John Bradshaw - Perfection, Pre-Adamic People, and Women's Pants
John Bradshaw: Hey there, and welcome to "Line upon Line," brought to you by It Is Written. I'm John Bradshaw. It's my good fortune to have sitting next to me Pastor Wes Peppers. Wes, thanks for being here.
Wes Peppers: Good to be here always. Thanks, Pastor John.
John Bradshaw: This is where we answer questions. We do our very best.
Wes Peppers: We do.
John Bradshaw: We try and be biblical. We try to be right, and we wouldn't have any questions to answer if you didn't send questions. And so, the way to get a question to us is [email protected]. That's an email address, one word: lineuponline, I don't know why people say "one word". It's always one word.
Wes Peppers: Always one word...
John Bradshaw: It's always one word.
Wes Peppers: ...every time.
John Bradshaw: [email protected]. And that's our email address. That's how you get an email to us. Okay, I think I'd better start.
Wes Peppers: Let's go.
John Bradshaw: Yeah, this one is a fascinating question from Anthony: "In the beginning 'God created man...; male and female...' So, were there people created before Adam and Eve"? I'll read the question again: "In the beginning 'God created man...; "male and female created He them.' So, were there people here before Adam and Eve"? When I say "fascinating question," maybe that's the wrong word to use, to be quite honest with ya.
Wes Peppers: You know, people always ask that question because the Bible does say that there were other people on the earth, and it doesn't tell how they got there. And I find it fascinating that people always jump to, "Well, maybe there were people before". They don't think about anything that could have happened after, right?
John Bradshaw: Yeah.
Wes Peppers: But it's very clear that, it says in Genesis that Adam and Eve had sons and daughters. So there were other children that were present that were born, other than Cain and Abel. There would've been females and males that were born of them. So... but the Bible doesn't always detailedly describe that. The Bible doesn't give every detail of every event that happened. Sometimes it just states something that had already happened, and you don't have the details of that. And that's okay. And so, when it says that, you know, Cain went out into the land, he was afraid people would kill him., that's because some time had passed, and people had already been populating the earth. And so that's very simply what it was. The Bible gives no indication that there were any people alive before Adam and Eve on the earth.
John Bradshaw: Absolutely. Adam, the father of the human race, Eve, the mother of the human race. Jesus, the second Adam, because Adam was the first; he fell along with his wife. Jesus came to succeed where Adam failed. No, Anthony, there were no other people on the earth when Adam and Eve were created. They were numbers one and two. Next question, Wes: "Should women wear pants ([pants] made for women), even though they were originally made for men"? This comes from Deuteronomy 22 in verse 5, where it talks very clearly saying that it's not appropriate for men to wear women's clothing and women to wear men's clothing. And so here the idea is that, well, pants are for men, so a woman who wears pants is all wrong. I think we just say right off the bat, no, we wouldn't agree with that. The principle, anyway, isn't "should a woman wear pants"? or "should a man wear" whatever, whatever? The principle is modesty. So, the history is back in the day when this was written, men didn't wear pants, not like we have them today. It was a different time, and it was a different culture. If you wanna be biblical, then you all ought to be wearing a big ol' robe because that's what they wore back in the day. But we don't wanna be that biblical, do we? So we're not gonna wear robes. We're gonna get around wearing modern clothing.
Wes Peppers: So there are clothes specifically made for men, clothes specifically made for women. I mean, men wear shirts; women wear shirts. So that's an interesting point. So there's no biblical assignment of skirts to women, pants to men. It's just that tends to be more cultural. But whatever's designed for women, whatever's designed for men, you're not wanting that crossover, so...
John Bradshaw: Yeah, because that engenders confusion.
Wes Peppers: Confusion, that's right.
John Bradshaw: It's not cool. But the principle there is modesty, the principle in the Bible, modesty. There some pants absolutely nobody should wear, because they're just not modest in the slightest.
Wes Peppers: And a lot of people assign the modesty to women. But really it needs to apply to men as well.
John Bradshaw: Absolutely right, yeah. Okay, there you go, this is from Troy: "Are the apocalyptic prophecies in Daniel and Revelation chronological"?
Wes Peppers: Well, in some cases they are, and in many cases they are not. In fact, there are some prophecies in the book of Revelation and many in the book of Daniel that have already been fulfilled, that are already done and over with. And then there are some that are yet to come. But if you read the book of Revelation straight through, chapters 1 to 22, those prophecies are not in chronological order. And many of the prophecies in Daniel are not either. They talk about different times and different spans of time. And so, the way that you piece those together is you compare those prophecies, and you see how they've been fulfilled. Some of them have been fulfilled in history and what is yet to come.
