If you haven’t read along, you should just pass on by. There is nothing for you to see here.

If you haven’t read along, you should just pass on by. There is nothing for you to see here.

Well spoke the Holy Ghost by Isaiah the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, “Go unto this people, and say, Hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”

The above passage is from Acts 28:25 thru 27 and speaks of the blindness that was and remains upon those who call themselves God’s people. These are the same people, the same ignorance, Paul speaks of in Roman 10, where he says it comes from lacking the knowledge of God. He says these are those who are going about to prove themselves right (righteous) instead of seeking to find God’s rightness in what He is telling them – through those He has chosen. As we have seen, it is the confession of God’s rightness that brings life: the quickening: resurrection, from death resulting from a darkened mind.

Paul says, “for with the heart (reason) man believes unto righteousness (rightness), and with the mouth confession (that God’s is right and correct) is made unto salvation.” He is speaking of Christ in him as the preacher, and believing God has in this way raised Christ in him from the dead, which is evidenced by knowing the voice. “For the scripture says, Whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed.”

This last quote appears in Romans 10:11 and is from Isaiah 28:16 where Isaiah is describing the LORD teaching precept upon precept, line upon line, to those who had made a covenant with death. He says those hearing have rejected the rest and refreshing His teaching would produce as the LORD in this way raised them out of their agreement with death. As we know, the chapter goes on to say, “From the time that it goes forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.”

Isaiah, in Isaiah 29:8, says this is as when a man dreams he has attained something and awakes to realize it was his mind deceiving him. This refers to what is written earlier in Isaiah 28:16, which Paul quotes in Romans 10:11, being ashamed and fleeing away for this same reason: awakening to see the expected doesn’t materialize, because of a mind strayed from God and His Truth.

We know God’s people were blinded in Isaiah’s time and identically in the time of Paul, as His people now remain blinded by the same cause.

Luke, earlier in Acts 28 tells us the cause is confusion: blindness that keeps God’s people from understanding. His description is of the same as above, men teaching God’s people things opposing God and then contradicting His correction when it comes. In Acts 28:4 & 5 it is the venomous beast that leaped from the fire and fastened to Paul’s hand as he burned the dead wood.

The hand is the same hand we have discussed as it appears in Habakkuk 3, from where the light (understanding) comes as rays from God’s hand, wherein His power is hidden. It is Luke describing Paul’s hand (what he has written with it) in the same sense as what Peter says in 2 Peter 3 of Paul’s writing and the men (false teachers) who wrestle with it and the other scripture to their own destruction. In Acts 28 Paul shakes them off into the fire, to burn with the dead wood from where they leaped. This shaking off into the fire is what is referred to Habakkuk where those spoken to are asking dead wood and dumb stones to rise and teach. This occurs when the knowledge of God is covering the earth (in light), as water (His word) covers the sea (the masses).

Habakkuk 2
13 Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labor in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity?
14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
15 Woe unto him that gives his neighbor drink, that puts your bottle to him, and make him drunken also, that you may look on their nakedness!
16 You are filled with shame for glory: drink you also, and let your foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD’s right hand shall be turned unto you, and shameful spewing shall be on your glory.
17 For the violence of Lebanon shall cover you, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid, because of men’s blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.
18 What profits the graven image that the maker thereof has graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusts therein, to make dumb idols?
19 Woe unto him that says to the [dead] wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath [no life being exhaled] at all in the midst of it.
20 But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.

Here is what Peter says of these same venomous beasts, alive as if worms in the fires of Gehenna, whose works are burning up, and whose ideas (stoicheion – elements) melt ways.

2 Peter 3
5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition [the destruction] of ungodly men.
8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the LORD as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The LORD is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the LORD will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements [these men’s ideas] shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements [these men’s ideas] shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that you look for such things, be diligent that you may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
15 And account that the longsuffering of our LORD is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him has written unto you;
16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrestle, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
17 You therefore, beloved, seeing you know these things before, beware lest you also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.
18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

The word Luke uses in Acts 28:4 & 5, rendered “venomous beast” and “beast,” is therion, meaning a dangerous animal. It is from the one time used word thera, rendered trap in Romans 11:9, which is a quote from Psalms 69:22. In both it tells of the blindness that has come on those who think they are the “true believers” and because if it, what should have been for their welfare becomes the trap in which they have fallen. [See Luke 6:39]

This fall is the case with all those who oppose this Plan of God and who reject His corrective teaching. “But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.”

