LWF will close its doors by 12/31/2023

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Dear friends,

Last year our church celebrated its 37th year in existence. Some of you have been with us from the beginning and know the many trials and triumphs we’ve experienced throughout the years. We have always been a small church but I have always believed that God’s power is limitless. And He has certainly made His presence known these many years.

But this year the Living Word Fellowship will cease operations. This was not an easy decision to make. The main reasons are our church’s small size and inability to meet future expenses. I have never believed in asking people for money. My attitude has always been that, as long as God wants the work to continue He will provide. For 13 years I have led this church and not once has the Lord ever failed us. But now I believe the Lord has different plans for us. We seek to follow His will wherever He will lead.

I have asked if I will continue to minister online. My answer is “not at this time.” I am not a supporter of online ministries. In fact online ministries are indirectly responsible for our church closing its doors. I believe God wants us to be physically present in a church where we can serve each other and encourage each other in His presence.

To that end, I am stepping away from active ministry for some time to seek what God wants me to do next. When I know what He wants done, then I will minister again.

Until that time I encourage all to walk in the grace of Jesus Christ. For in Him alone is life.

Bro. Joseph Robinson

Of Faith & Doubt

Maximize Your Life Walk Through the Word

 Jesus calls us to an abundant life. Here are five steps to achieving this.
  1. Maximize Your Life
  2. Tear down the Tower of Babel and Build the Kingdom of God
  3. Of Faith & Doubt
  4. Genesis 4-10: Worship, Murder, & the Human Experience
  5. From Spirit to Flesh: Study on Genesis 2 & 3

Genesis 11 opens with a story that many of us have heard since childhood: the Tower of Babel. But I’d like to take a different angle on this story in today’s sermon on Walk Through the Word. I’d like to focus on fulfilling the calling of God in your life.

Two chapters earlier, God commanded Noah to spread throughout the whole world after the Great Flood. He said,

And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.

Genesis 9:1 ESV

Yet, just about two generations after Noah, humanity made a choice to rebel against God’s purpose for them. Why did God want humanity scattered across the world? Why didn’t humanity listen? And what lesson can we learn that’s applicable to our lives today?

Let’s focus in on these three questions for the next few moments.

The plan of God

Before the Flood, all of humanity was gathered together and filled the land as we’ve shown in previous lessons. When man builds cities, sin and moral decay swiftly follow. God knew the evil that resides in humanity–just look today at our cities from New York to Las Vegas which has earned the deplorable name “Sin City.” So God resolved to spread mankind across the planet. He did not want groups of humans clumped up together which would lead to rebellion against his plan. Remember, He knows our nature better than we do.

We don’t need evidence to prove God’s Word. Frankly, I believe that science is supported by the Word of God and not the other way around. And there are many factors that show that all humanity was once of one language, from common language roots and similarities to astronomical charts that are relatively consistent in how the stars are analyzed across ancient civilizations.

So the Bible’s statement that “nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them (Gen. 11:6b)” is very accurate.

Humanity’s response

Now, this is where I want to spend the most of our time together. Mankind had an answer to God’s declaration. And that answer was a firm NO!

They wouldn’t scatter across the world.

They wouldn’t believe that another Flood would not happen.

They would stick together, because there’s safety in numbers, right? They would build a tower that would reach to heaven so, just in case another Flood happened, they would be safe.

You see, the sad reality is that, within just a few years of the Flood, humanity already had forgotten that God is faithful to His Word. They didn’t see this as the work of God. It was a story told by old men (Noah and his sons), and not a living reality. How we can compare that to the way the Word of God is treated today! Regardless of how many signs and wonders God does to prove His Word, regardless of how many prophecies we see fulfilled before our eyes, to many the Word of God is simply the words of old men that can be debated, questioned, and reasoned with.

Then as now humanity chooses doubt instead of faith.

So, ruled by fear, humanity chose to follow a logical course of action. God had said He wouldn’t destroy the earth with water. But they didn’t believe that. So they instituted their own safety plan–a tower which could serve as a temple for worship as well as an escape route in the event that the Flood happened again.

You see, humanity didn’t question that there was a Flood. The evidence was all around them. But as their faith in God waned, their trust in their own ability and self-worship grew.

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower bwith its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” 

Genesis 11:4

Their decisions were not made by faith but doubt. Fear kept them from accomplishing the very purpose that God set them here to do and, as a result, they turned to idolatry. So today, you cannot accomplish the plan of God as long as you are afraid of failure. Or of the devil. Or anything in this life.

Being the man or woman, boy or girl, that God wants you to be requires you to step out in courage and faith. Staying where you are in doubt or self-reliance might give you the illusion of security but you will never have the testimony that you would have had had you obeyed God and trusted His Word.

We see that this doubt actually led them away from the God who had spared their ancestor Noah (the God to whom they owed their lives) and led them to idolatry. You see, God’s Word will always convict a heart that is not right with him. If your attitude, or perspective in live isn’t pleasing to God, don’t expect Him to leave you alone. God comes to chasten us, to hammer us into a state that we’re finally pleasing to Him (see Hebrews 12:6).

And God didn’t leave humanity alone.

God confused their language and showed that He is the master of every situation. If they wouldn’t obey Him of their own free will then He would force the situation to bend to His Will.

Why? Why does God care? Because He is the God of love and He knows that if left alone we will destroy ourselves.


It’s taken 4,000 years for our species to come back to a similar amount of evil as the world had before the Great Flood. And that’s with us being scattered by geographical and linguistic barriers. What would have happened if we had all been together speaking the same language?

Before the Flood, when everyone spoke the same language and dwelled together, God had to destroy mankind in only 2,000 years. It was His mercy that caused us to scatter. He was saving us from ourselves, and giving us as a chance to know Him as individuals.

Your life

Like early humanity, each of us has a choice. We can stay behind the crumbling tower walls of our unbelief or we can step out in faith and embrace the challenges of the Word and life that God sets before us.

God wants to bring out the best in you. So He will prod at your life, reach after you day after day, trying to get you to a place that you’re fulfilling His plan and not simply hiding behind your doubts, fears, and carnal insecurities.

Don’t build a tower of confusion in your life. Step out in faith and walk with God.

lightning strike on forest during night time

Gen. 4-10: Worship, Murder, and the Human Experience

Maximize Your Life Walk Through the Word

 Jesus calls us to an abundant life. Here are five steps to achieving this.
  1. Maximize Your Life
  2. Tear down the Tower of Babel and Build the Kingdom of God
  3. Of Faith & Doubt
  4. Genesis 4-10: Worship, Murder, & the Human Experience
  5. From Spirit to Flesh: Study on Genesis 2 & 3

Thank you for listening to this episode of Walk Through the Word. This is Brother Joseph. As we dig into our study of Genesis 4-10, we want to focus on the theme of meeting God’s requirements. What does He require from us in worship? In the way we interact with others?

The Book of Genesis is the story of our human beginnings. It’s also a prophesy of the global conditions that will exist at the end of time according to Matthew 24:37-39 and Luke 17:26-30. So let’s examine our hearts as we approach this great text.

From worship to murder

Eve was pregnant. Normally, we get happy when we hear that a wife is expecting. But, in this case, the child she carried would be the bane of humanity. For his father wasn’t Adam. It was the serpent with whom she’d had a sexual relationship in Genesis 3. Our focus today isn’t the lineage of Cain (which is proven throughout the scripture). Today, let’s look at the approach to worship.

Both Cain and Abel (who was Adam’s son) grew to adulthood. Now there were physical differences between Adam, Eve and their children. For starters, these boys had a belly button whereas Adam and Eve did not. We know this because Adam and Eve came from the hand of God whereas the children came from Eve’s body. Now, this might seem funny but that physical mark reflected a terrible reality—that the boys would one day die. For God’s promise was that “the day you eat thereof, in that day (1,000 year period) you shall die” (Gen.2:17).

As they grew to adulthood, the boys knew that they had to get right with God because time was running out. So today is time running out for you, sinner who’s listening in. None of us know when God will call us from this world. So, let us learn from their example and come to the throne of God for mercy.

Note that both Cain and Abel had religious desires, even though Cain was of an evil seed (see 1 John 3:12). It goes to show that Satan hides himself in religion. And when Satan’s goals are thwarted, religion paves the way for murder. Let’s look at this more closely.

Abel approached God with a revelation that blood (his father’s semen) had made his mortal body. The Bible clearly calls a man’s semen, his blood (see John 1:13) and the link between adultery and murder runs throughout the Old Testament. Both could only be atoned for by the shedding of blood according to the law. But Adam and Eve would not have told their children the truth of their parentage. What parent would? Can you imagine a mother saying to her son that the man he thinks is his father really isn’t and, because of her wrong doing, he and all the rest of humanity will die?

Not at all.

Therefore, Abel’s approach to worship is based upon one thing alone—divine revelation of the will of God. Somehow, Abel heard from God and, according to Hebrews 11:4, he offered a sacrifice which pleased God by faith which is revelation. So, to answer our first question: how do we worship God?

It must be by a personal revelation of Jesus Christ—everything else will be rejected.

The Christian religion has lavished countless dollars upon gorgeous churches and invested heavily in all sorts of religious rites that fail to offer revelation and true consolation to the soul. Now, with a virus, our church buildings are just like our religious works—empty.