— What becomes challenging for people endeavoring to understand prophecy today is that the method of understanding prophecy has really been obscured over the years. The apostles, the early church, were historicists. They understood that when God gave prophecy, some of it related to their past, to their present, and to their future. There was a continuum, a sweep of time. But relatively lately... I shouldn't say "relatively", very lately, along have come scholars who have said, "Well, the prophecies belong all in the past, the time prophecies, the apocalyptic prophecies". These people are preterists, PRE-terists, all happened previously. And then you've got futurists, who want to say, "Oh, the antichrist, we have no idea. All of that is way in the future". Some of it is. Some of it is. But if you look at antichrist particularly, there's an historical continuum there where you have roots back there, then you have something developing over time, it's certainly here in the present, it'll be a little into the future, and then Jesus will come back.
— Because we as Christians, I say in general, have got away from a solid understanding of the Bible, it's made it really clear to cut through that mess, so when you're looking at prophecies, for example, the seals, the trumpets, these span a period of time. We're not talking about seven days of the week.
— That's right.
— But this happens over millennia, you could say, hundreds and hundreds of years. Keep that in mind, and it helps you to understand. So you've got some prophecies in Revelation that span time, that span time. Then you've got 1,260 years, that spans much of that same time. So, you've got a lot of recapping when you're looking at this from a calendar point of view, a lot of recapping. You get down to Revelation, and then you get the plagues in chapter 16. Revelation 17 is very much end of time. Revelation 19 is the second coming of Jesus. That's chronological, then Revelation 20: the millennium. So, that's a chronological sweep.
— That's right.
— Then the new heaven and the new earth is set up. So, from about 16 through to 22, that's largely chronological.
— But you wouldn't say, yes, it's written in chronological order. It isn't.
Wes Peppers: It isn't.
— A lot of it recaps.
— And, you know, the recapping, too, will tell the same events, the same time period of history, but from a different perspective.
— That's right.
— You know, the trumpets, talking about the military history of the world, and different ones, talking about the religious history of the world. And so they put a different emphasis on each set of repeats and recaps. And so it's important to keep that in mind, too, because, you know, the Bible, even in Daniel, you have Daniel, chapter 2; then you have that same prophecy repeated again in chapter 7, but it's expanding. So, repetition and expansion, God does that. He repeats it again a couple of times later in Daniel. So, God repeats for a reason. Some people always ask about that as well. That's an important aspect: that God expands and gives a different perspective of knowledge and understanding to those.
— Amen. That phrase it uses sometimes, repeat and enlarge.
— Daniel 2 repeated in Daniel 7, but with more information. Yeah, that's a great question.
— That's right.
— Hey, this is a good one. This is a really, it's troubling, frankly, but deeply personal and very, very meaningful. Shelly asks, "I have recently been told", and you know what, I've been asked the same thing, multiple questions.
Wes Peppers: Many times.
— "I've recently been told that if we have not been able to resist or overcome every temptation by the time probation closes, that we will be lost. I'm afraid...my sins are so numerous that I have no hope to live by. I spend time every morning in the Bible and prayer... I just don't feel like I'm making progress". So here's the thing. Shelly, number one, you need to have the assurance of salvation. You've accepted Jesus. I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt here. You're a Christian; you spend time in the Word of God in prayer every morning. You're dedicating your life to God every morning. Jesus is taking your life, making it His very own. You have the gift of salvation. What you're doing is you're looking at your heart. You're saying, "Oh, I see dark spots". You're looking in the mirror. You're saying, "I see imperfections," and now you're worrying that by the time Jesus comes back, you won't be ready because you see growth right now. What should a person be focusing on, Wes?
— Well, they should be focusing on that growth.
— That's right.
— Not looking to say, "What is the result that Jesus wants to carry me"? He wants to make us complete in Him. He wants to remake us in His image, just like we were before sin. But people look at that, and they get nervous, rather than seeing it as where God's gonna take me. But look at what God wants to do in your life today. How does He want to grow you today? Yeah, you may not be that by the time the end of today comes, but that's God's work. You need to let Him worry about that. You just say, "God, what do You wanna accomplish in my life today"? And say, "I'm gonna surrender to that. I give You full control of my life. I'm letting You do the work that You want to accomplish in me. Help me to be more like Jesus today than I was yesterday". And just let those results be with Him.
— Philippians 1, verse 6: "He which hath begun a good work in you [is faithful to] perform it until the day of Jesus Christ".
