Revelation 11:3-10 powerfully attests to the biblical importance of burial:

Revelation 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. 4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. 5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.

During the cataclysmic event of the last days, God will direct two witnesses who will prophesy in a unique ministry lasting for 1260 days. These two witnesses will engage in a miraculous ministry that will bring great torment to the whole world.

When they have accomplished their God-given mission, the beast that will arise from the bottomless pit will slay them. The world will rejoice greatly at their demise and will not permit their dead bodies to be buried.

Three and a half days after their deaths, God will miraculously raise them from the dead and then cause them to ascend up into heaven while their enemies watch (Rev. 11:11-12).

Discussion

Although these witnesses will die in Jerusalem (cf. 11:8, “where our Lord was crucified”), the Spirit does not explicitly say that they are Jewish people. Yet, the Spirit highlights that the world will not allow them to be buried.

By doing so, the Spirit highlights in a profound way that burial will continue to be the will of God for His servants regardless of how far removed in time from biblical times their deaths take place! He also teaches us that He wants His people buried after their deaths even when the entire world stands in opposition to their being buried.

Application

Burial is an important part of the testimony of believers to a world that stands in opposition to God. God’s people should not have anything to do with the unbiblical practice of cremation. They should bury their own whenever they have any say in what happens to His people after they die!

The harp is the most important musical instrument in Scripture. This importance comprises at least the following truths that can be grouped into three categories:

Earliest Information about Music Mentions the Harp

The oldest chronological information in Scripture about human musical activity mentions the harp:

Genesis 4:21 And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.

The first canonical statement about music mentions the harp:

Genesis 4:21 And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.

Divine Commands about the Use of the Harp

God has commanded His people multiple times to use the harp to worship Him:

2 Chronicles 29:25 And he set the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king’s seer, and Nathan the prophet: for so was the commandment of the LORD by his prophets.

Psalm 33:2 Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.

Psalm 81:2 Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.

Psalm 147:7 Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:

Psalm 150:3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.

God has commanded the whole world to use the harp to worship Him:

Psalm 98:4 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. 5 Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.

Uniqueness of the Harp among Musical Instruments

The harp is the only musical instrument used in the only account in Scripture of God’s using humanly played music to deliver a human from demonically caused affliction:

1 Samuel 16:23 And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

The harp is the only musical instrument that Scripture describes as pleasant:

Psalm 81:2 Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.

Scripture mentions only the harp as the musical instrument that is played in the worship music of heaven1:

Revelation 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

Revelation 14:2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

Revelation 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

Applications

1. Christians should accept the surpassing biblical importance of the harp above all other musical instruments. They should also disciple others about that importance.

2. Christians should learn to play the harp for use in corporate worship, and they should use it regularly in corporate worship.

3. Christians should disciple the whole world to learn to play the harp and use it in corporate worship.

4. Christians should listen to instrumental sacred music played on the harp by consecrated believers. In addition, they should esteem such musical use of the harp as pleasant.


1 Scripture does also reveal the use of trumpets in heaven, but none of those statements are explicitly about their use in the worship music of heaven.

In his gospel message at Caesarea, the apostle Peter proclaimed one of the finest one-verse summaries of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, God’s Christ:

Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

God powerfully used this content—along with everything else that he preached—to save all of Peter’s unsaved hearers on that occasion! A careful examination of this glorious gospel verse shows that Peter proclaimed a gospel message that many may question is suitable content to include in evangelism.

The Gospel Is a Trinitarian Message

First, Peter spoke of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in this gospel statement. He, therefore, gave a Trinitarian gospel message to his hearers. We should not think that witnessing that speaks only about Jesus is the best way because it keeps the message simpler.

The Gospel is a God-and-Jesus Message

Second, in addition to teaching us to give sinners a trinitarian gospel message, Acts 10:38 teaches us to give them a God-and-Jesus message. Note carefully, this verse does not itself directly testify that Jesus is God, even though that certainly is true.

Remarkably, this key gospel statement highlights that God anointed Jesus and that God was with Jesus. Neither of these truths is reducible to stating that Jesus was Himself fully God!

The Gospel is a Jesus-and-the-Devil Message

Third, Peter did not just preach a gospel message about God and human sinners—he testified of Jesus’ delivering multitudes of sinners from a sinful supernatural spirit being, the devil. Because many in our day deny the existence of supernatural evil, testifying to this content is all the more important today.