Jesus taught us that we must worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:12). What does the Spirit bring but divine revelation of who God is? For the Spirit is the Teacher as well as the Comforter (John 14:26). So, if your worship is not revealing God to you, if it is not making Him know to you as well as through you, then your worship is in vain (Matthew 15:9).

Notice that Abel’s worship brought him in contact with God but it also revealed God through his literal body. As he offered up his lamb, Abel was foreshadowing that one day God would offer His Lamb upon an alter. Worship, my friends, reveals God through your body and through your life. So we cannot truly worship the Lord if we look, act, think, or feed upon the sins of this age. Our worship is to last, like Abel’s until our death. Our entire lives are to be a “living sacrifice unto God” according to Romans 12:12.

Before we move on, ask yourself: is my life one of worship? If not, lay it on the altar of God today.

Cain shows the hypocrisy of religious orders. Once he failed to achieve his goal he went from being a worshipper of Jehovah to a murderer. Here we see clearly the pattern followed throughout history—if they disagree, kill them! If they have a trace of the Spirit about them—they are a threat! From the Jews throughout the ages to the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant churches, empty religion has always set the stage for murder. And the Bible predicts the emptiness of intellectual Christianity that does not have the Spirit, will soon unleash the greatest murder persecution the world has ever seen (see Rev. 12:17).

Cain crossed a line. For the first time, the earth drank the blood of a human. And nothing would be the same again.

The beginning of the end

Cain married his sister (perhaps a daughter of the serpent) who was in the land of wandering or Nod. God had condemned him to be a wanderer (see Gen. 4:14) but, instead of accepting his punishment, Cain decided to fight against the Lord’s judgment and build his own civilization. He could not live among Adam’s children, for he was now an outcast, so he decided to start his own race. Just like Lucifer, he rebelled against the divine plan and decided to create a city.

But the sins of the father come down to the children.

Lamech is a descendent of Cain and Lamech introduces the idea of polygamy. Prior to this time it was one man for one woman among the human race. But Cain’s tribe unleash a new idea that will soon spread across the world. Towards the end of Genesis 4, we see a remarkable statement that many overlook.

One day Lamech said to his wives,

“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; listen to me, you wives of Lamech. I have killed a man who attacked me, a young man who wounded me. If someone who kills Cain is punished seven times, then the one who kills me will be punished seventy-seven times!”

Genesis 4:23-24

Right after polygamy is introduced we see the second human killing–a death caused in self-defense. .Lamech is more justified than Cain because Lamech killed to protect himself. And so we see the seeds of human war are sown. And now there’s no stopping what will lead up to the greatest destruction humanity has ever seen.

The power of genes

In a natural sense, the human story revolves around one basic principle—genetics. God gave Adam and Eve perfect genes that allowed them to live eternally with sickness unable to touch them–although it was present. Remember the Tree of Knowledge and Satan were in Eden all along. Genes are what allow the Son of God to enter the human race as redeemer. And in Genesis 5, God takes the time to list the genealogy of the righteous line from Adam to Noah’s sons.

Before I go further, let me say that I know believing that Eve was impregnated by the Serpent of Genesis 3 is difficult for many to swallow. But once you get over that hurdle, the Bible literally becomes a new Book. Genesis 5 again proves this to be the case. Note verse 3:

And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

Genesis 5:3

Note that Adam was 130 when he fathered Seth. But the Bible says nothing about how old he was when he fathered Abel. Do you get it? Adam was an eternal being when Abel was fathered. Time wasn’t reckoned unto him. But by the time Eve conceives with Seth, Adam is now mortal. He is aging. Time is applicable to him. But the hand of time is also moving toward the promise of redemption.

The next seven generations span a timeframe of about 2,000 years. Humanity is reproducing but we can see that life stages, such as puberty, are happening a lot later than they do today. Most of the marriages occur when the adults are between 60-90 years old, which makes sense if the entire lifespan is almost a thousand years old as was the case with Methuselah. But as you look at the line of Adam, we see that in general the age before fathering the first child decreases which shows us that humanity is getting slowly weaker.

For example, Adam fathers Seth at 130. Seth’s first child, Enos, is born at 105 years old. But Enos fathers hi son at 90 and the process goes on. With a few exceptions, the genetic pool of Adam’s race is changing. What does this tell us about the ancient world?

Adam’s race is getting weaker. As the world was rushing toward its first destruction, something was happening that led to earlier puberty. We see the same in our world today. In 1860, the average age for puberty in girls was documented at—get ready— 16.6 years old. In 2010 that number had dropped to 10.5 years, globally according to a study reported by The Guardian. This varies across races but the general trend is clear. Humans are becoming physically capable of sexual acts at a younger age while marriage is being postponed or forgotten altogether. What does this produce?

A world primed for immoral living. Sexual promiscuity always leads to overpopulation which, in turn brings about competition for natural resources such as food and raw materials as societies become burdened by demand. In a limited sense, this same problem of limited resources and unlimited needs was behind the rise of the Nazi Germany and the United States’ genocide of the Native Americans. Looking at the conflicts in our planet now, we see that little has changed. Competition leads to war which ultimately brings about destruction.

The human experience: then & now

As we zoom into Genesis 6 & 7, we see two distinct groups of humans emerging: Seth’s line and Cain’s line. Each represent a spiritual reality: the righteous and the damned. Again, remember that before Christ came, your spiritual status depended a lot on genes. Hence the reason that Christ came “to His own (the Jews)”. Even the calling out of the remnant of Israel, the 144,000 will be linked back to the family groups or genes (see Zechariah 12:10-14, Rev. 7:1-8). Their inheritance in the land, even the physical locations where they will live in the Millennium are all dictated by their genes as shown in the book of Ezekiel.

Notice that when Israel came back from Babylon in the times of Ezra and Nehemiah, they went straight back to the inheritance that was allotted to them by their genealogy. It was attached to them from the time that Joshua divided up the land and was never taken back. So, it’s not like the U.S. where anyone can buy another person’s property. Even if I liked to live by the sea, I couldn’t just pick up and buy land in Zebulun’s tribe if I was a Judahite for example. Each inheritance belonged to the individual family groups forever! And God still will remember the rights and privileges of that ownership even after the return of Jesus Christ.

Blessed be His Name!

What a great grace is shown then to us Gentiles in re-geneing us so that we too can have a part in God’s inheritance. It goes to show that we who are not of Israel but are Gentiles have so much to thank God for! We had no genetic promise to tie us back to God like Israel, through Abraham, did. But Jesus Christ brought us into the family of God by a new birth that changed our spiritual genes and gave us an inheritance.

giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.

Colossians 1:12 NKJV

Now I hope you can see the need for the New Birth. It is a spiritual transformation that literally changes our genes from the coding of our earthly parents to the spiritual faith of our heavenly Father. That is why you’re now able to rise above the emotional obstacles that your natural birth laid down on you. You will have to struggle against them all your life but you will have the power to overcome, thanks to this re-geneing of the Holy Spirit.

Truly, genes are important. I’m so thankful to have the genes of the Holy Spirit, aren’t you? We could take that a lot farther but you just meditate on that awhile on your own. Let’s turn our attention back to Great Flood.

The rise of race

But back in the antediluvian world, humanity was divided into two groups of people.

The Bible tells us that things changed as humanity multiplied. Instead of bearing predominantly sons (see the genealogies of the previous chapters), humanity began to bear daughters. Obviously girls had always been born or the human race would have ceased to exist. But now, there was an abundance of women born upon the earth. And, with the pattern established by Lamech of taking more than one wife, there was no longer a need for monogamy. Being faithful to one woman was no longer a requirement.

Sound familiar?

The truth is that Cain’s side had launched a sexual revolution.

But remember there was a race war going on at the time. Satan was the author of it then and he is the author of all racial tension now. His goal was to annihilate the sons of God (see Isaiah 14:13-14). But how could he? They were freshly descended from God through Adam. Adam, Seth—the patriarchs were living for almost a thousand years teaching the Word of God. How could he break through this hedge of preachers?

Through the woman.

Satan learned in the Garden of Eden that men have one major weakness. It doesn’t matter how holy they are, how much they pray, every man’s weakness is a woman. And still today every man must face the temptation. Even the Son of God Himself had to face it. Christ struggled but He overcame. And so will you brothers if you keep your eyes on where we’re going and not the temporary pleasures of this world.

So sisters, remember to be careful what you say to men and how you conduct yourselves around them. Dress in ways that will lead to holiness as the Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 2:9 remembering that you have the power to either keep his mind on things of God or to inflame his lust.

And, if you’re married, Sisters, remember to be patient and listen to him if he talks to you about his struggles. The Bible commands that you meet his needs (1 Cor. 7:5).Don’t drive him away or make him feel like he’s an abnormal creature. That’s his nature. He was made to propagate life.

And men, keep your conduct under the Word, striving to keep your thoughts and bodies sanctified to God. And if you’re married, keep yourself only for your wife. Meet her physical and emotional needs as the Scripture commands you to do. Listen to her struggles and pray with her.

The race war then wasn’t so much black versus white or any of the nonsense we see today. It was a spiritual war focusing on bringing down good and elevating evil.

Don’t we see the same today?

