Category Archives: Essential Christian Beliefs

Fundamental Christian Belief #9-The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ

If Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.

1 Corinthians 15:14

What is the most important fact about Jesus; is it the prophecies about His life?  Perhaps it is His death for our sins upon a cruel wooden cross.

All are important, because without one the others become false. For example, Paul cuts straight to the point and tells us our faith is empty if Christ was not resurrected. He goes a step further a few verses later:

And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!

1 Corinthians 15:17

What does this mean…we are still in our sins?

Before there could be a resurrection, there had to be a life and a death. In this study we will look at these three facts about Jesus that are unlike any other person claiming the be The Way, The Truth, and The Life!

If Jesus is true, all others are false, because He is clear there are not multiple ways, multiple truths, nor multiple paths to life.

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Overview Statement and study verses:

In Christ’s life of perfect obedience to God’s will, His suffering, death, and resurrection, God provided the only means of atonement for human sin, so that those who by faith accept this atonement may have eternal life, and the whole creation may better understand the infinite and holy love of the Creator. This perfect atonement vindicates the righteousness of God’s law and the graciousness of His character; for it both condemns our sin and provides for our forgiveness. The death of Christ is substitutionary and expiatory, reconciling and transforming. The bodily resurrection of Christ proclaims God’s triumph over the forces of evil, and for those who accept the atonement assures their final victory over sin and death. It declares the Lordship of Jesus Christ, before whom every knee in heaven and on earth will bow.

(Gen. 3:15; Ps. 22:1; Isa. 53; John 3:16; 14:30; Rom. 1:4; 3:25; 4:25; 8:3, 4; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4, 20-22; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15, 19-21; Phil. 2:6-11; Col. 2:15; 1 Peter 2:21, 22; 1 John 2:2; 4:10.)

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Last time we discussed good and evil and the great controversy between Christ and Satan.  This is an ancient battle between Christ and His church and Satan and his followers:

And I will put enmity
Between you (Satan) and the woman (Eve),
And between your seed (Satan and his followers) and her Seed (Jesus and His followers-church);
He (Jesus) shall bruise your head (Satan),
And you shall bruise His (Jesus) heel.”

Genesis 3:15

Here is the first prophecy of the enmity between good and evil (Satan and Christ) and the first coming of the Messiah to save the people from the wages of sin.  It reveals the plan of salvation and gives Eve hope that her off spring would produce the Savior.

 As humans on this planet, we have a problem.  It is deadly…literally.  This problem is called sin. Because all of our ancestors have sinned since the beginning of time, we are also sinners just as we are all human. God told Adam and Eve that their disobedience to His word would lead to death.  Indeed, it did. We get paid for our inheritance and work of sin.  Those wages are death.

For the wages of sin is death…

Romans 6:23

How many of us have sinned according to scripture?

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 3:23

Where did sin begin?

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners

Romans 5:19

What is sin?

for sin is the transgression of the law.

Have you broken any of the 10 commandments?  If you say no, you have broken the 9th one regarding false witness (lying)

If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1 John 1:10

There is no escaping the fact that we are all sinners and we are all destined to eternal death. But, this is where the good and graceful character of God the Father comes in.  Also, it is where His character is demonstrated through Jesus! It is most beautifully expressed through the most famous of all Bible verses: John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Read closely and you will see that God makes a way of escape from perishing (eternal death). This “perishing” is a result of our ancestors and ourselves breaking his law of liberty. God’s law was designed to make man happy and free.  In fact James refers to God’s law in these exact terms.

But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

James 1:25

God’s law is not meant to keep you from enjoying life, but exactly the opposite.  It is designed to give liberty and blessings.  Happy are the ones who know this!

Let’s go back to some of the verses just quoted and the pivot point.  They point out the problem and the solution all in the same verse!

Let’s start with Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, BUT (pivot point) the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Wages is something you get paid for doing work, but God says, he is offering eternal life as a gift.  But this gift is found through Jesus!

Another verse quoted earlier:

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  (pivot) being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

Romans 3:23 and 24

Again, it is in Christ alone where we can find justification meaning we can be accounted sinless through Jesus!

Another verse:

For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, (pivot) so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

Romans 5:19

While Adam’s sin put us all under the curse of sin and transmitted the plague of sin, the obedience of Jesus will make us righteous! How does that happen?

Let’s summarize where we are so far.

1.) God’s love and grace for us provided a solution to the death penalty that He Himself pronounced upon the human race because of sin and disobedience!

2.) That solution is found in His gift of Jesus to us.

3.) Jesus lived a perfect life of obedience.

All of this shows that God’s law cannot be changed to deal with the sin problem.  Otherwise, God could have said, “Well, I see you can’t keep the law, so I will make it easier for you.”  He couldn’t say, “I will just do away with the law.”

My wife recently got a speeding ticket. If we dealt with breaking the law as some teachers say about God’s law.  The cop would have said, “Look, I understand you can’t keep the law, so we are going to put the limit higher, say 120 mph.  Does that work for you?

Or the cop could have said, “Since you can’t keep the law, I am just going to have the law thrown out.”

Or how about this one?

“I know you were speeding and broke the law, but if you keep it in your heart, I won’t give you a ticket.”

NO! These reasons to break the law of man is just as ridiculous when applied to God’s immutable 10 commandments.  Just because the cop let us off because of his mercy does not free us up to disobey it!

Jesus obeyed the law perfectly. So many are tempted to say, “Since Jesus kept the law, I am free to break it because the law can’t be kept.”

But listen to the emphatic words of Romans 3:28, 31

we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. (v. 28)

Our justification (Jesus, makes it like we never sinned) is by faith in Him alone, but (pivot) don’t forget the rest of the verse:

Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law. (Verse 31)

The law is never thrown out by faith, it is established.  As the prophecy about Jesus states.  The life of Jesus made the law honorable

The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.

Isaiah 42:21

So point number 1: It is the life of Jesus and trust/faith in Him that we can be accounted righteous/justified in the sight of God.  It is His robe of righteousness that covers our sinfulness

He kept God’s law and did not sin unlike Adam.  So as Romans 5:19 states.  This one man, Jesus, many (not all) are made righteous!

For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners,  so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

Romans 5:19

We are commanded to obey, but it is not our obedience that will save us from the “perishing.” But, if we are truly saved, we have a new heart that desires to obey the will of God. The thief will stop stealing, the liar will stop lying, the adulterer will stop messing around on their spouses.

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

James 1: 22-23

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Now let’s understand the importance of the death of Jesus

As mentioned earlier, the wages of sin and disobedience is death.  Death has passed upon all of us. We see it every day.  If you took an hour to read and study this material, approximately 6,000 people will die on planet earth.  That is 55.3 million people per year!  Even if you are a Christian, you will die…unless Jesus returns before that event.

The death that Jesus saves us from is “eternal death.” Death where there is no hope of a resurrection. Contrary, to the world’s teaching our soul is not immortal. Only God has immortality and the soul can die.  This we can discuss at another time, but here are a couple of verses to support this Biblical fact:

the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality,

1 Timothy 6: 15-16

God alone has immortality, not the soul. Immortality is given to us at the resurrection as we will see shortly.

The soul who sins shall die.

Ezekiel 18:20

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Matthew 10:28

Notice, that only God himself can (and does) destroy the soul of those who do not fear (respect) Him and it is done in hell.  Hell is not a place of eternal living for the soul, but rather its destruction.  Those who would attempt to call hell as a place of unending punishing do not understand that the soul and body is destroyed-hence eternal death and not eternal living demonstrates the soul is not immortal.

People confuse eternal punishment and eternal punishing.  The Bible teaches a punishment that is eternal in that it is eternal in its effect, but not in its duration. To believe in eternal punishing would require a soul and body that could not be destroyed.

So, yes the soul is not immortal.

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Jesus paid the penalty of “eternal death” when he died on the cross.  He took our sins and paid the penalty for us!  This is known as the substitutionary atonement for us.

Without His death, we would have no hope to live again.  If not for Jesus we would have to pay the wages by never living again. It is said, that Jesus didn’t just die, but he died the death of a sinner without hope because he became sin for us:

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

2 Corinthian 5:21

This author brings to light the terrible death of Jesus.  It was not all physical!  Jesus was aware that he might be dying a death of no hope! A death reserved only for the lost and Satan himself.

“Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father’s wrath upon Him as man’s substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.” Desire of Ages, P.  753 E.G. White

There are hundreds of Bible prophecies about the life and death of Jesus.  His purpose for coming to this earth was to:

1.) Reveal the real character of God the Father;

2.)Live a life demonstrated as obedience to the will of God;

3.) Give wisdom about the kingdom of God;

4.) Pay for the sins of man

5.) Seal the truthfulness of all this by the most powerful event ever demonstrated on earth: His bodily resurrection from the dead!

6.) Become our Mediator and High Priest until he returns

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When Paul tells us; “if Jesus is not resurrected, we are still in our sins,” it is in the context of the truthfulness of the life and death of Jesus!

If the resurrection is not true, then all other things about him is not true for He said he would be crucified and then rise the third day.

By Jesus being raised from the dead, it gives us the hope of the same. I have never read in the Bible where our hope is in dying and immediately going to heaven.  This claim is not only not supported clearly by the Bible, it is also cruel.  If my Mom is looking down on me and my struggles with life, is that heaven for her?

During the time of Paul, many people were expecting Jesus to come any day.  But, in the meantime, many of the saints were dying.  Listen to the comfort Paul gave them.  Did he try to tell them to be comforted by the fact that they are in heaven?  Read closely where he directed their worried minds:

 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep (died), lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring (resurrect) with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

(Where are they? they are asleep in Jesus!) Paul then paints a picture of what happens when Jesus returns and where they are to find comfort.

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18

Do you see how we all go to be with Jesus at the same time!  No one goes ahead!  What a reunion day that will be! If we try to find comfort regarding our loved ones in any other way, it is not biblical!

It is the power of Jesus’ resurrection that gives us hope.  Because He lives, I can face tomorrow!

Paul told the Corinthians, who did not believe in the resurrection that we are of men “most miserable” if there is no hope of a resurrection.

But tell me this! Since you believe what we preach, that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying that dead people will never come back to life again? For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ must still be dead. And if he is still dead, then all our preaching is useless and your trust in God is empty, worthless, hopeless;  and we apostles are all liars because we have said that God raised Christ from the grave, and of course that isn’t true if the dead do not come back to life again. If they don’t, then Christ is still dead, and you are very foolish to keep on trusting God to save you, and you are still under condemnation for your sins; in that case, all Christians who have died are lost!  And if being a Christian is of value to us only now in this life, we are the most miserable of creatures.

1 Corinthians 15:12-19 (TLB)

Paul makes it clear that if Jesus was not raised, then the dead will not be raised. They are all lost!  And if this is the case, we are foolish to keep believing in Jesus.  The last verse is right to the point.  If all we have is this life as a Christian, we are most miserable of all creatures!

And another point, immortality is put on at the second coming and at no other time!

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

1 Corinthians 15: 51-53

Is it not clear that our hope of immortality is given to us at the second coming of Jesus?