— So, Jesus begins the work; He carries it forward. Philippians 2 in verse 13: "It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do [for] His good pleasure". You gotta let God do His work in your life. So, you're looking forward to the return of Jesus. Revelation 14:12 speaks about the saints of God and the end of time and says, "Here are they that keep the commandments of God". Revelation 22 in verse 14 says precisely the same where it says, "Blessed are they that [keep] His commandments" or "do His commandments". So what you're talking about is this. You're a 50-year-old redwood tree, Shelley, wanting to be a 1,000-year-old redwood tree, 50-year-old redwood tree, I don't even know how tall they are, say, 20 feet. I don't know.
— I don't know.
— But a fully mature one? That's right up there scraping against the clouds, you understand. You can't be today what you're gonna be tomorrow, but growth takes place in your life. There's something many people forget. You know how it says in Malachi that "He...[will] purify the sons of Levi".
— Right. God's gonna purify His people before the return of Jesus. It's gonna be a difficult process. There's gonna be a time of intense persecution in the world before Jesus comes back. I don't say that so that anybody should be afraid, but you are gonna find that that time is gonna have a real purifying effect on God's people.
— That's right.
— I'm not suggesting to you that you cannot be all you wish you were today. You may, by the grace of God, certainly you may, so continue to grow. If you're a little bit impatient, that's probably a good thing. But be impatient with God and demand that He do that great work in you that He needs to do. But before Jesus comes back, we are gonna see some things. And my conviction is that's gonna enable people or it's gonna cause in people a lot of growth. You were gonna say?
— Yeah, you know, Jesus gives the illustration in the book of Luke about a plant, or an ear of corn. He says when the seed is planted, then it sprouts, and then it puts out shoots, and then it grows into a stalk and eventually puts out the head of grain, and then that grain ripens. Now, I ask you the question, where was that plant exactly where it should have been at every stage? And so...
— Are you referring to Mark, too, there?
— "First the blade, then the ear," then the full...
— Yeah, "then the ear". I think I said Luke. But anyway, it's talking about that it's each time it grows, it's at a different stage. And we're growing and growing and growing up into Jesus until that full head is reached. And so, that's important to remember. We can be fully surrendered to Jesus at every stage of our growth.
— Yeah, and I think it is important to remember, too, that God can do the work in your life.
Wes Peppers: Yes.
— Yeah. Yeah. You don't ever wanna say, "Look, I'm just like I am, so I'm gonna stay this way". No, the gospel contemplates your complete recovery from the power of sin and Satan, and Jesus will get it done. Okay, it's been fun. We'll be back with more in a moment. With Wes Peppers, I'm John Bradshaw. This is "Line Upon Line," brought to you by It Is Written.
John Bradshaw: Welcome back to "Line Upon Line," brought to you by It Is Written. With Wes Peppers, I'm John Bradshaw. Your questions are welcomed, yea, verily desired. Email us at [email protected], [email protected]. Wes Peppers, I've got a question for ya.
Wes Peppers: All right.
— "What does Hebrews 4:8-10 mean"? This question comes from Casey: "What does Hebrews 4:8-10 mean"?
— Sure. Yeah, it's a big chapter, and of course, you wanna look at the context, but let's read those specific verses. Verse 8 through 10, it says, "For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not [have afterwards] spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His". And so, there's sometimes some confusion here because people aren't sure; there's two different words here used for "rest," and a couple of these verses, 8 and 9, and then previous to this, the word for "rest" there in the Greek means "salvation," a salvation experience, an experience of being saved. There in verse 8, it says, "If Joshua", talking about the Old Testament patriarch Joshua, if he "had given them rest, ...he [would've not afterwards] spoken of another day". Joshua himself could not give the people the true rest of the Promised Land or the heavenly Promised Land. Only Jesus can do that. And so, when we receive Jesus, we receive the rest that he's talking about here. Many of the people in the Old Testament didn't receive that rest, didn't receive that salvation because of unbelief. We see that in chapter 3, verse 19: "They could not enter...because of unbelief". And so, really what Paul or the author (many people think it's Paul) but the author of Hebrews is describing here is faith. It's about faith in what God can do and faith in what He's gonna do. Now, it's interesting here in verse 9, it says, "There remains therefore a rest for the people of God". That word "rest" is the Greek word "sabbatismos," which literally translates to "Sabbath rest". So...
— Or a keeping of the Sabbath.