Furthermore, Peter did not think that telling sinners that Jesus lived a perfect sinless life (when he testified that Jesus “went about doing good”) was all that they needed to hear about His life. Instead, he also talked about His healing all that were oppressed of the devil. This aspect of the life of Jesus is a vital truth that we need to communicate to sinners (cf. 1 John 3:8).

Application

Using Acts 10:38 carefully in your evangelism is one of the best ways to communicate numerous vital truths to lost people! I urge you strongly to use this premier gospel verse in your evangelism.

Reincarnation is a very widespread religious view. Those who believe in it hold that our souls were pure to begin with, but because of the bad deeds that we have done in our previous lives, we are trapped in an ongoing cycle of birth-death-rebirth-death etc.

This cycle continues because of our bad deeds that we have done in previous lives, do in our current lives, and will do in our future lives.

In the following figure, I symbolize the pure soul with a cloud that has no black spots (karma from our bad deeds). Each blue arrow signifies a cycle of being born, dying, and then being reborn.

 

Because of the bad deeds that are attached to our pure souls, we continue in this cycle.

What People Believe about Deliverance from Reincarnation

Only when through being reborn numerous times and doing more good than evil in each future live will we get rid of all our bad karma. When we do that, our pure souls will be delivered from reincarnation and go to nirvana (symbolized by the cloud going up until it is one with the sun).

 

To many people, this explanation makes sense. A closer look, however, shows why this explanation is not true.

Why Reincarnation is Not True

Look carefully at the following figure. Had our souls originally been pure to begin with, we would never have entered into this cycle (symbolized by the red “x” on the first blue arrow).

 

Instead, the pure soul, because it would have no karma attached to it from any bad deeds that it would have done, would immediately go to nirvana. Because it would be pure to begin with, it would never enter the cycle of reincarnation!

No one should believe in reincarnation because what is taught about it is not true. Had our souls been pure to begin with, they would never have been trapped in such a cycle.

The Truth about Us

The Bible teaches that it is appointed to man once to die and then the judgment. According to God’s Word, reincarnation is not true. We only live once in this life and then we will stand before God the Judge of all.

God tells us that we must accept the truth that we have all sinned and come short of His glory. We cannot be liberated from the sins that we have done by doing more good deeds than bad deeds.

We will not have many future lives to purify ourselves completely so that God will not judge us. No one should believe in reincarnation!

Appeal

We all need to have all our sins forgiven. God promises forgiveness to all who repent toward Him and believe in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: 40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; 41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. 43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

Believe in the gospel of God and His Christ and be saved today!

First Samuel 16:14-23 speaks repeatedly of an “evil spirit” from God that tormented Saul. Does this phrase mean that God sent a demon to afflict Saul?

To answer this question, we need to look closely at certain aspects of the Hebrew words used to speak of that “evil spirit.” In 1 Samuel 16, ruah rangah is used repeatedly to speak of what was on Saul that troubled him.

1 Sam. 16:14  But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.

1 Sam. 16:14 וְר֧וּחַ יְהוָ֛ה סָ֖רָה מֵעִ֣ם שָׁא֑וּל וּבִֽעֲתַ֥תּוּ רֽוּחַ־רָעָ֖ה מֵאֵ֥ת יְהוָֽה׃

1 Sam. 16:15  And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.

1 Sam. 16:15 וַיֹּאמְר֥וּ עַבְדֵֽי־שָׁא֖וּל אֵלָ֑יו הִנֵּה־נָ֧א רֽוּחַ־אֱלֹהִ֛ים רָעָ֖ה מְבַעִתֶּֽךָ׃

1 Sam. 16:16  Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.

1 Sam. 16:16 יֹאמַר־נָ֤א אֲדֹנֵ֙נוּ֙ עֲבָדֶ֣יךָ לְפָנֶ֔יךָ יְבַקְשׁ֕וּ אִ֕ישׁ יֹדֵ֖עַ מְנַגֵּ֣ן בַּכִּנּ֑וֹר וְהָיָ֗ה בִּֽהְי֙וֹת עָלֶ֤יךָ רֽוּחַ־אֱלֹהִים֙ רָעָ֔ה וְנִגֵּ֥ן בְּיָד֖וֹ וְט֥וֹב לָֽךְ׃ פ