Behind the fog of racism and antisemitism, liberalism and conservatism, the real agenda is faith versus doubt.

Satan won that war.

The fall of the righteous and the end of the world

Adam’s line quicky forgot their religious principles when faced with the temptation of the gorgeous Canaanite women. Like today, the clergy failed to hold the people accountable to God. By the time of the Flood, only Noah and his family—out of a population of billions—had enough spirituality to hear from God.

As the female population exploded, there simply weren’t enough men to pair with one woman. Society then became a world of women’s rights, with women leading homes, being worshipped, and leading nations. We see this by the lack of spiritual knowledge shown by Adam’s sons, and the prophecy of Jesus Christ that our world will be a reflection of what was in Noah’s time.

But on the heels of hedonism comes violence. Then as now, physical wars broke out across the planet. Wars fueled by the discovery of nuclear technology. We’ve often been taught that early civilizations were primitive but that simply isn’t born out by the Bible or archeological evidence.

Humanity is like a pendulum. It swung once toward a technological peak, was destroyed and swung backward, then now is swinging back toward another technological peak. Keep in mind the following:

  • Cain’s side was actively tapping into knowledge (shown by Tubal Cain’s inventions)
  • Each scientist lived for hundreds of years, passing down knowledge
  • There were no language barriers because everyone spoke the same language so knowledge could be easily shared
  • There were no geographic barriers because there was one landmass.

It is utterly illogical to think that the science and technology would not have continued to grow, especially when we look at our world. In just 250 years, we’ve gone from a primitive steam engine, which launched the Industrial Revolution, to space travel. And that’s with scientists living about 80-90 years!

What would happen if scientists were living for an average of 800 years and we had 2,000 years to experiment as was the case between Adam and Noah? Stone axes and animal skin clothes?

Not at all. We have Noah being able to build a boat that is over 500 feet long. God inspired him but he still had to build the physical structure. And a boat the size of the ark (the British SS Great Eastern which was 692 feet long) wasn’t built until 1858, according to the Visual Capitalist.

One of the reasons people question the Bible is because we present to them a very unscriptural view of what it says. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Noah and his family didn’t have access to the technology of their time, even though they weren’t scientists themselves. Think about it: I trust you all are Christians listening to my voice this morning or reading this online. Yet you’re using the technology developed by critics of God’s Word to listen to this podcast!

I was very pleased to recently read an article by Quartz Hill School of Theology in which they also recognize that the world of Noah was one with highly developed technology and nuclear technology.

Noah and his family survived the equivalent of a nuclear holocaust — in fact, for all we know there might have been one just before the flood. Radiation poisoning and the resultant genetic damage would go a long way in explaining why human life spans, which before the flood averaged over 900 years, declined rapidly to their current levels after the flood.

Quartz Hill School of Theology, Was there modern technology before the Flood?

Without reading this article, I’ve often stated that the lifespan of humans after the Flood is shorter because they were trying to grow crops in a world that had been contaminated by radiation. When we look at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we see that humans were literally vaporized when atomic energy was used on a small-scale level. What would happen if the entire planet went to war? There would be little or no evidence left. And the survivors would be starting over, from scratch.

Just think about it: if you and your family were the only survivors of a nuclear holocaust, how much of our technology could you reproduce? Could you build a car? How about a spaceship? Or maybe you could reinvent the internet?

When the nuclear technology of that world was misused, it altered the entire balance of creation. Floodwaters covered the planet, unleashing the wrath of God. And so today the same will happen again. But this time it will be fire. The bombs of our world will trigger volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis like we’ve never seen. The Pacific Ring of Fire, the Phlegraean Fields near Naples, Italy, the Supervolcanoes right here in the United States, will belch forth and God’s wrath will again be unleashed.

Our only prayer is to be right with God. Then, it doesn’t matter what happens to this body, as long as our soul is ready to meet Him. For hell is right beneath us all. It is a physical place in the earth (where these volcanoes are active) as well as a spiritual dimension. The Bible clearly tells us that Jesus descended into hell after He died to preach to the lost, does it not?

Oh, that might be a hard one for you. Let’s read it together.

By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; (20) Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.”

1 Peter 3:19-20

Again Peter says,

For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

1 Peter 4:6

Paul also brings this out clearly.

In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)

Ephesians 4:9-10

Hell therefore is in the earth but, just as we cannot see the Holy Spirit and the angels of God until we leave this body of flesh, so can we not see the demon powers that inhabit the dark world. Let’s hear what Brother Branham had to say about this.

And then man,sitting a pot of hell, hits hisself in the chest and defies God’s Word, and says, “There’s no such a place as hell.” (I got that down here in a little bit, and we’re going to get to that, see.) You’re sitting on a big pot of it every day. And while you’re here you’re sitting right on it, and hell’s just beneath you.

53-0729 – Questions And Answers On Genesis

Coping with the stress

The Bible doesn’t just tell us the good that God’s servants do. It also reveals their weaknesses. This encourages us as well as provides instruction, telling us what we should not do when faced with similar situations. After the flood, Noah is traumatized. I’m sure you can understand that. Imagine, all your friends, your family, they’re all wiped out.

You are the only survivor. And all the comforts that you’ve known are now non-existent.

Even though God has blessed Noah and his family, it still doesn’t take away the heartache. What a good lesson here for us to remember. God may bless and use you but He expects you to be willing to sacrifice everything to serve Him.

Sometimes this is our stand for Christ. You might be facing ridicule or pressure from a coworker. Maybe you feel like you’re missing out while others are living in pleasure and sin. Or maybe you’re fighting to break free of a habit. You see, every action that we do for God brings a blessing but it also comes at a price. And, at times, that load can be heavy to bear. Don’t be alarmed if your cross gets heavy at times. It doesn’t mean that you’re not a Christian. It simply means that you’re human.

The Bible encourages us to keep on doing the work of God for we will be rewarded (see Gal. 6:9). Simply lean back on the arms of Jehovah and seek His strength.

Noah didn’t do this. His escape was the one thing he still understood in this world—making wine. Now, is that the kind of example that a prophet of God should be showing? It brought reproach upon his testimony and a curse upon his grandson that we’ve seen carried out through the ages.

Here’s the lesson that I’d like to point out.

Be sure that your ways of coping with stress and pressure glorify God and don’t hinder your Christian testimony.

I think every Christian should have a hobby. Especially in this age of pressure, we need natural things to relax our natural bodies. God didn’t command us to pray all the time. After all, a huge part of Adam’s day was spent in physical work, not just prayer. Be it a sport, outdoor activity, or some kind of art, it’s good to get our bodies and minds out of the routine. But don’t let your stress outlet lead you to acting out of a Christlike character (isolating yourself, or using foul language or violence for example).

The consequences of our decisions

I want to close out this podcast with a stern reminder that everyone of our decisions will always bring a consequence—sometimes well after we’re gone. Noah’s decision to live as a drunk would impact the entire world more than four thousand years after his death. Ham disrespected his father when he saw him lying naked in the tent. As a result, in anger Noah cursed Canaan, Ham’s son.

Keep in mind that Ham himself could not be cursed for God had already blessed him (Gen. 9:1). But Canaan was a different story. Although Canaan himself had done no wrong, the judgment fell on him. The prophecy of his angered grandfather condemned him to slavery and subordination to his brothers.

Now I want to clarify something here. This scripture has often been used to justify the enslavement and racial inferiority of the black race. I recently read a text that was popular in America during the 1860s which claimed that God instantly changed Canaan’s skin color from a white to black and his features from European to “thick lips” and other “negroid” characteristics!

The ability of humans to twist God’s word to their own evil intentions is nothing short of amazing. That being said, I want to clarify this subject as it is so important in our modern world, especially in America, and many criticize the Bible without understanding that there is God’s will and then human choice.

God’s intention was never to have slavery, however slavery did come. And Noah, the angered prophet, unknowingly set this chain of events in motion. Much like Elisha who cursed the children (2 Kings 2:24) the word of a prophet must be honored. This was not God’s intention. But He had to honor the prophet’s position because Noah was His mouthpiece.

Looking at the genealogies in Gen. 10-11, we see that Shem fathered the groups that we know as the Semites (including but not limited to the people of Israel), Japheth began many of the groups in eastern Europe and Asia (such as the Greeks, the Celts and Russians) whereas Ham settled in Africa (see Psalm 78:51 and others).

And, as we know from history, his descendants did end up in servitude to the other races of the world. For centuries, slave traders and other evil minded people used this text to justify their actions. To make things worse, Ham’s name in Hebrew, Arabic and Egyptian, according to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, is associated with heat, blackness, and servitude while Japheth (meaning enlarged) has been linked back to the Hebrew yaphah (which is to be beautiful or white). I want to really emphasize that the will of God (who came to set the captives free) was never slavery or racial discrimination.

But, sadly, it did happen as Noah said. Many races have been enslaved throughout human history, including Europeans and Anglo-Saxons. But the African slave trade was especially noteworthy both in terms of its brutality and its global impact.

Again, there is God’s will and then there is the consequences of human decisions. I don’t say this all happened because of Ham. But there’s no denying that unfortunately humans used this story to do what was in their heart all along as a quick read of pro-slavery literature shows.