These men, now caught in (the fires) the trap, have become as panicked animals attempting to escape the inescapable truth.

The word therion is used forty-six times, all except eight of those appear in Revelation where it is always translated “beast” in telling of what we know is confusion (which reduces man to acting on animal instinct rather than his intellect and reason).

Do you hear the LORD’s voice over the noise from the fires? If you are in the fires, calm down, use your mind, and take the hand reaching to pull you out (harpazo – as in Jude 23).

Acts 28
24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.
25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, “Well spoke the Holy Ghost by Isaiah the prophet unto our fathers,
26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and not perceive:
27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”
28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles [those who don’t call themselves Christian or Jew], and that they will hear it.
29 And when he had said these words, the Jews [now those who claim to be Christians and Jews] departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.

Romans 10
1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is [all God’s people, Christian and Jew alike], that they might be saved.
2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes.
5 For Moses describes the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which does those things shall live by them.
6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaks on this wise, Say not in your heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
8 But what says it? The word is nigh you, even in your mouth, and in your heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if you shall confess with your mouth the LORD Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.
10 For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture says, Whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed [whosever believes on Him shall reach the expected end – those who don’t and refuse this correction, will never reach the end they’ve seen – because they are lies of men].
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same LORD over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, LORD, who has believed our report?
17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes truly, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
19 But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses says, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.
20 But Isaiah is very bold, and says, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.
21 But to Israel he says, All day long I have stretched forth my hands [into the fires they have created with their own ideas] unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

Romans 11
1 I say then, Has God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
2 God has not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot you not what the scripture says of Elijah? how he makes intercession to God against Israel saying,
3 LORD, they have killed your prophets, and digged down your altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
4 But what says the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
7 What then? Israel has not obtained that which he seeks for; but the election has obtained it, and the rest were blinded.
8 (According as it is written, God has given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
9 And David says, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap [thera], and a stumbling-block, and a recompense unto them:
10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back always.
11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness?
13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

Isaiah 28
5 In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,
6 And for a spirit of judgment to him that sits in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.
7 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.
8 For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.
9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith you may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, you scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
15 Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
16 Therefore thus says the LORD God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believes shall not make haste.
17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with Sheol shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then you shall be trodden down by it.
19 From the time that it goes forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.
20 For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.

Paul speaks of these evil “beasts,” the therion who are trapped by their own words and in their own confusion, in Titus 1:12, saying they are always liars. He continues, saying, “13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; 14 Not giving heed to Jewish [and Christian] fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. 15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate [show themselves as unapproved by God].”

Psalms 69
16 Hear me, O LORD; for your lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of your tender mercies.
17 And hide not your face from your servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily.
18 Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies.
19 You have known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonor: mine adversaries are all before you.
20 Reproach has broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
22 Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.
23 Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake.
24 Pour out your indignation upon them, and let your wrathful anger take hold of them.
25 Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents.
26 For they persecute him whom you have smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom you have wounded.
27 Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into your righteousness.
28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.
29 But I am poor and sorrowful: let your salvation, O God, set me up on high.

Psalm 108
1 O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.
2 Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.
3 I will praise you, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto you among the nations.
4 For your mercy is great above the heavens: and your truth reaches unto the clouds.
5 Be you exalted, O God, above the heavens: and your glory above all the earth;
6 That your beloved may be delivered: save with your right hand, and answer me.
7 God has spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem [rightly divide the word that has become the burden upon their shoulders], and mete out the valley of Succoth [where Jacob built His first house and booths for his livestock – and there fed them – see Genesis 33:17].
8 Gilead [the fountain {mountain of water} of this testimony] is mine; Manasseh is mine [that which you have forgotten]; Ephraim [the second {double} blessing] also is the strength of mine head; Judah [the leader God shows as approved] is my lawgiver;
9 Moab is my washpot [the entrance {gateway} is in these cleansing waters]; over Edom [those who have sold their birthright] will I cast out my shoe [I will take possession {of their gates}]; over Philistia [those wallowing in the mire of their own confusion] will I triumph.
10 Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?
11 Will not you, O God, who have cast us off? and will not you, O God, go forth with our hosts?
12 Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.
13 Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies. [Selah. Remember Psalms 81 & 2]