1 Sam. 16:23  And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

1 Sam. 16:23 וְהָיָ֗ה בִּֽהְי֤וֹת רֽוּחַ־אֱלֹהִים֙ אֶל־שָׁא֔וּל וְלָקַ֥ח דָּוִ֛ד אֶת־הַכִּנּ֖וֹר וְנִגֵּ֣ן בְּיָד֑וֹ וְרָוַ֤ח לְשָׁאוּל֙ וְט֣וֹב ל֔וֹ וְסָ֥רָה מֵעָלָ֖יו ר֥וּחַ הָרָעָֽה׃ 

Many interpreters believe that ruah rangah in this passage should be understood to denote a demon that God sent to afflict Saul. Some, however, deny that interpretation and argue that it means that some kind of impersonal influence from God came on Saul to trouble him.

To determine which understanding is correct, we need to examine a later passage where the Spirit speaks of the coming of that same “evil spirit” on Saul.

Ruah Rangah in 1 Samuel 18

In 1 Samuel 18, the Spirit uses the verb tsalah to speak of the coming of that same “evil spirit” (Heb. ruah rangah) on Saul on a later occasion:

1 Sam. 18:10 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand.

1 Sam. 18:10 וַיְהִ֣י מִֽמָּחֳרָ֗ת וַתִּצְלַ֣ח רוּחַ֩ אֱלֹהִ֙ים׀ רָעָ֤ה׀ אֶל־שָׁאוּל֙ וַיִּתְנַבֵּ֣א בְתוֹךְ־הַבַּ֔יִת וְדָוִ֛ד מְנַגֵּ֥ן בְּיָד֖וֹ כְּי֣וֹם׀ בְּי֑וֹם וְהַחֲנִ֖ית בְּיַד־שָׁאֽוּל׃

According to HOL, this verb means “to be strong, effective, powerful” when it is used with ruah earlier in the book in 1 Samuel 10:6.In 1 Samuel 18:10, therefore, the use of this verb with ruah as its subject conveys that the “evil spirit,” whatever that phrase signifies, came powerfully on Saul.

The following examination of all the other occurrences of tsalah in the Hebrew OT in which it has the same meaning shows us how we must understand what ruah rangah denotes in 1 Samuel 18 (and also in 1 Samuel 16 because the activity of the same spirit is in view in both passages).

Tsalah in Judges

In Judges, tsalah with that meaning occurs three times. Each time, ruah is used as the subject and signifies that the Spirit came powerfully on Samson.

Jdg. 14:6 And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.

Jdg. 14:6 וַתִּצְלַ֙ח עָלָ֜יו ר֣וּחַ יְהוָ֗ה וַֽיְשַׁסְּעֵ֙הוּ֙ כְּשַׁסַּ֣ע הַגְּדִ֔י וּמְא֖וּמָה אֵ֣ין בְּיָד֑וֹ וְלֹ֤א הִגִּיד֙ לְאָבִ֣יו וּלְאִמּ֔וֹ אֵ֖ת אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשָֽׂה׃

Jdg. 14:19 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father’s house.

Jdg. 14:19 וַתִּצְלַ֙ח עָלָ֜יו ר֣וּחַ יְהוָ֗ה וַיֵּ֙רֶד אַשְׁקְל֜וֹן וַיַּ֥ךְ מֵהֶ֣ם׀ שְׁלֹשִׁ֣ים אִ֗ישׁ וַיִּקַּח֙ אֶת־חֲלִ֣יצוֹתָ֔ם וַיִּתֵּן֙ הַחֲלִיפ֔וֹת לְמַגִּידֵ֖י הַחִידָ֑ה וַיִּ֣חַר אַפּ֔וֹ וַיַּ֖עַל בֵּ֥ית אָבִֽיהוּ׃ פ

Jdg. 15:14 And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.