So here is the lesson:

Don’t leave a mixed record of your life as Noah did. Remember that your actions, for good or for bad, will have consequences that outlive you. So, live in such a way that others can only be inspired by your life. Believe with a faith that will leave a testimony for others to follow. Because, in the end, all that matters is the record we leave for Christ.

Well, this has been a long and in-depth study of Genesis Chapters 4-10 on Walk through the Word. I truly hope it’s been as much of a blessing to you as it has been to me.

Here’s a quick summary of what we covered:

  • Our worship of Jesus Christ must be based on revelation
  • When we are born again we are spiritually regened by God and are brought into fellowship with Him
  • Be on guard! Satan infiltrated God’s line through unlawful sex and tries to sabotage us still today by the same trap.
  • Live in a way that you are right with God at all times
  • Be sure that your means of coping with stress please the Lord
  • Don’t be dismayed if your burdens get heavy at times. Lean on Christ for strength.
  • Your actions/decisions will have long lasting consequences.
  • Live in a way that inspires others to serve the Lord.

If you’re part of the global audience and have questions, just write them as a comments on our website: thelwbc.com.

Until we meet again, walk in the Spirit.

From Spirit to Flesh: Study on Genesis 2 & 3

Maximize Your Life Walk Through the Word

 Jesus calls us to an abundant life. Here are five steps to achieving this.
  1. Maximize Your Life
  2. Tear down the Tower of Babel and Build the Kingdom of God
  3. Of Faith & Doubt
  4. Genesis 4-10: Worship, Murder, & the Human Experience
  5. From Spirit to Flesh: Study on Genesis 2 & 3

Thank you for joining me today for our second Bible study in our series, Walk through the Word, for 2022. This is Brother Joseph. Today I’m going to be ambitious and cover key points from Genesis chapters 2 & 3. As always, please read these chapters on your own in detail. God’s Word is like an exquisite meal. It’s not meant to be rushed, but to be savored one bite at a time.

Now, in Genesis 2, we see that God has completed his work of creation and sets aside the seventh day as a sacred or holy day. The Bible tells us that each day with God is as a thousand years (2 Peter 3:8) so we know that this is not a 24 hour period but rather a period of 1,000 years in which the chief of his creation (man) was to rule the world in God’s place.

I find it always striking that many of the world’s empires desired to last 1,000 years. Few, if any, achieved it. It’s almost impossible to say when an empire begins or ends but historians will typically place the average lifespan of a civilization at around 336 years. But I believe that trait in humanity began, like so many other things, in Genesis. For God set aside this 7th day ( a period of 1,000 years) to be holy.

He showed it in symbol all throughout the Old Testament when He instructed Moses to set aside the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11). And the sabbath was, in itself, a symbol of the Holy Spirit which will be the Eternal life force of the believer throughout the coming 1,000 year Millennial reign with Jesus Christ (see Rev. 20:6). In that kingdom there will be no death, for the eternal life of God will ensure that the saints complete what God began in Genesis.

From spirit to flesh

In Genesis 2 we see that God took Adam and placed him in a body of flesh. Prior to this moment, Adam was in a spirit-form, what we call a theophany. Here we see a perfect foreshadowing of the coming of the second Adam (Jesus Christ) who came from spirit (God) to human flesh. Notice that Adam could not be tempted as a spirit but he would be tempted as a mortal. So it was with Jesus Christ who came to redeem us! He could not stand temptation as a spirit (God above us) but became flesh to be tested and take the stain of sin upon himself (see Heb. 2:14).

God placed this perfect man (Adam) inside a specially-prepared home that we call the Garden of Eden. This was no small 10×12 plot of land. Now, I’d like you to understand that Adam was ruler of the whole earth but this garden was his home territory (his castle if you will). I believe that this is a foreshadowing of the world that is to come. God will establish the New Jerusalem upon this world as the headquarters of the Bride of Christ but the saints shall be scattered throughout the universe ruling all of space in His name.

I’d like to share a quote from our precious brother Branham that sheds a little more light on this and, hopefully, will inspire you to keep pressing on to this glorious day that is just ahead.

Some fellow, very critical on the second coming of Christ, said, “Do you mean to tell me all the Christians that ever died in Christ will rise, them, what you call, born again people? Well,” said, “you couldn’t place them on this earth like cordwood.” I said, “Who said they’d be here on earth like cordwood?” That’s right.

They won’t. I said, “My Heavenly Father stood back there and blowed off His hands moons, stars, moons.” I said, “They’ll be millions of worlds out yonder. Well, my, hard tell where we will live out in them great places.”

Said, “How about over ten cities and all these cities He said, ‘He that overcometh shall rule over?’” I said, “Why, God’s got worlds on top of worlds, and places on top of places.” How can our little infinite mind limited God? Why, we can’t, there’s no way at all to express Him when you look out and see how vast God is in His universe. Why, He’s marvelous.

   Rev. William Marrion Branham

   53-0830A – Why I Am A Holy-Roller

Adam and Eve were a type, or a symbol, of a much bigger picture that God was unveiling. One in which the saints will not only rule over this world but every world in the domain of God. This is why science is pushing hard into space. This is why the militaries of this world are no longer looking at Earth as being our only home. From the moon to Mars, we’re destined as a species for the sky.

That influence at the end of the world can come only as a perversion of God’s perfect plan. Through intellectual ideologies they will try to accomplish their will and, in so doing, bring about their own destruction in the battle of Armageddon. But God will unleash His perfect plan for His people in the eternity that is to come.

Now, this Garden encompassed the heads of four great rivers which we know now as the Amazon, the Nile, The Tigris and the Euphrates. I realize that time and continental drift has pushed these rivers apart but imagine a world where all the continents were joined as the Bible and science tell us was the case. The continents of Africa, South America and the area we know as the Middle East were all watered by rivers whose source was in Eden.

Like I said, this was no small garden.

Adam: the world’s first superman

I think it’s beneficial for us to take a few moments and look at the powers God gave to His created son Adam. This will give us some clue as to what to expect at the return of Jesus Christ. First, Adam could travel like a thought.

We know this, because of how our Lord Jesus ( the second Adam) often displayed this power both for himself and his disciples. Look at what happened after Christ walked on water.

Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination!

John 6:16

Let’s look ahead. What a day it will be when we are no longer bound by the laws of gravity, space, and time.

Notice, God told Adam to take care of the entire Garden. Now, if you’ve ever been an avid gardener or a farmer, you know that it’s a lot of work. Just because there were no weeds doesn’t mean there wasn’t work that needed to be done. God doesn’t waste time and He created Adam for the very reason that Eden needed maintenance. We can learn a lesson here.

Just because something’s perfect doesn’t mean it doesn’t need upkeep to keep it perfect. Sometimes people get discouraged because they don’t expect to have to work at something because God was in it. That’s simply not true. God starts things as perfect but He wants us to be His partners.

The same can be said for a marriage or any relationship. God may have orchestrated your marriage but you need to maintain it to keep it running smoothly. The same is true for your spiritual relationship with Christ. Just because it’s a union between you and Christ doesn’t mean you can neglect it. You must maintain it. If God gave you a ministry, expect bumps in the road. Expect that you’ll need to learn and grow. Remember, it’s all a partnership and don’t give up.

The first marriage

We could spend much time on Adam’s pre-fall condition. But let’s move on. We see that God gave Adam a helpmate, Eve. Notice that she came from him exactly as the Bride of Christ is taken from the Lord Jesus. I always believe that it’s striking that Eve (symbolizing the Bride) was taken from Adam’s rib not his foot or some other part of the body. The ribs enclose the heart so she was taken from a very dear part of his body. What a consolation to us, to know that we were taken from just beneath His heart.

I’d like to drop this in just as a reminder of our sacred commitment to the Word. The ribs are there for a purpose. To protect the heart and other vitals. We are here to defend the Word of God in an age where it is being defiled like never before. Paul declared it when he wrote that he was “set for the defence of the gospel” (Phil. 1:17). Be sure that in your life you are defending the faith in a world that is hostile to it.

Many today are ashamed to declare themselves to be Christians. They are silent when they ought to speak up or bow when they ought to stand. What kind of wife stands silently by when her husband’s good name is tarnished? If we love Him, if we are near his heart, let us remain unwavering in our commitment to His Word. Stand up for Christ! Be bold and challenge the forces of darkness, fearing nothing. That is your duty of being joined in marriage to Jesus Christ.

The Fall

I’ve spoken many times on the Fall of man so I will touch it lightly in this study. My main point is that we must all be watchful because we can all, like Eve, fall from grace. Paul warned the church in Corinth,

But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

2 Corinthians 11:3

I am very concerned that many go to extremes with predestination and, as such, do not pay close attention to their spiritual walk. We must be continuously watchful to be sure that we are walking in harmony with the Holy Spirit and not our own imagination. If your life isn’t bringing forth the fruit of the Spirit, get back into prayer. If your soul isn’t satisfied with God, go back tot he altar and make your calling and election sure. If we desire to overcome this age we must check ourselves constantly because it is so easy to slip from righteousness to sin.

One of the key things that makes a Christian backslide is the relationships in his/her life. This can be relationships with friends or family, romantic relationships, or purely sexual ones. All of these are reflected in Satan’s approach to Eve in the garden. It was a man whom she trusted—a man with whom she had a relationship—that deceived her into apostasy. This was the seed. Now we’re in the harvest.

