Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Sword of the Spirit

It has been said that the writer of "The Book of Hebrews" compares the Word of God to a sword … or does he? I want to look closer at this verse.

Hebrews 4:12"For the word (Logos) of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

The Greek word "Logos" (above) … means "something said;" specifically as John used the word "Logos" … he declared it to be … "Jesus" the Son of God.

"For the word of God" … This can and should be understood in many places in Scripture to also mean Christ Jesus, who was and is the Word of God. The "Word of God" was a name known among the Jews for the Messiah; therefore the author of this book makes use of this phrase when writing to them.

Notice that "the word" is only compared to a sword; it does not say that it is a sword.

When looking at this scripture, care should be taken to understand the phrase … "the word of God" … is not only speaking of the written Word of God, but in all likelihood may also be speaking of Jesus, who as the living Word can do what the written Word cannot do, and that is to be … "a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

The written Word of God can not discern what is in the heart of man, but Jesus the living Word of God can and does.

Two things said of the "Word" in this verse agree exactly with who Christ is. Jesus as the Word of God is quick … meaning alive … He has life in Himself as God; He is the living God and as such He is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The written Word of God can change our hearts and thoughts by the renewing of our minds; but on its own can not and does not discern. While it is acknowledged that the written Word of God can and does change men's hearts and minds; without application, the Word in and of and by itself cannot produce the desired effects.

Jeremiah 23:29"Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?"

The written Word of God is compared to a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces; but will a hammer break a stone unless it is applied to the stone by the skill and strength of a man or woman? Such is the truth concerning … Word of God … it must be applied to the heart of man.

Another way to determine that "the Word of God" in this chapter is indeed Christ and not a printed book is to take notice of all the references used in the first 14 verses. References like … "His rest, I have sworn, He spoke, His works, and hear His voice" … all of which imply and suggest more than Words; they point to a person … who I believe is Jesus Himself.

If we read on in the following two verses the writer of Hebrews speaks very plainly and tells us who is meant by … "the Word of God."

Hebrews 4:13-14"Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession."

Can anything be more plainly written for us than … Jesus the Son of God? These three verses (12-14) are one continuing thought about our High Priest Jesus.

So; does the author of the Book of Hebrews say that the Word of God is a sword to be used in battle? Not here in these verses; but there are others that speak to this subject.

In Ephesians Chapter 6, the words of Paul paints for us a picture of a Roman soldier dressed for battle in his defensive armor which was worn for his personal protection against an enemy. The only piece of his equipment I want to look at in this study is … his sword.

Contrary to what is normally taught … this sword was not used as an offensive weapon. The Roman sword was intended to be used as a defensive weapon, not an offensive one. The Roman Army had many other weapons at their disposal that was used offensively as they marched against the nations they conquered.

The Roman sword was not like the long European saber. Instead it was only about one foot long, was heavy and had two sharp edges. It was used for up close hand to hand fighting if the enemy broke thru the battle lines. This little sword was the Roman soldier's … last means of defense … if he had to protect himself in hand to hand fighting.

Look closely at what the Apostle Paul is telling us in …

Ephesians 6:17"And take … the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (K.J.V.)

Whose sword? It's the Spirit's sword. The Amplified Bible says it this way …

"And take … the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God."

Who wields this sword? Who swings this sword in our spiritual battles? Who uses this sword to defeat the enemy? The Spirit does.

But I need to ask one more question. Whose spirit is this that wields this sword in battle? When Paul uses the word "spirit" … does he mean our human spirit or the Holy Spirit? In the translation from the Greek into English, the word "Spirit" was capitalized … but does it need to be?

The Greek word that was translated into the English word "Spirit" in the above verse is really … "pneuma" which means "breath" … figuratively "a spirit," and by implication means "a soul."

If this "pneuma" is the spirit God breathed into man … then this sword that is part of the Roman soldier's armor … cannot belong to God's Holy Spirit … it's our sword to be wielded spiritually by our spirit man just as we must wear the rest of this spiritual armor. We can't see or feel this armor with our natural senses, but that doesn't make it any less real.

