what “sinful flesh” means.
Romans 8:20-21 For man was made subject to vanity, NOT willingly, but by reason of him who gave him free will in the hope he would choose rightly, because man himself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (Translation from the Aramaic of the Pehitta: Lamsa)
So, you can see there is also a subjection to vanity that scripture says we are made subject to by God. This probably has to do with the choice between life and death. I say probably because this is a tough subject to tackle and I readily admit that I am just putting my thoughts to paper on this one. We report, You decide! “
We will not say much as what we have to say is to the point. We cannot make a doctrine out of the words “sinful flesh” as they are only used once in the scriptures. There is another scripture that tells us that Jesus was made in the likeness of men.
Philippians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men.
Paul gives us some insight:
Romans 7:25 So, then with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
God formed man out of the dust of the ground, but he had no life. Dust has no life in it. Therefore, man was dead until…UNTIL God breathed into the form He had created. The flesh form contained the vanity. Death was in its members (dust). Would man yield to death/flesh/vanity or follow God?
Only one man followed God, even the son of man called Jesus Christ. Without having sinned, he died and broke the power of the law of sin and death that lives in our members; this law basically says: “Whomsoever sins, will die”. :
Think about it…If this law had not been in his members, he could not have been tempted. He came in the likeness of sinful flesh and was subjected to the same vanity that humanity faced, and yet, without sin. His undeserving death paid the penalty for our sins. Thank God, Jesus arose; that gave us victory in this life also.
#6 Rightly Dividing
Remember the following when you read the following:
1. Ecclesiastes: A revelation of the flesh
2. Proverbs: A revelation of the soul
3. Psalms: A revelation of the Spirit
#7 INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURES
Using metaphors, types, symbols, or signs to interpret the scripture can make the bible come alive. However, the interpretation of a metaphor, type, symbol, or sign must come from the scriptures themselves. When anyone makes a doctrine using their own metaphor, type, symbol, or sign, scripture can be used to say anything you want it to say. Using metaphors, types, symbols or signs that are not taken from the bible can be very dangerous and confusing which can lead us in many wrong directions. Scripture will interpret itself if we will allow it to speak to us.
Scripture can also interpret our experiences, but if our experiences interpret scripture, we can find ourselves accepting doctrines that become a snare. Experiences can be a funny thing… There are some who have an experience and go on to establish a doctrine based on what they went through. Experience must never establish doctrine.
Let us use a simple example. Someone we will call Joe, asked the Lord to heal his back and the Lord told Joe to go to the chiropractor. The chiropractor was helpful, and Joe was healed. So, the doctrine Joe now espouses is “if you want your back healed, go to the chiropractor because God is no respecter of persons. What God has done for me; He will do for you.” Now, that may sound ridiculous, because it is. However, you do not have to be among believers very long to hear this kind of soulish interpretations.
The above would not have had to happen if we realized that God was doing something specifically for Joe and was unique to him. Everything that happens to us is not something anyone else should necessarily follow.
Another example. This goes on all the time in the body of Christ. All the “How To” books need to be burned. I read a book on “How to Receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit”. The reality was this: “I missed every step of the book’s instruction when I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Funny, God did not notice”.
#8 HIS WORD IS SPIRIT
The purpose of the bible is to teach us of spiritual truth and reality. When we read it with the natural mind, we see it as a history book or make excuses as to why it is not reliable, but in its true reality, it is a mystery book holding forth much more than a story; it holds forth life itself.
Jesus said in John 6:63, “it is the spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. When we tie this in with Job 32:8 “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty gives them understanding”, we see that God’s word to us is understood by the Sspirit in us. You need an awakened ear to hear God speak; we hear Him in our Sspirit. (See “Awakened Ears” on this website) (I use Ss indicating the union of God’s Spirit and our spirit, for when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, we became one Sspirit with Him.)
So, this understanding begs the question: Is the word of God, the words of Christ? Yes of course, as He was God come in the flesh. As you read His word, focus on listening to His Spirit communicating with yours. It is God-breathed. If we read with the natural mind, we miss what the Spirit is saying.
1st Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Jesus demonstrated this with the use of parables. He used the natural things of this world to explain spiritual realities. If therefore, we miss the meaning of the natural sign word that points to something spiritual, we miss the meaning of the word of God. This is true of the entire bible. God’s word came forth in the beginning in this same manner of teaching, not just when Jesus came on the scene and spoke God’s word. It has always been spirit. God is Spirit.
Let’s use an example:
Isaiah 55:12 For ye shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Mountains and hills do not sing. Trees do not clap their hands. If you read that with a natural understanding, it makes no sense. This is because mountains and hills are sign words that point to something. In this case it points to Kingdoms and Governments. It is the same with trees. Trees are people. (That understanding should help you see things in Genesis that you haven’t yet seen.)