Today, relationships with those who don’t know God or claim to be Christians but don’t have an experience with the Holy Ghost can pull you away from the Word because of their intellectual understanding. Be on your guard! Surround yourself with people who share your testimony.

I do not want you to question your salvation but I do want you to be watchful. Trust in the grace of God. Believe in His atoning Blood for your salvation. But walk carefully so Satan has no room to pull you into the deceitfulness of unrighteousness.

The consequence of sin

First, let me share that Adam and Eve could not be tempted in spirit form. Only in flesh could they sin. The same is true for us who are struggling along in this fleshly temple of corruption. One blessed day, if we are faithful to the Word, we will be delivered from this mortal house of clay. All the struggles and trials will fade away. So console yourself with that reality my brothers and sisters and be faithful to Him who has called you!

Because our father Adam and mother Eve lost the struggle, we see that God established a new covenant. Death had the right to strike all humanity. Sickness has the right to attack us. Troubles and pain and plans that won’t work out are all wrapped up in God’s promise that the earth will bring forth thorns. Nothing would be as it was.

And yet hope remains.

God’s promise to bring atonement (through the bruising of flesh) triggers a chain of events that will alter the rest of human history. Lord willing, we’ll see how in our next study.

Until then, may God bless you.

sunlight beaming on green trees

Walk through the Word #1

Maximize Your Life Walk Through the Word

 Jesus calls us to an abundant life. Here are five steps to achieving this.
  1. Maximize Your Life
  2. Tear down the Tower of Babel and Build the Kingdom of God
  3. Of Faith & Doubt
  4. Genesis 4-10: Worship, Murder, & the Human Experience
  5. From Spirit to Flesh: Study on Genesis 2 & 3

Thank you for joining me for our first episode in Walk through the Word for 2022. I’m brother Joseph and I’m looking forward to digging into the scriptures with you. As always, I’d like to start by encouraging you to take your time as you go through this podcast. Read the chapters involved and pray to get the most out of it. You can comment on this post with any questions by visiting our website: thelwbc.com.

Today we’re beginning a study of the book of Genesis, the book of beginnings. It begins with a clear affirmative statement that God made the heaven and the earth when time began. Now, I’d like to compare this with John 1:1.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1

Creation was perfect, and came as a result of the Logos (God in Word form) creating all things. This is referenced in the book of Proverbs which compares the Logos to Wisdom (see Proverbs 8:22-31). The scripture also reads,

The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.

Proverbs 3:19

When you read these scriptures closely, you realize that God, the fountain of wisdom, created a perfect structure.

But it was not to remain so.

Millions, perhaps billions of years passed between the time that God created the world and the time that He placed human life upon it. Science is not necessarily wrong when it says the world is 4.5 billion years old. The scripture simply says that God created the world. Period. With that said, let’s go deeper.

When God began working on the earth in verse 2 of Genesis 1, we see that it is in a state of judgment. The prophet Jeremiah brings this out clearly as he compares the world’s beginning to the wrath of God that was to be unleashed against Jerusalem.

I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the Lord, and by his fierce anger.

Jeremiah 4:23-26

But God is the author of new beginnings. In verse 1, the world was perfect (for everything that God does is perfect) but one verse later we see it is in chaos. But God had plans for the earth, just like He has a plan for your life. And His purpose will not be stopped. So the Spirit of the Lord began to brood upon the earth, changing it from a state of chaos to perfection.

I’m sure we who are born of the Spirit can relate to that! How wonderful it is to know that, like this world, you were in the mind of the great Creator. That even though your world (life) was chaotic God’s plan wasn’t altered. Perhaps you grew up in a bad home. Perhaps you had negative influences that pushed you in the wrong direction. Perhaps you grew up in church but never had a touch from the living God. Whatever the situation, Christ alone is the one who can transform chaos into perfection.

And He will do it, if you’ll let Him.

But God can’t do it alone. He needs YOU to put forth the effort needed to transform your life. I’d like to point out that the world had to embrace the touching of God’s spirit in order to be transformed by it.

And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants[e] yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:11-12

Notice that the earth is responding to God’s command. It is pushing forth vegetation. The EARTH is pushing forth the right kind of seed. So must we put forth the spiritual strength and energy to produce the character of Jesus Christ. So many times in our life, we are tempted to stay in our “helpless” estate. So many times, we give in to the urge to simply pity ourselves and not reach out for God’s transformative power.

But God is our master not our slave. His power is there to use if you are willing to change yourself to His image (see Romans 12:2). As a Christian, you might still be tempted to gossip, to hold onto grudges, or make immoral decisions. But God is calling us to be changed from the chaos of this miserable world but the power of the Spirit that lives within us. Let’s look at some other scriptures to better understand.

“Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry … Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering.; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”

Colossians 3:5,12-14

Note that it is YOU putting to death the actions of this body–not God. It is YOU who puts on the character of the Spirit. Not God.

At the end of this glorious chapter, we see that God finally brought out the highest of all creation. A son in His own image (Gen 1:26). Now, as I said before, this first chapter is all about restoration. And, in itself, it’s a glorious promise that God will end the chaos of the world around us and bring forth Jesus Christ and His Bride in the glorious power of the resurrection.

Just as Adam and Eve existed together in one complete unit, so will Jesus Christ walk among His people when all things are made new (see Revelations 21 and 22).

Let us press to be molded into the image of Christ so we can live in that perfect world that only He can create.

aerial view of clouds

The End of the Matter

Maximize Your Life Walk Through the Word

 Jesus calls us to an abundant life. Here are five steps to achieving this.
  1. Maximize Your Life
  2. Tear down the Tower of Babel and Build the Kingdom of God
  3. Of Faith & Doubt
  4. Genesis 4-10: Worship, Murder, & the Human Experience
  5. From Spirit to Flesh: Study on Genesis 2 & 3

This year I’ve truly enjoyed combing through the book of Ecclesiastes with you. As we wrap up 2021, I’d like to close our study on Ecclesiastes while focusing on the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Solomon begins this chapter by giving us one of the most poetic descriptions of old age and death that has ever been written. He shows us that as we age the things that once produced delight and pleasure no longer do so. Every moment can become a burden. I’d like to compare that to the state of this world which is old and ready to die.

The things that once were innocent and produced joy are now corrupt. Relationships, once the thing that held society together, are now dysfunctional and tear society apart. An upright man or woman is a rare thing to find. But it is in the midst of this gloom that Solomon brings out the main point of this entire book. It teaches us how to conduct ourselves throughout life and, I believe, it is a strong message for us as part of the Body of Jesus Christ.

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

God will bring everything into judgment

I’d like to actually focus first on the verse 14. We all know the day of judgment is when Christ returns to take up His throne (see Psalm 98:8-9). As we heard this morning in service, His coming is the ultimate showdown bringing judgment to the antichrist and the false church while establishing the reign of the saints and the redeemed of Israel.

As He comes from glory, seven thunders utter their voices according to Revelation 10:4. Part of what they contain is the revealed Name of Jesus Christ (the New Name that He will receive according to Rev. 3: 12 and Rev. 19:12). Remember a name signifies a ministry or the holding of a particular office.

Joseph’s name was changed to Zaphnath-Paaneah which means “the man to whom mysteries (secret things) are revealed” when he entered into a new phase in his life/ministy. This is so important because you must understand that some names can only be uttered at specific times in world history.

Let me make this a little clearer. Brother Branham makes a great statement here when he says,

258 That expression. If you only—only knew the numerology of the Bible, and know what Elvis or—or Ricky means, to the Scripture! Uh-huh. Just like, why did Jesus…You say, “There is nothing to that, your name.” There isn’t? That name could only come in this last days, for this last-days people.

  260 That name could not be spoken till this day. That’s the reason we got this hellish thing we got in the earth today, because of such things. The whole human race is corrupted. It’s—it’s gone, see, and that’s why it is.

   Rev. William Marrion Branham,   63-0728 – Christ Is The Mystery Of God Revealed

My point in sharing this is that there are patterns and rules to the spiritual world just like there are in the natural world. The new name of Jesus Christ (whatever it will be) will be so glorious that it will be only given by the divine utterance of God at His return. Now names aren’t just “Harry” or “Suzy”. When Moses asked the Lord to show His glory, God went before him announcing HIs name. Let’s take a look at what happened.

 5And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

Exodus 34:5-7

Can’t you just imagine that Voice proclaiming or thundering out in blast after blast? The Lord! BOOM! Merciful and gracious! BOOM! And it goes on.

You see, as I tried to explain this morning, the name of God reflects the character of God. Which is why, when He came as a savior, His Name was Jesus which means “Jehovah-Savior”. But what about when He comes as a King to judge the world?

Oh, it’s so important to realize that God continues to reveal Himself to His people both now and in the world that is to come. None dare try to guess what He will be called for they will be wrong. This is a sovereign secret that God will reveal when He comes again.

Now, I want to go a little deeper if it’s all right. And just pause this whenever you’d like and go study and pray because we love to talk about the Lord and sometimes we need to rest our minds a little between thoughts. These thunders utter at the coming of the Lord Jesus, therefore we see that they do bring in themselves faith for the rapture. The Bride of Jesus Christ is now waiting for His coming–not for a specific doctrine or move but for the revealing of the Lord from glory (see Acts 3:21).

