FOCUS: In Acts 17:11, we read words given to Paul the Apostle by God the Holy Spirit regarding how individuals must approach the scriptures and messages given by others. It reads, “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”
This article is certainly not going to be a exhaustive writing on textual criticism but rather a very short word on some important aspects of proper Biblical interpretation and understanding of the scriptures to keep one from falling into traps and knotty problems which seem to bring about nothing but divisions and even heresy and ultimately apostasy if one is not careful.
First and foremost one has to believe that the scriptures are the very inspired, holy, sacred, total complete words from God Himself and not humanly developed. Either God gave these words to certain writers He chose, or they are a fabricated storehouse of man made fairy tales with no authority at all. In fact, if these are not God breathed words, we are wasting our time and are still in our sins and do not know the creator God at all.
But proof is in the pudding they say. God’s word can be confirmed as true and absolute, and that it changes the lives of human beings dramatically, and also the miracles and events were and are real that it speaks about. Enough proof exists down through history one cannot get around it all successfully. One can deny and hate the word of God, but that doesn’t change it at all!
Now let’s look at a few items which are usually not handled or brought forth when we exercise ourselves in the reading and study of God’s words.
I will just list a few major items to consider which usually are left on the table or not even thought of by anyone when they read the scriptures, even left out of the equation by Ministers, Professors, Teachers and the average saint in the body of Christ.
The following if not considered and understood will bring about a totally wrong final comprehension of what the Bible actually teaches and what God wants us to know:
- Understanding the meaning of the term Israel.
- An improper understanding of this term will create a totally wrong view of God’s Gospel message, in terms of who are the saved people and the ones composing the body of Christ. Also, not understanding this term and who and what is being identified by that term in context will introduce all types of concepts now regarded by Systematic Theological views which are purported to be proper Bible Doctrine.
- Identification of what is hidden behind the term Israel is the key to proper comprehension of God’s Covenants and the entire doctrine of regeneration and also the doctrine of End Times.
- In fact, if one does not know the following meaning of the words I will give they WILL NOT properly interpret the Bible narrative.
- The term Israel is usually totally identified by most of us as the name given to Jacob and it became the name tagged onto the Jews and their various tribes. This is of course correct, however there is more behind this term than just a person or tribe of people.
- A study of the term by Hebrew scholars will come up with this concept or meaning of the term: “He has become a Receptacle in which God can be received and retained.” In other words, the basic word points toward a Person who is known by terms which John the Apostle wrote in John 1. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word became Flesh and dwelled among us.” In other words, Israel is the ONE SEED promised who has Eternal Life and is our Savior namely Jesus! All things point to and end up with Jesus the Son of God the God/man!
- Now let’s think about a very important thought we must keep in mind we are speaking, or teaching or preaching the word of God to to others, and specifically, when we are considering the SEED of Abraham. From Abraham of course we see the development of the usage of the term Israel and also the term SEED singular which is so important to unpack (seed singular not plural)!
- There are 4 Distinct Seeds mentioned in the Bible which if we do not understand their distinctive meanings we will end up misinterpreting the Covenant of grace, and also the Doctrine of Last Things and even who the Church or body of Christ consists of!
- Here are the four seeds of Abraham described and when you come to the Bible you must determine which seed is being spoken about, for making it just a normal usage of one word and one concept of such, will throw you off totally in proper Biblical revelation. Here are the seeds:
- Natural seed: Includes all physical children of Isaac and Ishmael, jacob and Esau, Jews and Arabs.
- Special Natural Seed: The nation, or children, of Israel, all of the physical seed of Jacob and his twelve sons.
- Spiritual seed: All believers of all ages, David and Paul, Jewish and Gentile believers, you and me.
- Unique Seed: Christ the Messiah and King!
I would recommend the book (small) easy reading: Abraham’s Four Seeds by John G. Reisinger available over most book outlets for your study on this and read the book over and over to you really get it. I have read it perhaps 10 times already. One can’t in any way get away from the truth and facts presented. In fact, this entire subject would destroy most denominational setups and bring the body of Christ together that is how important it is. It destroys Presbyterian Covenant theology, Dispensationalism which is held by most today even thought it was a newby on the block and came about some 1800 years after Christ on the doctrine of Last or End Times.
Understanding the Seeds will also prove beyond a shadow of a doubt the word of God places all Jews and Gentiles that God calls and saves into ONE body and there is NO future Temple built with sacrifices established anymore, and destroys any idea the local REAL body of Christ is seperate from the Israel of God but is the Israel of God itself because we are in the Israel of God (Real SEED singular) Christ!
Hope this creates some desires to study the word of God more carefully. Blessings to all!