— Or a keeping of the Sabbath, that's right. And so, he says there, "There remains therefore a rest", or a keeping of the Sabbath, "for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest", that's talking about the salvation rest that comes through faith by grace, by grace through faith in Christ, "has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His". So we're talking about a transformation of the life, salvation by grace through faith. Only Jesus can give us that as a free gift. But once He does, what happens?
— Hmm. Well, I'm just gonna read verse 11 and let you answer your own question.
— Verse 11 says, "Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief". So you got that thing, that rest repeat. I'll let you go.
— Yeah, that rest there. So essentially, what the author is saying here is that the rest we find in Jesus is salvation. That happens on the inside of our heart; we're renewed, we're purchased by the blood of Jesus; it's a wonderful experience. But then he says there remains after that a Sabbath-keeping rest. For those "who have entered His [salvational] rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His". So the question is, how did God cease from His works? Well, up in some of the previous verses, verse 4, at the end of that verse, it says about the seventh day, "And God rested on the seventh day from all His works". That's when God rested. So he's very simply saying this. You can only find salvation in Christ through faith by grace. But once we do that, we wanna honor all the commandments of God, especially the Sabbath. And the Sabbath, it's a powerful thing. When I rest from my work on the Sabbath, when I keep the Sabbath, as the text says, it's a symbol that I'm being saved by grace and I cannot be saved by my own works. It's an outward expression of something that God has done for me on the inside. It's why I keep the Sabbath, and the world sees me resting. It's a declaration of that I'm saved by grace through faith.
— Amen, love the answer, love the question, really appreciate it. A question from Connor, and Connor writes, "What should you do when dealing with a loss of desire for things of God (mainly reading the Bible)"? Okay, let's put that to one side, Connor, for a second. Let's talk about something else. You are now experiencing the loss of desire for food. "I just don't feel like eating today". Well, that'll work out okay. Some of us, I mean, we'd be okay if we carried on like that for two or three days, probably be wise. But you do that for two or three weeks? You're not doing good. You do it for two or three months, you're dead. So what you do is you say, "You know, I don't really feel like eating". I'm not talking about some medical condition. You say, "I don't feel like eating, but I will, 'cause I have to".
— You say, "Look, I've got a loss of desire for my wife. I won't go home tonight. I'm just gonna hang out with the boys. I don't know why I'm just not feeling close to my wife. So, I'll take a vacation, and maybe I'll call her from Honduras. I have a loss of desire for exercise". Connor, you need some exercise. Get out there and exercise. "I don't feel like it". Well, put your shoes on and go anyway. You understand what I'm saying. How much more important when it comes to the reading of the Bible? Listen, you don't have to feel like reading your Bible in order to read your Bible. You don't have to feel like loving your wife in order to love your wife. You don't have to feel like exercise to get off your (what would that be?) off your derriere and exercise. You do some things on principle. If you're waiting for a warm fuzzy feeling to pick up your Bible and read it, then you may be waiting for a long time. You may have low blood sugar; you may just be down. You could be under pressure. You could have stress in your life. Maybe there's been some bereavement. No, we act on principle, not in how we feel. It's a very good question. I hope you won't misinterpret my attitude. I wanna encourage you: Pick up your Bible and read it, man. Get on your knees and pray. Don't wait till you feel like it. You need to do it anyway. And God is waiting to hear from you. And thank God, God doesn't say, "I was gonna bless Wes today. "I didn't really feel like it. So I left him to fend for himself".
— Thank goodness.
— Hey, what would you add to that?
— You know, I would say that it's very important to know that the devil can manipulate your feelings.
— Oh, so true.
— And he can press upon you a feeling that, oh, I don't feel like reading, or I don't feel like going to church today, or I don't feel like praying. But when you know you need it, if I don't feel like eating, which is a rarity for me...
John Bradshaw: Oh yeah.
— ...but if I don't feel like eating, the time eventually comes when I'm suffering, that my stomach's growling, I'm getting weak and so forth, and I force myself to eat, even if I don't feel like it 'cause I know I need to. So, it's about making a conscious choice. And many times I've found that when I don't feel like it is when God has the greatest blessing for me, and the devil's trying to keep me from it. So make the choice, go forward, and do what you know is gonna bless you. And there has never been a time, Pastor John, that I haven't read when I didn't feel like it, that I didn't gain a huge blessing from it.
— Amen. I don't think I've ever told anybody this story, but, so I'll tell you.
— All right.