His coming from glory is to return to earth and become the judge according to Revelations 10:4, Isaiah 40:5 and others). On His way descending, He meets His Bride in the middle of the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17), and reveals Himself to Her as the two witnesses (Moses and Elijah) declare His Name as Jesus to the Jewish remnant (see Rev. 7, Rev. 14, Zechariah 4).

Why do the two witnesses declare Him to be Jesus?

Because He is come to bring salvation unto Israel, so He is still the Saviour! The perfection of the Word cannot be broken. To the Gentiles who have rejected Him, he is the judge. But to Israel who has been longing for the Messiah, Christ is revealed as Jesus.

Zechariah writes,

“On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.

Zechariah 13:1

While this revealing is going on, the Bride of Christ is waiting in the heavenly atmospheres just above the earth. Remember that Joseph revealed himself to his brothers without his wife being present? So Christ reveals Himself to the elected of Israel while the Bride waits in the heavens just above the world. Zechariah shows us that the saints will accompany him but He is revealed privately to the elect out of Israel.

The two prophets turn the hearts of the elect of Israel from the “faith of the fathers to the children” under the anointing of Elijah (see Malachi 4:5-6). If you notice, the ministry of the 7th Angel (which we believe to be Brother Branham or a man anointed with the spirit of Elijah) actually occurs during the calling out of the 144,000 in Israel in Revelations 11.

What is it?

The same Elijah spirit that calls out a Gentile Bride for Christ from creeds and empty religion, calls out an elected group in Israel. For the Gentiles, there were hidden truths (such as the Name of Jesus Christ) that were hidden in the Bible, lost to the church throughout the ages, and revealed in Brother Branham’s ministry. Now, as that ministry comes to call out Israel, Christ who is Lord of both Jew and Gentile, cries like a lion and the seven thunders which are the Voice of God roar out their great secret.

Isaiah prophesied what would happen just before the Millennium. He asked,

Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.”

Isaiah 66:8

Christ Himself appears so they can see the scars in His hand (Zechariah 13:6) but His Bride is not with Him. This 3 1/2 year period passes very quickly. THEN after He is revealed and fights for Israel, King and Queen come from glory to take over the world.

There is definitely more to the Thunders than what I have shared. Let us simply say that all the world will see the effects of their sounding.

“And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.”

Zechariah 14:9

The conclusion

Now that was quite a lot to pack into that one verse in Ecclesiastes. But I’d like to turn now to the first part of our reading.

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

When all is said and done, it’s not so important whether you understand the Thunders, the Seals or any of the deep mysteries of the Bible. My brothers and sisters, what matters is that we live the kind of Christian life that glorifies Jesus Christ.

Ecclesiastes begins with a search for meaning, for understanding to the deep things of life. Why do we die? What is life’s purpose? And it ends with an answer, the perfect answer. Our whole purpose in this world is to fear the Lord and to show we love Him by keeping His Word.

When He comes to judge the world, my prayer is that he will find you and I faithful to His call.

Thank you for joining me for this study in the Word. Lord willing, we will begin a new book in 2022.

May God bless you.

body of water between green leaf trees

Ecclesiastes 2: Happiness & the Work-Life Balance

Maximize Your Life Walk Through the Word

 Jesus calls us to an abundant life. Here are five steps to achieving this.
  1. Maximize Your Life
  2. Tear down the Tower of Babel and Build the Kingdom of God
  3. Of Faith & Doubt
  4. Genesis 4-10: Worship, Murder, & the Human Experience
  5. From Spirit to Flesh: Study on Genesis 2 & 3

Today I’d like to continue our study of the Book of Ecclesiastes. If you haven’t listened to the first part, Finding Meaning in Life, make time do so as it will lay a solid basis for where I’d like to go in this podcast.

Ecclesiastes is written to give us a very sobering reality check, one that we need if we want to live a good life. Today I’d like to focus on the following three questions:

  • Should my job determine how happy I am (or am not)?
  • What does the Bible say about keeping a work-life balance?
  • And, while we expect Christ’s return at any moment, should we consider the fact that we may die before He comes?

A man of extremes

As I said before, I believe King Solomon is the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes and God gave him extreme wealth, power, and influence to prove that all these things that we so often long for are meaningless. None of us will ever have the natural success that Solomon enjoyed, and that’s okay. God gave it to him—and ensured that we had record of it—to prove to us the foolishness of prioritizing things in this world. We can learn from Solomon’s example. To him was given extreme wisdom, what we now call spiritual discernment, and yet he also made critical mistakes that would cost his son a kingdom (see 1 Kings 12). Let’s learn the answers to our own big questions as we look at the Bible.

Ecclesiastes 2 starts off with Solomon purposing to discover what we humans should do with our lives. He goes on to detail how he invested himself in building projects, business, and entertainment—all of which are familiar to us. How often has the message that productivity leads to a fulfilled life been presented to us? Many times we Christians are tempted to lose ourselves in the projects we undertake—maybe our jobs, our family, or the blizzard of entertainment options that now exist.

And yet, nothing satisfies.

Solomon shows us in verse 11 that the very things he had spent years building up now became a source of frustration.

Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do; and behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 2:11

We know that money doesn’t bring happiness, but why do we then spend so much time trying to gain the next dollar? Paul told us to live simply. In 1 Timothy 6:8-10 he writes,

And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

1 Timothy 6:8-10

The drive to earn money is at the heart of the most sinful and pervasive parts of our global culture. A 2019 market analysis on PR Newswire  put the pornography industry revenue in the U.S. at 35 billion dollars. Globally, some estimates put it at almost $100 billion annually.

In a 2019 study by the RAND Corporation, the illegal drug industry averages around $150 billion in the U.S. alone each year.

Now, if you’re listening to this podcast, the studies referenced are hyperlinked in the actual article at thelwbc.com.

I don’t need to talk about the harmful effects of both the porn drug and the literal drugs—we know both are addictive, shatter lives, and ruin self-respect. My focus today is on what God expects from you and me.

While the world clearly will go to any lengths to make money, God has clear boundaries about how much of a role work and the pursuit of money should play in the lives of His children. I want to identify two boundaries as we answer our first two questions.

Again, those questions are: Should my job determine how happy I am (or am not)? What does the Bible say about keeping a work-life balance?

First boundary:

The work you do should be meaningful but not give you a sense of meaning. Also, you should enjoy your work but not be made happy by it.

Let me explain what I mean.

“There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment[c] in his toil. “ (Ecclesiastes 2:25 NKJV).

Your job should be something you enjoy doing—not just something you do to pay the bills. Now, I realize this isn’t always possible and I’m not saying you’re sinning if you don’t like your job—believe me, I’ve been there too! But, no matter how long it takes, try to get yourself in a job that you enjoy because this is part of the blessing that God has for you in this world. It may also lengthen your life and your health by minimizing the negative effects of stress that you’ll otherwise face.

Solomon warns us against keeping a job you don’t enjoy or that is high-pressure when he says, “For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity. (verse 23)”

Ever lose a night’s sleep because of your job? As a teacher, I have many times. But that’s not God’s plan. Neither is remaining in a toxic work environment.

Think about it: how many times do you complain about your job? Does it make you feel happy or emotionally refreshed to gripe about your supervisors or the demanding hours?

 Probably not.

 As the Bible shows us in Philippians 4:8, we Christians are called to keep our minds on things that are good and not meditate upon things that frustrate us. If we don’t, we’ll constantly have our spirit in turmoil which works against our health.

God’s Work-Life Balance

The work-life balance that God calls for requires us to leave our job at our job. When the people we work with, their personal problems, or the work itself continuously drains you (and I mean in a negative way emotionally or spiritually), it’s time to stop and ask God to either change the circumstance or make a way for you to leave. God’s plan for work is a job that we enjoy and work that allows us to rest easy at night with a clear conscience.

We can see this from the work environment that God provided for Adam. I have a hard time imagining Adam complaining to Eve at night about the stresses of gardening, especially when weeds and miniature terrorists called bugs didn’t exist—at least, not as we know now! Even in a perfect world, where Adam “worked from home,” everything all stopped at night when it was time to worship God, spend time with his family, and rest easy.

Now, let’s look back at the Ecclesiastes 2. I’m going to repeat that earlier verse but also read the following.

24 There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment[c] in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, 25 for apart from him[d] who can eat or who can have enjoyment?”

Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

Now, I mentioned that your work should be meaningful…but it should not give you meaning. I want to repeat that so you’ll be sure to get the difference. Your work should be meaningful but it should not give you meaning.

This is a big subject, that I’m going to slant toward the men in the audience for a moment, because, generally speaking, we tend to judge our self-worth by our accomplishments (which are often job related) more than women do.

Brothers, God expects us to do our best at our jobs but don’t let the drive to provide for yourself or your family consume you. Keep everything in balance.

Let me share a personal story. Like most of you know, in 2016 I left my job because of my Christian principals. As painful as it was to separate from students I genuinely cared about, the hardest part was dealing with the fact that I had no idea what to do next. Without realizing it, I was equating my own self-worth with being a teacher. When that was taken from me, I floundered in depression for several years. Somewhere in the chaos of my churning emotions, our gracious Lord opened my eyes to understand where I had been erring.

