Tuesday, July 25, 2023


   No 12  It Turns on Two

My acceptance and appreciation of a book or article on the Book of Job turns on two points. A book will either be set aside or cherished based on
            1) Was Job a real person in history?
            2) Is Job regarded as righteous?

1) When an author or preacher tells me that Job is the result of the melding of many ancient myths rolled into one, I quietly lay aside the source. I believe Job was a real person in a real point in the history of this world. I haven’t the time to wade through twenty reasons why the book is given as fictitious and mythical. If it is mythical, it has no purpose. Because it is real, it has valuable purpose.

2) When an author or preacher spins yarn about Job being self-righteous and concerning whom God had to "teach a lesson," I quietly lay aside the source. I believe Job was exactly what God Himself described Job to be. If Job had been anything less than God's description of him, Job would not have qualified to be the subject of the book. God would have had to look elsewhere for a candidate for the story. Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? (Job 1:8). God put the two together (Job + righteous), and what therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder (Matt 19:6). Had Job been any less than what God said he was, Job would not have been able to endure the intense heat and pressure of the test. Satan would have loved for God to set forth a puny man, but not a Job-like man.

The experiences didn’t make Job what he was. Because of what he was, he had these experiences.

Christ’s Parable of the Sheep and Goats (Matthew 25)
Jesus Christ described a time when all nations would be gathered before Him. They would then be separated. The goats were to be placed on His left handthe sheep on His right(verses 31-33). Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (verse 34). What determined whether a person would be allotted a place with the sheep or a place with the goats? It was how that person had lived his life and regarded the needs of others. Religion is not a profession. Religion is an action.

Here were the terms:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave Me meat:
I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink:
I was a stranger, and ye took Me in:
Naked, and ye clothed Me:
I was sick, and ye visited Me:
I was in prison, and ye came unto Me (verses 35,36).

Job was a Powerful Man in His Community 
Why? Because Job lived the kind of life Jesus was describing in His parable given above. Prosperous. Wealthy. Greatest man in the East. Yes. But what made Job the special target of Satan's hatred was his relationship with God and his influence for good. Hear his story in Job 29:

7 When I went out to the gate through the city,
when I prepared my seat in the street!

8 The young men saw me, and hid themselves:
and the aged arose, and stood up.

9 The princes refrained talking,
and laid their hand on their mouth.

10 The nobles held their peace,
and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth.

11 When the ear heard me, then it blessed me;
and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me:

12 Because I delivered the poor that cried,
and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.

13 The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me:
and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy

Job continues with more specifics:

15 I was eyes to the blind,
and feet was I to the lame.
16 I was a father to the poor:
and the cause which I knew not I searched out.
17 And I brake the jaws of the wicked,
and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.

Job continues with even more specifics:

21 Unto me men gave ear, and waited,
and kept silence at my counsel.
22 After my words they spake not again;
and my speech dropped upon them.
23 And they waited for me as for the rain;
and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain.

Several parameters in Christ's parable match the language given in Job 29.

Satan hated Job because of his influence for God. It’s called witness. Job’s power to influence people for God was tremendous. Was it not because the power of God was tremendous in Job’s own life? God Himself described Job to be righteous. There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil (Job 1:1). God’s testimony given through the prophet Ezekiel bears the same: Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God (Eze 14:14, and repeated in verse 20). Job’s powerful influence extends to the end of time. Brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the Lord’s name as an example of suffering and patience. See, we count as blessed those who have endured. You have heard of Job’s endurance and have seen the outcome from the Lord. The Lord is very compassionate and merciful (James 5:10,11 HCSB).

The experiences didn’t make Job what he was. Because of what he was, he had these experiences. And what was he? Simply put, it is this: My servant Job (Job 1:8).
I want to be accounted as God’s servant. Don’t you?

Please send questions or comments to Will Hardin at P O Box 24 Owenton KY 40359.