The reason all of this armor, including the sword of the spirit is necessary to be used in the spiritual realm and is not physical in nature, is because this is the realm Satan, the ruler of darkness works in.

If I need this spiritual armor to protect my spirit, doesn't it make sense that I am also the one who needs to use the sword of the spirit as my last weapon of defense against the devil, the enemy of … my soul … because it's spiritual warfare and not physical warfare even though many times his attacks are allowed to cross over from the spiritual realm to the realm of the flesh.

Okay, so now what? We have this spiritual sword … how do we use it? Who or what do we use it against? Paul earlier in this chapter wrote …

"… we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

The battle is against Satan … not each other. If the sword of the spirit is really the Word of God or if it's Jesus Himself … either way … it must be applied to the problem.

If this sword is the spoken and printed Word of God, then words were spoken; some by God the Father and some by Jesus … the Word in flesh … so declare with your mouth what the truth of the Word already declares; Jesus has defeated the enemy and destroyed the works of the devil; and by doing so has made him of no effect unto us. (Hebrews 2:14-15) Jesus has set the captive free.

Mark 16:17"And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils …"

How do you cast out devils? You take the sword that your spirit has been given … the Word of God … and you declare with your voice the Truth of that Word.

By doing so you answer the question …

"Do you really believe that what you believe is really real?"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Word for Fathers

I am a father and also a grandfather, and as such, looking back I find that I made mistakes that I don't want my children to make as they raise my grandchildren.

I have found through the words of the Apostle Paul, a couple of lines of wisdom on how to raise children. One verse was sent in his letter to the Colossians and the other verse was sent to the Ephesians. I want to look at each of these verses and see just how God's Word will help guide and instruct parents.

1.) Colossians 3:21"Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or fret your children, do not be hard on them or harass them, lest they become discouraged and sullen (brooding) and morose (dark, moody) and feel inferior and frustrated. Do not break their spirit."

Paul wrote this instruction to the fathers of his generation, but in today's modern world I believe these inspired words need to be understood and heeded by both mothers and fathers. In fact, a large percentage of kids today are being raised in single parent homes. This only adds to the problem.

I will try to share some of the dangers parents face by not following God's outline concerning parental care and guidance of their children. There is much sound and practical wisdom in this observation made by the Apostle Paul.

Your child may become discouraged by continually finding fault with them, causing them to despair, to lose all hope of ever pleasing you.

Children should be encouraged in what they do and should be commended and rewarded with praise when they do well. But the desire for praise should not be the main principle from which they act or respond to, but they should feel that the recognition and approval of parents is desirable.

The parent who is never satisfied and always finds fault with everything his child does … breaks his child's spirit and destroys all desire for doing what is right. The child in despair soon gives up every effort to please. He becomes indifferent to all you try to motivate him with and becomes to a great extent indifferent to all he does … since all he does … is met with the same criticism or disapproval from those who are supposed to love him the most … his parents.

When kids of any age feel they don't receive any approval from their parents, they become discouraged, disheartened and their spirits are broken; after which they disregard all parental instruction and grow stubborn and rebellious.

2.) Ephesians 6:4"Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger, do not exasperate (irritate) them to resentment, but rear them tenderly in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord."

We can as parents through our own frustrations, sometimes irritate and provoke our kids to anger; the K.J.V. uses the word … "wrath." We need to take a look at this word wrath. It means … "intense anger" … (usually on an epic scale) aroused by "a real or supposed wrong" which may bring to the child a belligerent attitude.

How do you provoke your children to wrath? One way is by subjecting them to unreasonable rules. If the rules of a parent are unreasonable, the spirit of a child then becomes irritated, and he becomes discouraged (made less hopeful.)

So instruct them and punish them … if punishment is necessary … but not so they lose their all confidence and trust in you, but shall continue to love you.