Rejoice! Jesus indeed arose and many saw Him as Paul explains:

I passed on to you right from the first what had been told to me, that Christ died for our sins just as the Scriptures said he would,  and that he was buried, and that three days afterwards he arose from the grave just as the prophets foretold. He was seen by Peter and later by the rest of “the Twelve.After that he was seen by more than five hundred Christian brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died by now. Then James saw him, and later all the apostles.  Last of all I saw him too, long after the others, as though I had been born almost too late for this. For I am the least worthy of all the apostles, and I shouldn’t even be called an apostle at all after the way I treated the church of God.

1 Corinthians 15: 3-9

The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is historical fact, supported by ancient prophets and his followers who were willing to face torture and death for the truth in Christ.  These facts turned timid men who ran when Jesus was arrested to mighty men of faith.

Many church-going Christians today do not have that faith.  Why?  It is because religion has become something you do once a week in a building.  But, faith can come to the weakest every day.  First we are to ask for it.

you do not have because you do not ask. 

James 4: 2

Second, faith only comes through God’s word that leads you to a personal relationship with Jesus.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Romans 10:17

Do you want more faith in Jesus?  Put more of His word in your heart and live by it!

“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’”

James 4: 4

And when the bad times come, and they surely will, you can put your trust in Him because you have His words hidden in your heart. You know Him! Then you will see the way to get your Answers From Scripture.

Blessings my friends as you search God’s word and as you put your entire life into the hands of the One who lived, died, was resurrected, and will return again for you to give you the gift of an unending life of happiness and joy free from the troubles of this earth!

28 Fundamental Christian Beliefs-#8-Good and Evil

The Great Controversy

Overview:

All humanity is now involved in a great controversy between Christ and Satan regarding the character of God, His law, and His sovereignty over the universe. This conflict originated in heaven when a created being, endowed with freedom of choice, in self-exaltation became Satan, God’s adversary, and led into rebellion a portion of the angels. He introduced the spirit of rebellion into this world when he led Adam and Eve into sin. This human sin resulted in the distortion of the image of God in humanity, the disordering of the created world, and its eventual devastation at the time of the global flood, as presented in the historical account of Genesis 1-11. Observed by the whole creation, this world became the arena of the universal conflict, out of which the God of love will ultimately be vindicated. To assist His people in this controversy, Christ sends the Holy Spirit and the loyal angels to guide, protect, and sustain them in the way of salvation.

(Gen. 3; 6-8; Job 1:6-12; Isa. 14:12-14; Ezek. 28:12-18; Rom. 1:19-32; 3:4; 5:12-21; 8:19-22; 1 Cor. 4:9; Heb. 1:14; 1 Peter 5:8; 2 Peter 3:6; Rev. 12:4-9.)

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The Beginning of Good and Evil-The Great Controversy

The controversy between God and Satan is recorded at the very beginning  of God’s word, but it started before the creation of Adam and Eve and their encounter with Satan in the garden of Eden. Even further back in time, the battle between good and evil arose in an unlikely place… under unusual circumstances.

An important principle in knowing the difference between good and evil…right and wrong is this:  It is defined by God alone and  revealed in His word.  It is impressed upon the heart of every person through the Holy Spirit.  Mankind has no authority to define or modify what God has already defined.  God is the creator of good and Satan is the creator of evil.

 “When he (the Spirit) comes, he’ll expose the error of the godless world’s view of sin, righteousness, and judgment: He’ll show them that their refusal to believe in me is their basic sin; that righteousness comes from above, where I am with the Father, out of their sight and control; that judgment takes place as the ruler of this godless world is brought to trial and convicted.

John 16:8-11 (MSG)

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To understand the beginning of good and evil and the great controversy between Christ and Satan, we must go back to a time before the creation on man. In fact, we must go back heaven itself!  Using the King of Tyre as symbol for Lucifer (The name for Satan before he fell), God reveals to us the story of Lucifer and the beginning of sin.

“You were the seal of perfection,
Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
You were in Eden, the garden of God;…You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created,
Till iniquity was found in you.”

Ezekiel 28: 12,13

The picture of a man in a red suit, goatee, pitch fork standing in flames is an inaccurate picture of this being formerly referred to as Lucifer.  Lucifer means, “light bearer” or “morning star.” Lucifer was wise and beautiful. But something happened to Lucifer and iniquity began to grow in his heart.

For you have said in your heart:
“I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.”

Isaiah 14: 13, 14

Someone has said that Lucifer had an “I” problem. Notice the number of times he uses with the word “I.”  Lucifer began to think too highly of himself. He became prideful and thought he could “be like the Most High” God!

These sinful traits of character shows its ugly face in our world today.  Pride, discontent, and narcissism are ancient signs of rebellion against God.  Ultimately, it leads to shame and destruction, which is the very destination of Satan and the angels who follow him.

Lucifer was perfect in his ways, but iniquity rose up in his heart due to his “I” problem (pride)

“You were the anointed cherub who covers;
I established you;
You were on the holy mountain of God;
You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created,
Till iniquity was found in you.

Ezekiel 28: 14-15

But this pride, discontent, and rebellion  (as with all his followers) will lead to a fall and ultimately to eternal destruction:

Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 16:18

Satan and his angels were removed from the holy atmosphere of God’s presence and the faithful angels.  Thus began a war unlike any seen on this earth:

 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.  So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Revelation 12: 7-9

Contrary to popular opinion, the earth is Satan’s headquarters, not some eternally burning place under the earth aka hell.

And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?”

Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”

Job 2:2

Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.

Revelation 12:12

William Shakespeare was right when he said,

“Hell is empty.  All the devils are here.”

Satan’s time on earth begins to end when Jesus returns and leaves it empty.  The wicked dead and the wicked alive are destroyed, and the righteous dead and alive are taken to where Jesus is now-heaven. This earth will be the place of bondage for him for 1,000 years as he awaits his judgment with no one to tempt or carry out his wicked deeds.  The clock for the 1,000 years starts  after the return of Christ and the resurrection.

And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;

Jude 1:6

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished.

Revelation 20: 1-3

For more information on the 1,000 years see:

Part 4-Second Coming Predictions-1,000 Years?

 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!…

 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;

Isaiah 14: 12, 15-16

“For behold, the day is coming,
Burning like an oven,
And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble.
And the day which is coming shall burn them up,”
Says the Lord of hosts,
“That will leave them neither root nor branch.

Malachi 4:1

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Satan Kicked Out of Heaven

Because of Lucifer’s rebellion against God and His pride, the destruction process began with Him and his angels being removed from their station in heaven .

When Satan was barred from heaven and sent to this earth, he took one third of the angels.  After the fall of Adam and Eve, he began his great destructive work on planet earth.  When Jesus was born, he was right there working through Herod to kill the little infant Jesus as told in this passage.

His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.

Revelation 12:4

The following summarizes the fall of Lucifer as discussed so far.

“Little by little Lucifer came to indulge the desire for self-exaltation. The Scripture says, “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness.” Ezekiel 28:17. “Thou hast said in thine heart, . . . I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. . . . I will be like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:13, 14. Though all his glory was from God, this mighty angel came to regard it as pertaining to himself. Not content with his position, though honored above the heavenly host, he ventured to covet homage due alone to the Creator. Instead of seeking to make God supreme in the affections and allegiance of all created beings, it was his endeavor to secure their service and loyalty to himself. And coveting the glory with which the infinite Father had invested His Son, this prince of angels aspired to power that was the prerogative of Christ alone.”

“Now the perfect harmony of heaven was broken. Lucifer’s disposition to serve himself instead of his Creator aroused a feeling of apprehension when observed by those who considered that the glory of God should be supreme. In heavenly council the angels pleaded with Lucifer. The Son of God presented before him the greatness, the goodness, and the justice of the Creator, and the sacred, unchanging nature of His law. God Himself had established the order of heaven; and in departing from it, Lucifer would dishonor his Maker and bring ruin upon himself. But the warning, given in infinite love and mercy, only aroused a spirit of resistance. Lucifer allowed his jealousy of Christ to prevail, and became the more determined.”

Patriarchs and Prophets, Page 36, 37

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The work of Satan:

 

The Bible Says Satan:
Deceives / persecutes (Revelation 12:9, 13) Quotes/misquotes Bible (Matthew 4:5, 6)
Falsely accuses / murders (Revelation 12:10 John 8:44) Traps / ensnares (2 Timothy 2:26 1 Peter 5:8)
Makes war against God’s people (Revelation 12:17) Binds / prompts betrayal (Luke 13:16 John 13:2, 21)
Imprisons (Revelation 2:10) Possesses / hinders (Luke 22:3-5 1 Thessalonians 2:18)
Works miracles / lies (Revelation 16:13, 14 John 8:44) Appears as angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
Brings disease / afflicts (Job 2:7) His demons impersonate pastors (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
Slanders (“Devil” means “slanderer”) Calls fire from heaven (Revelation 13:13)
How Satan was able to introduce his rebellion to planet earth:

The first recorded incident of controversy about good and evil between God and Satan is recorded just after the creation story:

And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

Genesis 3:1

All was good for Adam and Eve until this question. Satan brought doubt to Eve by simply asking a question about her own understanding of what God had said.  “Eve, maybe you didn’t understand God correctly.  I know God better than you and I know what He meant so I am going to interpret for you. Your understanding is too literal and too simple.”  

“You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Genesis 3:4-5

As is Satan’s method, he mixes part lie and part truth:

The lie:  “You will not surely die.”  He implied,  Your disobedience to God’s instructions will not result in death.  We know this is a lie for God said through Paul.

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—

Romans 5:12

The truth:  “You will become like God….You will know good from evil.” We know this is truth for God said,

“And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil…”

Genesis 3:22

Does this exchange between the Eve and Satan sound familiar? In our modern quick-food society, we group ourselves around “interpreters” of God’s simple word, but God tells us through Peter:

…no prophecy (teaching) of Scripture is of any private interpretation,

2 Peter 1:20

The only interpreter of God’s word is found in the next verse:

for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 1:21

It is the Holy Spirit (the 3rd member of the Trinity) who provides the interpretation of God’s voice through the inspiration of holy men who speak the truth.  Without the work of the Holy Spirit in this interpretation, we fall on dangerous ground of misunderstanding not only God’s word, but God Himself!  Each one of us as individuals are called to be like a little group of people called Bearans:

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

Acts 17:11

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Why didn’t God just destroy Satan?

Yesterday, I heard a presentation from my pastor that addresses the question, “Why didn’t God just destroy Satan and save us a lot of problems?”

If Satan had been consumed up in smoke when “iniquity was found in him,” shortly afterwards the other angels would have deducted they would be likewise consumed if they were not careful.  Sin would have remained even though Satan was gone. Remember, sin was not understood and it is likely the angels would have served Him out of fear and misunderstanding of his real character i.e. love.

Another person asked, “Well, why didn’t God just zap their memory of the eradication of Satan? No one would know or remember.”

The pastor thought for a minute and said, “Yes, no one would know, except for One.  God would know.  It would be against his nature of good and purity to do such a thing, even secretly”

The pastor continued by using an example and a question.  “Let’s say there is a van full of women and children that is hit head-on by a drunken truck driver.  Why didn’t God prevent it?” This would be the first question of almost anyone.  Shouldn’t God have forced his way upon the choice of the drunken driver and the event?

He went on to say, “God does not interfere in man’s affair unless he is given permission!  This thought I had to ponder. Then I realized, I have to give God permission to save me.  I have to give him permission to intervene in my life. How do I do this? The answer if found in talking to Him (also know as prayer.)

