Precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little!

Fred R. Coulter—June 24, 2023

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  • How do we understand the Bible, but the world can't?
  • What are the things we need to do so that we can properly understand it?

We're going to look at some Scriptures that are greatly difficult to understand because they don't know the steps of proper study and interpretation of the Bible.

God has done something very interesting in Isa. 28. This is quite a thing when you stop and really contemplate it, because this tells us exactly what is happening when people read the Bible and don't know what they're reading. Then they give a false interpretation of it.

We will examine a section of Scripture that looks like everyone goes to heaven. It's one of those things that is preached often in the Protestant churches. But here is what God has done; God is the One Who is teaching us through His Word, through His Spirit, and we are to diligently study to show ourselves approved to God, rightly dividing—the word there for divide means straightly cutting!

Why is that? The Bible is not written like a novel! The Bible is masterfully written so that to everyone who doesn't know what they're reading, it's a mystery! So, they give it to those who are 'educated' and they say, 'Read this and tell us what it means.'

They read and say, 'It's sealed, I don't know.' So, they give it to someone who is not educated and he reads it and says, 'Well, how do you expect me to know what it is, because I'm not learned.'

Why has God done this that we're going to read? You will see that this is like a coin with two sides.

Isaiah 28:9 "'Whom shall He teach knowledge?… [remember it says that we're all going to be taught of God; that means with His Word, His Spirit, etc.] …And whom shall He make to understand doctrine?.… [that's the key, right understanding of doctrine] …Those who are weaned from the milk…"

That means you can't be a new believer and begin to understand the deep things of God; it's impossible to do. Some of the greatest minds in the world read the Bible, and they can tell you, 'I don't know what it means.'

"…and drawn from the breasts, for precept must be upon precept… [that's how the Word is rightly divided] …precept upon precept; line upon line…" (vs 9-10).

Those lines may be separated by chapter, verse, book, Old Testament and New Testament, because God is the One Who put the Bible together to make it a mystery to the world, and make it understandable for those who are willing to love God and believe Him.

"…line upon line; here a little, there a little… [now here is the other side of the coin]: …for with stammering lips and foreign tongue He will speak to this people. To whom He said, 'This is the rest He gives to the weary,' and 'This is the refreshing,' yet, they were not willing to hear" (vs 10-12).

In other words, it's exactly what they needed in their lives to get their lives straightened out, but they weren't willing to hear.

Here's the other side of the coin, here's what happens. Did you know that the most famous people in the world reject the Word of God. They reject God! How do you climb high in the society of Satan the devil, but reject God and His Word and embrace the things of Satan the devil?

Verse 13: "So then, the Word of the LORD was to them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little; that they might go and fall backward, and be broken and snared and taken."

I've got little summary on what it takes to believe the Word of God; this is something that we need to understand.

  • God has called us to educate us with His Word
  • God has called us so that we are going to be in the first resurrection
  • God has called us so that we are going to run and take over the world as:
  • kings
  • priests
  • leaders
  • administrators
  • whatever God wants us to do

You can look at the world today and see that Satan is running it, and yet, in the end He is going to be viewed as a great light bringer! So, let's see what we need to understand the Bible:

  • You Must Believe
  • you must believe in God
  • you must believe in what He says
  • you must believe that He is true
  • you must have faith

Believing is the action, faith is the noun. I have faith, which means I believe. In the Greek it comes from the same word.

  • Prove That the Bible is True

What did Jesus say about the Word of God? In His prayer to the Father in John 17, 'Your Word is the Truth!' And the rest of it is, 'Sanctify them with Your Truth.' This is how we are made Holy! To be sanctified means to be made Holy! That's important.

You must believe that the Bible is the Word of God!

  • You Must Obey God

Whatever you find in the Bible that you read that is something that you should do, you must obey it! If you obey it, what do you do? You prove it in your mind and you live by it!

