The vast majority of Bible translators try to be very accurate in their translations. Words and phrases may differ
because Greek and Hebrew words often have several meanings. But the message of scripture remains the same,
resulting in an amazing collection of 66 "books" that tell a marvelous story.
That said, what we often call "little" words and "little" ideas are often overlooked. Therefore, we who study
scripture and mold our lives around its teachings need to pay attention. After all, half a truth is not the truth. A
case in point is the command many people quote, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you." But, since that is not
the full command, it is not the truth. The full truth is, "Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you."
(James 4:7) Submission to God is the key to not only resisting the devil but the result that the devil will then flee!
There are many such cases in which, to gain the full truth of a passage, the word "and" is used. These instances let
us know that the insertion of "and" means "in addition to" and we must pay attention to separate aspects
included in a sentence. By paying attention to the "ands" in scripture, it is possible that what we believe about a
matter could change. Following are just a few examples.
James 4:8 - "Draw near to God AND He will draw near to you." The insertion of "and" lets us know that we are the
one who needs to start moving if we want a close relationship with the Master. Praying for God to make us spend
time in the Word or to pray is rarely productive. We are the one who must make the effort to sit down, shut out
the world, pick up our Bible and start reading. When you do, pay attention to the "ands" that are in the rest of
this verse as well as verse 9.
James 4:10 - "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, AND He will lift you up." Need an explanation as to what
2 Peter 1:10 - "Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call AND election sure . . . " According to
the Greek, your calling is your invitation. Your election is your divine selection.
I John 5:6-8 - "This is He who came by water and blood - Jesus Christ, not only by water, but by water AND blood.
AND it is the Spirit who bears witness because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven:
the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; AND these three are one. AND there are three that bear witness on
earth: the Spirit, the water, AND the blood; AND these three agree as one." How does the word "and" affect our
theology in this passage? I believe it refers to the three baptisms that followers of The Way are to receive in order
to be God's effective witnesses here on earth. I know that many believe it is talking about the natural birth
process but such an interpretation is not indicated here as a requirement for the full Christian life. Neither is it
indicated elsewhere in scripture. To be born again, we must first receive the covering of the blood of Jesus which
causes us to have an "old self" that dies and a "new self" born again (Baptism of Blood). Then, according to
Romans 6:2-7 we must get that old self buried. Following that, we must receive the Baptism of the Spirit so that
the Spirit of God that has come into our own spirit can get out, manifesting itself for the purpose of effective
witness (which is the only manifestation of Holy Spirit baptism found in all the examples in the book of Acts). Such
an interpretation of this 1 John passage also lines up with Ephesians 4:5 which says there is "one baptism."
1 John 5:13 - "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know
that you have eternal life, AND that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God." Once we start the
journey, we need to continue it.
1 John 3:2 - "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things AND be in health, just as your soul prospers."
Hmmm. Prospering evidently doesn't include health so it's added on. I think this is for another study.
Jude 2 - "Mercy, peace, AND love be multiplied to you." This could be yet another study. Fortunately, they are all a
part of the character and actions of God and are all available to us who believe.
Hebrews 4:12 - "For the word of God is living AND powerful, AND sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing
even to the division of soul AND spirit, AND of joints AND marrow, AND is a discerner of the thoughts AND intents
of the heart." All of the "ands" in this verse are important but we need to particularly notice how it indicates that
the soul and spirit are two different things. As you know, the soul is made up of the mind, will and emotions. The
spirit of man is where the Holy Spirit comes to dwell when we are born again. From that point on, it is our job to
cooperate with and yield to God so that our mind, will and emotions line up with the Word of God. Not wanting to
accept the fact that the soul and the spirit are two distinct parts of our being, a minister we knew insisted that this
passage used "or" instead of "and." But the word "and" was inferred in the original.
Matthew 5:11-12 - "Blessed are you when they revile AND persecute you, AND say all kinds of evil against you
falsely for My sake. Rejoice AND be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the
prophets who were before you." This is one of those passages where Jesus is making sure all the i's are dotted and
the t's are crossed. In the Greek, the word "revile" means to defame, rail and taunt. Persecute means to subject
(someone) to hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of their race or political or religious beliefs. "Rejoice"
means full of cheer, happy, glad, joy. "Glad" means to exult and jump for joy. Obviously, Jesus has it all covered.