The Lord Jesus did this when He taught us to pray,

“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Matthew 6:10

Sin is here because our ancestors have not asked God to intervene. When they have, He shows up and protects His people. But, overall, we have not given him permission to do so. In fact, we have told him to go away…we are just fine without Him.  But are we?  Satan has shown us that his way leads to unhappiness, death, and destruction.

Like an earthly father, God wanted to protect his children from evil.  His plan was to give them nothing but life, love and joy. God is love. He wanted his creation to know only love.  But, evil entered into the garden and they were deceived. It is easy to second guess God allowing this to happen.  But, He  honored the greatest and most powerful gift to mankind: the power of choice.  Love cannot be forced.  Faith cannot be legislated.

But love can draw people to the Lord.  If not resisted, each person can find peace from sin and its penalty. God’s love and character was made possible by the death of Jesus on the cross for every man and woman’s sin. He paid the penalty for sin…eternal death.

And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”

John 12:32

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.

Jeremiah 31:3

The journey through good and evil will make forever strong the love and faith of those who choose God over the accusations and lies of Satan.  It is because of this knowledge of good and evil that sin will never rise up a second time:

Whatever they plot against the LORD he will bring to an end; trouble will not come a second time.

Nahum 1:9

God will not allow sin to be in some small corner of the universe.  Sin and sinner alike will be consumed to ashes for eternity.

Satan is consumed by fire and turned to ashes. Then the controversy is ended.

“You defiled your sanctuaries By the multitude of your iniquities, By the iniquity of your trading; Therefore I brought fire from your midst; It devoured you, And I turned you to ashes upon the earth In the sight of all who saw you.

Ezekiel 28:18

The same will be the fate for those who did not give God permission to save them:

You shall trample the wicked, For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet On the day that I do this,” Says the Lord of hosts.

Malachi 4:3

…and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly;

2 Peter 2:6

“The great controversy is ended. Sin and sinners are no more. The entire universe is clean. One pulse of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation. From Him who created all, flow life and light and gladness, throughout the realms of illimitable space. From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love.”

Great Controversy, page 678

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28 Fundamental Christian Beliefs #7-The Nature of Man and Sin

Man and woman were made in the image of God with individuality, the power and freedom to think and to do. Though created free beings, each is an indivisible unity of body, mind, and spirit, dependent upon God for life and breath and all else. When our first parents mistrusted and disobeyed God, they denied their dependence upon Him and fell from their high position under God. The image of God in them was marred and they became subject to death. Their descendants share this fallen nature and its consequences. They are born with weaknesses and tendencies to evil. But God in Christ reconciled the world to Himself and by His Spirit restores in penitent mortals the image of their Maker. Created for the glory of God, they are called to love Him and one another, and to care for their environment.

(Gen. 1:26-28; 2:7Ps. 8:4-8Acts 17:24-28Gen. 3Ps. 51:5Rom. 5:12-172 Cor. 5:19, 20Ps. 51:101 John 4:7, 8, 1120Gen. 2:15.)

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“The history of the great conflict between good and evil, from the time it first began in heaven to the final overthrow of rebellion and the total eradication of sin, is also a demonstration of God’s unchanging love.”

Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 33

The Beginning of Sin and Death

The story of mankind begins good….very good, but takes a sudden turn when lies, mistrust, and disobedience enters the garden of Eden and the heart of its two occupants.  We don’t know how long Adam and Eve enjoyed this perfect earth before the attack of Satan, but one day things changed for the bad…very bad.

At the encouragement of a fallen angel, our first parents chose to mistrust God and believe the lies from an angry enemy.  This choice led to disobedience (sin) and ultimately death for them and the entire planet.  It was a seemingly small act, but it had eternal consequences.  Like a small spark in a dry forest, the deception of Satan whipped up the growing winds of disobedience and produced a consuming flame destined to destroy this planet and its people.

The only survivors, when this is all over, will be those who have yielded to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, repented, and allowed the Son of God to come into their life and to give them eternal life. God’s story is one of paradise lost (Genesis) and paradise restored (Revelation). In between these two events is the story of redemption through the love and sacrifice of our Creator.  Although His image in us has been marred terribly, He, alone, has the power to restore it even among a rebellious planet of sin. He is able to save to the uttermost.

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Sin had started before Adam and Eve.  Satan had been removed from the presence of God to this earth because of his sin of pride and desire to be like God:

For you have said in your heart:
“I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.”

Isaiah 14: 13-14

Because pride and holiness cannot exist together and the infection of rebellion endangered the other angels, Satan was cast to this earth.

So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Revelation 12:9

It is here on earth where the enemy continues with deceptions and accusations against God as untrustworthy and unmerciful.  He led the first man and woman, made in the image of God, to believe the lie that we are immortal (like God) and we can be like God.  He insinuated that God was holding back something that would be to their benefit. When Satan and Eve began their conversation, she repeated the words God had told Adam and her:

And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’

Genesis 3:2-3 

But, true to his nature as the “father of lies” (John 8:44), Satan refuted God’s statement and spoke the first recorded lie:

 “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

Genesis 3:4-5

From this pivotal moment in the young earth’s history to this very moment, the “whole world” believes the lie that the human race, or at the least our soul, is immortal.

An ancient religion advocates the idea of reincarnation and the idea that no one dies.  According to this belief, after dying , the human spirit comes back as an animal or some other person.  This is a lie.  For God said,

“…but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Genesis 2:17

For the wages of sin is death…

Romans 6:23

…just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—

Romans 5:12

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Death is Death, Not Life

Another lie taught by modern and popular Christian preachers is the idea of an “immortal soul.”  It is a catch phrase used by many popular preachers, “Your soul will not die and you will live in one of two places after death–heaven or hell.”  This implies that “you will not surely die” but live forever.  A careful Bible student can search the scriptures and not find the phrase “immortal soul.” Scripture states clearly that the soul is mortal (subject to death) and only God has immortality (not subject to death).

“Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.

Ezekiel 18:4

He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality

1 Timothy 6:15-16

Death is just want it says it is.  Some will say that the soul or spirit goes to either hell or heaven, but this is not supported by scripture and is a work-around for the idea of complete death.

Let’s examine the Bible definition of the soul and the Bible definition of death.

In the beginning, Adam became a living soul when he was created.

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Genesis 2:7

If you read this carefully, you can see a formula for the soul:

Dust + God’s breath = living soul

Death is the opposite:

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Ecclesiastes 12: 7

Here is the verse many will cite as the Spirit going back to God.  But, a careful study, even of the Greek, will show that this is not a conscious soul, but the breath God gives to bring life.

David the psalmist agrees when he wrote:

You hide Your face, they are troubled;
You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.

Psalm 104:29

The writer of Job concurs about the sustaining power of God through His very breath. The breath or spirit belongs to God.

If He should set His heart on it,  If He should gather to Himself His Spirit and His breath, All flesh would perish together, And man would return to dust.

Job 34: 14-15

So the formula for death is:

Dust – God’s breath (Spirit) = Death (no longer a soul-returns to dust)

When we die the spark of life or the breath of God leaves us and we return to dust:

In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”

Genesis 3:19

All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust.

Ecclesiastes 3:20

So what is the state of man during this time?

For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing, And they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten.

Ecclesiastes 9:5

When we visit the remains of our loved ones, they do not know we are there.  They are dead.

His sons come to honor, and he does not know it; They are brought low, and he does not perceive it.

Job 14:21

So man is dead not alive when he dies.  It is complete death.  How can he be anything else? But, there is good news!  It is found in the fact that Jesus was resurrected and will give life in the last day to those who chose to believe Him! The Bible is clear that death is like a quick sleep.

If you would like more information on Biblical proof that death is like a sleep until the Lord returns, please see:

Life and Death Confusion (Part 1).

Life and Death Confusion (Part 2).

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Sin and Death-The Bad Seed Grows in our Garden

So, in the beginning it was good, but it turned bad.  The bad seed infected the entire human race. This seed has sprouted in many different ways in many different times.  War, anger, violence, hatred, deception, lies, infidelity, sexual sins…all had their beginning with Satan and it passed to Adam and Eve and then to our forefathers.

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners…

Romans 5:29

How it must have broken the heart of the first parents to discover their first born son, Cain had murdered Abel!  The first murder was due to jealousy producing anger and mistrusting the appeal from God.  Listen to God attempting to save Cain from his own anger.

Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.

Genesis 4: 4-8

Cain had the choice to listen to God, resist his urges (rule over it), but chose to listen to his own feelings and the voice of Satan. Cain’s actions are no different than any other person today who becomes angry and ignores the voice of God to “do well” and “rule over it” (sinful urge).

When we were conceived, this seed of sin is passed on to me and you!

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.

Psalm 51:5

…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…

Romans 3:23

As it is written:

“There is none righteous, no, not one;
There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”

 Romans 3: 10-12

 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?  I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

 Romans 7: 24

 There is not one of us, left alone without God, who is righteous, understanding, or a seeker after God.  We are useless without God. can we be “delivered from this body of death.” Only through Jesus We can’t even do good without Him.

Can an Ethiopian change his skin
    or a leopard its spots?
Neither can you do good
    who are accustomed to doing evil.

Jeremiah 13:23

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Satan’s Plan Foiled

So we are all on death row with a limited time to live.  But, wait!  God is gracious towards us and makes a way of escape! He sent His Son to live among us (God with us), to give us an example of a life dependent completely on the strength of God the Father.  Jesus would also die for our sins and pay the penalty of sin for us! At a point predicted in ancient prophecy, Jesus

“…was cut off, but not for himself” (Daniel 9:26).

Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

Galatians 1:4

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Philippians 2:8

When Jesus died, he carried the entire weight of sin upon himself and died a death of no hope for us!  What great love!

“Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb.”

Desire of Ages, p. 753

He became the perfect sacrifice for our sins and died the death we deserved that we might have life than only He deserved.  He was resurrected from death and this resurrection gives us the hope.  Our hope is in His return! He promised to return to take us where He is now:

 I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also

John 14: 2-3

 His reward of eternal life is when He returns and no other time:

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me…”

Revelation 22:12

 The resurrection is so important that Paul said, if there is no resurrection of the dead, our faith is useless:

But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen.  And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 

1 Corinthians 15: 13-14

 Believing in the resurrection takes faith.  If we don’t believe it, we cannot claim salvation from death.

….if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:9

On that great day when Jesus will return, He will raise to life those who died in Christ and those of us alive will rise to meet Him and them in the sky!

 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

Before that great reunion morning, the salvation of God is saving us from the habits of sin and writing on our hearts His law through Jesus.  He is saving us to the uttermost!  Saved from the penalty (justification), the power (sanctification), and the presence of sin when He comes (Glorification)

He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

Hebrews 7:25

 That is right!  We have the power to overcome our sins through the work of mediation Jesus is performing right now in the heavenly sanctuary.

For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us

 Hebrews 9:24

Jesus knows that our condition is so bad, that we need to start over through a new birth:

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.  You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’

John 3: 5-7

 The sin seed in us produced carnality and sin and has continued from birth to birth throughout all generatios.  But, when Jesus, through the Spirit, comes into our life, we have a new seed planted. This seed produces the opposite of the desire of the flesh.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

 Romans 8:5

Here are God’s steps in the plan of salvation:

Because of sin our nature is corrupt and we are lost in at least three ways:

  1. We (God’s creation) once had life, but now all of us are subject to death. The tree of life was taken away from us.  This very well could be a literal tree that perpetuates life. More on that another time.
  2. We once were in a right relationship with God, but now we are all sinners and our nature is to rebel against Him, disbelieve His words, and disobey His commands (also known as His will for us).
  3. We once walked in the garden with God, but now we are separated from Him physically.

