Difficult Bible Passages VII

“Occupy till I come.”
Luke 19:13 

Many Christians, particularly evangelical Christians, quote the last four words of Luke 19:13, to support their belief that God wants them to do everything possible politically to “take America back.”  Those four words, “Occupy till I come” is their Battle Cry, believing that America can be changed by more legislation. 

Christians, who obviously claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, have forgotten that when Jesus was on earth He never tried to change the political laws.  He never met with the political leaders or the religious leaders, except when they came inquiring of Him.  Most of His time was spent in Galilee, with the common people “who heard Him gladly” rather than with the Pharisees and scribes in Jerusalem who wanted to kill Him. 

Jesus came to change hearts – not laws. 

The superficial “scholarship” – if it can even be called “scholarship” - that reaches the conclusion of those who use this slogan, is truly appalling.  One wonders if they have even read the passage from which this phrase was taken. 

The first problem is that the word “occupy” is an incorrect translation of the Greek word pragmateuomai (#4231 in Strong’s Concordance) that means, “Trade (or “go into business”) until I return.” 

The second problem is that the context in which these words were spoken has nothing whatsoever to do with political or legislative matters.  Jesus was telling the parable of the Ten Talents beginning in Luke 19:11.  

“And as they heard these things, He (Jesus) added and spake a parable, because He was near to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. 

“He said, therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 

“And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten talents, and said unto them, Go into business (mistranslated “occupy”) until I come back.” 

“But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 

“And it came to pass, that when he returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.”  Luke 19:11-15 

This time the same Greek word (now a combination of #4231 and #1223), has been translated correctly as trading, or doing business.

Then Jesus continues the story revealing that the first servant had gained ten talents above what he was given, the second had gained five talents, and the third had gained nothing, because he had wrapped the money in a handkerchief and had not increased his treasure at all.  The third man added, 

“I feared thee, because you are a severe man: you collect what you did not deposit and reap what you did not sow.”  Luke 19:21 

The nobleman was angry and asked the third man why he didn’t at least put the money in a bank so he could get interest.  The nobleman then ordered that the one talent given to the third man be taken from him and given to the one with ten talents.  Then Jesus continued with the parable: 

“For I say unto you, that unto every one which hath shall be given (more); and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken from him.”  Luke 19:26 

A similar parable told by Jesus is recorded in Matthew 25:14-30.  In the Matthew version, the word “occupy” is not even used.  It is obvious in this Matthew version that the nobleman wanted the servants to increase their talents by trading them in business. 

It is clear that there is no suggestion whatsoever that Jesus is telling present-day Christians to “Take back America” or any other country, for God, particularly when the English word “occupy” is a mistranslation of the Greek word for trading or doing business. 

Many Christian pastors interpret this parable to mean that God wants us to use our own abilities, our talents (our “spiritual” gifts?) to work for Him.  But that is a “sense knowledge” interpretation. 

One reason for our life on earth is for God to take us from the physical (literal) to the spiritual.  What is the spiritual interpretation of this parable? 

In 2 Thessalonians, Paul tells us what will happen if we reject truth.  If we reject truth, we will lose even the truth we once knew. 

“And with all unrighteous deception among them that perish: because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved, 

“And for this cause God shall send them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, 

“That they all might be condemned who did not believe the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thess 2:10-12 

If we reject the new truth that is brought to us from the diligent Bible study we should be doing, eventually we will lose even the truth we once knew.  Paul says something very similar in Romans, Chapter 1.  

You can see this amazing deterioration occurring right now in the Christian churches, rock bands, speaking in tongues, lack of reverence for God among the young and middle-aged alike, compared to the reverence observed in the churches fifty years ago. 

“Because that when they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, neither were they thankful: but became futile in their thoughts and their foolish heart was darkened.

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. 

“And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and (then) to birds, and (then) to four-footed beasts, and (then) to creeping things.”  Romans 1:21-23

As those who call themselves Christians today do not glorify God as God with the submission and reverence that He deserves, they begin the slippery slide to abject apostasy.  They start worshiping humanity (secular humanism and the New Age philosophy that we can become our own “god”), then as they sink deeper into darkness, they worship the things of nature (birds and beasts) as the church now celebrates “Earth Day” and worships the creation rather than the Creator.

And finally they will worship “creeping things” such as scarabs (beetles) and other bugs, considered to be divine by the pagan Egyptians thousands of years ago. 

When they sunk so low, 

“God gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves, 

“Who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and serve the creature (creation) rather than the Creator, who is blessed for the eons: Amen.  Romans 1:24,25 

What is the result?  Lesbianism and male homosexuality.

“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did exchange the natural use for that which is against nature. 

“And likewise also the males, leaving the natural use of the female, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men, working that which is shameful, and receiving in themselves (in their body and mind) the recompense (penalty) of their error which was due.”  Romans 1:26,27 

They “received in themselves” the recompense of their error, meaning they reap what they sow, which includes AIDS, gay bowel syndrome, syphilis and other venereal diseases, a high rate of suicide, and sad, dysfunctional lives. 

Paul continues:

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting. 

“Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; whisperers (gossipers) 

“Backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 

“Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful 

“Who knowing the righteous judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”  Romans 1:28-32

This is the life that results from rejecting God and His word.  Rather than devouring God’s word and “studying to show ourselves approved unto God” America and the world are rejecting Jesus Christ.  Both the U.K. and the U.S. are considered to be pagan countries.  The people have become their own “gods.” 

