Questions & Answers

Introduction

All of The Elijah Project materials The Voice of Elijah® has made available for reading on The Stacks page of this Online Library and for acquisition through our Online Catalogue are based on some rather simple hermeneutical principles. This “unconventional wisdom” approach to understanding the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures, stated succinctly, is this: Jesus Christ spoke in parables because He was referring to things that Moses and the Prophets of Israel had already stated in parables. As God Himself said through the Prophet Hosea:

I have also spoken to the prophets,
And I gave numerous visions;
And through the prophets I gave parables.
(Hosea 12:10) —NASB

In addition to speaking in terms of the parabolic imagery inherent in the parables of Moses and the other Prophets of Israel, Jesus also spoke using the same Hebrew idioms—that is, expressions that have a figurative, rather than literal, meaning. Without insight into the meaning of the Hebrew idioms that Moses and the other Prophets of Israel—as well as Jesus and His Apostles—used, it is impossible for anyone to understand what these men of God were talking about, much less what they said.

The following Questions & Answers page of this Online Library contains a brief introduction to an understanding of the Scriptures that is based entirely on the Prophets’ use of parabolic imagery and Hebrew idioms to conceal and reveal the Mystery of the Word of God in the Hebrew Scriptures. It is intended to serve notice to those True Believers who still have “the love of the truth” that Paul mentions in this passage:

And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; {that is,} the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
(2 Thessalonians 2:8–12) —NASB

You will know if the shoe fits—that’s an apt idiom, considering the fact that it has to do with a king who was looking for a certain special someone—after you have finished reading what you find here. As the saying goes, “There is a whole lot more where this came from.”


The Purpose

The purpose of this Questions & Answers page of our Online Library is to introduce you to some rather “novel” concepts—novel to our day, perhaps, but not to earlier generations of Christians. These concepts were all part of The Apostolic Teaching, which was well-known to the Apostolic and Early Church Fathers but was distorted by “Christian philosophers” who took over leadership of the Church around A.D. 200. Subsequently, The Apostolic Teaching was lost completely.

Most Christians are not even aware the concepts explained here were ever the basis for an understanding of the Scriptures. Yet anyone who reads the writings of the Apostolic and Early Church Fathers who wrote prior to A.D. 200 with an open mind will find that it is true.

The Church lost the Truth of The Apostolic Teaching because Pretenders who came to power in the Church around A.D. 200 distorted it for no reason other than their own aggrandizement. Shortly after A.D. 1500, the Protestant Reformers realized the Church had somehow lost the Truth, but they were not able to restore all that had been lost.

For nearly four hundred years, various Protestant groups continued to try to restore what the Church lost. Many thought what had been lost was some form of church government—or lack thereof. Others thought it was some part of the salvation experience. But the Protestant search for what the Church lost ended just over a century ago when the Pentecostals decided it was the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit.”

Now that most Protestants are convinced their group is the one that found what was lost, The Elijah Project and The Voice of Elijah® are—in preparation for the Second Coming—restoring The Apostolic Teaching, thereby restoring the “hearts” of the fathers to the children (Mal. 4:6).


The Questions


Most people assume that Jesus Christ spoke in parables to teach moral lessons. That is not true. The English word parable comes from the Greek word paraboles, which simply means “comparison.” That Greek word is best known for its use in the Scriptures, where it most often refers to the parables of Jesus Christ.

The Truth is, in the time of Christ, the Greek word paraboles was used to refer to any comparison between two things. Therefore, every one of Jesus’ parables is a descriptive comparison put in the form of a brief story that points out how two entirely different things are alike. That is why Jesus began many of His parables by saying, “the kingdom of God is like” this or “the kingdom of heaven may be compared to” that:

Therefore He was saying, “What is the kingdom of God like, and to what shall I compare it? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and threw into his own garden; and it grew and became a tree; and THE BIRDS OF THE AIR NESTED IN ITS BRANCHES.” And again He said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of meal, until it was all leavened.”
(Luke 13:18–21) —NASB

The purpose of the parables of Jesus Christ as well as the parables of Moses and all the other Prophets of Israel is to compare the unknown to something that is known. Parables (comparisons) are absolutely essential to an accurate understanding of the Scriptures because they provide the only means by which finite humans existing in a visible physical realm can understand an infinite God Who exists in an invisible spiritual realm. But one must always keep in mind the fact that parables do not depict what some unknown reality actually IS; they only describe what it IS LIKE, by comparing it to something that is already known.

Understanding the parables of Scripture requires a basic knowledge of two things:

  • The meaning of each parabolic image (for example, a mustard seed, a tree, leaven, etc.)—that is, what it represents—and
  • The significance of the comparison being made between those two things—that is, why the comparison is being made.