But, the good…no…very good news is that God saves us every way possible!  He restores all of the above because He is good and gracious towards his fallen creation!  He had a plan before the foundation of the world…before he created us and before sin entered in.  This plan would ensure rebellion would never rise again.  This plan is revealed to us in scripture:

He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

1 Peter 1: 20-21

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

1 Corinthians 15: 3-4

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From Scripture we can understand how the plan of salvation works.

God’s Step 1-God’s grace and love is the basis for the plan.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Ephesians 2:8

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son…

John 3:16

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 God’s Step 2-Jesus paid the penalty of sin (death) by dying in our place at the time predicted by the ancient prophets

 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Galatians 4:6

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

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God’s Step 3-By faith produced through the word of God and the Spirit of God, we accept this grace and receive salvation

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

 Ephesian 2:8

God’s grace and the faith He provides for us as a gift does not mean we can disobey God’s law (His will). This is where sin all started! Faith actually does the opposite, it establishes the law in our heart as part of the new covenant.

Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

Romans 3:31

 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

 Hebrews 8:10

 Don’t forget, as a follower of Christ, you are of Abraham’s seed, and a spiritual Jew:

And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

 Galatians 3:29

 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh;  but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart,

 Romans 2:28-29

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Step 4-Jesus provided us an example as a way of life. We are to live (walk) this way by the same way we received Him (faith)

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,

Colossians 2:26

To fail to walk by faith is sin.

for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Romans 14:3

Even though we may have received the gift of salvation, we are instructed to “put on the whole armor of God.”  This armor covers the Christian from head to toe:

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Ephesians 6:11

Why are we commanded to put on the armour if there was not a possibility that Satan could attack us again as in the beginning and deceive us from the security of the Garden of God’s happiness.  We must be on guard and find security in the presence of God.  Like Eve, we can wander from the security of God’s presence.  Eve would have never have been overcome by the enemy’s temptation if she was at the side of the One who walked with them in the cool of the morning.

While it is true that no man shall pluck us from his hand, we must be in his hand and not walking apart from him.  Also, this verse does not say anything about the freedom of choice to leave.  So,  we must be on our guard because as Jesus told a converted Peter:

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

Luke 22:31

Satan wanted to make Peter fall and he did….even to the point of cursing God to prove he was not a disciple!

Years later, Peter told the believers to be on guard.  He knew that Satan wanted them too…even to the point of devouring them!

Be sober, be vigilant; becauseyour adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Resist him, steadfast in the faith

1 Peter 5:8 

Like a hungry lion, the enemy looks for the weak sheep.  Don’t be a weak sheep, stay close to him and grow in the word and fellowship with strong believers.

Step 5: Finally, Jesus will save us from the presence of sin and change us from mortal to immortal when He returns

There is nothing more exciting in the word of God, than when mysteries are revealed.  We don’t have to be in doubt about God’s ultimate plan to change us from mortal (subject to death) to immortal (not subject to death).  Paul’s word are very clear.  All this happens at the last trumpet when Jesus returns:

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

1 Corinthians 15: 51-5

Here is the clearest passage in the Bible about what happens when Jesus returns:

 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope…

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.  Therefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18

Conclusion

Let these words sink in and contemplate them closely.  It is truth.  This all started with the lie of Satan that we would not die.  He deceived us and continues to do the same to many today.  We all have an appointment with death.  But, immortality awaits those who sleep in Christ. We will rejoice and worship with others, who have taken faith in Jesus, on a new earth (paradise restored) when Jesus returns.

Let it be Lord! Let it be soon!

Our hope is in His return and the resurrection.

“For as the new heavens and the new earth
Which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the Lord,
“So shall your descendants and your name remain.
And it shall come to pass
That from one New Moon to another,
And from one Sabbath to another,
All flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the Lord.

Isaiah 66: 22-23

The tree of life was lost in the Garden (It perpetuated eternal life) because of doubt, mistrust, and disobedience to the plain instructions of God.  It is returned when Jesus returns and he sets up His eternal kingdom. He gives it to those who have been redeemed by His blood of forgiveness and those who now trust and obey the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Revelation 22:4

I know that my redeemer lives,
    and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
    yet in my flesh I will see God;
 I myself will see him
    with my own eyes—I, and not another.
    How my heart yearns within me!

Job 19: 2-27

28 Fundamental Beliefs-#6 The Spirit

God the eternal Spirit was active with the Father and the Son in Creation, incarnation, and redemption. He is as much a person as are the Father and the Son. He inspired the writers of Scripture. He filled Christ’s life with power. He draws and convicts human beings; and those who respond He renews and transforms into the image of God. Sent by the Father and the Son to be always with His children, He extends spiritual gifts to the church, empowers it to bear witness to Christ, and in harmony with the Scriptures leads it into all truth. (Gen. 1:1, 2; 2 Sam. 23:2; Ps. 51:11; Isa. 61:1; Luke 1:35; 4:18; John 14:16-18, 26; 15:26; 16:7-13; Acts 1:8; 5:3; 10:38; Rom. 5:5; 1 Cor. 12:7-11; 2 Cor. 3:18; 2 Peter 1:21.)

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No doubt the topic of the Spirit is a mystery and difficult to understand.  A good student of the word knows that some things have been revealed to us very clearly and others have not.

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Deuteronomy 29:29

The Bible, particularly in the writings of Paul, talk of mysteries, but these mysteries are often revealed. Some are revealed only if we search. Other mysteries with explanations are right in front of our face, but we won’t accept them because they cut directly across preconceived ideas or cherished sins.  In addition, we know that if we are not on a spiritual plane, we will not understand.

The Spirit

Because of preconceived ideas, the Spirit is visualized by many Christians as a wispy smokey like vapor presence that is only interested in getting people excited and worked up.  How often have we translated someone who is happy or loud as “in the spirit.” But, there is much more that is revealed about the Spirit.

1.) The Spirit was present along with God the Father and the Son at creation and participated in the creation of man. We are made in their image!

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth…And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters…And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Genesis 1:1, 26

2.) The Spirit works and communicates on another dimension called inspiration.

The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.

2 Samuel 23:2

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

2 Peter 1:21

3.) It was prophesied that The Spirit would anoint Jesus and direct His ministry.

The Prophecy:

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

Isaiah 61: 1

Fulfillment:

 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

And he closed the book (Isaiah), and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Luke 4: 18-21

4.) The Spirit was present at Jesus’ baptism (along with the Father) and was seen in the form of a dove:

When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened.  And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him

Luke 3:21

5.) The Spirit provides help and comfort on a spiritual plane while Jesus is physically not present:

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter) , that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

John 14:16-18

6.)  God the Father was with Jesus through the Holy Spirit.  This is how God is with us today!

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

Acts 10:38

7.) It is the work of the Spirit to direct people in the pursuit of truth.  He points people to the truth by whatever He hears from the Father and Jesus.

 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

John 16:13

8.) The Spirit’s primary job is to bring conviction upon every person regarding sin and point the fallen to Jesus as the way to eternal life:

I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

John 16:8

But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

John 15:26

9.) The Spirit prepared the disciples for a world mission and gave them power.

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Acts 1:8

10.) The gift of the Spirit is given to those who ask for it! We don’t receive because we don’t ask!

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!

Luke 11:13

11.) The Holy Spirit is given to those who repent and are baptized.

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:38

12.) After baptism (public display of intent to walk with Jesus), the Spirit gives to the born again believer different gifts to profit all who are in the church.

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,  to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues (languages), to another the interpretation of tongues (languages).  But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

1 Corinthians 12: 7-11

Please notice that the gift of the Spirit is not something you work towards or train yourself to possess, it is given to you by the will of God.  It is also given to both sexes.  It is not limited to men only.

 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3: 26-28

13.)  The Spirit gives wisdom and insight that is not understood by those without this gift:

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV)

14.)  It is the work of the Holy Spirit to give the repentant sinner a new heart and new life different from the carnal life.

 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

John 3: 6-8

15.) God the Father will gladly give the Holy Spirit to those who ask:

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

Luke 11:13

16.) Once you have the Spirit, you have the choice to either live by the Spirit by the carnal thinking of the world.  If you choose to live by the Spirit, you will have life and peace:

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Romans 8:5-6

17.) Once the Spirit comes into a repentant sinners life, they will produce fruits of the Spirit.  These are life qualities different from the fruits produced by a carnal person:

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Galatians 5:22

It is by these fruits that demonstrate the rebirth experience:

18.) The Spirit separates the true follower from the false:

Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Matthew 7:17-20

19.) It is the work of the Holy Spirit to bring conviction upon the heart of the sinner regarding sin, unbelief, judgement , and draw them to Jesus for salvation from eternal death and the sins that entangle a person’s life.

 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me;  of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

John 16:8

20.) With the Spirit of God, the follower of Jesus will been born again and will receive eternal life.

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God..” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

John 3: 3,5

21.) Blaspheme against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

 “And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.

Luke 12: 10

Blaspheme against the Holy Spirit is the only unpardonable sin because it is continuous.  This ongoing persistent turning away from the prompting of the Holy Spirit leads to a scar on the heart where there are no longer any feelings or response possible. For many years, this person turns off the Spirit and turns on to the pleasures of this world.  They enjoy a short life of sin rather than eternal life offered from Jesus through the Holy Spirit.  Paul said, it this way.

“….having their own conscience seared with a hot iron…”

1 Timothy 4:2 

Today, if you feel the pull of the Spirit drawing you to make a decision, surrender to God and you will find Jesus and the Spirit in your life giving you conviction, repentance, direction, power, and peace.  Won’t you do it today?

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Conclusion on the Trinity

For the last several weeks, we have been letting God’s word tell us about the Trinity.  From the scripture, we see the Spirit as God, along with the Father and the Son.  All three participated in the creation of the universe and of all life including you and me!

All three are active in bringing back mankind from the loss of eternal life and giving them what was meant for their creation:  Life, joy, and growth instead of demise.

Wisdom and spirituality can only come as a gift from the Father who is full of grace.  But, He has also has set up laws to protect us from walking down a path that will lead to destruction. This wisdom is found in Jesus and the Spirit draws people to Jesus and gives them a new life in Him.

The Saviour said, “Except a man be born from above,” unless he shall receive a new heart, new desires, purposes, and motives, leading to a new life, “he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3, margin. The idea that it is necessary only to develop the good that exists in man by nature, is a fatal deception. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” 1 Corinthians 2:14; John 3:7. Of Christ it is written, “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men”–the only “name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” John 1:4; Acts 4:12.

Steps To Christ, page 18, 19

Fundamental Chrisitian Beliefs #5-The Son

For in Him (Christ) dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;  and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
Colossians 2: 9,10

We have been talking about the Trinity or the Godhead as Paul describes Them in his letter to the Colossians. Paul states it plainly: In Jesus, we see The Father, The Son, and The Spirit in bodily form.

If one reads and studies the Bible carefully, they will see The Son, Jesus Christ from Genesis to Revelation.  He is in the Old Testament as well as the new.

