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Uncovering the Mystery of the Prophetic Poem in 1 Timothy 3:16

Hello, brothers and sisters in Christ! All the elements for this post came together at the right time. Gary has recently put forth two solid overviews of the Bible in "Understanding the Bible: The Promised Seed" and "Prophecy Basics: Setting the Record Straight." Additionally, my previous study through Ephesians provided a solid foundation for this next discovery (see especially: "Jews and Gentiles United in the Body of Christ" and "Christ and the Church").

Moreover, the content surveyed in Gary's articles cited above and my recent run-through of Ephesians will be helpful as we tackle a difficult interpretative problem in Paul's first letter to his right-hand man, Timothy. This Scriptural gem is hiding in plain sight and eludes the natural mind (cf. 1 Cor. 2:13-16), but if you will take a closer look with me, I think you'll be surprised by what you find!



Setting the Stage





So, to start off, I want to highlight a few key connections between 1 Timothy and Ephesians that will prepare your heart for appreciating the full impact of what I'm about to show you.

First, as plainly shown to us at the beginning of the letter, the apostle Paul is writing to his "child in the faith," Timothy, who is given instructions to remain in Ephesus to protect the flock from false teachers (1 Tim. 1:2-3; cf. Acts 20:28-30). Furthermore, the fact that Timothy is combating error in the same place that had already received authoritative instruction from the apostle Paul (i.e. the book of "Ephesians") directly applies to the issue in this current study.

Second, bolstering the link between 1 Timothy and Ephesians, the Greek text of 1 Tim. 1:4 contains one of our theme words from Paul's previous letter: oikonomia ("dispensation," often translated "stewardship, or administration"). The text reads, "...[command them not] to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith" (ESV). Timothy is facing threats of mutiny and defection from those within the church at Ephesus who oppose his mentor's teaching and lead others astray. Consequently, in the midst of all the strife and confusion, the stewardship (oikonomia) first entrusted to Paul now has to be guarded and protected by the next generation (Eph. 3:2-7, 9; cf. 1 Tim. 6:20; 2 Tim. 1:11-14).

Third, the introduction to the prophetic poem in 1 Tim. 3:16 contains yet another key term from Ephesians: mysterion ("mystery," or sometimes translated "secret"). Therefore, an especially relevant text for the consideration of our current study is Ephesians 5:30-32:

...we are members of His body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This mystery [Grk. mysterion] is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the Church" (HCSB).

Lastly, throughout this post I will be interacting with two scholarly articles that I believe represent the most evangelical, widely held, and reasonable interpretation of 1 Tim. 3:16. These two men, David MacLeod and Gregory MacGee, differ on a few minor points, but they are largely in agreement about the overall meaning of Paul's poem (or hymn). However, as you will see later, I think these men fall woefully short of the full picture, especially when they get to Line Six.

Here are the journal articles that will be cited: 

(1) David MacLeod, "Christology in Six Lines: An Exposition of 1 Timothy 3:16," Bibliotheca Sacra, vol. 159, July-September 2002.

(2) Gregory MacGee, "Uncovering the Mystery in 1 Timothy 3," Trinity Journal, vol. 29:2, Fall 2008.



This Mystery is Great




Now that we have established the link between Paul's earlier teaching in Ephesians and his later writings to Timothy (e.g. a specific focus on "the current dispensation of grace"—the Church Age + "the mystery of two becoming one"—Jews/Gentiles, husband/wife, and especially the Christ/Church union), we can zero in on 1 Timothy 3:16 and tackle the issue at hand. This interpretative puzzle will be framed in the form of three questions that will build upon one another:

(1) What exactly is "the mystery of godliness"?

(2) How does "the mystery of godliness" relate to the subsequent hymn or poem?

(3) How should we interpret Line Six, "taken up in glory"?

And for the record, the answers to these questions don't merely impact one verse or passage in the letter. The answers to these questions will inform our understanding of 1 Timothy in its entirety:

First Timothy 3:14-16 has been called 'the very heart of the epistle' and 'the culminating doctrinal point and key to the [whole letter]" (MacLeod, 335).

Therefore, if you want to fully comprehend and personally apply what Paul and the Holy Spirit are communicating, and especially if you are going to teach this letter to someone else, then it is essential that you understand how "the heart of the letter" (3:16) functions in light of the whole. MacGee comments on 1 Tim. 3:14-16 and adds:

Using the concept of mystery (1 Tim. 3:9), Paul reinforces the fact that the message he is committing to his heirs originates in the truths that God revealed to him as his chosen minister. The authoritative teaching inherited from Paul is distinguished from the deviant versions that threaten the church" (254).