The Apostle Paul has hit on the very danger to which parents are most exposed in the correction of their children. And that is … how to control the parent's temper … which can make the child feel that the parent is only operating under the influence of anger towards them; which teaches and promotes that it is right for them to be angry also.

There is no principle more important than this; a father should control his own temper when he must punish his child for wrong. He should punish a child not because he is "angry," but because it is "right" and not because it has become a matter of who is the strongest; but because God requires that he should do so, and the welfare of the child demands it.

When the child feels that the parent punished him simply because he was the strongest, not because it was right; the child is left with the conviction that "a wrong" has been done to him by the punishment he received, rather than learning repentance for the wrong that he "himself" has done.

Remember … anger lets in Satan, and leads to sin against God. Know that it is difficult for the best of men to be angry and not sin; therefore lean on God for your help, strength and wisdom as you lovingly nurture and correct your children in the fear of the Lord.

"Kids are not going to be Spiritual Giants."

They are a work in progress.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Power of Life and Death (Part 2)

(Part 2 of 2) …

Who has the power of life and death? (Continued)

Job 12:10"In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all

Our life, our breath, (which is our spirit man, the breath of life) is in God's hand, not Satan's. God is the one who gives and takes away; and He does that by many ways; but all are by His design, will and permission.

Ecclesiastes 8:8"There is no man who has power over the spirit to retain the breath of life, neither has he power over the day of death …" (Amp.)

Luke 12:4-5"And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him."

Do not fear men, who "after" they have killed the body, "have no more that they can do." This is all that men are capable of doing, even by divine permission, when allowed through war or violence to kill and take life. This is the most they can do, in and of their own efforts; which Satan can put in their own wicked hearts to perform for him, by working through the power of man's hands.

From these verses, as well as others, we know that God's "fallen creation"… man, as well as all other living creatures, now have the ability to take life at will. It's called the survival of the fittest, how high you are up the food chain. Yes, sin may have caused death; but wasn't it really God, through His judgment of sin, the one who first took life when He pronounced "death" as the sentence for sin? Wasn't He the one who killed the first lamb to cover the naked bodies of Adam and Eve?

Romans 5:12"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned …"

Death has entered into the world by sin, by the first sin of the first man; not only physical death, but a spiritual and moral death also; so man, in a legal sense is "spiritually" dead. There was neither sin nor death before the sin of Adam; after that there were both. Adam’s transgression was the cause of both. The sentence of death was passed on to Adam as soon as he sinned and upon all men after that.

The "one man" is Adam the first man, and parent of all mankind; and the sin which came by him through a single sin, brought with it many unwanted consequences. So we may say that the "origin" of moral evil among men, comes not from God, but man; it entered into men by the temptation of Satan.

As stated before, moral evil is different than natural evils … which are brought upon man by God as a consequence of sin. Natural evil is evidently the effect of moral evil; if man had never sinned, he would have never had to suffer.

So, the truth is … not only does God have the power of life and death in His hands, but because of sin in the world, all of nature, including man also has the ability to take life.

Continuing with this same thought … if man can take life … through war, violence, hate, murder, accidents, etc., then doesn't it sound logical to think that Satan also would have the power of life and death in his hands? If God does, then Satan, also a spirit being who operates in the spirit realm as God does, might also have this power.

Except there is one thing that now makes this new dispensation of God's grace different then it used to be under the former covenant of Law.

Hebrews 2:14-15"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage."

The devil is said to have the power of death, not because he can kill and destroy men at his will; but because his successful temptation of Adam brought death through sin into the world. I understand this as meaning that the devil was the cause of death in this world. He was the means of its introduction. This does not affirm anything of his power of inflicting death with or without or by divine permission, (whatever may be true on that point) but that death was part of his dominion, in that he introduced it.

So today, the writer of the Book of Hebrews is saying to us that whatever power Satan may or may not have had concerning the power of death; Jesus through His death and resurrection has destroyed him, (not as to his being) but Satan's power; by bringing him to "nought," which means … "to make of no effect, to make void, to render useless."