Matthew 16:24 - "Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself AND
take up his cross AND follow Me." Because of the word "and" used here, denying ourselves and taking up our own
cross are not the same thing as has often been taught. "Deny" means to disown, abstain. "Cross" means self
denial, and exposure to death. "To follow" means to accompany. This will preach. If we disown ourselves it means
that we ignore our own wants and even needs. For example, every time I've gotten my feelings hurt by someone, I
have to remind myself that I am supposed to be dead to sin (Romans 6:11) and dead men don't hurt. So then I need
to disown and put those feelings to death, deny the desire to vindicate myself by forgiving and go on about my
business unhindered by negative emotions.
Matthew 17:21 - "However, this kind does not go out except by prayer AND fasting." Some situations are not
either/or situations. Both actions are required. In this case, the Greek word translated "and" means "also."
Matthew 21:21 - "So Jesus answered and said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith AND do not
doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, 'Be removed and be
cast into the sea,' it will be done." Isn't having faith the same as not doubting? Obviously not. Faith means
persuasion, conviction, reliance upon. To doubt means to feel uncertain, especially about one's religious beliefs.
Perhaps this is why we sometimes pray a prayer in faith but don't see it come to pass. Deep down we're
wondering and not sure if God will answer. We say, "God is able" because we know He can do whatever. But we
don't have the assurance that He will. We are all very good at giving God our wish list and there's nothing wrong
with that. But what we really need is to get a rhema word from God as to exactly what He wants us to pray at that
Genesis 2:24 - "Therefore a man shall leave his father AND mother AND be joined to his wife, AND they shall
become one flesh." The "ands" in this verse have been so ignored that we all know marriages where the man has
not obeyed this command. Some of us may even be that woman who has been unwillingly torn away from her
family. In fact, almost every society around the world has rebelled against God's best to the extent that the
mindset of the people is for the woman to go live with or near her husband's family.
Genesis 9:1-2 - These two verses are a good example of what, on the surface, seems to be redundant. "So God
blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, 'Be fruitful AND multiply, AND fill the earth. And the fear of you AND
the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on
all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand." But He's not just repeating himself. "Fruitful" means to bring
forth. "multiply" means to increase and bring abundance. "Replenish" means to fill, be full of, furnish, satisfy. And
"subdue" means to conquer and subjugate. One builds upon the other but they all carry different meanings.
Another example is one that is often misunderstood and misused in our American church family. It has to do with
widows and divorced women. I've heard a lot of people claim that divorced women who have not remarried could
claim all the special promises God gives to widows. Of course, God's promises of care and protection are the same
for everybody. But is there a difference between the widowed and the divorced? As I searched scripture, I found
the answer to be yes because of the word "and" and another little word - "or". Numbers 30:9 says, "But every vow
of a widow AND of her who is divorced, all which she has bound on her soul shall stand against her." Other verses
use the little word, "or.
"They shall not take as wife a widow OR a divorced woman, but take virgins of the descendants of the
house of Israel, OR widows of priests." (Ezekiel 44:22)
He shall not take a widow OR a divorced woman, or profane, or a harlot, but he shall take a virgin
of his own people to wife. (Leviticus 21:14)
Finally, I want to close this teaching with a truth I learned about 12 years ago. A truth that will bring not only
enlightenment but encouragement to anyone in the deliverance ministry as well as to strategic-level intercessors.
It's a truth that can only be realized if we pay attention to the word "and." When we have to deal with a spirit of
death, we need to realize that death has a twin according to Isaiah 28: 15 and 18. In both of these verses, Isaiah
talks about a covenant with death AND with Sheol. In fact, verse 18 says, "Your covenant with death will be
annulled, AND your agreement with Sheol will not stand." That's why, when you cast out a spirit of death from a
person, you often don't see any result. You must also cast out the twin.
This is a rather dramatic representation of why we need to pay attention to the little things - including the word
"and" in scripture. "For who has despised the day of 'small things?' (Zechariah 4:10) We certainly don't want to.