Jdg. 15:14 הוּא־בָ֣א עַד־לֶ֔חִי וּפְלִשְׁתִּ֖ים הֵרִ֣יעוּ לִקְרָאת֑וֹ וַתִּצְלַ֙ח עָלָ֜יו ר֣וּחַ יְהוָ֗ה וַתִּהְיֶ֙ינָה הָעֲבֹתִ֜ים אֲשֶׁ֣ר עַל־זְרוֹעוֹתָ֗יו כַּפִּשְׁתִּים֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בָּעֲר֣וּ בָאֵ֔שׁ וַיִּמַּ֥סּוּ אֱסוּרָ֖יו מֵעַ֥ל יָדָֽיו׃

Tsalah in First Samuel

Aside from its occurrence in 1 Samuel 18:10, which we will examine later, tsalah occurs with that meaning four other times in First Samuel. Each time, ruah as its subject signifies that the Spirit came powerfully on someone, either Saul or David.

1 Sam. 10:6 And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.

1 Sam. 10:6 וְצָלְחָ֤ה עָלֶ֙יךָ֙ ר֣וּחַ יְהוָ֔ה וְהִתְנַבִּ֖יתָ עִמָּ֑ם וְנֶהְפַּכְתָּ֖ לְאִ֥ישׁ אַחֵֽר׃

1 Sam. 10:10 And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.

1 Sam. 10:10 וַיָּבֹ֤אוּ שָׁם֙ הַגִּבְעָ֔תָה וְהִנֵּ֥ה חֶֽבֶל־נְבִאִ֖ים לִקְרָאת֑וֹ וַתִּצְלַ֤ח עָלָיו֙ ר֣וּחַ אֱלֹהִ֔ים וַיִּתְנַבֵּ֖א בְּתוֹכָֽם׃

1 Sam. 11:6 And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly.

1 Sam. 11:6 וַתִּצְלַ֤ח רֽוּחַ־אֱלֹהִים֙ עַל־שָׁא֔וּל (בְּשָׁמְעוֹ) [כְּשָׁמְע֖וֹ] אֶת־הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֑לֶּה וַיִּ֥חַר אַפּ֖וֹ מְאֹֽד׃

1 Sam. 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

1 Sam. 16:13 וַיִּקַּ֙ח שְׁמוּאֵ֜ל אֶת־קֶ֣רֶן הַשֶּׁ֗מֶן וַיִּמְשַׁ֣ח אֹתוֹ֘ בְּקֶ֣רֶב אֶחָיו֒ וַתִּצְלַ֤ח רֽוּחַ־יְהוָה֙ אֶל־דָּוִ֔ד מֵהַיּ֥וֹם הַה֖וּא וָמָ֑עְלָה וַיָּ֣קָם שְׁמוּאֵ֔ל וַיֵּ֖לֶךְ הָרָמָֽתָה׃ ס

Tsalah in Second Samuel

In its lone occurrence with that meaning in Second Samuel, tsalah does not have ruah as its subject. Instead, it has a large group of men as its subject and signifies that they rushed to the Jordan:

2 Sam. 19:17 And there were a thousand men of Benjamin with him, and Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him; and they went over Jordan before the king.

2 Sam. 19:18 וְאֶ֙לֶף אִ֣ישׁ עִמּוֹ֘ מִבִּנְיָמִן֒ וְצִיבָ֗א נַ֚עַר בֵּ֣ית שָׁא֔וּל וַחֲמֵ֙שֶׁת עָשָׂ֥ר בָּנָ֛יו וְעֶשְׂרִ֥ים עֲבָדָ֖יו אִתּ֑וֹ וְצָלְח֥וּ הַיַּרְדֵּ֖ן לִפְנֵ֥י הַמֶּֽלֶךְ׃

Tsalah in Amos

In Amos, tsalah with that meaning occurs once. Although it does not have ruah as its subject, it has the Lord as its subject and signifies His breaking out powerfully to consume sinful people.

Amos 5:6 Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel.

Amos 5:6 דִּרְשׁ֥וּ אֶת־יְהוָ֖ה וִֽחְי֑וּ פֶּן־יִצְלַ֤ח כָּאֵשׁ֙ בֵּ֣ית יוֹסֵ֔ף וְאָכְלָ֥ה וְאֵין־מְכַבֶּ֖ה לְבֵֽית־אֵֽל׃

Discussion

The Spirit uses tsalah seven times in Scripture to speak of His own coming on people (Judg. 14:6, 19; 15:14; 1 Sam. 10:6, 10; 11:6; 16:13). Each time, ruah is the subject of tsalah.