Jesus spoke in parables for exactly the same reason that Moses and all the other Prophets of Israel spoke in parables in their prophecies. He was using parabolic images and Hebrew idioms to conceal and reveal how His birth, life, death, and Resurrection were LIKE a variety of things in the known physical realm.

Believe it or not, God told all the Prophets of Israel—from Moses to Malachi—to conceal the Word of God in parables and other hard-to-understand sayings. The Prophet Hosea specifically states that God spoke through His Prophets using parables:

I have also spoken to the prophets,
And I gave numerous visions;
And through the prophets I gave parables.
(Hosea 12:10) —NASB

What God said to the Prophet Ezekiel provides additional evidence of the fact that the Prophets of Israel spoke in parables:

Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Son of man, propound a riddle, and speak a parable to the house of Israel.”
(Ezekiel 17:1–2) —NASB
“And speak a parable to the rebellious house, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’”
(Ezekiel 24:3a) —NASB

In addition to this evidence, the Hebrew word for parable (mashal) is also translated “proverb” in the Old Testament. Therefore, a proverb is the same as a parable, which means the Book of “Proverbs” is actually a book of parables (comparisons). That explains why the author of the Book of Proverbs describes his reason for writing this way:

To know wisdom and instruction,
To discern the sayings of understanding,
To receive instruction in wise behavior,
Righteousness, justice and equity;
To give prudence to the naive,
To the youth knowledge and discretion,
A wise man will hear and increase in learning,
And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,
To understand a proverb and a figure,
The words of the wise and their riddles.

(Proverbs 1:2–6) —NASB

Ultimately, all of the parables and hard-to-understand statements of Jesus Christ are tied directly to the parabolic statements—the “proverbs” and “riddles”—behind which Moses and all the other Prophets of Israel concealed the Truth of the Word of God. Matthew makes this point by tying Psalm 78:2 directly to what Jesus was doing when He spoke in parables:

I will open My mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings of old,
Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.
(Psalm 78:2–3) —NASB
All these things Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables, and He did not speak to them without a parable, so that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying,
I WILL OPEN MY MOUTH IN PARABLES;
I WILL UTTER THINGS HIDDEN SINCE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD
.
(Matthew 13:34–35) —NASB

People today do not understand the meaning and significance of what Jesus Christ spoke in parables because they do not know He spoke in parables to conceal and reveal the mysterious “dark sayings” or “hidden things” that Moses and all the other Prophets of Israel used to both conceal and reveal the meaning and significance of their parables. Like the Prophets of Israel before Him, Jesus spoke in parables during His public discourses to conceal the Truth of the Word of God from the multitudes. Yet He revealed the meaning and significance of His parables to His disciples in private:

And with many such parables He was speaking the word to them as they were able to hear it; and He did not speak to them without a parable; but He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples.
(Mark 4:33–34) —NASB

A parabolic image is the first of the two constituent parts of a parable, with the second constituent part being a Hebrew idiom. A parabolic image is a mental image that Moses and the Prophets of Israel used in their prophecies to speak concerning God’s purpose in the birth, life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. For example, the Prophets of Israel state many things parabolically concerning Jesus Christ in terms of the “House” of Israel and the “House” of David.

This particular parabolic image—the parabolic image of the “house”—is used extensively in both the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. For instance, Jesus alludes to the parabolic image of the “house” in His parable about the wise man who “built his house” on the rock and the fool who “built his house” on the sand:

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and {yet} it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall.”
(Matthew 7:24–27) —NASB

(Note: “The rock,” “the rain,” “the floods,” “the winds,” and “the sand” in this parable are also parabolic images whose meaning and significance are explained in the prophecies of Moses and the other Prophets of Israel.)

The Apostle Peter also uses the parabolic image of the “house” to parabolically depict True Believers as “living stones” who are being “built” into a spiritual “house”:

And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
(1 Peter 2:4–5) —NASB

The Apostle Paul refers to the same parabolic image when he says this in his first epistle to the Corinthians:

According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each man be careful how he builds upon it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is {to be} revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.
(1 Corinthians 3:10–15) —NASB

The meaning and significance of the parabolic image of the “house” in the writings of Moses and the Prophets of Israel, as well as in the parabolic statements of Jesus and the Apostles, derive from the meaning and significance of the Hebrew idiom “build a house.” That’s because every parabolic image used by Moses and the other Prophets of Israel has at least one corresponding Hebrew idiom that both reveals and conceals the meaning and significance of that particular parabolic image.