The Jews of old anticipated the coming of the Messiah for thousands of years.  Time and tradition had perverted the identifying features and mission of the Messiah so that when He appeared, they knew him not.

He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

John 1:10

How could the priests and the people of Jesus’ time miss that Jesus was the Christ…the long awaited Messiah?  At the end of Jesus’ ministry, He gave Bible studies to the disciples on at least two occasions to explain what they had all missed in the Scriptures concerning Himself. Let’s take a look:

And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

Luke 24:27

In this narrative, Jesus is talking with two discouraged disciples on their way to Emmaus after the crucifixion of Jesus. It is a wonderful story of how they listened to Jesus (whom they did not recognize) for almost 3 hours as they walked on a dusty road between sorrow and life changing light.

Scripture tells us that Jesus started at “Moses.”  Moses is the Torah or the first five books of the Bible.  Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. From these 5 books, he pointed out “Himself.”  Then he moved to the prophets.  There are 4 major prophets of the Old Testament, aka as Tanakh or the present-day Hebrew Bible.   The major prophets are  Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel .  Just image as Jesus described himself from these books! We will look at just a few in our study.

Then there are the minor prophets: Hosea, Joel,  Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.

What a Bible Study!  Jesus teaching these two disciples for almost 3 hours about Himself from all these 20 books of the Bible.  But wait, there is more!

Later that day, at evening, He surprised the other disciples (minus Thomas) while they were gathered and hidden away on the first day of the week for “fear of the Jews.”  They had the same sorrow and fear as the two on the way to Emmaus!  They were not gathered to worship, but to fear and lick their wounds! Let’s look at the account:

Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

John 20:19

Luke adds detail to what happen next:

And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

Luke 24: 44

Not only did he teach them about all the things that must be fulfilled about him from the books of Moses; the major and minor prophets, but also the psalms.  The Psalms are not just the book of Psalm, but the poetic books of the Tanakh!  These include  Job, Psalm, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon!

What a Bible study that must have been!  He disclosed himself in the entire Old Testament Bible!  The New Testament had not been written, but all through the entire Tanakh or what we know as the Old Testament Jesus was revealed!  Have you seen Him there?  You find Him when you search for Him and with all your heart!

“The burden of Christ’s preaching was, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Thus the gospel message, as given by the Saviour Himself, was based on the prophecies. The “time” which He declared to be fulfilled was the period made known by the angel Gabriel to Daniel. “Seventy weeks,” said the angel, “are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.” Dan. 9:24.

Desire of Ages p. 233

(For more on the time prophecy of Jesus appearance on the scene as the Messiah see Part 3 Second Coming Predictions (7 Years of Tribulation?)

(At the end of this study is a chart showing 351 of the Old Testament prophecies about Jesus.)

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It is true, even today, that many religious people miss seeing Jesus in the Old Testament.  Some have gone so far as to say that these wonderful books about Jesus have been “done away with.” Some churches boast they are a “New Testament” church. They are limiting themselves in their knowledge of Jesus to 1/3 of the Bible!  Paul told young Timothy that ALL of the scripture is good for the believer to follow:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

2 Timothy 3: 16-17

If our experience is based only on 1/3 of the Bible, we might have only 1/3 of the knowledge for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. More important we may only know 1/3 of what we can know about Jesus!

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Summary:

The Son God the eternal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were created, the character of God is revealed, the salvation of humanity is accomplished, and the world is judged. Forever truly God, He became also truly human, Jesus the Christ. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived and experienced temptation as a human being, but perfectly exemplified the righteousness and love of God. By His miracles He manifested God’s power and was attested as God’s promised Messiah. He suffered and died voluntarily on the cross for our sins and in our place, was raised from the dead, and ascended to heaven to minister in the heavenly sanctuary in our behalf. He will come again in glory for the final deliverance of His people and the restoration of all things.

(Isa. 53:4-6; Dan. 9:25-27; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-3, 14; 5:22; 10:30; 14:1-3, 9, 13; Rom. 6:23; 1 Cor. 15:3, 4; 2 Cor. 3:18; 5:17-19; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:15-19; Heb. 2: 9; 8:1-2.)

Jesus is the Messiah and can be proved from the Old Testament.