Right off the bat then, we should note that 1 Timothy 3:16 supports Paul's overall message to Timothy and ties in to the surrounding context. Paul had just finished describing the qualifications for godly leaders in the Church (3:1-13), and he uses the term "godliness" (Grk. eusebeia) no less than 8 times throughout the entire letter (see here). Significantly, 1 Timothy contains the lion's share when it comes to the usage of eusebeia ("piety, godliness") within the New Testament, and its first mention (Acts 3:12) reveals the source of "godly, Christ-like character" (and here's a big hint for you: man is not the source)!

The term eusebeia literally means "good worship" or "good service", and it speaks to how a Christian should act as a result of their newfound relationship to God and His family:

However, it is more than just good behavior. It is 'a new capacity or potential to live in a way that accords with the will of God.' Jesus Christ is the source, power, and pattern of the kind of life that is acceptable to God" (MacLeod, 337).

MacGee agrees and adds:

Paul associates the mystery of godliness directly with a person, Jesus Christ. For Paul, the truth that shapes everything about the believer's identity and practice is founded ultimately upon the events and significance of Christ's experience, as seen in the hymn that follows" (261).

Thus, we are well on our way to answering two of the three questions posed above:

First question: What is "the mystery of godliness"? Answer: It is something great and profound (Grk. mega; cf. Eph. 5:32) and beyond full comprehension—similar to the nature of God himself (i.e. the Trinity). However, if we were to narrow it down, another biblical definition of "the mystery of godliness" can be found in a parallel Pauline passage, Colossians 1:27:

God wanted to make known to those among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in youthe hope of glory" (HCSB; see also 1 Tim. 1:1, "...Christ Jesus, our hope").

And this leads us to the second question: How does "the mystery of godliness" relate to the subsequent hymn in 1 Tim. 3:16? Answer: People become "good worshippers" and live a life pleasing to God when they have the incarnate, crucified, risen, and glorified Christ living in them. Therefore, the heart of 1 Timothy (3:14-16) flows directly from the very heart of the gospel itself (cf. John 14:17; Rom. 8:10; 2 Cor. 13:5; Gal. 4:19; Eph. 1:13-14). And just as Timothy fought corruption in his day, the gospel of the imputed righteousness of Christ to all who believe continues to face heavy assault in our own generation.

Now that we've addressed the first two questions, let's work toward answering the third and final question: How should we interpret Line Six? We'll dig a littler deeper into this mystery and see how the poetic and prophetic song of 1 Tim. 3:16 directly applies to the Church as a means of encouragement to those who are waiting for their blessed and glorious hope (cf. Rom. 5:2; Titus 2:13).



This is Our Story, This is Our Song




In my survey of the various interpretations of 1 Tim. 3:16, I have noticed that the way a person understands Paul's lyrical arrangement depends on whether they see a chronological sequence or not. Almost all understand that Paul speaks about the life of Jesus and certain events covered in the first half of the New Testament; however, those who avoid a complete linear chronology try to find some form of poetic parallelism or a chiastic structure (without success, in my opinion).

Both MacLeod and MacGee see a linear chronology throughout the entire poem and agree on the meaning of every line except the last one. Of note, MacLeod's conclusion is clearer and more precise than MacGee's, whose interpretation of Line Six is more ambiguous and not as well-defined.

In defense of a linear sequence, MacLeod writes:

In the Greek text the poetic or hymnic form is beautiful and clear. The first option (six parallel single lines) seems most appealing because it has the merit of simplicity, and it allows for the most natural interpretation of the six lines, that is, the chronological telling of Christ's story" (338).

Let's follow along line-by-line and see if we can trace the story that is being told in this text:

(Line 1): The Incarnation, "He was manifested in the flesh..."

Paul makes a seamless transition in 1 Tim. 3:16 from "the mystery of godliness is great" to what is literally written in the Greek as "who was revealed in [the] flesh." There is a textual issue in this first line as some translations such as the Majority Text/KJV have "God was manifested in the flesh." However, the earliest and best available evidence favors the Greek relative pronoun hos, "who," rather than theos, "God" (note: for stylistic reasons, most English versions use "He" instead of "who"). See also ESV, NIV, NASB, HCSB, NET, et al.

Key cross-references: Jn. 1:14; Php. 2:6-7; 1 Jn. 4:2




(Line 2): The Resurrection, "...justified [or, vindicated] in the Spirit..."