A Hebrew idiom is the second of the two constituent parts of a parable, with the first constituent part being a parabolic image. A Hebrew idiom is an expression, usually a verb with a noun as its direct object, that has a meaning which differs from the normal meaning attached to the words that comprise the idiom. In that regard, Hebrew idioms are no different than idioms in any other language.

For instance, the English idiom “kick the bucket” means “to die,” as does the English idiom “buy the farm.” The meaning of these two idioms is obviously not derived from the normal meaning attached to the words kick and bucket, or buy and farm. The same is true of all of the Hebrew idioms that Moses and the other Prophets of Israel used to conceal and reveal the meaning and significance of the Word of God. For example, the Hebrew idiom “build a house” actually means “to engender a son.” This can be seen in the following passage from the Book of Ruth:

“Moreover, I have acquired Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, to be my wife in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance, so that the name of the deceased may not be cut off from his brothers or from the court of his {birth} place; you are witnesses today.” And all the people who were in the court, and the elders, said, “{We are} witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel; and may you achieve wealth in Ephrathah and become famous in Bethlehem. Moreover, may your house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar bore to Judah, through the offspring which the LORD shall give you by this young woman.” So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her. And the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.
(Ruth 4:10–13) —NASB

As this passage indicates, to “build a house” is to engender a son or sons, as Ruth did for Boaz, as Tamar did for Judah, and as Rachel and Leah did for Jacob (thereby “building the house” of Israel). Like their counterparts in other languages, Hebrew idioms do not derive their meaning from the normal meaning attached to the words that make up the idiom. Yet it is absolutely imperative to a true understanding of the Mystery of the Scriptures that one accurately ascertains the meaning and significance of the various Hebrew idioms that Moses and the other Prophets of Israel used to conceal and reveal the Word of God in their writings. Without an understanding of that information, one cannot possibly grasp the meaning and significance of the things they wrote.

For instance, the meaning and significance of what God promised David in the following passage from 2 Samuel 7 cannot be grasped if one does not know that the Hebrew idiom “build a house” means the same thing as “raise up a seed,” “make a name,” and “make a house.” All four of these idioms mean “engender a son”:

“I will also appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the wicked afflict them any more as formerly, even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. The LORD also declares to you that the LORD will make a house for you. When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took {it} away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”
(2 Samuel 7:10–16) —NASB

In the wisdom of God, the meaning and significance of all the Hebrew idioms that both reveal and conceal the Mystery of the Scriptures are explained in the prophecies of Moses and the other Prophets of Israel.


The Scriptures contain a completely coherent message, which is called both the Mystery and the Word of God. However, that message cannot be properly understood if those who read the Scriptures do not accurately understand the meaning of what is said or the significance of why it was said.

As with any written or spoken form of communication, if a reader or hearer fails to grasp the meaning or the significance of a statement, there is a breakdown in communication. Although it is easy to see why an accurate understanding of the meaning of words is crucial to communication, it is not as easy to see why an accurate understanding of their significance can be just as essential. Here is an example that illustrates the importance of significance:

Every day at precisely 3 o’clock, an express train comes roaring down the tracks past a railway station. At 2:59 the railway attendant hollers, “It’s almost 3 o’clock!” Although the meaning of these words is clear, if a person doesn’t know that an express train is about to come through at a high rate of speed, he will fail to grasp the significance of why the attendant said what he did. That’s because significance relates to an assumed knowledge that stands behind what is said. In this case, the unstated message is, “Get off the tracks!”

As this example clearly shows, it is possible to hear or read what someone says and not grasp the significance of why it was said. This is important to remember when reading the Scriptures. Before one can fully grasp the significance of what the Prophets and Apostles wrote, one must first understand what they are talking about. This first requires insight into their mind-set, which in turn demands an understanding of the historical and cultural context in which they wrote.

If one has the required insight into the author’s mind-set, the significance—the underlying message—of every statement in the Scriptures can be easily understood. This is true even of statements that are completely ambiguous to the uninformed. If one doesn’t have insight into the author’s mind-set, however, one cannot grasp the significance of what is said, even when the meaning of those statements appears obvious. Take another look at God’s promise to David:

“I will also appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the wicked afflict them any more as formerly, even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. The LORD also declares to you that the LORD will make a house for you. When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”
(2 Samuel 7:10–13) —NASB

Most who read this passage believe it to contain a reference to the future birth of David’s son, Solomon, who would eventually become king of Israel and build a great temple (“house”) for God. But how can that understanding of Nathan’s prophecy be true? Since the throne of King Solomon did not endure forever, it seems unlikely. Furthermore, the text plainly says God would not “raise up a seed” for David until after David died.

