Again we state that the lack of proper study of certain words in the Hebrew and Greek and some historical background is the missing link in our declarations in modern day doctrines.
In 2Tim. 4: 13 Paul gave this instruction, “The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.”
Here is the value that Paul placed on books and studies as a minister of the Gospel even at his age then. But what does he need those books and parchments for? The books ultimately were his writings while the parchments were probably the Jewish Scriptures and a copy of the Septuagint, which he always had handy at all times.
But what does he need them for? Certainly not for himself, because at this stage he was about to be killed. Therefore, he must have requested these documents so that he might hand them over to the faithful for the purpose of preserving them for the use of the Church that he was leaving behind.
And so (2Tim. 2:15) he would speak to Timothy, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth,” (KJV).
The key word there is “study,” and it means (spoudazo) in the Greek; “to use speed,” i.e., to make effort, be prompt or earnest: do (give) diligence, be diligent (forward), endeavor, labour, study.”
In other words, endeavor to cultivate and improve your heart and mind, so that you may not be a reproach to God from whom you claimed to have received your calling into the ministry. By implication you can literally bring embarrassment to God without diligent study of the Word you are proclaiming.
Take for instance, I once watched a video wherein the minister stated that, “God is not in heaven,” based on Gen. 1:1. He stated that God created heaven; so God couldn’t have been in heaven, that he must have been somewhere else when He created heaven.
Look at that! The question would be what and where is heaven? But the truth is God’s abode from all eternity is heaven.
So what was the problem here? Gen. 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
The Hebrew word for “heaven” here is “shamayim, shaw-mah’-yim” = It’s a word from an unused root meaning “to be lofty; the sky (as aloft; the dual perhaps alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve):–air, heaven(-s).”
You see that? So this is just talking of the created universe in time. For the Word says IN THE BEGINNING, and that must be in the beginning of time, when God thought to step into time and space from eternity. God doesn’t live in our timeframe.
So when you read for instance, Acts 7:49, “Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool…” (KJV), He is describing for us His reign of authority and dominion not when He created the universe.
Paul was caught up to the “THE THIRD HEAVEN,” ( 2Cor. 12:1-4) which is the same thing as paradise, the Garden of God, His matured manifested sons of God (the Church) on the earth in the ages to come. Not the same thing with Gen. 1:1.
Then you see Rev. 21:1, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea,” speaking of the passing away of the Old Covenant for the establishment of the New, and no more multitude of people, the sea, who rebels against God.
Just like in Isa. 51:16 we are told, “And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.”
Here God’s Word is not just only for the prophet but also for the Church, God’s people with His protection in order to bring them to that perfect and blessed estate reserved for the days of the Messiah, the kingdom age, which in scripture is simply called the making of new heavens and a new earth. See Isa. 65:17.
So you see, you must get the mind of the author of the verses in use for you to be able to have a proper application of the use of such words as heaven.
Again, we say that lack of diligent study is the bane of sound doctrines today in the Body of Christ.