  • You Must Love God

That ties right in with the one above, keeping His commandments. How do you love God? With all your heart, mind, soul and being!

  • You Must Understand the Grace of God

Which has to be with the forgiveness of sin. But more importantly the grace of God gives us direct connection to God the Father and Jesus Christ in heaven above.

As I go through all of these things, we have books, booklets, messages that you can use to help you verify these things.

  • You Must Keep the Sabbath, Passover & Holy Days

The first key that people begin using to understand the Word of God is when it finally dawns upon them that they need to keep the Sabbath. That begins to open the door!

  • God's Timing

Much of the timing of God is also based upon the Sabbath, Passover and Holy Days. But remember Daniel who gave all of those tremendous prophecies, he wanted to know, 'O LORD, when is this going to be?'

Well, it wasn't time, so God told him, 'It's not for you to understand, but it is for the time of the end. So, we are here, and the timing becomes important.

  • You Need Daily Prayer and Study

We will start understanding a very difficult section of New Testament Scripture concerning Lazarus and the Rich Man. Why do the Protestants believe that that clearly shows going to heaven and going to hell.

Let's apply all of these steps on how to understand Scripture. God has written it in such a way that unless you follow all eight steps on how to understand the Word of God, you can't just pick it up and read it and assume what you think it says!

We're going to read starting in Luke 16:19, and we're going to read it straight through. When you read it straight through it looks like you go to heaven right after you die and then after the rich man dies you're going to be tortured in hell.

Luke 16:19: "Now, there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, and daily indulged himself in luxury. And there was a certain poor man named Lazarus, who was laid at his porch, full of sores. And he longed to be nourished with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table; and the dogs even came and licked his sores. Now, it came to pass that the poor man died, and he was carried away by the angels into Abraham's bosom. And the rich man also died and was buried. And in the grave … [the KJV translates this in 'hell'; but the word there is 'hades' which means the grave] …he lifted up his eyes and was in torment, for he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, 'Father Abraham, have compassion on me and send Lazarus, so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am suffering because of this flame'" (vs 19-24).

Verse 25: "Then Abraham said, 'Child, remember that in your lifetime you received good things to the full, and likewise Lazarus evil things. But now he is comforted, and you are suffering. And besides all these things, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed; so that those who desire to pass from here to you are not able, nor can those from there pass to us.' And he [Abraham] said, 'I beseech you then, father, that you would send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers; so that he may earnestly testify to them, in order that they also may not come to this place of torment' (vs 25-28).

See, you're going to be in 'hell' being tormented forever!

Now listen all you Protestants; v 29: "Abraham said to him, 'They have Moses and the Prophets. Let them hear them.' But he said, 'No, Father Abraham, but if one from the dead would go to them, they would repent.' And he said to him, If they will not hear Moses and the prophets, they would not be persuaded even if one rose from the dead'" (vs  29-31).

  • How do we know that this is not going to heaven immediately?
  • How do we know the timing when the rich man will be raised out of his grave?

This is all based upon other Scriptures that give us the timing sequence.

  • When do the angels take those who are raised from the dead?

Jesus said that that would happen, didn't He? Let's go read that! This is at the very end of the age. The first question we answer is:

  • When was Lazarus taken to Abraham? This means that Abraham also had to be resurrected!

Matthew 24:29: "But immediately after the Tribulation of those days… [this is the Great Tribulation, and part of it is revealing the return of Christ] …the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken… [tie in Rev. 6:12, the opening of the heavens like a scroll] …And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (vs 29-30). It's Christ's return!

  • When do the angels take those resurrected up to meet Christ?

Verse 31: "And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet… [the last trump; when is that sounded? Rev. 11 and the resurrection takes place] …and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."

1-Cor. 15 gives us the exact timing. We know that Christ was the first one raised from the dead. We tie these two Scriptures together. When He was born, He was the firstborn of Mary. Remember that the firstborn is counted from he mother, not the father. The first engendered by Abraham was Ishmael, and he was the firstborn of the handmaid. But Isaac was the firstborn of Sarah. Likewise, when Mary gave birth (Matt. 1:18) that Jesus is called the firstborn!