The next major Christ-event that Paul mentions after the Incarnation is Jesus' resurrection from the dead:

Line 2 is interpreted as referring to the resurrection by a vast majority of scholars. Paul relates the Spirit and resurrection directly in Rom. 8:11 and possibly Rom. 1:4" (MacGee, 262).

The Greek term dikaio is often used in reference to a believer's legal standing before God, concerning those who have been "justified" by faith (e.g. Rom. 5:1); however, this term can also mean "to be vindicated." It's this second sense that Paul conveys here in Line Two:

Christ's earthly manifestation ('in flesh') culminated in a criminal's death, accompanied by horrible violence. But the Cross was not a defeat; it was a triumph over death and hell. By His death He defeated death, and His resurrection was His vindication. His name was cleared of all blame and suspicion, and He was shown to be the Christ, the Son of the living God" (MacLeod, 342).

Key cross-references: Acts 13:28-30; Rom. 1:3-4; 1 Pet. 3:18




(Line 3): The Ascension, "...seen by [or, appeared to] angels..."

Though some interpret aggelos ("angels") as human messengers, it is perhaps best to view this group as the angels in heaven who saw the risen and exalted Christ after he ascended back to His Father's right hand:

"Agreeing with most commentators, άγγελοι in Line Three refers to the angels who behold the ascended Christ rather than to human witnesses of the resurrected Christ. In 1 Tim. 5:21, angels are grouped with God and Christ as witnesses to Paul's sincerity, so the idea of [heavenly] angels as witnesses is not foreign to this letter" (MacGee, 262).

As we'll see shortly, the way you interpret Line Three is affected by how you see Line Six. Nevertheless, the narrative is still progressing in a linear fashion: Incarnation, Resurrection, Post-Resurrection Appearance (with the Ascension implied)...

Key cross-references: Acts 1:9-10; Heb. 9:24; 1 Pet. 1:12; 3:19, 22




(Line 4): The Great Commission, "...preached among the Gentiles..."

Next, Paul mentions the apostolic commission to proclaim Christ to the Gentiles during this inter-advent age of grace (the Church Age). Line Four, in essence, portrays the spread of the gospel as depicted in the book of Acts. The message about Christ started in Jerusalem, and from there, the Lord's witnesses went out to "the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8):

Instead of reigning over Israel at the present time, Christ is being preached among the Gentiles (and Jews) in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy (Isa. 49:6)" (MacLeod, 344).

Notice, however, that the emphasis on the Gentiles in Line Four is a key indicator that we are dealing with a very specific timeframe. During this age of mercy and delay of final judgment, the Gentiles are God's main target audience and make up the overwhelming majority of Christ's unique body, the Church (cf. Rom. 11:11, 25).

Key cross-references: Matt. 28:19; Acts 1:8; 11:1, 18; 15:14; Rom. 1:5; 15:15-21




(Line 5): The Great Reception, "...believed on in the world..."

The apostles' proclamation of the gospel to all nations has resulted in the salvation of many Gentiles from Pentecost (circa AD 33) and will culminate at the end of this oikonomia (age of grace). Paul uses the past tense in this poem (in the Greek, it's called aorist tense), which is similar to his lyrical discourse in Rom. 8:30 (note: the believer's glorification is spoken of in the past tense—it's as good as done from the divine perspective!).

Given the propensity for poetic license in Scripture, we should view the lines of Paul's poem with a wide-angle lens in order to avoid a short-sighted interpretation that sees only a 1st-century fulfillment. If you limit this text to past events from the 1st-century only, then you will ultimately fail to grasp the overarching message being communicated. Paul is not simply recounting a history of the life of Christ in 1 Tim. 3:16, there is something much deeper and profound going on here.

And let's not forget how this verse began: The mystery of godliness (and how a person becomes godly in the fullest and ultimate sense) is great! Yes, this mystery is even greater than what occurred in the first century (cf. John 14:12)!

Key cross-references: Jn. 3:16; Acts 16:30-31; Col. 1:6, 23; 1 Jn. 2:2




(Line 6): The Resurrection and Rapture of the Church, "...taken up in glory."

We now arrive at the climax of the poem and the point where we need to clear up the confusion and definitively answer our third and final question: How should we interpret Line Six?

For many interpreters, this last line isn't much of a climax at all. Some merely see an echo or recapitulation of Line Three, a view that is somewhat...well...anti-climactic. And yet, up until this point, we have seen the narrative progress from Incarnation to Resurrection to Ascension to Gospel Proclamation to Global Salvation—and so, without a doubt and with general consensus in the commentaries, what we are reading is a chronological sequence of events from Lines One through Five.