Prophecy

Description

Fulfillment

1. Gen 3:15 Seed of a woman (virgin birth) Gal 4:4-5; Matt 1:18
2. Gen 3:15 He will bruise Satan’s head Heb 2:14; 1 John 3:8
3. Gen 5:24 The bodily ascension to heaven illustrated Mark 16:19
4. Gen 9:26-27 The God of Shem will be the Son of Shem Luke 3:36
5. Gen 12:3 Seed of Abraham will bless all nations Gal 3:8; Acts 3:25-26
6. Gen 12:7 The Promise made to Abraham’s Seed Gal 3:16
7. Gen 14:18 A priest after the order of Melchizedek Heb 6:20
8. Gen 14:18 King of Peace and Righteousness Heb 7:2
9. Gen 14:18 The Last Supper foreshadowed Matt 26:26-29
10. Gen 17:19 Seed of Isaac (Gen 21:12) Rom 9:7
11. Gen 22:8 The Lamb of God promised John 1:29
12. Gen 22:18 As Isaac’s seed, will bless all nations Gal 3:16
13. Gen 26:2-5 The Seed of Isaac promised as the Redeemer Heb 11:18
14. Gen 28:12 The Bridge to heaven John 1:51
15. Gen 28:14 The Seed of Jacob Luke 3:34
16. Gen 49:10 The time of His coming Luke 2:1-7; Gal 4:4
17. Gen 49:10 The Seed of Judah Luke 3:33
18. Gen 49:10 Called Shiloh or One Sent John 17:3
19. Gen 49:10 Messiah to come before Judah lost identity John 11:47-52
20. Gen 49:10 Unto Him shall the obedience of the people be John 10:16
21. Ex 3:13-15 The Great “I AM” John 4:26; 8:58
22. Ex 12:5 A Lamb without blemish Heb 9:14; 1 Pet 1:19
23. Ex 12:13 The blood of the Lamb saves from wrath Rom 5:8
24. Ex 12:21-27 Christ is our Passover 1 Cor 5:7
25. Ex 12:46 Not a bone of the Lamb to be broken John 19:31-36
26. Ex 15:2 His exaltation predicted as Yeshua Acts 7:55-56
27. Ex 15:11 His Character-Holiness Luke 1:35; Acts 4:27
28. Ex 17:6 The Spiritual Rock of Israel 1 Cor 10:4
29. Ex 33:19 His Character-Merciful Luke 1:72
30. Lev 1:2-9 His sacrifice a sweet smelling savor unto God Eph 5:2
31. Lev 14:11 The leper cleansed-Sign to priesthood Luke 5:12-14; Acts 6:7
32. Lev 16:15-17 Prefigures Christ’s once-for-all death Heb 9:7-14
33. Lev 16:27 Suffering outside the Camp Matt 27:33; Heb. 13:11-12
34. Lev 17:11 The Blood-the life of the flesh Matt 26:28; Mark 10:45
35. Lev 17:11 It is the blood that makes atonement Rom. 3:23-24; 1 John 1:7
36. Lev 23:36-37 The Drink-offering: “If any man thirst” John 7:37
37. Num 9:12 Not a bone of Him broken John 19:31-36
38. Num 21:9 The serpent on a pole-Christ lifted up John 3:14-18; 12:32
39. Num 24:17 Time: “I shall see him, but not now.” John 1:14; Gal 4:4
40. Deut 18:15 “This is of a truth that prophet” John 6:14
41. Deut 18:15-16 “Had you believed Moses, you would believe me.” John 5:45-47
42. Deut 18:18 Sent by the Father to speak His word John 8:28-29
43. Deut 18:19 Whoever will not hear must bear his sin Acts 3:22-23
44. Deut 21:23 Cursed is he that hangs on a tree Gal 3:10-13
45. Joshua 5:14-15 The Captain of our salvation Heb 2:10
46. Ruth 4:4-10 Christ, our kinsman, has redeemed us Eph 1:3-7
47. 1 Sam 2:35 A Faithful Priest Heb. 2:17; 3:1-3, 6; 7:24-25
48. 1 Sam 2:10 Shall be an anointed King to the Lord Matt 28:18; John 12:15
49. 2 Sam 7:12 David’s Seed Matt 1:1
50. 2 Sam 7:13 His Kingdom is everlasting 2 Pet 1:11
51. 2 Sam 7:14a The Son of God Luke 1:32; Rom 1:3-4
52. 2 Sam 7:16 David’s house established forever Luke 3:31; Rev 22:16
53. 2 Ki 2:11 The bodily ascension to heaven illustrated Luke 24:51
54. 1 Chr 17:11 David’s Seed Matt 1:1; 9:27
55. 1 Chr 17:12-13 To reign on David’s throne forever Luke 1:32-33
56. 1 Chr 17:13 “I will be His Father, He…my Son.” Heb 1:5
57. Job 9:32-33 Mediator between man and God 1 Tim 2:5
58. Job 19:23-27 The Resurrection predicted John 5:24-29
59. Psa 2:1-3 The enmity of kings foreordained Acts 4:25-28
60. Psa 2:2 To own the title, Anointed (Christ) John 1:41; Acts 2:36
61. Psa 2:6 His Character-Holiness John 8:46; Rev 3:7
62. Psa 2:6 To own the title King Matt 2:2
63. Psa 2:7 Declared the Beloved Son Matt 3:17; Rom 1:4
64. Psa 2:7-8 The Crucifixion and Resurrection intimated Acts 13:29-33
65. Psa 2:8-9 Rule the nations with a rod of iron Rev 2:27; 12:5; 19:15
66. Psa 2:12 Life comes through faith in Him John 20:31
67. Psa 8:2 The mouths of babes perfect His praise Matt 21:16
68. Psa 8:5-6 His humiliation and exaltation Heb 2:5-9
69. Psa 9:7-10 Judge the world in righteousness Acts 17:31
70. Psa 16:10 Was not to see corruption Acts 2:31; 13:35
71. Psa 16:9-11 Was to arise from the dead John 20:9
72. Psa 17:15 The resurrection predicted Luke 24:6
73. Psa 18:2-3 The horn of salvation Luke 1:69-71
74. Psa 22:1 Forsaken because of sins of others 2 Cor 5:21
75. Psa 22:1 “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” Matt 27:46
76. Psa 22:2 Darkness upon Calvary for three hours Matt 27:45
77. Psa 22:7 They shoot out the lip and shake the head Matt 27:39-44
78. Psa 22:8 “He trusted in God, let Him deliver Him” Matt 27:43
79. Psa 22:9-10 Born the Savior Luke 2:7
80. Psa 22:12-13 They seek His death John 19:6
81. Psa 22:14 His blood poured out when they pierced His side John 19:34
82. Psa 22:14-15 Suffered agony on Calvary Mark 15:34-37
83. Psa 22:15 He thirsted John 19:28
84. Psa 22:16 They pierced His hands and His feet John 19:34-37; 20:27
85. Psa 22:17-18 Stripped Him before the stares of men Luke 23:34-35
86. Psa 22:18 They parted His garments John 19:23-24
87. Psa 22:20-21 He committed Himself to God Luke 23:46
88. Psa 22:20-21 Satanic power bruising the Redeemer’s heel Heb 2:14
89. Psa 22:22 His Resurrection declared John 20:17
90. Psa 22:27-28 He shall be the governor of the nations Col 1:16
91. Psa 22:31 “It is finished” John 19:30; Heb 10:10-12, 14, 18
92. Psa 23:1 “I am the Good Shepherd” John 10:11; 1 Pet 2:25
93. Psa 24:3 His exaltation predicted Acts 1:11; Phil 2:9
94. Psa 30:3 His resurrection predicted Acts 2:32
95. Psa 31:5 “Into Your hands I commit my spirit” Luke 23:46
96. Psa 31:11 His acquaintances fled from Him Mark 14:50
97. Psa 31:13 They took counsel to put Him to death Matt 27:1; John 11:53
98. Psa 31:14-15 “He trusted in God, let Him deliver him” Matt 27:43
99. Psa 34:20 Not a bone of Him broken John 19:31-36
100. Psa 35:11 False witnesses rose up against Him Matt 26:59
101. Psa 35:19 He was hated without a cause John 15:25
102. Psa 38:11 His friends stood afar off Luke 23:49
103. Psa 38:12 Enemies try to entangle Him by craft Mark 14:1; Matt 22:15
104. Psa 38:12-13 Silent before His accusers Matt 27:12-14
105. Psa 38:20 He went about doing good Acts 10:38
106. Psa 40:2-5 The joy of His resurrection predicted John 20:20
107. Psa 40:6-8 His delight-the will of the Father John 4:34; Heb 10:5-10
108. Psa 40:9 He was to preach the Righteousness in Israel Matt 4:17
109. Psa 40:14 Confronted by adversaries in the Garden John 18:4-6
110. Psa 41:9 Betrayed by a familiar friend John 13:18
111. Psa 45:2 Words of Grace come from His lips John 1:17; Luke 4:22
112. Psa 45:6 To own the title, God or Elohim Heb 1:8
113. Psa 45:7 A special anointing by the Holy Spirit Matt 3:16; Heb. 1:9
114. Psa 45:7-8 Called the Christ (Messiah or Anointed) Luke 2:11
115. Psa 45:17 His name remembered forever Eph 1:20-21; Heb. 1:8
116. Psa 55:12-14 Betrayed by a friend, not an enemy John 13:18
117. Psa 55:15 Unrepentant death of the Betrayer Matt 27:3-5; Acts 1:16-19
118. Psa 68:18 To give gifts to men Eph 4:7-16
119. Psa 68:18 Ascended into Heaven Luke 24:51
120. Psa 69:4 Hated without a cause John 15:25
121. Psa 69:8 A stranger to own brethren John 1:11; 7:5
122. Psa 69:9 Zealous for the Lord’s House John 2:17
123. Psa 69:14-20 Messiah’s anguish of soul before crucifixion Matt 26:36-45
124. Psa 69:20 “My soul is exceeding sorrowful” Matt 26:38
125. Psa 69:21 Given vinegar in thirst Matt 27:34
126. Psa 69:26 The Savior given and smitten by God John 17:4; 18:11
127. Psa 72:10-11 Great persons were to visit Him Matt 2:1-11
128. Psa 72:16 The corn of wheat to fall into the Ground John 12:24-25
129. Psa 72:17 Belief on His name will produce offspring John 1:12-13
130. Psa 72:17 All nations shall be blessed by Him Gal 3:8
131. Psa 72:17 All nations shall call Him blessed John 12:13; Rev 5:8-12
132. Psa 78:1-2 He would teach in parables Matt 13:34-35
133. Psa 78:2b To speak the Wisdom of God with authority Matt 7:29
134. Psa 80:17 The Man of God’s right hand Mark 14:61-62
135. Psa 88 The Suffering and Reproach of Calvary Matt 27:26-50
136. Psa 88:8 They stood afar off and watched Luke 23:49
137. Psa 89:27 Firstborn Col 1:15-18
138. Psa 89:27 Emmanuel to be higher than earthly kings Luke 1:32-33
139. Psa 89:35-37 David’s Seed, throne, kingdom endure forever Luke 1:32-33
140. Psa 89:36-37 His character-Faithfulness Rev 1:5; 19:11
141. Psa 90:2 He is from everlasting (Micah 5:2) John 1:1
142. Psa 91:11-12 Identified as Messianic, used to tempt Christ Luke 4:10-11
143. Psa 97:9 His exaltation predicted Acts 1:11; Eph 1:20
144. Psa 100:5 His character-Goodness Matt 19:16-17
145. Psa 102:1-11 The Suffering and Reproach of Calvary John 19:16-30
146. Psa 102:25-27 Messiah is the Preexistent Son Heb 1:10-12
147. Psa 109:25 Ridiculed Matt 27:39
148. Psa 110:1 Son of David Matt 22:42-43
149. Psa 110:1 To ascend to the right-hand of the Father Mark 16:19
150. Psa 110:1 David’s son called Lord Matt 22:44-45
151. Psa 110:4 A priest after Melchizedek’s order Heb 6:20
152. Psa 112:4 His character-Compassionate, Gracious, et al Matt 9:36
153. Psa 118:17-18 Messiah’s Resurrection assured Luke 24:5-7; 1 Cor 15:20
154. Psa 118:22-23 The rejected stone is Head of the corner Matt 21:42-43
155. Psa 118:26a The Blessed One presented to Israel Matt 21:9
156. Psa 118:26b To come while Temple standing Matt 21:12-15
157. Psa 132:11 The Seed of David (the fruit of His Body) Luke 1:32; Act 2:30
158. Psa 129:3 He was scourged Matt 27:26
159. Psa 138:1-6 The supremacy of David’s Seed amazes kings Matt 2:2-6
160. Psa 147:3-6 The earthly ministry of Christ described Luke 4:18
161. Prov 1:23 He will send the Spirit of God John 16:7
162. Prov 8:23 Foreordained from everlasting Rev 13:8; 1 Pet 1:19-20
163. Song 5:16 The altogether lovely One John 1:17
164. Isa 2:3 He shall teach all nations John 4:25
165. Isa 2:4 He shall judge among the nations John 5:22
166. Isa 6:1 When Isaiah saw His glory John 12:40-41
167. Isa 6:8 The One Sent by God John 12:38-45
168. Isa 6:9-10 Parables fall on deaf ears Matt 13:13-15
169. Isa 6:9-12 Blinded to Christ and deaf to His words Acts 28:23-29
170. Isa 7:14 To be born of a virgin Luke 1:35
171. Isa 7:14 To be Emmanuel-God with us Matt 1:18-23; 1 Tim 3:16
172. Isa 8:8 Called Emmanuel Matt 28:20
173. Isa 8:14 A stone of stumbling, a Rock of offense 1 Pet 2:8
174. Isa 9:1-2 His ministry to begin in Galilee Matt 4:12-17
175. Isa 9:6 A child born-Humanity Luke 1:31
176. Isa 9:6 A Son given-Deity Luke 1:32; John 1:14; 1 Tim 3:16
177. Isa 9:6 Declared to be the Son of God with power Rom 1:3-4
178. Isa 9:6 The Wonderful One, Peleh Luke 4:22
179. Isa 9:6 The Counselor, Yaatz Matt 13:54
180. Isa 9:6 The Mighty God, El Gibor 1 Cor 1:24; Titus 2:3
181. Isa 9:6 The Everlasting Father, Avi Adth John 8:58; 10:30
182. Isa 9:6 The Prince of Peace, Sar Shalom John 16:33
183. Isa 9:7 To establish an everlasting kingdom Luke 1:32-33
184. Isa 9:7 His Character-Just John 5:30
185. Isa 9:7 No end to his Government, Throne, and Peace Luke 1:32-33
186. Isa 11:1 Called a Nazarene-the Branch, Netzer Matt 2:23
187. Isa 11:1 A rod out of Jesse-Son of Jesse Luke 3:23-32
188. Isa 11:2 Anointed One by the Spirit Matt 3:16-17; Acts 10:38
189. Isa 11:2 His Character-Wisdom, Knowledge, et al Col 2:3
190. Isa 11:3 He would know their thoughts Luke 6:8; John 2:25
191. Isa 11:4 Judge in righteousness Acts 17:31
192. Isa 11:4 Judges with the sword of His mouth Rev 2:16; 19:11, 15
193. Isa 11:5 Character: Righteous & Faithful Rev 19:11
194. Isa 11:10 The Gentiles seek Him John 12:18-21
195. Isa 12:2 Called Jesus-Yeshua Matt 1:21
196. Isa 22:22 The One given all authority to govern Rev 3:7
197. Isa 25:8 The Resurrection predicted 1 Cor 15:54
198. Isa 26:19 His power of Resurrection predicted Matt 27:50-54
199. Isa 28:16 The Messiah is the precious corner stone Acts 4:11-12
200. Isa 28:16 The Sure Foundation 1 Cor 3:11; Matt 16:18
201. Isa 29:13 He indicated hypocritical obedience to His Word Matt 15:7-9
202. Isa 29:14 The wise are confounded by the Word 1 Cor 1:18-31
203. Isa 32:2 A Refuge-A man shall be a hiding place Matt 23:37
204. Isa 35:4 He will come and save you Matt 1:21
205. Isa 35:5-6 To have a ministry of miracles Matt 11:2-6
206. Isa 40:3-4 Preceded by forerunner John 1:23
207. Isa 40:9 “Behold your God” John 1:36; 19:14
208. Isa 40:10 He will come to reward Rev 22:12
209. Isa 40:11 A shepherd-compassionate life-giver John 10:10-18
210. Isa 42:1-4 The Servant-as a faithful, patient redeemer Matt 12:18-21
211. Isa 42:2 Meek and lowly Matt 11:28-30
212. Isa 42:3 He brings hope for the hopeless John 4
213. Isa 42:4 The nations shall wait on His teachings John 12:20-26
214. Isa 42:6 The Light (salvation) of the Gentiles Luke 2:32
215. Isa 42:1-6 His is a worldwide compassion Matt 28:19-20
216. Isa 42:7 Blind eyes opened John 9:25-38
217. Isa 43:11 He is the only Savior Acts 4:12
218. Isa 44:3 He will send the Spirit of God John 16:7-13
219. Isa 45:21-25 He is Lord and Savior Phil 3:20; Titus 2:13
220. Isa 45:23 He will be the Judge John 5:22; Rom 14:11
221. Isa 46:9-10 Declares things not yet done John 13:19
222. Isa 48:12 The First and the Last John 1:30; Rev 1:8, 17
223. Isa 48:16-17 He came as a Teacher John 3:2
224. Isa 49:1 Called from the womb-His humanity Matt 1:18
225. Isa 49:5 A Servant from the womb Luke 1:31; Phil 2:7
226. Isa 49:6 He will restore Israel Acts 3:19-21; 15:16-17
227. Isa 49:6 He is Salvation for Israel Luke 2:29-32
228. Isa 49:6 He is the Light of the Gentiles John 8:12; Acts 13:47
229. Isa 49:6 He is Salvation unto the ends of the earth Acts 15:7-18
230. Isa 49:7 He is despised of the Nation John 1:11; 8:48-49; 19:14-15
231. Isa 50:3 Heaven is clothed in black at His humiliation Luke 23:44-45
232. Isa 50:4 He is a learned counselor for the weary Matt 7:29; 11:28-29
233. Isa 50:5 The Servant bound willingly to obedience Matt 26:39
234. Isa 50:6a “I gave my back to those who struck Me” Matt 27:26
235. Isa 50:6b He was smitten on the cheeks Matt 26:67
236. Isa 50:6c He was spat upon Matt 27:30
237. Isa 52:7 Published good tidings upon mountains Matt 5:12; 15:29; 28:16
238. Isa 52:13 The Servant exalted Acts 1:8-11; Eph 1:19-22; Phil 2:5-9
239. Isa 52:14 The Servant shockingly abused Luke 18:31-34; Matt 26:67-68
240. Isa 52:15 Nations startled by message of the Servant Luke 18:31-34; Matt 26:67-68
241. Isa 52:15 His blood shed sprinkles nations Heb 9:13-14; Rev 1:5
242. Isa 53:1 His people would not believe Him John 12:37-38
243. Isa 53:2 Appearance of an ordinary man Phil 2:6-8
244. Isa 53:3a Despised Luke 4:28-29
245. Isa 53:3b Rejected Matt 27:21-23
246. Isa 53:3c Great sorrow and grief Matt 26:37-38; Luke 19:41; Heb 4:15
247. Isa 53:3d Men hide from being associated with Him Mark 14:50-52
248. Isa 53:4a He would have a healing ministry Matt 8:16-17
249. Isa 53:4b Thought to be cursed by God Matt 26:66; 27:41-43
250. Isa 53:5a Bears penalty for mankind’s iniquities 2 Cor 5:21; Heb 2:9
251. Isa 53:5b His sacrifice provides peace between man and God Col 1:20
252. Isa 53:5c His sacrifice would heal man of sin 1 Pet 2:24
253. Isa 53:6a He would be the sin-bearer for all mankind 1 John 2:2; 4:10
254. Isa 53:6b God’s will that He bear sin for all mankind Gal 1:4
255. Isa 53:7a Oppressed and afflicted Matt 27:27-31
256. Isa 53:7b Silent before his accusers Matt 27:12-14
257. Isa 53:7c Sacrificial lamb John 1:29; 1 Pet 1:18-19
258. Isa 53:8a Confined and persecuted Matt 26:47-27:31
259. Isa 53:8b He would be judged John 18:13-22
260. Isa 53:8c Killed Matt 27:35
261. Isa 53:8d Dies for the sins of the world 1 John 2:2
262. Isa 53:9a Buried in a rich man’s grave Matt 27:57
263. Isa 53:9b Innocent and had done no violence Luke 23:41; John 18:38
264. Isa 53:9c No deceit in his mouth 1 Pet 2:22
265. Isa 53:10a God’s will that He die for mankind John 18:11
266. Isa 53:10b An offering for sin Matt 20:28; Gal 3:13
267. Isa 53:10c Resurrected and live forever Rom 6:9
268. Isa 53:10d He would prosper John 17:1-5
269. Isa 53:11a God fully satisfied with His suffering John 12:27
270. Isa 53:11b God’s servant would justify man Rom 5:8-9, 18-19
271. Isa 53:11c The sin-bearer for all mankind Heb 9:28
272. Isa 53:12a Exalted by God because of his sacrifice Matt 28:18
273. Isa 53:12b He would give up his life to save mankind Luke 23:46
274. Isa 53:12c Numbered with the transgressors Mark 15:27-28
275. Isa 53:12d Sin-bearer for all mankind 1 Pet 2:24
276. Isa 53:12e Intercede to God in behalf of mankind Luke 23:34; Rom 8:34
277. Isa 55:3 Resurrected by God Acts 13:34
278. Isa 55:4a A witness John 18:37
279. Isa 55:4b He is a leader and commander Heb 2:10
280. Isa 55:5 God would glorify Him Acts 3:13
281. Isa 59:16a Intercessor between man and God Matt 10:32
282. Isa 59:16b He would come to provide salvation John 6:40
283. Isa 59:20 He would come to Zion as their Redeemer Luke 2:38
284. Isa 60:1-3 He would show light to the Gentiles Acts 26:23
285. Isa 61:1a The Spirit of God upon him Matt 3:16-17
286. Isa 61:1b The Messiah would preach the good news Luke 4:16-21
287. Isa 61:1c Provide freedom from the bondage of sin John 8:31-36
288. Isa 61:1-2a Proclaim a period of grace Gal 4:4-5
289. Jer 23:5-6 Descendant of David Luke 3:23-31
290. Jer 23:5-6 The Messiah would be both God and Man John 13:13; 1 Tim 3:16
291. Jer 31:22 Born of a virgin Matt 1:18-20
292. Jer 31:31 The Messiah would be the new covenant Matt 26:28
293. Jer 33:14-15 Descendant of David Luke 3:23-31
294. Ezek 34:23-24 Descendant of David Matt 1:1
295. Ezek 37:24-25 Descendant of David Luke 1:31-33
296. Dan 2:44-45 The Stone that shall break the kingdoms Matt 21:44
297. Dan 7:13-14a He would ascend into heaven Acts 1:9-11
298. Dan 7:13-14b Highly exalted Eph 1:20-22
299. Dan 7:13-14c His dominion would be everlasting Luke 1:31-33
300. Dan 9:24a To make an end to sins Gal 1:3-5
301. Dan 9:24a To make reconciliation for iniquity Rom 5:10; 2 Cor 5:18-21
302. Dan 9:24b He would be holy Luke 1:35
303. Dan 9:25 His announcement John 12:12-13
304. Dan 9:26a Cut off Matt 16:21; 21:38-39
305. Dan 9:26b Die for the sins of the world Heb 2:9
306. Dan 9:26c Killed before the destruction of the temple Matt 27:50-51
307. Dan 10:5-6 Messiah in a glorified state Rev 1:13-16
308. Hos 11:1 He would be called out of Egypt Matt 2:15
309. Hos 13:14 He would defeat death 1 Cor 15:55-57
310. Joel 2:32 Offer salvation to all mankind Rom 10:9-13
311. Jonah 1:17 Death and resurrection of Christ Matt 12:40; 16:4
312. Mic 5:2a Born in Bethlehem Matt 2:1-6
313. Mic 5:2b Ruler in Israel Luke 1:33
314. Mic 5:2c From everlasting John 8:58
315. Hag 2:6-9 He would visit the second Temple Luke 2:27-32
316. Hag 2:23 Descendant of Zerubbabel Luke 2:27-32
317. Zech 3:8 God’s servant John 17:4
318. Zech 6:12-13 Priest and King Heb 8:1
319. Zech 9:9a Greeted with rejoicing in Jerusalem Matt 21:8-10
320. Zech 9:9b Beheld as King John 12:12-13
321. Zech 9:9c The Messiah would be just John 5:30
322. Zech 9:9d The Messiah would bring salvation Luke 19:10
323. Zech 9:9e The Messiah would be humble Matt 11:29
324. Zech 9:9f Presented to Jerusalem riding on a donkey Matt 21:6-9
325. Zech 10:4 The cornerstone Eph 2:20
326. Zech 11:4-6a At His coming, Israel to have unfit leaders Matt 23:1-4
327. Zech 11:4-6b Rejection causes God to remove His protection Luke 19:41-44
328. Zech 11:4-6c Rejected in favor of another king John 19:13-15
329. Zech 11:7 Ministry to “poor,” the believing remnant Matt 9:35-36
330. Zech 11:8a Unbelief forces Messiah to reject them Matt 23:33
331. Zech 11:8b Despised Matt 27:20
332. Zech 11:9 Stops ministering to those who rejected Him Matt 13:10-11
333. Zech 11:10-11a Rejection causes God to remove protection Luke 19:41-44
334. Zech 11:10-11b The Messiah would be God John 14:7
335. Zech 11:12-13a Betrayed for thirty pieces of silver Matt 26:14-15
336. Zech 11:12-13b Rejected Matt 26:14-15
337. Zech 11:12-13c Thirty pieces of silver cast in the house of the Lord Matt 27:3-5
338. Zech 11:12-13d The Messiah would be God John 12:45
339. Zech 12:10a The Messiah’s body would be pierced John 19:34-37
340. Zech 12:10b The Messiah would be both God and man John 10:30
341. Zech 12:10c The Messiah would be rejected John 1:11
342. Zech 13:7a God’s will He die for mankind John 18:11
343. Zech 13:7b A violent death Mark 14:27
344. Zech 13:7c Both God and man John 14:9
345. Zech 13:7d Israel scattered as a result of rejecting Him Matt 26:31-56
346. Zech 14:4 He would return to the Mt. of Olives Acts 1:11-12
347. Mal 3:1a Messenger to prepare the way for Messiah Mark 1:1-8
348. Mal 3:1b Sudden appearance at the temple Mark 11:15-16
349. Mal 3:1c Messenger of the new covenant Luke 4:43
350. Mal 4:5 Forerunner in spirit of Elijah Matt 3:1-3; 11:10-14; 17:11-13
351. Mal 4:6 Forerunner would turn many to righteousness Luke 1:16-17