Aside from its occurrence that is in question in 1 Samuel 18:10, tsalah with the same meaning occurs two other times in Scripture (2 Sam. 19:18; Amos 5:6). In both passages, although ruah is not its subject, it does have a personal noun as its subject (a large group of men in 2 Sam. 19:18; the Lord in Amos 5:6).

This evidence shows that aside from the nature of its subject in 1 Samuel 18:10 that we have not yet determined, tsalah with that meaning in Scripture always has a personal noun as its subject.

First Samuel 18:10 is the only other occurrence in Scripture of tsalah with that meaning, and it has ruah as its subject there. In every other passage that the Spirit has used this noun and verb combination, ruah denotes the coming of the Spirit Himself, who is a personal being, on human beings.

We can be confident, therefore, that ruah in 1 Samuel 18:10 denotes a personal entity that was a spirit that came on Saul and not some impersonal influence from God that came on Saul.2 The phrase ruah rangah certainly signifies here that it was an evil spirit, that is, a demon that came on Saul.

Conclusion

A thorough examination of the Spirit’s use of tsalah in Scripture shows that ruah rangah denotes a demon from God that came powerfully on Saul in the incident recorded in 1 Samuel 18:10. Because that activity on Saul was the activity of the same “evil spirit” from God that the Spirit speaks repeatedly of in 1 Samuel 16, we can be certain that God did send a demon to afflict Saul on both occasions.


1 Holladay, Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the OT (HOL) Hol7192 צלח: qal: pf. צָֽלְחָה, צָלֵֽחָה; impf. יִצְלַח, יִצְלָֽח, וַתִּצְלְחִי: — 1. be strong, effective, powerful, of rû­µ 1S 106; — 2. be of use Is 5417; — 3. succeed Nu 1441, be successful Je 121.

hif.: pf. הִצְלִיחַ, הִצְלִיחָה, חִצְלַחְתָּ, הִצְלִיחוֹ; impf. יַצְלִיחַ, וַיַּצְלַח, תַּצְלִיחִי; impv. הַצְלַח, הַצְלִיחָה; pt. מַצְלִיחַ: — 1. be successful, succeed, enjoy success 1K 2212; °îš maƒlî­µ successful man Gn 392; w. acc. in s.thg Dt 2829; — 2. w. acc. make s.thg succeed, bring s.thg to successful conclusion Gn 2421; — 3. make s.one prosper 2C 265. (pg 306)

2 As discussed earlier in this section, this interpretation is confirmed by the Spirit’s also using only a personal noun as the subject of tsalah in the only other occurrences of it with the same meaning in Scripture (2 Sam. 19:18; Amos 5:6).

Follow the Lord Fully!

May 23, 2020

Scripture records several remarkable testimonies about a man who followed the Lord fully! Consider the following passages:

Divine Testimony

After Caleb had served God faithfully in the mission to spy out the land of Canaan, God commended him highly:

Numbers 14:24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.

God testified to how Caleb had followed Him fully and would reward him for having done so!

Multiple Testimonies

God, however, did not fulfill that promise to Caleb until 45 years had elapsed after He had first made that promise (Josh. 14:6-14). When He did so, three additional testimonies were given to Caleb’s having followed God fully .

First, Caleb testified that he had done so:

Joshua 14:8 Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the LORD my God.

Second, he then spoke of Moses’ having testified of his having done so:

Joshua 14:9 And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children’s for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God.

Finally, the inspired writer of Joshua testified that he had done so:

Joshua 14:13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance. 14 Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel.

Scripture thus records four testimonies to Caleb’s having followed the Lord fully!

Exhortation

Scripture highlights for our profit that Caleb fully followed God. As he did, so must we. Let us do so in the fullness of the Spirit and by the grace of God!

Every Christian who knows his Bible knows that his relationship with God is all-important in his life. Although many may think that they are right with God, we must accept what God says that He requires to be perfect with Him inform us whether we are right with God or not.

An Essential Requirement for Being Perfect with the Lord

It is tragic that many of God’s people either do not know or have not heeded crucial revelation that He has given that explicitly speaks of what being perfect with the Lord requires:

Deuteronomy 18:9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. 13 Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. 14 For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.

In this exceedingly important passage, God emphatically declares that there must not be among His people anyone who has any contact with the occult and its practitioners! We as believers must not dabble in any way with the things of the occult!

We as God’s people must be diligent to meet this essential requirement for being perfect with the Lord our God.