The number 2 in the heading is from www.clipartmax.com/png/small/259-2598285_number-2-color-yellow.png.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

   No 11 Five Great Tests

What drew me to the Book of Job? Was it the story of a man’s deep suffering and his victory over it? No. Was it the intrigue of the interaction between the Lord and Satan in the opening chapters? No. Was it the beautiful and thought-provoking speech of God toward the end of the book? No. It was stars―the stars of the constellations in the heavens.

How could the first book of the Bible reveal so much about Orion, Arcturus, the Pleiades and the mysterious Mazzaroth of the heavens? My fascination with the stars mentioned in the book caused my fascination with the rest of the book to come alive with truth and meaning. Being an amateur “star-walker” caused me to walk through the other parts of the book. I will talk about these stars later on.

My fascination with the Book of Job has prompted much corresponding study. And I am still a student. The more I read, the more I am inclined to describe myself as a marginal student. I have scribbled down multitudinous notes from many sources through the years. But I never envisioned undertaking such a venture as I have recently decided to do―write a blog on the book. This being true, it leaves me at a disadvantage for the task, as I have failed to properly document the good things I have read (as a good writer should). I have captured an author’s thought but not the bibliographical reference.

Disclaimer, Again
Today’s post is such an example. Years ago, I wrote down these Five Great Tests (as I shall give them). But I cannot properly acknowledge the source. So to some insightful and marvelous student of the Scriptures out there in Bible-land, I say, “Thank you,” and I give your outline at this point:

   Five Great Tests

The story of Job is one of the 5 great tests which God has employed to teach certain and special truths of salvation.

  #1 Adam’s Test
Adam failed his test and we see what provisions God has had to employ because of the Fall.
 #2 Abraham’s Test
The offering of his son Isaac. No one will ever be called to do that test again.

 #3 Job’s Test
No one will ever be called to do that test again. God called Job to a work that no one else has to do. It would be pointless to have a second Job test.

 #4 Jesus’s Test
His 40-day experience against Satan in the wilderness. No one will ever be called to go through thatno human could ever have endured it.

 #5 Our Test
The people who are living in the last days before Jesus comes back the Second Time will face the full onslaught against Satan. While our test is similar to Job’s it is different in this regard:
❶ Job never knew what was coming―what was going to happen.
❷ We know what is coming―what is going to happen.
The prophets have spelled it out for us in quite close detail.

And day by day the believer is working out before men and angels a sublime experiment, showing what the gospel can do for fallen human beings. (Ellen G. White, Acts of the Apostles, page 483).

The Lord Jesus is making experiments on human hearts through the exhibition of His mercy and abundant grace. He is effecting transformations so amazing that Satan, with all his triumphant boasting, with all his confederacy of evil united against God and the laws of His government, stands viewing them as a fortress impregnable to his sophistries and delusions. They are to him an incomprehensible mystery. The angels of God, seraphim and cherubim, the powers commissioned to cooperate with human agencies, look on with astonishment and joy, that fallen man, once children of wrath, are through the training of Christ developing characters after the divine similitude, to be sons and daughters of God, to act an important part in the occupations and pleasures of heaven (Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers, page 18).

I want my character to fully be an exhibition of His marvelous mercy and grace. Don't you?

Please send questions or comments to Will Hardin at P O Box 24 Owenton KY 40359.

The “5” Image above is by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Tuesday, July 11, 2023


 No 10  A Test and a Demonstration

Satan’s insinuations (made in Job Chapters 1 and 2) would contaminate the universe if they were not checked. One such insinuation was that Job was serving God for his own selfish reasons. Another was that God was paying Job (bribing him) for his loyalty. The implication was that Job's supposed integrity was merely a business transaction.

Satan had planted serious and evil questions in the minds of his listeners. Jesus as Michael must act. To do nothing would jeopardize the universe. Confidence in God and His ways would be destroyed. Job’s loyalty must either be proven or disproved. Job must be shown to have integrity or no integrity at all. A test was required. Nothing short of a demonstration of Job’s integrity was demanded.