Now that you have that, let's project forward to something else in Rev. 1. It talks about Jesus is the Firstborn of the dead. This tells us the parallel between a physical birth and a spiritual birth. What do we conclude with that? Jesus was born in the flesh and when He was raised from the dead—Firstborn from the dead—that means He was born again! He's the only One Who has been born again. And that shows the being born again (John 3) that that must be the resurrection.

Let's talk about how the resurrection is going to occur. The timing! Also we get an inkling about how false doctrine enters in.

1-Corinthians 15:12: "But if Christ is being preached, that He rose from the dead, how is it that some among you are saying that there is no resurrection of the dead?"

It was starting in Paul's day with believing the 'immortality of the soul.' Right then, because they believed in the Greek religion and philosophy.

Verse 13: "For if there is no resurrection from the dead, neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is also in vain" (vs 13-14).

If there's not resurrection then everything being preach in the Gospel is in vain! Yet, that's what Protestants believe.

Verse 15: "And we are also found to be false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised Christ, Whom He did not raise, if indeed the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised" (vs 15-16). But He was and was seen by over 500 brethren!

Verse 17: "But if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins, and those who have fallen asleep in Christ have then perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most miserable. But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He has become the Firstfruit of those who have fallen asleep" (vs 17-20).

That's the Wave Sheaf Offering Day! When is the Wave Sheaf Offering Day? It is waved on the first day of the week during the Feast of Unleavened Bread!

Verse 21: "For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the Firstfruit; then those who are Christ's at His coming" (vs 21-23)

That's His return. When do the angels take those who are dead and take them up to the Sea of Glass? That's when He's returning. This answers the question: When was Lazarus raised to be in the bosom of Abraham, his forefather? Can only be at the first resurrection!

Verse 24: "Afterwards the end comes, when He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to Him Who is God and Father, when He shall have put an end to all rule and all authority and power." That's the resurrection!

Let's see this again repeated. We have, first of all, seen established that Lazarus could not have gotten to the bosom of Abraham until he was resurrected. We have established that there is no resurrection until Christ returns. So, when Lazarus died, he didn't immediately go to heaven. Though, when you are reading Luke 16, it kind of gives that understanding.

That's why you need to rightly or straightly cut the Word of God to put 'precept upon precept and line upon line and here a little, there a little.'

1-Thessalonians 4:13: "But I do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep… [that's how God looks at death, you are fallen asleep] …that you be not grieved, even as others, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again … [we just covered that in 1-Cor. 15] …in exactly the same way also, those who have fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with Him" (vs 13-14).

A lot of them read up to this verse and say, 'See, you go to heaven.' No!

  • What does it mean "…will God bring with Him"?
  • When do we come back to the earth with Christ? Rev. 19, Trumpets!

The resurrection on Pentecost to the Sea of Glass, we get all the instructions and things we need to learn and what we're going to do. How we're going to take over the world and what God is going to do.

Then after the marriage of the Lamb and Christ, and the marriage supper, we're all ready to come back to the earth and then we will be with Christ, resurrected from the dead?

Verse 15: "For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall in no wise precede those who have fallen asleep, because the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first" (vs 15-16).

Only the righteous will be resurrected at the time of Christ's return! We have in Rev. 20 blessed and Holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection! They shall be priests of God and Christ and shall reign a thousand years! Then the next part says that 'the rest of the dead live not again until the thousand years are fulfilled'!

Verse 17: "Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds for the meeting with the Lord in the air; and so shall we always be with the Lord."

Where is the Lord and all the saints going to be? On the earth! If you just read this, you can get the feeling that we're all in heaven. That's why you have to put the sequence together. God does not have the sequence laid out all in one place. That's why we have to rightly divide or straightly cut the Word of God so that we understand it in relationship to the Sabbath, the Passover and the Holy Days.