— I mean, you can listen, too, if you want, but I'm gonna tell Wes. When I became a Sabbath-keeping Christian, Lord led me to a church to attend. I was living in London, England. And I went to church the first week and always good. And I don't know when this happened, like week 2, 3, 4. I remember standing in that church, or even sitting in that church, just feeling empty like something had sucked all the joy outta me. It was a physical feeling; it was an emotional feeling. And I remember saying to the Lord, I'm a very new Christian, I said, "This just doesn't feel good. I dunno what's going on here". And then I figured it out. I dunno whether I figured it out that day or the next week or... this didn't go on for a long time, but I realized the devil didn't want me here. This was oppression; it was a spiritual battle.
— That's right.
— I remember walking outta the church, having a little conversation with God and saying, "No, this isn't happening. You've gotta end this, because I'm gonna go. I know You led me". This isn't a sign from God to leave. I mean, Lord led me there. This was the devil saying, "Oh, I want to press in around you and make you feel miserable so that maybe you'll decide to leave". And I said to God, "No, you gotta change things. You have gotta turn this around. I'm not gonna experience this; I refuse. Drive whatever this is away". And He did.
— That feeling's never come back in more than 30 years.
— And even if it did, I'd know what to do. Connor, when it comes to reading the Bible, just read, man. Just read, pray, trust. You're not always gonna feel like it. You're not always gonna feel good. But God is always good. He's always there for you. Don't get pushed around or bullied by your feelings. Press on anyway. All right, here's a question for you from Rachel. Rachel asks, "I always interpret my dreams, sometimes on Google or my dream book", is there such a thing?
Wes Peppers: I've never heard of it, but it must be.
John Bradshaw: Must get you one.
Wes Peppers: Yeah.
— "...and it fits my life. Are these dream interpretations from God? If not, is it wrong to interpret my dreams"? I shall leave that to you.
— That's a fun one. Oh, thank you for that. You know, dreams can happen for different reasons, you know, and...
— The Bible says that dreams come in "the multitude of business".
— Yeah, that's right. And the brothers of Joseph said, "Oh, here comes that dreamer". So, he was truly having dreams from God, but they imagined that he wasn't. But that goes to say, do all dreams come from God? And I think the answer is no.
— No. Most dreams come from having eaten too much food before you go to bed at night.
— Too much pizza or whatever, hamburgers or whatever you're eating.
John Bradshaw: Yeah.
— Hopefully you're eating something healthy. But certainly not all dreams come from God. And it would be, I would be hesitant, if I had a dream, to think then also that I had an interpretation for that dream. And I don't know what exactly you may have meant by this, but it said, "It fits my life".
— Oh yeah.
— So, I know that many times people will think they've had a dream or give an interpretation that fits what they want it to be. The astrologers with Nebuchadnezzar, when he had that dream, they wanted to tell him something that would please him.
— That's right.
— But he wanted to know the truth. And really, we have to submit that to God. And so, you now, we have to be very cautious. God gives dreams, certainly. We've seen miracles where He's done that. But also the devil can give dreams or just things can happen in your brain, in your body, chemicals, hormones, whatever. too much food, et cetera can cause that. We have to know it's coming from God. And one thing is for sure that any dream from God is never gonna conflict with what the Bible already says.
— Let me tell you something. And this is your friend, John, sharing something with you about your dreams. Ninety-nine times out of 100, your dreams mean nothing. Sorry to disappoint ya, but you're not that special. It's just a dream, man. Those slippers started eating your feet, and the neighbor's dog turned into a dolphin, and you went to get in the car, but the car drove away on its own, and there was a clown in there laughing at you, and then you saw John the Baptist. No, that just means there's something crazy going on in your mind, I mean, chemicals, that pizza you ate. If God gives you a dream, you know what, you're gonna know it was from God. Nebuchadnezzar, he was an absolute heathen, he had a dream, and he said, "Wait a second, this is a big one". And he understood there was something really very special about that. But the dreams you have, no, that's just your mind flexing and stretching.
— Real quick, my very first job, I bagged groceries for about 16 hours straight.
— All you could dream of, right?
— That very night I woke up on my knees in the bed bagging groceries.
— Really? Yeah.
— A perfect example.
— Yeah, yeah, that's right. What's going on is gonna go 'round and 'round in your mind. I get people wanting me to interpret their dreams. I just tell 'em these days, "No, I'm not a dream interpreter. And that dream just meant nothing; don't even worry about it. If it's from God, God will really let ya know". Well, that's all we got time for.
— I appreciate you taking your time and you taking yours. Love to answer your question: [email protected], email us, and we'll be back with more. With Wes Peppers, I'm John Bradshaw. This has been "Line upon Line".