The Test―The Demonstration
The test to prove whether Job is loyal or not loyal must meet certain and specific parameters:
(1) The demonstration must be exactly and precisely to the point.
(2) The test must be thorough.
(3) The experiment could only be done one time.
(4) There would be no repeat run of the test.
(5) It was either pass or fail―no in-betweens.
(6) The test must be reliable.
(7) The test must be truthful.
(8) The test must be meaningful.

So―to ensure the reliability, truthfulness and meaningfulness of the test, certain and specific criteria must be considered:
(1) Job must not know the circumstances of the test.
     Job must not suspect the purpose of the test.
     Job must not know the plot.
     Job must be totally oblivious to what’s going on.
     Job must be totally oblivious to the conversations occurring in heaven..
     Job must know that God had “un-hedged” him.
     Job must not know why God had “un-hedged” him.
(2) The circumstances must have the appearance as coming from God.
      The onset must be rapid―as only God could do it.
      The severity must be extreme―as only God could do it.
      The duration must be prolonged―as only God could do it.

God is not trying to break down Job’s faith.
God is not trying to destroy Job’s faith.
God is trying to demonstrate Job’s faith.
God is trying to validate Job’s faith.

Job did nothing wrong to deserve the test.
The demonstration was not to make Job a better person.
Job was completely unaware of the goings on in heaven.
All Job ever did was worship God from the depths of his heart and the soul of his being.

Job would be going through the demonstration for God’s benefit.
It was not for Job's benefit.
If the demonstration should bring on suffering, it would be suffering for God and on His behalf.
Job’s character did not need vindication―God had already vindicated his character.
It was God and His ways and doings that were on trialnot Job.
Job would be tested in such a manner as to vindicate God’s character.
Job would be tested in such a manner as to validate God’s operation of the universe.
Satan’s argument was that no one loved God for love’s sake― Doth Job fear God for nought? (Job 1:9). Satan’s argument was that God rewards His followers for following Him―Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face (Job 1:10,11). Without these rewards and blessings, no one would follow God.

The Challenge
God challenges Satan to test the truth of his insinuations.
Satan challenges God to prove the truth of His assertions.
God accepts the challenge.
God agrees to the test.
God gives Satan permission.
With that permission, Satan destroys Job’s prosperity, family and happiness.
The demonstration was for the purpose of discovering what was the true basis of Job’s devotion.

Satan Sets Out to Destroy―The First Round of Calamities
And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord (Job 1:12).
After the destructions:
God did not abandon His assertions.
Job did not abandon his loyalty.
Satan did not abandon his insinuations.
On God’s part, there was admission of victory.
On Satan’s part, there was no admission of defeat.
Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said,
            Naked came I out of my mother's womb,
            and naked shall I return thither:
            the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away;
            blessed be the name of the Lord.
In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly (Job 1:20-22).

Satan Sets Out to Destroy―The Second Round of Calamities
Satan’s insinuations go further: And Satan answered the Lord, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face (Job 2:4,5).
Satan says, “There is nothing a man would not give to save himself.”
God goes further, “There is nothing you are limited in doing except do not take his life.” And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life (Job 1:6).
On God’s part, there was no failure of nerve.
On Satan’s part, there was no failure of nerve.
On Job’s part, there was no failure of nerve.
So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown (Job 2:7). In all this did not Job sin with his lips (Job 1:10).

The Demonstration Closes―The Test is Over
Satan never again personally appears in the Book of Job. Job begins the process of "picking up the pieces." While Job cannot feel it, God was there helping him to pick up the pieces and put his life and world back together.

Job's Experience Can Help Us with Our Trials
One of the Christian's hardest tasks is to believe God is there when we feel like He isn't.
One of the Christian's hardest lessons to learn is to believe God is fair when we feel like He wasn't.