That gives us the timeframe of what God is going to do. What is it that they reject? The Sabbath, Passover and Holy Days! Therefore, they believe Satan's lie that souls are immortal and go to heaven!

How do you answer the question about the immortality of the soul? Ezek. 18, it says twice: the soul that sins shall die! That means the person who is a living being and the life is in the blood. When they die the soul no longer exists! The soul that sins dies!

Remember when the seven last plagues are poured out? After the resurrection!(Rev. 15), and we're all on the Sea of Glass. That's where Abraham and Lazarus will be, all the saints all at the same time.

A lot of people miss this in Revelation 16:3: "And the second angel went and poured out his vial into the sea; and it became blood, like that of a dead man; and every living soul in the sea died."

That doesn't say that the souls are in the sea. It says that every living thing, as long as it has life in the flesh is considered a soul!

We could add to that, as Solomon asked: When a man dies does his spirit go up? and When a beast dies does his spirit go down? It just disintegrates back into the physical earth!

Let's see the rest of the story in Luke 16, and then we will ask: When is the rich man raised? We know that Lazarus has to be in the first resurrection in order to be in the bosom of Abraham, carried there by the angels.

All of that timing is completely absent in Luke 16, so we have to get all of that timing from other Scriptures. This is why that if a person picks up a Bible and just reads it, they would be inclined to believe that this is an immortal soul and going to heaven.

Luke 16:22: "Now, it came to pass that the poor man died, and he was carried away by the angels into Abraham's bosom.… [that has to be the first resurrection, Christ and those who are His at His coming] …And the rich man also died and was buried. And in the grave… [not 'hell' …he lifted up his eyes and was in torment, for he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom" (vs 22-23).

  • When are the incorrigible wicked raised?

What's important here in Luke 16 is that all the timing of these events are found elsewhere in the Bible.

  • When does the rich man have consciousness and raised from the dead?
  • For what purpose?

Let's look at it; we already touched on it:

Revelation 20:4: "…and did not receive the mark in their foreheads or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years…. [first resurrection] …(But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were completed.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and Holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power…. " (vs 4-6).

  • What does the second death mean?
  • How do you die twice?
  • If you live once and died, and you face the second death, they you have to be raised back to life again in order to face the Lake of Fire!

Verse 7: "Now, when the thousand years have been completed, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison." Then he goes to make war against Jerusalem, and his fate is already taken care of!

Verse 11: "Then I saw a great white Throne and the One Who was sitting on it, from Whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God…" (vs 11-12)—meaning they're living again!

We know that there are two parts to this second resurrection: For those who were blinded and never had an opportunity for salvation. That the first part of it! We know from Isa. 65 that they will live 100 years and have an opportunity for salvation

"…and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life.…" (v 12).

If they were blinded and they had not committed the unpardonable sin, they had to be found in the Book of Life for the first part of the second resurrection. Now they have an opportunity for their names to be written in the Book of Eternal Life if they accept the salvation that God gives them, which is noted by this next sentence:

"…And the dead were judged out of the things written in the books, according to their works: (v 12).

They will have an opportunity to have good works, which they didn't have in their first life.

Verse 13: "And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and the grave…"

Sidebar: The KJV says 'death and hell' were cast into the Lake of Fire. How can 'hell' be cast into 'hell'? No, it's the grave!

"…gave up the dead that were in them; and they were judged individually, according to their works" (v 13). Those who are converted will enter into the Kingdom of God!

Verse 14: "And death and the grave were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death." That's what we're looking at with the rich man.

Luke 16:22 "…And the rich man also died and was buried."

The only time he can be resurrected is according to Rev. 20, because he's depicted as one who committed the unpardonable sin. Think about all the elite of the world who worship Satan the devil and have all the luxuries and everything today. So, this rich man depicts all of the elite who have sold their soul to Satan the devil and have the second death to look forward to.

