Who is writing what to whom − when, where, and why?

“what”JAMES

“who” – Written by the apostle James, “a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (James 1:1). The name in Greek was Iakobos (Jacobus/Jacob), but was translated as “James” in the KJV and other early English translations. This James was identified as “the Lord’s brother” (Galatians 1:19).

“to whom” – To the leaders (ekklesias – out-positioned) of “the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad.”

“when” – During The Great Scattering described in Acts 8-12 (A.D. 40s).

“where” – Written from Jerusalem.

“why” – The purpose of James was to address the leaders (ekklesias) of those who were scattered during The Great Scattering, the second period of Acts, following The Great Unity. It was written to deal with issues that the believers were facing, such as personal trials of faith, the conflict between rich and poor, and the hypocrisy of those who said they had faith and yet did not act upon it. Read the rest of this entry »

Colossians 1 Part 5

w King James Version 18. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

The Resultant Version 18. And He is the head of the body of the out-called: Who is the Sovereign, the firstborn of all who will rise from the dead, that in every respect He might have the first place.

Here we have a very interesting statement: that He is the head of the body, the church. We know what men believe churches to be today: these many Christian organizations, these human institutions, that we see on every side. Whenever men hear these words “head” and “body,” they tend to think of a human head and a human body. Yet all these assumptions need to be considered to see if we cannot come up with some clearer understanding of what this passage means.

First let us consider the word “head.” This is the Greek word kephale. There is no doubt that this word can be used of the human head, and it is used this way in its first six occurrences in the book of Matthew. Yet consider its seventh occurrence, in Matthew 21:42. Read the rest of this entry »

Colossians 1 Part 4

New King James Version 15. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

The Resultant Version 15. Who is the visible representation of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creation:

Now we learn more truths about the Lord Jesus Christ. We are entering here a section that speaks of His sovereignty. First of all, He is the image of the invisible God. That is, He is the visible representation of the invisible God. He is God, Who cannot be seen, in a visible, tangible, understandable form. He is God extended to His people so that they can see Him and know Him.

In the context of sovereignty, this is a thing that is invisible, but there needs to be some tangible representative of it. For example, in the United States the sovereignty rests with the people, but that is tangibly represented in the President. In the government of God, His invisible sovereignty is personified in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the image of the invisible Sovereign, God. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Recently we have had some discussion about the character “Lilith” in the Bible. She is mentioned in Isaiah as a “screech owl”. According to the internet, she is listed in Jewish mythology and Babylonian books as Adam’s first wife and was replaced with Eve when she abandoned Adam.

The question is, did Adam have a wife prior to Eve as it implies in Genesis or is it simply a urban legend? Also, in Genesis 1:27 it indicates that God created a male and female and gave them dominion over the earth and animals. Then in Genesis 2:7 he made Adam because “there was no man to till the land”. Then Genesis 2:21 Eve is made.

We are confused of this timeline and Genesis seems to be out of sequence to what we have been taught. Can anyone shed some light on this?

The exact identification of certain animals in the Hebrew is difficult. Once it became a dead language, no one remained to remember what animals were called what, and names that occur only once in Scripture do not leave us with a lot of clues as to their identity. This certainly would be the case with the lilith. Read the rest of this entry »

Colossians 1 Part 3

New King James Version 10. that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

The Resultant Version 10. To the end you might walk worthy of the Lord in relation to all pleasing Him, bearing fruit in every good work, and growing in the realization of God;

Their prayer that the Colossians might realize His will is to the end that they might walk worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him in everything, and bearing fruit in every good work. We understand that the “worthy walk” speaks of the worthy lifestyle. Just as one walks to get just about everywhere in this world, and so walking is one of the most common things one does every day, so one lives one’s lifestyle every day, and this lifestyle should be worthy of the Lord Who bought us. This matter of the worthy walk that comes about as a result of one’s understanding of God’s current will and work is the major topic of the last three chapters of the book of Ephesians. There, the Lord sets forth what the worthy walk of the believer is to be in detail. Here, the need for walking worthy of the Lord is merely mentioned as an outcome of realizing His will in wisdom and spiritual understanding. Read the rest of this entry »

Colossians 1 Part 2

New King James Version 5. because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel,

The Resultant Version 5. This faith and love is through the expectation that is reserved for you among the exalted ones. Of this you have heard before in the declaration of the truth of the gospel.