I want the experience of trusting God so deeply that neither discouragement, despondency, affliction or trial can quench it. Don't you?

Five Great Tests 
The story of Job is one of the five great tests which God has employed to teach essential truths of salvation. The next post will consider these FIVE GREAT TESTS.

Please send questions or comments to Will Hardin at P O Box 24 Owenton KY 40359.

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

 No 9 Eyes Everywhere Watching Job

God’s side of the Controversy → →    Job   ← ← Satan’s side of the Controversy

Both sides of the Controversy were watching Job. Both sides were well-aware of him. Eyes everywhere. The eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth (Zech 4:10) were watching Job.. Satan’s eyes were looking around when he was going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it (Job 1:6). Both knew Job well. But only one side of the Controversy could call Job “Servant.” One cannot serve both sides of the Controversy. One will hate the one side and love the other. And Job was clearly sided with God.

What Are You Doing Here?
It is surprising to learn, as many new readers of the Book of Job will admit, that Jesus initiates the interaction. In this segment of Job, I like to refer to Jesus's Warrior name of Michael (see Footnote below). Michael is the first to speak. And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? (Job 1:7).

Did Michael have to ask? Isn’t He all-knowing? Isn’t it true there is nothing he does not know? Why then should he have to ask, “What are you doing here, Satan? Where do you come from?” Michael asked intentionally and purposefully for reasons. Michael is setting up a challenge here. Don’t you hear it? He is going to challenge Satan’s claim to total possession and total control of earth. Michael is going to challenge Satan’s claim that everyone on earth honors him as king―that everyone is his subject. Michael asks the question, Satan can only answer.

The God of the Universe is in charge and speaks first. “Have you considered the matchless character of My servant Job?” The lesser of the two retorts: “No wonder he sees fit to behave as he does.” God catches the slur immediately. The challenge is on. 

As such, Satan’s challenge is really against God more than against Job. Satan is wanting to use Job to prove his point. Satan intends this test―to accomplish two objectives:
❶ He wants the outcome to reflect badly on Job, first of all.
❷ Then he wants the outcome of the trial to ultimately reflect badly upon God Himself.

Satan believes he can use Job to defeat God. 
Michael knows He can use Job to defeat Satan.
The story of Job is built upon what Satan believes he knows.
The story is beautiful because God is confident. He knows He knows.

Satan Wants to Smear God’s Character
From this view, the story of Job is not the account of a man who suffers tremendous calamities. The Book of Job is the account of Satan’s attempt to damage God’s character. Satan desires to expose God as having misplaced His confidence in His followers. Thus begins the strange story of a remarkably innocent man suffering severely as a result of a challenge made between two beings in a meeting in heaven.

Michael: “Why are you here?” (Of course, He knows the answer.) 
Satan“I have been ranging over my dominion." 
Michael: “Are you implying that everything on earth is yours―that everything on earth belongs to you―that you have complete control of earth?”
Satan: “Of course. It is my kingdom. I go where I want to go. I do what I want to do." 
Michael: “I beg to differ with you. Everything on earth is not yours. I have my interests on earth as well. Have you (in all your ranging to and fro and up and down) happened to come across a man named Job yet?”

And, just in case Satan was not properly identifying the correct Job, Michael clarifies his description: “You know. The righteous one. The one unique in all the world. The perfect and upright one. The shunner-of evil-at-any-cost one. The lovingly fearful one. You know the one that I am talking about, right?” And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? (Job 1:8).

“Yes,” Satan replies. “Yes, I know him well.” How many times―how many hundreds of times, Satan had tried to trip Job up and bring him down--but couldn’t. Couldn’t touch him. There was nothing in Job that responded to anything Satan had to offer. “Of course, I know him!” Satan had many, many times found Job to be invincible. To be impregnable. And Oh how he wanted to break him down!