You see, like many others, I depended on my job to give a sense of meaning to my life. Teaching. Coaching. Encouraging. Correcting. It’s all part of my nature. But, while those are natural human tendencies that God placed within me for His purpose, God calls us to draw every scrap of our sense of meaning from Him alone. And, through this experience, He showed me that I subconsciously gave to my work what belonged to Him.  

 Remember, the very God-given aspects of your character can work against you if you don’t constantly keep an eye on them. For example, a caring, open-hearted person can be drawn into a wrong relationship if he/she doesn’t keep that part of his/herself under control.

Now let me swing this thought over to my sisters.

Women often draw their sense of meaning from their relationships (romantic or otherwise). But what if all that was unexpectedly stripped away from you? What if you lost every person you ever cared about or your friends and family decided to shun you? Would you still feel that your life mattered?

It would. It does.

Sometimes the service that is done to others is what fuels a woman’s sense of meaningfulness, giving her a sense of value because she feels needed. But, remember Sister, your true value lies in simply who you are—not what you do. As a daughter of the King, who is living a surrendered life to your Heavenly Father, your true value comes from being His light in this dark world. Think of Martha who found meaning in serving others while Mary found meaning in her spiritual relationship to Christ.  Both were good women but one, Mary, had truly grasped the understanding of a valuable life.

Which woman are you?

Please understand that it is right and good to serve others, and it is totally normal for that spark good feelings within us as Christians, but again that isn’t the source of our life’s value—it is an expression of it.

Men and women, if the day comes that you can’t work because of a disability or serve because the relationships in your life no longer exist , you can still have a meaningful life if you draw meaning only from God.

You see, as long as we draw meaning from anything else but Christ Himself, we Christians are vulnerable. Our enemy will have the power to disrupt our minds and our lives until we accept that our life is meaningful because Christ is revealing Himself to us and through us.

Remember the Scripture, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33).

 As long as we have Christ… everything else will be alright.

The last thing I want to point out from this beautiful chapter is Solomon’s reminder that our work and efforts are all temporal.

You may remember King Henry 8th of England, the Tudor monarch who married 6 times and had some of his wives beheaded in his relentless pursuit of a legitimate male heir. After endless intrigue, assassinations, family divisions and war, this family line died out when Henry’s daughter, Queen Elizabeth refused to marry. Perhaps that’s not too surprising, given that her father executed her mother!

The point is, all his efforts to build a kingdom fell due to the choices of someone who lived after him. How many thousands died in war and civil strife to preserve a kingdom that would would only last about 120 years?

It was temporal.

The same can be said of our work, be it government, healthcare, business etc. You can devote 30 years of your life to an organization and they may never promote you. Or, if you’re a manager or VP the day will come where you’ll have to retire and someone else will simply take your place. So how much does that contribute to a good life in the end?

Because of this inability to control what happens after we leave our jobs or even this world, Solomon realized that life is meaningless if we define it by our work. As he writes in verse 18-20:

“Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.

19 And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.

20 Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 2:18-20

When we live with this reality constantly in our thoughts, it will make us cut back on those late hours at the job and devote more time to aspects of life that really matter. Instead of getting more things off our to-do lists, we’ll think more about what we put on our lists.

Instead of fitting God into our schedule, we’ll give Him more of our attention. Instead of surrounding ourselves with people who carry toxic atmospheres, we will replace them with people who will reinforce our faith and deepen our fellowship with each other OR use our time with them to point them to the better life Christ offers.

Finally, Solomon reminds us that life is brief. Now, as Christians who live in the shadows of the Coming of Christ, we believe that He will come before our life is over. But that is not guaranteed.

Many sometimes feel that it is a lack of faith to have things such as life insurance or a Will, but that is not written in Scripture and therefore should not be taught. If you have been born again, your soul is immortal (for God’s life dwells within it) but your body is not. Ecclesiastes 2:14 and many other scriptures tells us that all die:

14 The wise man’s eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.

Ecclesiastes 2:14

Therefore, outside of a Simeon-like experience—with God promising you that you will not die until Christ returns—keep in mind that you can leave this world at any time and make appropriate preparations both spiritually and naturally.

The Bible keeps repeating this theme of a temporal life. I believe God knows our nature as humans—without constant reminders we become oblivious to our reality and will treat life as though we are immortal. Even with tombstones all around us, and terrorism claiming lives each day, billions still live without thinking about their coming appointment with a furious God.

But if you remember that life is temporal, you can make the choice to live for Him and also to make each moment of your natural life as full and vibrant as possible.

 Do you have a dream you’ve been putting off? Why not start the journey? An activity that you’ve been wanting to do? Get going!

 We weren’t just born to pay bills and die. Making each moment vibrant, as God’s Word allows, is all part of having a good life.

Next time we want to delve into Ecclesiastes 3. Why does life have phases? How do those phases affect us and how can we Christians navigate them while living in an ungodly world?

Until then, live simply, live well, and may God bless you.

Man pr

Ecclesiastes 1: Finding meaning in life

Maximize Your Life Walk Through the Word

 Jesus calls us to an abundant life. Here are five steps to achieving this.
  1. Maximize Your Life
  2. Tear down the Tower of Babel and Build the Kingdom of God
  3. Of Faith & Doubt
  4. Genesis 4-10: Worship, Murder, & the Human Experience
  5. From Spirit to Flesh: Study on Genesis 2 & 3

I’d like to begin a short series on the Book of Ecclesiastes that I trust will help us live victorious lives. First, let’s get a bit of background.

About Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes is considered one of the three main Wisdom Books of the Bible. The other two are Job and Proverbs. Some people include Psalms and Song of Solomon into the category of Wisdom Books because they also deal with important daily aspects of human life. While all of God’s Word is full of wisdom, these books together give us divine insight into some of life’s toughest questions.

I am one of those who believe Solomon wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes for a number of reasons. He must have written this book in his middle or later years of life given the reflective tone and amount of work that he had completed prior to being inspired to pen these words.

Ecclesiastes is a powerful book that doesn’t shy away from the darker parts of the road of life. It is not intended to be one of those books that make you shout the victory per se like Ephesians or Psalms might. It is intended to change our thinking from ordinary human perspectives of life to God’s divine perspective. It’s intended give you a very blunt and practical picture of your relationship to God.

While some might consider Ecclesiastes depressing, if you look at it as part of God’s inspired Word that has been preserved for your welfare, you will discover practical truth that will help you live a good life. When I say a good life, I don’t mean a trouble-free life. I mean a God-honoring life that you can feel has been well-spent at the end of it all.

As we explore these sacred pages chapter by chapter, may the Spirit of God help you apply these truths to your own circumstances.

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?

One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

Most people have trouble defining life. What is life? Cells? An ongoing search for purpose that lasts until death?

God answers that question in one word: meaningless.

Now, at first glance, that might sound rather depressing. Life is meaningless? Not exactly. You see, life is God’s greatest gift. But it is how we spend our lives that is often meaningless. Everything we do—our daily tasks, our jobs, our pursuit of relationships—in the grand scheme of eternity, is all temporal and will pass away.

For example, let me ask you a question: who was the wife of the Roman Emperor Augustus? Unless you are a lover of history, you probably don’t know he was married to Empress Livia and two other women. Augustus once ruled the civilized world. He was one of the most important men in world history and his wife (Livia) was a powerful force in her time. But today, they are unknown to most of the global population.

The point is, it doesn’t matter how much you achieve in this life for death swallows up even the memory of the powerful. If the world were to last 100 more years, Jeff Bezos will be nothing more than a dim memory. Today, many may envy his success. But tomorrow? He may be a statue in a museum, lost among many others.

It is all meaningless and God wants you to know that. Why? So you don’t fall into the Laodicean trap of focusing on how many things you can acquire or how many hours you can put into the job.

A good life isn’t defined by the number of your natural “accomplishments”— it is defined by the depth of your spiritual walk with Christ.

How beautifully this coincides with the Lord Jesus’s words:

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (Matthew 6:28-29).

Let’s look deeper.

Meaningful meaninglessness

The popular notion is that you are successful if you clock in 50+ hours at the job each week—while juggling a few side-gigs and kids. If you’re really successful, you get to add the pressures of a social position on top of that. And if you’re absolutely heroic, you can add on a few houses that you’ll stuff with things you will only use a few times in your life.

You know that’s true. Now, I’m not preaching minimalism although I am, to a some extent, a minimalist at heart. I am stating that our idea of “a good life” is totally contrary to what God intended and science is coming around to realizing what the Bible has been saying for more than 3,000 years.

In May 2021, the World Health Organization released an article which stated that,

Long working hours led to 745 000 deaths from stroke and ischemic heart disease in 2016, a 29 per cent increase since 2000…

World Health Organization and the International Labour Organization

Clearly, man’s idea of productivity is not God’s idea of a good life.

Knowing this age would come, He teaches us from the very first words of this chapter are here to turn our eyes away from this near-sighted view of incessant productivity.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do your best at your job or have high aspirations for your life—you should!

But, to lead a good life, you must keep everything in balance and always remember that whatever you’re striving for will ultimately no longer make you happy.

What is happiness?

God designs life in a way that happiness would be elusive. He made contentment something you must learn so that His children will continue to seek Him. God knows that, if work , relationships or the things of this world were all satisfying then we would never come to Him.