Exhortation

Is your heart right with God? Are you perfect with God? If you are dabbling with the occult in any way, your heart is not right with God and you are not perfect with God

God wants you to repent and have no contact or involvement with anything that has to do with the occult. Be perfect with the Lord your God by not having anything to do with any such things or with the practitioners of such things.

Using either the verb conspire or the noun conspirator or conspiracy, Scripture speaks explicitly of people conspiring sinfully in at least thirty verses:

Gen. 37:18  And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.

1 Sam. 22:8  That all of you have conspired against me, and there is none that sheweth me that my son hath made a league with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you that is sorry for me, or sheweth unto me that my son hath stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?

1 Sam. 22:13  And Saul said unto him, Why have ye conspired against me, thou and the son of Jesse, in that thou hast given him bread, and a sword, and hast enquired of God for him, that he should rise against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?

2 Sam. 15:12  And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counsellor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom.

2 Sam. 15:31  And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.

1 Ki. 15:27  And Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against him; and Baasha smote him at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines; for Nadab and all Israel laid siege to Gibbethon.

1 Ki. 16:9  And his servant Zimri, captain of half his chariots, conspired against him, as he was in Tirzah, drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza steward of his house in Tirzah.

1 Ki. 16:16  And the people that were encamped heard say, Zimri hath conspired, and hath also slain the king: wherefore all Israel made Omri, the captain of the host, king over Israel that day in the camp.

2 Ki. 9:14  So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (Now Joram had kept Ramothgilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria.

2 Ki. 10:9  And it came to pass in the morning, that he went out, and stood, and said to all the people, Ye be righteous: behold, I conspired against my master, and slew him: but who slew all these?

2 Ki. 12:20  And his servants arose, and made a conspiracy, and slew Joash in the house of Millo, which goeth down to Silla.

2 Ki. 14:19  Now they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem: and he fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish, and slew him there.

2 Ki. 15:10  And Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him, and smote him before the people, and slew him, and reigned in his stead.

2 Ki. 15:15  And the rest of the acts of Shallum, and his conspiracy which he made, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.

2 Ki. 15:25  But Pekah the son of Remaliah, a captain of his, conspired against him, and smote him in Samaria, in the palace of the king’s house, with Argob and Arieh, and with him fifty men of the Gileadites: and he killed him, and reigned in his room.

2 Ki. 15:30  And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah.

2 Ki. 17:4  And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea: for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and brought no present to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year: therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison.

2 Ki. 21:23  And the servants of Amon conspired against him, and slew the king in his own house.

2 Ki. 21:24  And the people of the land slew all them that had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his stead.

2 Chr. 24:21  And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the LORD.

2 Chr. 24:25  And when they were departed from him, (for they left him in great diseases,) his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on his bed, and he died: and they buried him in the city of David, but they buried him not in the sepulchres of the kings.

2 Chr. 24:26  And these are they that conspired against him; Zabad the son of Shimeath an Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith a Moabitess.

2 Chr. 25:27  Now after the time that Amaziah did turn away from following the LORD they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem; and he fled to Lachish: but they sent to Lachish after him, and slew him there.

2 Chr. 33:24  And his servants conspired against him, and slew him in his own house.

2 Chr. 33:25  But the people of the land slew all them that had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his stead.

Neh. 4:8  And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it.

Jer. 11:9  And the LORD said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Ezek. 22:25  There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof.

Amos 7:10  Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words.

Acts 23:13  And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy.

These passages attest profoundly to the emphasis that God places on providing revelation about humans conspiring to sin.

Remarkably, 25 of the 30 have to do with conspiracies involving high-level governmental authorities in one or more nations. Scripture thereby certainly instructs us that such conspiracies are a widely prevalent reality in the realm of politics/government.

Multitudes of people believe in reincarnation while multitudes of other people believe in the resurrection of the dead. Which one should people believe in?

The Bible plainly and emphatically teaches that people are not going to die and be reborn over and over again. It does so in various ways, especially by making known that Jesus died only once and that all people die only once.

Dying Only Once

Concerning Jesus, Scripture reveals that He died and God raised Him from the dead:

Rom. 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

Jesus died only once; He will never die again! Death has no more dominion over Him!

Concerning all men, Scripture reveals that God has appointed that people die only once and are then judged by Him:

Heb. 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

They do not die and then be reborn repeatedly, as reincarnation teaches.