The focus shifts from Satan’s control―walking to and fro and going up and down―to God’s control (of at least one person). God didn’t have to mention Job here, did He? But He did. Michael challenges Satan’s claim to complete control of earth. There is at least one person over whom you have no sway. Have you happened to come across a man named Job yet? I don’t think you have any control over Job. Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth? (Job 1:8).

Satan Takes Up the Challenge
Satan takes up the challenge in his cutting reply―”Of course, I have. I know Job. Who doesn’t? But let me tell You one thing You don’t know about Job, God! You don’t know WHY Job worships You. You think he loves You for love’s sake. I tell You, he loves You because You pay him so well to love You!” [Satan really does believe that every being is as selfish as he is.] "You are making a claim that cannot be substantiated," Satan accuses. "The man isn't all that good! And You can't see it!"

How proud Michael is to point Job out. Has Michael inadvertently backed Himself into a corner? Satan is throwing aspersions around like darts. And remember all the ears which are hearing this conversation:
The fallen angels
The loyal angels
The sons of God (Job 1:6)
The leaders of the unfallen worlds
Enoch [Genesis 5:22-24 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him (Gen 5:22-24)].

Truly, people who do exploits for God on earth may become spectacles for God throughout the universe. For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men (1 Cor 4:9).

The Book of Job Turns on These Two Questions
A. Michael’s Question to Satan
Everything that the book is about comes to the crux when Michael asks Satan the question, Have you considered My servant Job?
B. Satan Retorts with a Question to Michael
Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? (Job 1:9).
Satan makes the allegation that Job is pretending to be loyal to God. Satan, in effect, is saying, “Job plays the part and acts so well because You pay him so well. Job is only pretending to be loyal because of what he gets out of it―what You do for him. In truth, God, You have hired him to pretend to be loyal. This is not salvation! This is a business transaction! The man You call perfect and upright I call a crook.”

Someone once said, “One of the devil’s wiliest tricks is to destroy the best by the good.” Job is too strong for Satan to bring down. So Satan will use his strength against him. And Satan will use Job’s strength to try to beat God down. Satan’s new tactic on this visit to the Heavenly Courts is to try to beast Job on goodness. Since he can’t beat Job on badness, he’s going to beat Job on goodness. He’s going to throw Job’s goodness in His (God’s) face. Satan is in effect saying, ”God, I know something You don’t know. I’m sure You don’t realize the  true reason Job serves You so well. I’m sure You don’t. So I’m going to tell You. I’m going to enlighten You, God. Job isn’t serving You for spiritual reasons. He is serving You for everything he can get out of You. He’s out to drain Your bucket dry!”

The War is On
Of the many reasons, for which I like the Book of Job, here is the finest. The Book presents the Lord as dynamic and with a take-charge attitude. Jesus as Michael does not lack energy, strength, or courage. Michael is not feeble, timid, or ineffectual. He is in charge. He is the One asking the first questions. Satan must do the answering. And while Satan may throw back with a question, Jesus is ready to respond. Michael’s first question was Where do you come from? (Job 1:7). The Lord’s second question was Have you considered? (Job 1:8). Satan responds with Doth Job fear God for nought? (Job 1:9).

The Great Controversy is engaged in these words. The war is on. Jesus Christ has never lost a battle to Satan in the Great Controversy. And the Bible assures us that Jesus Christ wins the war. Those aligning with Christ are victors--they’re on the winning side!

I am glad to be on the winning side of the Great Controversy. Aren’t you?

Please send questions or comments to Will Hardin at P O Box 24 Owenton KY 40359.


Jesus as Michael.  Michael is Jesus’ name when He is in His Office of War. A Warrior. A King at war. And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him (Rev 12:7-9).

In Bible symbolism, when a king stands, it is to war. And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book (Dan 12:1). When Jesus returns in His Second Coming, He comes as a King to war. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords (Rev 19:11-16).

In this study, I will use His Michael name.



No 48 Job's Ladder Satan's Lies  One of Satan’s many lies (installed in the Garden of Eden) is that God blesses you when you are goo...