The underlying message—the meaning and significance—of what God promised David in this passage cannot be understood unless one has insight into the meaning and significance of the Hebrew idioms “make a house,” “build a house,” “make a name,” and “raise up a seed.” The Truth is, God was promising David that He would Himself “build a house”—that is “engender a Son”—for David after David died, which is what He did through the Virgin Mary.

In the wisdom of God, the prophecies of Moses and all the other Prophets of Israel were written in simple yet ambiguous terms that are meant to simultaneously reveal and conceal the underlying message of the Truth of the Word of God that lies hidden in the Hebrew Scriptures. To those with insight into the parabolic images and Hebrew idioms that Moses and all the other Prophets of Israel used to speak in parables, the true message of the Scriptures, which is the Truth of the Word of God, is revealed. To those without the necessary insight, that message remains concealed, just as Jesus said:

And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” And He answered and said to them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him shall {more} be given, and he shall have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” (Matthew 13:10–13) —NASB

As mentioned above, they actually do both. The Scriptures make it clear that one of the reasons why Jesus spoke in parables was to conceal the Mystery of the Word of God from those who had not been “granted” the right to understand those mysteries while revealing it to those who had been “granted” that right:

And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” And He answered and said to them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him shall {more} be given, and he shall have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
(Matthew 13:10–13) —NASB
And His disciples {began} questioning Him as to what this parable might be. And He said, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest {it is} in parables, in order that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understamd.
(Luke 8:9–10) —NASB

Jesus’ point is, most of us have the physical eyes and ears necessary to see and hear things in the physical world, but only a few have been “granted” the spiritual eyes and ears needed to apprehend the meaning and significance of the parables of Scripture which unlock the Mystery of the Word of God that Moses and the other Prophets of Israel concealed in their writings.

The key to understanding the parables of Scripture resides in the Hebrew Scriptures, where Moses and the Prophets of Israel concealed the meaning and significance of their prophecies behind parables—which are themselves comprised of parabolic images and Hebrew idioms. Unless one is “granted” insight into the Teaching of Moses and the writings of all the other Prophets of Israel, the Mystery of the Scriptures—which is the Truth of the Word of God—remains hidden behind the parabolic statements made by the Prophets of Israel.

Further evidence of the fact that Moses and all the other Prophets of Israel used parables to conceal the Truth of the Word of God is evident in this passage, where Matthew explains what Christ was doing in His Own day by quoting the Prophet who wrote Psalm 78:

“I WILL OPEN MY MOUTH IN PARABLES;
I WILL UTTER THINGS HIDDEN SINCE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.”

(Matthew 13:35b) —NASB

There can be no doubt that Jesus and the Prophets of Israel spoke in parables, at least in part, to conceal the Truth of the Word of God from those who have no interest in the Truth. But they also spoke in parables to reveal the Truth to those who are willing to listen, to learn, and to believe the Truth concerning the Mystery of the Word of God. Those who have an honest desire to learn will be “granted” insight into the meaning and significance of the parables they hear, as was the case with Jesus’ disciples who, unlike the unbelieving Pharisees, were given a private explanation of Christ’s parables:

And with many such parables He was speaking the word to them as they were able to hear it; and He did not speak to them without a parable; but He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples.
(Mark 4:33–34) —NASB

Related Information:

(See The Stacks)

In one way or another, all of the prophecies found in the Hebrew Scriptures are talking about Jesus Christ. Jesus said as much Himself when He claimed that the writings of Moses, the Prophets of Israel, and the Psalms—that is, the entirety of the Hebrew Scriptures—are all talking about Him:

And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. … Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.
(Luke 24:27, 44) —NASB
“Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me.
(John 5:45–46) —NASB

Despite the fact that the prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures are filled with constant allusions to the birth, life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, most Christians can only cite a few well-known passages that talk about Jesus Christ. But the Truth is, if those passages were not quoted or alluded to in the Greek Scriptures—the New Testament—they would not even be able to do that.

So the question that remains to be answered is this: If the prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures are all talking about Jesus Christ, why are the references to Him so difficult to find? The answer is, what Moses and the other Prophets of Israel wrote about Jesus Christ is concealed behind the parabolic images and Hebrew idioms that are the two constituent parts of the parables that Moses and all the other Prophets of Israel used to record the Word of God that explains what the birth, life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ are all about.

In other words, the prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures are parabolic in nature and are meant to both reveal and conceal the Truth concerning Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel.