When Jesus spoke in parables, he used the natural things of this world to explain spiritual realities. If we know the spiritual meaning of the natural sign word, we will understand His parables. It is important to use the sign words that are set forth in the scriptures themselves, otherwise we can come up with all sorts of weird ideas. The bible will interpret itself. Just remember, if all you see is the natural things in the words, you are missing the spiritual reality of God’s life within you.
Another example: I am wondering how many of us realize that each one of the Kings of the Old Testament are a sign of something that we may need set free from or they may speak of Christ in us. Do you recall the scripture that says, “The year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord high and lifted up? King Uzziah is a sign word. It points to pride. Does King Uzziah live in you? When you begin to understand that the Old Testament is full of this kind of revelation, it is no longer a boring read, but full of mysteries that we can understand and apply to our lives.
Jesus explained this means of interpretation in the parable of the Sower. Read Matthew 13:13-23 and see how many times this principle concerning words is used. Begin a list and every time you find one, write it down. Pretty soon, you will have 100’s and then 1000’s. Just remember to always take the sign word from the word itself.
Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman unto God that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of God.
#9 LET GO & LET GOD
There comes a time in every believer’s life that God will require you to let go of something. Today, our lesson centers around some of the things that many would never believe He would ask us to give up. They are treasures in disguise.
Matthew 6:21 for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Things that we hang on to that began in God, cease to be God when He moves away from it. For that which God has built, too often becomes the treasure. When the time comes when God would have us move on, will we believe it, or will we cling tenaciously to that which God has built? Will we be able to hear what the Spirit is saying, or will we let it go and come up hither, (Rev. 4:1) to scale higher heights, and deeper communion with Him.
Think it over while considering the following: Your giving, your prayer life, your knowledge, your church, your doctrine, your pastor, the past move of God, your money, your position in the church, and perhaps the hardest, your ministry… oops, now I have gone to meddling. In all seriousness though, these are the things that can become treasures in the hearts of God’s people. Where is our allegiance? Are we worshiping a what instead of a Who?
A couple more questions to consider before God!
Can we discern the times and seasons in our spiritual life as well as a natural garden? Does a plant stop growing at the leaf-bearing stage? We are the garden of the Lord. Our Heavenly Father is the husbandman, and we are learning to yield to His husbandry.
How many times have we heard this lie: “If that ministry had been of God, it would have lasted”? No, it may very well be just the opposite. God is more interested in completing you than your ministry. If we are growing in God, at some point the light we have will become darkness, and if we do not move on, oh how great will be that darkness. Many, many times we have witnessed a move of God and when His hand lifts from it, the people try to keep it afloat while the anointing has long moved on to another place in God.
It is hard to let die, that which we cherish! We often feel what we cherish cost us everything. But this is just not true. It is easy to be deceived in this area. If we fight it all the way by binding the devil, we may be fighting God. It is tough enough to let go of all the bad we brought to the cross, but when we sacrifice to bring about that which brings glory to God, we think we can at least keep the God stuff, but it does not work that way. There is a new man being made; one in whom there will be nothing left but the image of God.
LET GO AND LET GOD!
#10 WHICH MAN ARE YOU
There are only two men in the earth: the first Adam and the last Adam.
When the first Adam was formed, he was formed weak / dependent upon God. He lived for a while in that dependency and remained in perfect light. But he soon faced a decision; he was told that he was NOT to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He saw something in himself that was strong, and he felt capable of eating of that forbidden tree. He felt he could create his own reality. He would eat of that tree and become wise. He despised his weakness; he would not obey. He was strong. He listened to another voice and ate. It was his right to choose to eat or not to eat. So he chose! Instantly, the light went out. He slipped away into darkness and became alienated from God in his mind. He had created his own reality all right. He was strong. He needed no one to help him.
The last Adam faced the same circumstance. He was also weak / dependent. He confessed he could do nothing except what He saw His Father do. Oh, he had strength of his own, but in the most difficult trial anyone ever face, (being put to death for someone else) he declared if there was a way out, it would be what he would prefer. But, he remained weak / dependent. Why? Because he had grown in the wisdom of God and understood this: When I am weak / dependent, then I am strong. Strong enough to choose rightly (God’s voice) and stay in the light, regardless of the circumstance.
It isn’t the outward circumstances of our lives that speak of True Reality, the True Reality is that which is born of the Spirit of God. It is remaining weak and dependent upon the True Source of Reality for that which is Life.
Of which man are you? Adam or Christ?
If you do not know Jesus as your Savior, I invite you to bow your heart to him and receive Him as Savior and Lord of your life. You will be glad you did!
I HOPE THIS HELPS SOMEONE: BONNIE