Think about it: what drove you to Christ in the first place? Wasn’t it a dissatisfaction with what you had? We all came from different places and have had different journeys to the Cross. But none of us were happy with the kind of lives we were leading or else we would have remained in that condition. As Paul said in his letter to the Hebrews:

 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

Hebrews 11:14-16

By God’s order, we who are pilgrims turn our attention away from the meaningless attractions of the modern world in order to find true satisfaction in Him.

The thread of imperfection

The Persians were (and still are) known for their gorgeous rugs. But the weavers would deliberately make a mistake or weave in a thread that was out of place because they believed that only God could be perfect. As such, nothing man creates should be perfect.

I believe God Himself applies this principle to our lives, creating scenarios that leave us a little empty or dissatisfied. Sometimes this is with our family, our children, or with events in our life that we couldn’t control.

We sometimes think that we’d be happy if we could only achieve a certain milestone. But, after you achieve it, you realize that after a while that you need something more.

So, God teaches us that in order to have a good life, we must first realize that the things we fight so hard to gain are simply meaningless.

When you come to terms with this reality then you’re in a position to really understand the true, meaningful beauty that life offers.

An age of contradictions

The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.

The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.

All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.

Here the Scripture shows us that, not only are we temporary but so is our impact on the world around us. Nature runs in a circuit with no permanent resting place. In like manner, none of us can have any truly change the world on a permanent basis. This is why we continue to have global crises in, what I call, an Age of Contradictions.

Think about it:

We live in a world where technology allows us to connect with ease yet people have never been so disconnected and without empathy. Everywhere, people talk about love yet our streets and grocery stores are filled with senseless acts of violence. Mass production and technology allows much of the Western world to live in comfort yet so many in America are homeless, and are without to running water. Obesity is a disease in North America while around the world billions live in starvation. Americans have tech-saturated classrooms yet 21 percent of Americans cannot read.

These problems and more persist despite the efforts of global organizations, church groups, aid societies and countless hours of volunteering.

All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

Nothing we do is truly lasting or can satisfy. But does that mean we should we stop our efforts to do good in the world?

Absolutely not. We should brighten the corner where we are and do all we can with what we have.

Let us realize that while we cannot permanently affect society as a whole, we can make a lasting impact on the lives of other temporary mortals around us. A good life draws meaning from serving others in Christ’s stead.This is what gives meaning to an otherwise meaningless life.

Mental refresher

Let’s pause for a moment and recap what we’ve touched on in this chapter before moving forward. So far we’ve learned:

  • Our actions in daily life are meaningless
  • True meaning comes from focusing on the spiritual instead of the natural
  • God uses dissatisfaction to make us seek Him more
  • We cannot permanently alter the world but we can deeply impact others for good or evil

Why does the world have so many problems?

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.

I’d like to touch on three things in this segment: brevity, the heart of man, and the coming Kingdom of Christ.

First: God shows us that we are only here for a brief moment. Our lives are, as David said, “a handbreadth” (Ps. 39:5). We must therefore give urgent heed to God’s call for our life and not delay to fulfill whatever He has commissioned us to do.

A good life revolves around the understanding that we only have this moment and are not guaranteed the next. How you spend that moment will depend upon the condition of your heart. Which brings me to my next point: the heart of man.

Second: the heart of man. People often wonder why there are still so many problems in the world. The answer is simply that humanity has never changed its collective heart. We still have the same core issues as our ancestors did since the Fall. Our languages and cultures may be different than that of the early peoples but we still have hate, lust, greed and slander. In short, “there is nothing new under the sun” because we keep repeating a vicious cycle of destruction, renewal, corruption and destruction— a cycle that is propelled by the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10).

On a global scale, the hardness of the human heart led to the Great Flood (see Romans 1:18-32). He is the One that brought the world from chaos and can send it back to chaos anytime He chooses.

Spiritually, remember that just as it took a Creator to set these laws of sun, wind and water in motion, so will it take a Creator to bring order to a chaotic world. This is why the world is descending more into chaos—since the Flood, humanity has run back toward a world that refuses to let Christ (the Creator of Order) have any control. Which brings me to my final point: the coming Kingdom.

Third: the Kingdom of Christ. The Bible tells us that the disorder of this world must happen to allow for the perfect rule of Jesus Christ. Now, think for a moment how many times humanity has gone through this cycle of rebirth and destruction as I outlined it above. City after city and empire after empire have followed this pattern. As Hebrews 13:14 testifies, “For here we have no abiding city, but we seek that which is to come.”

We are so privileged to be living at the end of the world because the final change of rulership, from Man’s Day to God’s Day, is about to take place. This will end the cycle and bring about something that is new—Christ dwelling in flesh among all His redeemed children.

Final thoughts

Let’s wrap up our study today with Solomon’s efforts to discover the meaning of life. Remember, these men of the Bible went through these profound—and often traumatic situations—for your benefit.

12 I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.

13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.

14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

I want you to realize that when Solomon was given the “spirit of wisdom,” he was actually given what we call prophetic discernment. Like the Lord Jesus (who he foreshadowed), Solomon told the people the secrets of their hearts. For example, when the Queen of Sheba came to him, the Queen didn’t need to ask Solomon her questions—he told her what she came to ask him.

And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not.

1 Kings 10:3

This shouldn’t be surprising. We who believe this End-Time Message know that God did the same through Brother Branham about 50 years ago. God is simply showing us time and again that He doesn’t change and He, the Word, is still a “discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” In 1 Corinthians 12:8, Paul also referred to this gift as wisdom and knowledge.

So, Solomon, this man with such a tremendous gift led Israel to a time of prosperity and dominion like they had never known before. It is therefore no exaggeration to say that he saw “everything that was done under the sun. ” So, what can we draw from these verses?

15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting (or lacking) cannot be numbered.

Right away we see the need for the new birth. We were all born fallen, or crooked, and can therefore cannot lead a “good life” without God setting us straight no matter how hard we try. Since we were born crooked, we cannot be made straight. Reformation and rehab can only go so far. Since we were born lacking godliness or any good virtue, we cannot therefore count anything good from our lives—unless we are reborn.

In Solomon’s time the New Birth was not a reality so the poor prophet could only have “vexation of spirit” as he looked across humanity. What a blessing it is to know that now God has a way of dealing with the situation. He doesn’t straighten out the crooked nature—He destroys it altogether and gives us a divine nature called the Holy Ghost that leads us straight to Heaven.

But that blessed outpouring would only strike the Earth about 1,000 years after Solomon’s death. So he tried to find meaningful living in the same futile manner that many do today—by doing whatever makes them happy.

16 I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.

17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.

18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

With all respect to which he is due, Solomon became what we would call an epicurean—someone who tries to find meaning in life by indulging in whatever he or she wants. The sad reality is, he never found it and neither will you.

Imagine you’re King Solomon for a year. In one year, the Bible tells us, Solomon received 666 talents of gold (1 Kings 10:14) besides what the craftsmen and traders brought in. Most biblical scholars place a talent as weighing between 75-100 pounds by our modern weight. To be conservative, let’s go with 75 pounds. If you are King Solomon, each year you would receive 49,950 pounds of gold besides what the businessmen paid in tribute. At the time I am writing this article, the price of gold is $1,877.64 (US) per troy ounce. Assuming the rate remained constant, if you were King Solomon, your revenue from gold investment would be almost 94 million USD per year. With an estimated net worth of $2 trillion, Solomon was in a great position to be happy—or so we would think. By contrast Bill Gates in 2021 would be a pauper with a net worth of 126.8 billion USD at the time of this writing.

There’s a popular myth that makes people think that getting whatever you want makes you feel good. No, that only makes you more dissatisfied.

Now, remember, God let this man follow this road to nowhere so that you would not do the same. Christ’s whole intention is to stamp out all humanistic thinking from our lives by the power of His Word so that we might find true, lasting satisfaction in Him.

To live a good life, you must get used to not giving yourself what you want when you want. Frankly, Jesus commands us to live a life of self-denial if we want to be His disciples (Luke 9:23).

Solomon showed us that meaning doesn’t come from gaining or enjoying this world’s goods. He taught us that it is all a meaningless illusion that only one thing can fix—a deep abiding relationship with Christ in which He opens more of Himself to you each and every day.

We talked about a lot of things in this first chapter, so let’s recap. And I encourage you to go through this again and read the scriptures that I’ve referenced while considering how you can apply them to your own life.

Mental recap #2

  • We are only here for a moment but our influence can impact others for their lifetime and hopefully beyond.
  • Because the heart of humanity doesn’t change neither will our core problems
  • We are blessed to live when the Kingdom of Christ is about to come into existence. He will bring something new to this fallen world.
  • The New Birth is the only way of straightening out a crooked creation. Reformation will only go so far.
  • Solomon was in a position to have whatever he wanted, yet he still was plagued by dissatisfaction.
  • Getting what we want doesn’t lead to a good life. Deepening our relationship with Christ will lead to a good life.

Next week we want to look at Ecclesiastes chapter 2 while focusing on the following questions: What does the Bible teach about the work-life balance? Should we, the Bride, consider the fact that we may have to face death? Should my job define my life or my level of happiness?

God bless you.