 

28 Fundamental Christian Beliefs-#4 The Father

God the eternal Father is the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation. He is just and holy, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. The qualities and powers exhibited in the Son and the Holy Spirit are also those of the Father.

(Gen. 1:1; Deut. 4:35; Ps. 110:1, 4; John 3:16; 14:9; 1 Cor. 15:28; 1 Tim. 1:17; 1 John 4:8; Rev. 4:11.)

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The Jews of old wanted to kill Jesus because his actions seemed to cut across their long-held beliefs about God the Father and their traditions.

For example,  He healed a man lame for 38 years on the Sabbath.  He told him to take his bed and walk.

 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.”

John 5:10

The Jews were more interested in being religious and making up rules that God never intended.  They were the Sabbath police.  It had become their duty to enforce it to the letter.  But, through this healing on the Sabbath, Jesus demonstrated it was made to be a blessing for mankind, but the religious dealers had turned it into a day of “do’s” and “don’ts” whereby the rules could be used as a basis for the priests to measure the “sin” of those they wanted to control.

But, the Creator of the Sabbath was in their midst and they knew Him not. Jesus attempted to clarify the purpose of the Sabbath by saying,

“The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”

Mark 2: 27, 28

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Jesus spent much of His short life undoing the damage religious people had done.  His main work  was about revealing the true character of the Father, which no man had ever seen physically nor had they seen the Father by example. This was Jesus’ mission to declare the Father.

No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

John 1:18

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

1 Timothy 1:17

Although the Father is “invisible,” Jesus came not only to die for our sins, but to reveal the true God, for He said  to a curious disciple named Phillip,

“Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’”?

John 14:9

Understanding and knowing God the Father is critical in the plan of salvation.  Jesus expressed this in His prayer to the Father when he said,

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

John 17:3

It is equally important to understand God the Father AND Jesus in order to have eternal life. It is not always what you know as much as Who you know! Otherwise, only the highly educated Theologians would have eternal life. God made the playing field level by giving the opportunity to “know Him” through a personal one-on-one experience regardless of position in life. Many do not know Him, because they do not search for Him.

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

Many don’t find because they don’t search with all their heart.  It is not a casual search, but one with effort.

During the time of Christ, the character of the Father had been maligned, both by word and representation by those who thought they knew God. Yet, none had seen the Father at any time.  Only Moses was allowed to see the backside of God.  It is from this event, that Moses begins to understand the real nature of God…simply by looking.