As I understand the true meaning here … we are no longer under the same bondage "through fear of death" that the writer of Hebrews is speaking about. Jesus came to … "destroy him or to bring to nought and make of no effect him who had the power of death"… the devil or Satan. I believe the wording …"power of death" means "the power over the compartment of death" or Hades in the Greek, the underworld, the place of the dead.

Not only sinners but even the righteous went to the underworld at death, (Luke 16) waiting for Jesus to "remove, to take away the sin," that up to now was just covered by the blood of an animal sacrifice; sin that kept them from entering Heaven until the true Lamb of God (Jesus) shed His blood that took away all sin. So therefore, death brought fear to them, knowing that they were not going to be with God, which is how the false teaching of "soul sleep" started. Today death does not bring fear to us because we know …"to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord."

If Satan in the past did have the power of death, (which I still question) I see the word "had" is used in this verse. Now I'm not an expert in English, but as I understand the meaning of "had" as it is used here … speaks of past tense, something that used to be, that no longer is? If Satan "had" the power of death, doesn't that mean since Jesus died, Satan no longer has that power? Isn't that what this one small but important word is telling us? "Had"… he no longer has.

Yes, I know that the word "had" just refers to something in the past and doesn't address the reality of the present time; (such as, I had a headache in the past, but I can still have a headache today.) But since Jesus came and defeated Satan, I believe we are in a different dispensation; we have a different covenant; and with this new contract with God, (I want to believe) that there are some new rules that Satan has to play with.

Let's say … if Satan today could still operate with impunity … the power of life and death in his hand, under his control; considering the fact that he never turns down the opportunity to inflict pain or suffering on God's children, and in fact enjoys doing so as often as he can or is allowed to do so; would he not then kill or take the life of every man, woman, and child that he hates, (the main reason for that hate being) that they are made in God's image and likeness?

So … I must conclude therefore that Satan does not have the power or authority to take life at his discretionor he would.

I believe the truth on this subject is contained in the following statement …

"Satan is one who delights in the opportunity and in the permission to inflict tortures on man, and who goes as far in producing misery as he is allowed … restrained from destroying man only by the express command of God."

It is to be observed, that Satan is subject to the government of God, and dependent on His commands. But Satan, although incensed against the race of mortals, and desirous of injuring, is yet described as bound with a chain, and never dares to touch man unless God relaxes the reins. Satan, in walking around the earth, (as in Job 1:7) could certainly attentively consider Job, but to injure him he could not, unless permission had been given to him.

"Such as is common to man" … I'm still on the same thought … about God holding on to the reins to keep Satan, (a spiritual being) who if allowed to … can and wouldoperate in a different realm than man is in. But he is kept in check by God and not allowed to use spiritual weapons or devices against us that we would not have any way to defend against. Satan can only use things that are common to man, in other words, things in our realm … things belonging to the human experience.

1st Corinthians 10:13"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

The phrase … common to man … does not mean that men are tempted or tested all in the same way. It has to do only with spiritual beings vs. human beings.

The Amplified reads …"For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure …"

In this verse, Paul rightly may be talking about temptation to sin, and perhaps even physical tests and trials, but I think the thought can carry over to all things … like the battle of life and death, things known or unknown, that goes on around us in … the spirit world.

John Wesley says of the spirit world …"That world lies dark to us, but we lie open to it."

The Power of Life and Death. Does God alone possess the power of life and death? Do I dare answer that question for you?

What I have settled in my heart is this … the breath of life … that which makes me a living soul comes from God.

"The Lord gives and the Lord takes away." I'm His and His only; all of me, including my breath and my spirit.

Only He can recall it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Power of Life and Death (Part 1)

(Part 1 of 2) …

Who has the power of life and death? We know God has that power … but does Satan also have the ability to take the breath of life from someone, or does God alone possess that power?

I'm not talking about death by some violent means … a gun, automobile wreck, or some other kind of accident, etc. If Satan has this power as some believe, can he sneak up behind you and take your life … cause you to die right then and there.