The faith and love that they have, we learn, is through the hope which is laid up for them in heaven. Yet we need to have a better understanding of this word “hope.” When we use this word in modern English, we use it for some wish we have that may or may not come true. For example, we might speak of someone buying a lottery ticket, hoping to win big. Yet this hope is really in vain, for the odds are astronomically against such a win. Yet this is the way we use the word “hope.” But the idea of the Greek word elpis is of expectation, not of hope. In other words, what you are “hoping” for in Scripture is not some possible chance, but rather is what you are truly expecting to happen. Therefore, The Resultant Version has translated this “expectation,” and that is the truth of it. They are not just wishing that maybe they will attain good things from God, but rather they have a glorious expectation which they are waiting to receive. Read the rest of this entry »

Colossians 1

New King James Version 1. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

The Resultant Version 1. Paul, a commissioned one of Jesus Christ in harmony with the will of God, and Timothy the brother,

This epistle starts off with the name of its human author, Paul. This might seem to us a strange way to begin a letter, since we always leave the name of the person writing for the bottom of the letter. Yet we must remember that at that time they wrote on scrolls. It is often true that it is very important to know who wrote a letter in order for it to be understood. If you were reading a letter and did not know who wrote it, you would probably find that you were having many questions about what was being said. In order to answer those questions, you would have to turn to the last page of the letter in order to see who the author was. It is very likely that, upon seeing the name of the person writing it, you would suddenly understand many things that were unclear to you before. Yet if the letter you were reading was written on a scroll, it would be very inconvenient to have to roll all the way through the scroll to the end to see who the author was, and then to scroll all the way back to the beginning in order to continue reading. Therefore, their custom was to put the name of the author first, and Paul follows this custom here. Read the rest of this entry »

Colossians Introduction

If we were asked to list the most important books of the New Testament, we could not fail to leave off the list the critical book of Ephesians, along with its companion book Colossians. These books truly form the capstone of Divine revelation, and the final destination, as far as believers today are concerned, of progressive revelation. We see in these books God’s revelation of truth for today, along with His revelation of the company of believers of which we are a part. We learn of our special place in God’s plan in these books, along with our marching orders as believers living in our day. That is the important place that these two books should have in the lives of present-day believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. Read the rest of this entry »

mysterybox02As we have considered the wonderful reality of the kingdom of God on earth, we have seen all the stupendous things God has planned for Adam’s race and for this earth in His amazing future. Yet having studied all these things, there is one question we might ask. The glorious truth of God’s coming eons is a wonderful thing to know, but to really put it to use it must impact us and our lives in our day. We live in the dispensation of grace. How does the kingdom impact us living at this time?

As I said, I believe that the time we live in is the dispensation of the grace of God. As we discussed in “Foreshadowing the Kingdom,” the initial, blade stage of the kingdom took place in the book of Acts. That blade stage continued throughout the Acts period until it was interrupted at Acts 28:28. At that time, the kingdom work of the Acts period was brought to an end by Paul’s momentous declaration, given here in The Resultant Version. Read the rest of this entry »

heavenhere02The last stage of the final stages of God’s plan that the Bible reveals to us is the stage called “The New Heavens and the New Earth.” Yet in my title for this message I have put a question mark after “Final,” not because I think I know of another period after this, but only because the Bible does not tell us for certain that this is the final time. This is simply the last time we have revealed to us in the revelation we have been given. If there are further periods and advances after this, we are unaware of them. I cannot say one way or the other, of course. Ultimately, I do not think God will ever run out of plans and purposes.

The record of this period, the New Heavens and the New Earth, can be found in the next chapter of Revelation after the “Little Season” which is revealed in Revelation 20. Thus to study this period we will consider what is said about it in Revelation 21. Read the rest of this entry »

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