Related Information:

(See The Stacks)

It is commonly believed that God called Moses to lead the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt. That is true; He did. However, it is also true that God called Moses to be His “mouth,” the Prophet through whom He would speak to the sons of Israel and convey to them The Teaching of Moses. God did that in spite of Moses’ argument that he lacked the oratory skills for the job:

Then Moses said to the LORD, “Please, LORD, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since Thou hast spoken to Thy servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” And the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes {him} dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now then go, and I, even I, will be your mouth, and teach you what you are to say.
(Exodus 4:10–12) —NASB

Although God explained to Moses the things He had called him to teach the sons of Israel, Moses was not totally ignorant of the concepts God incorporated into The Teaching of Moses. At the time of his calling, Moses already possessed an extensive body of knowledge that made him especially useful to God and uniquely qualified him to explain the Word of God to the sons of Israel.

Believe it or not, the knowledge that God found most useful was Moses’ understanding of Egyptian religion and culture. Having been raised by Pharaoh’s daughter, Moses had been thoroughly educated in Egyptian arts, sciences, and religion:

“And Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds.”
(Acts 7:22) —NASB

Moses’ knowledge of Egyptian religion made him the perfect candidate to be God’s “mouth” and to teach the sons of Israel the meaning and significance of the parables in which God used the beliefs and practices of the Egyptian culture—the culture to which the sons of Israel had been exposed for four hundred years—to explain His purpose in the birth, life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. That is why many of the parabolic images and Hebrew idioms that make up the parables that Moses and all the other Prophets of Israel included in their prophecies have their origin in Egyptian religion.

The key to understanding the parables of Scripture is to realize that the meaning and significance of most of the parabolic images in the parables of The Teaching of Moses derive from the religious beliefs—the mythology—of the Egyptians. However, the parables of the other Prophets of Israel do not have their origin in Egyptian culture. They are instead tied to the religious beliefs—the mythology—of the ancient Near Eastern cultures that influenced the sons of Israel after the Exodus—namely the Canaanite, Babylonian, and Greek cultures.


The Teaching of Moses was, and still is, a specific body of knowledge which began as an oral Teaching that God instructed Moses to hand down to the sons of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai. Although many Christians believe the Mosaic Law and the writings of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament) comprise all that Moses taught the sons of Israel, the Jews have long known that is not so. They accurately insist that Moses delivered both an oral Torah (oral Teaching) and a written Torah (written Teaching) to the sons of Israel at Mt. Sinai. (The Hebrew word torah, which is normally translated “law,” actually means “teaching.”)

The Jews today claim the Pentateuch is the written Torah that Moses handed down to the sons of Israel, but that is not true. The Truth is, the written Torah was inscribed on the two stone tablets on which God Himself wrote the Ten Commandments. One of those commandments contains Torah. But the Pentateuch is just a written historical record of God’s dealings with mankind from Adam to Moses that, among other things, records various statutes and judgments prescribed by the Mosaic Law.

The statutes and judgments Moses recorded in the Pentateuch are primarily concerned with the proper conduct of symbolic rituals associated with the sacrificial cult—the feasts, sacrificial offerings, etc.—that the sons of Israel were supposed to observe as parabolic pantomimes to remind them of things that are explained in The Teaching of Moses.

Although God expected Israel to observe the statutes and judgments of the Mosaic Law, He required much more of them than legalistic adherence to a set of laws that prescribed and proscribed external behavior. (Unfortunately, the Pharisees in the time of Christ were completely ignorant of this fact.) The Truth is, God expected the sons of Israel to believe and keep in their minds an oral Teaching that informed them of the meaning and significance of the parabolic pantomimes they were to conduct in accordance with the statutes and judgments of the Mosaic law. This oral Teaching was The Teaching of Moses. As the Jews today still accurately understand, it was an oral Teaching that Moses handed down to the sons of Israel as the Word of God with the explicit instruction that they were to hand it down to their children:

“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
(Deuteronomy 6:4–7) —NASB
You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. And you shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
(Deuteronomy 11:18–19) —NASB

The Teaching of Moses fully explains the meaning and significance of the parabolic images and Hebrew idioms that make up the parables that Moses used in his prophecies to teach concerning the birth, life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel. The Teaching of Moses also explains the meaning and significance of the symbolic rituals that God commanded the sons of Israel to conduct as parabolic pantomimes for the purpose of parabolically depicting the meaning and significance of the birth, life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

For instance, the sacrifice of the Passover lamb as a communal sacrifice and the requirement that every family in Israel remove all leaven from their house prior to Passover are part of one such parabolic pantomime. But as the Apostle Paul knew, the symbolic rituals (parabolic pantomimes) that ancient Israel were expected to conduct according to the dictates of the Mosaic Law were nothing more than a “shadow”—a parabolic image—of things to come:

Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day—things which are a {mere} shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.
(Colossians 2:16–17) —NASB