We know when Adam sinned, his sin brought spiritual death into the world, and as a by-product of sin, sickness also brought physical death to man. So, I guess one could say that because Satan is the author of all sin … he is the one who causes or is the author of death. One could say that … except for the fact that it was God who made death … "the wage or payment for sin." God alone pronounced the sentence of physical death on man.

With this as a base platform to work from, I want to look into Scripture … The Word of God … to find the answer to my first question: "Who has the power of life and death?"

Death comes in many ways and from many things. Some are from the evil in the world, from the evils of fallen nature. Some are from evils of men; sometimes from our own mistakes; sometimes it can be my fault, your fault, or no one's fault … just life in general. Is it not true that all these things can be instruments of God, to bring about His purpose and design?

So, with that in mind I begin with …

Isaiah 45:7"I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."

God is the author of all things of every kind, which includes this word, "evil" which is also from Him. Not the evil of sin; for this is not to be found in the creation God made; evil of sin is of men, although permitted by the Lord, and overruled by Him with the evil of God's judgments … punishment for sin. Death from famine, pestilence, evil beasts, nature and the sword, (war) usually come from the effects of sin, and are permitted by God. All afflictions and adversities from man and nature, come under this same name, "evil" and are of God … see Job 2:10 below.

Even though God is the source of all things, this does not prove that God is the author of sin or moral evil, and to hold such a view is totally opposed to the true character and nature of God.

Amos 3:6"Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?"

In the Providence of God, (governing and controlling all things) man does evil which he wills, and suffers evil which he wills not. Evil is of two types … evil of sin, and evil of nature. The evil of nature, the afflictions and adversities of life are evils … designed by God … for punishing the evil of sin. Natural evil is the punishment of moral evil; God sends the former when the latter is persisted in.

Some evil is sent either by His own hand, or by the hands of those He employs. Whoever are the instruments, God is the principal agent. John Wesley says … "Out of God's mouth, both good and evil proceed."

Augustine has said …"Evil, which is sin, the Lord hath not done; evil, which is punishment for sin, the Lord bringeth."

The question Amos asks …"Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it" … is not to be understood as evil of sin, of which God is not the author, sin being contrary to His nature and will; although He permits it to be done by others … He never does it Himself.

Job 1:21" Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD."

Job ascribes to God, not only the giving, but the taking away; it is not the result of the fire from heaven, or the storms and winds; it is not by accident or bad luck. Why didn't Job blame the storm? Why didn't he blame or suspect Satan? None of these things occurred to Job. He traced the removal of his property and his loss of children to … "God" … and he found consolation in the belief that a Sovereign God presided over his affairs, and that He had removed only what He gave.

Job spoke the truth when he said …"The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away"… all the things of this world are the Lord's, and are at His disposal; the earth, and the fullness of it; the kingdoms, nations, countries, houses and lands, the beasts of the field, and all the cattle on a thousand hills; the gold and silver, all the riches of the earth. Even though these are gifts to men, and are the blessing of God through His providence; He still retains ownership of His property that is given, and therefore has a right to take it away whenever He pleases.

God, whose sovereign will and overruling hand is in all things done; Job is the result of God's design and purpose, and whoever has been the agent or whatever has been the instrument of it; it is … by the providence of God. These evils of nature were but instruments used of Satan; and he had no power except what was given him from God; and therefore for that reason alone, Job sits down satisfied and quiet.

Job 2:3"And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause."

Here we have a second conversation between God and Satan. God says, "I allowed you to take everything Job had, his possessions, his children, all he had, and still you want more … his life. You want Me to destroy him without a reason."

The original word …"destroy"… signifies to swallow up or devour; and this is the same meaning Peter no doubt had in mind when he wrote the words … "Your adversary the devil goeth about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."

The sense here is, not that Satan could work upon God to cause him to change His mind and will, who is unchangeable in His nature and purpose; but he proposed it, and requested to have it done; and he prevailed and succeeded, though only in part according to God's own counsel and will.