These passages make clear that people should believe in the resurrection of the dead and not in reincarnation.

What about The Second Death?

Someone who is familiar with the Bible might object that the Bible speaks of the second death:

Rev. 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Why should we believe in the resurrection of the dead when the Bible itself speaks of a second death? Doesn’t this teaching about the second death support believing instead in reincarnation?

To answer these questions properly, consider that although a surface reading of this passage might lead some to conclude that it contradicts what Hebrews 9:27 says about people’s dying only once, a proper reading shows that it does not contradict what Hebrews 9:27 and other passages teach.

To understand why, note that Scripture teaches that physical death is the separation of the body from the spirit:

James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

The second death, however, is when people who were already dead stand before God and are then judged by Him:

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

In order for people who were dead to stand again, they must experience bodily resurrection.

The second death, therefore, is not when people will die again physically. Rather, these are people who will be cast bodily into a lake of fire.

The Bible’s teaching about the second death does not support belief in reincarnation—people must believe in resurrection, not reincarnation.

The Right Response to These Truths

Reincarnation teaches that people’s bodies die but their souls live on and that they are reborn physically. Jesus, however, warned people to fear God who has the ability to destroy both the soul and the body:

Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

People who die physically are not going to be reborn again and again. They will die once and then stand before God to be judged by Him.

In view of these truths, God wants all people to know what He is commanding to all people everywhere:

Acts 17:30 God . . . now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

People should not believe in reincarnation. God wants all people to believe in the resurrection of the dead and has provided proof that they should do so by raising Jesus from the dead and fixing a day in which He will judge the world by Jesus.

By Jesus, believe in God, who raised Him up from the dead and gave Him glory so that your faith and hope might be in God.

1 Peter 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

God wants you to believe not in reincarnation but in resurrection!

A BibleWorks search for the word “Amen” in Scripture produced a list of 72 verses. I look forward to analyzing this list thoroughly and profiting much from that study!

Old Testament

Num. 5:22 And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen.

Deut. 27:15 Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen.

Deut. 27:16 Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:17 Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour’s landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:18 Cursed be he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:19 Cursed be he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:20 Cursed be he that lieth with his father’s wife; because he uncovereth his father’s skirt. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:21 Cursed be he that lieth with any manner of beast. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:22 Cursed be he that lieth with his sister, the daughter of his father, or the daughter of his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:23 Cursed be he that lieth with his mother in law. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:24 Cursed be he that smiteth his neighbour secretly. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:25 Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Deut. 27:26 Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.

1 Ki. 1:36 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: the LORD God of my lord the king say so too.

1 Chr. 16:36 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD.

Neh. 5:13 Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the LORD. And the people did according to this promise.

Neh. 8:6 And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

Ps. 41:13 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.

Ps. 72:19 And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.

Ps. 89:52 Blessed be the LORD for evermore. Amen, and Amen.

Ps. 106:48 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD.

Jer. 28:6 Even the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen: the LORD do so: the LORD perform thy words which thou hast prophesied, to bring again the vessels of the LORD’S house, and all that is carried away captive, from Babylon into this place.

New Testament

Matt. 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Matt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Mk. 16:20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Lk. 24:53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

Jn. 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

Rom. 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Rom. 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

Rom. 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Rom. 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

Rom. 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Rom. 16:24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Rom. 16:27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

1 Cor. 14:16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?

1 Cor. 16:24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

2 Cor. 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

2 Cor. 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

Gal. 1:5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Gal. 6:18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Eph. 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Eph. 6:24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

Phil. 4:20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Phil. 4:23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Col. 4:18 The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.

1 Thess. 5:28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

2 Thess. 3:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

1 Tim. 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Tim. 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

1 Tim. 6:21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

2 Tim. 4:18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

2 Tim. 4:22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.

Tit. 3:15 All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.

Phlm. 1:25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Heb. 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Heb. 13:25 Grace be with you all. Amen.

1 Pet. 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Pet. 5:11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Pet. 5:14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

2 Pet. 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

1 Jn. 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

2 Jn. 1:13 The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.

Jude 1:25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Rev. 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Rev. 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Rev. 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Rev. 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

Rev. 5:14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

Rev. 7:12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Rev. 19:4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

Rev. 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Rev. 22:21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.