The Prophets of Israel were God’s “mouth.” They were responsible for conveying the Word of God to the sons of Israel so that everyone in Israel might have sufficient knowledge of the Truth to be saved through faith (belief) in the Truth of the Word of God. Contrary to what many Christians today believe, New Testament Believers were not the first to be saved by faith in the Word of God. As the author of the Book of Hebrews plainly states, Old Testament Believers were also saved by faith (belief) in the Truth of the Word of God:

And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
(Hebrews 11:39–40) —NASB

The first of the Prophets of Israel was Moses. At God’s behest, Moses taught the sons of Israel the meaning and significance of the parabolic images that explained God’s purpose in the birth, life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. That is, The Teaching of Moses utilized parabolic images and Hebrew idioms—which are the two constituent parts of parables—to teach concerning Jesus Christ.

The parables of The Teaching of Moses conveyed specific information about the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ, that the sons of Israel needed to know and believe in order to be saved. Sadly, the sons of Israel did not believe The Teaching of Moses, so God repeatedly sent other Prophets of Israel to restore the Truth of the Word of God that Moses had taught the sons of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai. All of the prophecies of Moses and the Prophets of Israel ultimately explain God’s purpose in the birth, life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus said as much Himself on several occasions:

And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. … Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”
(Luke 24:27, 44) —NASB
“Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me.”
(John 5:45–46) —NASB

The fact that the sons of Israel ultimately crucified their Messiah provides sufficient evidence that they had somehow lost an accurate understanding of the Truth of The Teaching of Moses that the Prophets of Israel repeatedly restored. The Apostle Paul makes it clear they crucified their Messiah because they had long since lost insight into the Mystery that had been handed down to them by Moses and repeatedly restored by the Prophets of Israel:

Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden {wisdom}, which God predestined before the ages to our glory; {the wisdom} which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
(1 Corinthians 2:6–8) —NASB

The key to understanding the meaning and significance of the parables of the Scriptures lies in understanding the meaning and significance of the parabolic images and Hebrew idioms that provide the foundation for those parables. Each parabolic image and Hebrew idiom gains its meaning and significance from the time when the Prophets of Israel first used it in a parable. Therefore, to understand the parables of the Scriptures, one must first understand the historical and cultural context from which each one derives its meaning and significance.

You see, Jesus Christ was not the first to speak in parables. The Truth is, Moses and the other Prophets of Israel began speaking in parables nearly 1500 years before Jesus Christ was born. Their prophecies are filled with all kinds of parables and parabolic imagery, which is exactly why Jesus Christ spoke in parables. He was merely talking about things that Moses and all the other Prophets of Israel had already explained. Moreover, He was speaking in terms of the meaning and significance of the parabolic imagery and Hebrew idioms He knew they had used in the Hebrew Scriptures. Matthew tells us that explicitly in Matthew 13:35, where he quotes Psalm 78:2:

All these things Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables, and He did not speak to them without a parable, so that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying,
“I WILL OPEN MY MOUTH IN PARABLES;
I WILL UTTER THINGS HIDDEN SINCE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.”

(Matthew 13:34–35) —NASB
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings of old,

Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.
(Psalm 78:2–3) —NASB

The phrase “dark sayings of old” refers to “the words of the wise and their riddles” (Prov. 1:6) that Moses and the other Prophets of Israel referred to in their writings. All of the parables of Jesus Christ are tied directly to these “dark sayings,” which are, in turn, tied directly to the religious beliefs and practices of the various cultures with whom the sons of Israel had contact during the time that Moses and the other Prophets of Israel were writing.

At God’s behest, Moses and the other Prophets of Israel mocked the ancient beliefs and practices of these cultures by using the mythological imagery and Hebrew idioms associated with their beliefs and practices to create parables and riddles—that is, “dark sayings”—that explain God’s purpose in the birth, life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

For instance, the Egyptian culture, to which the sons of Israel had been exposed for four hundred years, had numerous mythological beliefs related to the resurrection of the dead. Moses was able to use the mythological imagery and Hebrew idioms related to these beliefs to teach the sons of Israel the Truth about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Here are a few of the things the Egyptians believed about the resurrection of the dead:

  • The Pharaoh was the incarnate son of god, engendered by the supreme god himself.
  • The deceased Pharaoh—who was considered to be the son of god—was the only person capable of attaining resurrection from the dead on his own.
  • The ordinary layman could only attain resurrection from the dead through belief in and union with the deceased Pharaoh who had already been resurrected.

These beliefs form the basis for some of the parabolic images in The Teaching of Moses that explain God’s purpose in the birth, life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God Who was engendered by God Himself. Yet all of these parabolic images have their origin in Egyptian beliefs concerning death and Resurrection. Believe it or not, the Canaanites had similar mythological beliefs concerning their god Baal, whom they believed to be the divinely engendered son of god who died and was resurrected and whose worship the sons of Israel foolishly embraced after entering the land of Canaan.