But now, here in Line Six at the peak of the poem, does it really make sense for Paul to revert back to Acts 1 (prior to Pentecost/Acts 2) and cap things off with Christ's literal/historical ascension again? Where is the reference to the return of Christ at the end of the age?

Taking issue with the Acts 1 Ascension view of Line Six, MacLeod objects:

...it would be strange if the apostle told the story of Jesus with 'no hint of eschatology' in his hymn" (347). 

Strange, indeed. And yet that is how the majority of commentators understand this text: a simple reference to the Acts 1 Ascension of Christ. However, in the context of 1 Tim. 3:14-16, it would make much better sense if this last line somehow connected to "the mystery of godliness" and the way a member of "God's household" and "the Church of the living God" will ultimately achieve "godliness," or godhood (note: the primary topic in 1 Timothy is the correct belief and behavior of the Church, "the pillar and support of the truth," see 1 Tim. 3:15, which is integrally tied with 3:16).

And so, given all that has been presented thus far, I submit to you that Line Six refers specifically to the consummation of the Church Age, which reaches its climactic conclusion at the time of the Resurrection and Rapture of the Body of Christ. The "one new man" and "one body" of Eph. 2:15-16 will be "taken up" in one glorious moment when Christ returns to take His own to the throne room of heaven.

From what I've observed at this point, I haven't seen any commentary that sees the consummation of the Church in Line Six. Both MacLeod and MacGee, who are conservative evangelical scholars, come very, very close, but their interpretations of Line Six still lack coherence. I'm not faulting them, because it has taken me a while to see what I see now in Scripture, especially as it relates to the mystery of Christ and His body. Furthermore, I'm just happy to help finish what these guys started, so that we, as a Body, don't continue to "fall short of God's glory" and miss the mark on this text.

In summary, here's MacGee's conclusion:

This leaves Line 6, which may then be interpreted as not just a restatement of the ascension (in line 3), but as the overall glorious assessment of Christ, which is witnessed dramatically at the ascension. The hymn in this way yields a two stanza pattern, in which the third line in each stanza brings the movement to a climax. The first stanza traces the Christ-event from incarnation to resurrection to ascension. The second stanza traces the message of the Christ-event from proclamation to reception to glorious acclamation" (262-63).

As you can see, MacGee avoids anchoring Line Six to any specific biblical event by stating that it is Christ's "glorious acclamation." His explanation remains vague and undefined and doesn't do justice to the preceding lines which all describe chronological events that can be pinpointed and defended from Scripture.

MacLeod, on the other hand, gets us further along toward the target:

The hymn concludes on a victorious note: He was "taken up in glory." This line is probably the most puzzling to commentators. The first five lines of the hymn all seem to follow the chronology of Christ's ministry from Incarnation to Resurrection, to Ascension, to the worldwide preaching and reception of the gospel...it seems preferable to recognize that Paul did intend a strict chronology here. As some scholars argue, the phrase 'taken up in glory' refers not to Christ's ascension but to His final victory at His second coming to earth (Php. 2:10-11)" (347).

Yes! He almost has this Line Six mystery nailed down. However, MacLeod's explanation still misses the mark largely because He fails to discern the orderly stages of Christ's Second Coming at the end of this age; namely, (1) the Rapture of the Church; (2) Israel's Tribulation; (3) Christ's return to Earth to rule with His saints in the Millennium.

Before we wrap things up, you should know that another significant barrier to accepting an eschatological interpretation of Line Six is the Greek word analambano ("to lift up, carry away, take up"). Some argue that the fact that Paul uses this word makes it a no-brainer allusion to Christ's literal and historical Ascension. They justify this "safe" interpretation because of the sheer number of times analambano is used in association with the Acts 1 event (cf. Acts 1:2, 11, 22).

However, MacLeod makes an excellent point about the "elasticity" or flexibility of biblical terms—even the weightiest of theological terms in Scripture can have a broad range of usage and apply to more than one referent depending on the context:

In the present passage [1 Tim. 3:16] one might note the use of the verb phanero ["to manifest, appear"]. It too has an 'elastic' usage in the New Testament: It is used of Jesus' incarnation (John 1:31; 1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 9:26; 1 Pet. 1:20), His post-resurrection appearances (Mark 16:12, 14; John 21:1, 14), and His second coming (Col. 3:4, 1 Pet. 5:4, 1 John 2:28; 3:2). Might there, therefore, be some elasticity to the word analambano?" (347, footnote #78). 