Moses asked to see Him,

“Please, show me Your glory.”

Exodus 33: 18

God responded by saying,

“I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” And the Lord said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”

Exodus 33: 19-23

When the Lord passed by, Moses was inspired to say,

“The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…”

Exodus 34:6, 7

Can we not describe Jesus the same way? There is no difference between God the Father and Jesus who came to reveal the true character of God the Father.

But we must remember that judgement is also part of the character of God.  There is more in the description of God.  Moses continues,

“…by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation…”

Exodus 34: 7 (last part)

Those who have clung to their idols of self worship and sin are not “cleared.”  Why?  Is not God merciful, gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…?

So why are some not “cleared?”  It is because they choose not to repent.  Their desire  is to focus only on the joys of a sinful world and the satisfaction of the carnal desires. Please do not take this too far and feel it is a sin to enjoy pleasure.  God has set the boundaries of pleasure in His word so that His creation will not go down the path of the wrong kind of pleasure leading to death.  The euphoric  feeling given by drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and over eating are pleasures that is good for a moment, but leads to an miserable life.

God does not interfere with our choice to sin, but He does use the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin.  It is those who yield to the pulling of the Spirit that will find a new path to real joy and happiness. However,  if a person elects the sinful pleasure of this world, then they have their reward only on this earth, which is a mere wisp of time.

It is the indulgence in self that will lead to pain and suffering.

And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.

Luke 12:19

“…eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labor the days of his life, which God gives him under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 8:15

God responds to this person with this mindset,

‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’

Luke 12: 20

When that person dies, all his things go to someone else.

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Another aspect of God’s character often missed by many is this:  God takes no delight in the death of the wicked.  Even the destruction of the wicked in the end time is called his strange act.

Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.

Ezekiel 33:11

For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.

Isaiah 28:21

Our longsuffering God does not want anyone to perish.

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9

But God the Father offers eternal life for those who will believe and trust in Him.

For God (The Father) so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

It is important to understand the character of God in this very popular verse.  God loves. He demonstrates it by giving something to us that is very precious to Him. The reason? So that a person will not perish.  This verse, in itself, provides the proof that there is no eternal place of torture.  The penalty for not believing is to perish.  It is NOT to live in a place of torture. Only the saved have eternal life.

The wages of sin is death….not life in a place of burning. Romans 6:23

It is the work of the enemy to paint the wrong picture about God the Father.  As we see from the time of Jesus and even to this day, God is painted as a cruel tyrant whose anger is so great that He punishes people by unending fire.

But the life of Jesus and the clear teaching of the Bible shows a Father who loves his children and desires to save them from eternal death.  He wants to give them life and pleasure, but the kind of pleasure that leads to joy and happiness. A born again Christian can begin this joy now. Like Paul, he or she knows that it is the return of Christ when the reward of eternal life is given to all those who believed in Him during this life.

Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

2 Timothy 4:8

And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.

Revelation 22:12

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When I was young, I came to a point where I viewed God as this angry old bearded man, with arms crossed,  and eyes fixed upon me just waiting for me to make a mistake so He could condemn me to hell.

So many today, as in the times of the Scribes and Pharisees, have a similar view of God the Father. We may also think the same way about most things God intended to be a blessing.  We want to turn our religion into  a burdensome list of things to do to or not to do in order to obtain the favor of God.

Many of us have put God the Father as the God of works, fire, and death of the Old Testament and Jesus as the loving man of grace in the New Testament.  But Jesus, made it very clear that we may see God the Father in his own life.

Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.

John 14:10

It is when we give our life and plans to God the Father and to Jesus that their same characteristics will be born in us and brought to maturity as we live by faith daily. Jesus prayed this might happen to us just as it did for the disciples.

I do not pray for these (disciples) alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;  that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

John 17: 20,21

When the world will see the true nature of God through us, they will have the opportunity to see the true nature of God the Father in the same way Jesus corrected the errors of the time by His example.

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It was Jesus who used the term “Father” when describing God.  In this description, we can begin to understand the closeness between Jesus and the Father.

But, it was also Jesus who told us,

And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

Matthew 23:9

This verse has brought some confusion, but let’s read it in its context.  What prompted Jesus to say this? Who was the audience? All of these questions are answered by context.  Let’s read some of the verses before it.

 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,

Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:

Matthew 23:1, 2

The subject was the religious leaders of the time–the scribes and Pharisees.  They were very hypocritical and had selfish motives in their “religious” work.

But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

Matthew 23: 5-9

By reading the context, we can see that we are not to use the term father in a religious setting.  God the Father does not want anyone to take His place nor interfere with direct access to the throne of grace. We can only come to the Father through Jesus.

No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 14:6

Jesus alone is our high priest.  We are to be careful in our understanding of the work of men on this earth who would seek to take the place of God. Because Jesus is our high priest and understands us like no other human, we can come boldly to God the Father

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.  Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

John 4:14-16

But, it is no problem calling our parent father.  Jesus told us,

“You know the commandments:…honor your father and mother.’”

Luke 18:10

Our earthly father, in the best setting, is a opaque picture of a loving Father in heaven.  Both are connected with the powerful act of Creation. But, our heavenly Father far exceeds the love and compassion of our earthly father.

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Matthew 7:11

We don’t have to look too far without seeing that God the Father is good in every sense of the word.  One of my favorite authors summarizes this study well:

“Nature and revelation alike testify of God’s love. Our Father in heaven is the source of life, of wisdom, and of joy. Look at the wonderful and beautiful things of nature…

“…God has bound our hearts to Him by unnumbered tokens in heaven and in earth. Through the things of nature, and the deepest and tenderest earthly ties that human hearts can know, He has sought to reveal Himself to us. Yet these but imperfectly represent His love. Though all these evidences have been given, the enemy of good blinded the minds of men, so that they looked upon God with fear; they thought of Him as severe and unforgiving. Satan led men to conceive of God as a being whose chief attribute is stern justice,–one who is a severe judge, a harsh, exacting creditor. He pictured the Creator as a being who is watching with jealous eye to discern the errors and mistakes of men, that He may visit judgments upon them. It was to remove this dark shadow, by revealing to the world the infinite love of God, that Jesus came to live among men.”

Steps to Christ, p. 10-11, EG White

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28 Fundamental Beliefs-#3 The Trinity

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The Trinity

There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three coeternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. God, who is love, is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation.

(Click on the Bible verses below to quickly access the verse in New King James Version.)

(Gen. 1:26; Deut. 6:4; Isa. 6:8; Matt. 28:19; John 3:16 2 Cor. 1:21, 22; 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Peter 1:2.)

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The Trinity is one God existing in three Persons. This does not mean there are three Gods. The word “Trinity” is not found in Scripture. It  is a term used to describe the triune God—three coexistent, co-eternal Persons who make up God. In this study, we will see that the concept of the Trinity is found throughout Scripture.

Each participated in Creation

 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…”

Genesis 1:26

From the start of God’s word, we see a coeternal Godhead made up of three distinct persons yet one.  They interact with each other and perform specific roles in the universe and on earth….They all work to save mankind  from eternal destruction that is sure to come.

The use of the word “Our” indicates there is more than one person, otherwise it would be read as,

“Let (me) make man in (my) image according to (my) likeness”

Present on that week of creation were the Spirit, God the Father, and the Son-Jesus

And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Genesis 1:2

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

John 1: 1-3

Notice that the “Word” become a personal pronoun “He.”  Who is this?  Let’s let the Bible speak for itself a little further down in John 1

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth

John 1:14

Who became flesh and was with us?  Who is described as the only begotten of the Father?  Is it not clear that it is none other than Jesus?  From this passage, we can clearly see that Jesus was with God (Father) in the beginning along with the Spirit.

Let’s look at another few verses that make this passage even more clear.  Notice in Colossians that through Jesus “all things were created” and they are “for Him.”

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.  And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

Colossians 1: 15-18

Further God (Father) calls His Son God!

But to the Son He says:

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;

Hebrews 1:8

So, we see God the Father, Jesus in his pre-human form participating in the creation of all life and all the universe.  Further, The Spirit of God as the third member of the Godhead is vital in the creation of man and giving him life.

The Spirit of God has made me,
And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Job 33:4

The Father, The Son, and the Spirit are the  “Our” found in Genesis 1: 3. In a future post, we will examine all Three in separate studies.

The Lord is One

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!

Deuteronomy 6:4

As we will study in a future post, the plan of salvation began before the foundation of the world.  The Trinity would participate in different roles but with the same purpose and forthrightness.  They are one in purpose, but separate in their roles.  Isaiah pulls back the curtain on the mystery of God dwelling among us in order to save us.

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:

“Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”

Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

Isaiah 6:8

Jesus was sent to us to save a planet in rebellion.  We were on the path to eternal death and annihilation, but God intervened and sent forth His only begotten son to die for us that we might have a way of escape.

 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

Here we see two members of the Godhead at work.  God the Father sending His Son.  The motivation?  Love for us, His creation.

This was foretold in the Tanakh (Old Testament)

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel (God with Us)

Isaiah 7:14

The gospel writer Matthew recognized Jesus as Immanuel.  He wrote:

 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:  “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

Matthew 1: 22, 23

While upon the earth, Jesus recognized his role and referred to himself in his pre-incarnate existence when he said to His accusers,

Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”

Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

John 8:57, 58

Jesus was referring them to the Torah and the story of Moses and the burning bush, when God stated,

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’

Exodus 3:14

This statement infuriated the Jews.  they took stones and attempted to stone Him as blasphemous (claiming to be God) as the Torah allowed.

Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

John 8:59

So Jesus was claiming to be God to the Jews!  He is part of the Trinity with one specific purpose…the salvation of man. He demonstrated there was another member of the Trinity when he prayed to the Father and asked that His people (including you and me) would be one as they are one:

 “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours….

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You”

John 17:9, 20

In this prayer, Jesus also refers back to his pre-existence when he prayed,

 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

John 17: 24

Paul tells us that the eternal Three are seen in Christ,

For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily

Colossians 2:9

Jesus confirmed this when he told His disciples that seeing Him is the same as seeing the Father.  Keep in mind, this is not a reference to his physical being, but His character, purpose, and will

Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

John 14:9

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The Mystery and the Work of The Spirit

 The Trinity is a mystery to most for a couple of reasons:

1.)  To understand spiritual teachings, one must be spiritual. Too many today operate on a purely day-to-day human level way of thinking. But, once they have been influenced by the Spirit, a whole new world opens to them

But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 2:4

It is the work of the third member of the Godhead to help us all move from our carnal way of thinking to a spiritual level:

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth

John 16:13 

Did you notice that the Spirit is given the designation of a personal pronoun, He?

At the baptism of Jesus, all three are present. Can you see them in this verse?

 “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He[c] saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Matthew 3: 16,17

2,) Understanding the truth comes from a desire (will) to do God’s will and to act on the truth given you.

If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.

John 7:17

When Jesus left this earth, he made a promise to his disciples and to us.  It was a promise of the work being passed on to the omnipresent Spirit.

“But now I go away to Him who sent Me…I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

John 16: 5,  7, 8

Again, these verses designate the Spirit as “He” and the work “He” will do until Jesus returns.

So through out Scripture it is easy to see the working of the eternal Three and their roles in the great plan of salvation.

Next time, we will begin our study of each one separately. Until then, this is my prayer,

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

2 Corinthians 13:14

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