Every time the Prophets of Israel tried to restore The Teaching of Moses, they mocked the Canaanite beliefs and practices associated with the worship of Baal, just as Moses had mocked the Egyptian beliefs and practices that were associated with the royal cult of the Egyptian Kings. The Prophets of Israel did so by using the mythological imagery and Hebrew idioms associated with the worship of Baal to create parables that explained the Truth concerning God’s purpose in the birth, life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Not surprisingly, the Prophets of Israel whom God sent during the period of Babylonian influence spoke in terms of parables and riddles based on Babylonian mythology.

Consequently, the key to understanding the parables, riddles, and “dark sayings” of the Prophets of Israel lies in a knowledge of the mythological beliefs and practices of the ancient cultures that influenced the sons of Israel during the time that Moses and the other Prophets of Israel were concealing the Mystery of the Word of God in their writings. The Truth is, the Prophets of Israel mocked and ridiculed these foolish religious beliefs and practices time after time, all the while using the mythological images and Hebrew idioms associated with them to speak in parables that explain what the Truth of the Word of God IS LIKE, comparatively speaking.


A parabolic pantomime is an event orchestrated by God to explain what some future event will be LIKEparabolically speaking. Therefore, a parabolic pantomime has one unique characteristic that sets it apart from all other events—it always involves the direct intervention of God into human affairs. It doesn’t matter whether God intervenes in an immediate, supernatural way, as He did when He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone (Gen. 19:24), or whether He intervenes by specifically directing the actions of others, such as Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac (Gen. 22:1–18) or the repetitive actions of the priests of Israel described in the Pentateuch. The purpose of a parabolic pantomime is always the same: to establish a parabolic image that the Prophets of Israel could use to describe some future event.

Parabolic pantomimes can either be one-time events, such as Jonah spending three days and nights in the belly of a great fish (Jon. 1:17), or they can be recurring events, such as the annual sacrifice of the Passover lamb and the eating of unleavened bread, or any of the other symbolic rituals prescribed by the Mosaic Law.

The Mystery of the Word of God is both concealed and revealed in the parables of The Teaching of Moses and the prophecies of all the other Prophets of Israel. However, much of its meaning and significance is hidden in the parabolic pantomimes that God orchestrated and had Moses and the other Prophets of Israel record in the Scriptures for the benefit of future generations who would be “granted” insight into their parabolic meaning and significance. It is not by accident that Jesus specifically mentions some of these historical events when He tells those with ears to hear how the future will be LIKE the past:

But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and {yet} no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
(Matthew 12:39–40) —NASB
“For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.
(Matthew 24:37–39) —NASB
It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, let not the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house go down to take them away; and likewise let not the one who is in the field turn back. Remember Lot’s wife.
(Luke 17:28–32) —NASB

The Mystery is a designation that the Apostle Paul often uses in his epistles to refer to what Moses and the Prophets of Israel explain in their parables. This information provides insight into the meaning and significance of all the parabolic images and Hebrew idioms that are the basis for the parables that Moses taught the sons of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai. It also explains the meaning and significance of the parabolic pantomimes that the sons of Israel were directed to carry out according to the dictates of the Mosaic Law.

The Teaching of Moses became The Mystery only because the sons of Israel—like the Church—lost insight into the meaning and significance of The Teaching of Moses. After that, they were no longer able to understand the parabolic statements that Moses and the other Prophets of Israel make in their prophecies concerning Jesus Christ. In the following verses, Jesus makes it clear that The Mystery relates to a specific body of knowledge that is hidden in parables and “dark sayings” that the uninformed cannot understand:

And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” And He answered and said to them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.
(Matthew 13:10–11) —NASB
And as soon as He was alone, His followers, along with the twelve, {began} asking Him {about} the parables. And He was saying to them, “To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God; but those who are outside get everything in parables, in order that WHILE SEEING, THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE; AND WHILE HEARING, THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND LEST THEY RETURN AND BE FORGIVEN.”
(Mark 4:10–12) —NASB

The reason why Jesus spoke in parables is because He sought to simultaneously reveal and conceal the Truth regarding The Mystery of Scripture. He revealed the Truth to His disciples by explaining the meaning and significance of His parables just as Moses and the other Prophets of Israel had done to their disciples—“the sons of the prophets” mentioned in the Scriptures.

To the unbelieving multitudes, however, Jesus did exactly the opposite of what He did to His disciples. He concealed the Truth from them by refusing to explain the meaning and significance of His parables. As a result, The Mystery remained just that to the unbelieving multitudes—a mystery they could not understand.