Satan's motion was made without a cause, there was no just reason for it; therefore God said "no" to Satan, allowing him only to touch his body, but never giving him permission to take Job's life. Even in the taking of the lives of his children by the "evil" force of nature, Satan had to receive permission from God. My question today is … do these same rules still apply concerning …"the taking of life?"

Satan answers back to God … "You touch his physical body and Job will curse you to your face."

Job 2:5-6"But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life."

Satan is here urging God to afflict Job and would have had God do it Himself; but God afflicts not willingly; therefore, if it must be done, let Satan do it … who delights in such work. So God says …"He is in thy hand, do thy worst with him"… but gives him a limitation …"save his life. Afflict him, but not to death."

Job 2:9-10"Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What, shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips."

Job responds to his wife with this question … (My translation) "If we receive good things from the hand of God, why shall we not also receive evil?"

Lamentations 3:38"Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?" (This is more of a statement than a question.)

All the blessings of God's Providence; natural good things and natural evil things, even all afflictions which seem, or are thought to be evil, come from the mouth of God, and are according to His design, purpose, counsel, and will. They are all dispensed by the hand of God, and should be willingly received, the one as well as the other. Job is reminding his wife that they had received many good things from the Lord, and therefore they should be willing to receive the others as well.

Shouldn't we have enough confidence in God to believe that His dealings are ordered from a heart of love? The moment He takes away our possessions, and visits us with pain, will we lose all our confidence in Him? Do we submit to all the arrangements of the government of God without a complaint only during good times … or even when natural evils are sent in their place?

We breathe the air which God has made, walk upon His earth, and eat the food He provides; but if and when He takes one or all away, do we feel that He has taken only what belongs to Him … of which we have no right or claim to anyway?

In addition to that, a true understanding of the purposes and motives of God would cause us to feel that any claim, to any blessing, if it had ever existed, has been forfeited by man's sin nature. What right has man to complain when God withdraws His favor, and subjects him to suffering? What claim has man on God that should make it wrong for God to send what we think of as evil?

It should also be noted, that the source of all these dealings with Job was not related to Satan's accusations, but came from God Himself as He set all these things in motion. When God asks Satan the question …"have you considered my servant Job"it was because He Himself had. Satan was but one of many instruments to bring about God's purposes with Job, and Satan may still be one of many today.

We must therefore conclude that Satan only had the power of death over men when God allowed him such power.

Job 14:5"Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass …"

"Seeing his days are determined …" exactly and precisely, how many he shall live, "thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass …" the boundaries of his life, the period of his days, beyond which he cannot go; the term of man's life is so peremptorily fixed and settled by God, that he cannot die sooner, nor live longer, than God has determined he should. As with the time of a man's birth, so the time of his death is according to the purpose of God; and all things that will come to man throughout the whole course of his life … they all fall under "the appointment of God" and are according to His design and will.

The word for "bounds" here signifies a set, stated, or appointed time. As Job uses the word "determined" here, it means "fixed or settled." God has fixed the number of man's days, so that they cannot be exceeded; nor can death be avoided. But, although man cannot live past his appointed bounds, he may also live such a sinful and hard life that he may never reach them; as the psalmist has said in … Psalm 55:23, "… bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days …"

Job 30:23"For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living."

The phrase "to death" means to the house of the dead, or to the place where the dead are … the grave. That house is "appointed" for all, the rich and the poor, young or old; it is not by chance that we go there, it has been so ordained; it is fixed and settled that all should die. Job knows the case with him will be as with all men; death has become necessary because of sin, which brought the sentence of death on all men; by the decree and appointment of God.

This has also been confirmed by Paul when he wrote in Romans 6:23"For the wages of sin is death …" as did the writer of Hebrews 9:27"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment …"

"…to the house appointed …" Job most likely was referring to the grave, which is the house for the body to be placed in when dead. For us however, the apostle Paul states in 2nd Corinthians 5:1"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

To be continued