And, sure enough, there is one clear and very relevant example of such flexibility of the term analambano that is found in the Greek translation of 2 Kings 2:11 (LXX): 

It happened as they were walking, they went along and spoke. Look! A chariot of fire and a horse of fire! And he separated the two of them. Elijah was taken up [Grk. analambano] in the air as into heaven" (Rick Brannan, The Lexham English Septuagint; see also Gen. 5:24, LXX, and my previous post: Passing the Torch).

Key cross-references: 1 Thess. 4:16-17; 1 Cor. 15:51-57; Rev. 3:10; 4:4; 5:9-10; 12:5





Ending on a High Note

Based on the evidence provided above, I hope you can see how the Christ/Church union is the interpretative key that unlocks 1 Tim. 3:16—a passage that has perplexed many a saint and theologian. Additionally, the bedrock teaching of Paul's letter to the Ephesians and the mystery of Christ and His Body revealed therein forms the critical foundation to a correct interpretation of Line Six, "taken up in glory." And like other passages of Scripture that speak of the Pre-Tribulation Resurrection/Rapture of the Church, you'd have to stubbornly hold on to a personal bias against the Pre-Trib doctrine not to see what is plainly (and chronologically) shown in this text.

Note: There is no mention of the future 7-year Tribulation period (or any final judgment, for that matter) in this mini-narrative of 1 Tim. 3:16. So, for those who are holding out, maybe it's time to re-assess long-held assumptions, re-examine conscious or subconscious theological biases, and, most importantly, it's as good a time as any to start appreciating the depths of the great mystery of Christ and His Body as revealed to us in so many places in the Word of God.

In conclusion, here is a summary and brief defense for the essential argument of this post. Specifically, here are five reasons why this poem in 1 Timothy 3:16 is not a mere recitation of the life of Jesus; instead, it is the story of Christ which also incorporates the Body of Christ, the Church of the living God:

Reason #1: A plain and simple reading of this poem (or hymn), line-by-line, follows a chronological sequence of Lines 1 through 6: a timeframe which spans from the birth of Christ all the way to the end of the Church age (a time period that terminates with the Resurrection and Rapture of Christ's Body, which is "taken up in glory").

Reason #2: The preceding context warrants a tight-knit connection between the Person of Christ and His Body: i.e. "God's household" and "the Church of the living God" (cf. 1 Tim. 3:15; Eph. 5:32, "this mystery is great"). Additionally, the Christ/Church union best explains Paul's inclusion of "the mystery of godliness." In other words, the mystery reveals the way that a member of Christ's body will become godly, which is through the imputed righteousness of Christ, "the one who was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, etc."

Reason #3: Even though Line Six has been the main source of contention and confusion, it doesn't have to be a deal-breaker. The Greek word analambano "to take up, carry away" is often used in reference to Christ's Acts 1 Ascension; however, like the term phanero "manifestation, appearing" found in the same verse, analambano is "flexible" enough to be used in reference to the removal and glorification of the Church (cf. Gen. 5:24; 2 Kgs. 2:11, LXX).

Reason #4: The "Resurrection/Rapture of the Church" interpretation of Line Six fits the overall context of Paul's letter to Timothy—like a glove: The apostle and his trusted disciple are addressing false teachers who corrupt the gospel, seek material gain, and deny the future bodily resurrection of the Church and the imminent appearing of Christ (cf. 1 Tim. 1:3-4; 6:5-9, 14; 2 Tim. 2:17-18; 4:1, 8). Therefore, a faithful teacher and overseer of God's household must be able to steward the "mystery of faith" with a clear conscience (1 Tim. 3:9; cf. 1 Cor. 4:1-2) and believe in the literal resurrection and removal of the godly from the earth prior to the end-time judgment of the ungodly.

Reason #5: Finally, a sound and cohesive Christology (study of Christ), Ecclesiology (study of the Church), and Eschatology (study of End-times) supports the truth that Christ and the Church make up the One who is "taken up in glory" in Line Six. This event takes place immediately prior to Israel's Tribulation and God's final judgments on the world (cf. Isa. 66:7-8; Rev. 3:10; 4:1; 12:5).

Thank you for taking the time to read this, brothers and sisters. The fulfillment of Line Six is coming, because Jesus is coming back for His Body. Keep building upon that solid foundation of the gospel—the stewardship that has been entrusted to us. And watch out for deceptive and futile teachings that detract from the righteousness based on faith alone (Php. 3:8-9).