It is not by accident that the Apostle Paul often talks about “the hidden mystery” that God supernaturally revealed to him. What Paul doesn’t tell us is the fact that his understanding of The Mystery, which he claims had been hidden for generations prior to his day, was tied to his understanding of The Teaching of Moses—the oral Teaching that explains the meaning and significance of the parables and parabolic statements of Moses and all the other Prophets of Israel:

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you; that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; {to be specific}, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power. To me, the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly {places}.
(Ephesians 3:1–10) —NASB
Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, {leading} to obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.
(Romans 16:25–27) —NASB
Of {this church} I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the {preaching of} the word of God, {that is}, the mystery which has been hidden from the {past} ages and generations; but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
(Colossians 1:25–27) —NASB
Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with {an attitude of} thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God may open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; in order that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak.
(Colossians 4:2–4) —NASB

As Paul plainly explains, The Mystery he is referring to is “the mystery of Christ.” Therefore, when he talks about The Mystery, he is alluding to his knowledge of specific information related to the birth, life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ that was, and still is, hidden in the Hebrew Scriptures, lying completely concealed behind the parables and parabolic statements of Moses and the Prophets of Israel.


Although it has become commonplace for Christians to think of the Scriptures as the Word of God, the original Greek and Hebrew/Aramaic text of the Scriptures is not, in and of itself, the Word of God. The Truth is, the Word of God is the Truth that the written text of the Scriptures seeks to convey. The point is, any statement, no matter whether it is written or spoken, carries a meaning and significance that can be misconstrued or misinterpreted by anyone who hears or reads it. That happens all the time. People often make statements that are misunderstood by others, which results in a distortion of the message the author or speaker was trying to convey.

Unfortunately, this happens when people read the Scriptures as well. Because much of the biblical text is ambiguous and hard to understand (especially in the Hebrew Scriptures), people fail to comprehend the message that God seeks to convey. More often than not, people choose to speculate about the meaning and significance of what they read. This results in a gross distortion of the Truth of the Word of God.

Wherever there is a distortion of the Truth, the Word of God is not present, because the Word of God is Truth and nothing but Truth. Therefore, logic dictates that the Word of God is not automatically understood just by reading or hearing the words of the Scriptures. If a person fails to grasp the meaning and significance of what they hear or read, they have not heard or read the Word of God.

Contrary to what most people believe, the Word of God has always existed apart from the Scriptures. Think about it logically. How else could the Word of God have existed in the very beginning when the Scriptures didn’t?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
(John 1:1–2) —NASB

If the Word of God was not already in existence before the Scriptures were writtten, how could a man like Enoch have acquired sufficient knowledge to “walk” with God for three hundred years? The fact that “God took him” indicates he must have known something about God long before the Scriptures were written:

Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had {other} sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
(Genesis 5:22–24) —NASB

More than that, how could Noah have been a “preacher of righteousness” to his generation when there were no Scriptures around to explain the message he should preach?

For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; …
(2 Peter 2:4–5) —NASB

The only logical answer to these questions is, the Word of God existed long before the Scriptures were written. It is true that the Word of God eventually made its way into the Scriptures, but the Truth of the Word of God was intentionally concealed in the Scriptures by Moses and the other Prophets of Israel. They concealed it by their use of parables, parabolic images, and Hebrew idioms.

The fact that the Word of God is concealed in the Hebrew Scriptures explains why the Apostle Paul often referred to the Word of God as a “hidden” mystery—The Mystery—which must be explained to True Believers by those whom God has legitimately called as Teachers:

Of {this church} I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, that I might fully carry out the {preaching of} the word of God, {that is}, the mystery which has been hidden from the {past} ages and generations; but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
(Colossians 1:25–27) —NASB

The fact that the Word of God is not easily discerned by those who read the Scriptures is also demonstrated by what Jesus said and did after His Resurrection:

And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and enter into His glory?” And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. … And they said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” … Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
(Luke 24:25–27, 32, 44–45) —NASB

In that passage, Luke reveals that Jesus found it necessary to explain the hidden message of the Scriptures to His disciples. He also reveals that Jesus had to “open their minds” so that they could understand the Truth He was teaching them. This tells us the Word of God cannot be seen or deduced just by reading the biblical text. If it were that simple, the Pharisees—who were diligent students of the Hebrew Scriptures—would have undoubtedly understood the Truth. Yet Jesus makes it clear they understood very little of the Word of God. Unfortunately for them (and many in our own day), knowledge of what is written in the Scriptures does not automatically equate to knowledge of the meaning and significance of the Word of God. Let the reader understand.