They, like the servants in the parable of the talents, have said about Jesus Christ,

“We will not have this man to reign over us.”  Luke 19:14



The Old Covenant vs
The New Covenant 

Most Christian denominations believe the Old Covenant – the Law (the Ten Commandments) – was “done away with” at the cross, and that Christians don’t need to keep the Commandments anymore because “We are under grace, and not under the law.” 

Yet, Christians believe that NINE of the Commandments should be kept.  Which one has been dropped?  The Fourth Commandment, 

“Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work, but the Seventh Day (Saturday) is the Sabbath of the Lord they God.  In it thou shalt not do any work; thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservent, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger (including unbelievers) that is within thy gates. 

“For in six days, the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is (God is our Creator therefore He has the authority to command worship), and rested on the Seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and made it holy.”  Exodus 20:8-11

To begin with, what God has made holy, man has no authority to change.  God has declared the Seventh day – Saturday – holy, a day that we are told to worship Him.  No man-made authority can change this. 

In addition, God explains the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant in Hebrews 8:8-10

“Behold the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the House of Judah (the true believers): 

“Not according to the Covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the Land of Egypt (that Old Covenant was the Ten Commandments written by God with His own finger in stone, because the Israelites would not allow God to speak to them directly and put His character and disposition in their heart); because they continued NOT in My Covenant (they couldn’t keep the Ten Commandments under their own power), and I disregarded them, saith the Lord. 

“For this is the (New) Covenant that I will make with the house of Israel (the true believers) after those days, saith the Lord; I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts; (I will change their heart, they will become a new creation in Christ and thus will be able to keep the Ten Commandments) and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people.”  Hebrews 8:8-10 

The Old Covenant was the Ten Commandments written on stone by God at Mt Sinai AFTER the people refused to allow God to speak to them directly and change their hearts. 

“And they said unto Moses, You speak with us, and we will listen; but don’t let God speak with us, lest we die.”  Exodus 20:19

The Israelites were afraid of God because they didn’t know Him.  They wanted a human intermediary – Moses – to speak with God, then Moses would speak with them.  But because they refused to let God lead their life directly, God had to write the Ten Commandments on stone, rather than in their hearts (by changing their nature to be like His) and they had no power to keep them.

That was the Old Covenant – the Ten Commandments on Stone – a situation where the believer has no power to keep them. 

The New Covenant is the same Ten Commandments, but now written by God on our hearts, so we have the power to keep them, because Jesus Christ is now running our life. 

The Ten Commandments were NOT done away with at the Cross.  Jesus said,

“I came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it.”  Matt 5:17 

Jesus showed humanity how to keep the law.  His life was a perfect example of the keeping of every commandment.  He was the “walking, talking, Ten Commandments, and thus showed us, also, how to “fulfill the law.”



“Whatsoever you bind on earth
shall be bound in heaven.”
Matt 18:18 

This is the text often used by the Catholic hierarchy as proof that human being such as, Popes, Bishops and priests, and sometimes even ministers, have the authority to forgive sins.  As translated in the King James Version and most other translations of the Bible, it states that we human beings can tell God what to do.

 Here is the way the King James Version reads: 

“Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever he shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matt 18:18

If we bind it on earth, then God must bind it in heaven, or so the mistranslation reads.  This puts “man” in the driver’s seat, instead of God. This translation says that we can tell God what to do.  Obviously, there’s something drastically wrong here.  And what is wrong is the translation from the original Greek.  This text should be translated as follow: 

“Verily I am saying to you, Whatsoever you should be binding on the earth shall be those things having been bound in the heavens, and whatsoever you should be loosing on the earth shall be those loosed in heaven.” 

This accurate translation of the text from the original Greek Scriptures puts God back on His throne.



Baptizing them in the name of
the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”
Matt 28:19


Doesn’t that text Confirm that the Holy Ghost is a Being?

Here is the complete text: 

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”  Matt 28:19 

First of all, the word mistranslated Ghost, is the Greek word pneuma, which means breath.  It does not mean Ghost and not Spirit.  Our English word, pneumonia, arises from the Greek root word pneuma.  And, of course, pneumonia is a disease of the lungs that is obviously associated with the breath.

When Jesus gave the disciples this command in Matt 28:19 to “teach all nations” what was the message?  The word “name” in the Bible means character.  The converts were to be baptized into the “character” of the Father, the Son and God’s breath of holiness. 

God is invisible. (1 Tim 1:17)  Jesus (which means Savior) is the visible form (image) of God. (Col 1:15)  Jesus and God are the same person, just in different forms.  One form we can see, the other we can’t.  And God’s breath of holiness is the way Jesus transforms our character to be like His. 

God breathed physical breath into Adam’s nostrils to bring him alive physically, and God breathes spiritual breath into humanity (God’s breath of holiness) to bring us alive spiritually. 

When one is baptized into the character (“name”) of the Father, the Son and God’s breath of holiness, that is the entire Plan of Salvation – the entire gospel - in its briefest form.  (1) God created us, (2) Jesus saves us (3) by breathing into us His character and disposition – His breath of life, His Breath of Holiness. 

In no way does this text suggest that the “Holy Ghost” is a person. 

For more information see, “What or Who is the Holy Spirit?” at http://www.goodnewsaboutgod.com/studies/theholyspirit2.htm