Verse 23: "And in the grave he… [the rich man] …lifted up his eyes and was in torment…"

Think about it! All those who committed the unpardonable sin are going to be raised and they have no opportunity for salvation, because they have already rejected it, so they're going to be in torment.

"…for he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, 'Father Abraham, have compassion on me and send Lazarus, so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am suffering because of this flame'" (vs 23-24).

Anticipating the pain and torture of being thrown into the Lake of Fire. That will be just like Sodom and Gomorrah! It will burn them up completely! There will not be even one human tooth left!

Verse 25: "Then Abraham said, 'Child, remember that in your lifetime you received good things to the full, and likewise Lazarus evil things. But now he is comforted, and you are suffering.'"

Then the rich man, not having any concept that he's been in the grave for centuries, says, 'How about my brothers? Can't they be saved?' Notice what it says for all of you who believe that the Old Testament has been done away and we don't need to keep anything from the Old Testament.

Verse 29: "Abraham said to him, 'They have Moses and the Prophets. Let them hear them.'"

  • Where do we find all the Holy Days? The Old Testament and New Testament!
  • Where do we find the Sabbath Day? Right from the beginning!

God has had different aspects placed in different places in the Bible, and some of them in most unexpected place.

Verse 31[transcriber's correction]: "And he said to him, 'If they will not hear Moses and the prophets, they would not be persuaded even if one rose from the dead.'"

That shows the unpardonable sin with no chance of repentance, even though you are afraid of being cast into the Lake the Fire.

The whole Bible is written, especially in the Prophets in a way where it is line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little!

Isaiah 40:1: "'Comfort ye, comfort ye, My people,' says your God. 'Speak comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins'" (vs 1-2).

Has her warfare been accomplished? NO! Jerusalem is threatened every single day by all of the Muslims around them. So, this one verse refers to when the Kingdom of God is setup on the earth, and all the saints and Christ are ruling.

This next verse does not follow in sequence in time order. It follows in sequence in the way the verses were written, but not in their fulfillment.

The first two verses have to do with the return of Christ and the Kingdom of God setup on the earth, which is pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles.

Verse 3 is completely out of any chronological sequence. That's how God has made the Bible a mystery for those who will not follow the eight steps on how to understand it.

Verse 3: "A voice is calling out in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.'" What is the fulfillment of this one? John the Baptist!

Verse 4: "Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked places shall be made straight, and the rough places plain; and the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken" (vs 4-5). That's the return of Christ! See what we have here?

  • vs 1-2:  the Millennium
  • v 3—John the Baptist
  • vs 4-5—the second coming of Christ

All of this shows how God has designed the Bible, that you just can't take it and read it like a novel and all of th chronology follows in sequence, verse after verse!

God has put different aspects of these verse can only be understood IF you keep the Sabbath and the Holy Days, and the Passover of God! Can't be understood any other way.

Simple things like the book of Proverbs, which is a beginning introduction on how you can begin to understand about life. That's for anybody at any time, having nothing to do with a chronological sequence.

But all of the Prophets have been designed by God this way: so we must look to the Word of God and how it is structured according to the Sabbath and Holy Days to understand when they are fulfilled.

Scriptural References:

  • Isaiah 28:9-13
  • Luke 16:19-31
  • Matthew 24:29-20
  • 1 Corinthians 15:12-24
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
  • Revelation 16:3
  • Luke 16:22-23
  • Revelation 20:4-7, 11-14
  • Luke 16:22-25, 29, 31
  • Isaiah 40:1-5

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • John 17
  • Revelation 6:12
  • Revelation 11
  • Matthew 1:18
  • Revelation 1
  • John 3
  • Revelation 19
  • Ezekiel 18
  • Revelation 15
  • Isaiah 65

Transcribed: 6/28/23

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