"My hope is built on nothing less,
Than Jesus blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name...

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
O', may I then in Him be found;
In Him, my righteousness, alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne."


Maranatha, come Lord Jesus! Take us up in glory!



Post A Comment

19 comments :

  1. Thanks so much, Jeff. I've read over this passage so many times and never saw it. For me and my buddies lately, the LORD has definitely been emphasizing the mysterious union of Christ in us.

    But it is fascinating to me that many of the teachers I follow, who seem to have the greatest handle on our connection to Christ via His death, burial, and resurrection, tend to not align with the pre-trib doctrine. An example would be Chip Brogden. He's been very influential on me in the past year, but we differ on eschatology. I would love to hear your take on some of his work. Example article: https://www.chipbrogden.com/identification-with-christ/

    I have a feeling the LORD will continue to "turn the lights on" amongst the different members of the body of Christ as needed. Thanks again to you and the rest of the unsealed.org team for playing your parts well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the mystery of why people think differently can be seen in the section where Paul talks about different parts of the body of Christ. That the hands and feet don't have the same information as the eyes and ears and so on. That is why some of us can see and feel what is coming, and others cannot. They are still part of the same body, they just have a different function and purpose. Let us not be harsh on them, but support them as best as we can. You can't blame a nose for not being able to see, as that is not it's job. Neither is it reasonable to expect the eyes to figure out what something feels like. That is what the skin and all of it's touch sensors are for. As long as someone has received the Holy Spirit, there will be some function within the Body that they are carrying out. Something only they can do. If they are for Christ, let us not turn them against Him by arguing with them. Love one another.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Kris. Well said. I didn’t mean to come off harsh. I love Chip! Like I said before, he has been very influential on me, and I value his perspective.

      Delete
    3. Thank you, Daniel, and thank you for the excellent analogy, Kris!

      I feel like I've been given some kind of spiritual "sight" to see things in Scripture. I don't seem to hear things as well, cause I keep hearing about people hearing the Lord speak to them :)

      However, I will say that my spiritual taste buds continue to be satisfied, and I always have a craving for more (Ps. 34:8)!

      Thanks, guys. We'll get there together...as many members, one Body (Rom. 12:3-5)!

      Delete
  2. Jeff, this is a powerful study and new to me, too. I think the picture is getting clearer and clearer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it's like being in a photographer's dark room, and we are seeing the big picture finally coming into focus.

      Thanks, brother!

      Delete
  3. Jeff

    Thank you for this. I have never commented before but have been reading this site for over a year now, watching, waiting and wanting to go. The recent posts have been terrific in their depth and breadth and yours adds to that extremely well.
    Well done to all of you on this site and keep up the great work.
    G (England)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Your comment has blessed me (Prov. 15:23).

      Delete
  4. Loved this study brother. The interpretation you give makes total sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Miguel. So glad that you enjoyed this study.

      Delete
  5. This has me stewing on another possible pre-trib allusion in Matthew 8:11-12.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keep stewing on that one, bro. I had to marinate on this study for a while before I felt ready to cook it up and serve it!

      Delete
    2. Gary...Thank you so much for mentioning Matthew 8:11-12. You would not believe the hours I stayed up last night morphing that into my Wheat & Tares file I have been working on for over a year.

      Stan

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  6. Wow Jeff, that was fantastic! Blessings to you brother, thank you for bringing forth the Mystery and so reminding us all to keep our focus on the Prize; Christ in us! amen as all else shall come into place accordingly*as blessings flow,.........Galilee! \o/ ~Shalom~ i am filled^ Glory to Our Lord n Savior Jesus Christ, KING of kings!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow, Jeff, speaking of "progressive revelation!" Makes total sense. It "completes" the hymn in a way the other interpretations do not. I love the analogy to hiding in plain sight. Thanks so much for studying and reporting to the rest of us! Blessings to all of the unsealed team.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you for your encouragement and blessing! I am both joyful and relieved that this study is finally published. Relieved, because it had been burdening me for a while, and I prayed that it would come together in a way that would make sense and edify the body.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is excellent work!! Heading back to go over it again. I love when someone finds new revelation of the scriptures. Imagine how exciting it will be to have Yahshua open the scriptures for us in person, as he did on the road to Emmaus. Well done.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kathy! In agreement about the eye-opening experience that we will have similar to what we see in Luke 24:25-27, 32.

      Delete


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