Welcome To The
Battle Bow
Bible Teaching Series
Kraig Josiah Rice

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Testify of Me

A Bible Study On
(The Study of Jesus Christ)
(doctrine of mainline Christianity)

Search the scriptures;
for in them ye think ye have eternal life:
and they are they which testify of me.
(John 5:39) (KJV)

Welcome to this Bible Study about Jesus Christ. In this study I hope to show you who Jesus is, why He came to earth, what He accomplished while He was here, and what He will accomplish in the future. This study should also reveal why He is worthy of our respect, love, worship, and obedience. I have two more web pages concerning the study of Christ. One proves that He was prophesied in the Old Testament scriptures. Another one shows that Jesus Christ is seen in the Old Testament Jehovah names. I pray that this study takes us to a new level of enlightenment where we can sing praises to His name and thank Him for Who He is and for what He has done for us.


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I. The Eternality and Preexistence of Jesus Christ

(A) Christ's Preexistence Proved In the Old Testament
(B) Some Titles of Jesus Christ
(C) Christophanies in the Old Testament
(D) Christ's Preexistence Proved In the New Testament
(E) Christ's Preexistence Proved by His Works
II. The Incarnation of Jesus Christ
(A) The Deity of Jesus Christ
(B) The Humanity of Jesus Christ
III. The Person and Life of Jesus Christ
(A)The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ
(B) The Two Genealogies of Jesus Christ
(C) The Infancy, Childhood, and Growth To Maturity of Jesus Christ
(D) The Baptism of Jesus Christ
(E) The Temptation (or testing) of Jesus Christ
(F) The Ministry of Jesus Christ in Judea
(G) The Ministry of Jesus Christ in Galilee
(H) The Preaching and Teaching of Jesus Christ
(I) The Miracles of Jesus Christ
(J) The Offices of Jesus Christ
(K) The Stumbling Block of the Cross of Jesus Christ
IV. The Suffering and Death (Passion) of Jesus Christ
(A) The Atonement of Jesus Christ
(1.) The Propitiation of Jesus Christ
(2.) The Reconciliation of Jesus Christ
(3.) The Justification of Jesus Christ
V. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

VI. The Work of Jesus Christ

(A)The Ascension of Jesus Christ
(B) The Church of Jesus Christ
(C) The Second Coming of Jesus Christ
1. The Rapture of the Church
2. The Second Advent

(D) Worship Him!

The Bible does not need to be re-written
but re-read


In 2006 I was praying to the Lord as to what He would have me write about on this website. I went to sleep and had a dream- but it was more like a vision. In the dream I saw a large table with a high stack of books. I moved closer to the table in order to see the names of those books. A pair of hands started picking up each book from the top of the stack, tossing it aside. I could not read any title of any of those books. Then the pair of hands stopped with one book. I read the title. It read "Testify Of Me." Right away I thought of the scripture that had that phrase in it. When I woke up the next morning I shared the dream with my wife. And that is why I have written this web page. And He gets the glory for it.

In creating this web page I have color coded it. The words that Christ spoke are in red to symbolize His shed blood. I have also used red for chapter and title headings. References are in orange. Scriptures are in purple that symbolize His royalty. I use black, brown, blue, and green colors for the words that appear in alternating sections to help the reader in navigating this page. A major section is divided into smaller sections. Smaller sections are divided by clipart and colored print.

I have five goals in mind in regards to the writing of this web page:

1. To teach the truth about Jesus Christ to those persons who want to know it. There is a tremendous need in the world- over 4 billion people have never once heard about Jesus Christ. Since I am missions minded I want to reach as many of these as is possible.

2. To teach these truths to discipleship new believers. Folks are continually being saved daily and each needs proper instruction to begin his or her life-long walk with the Lord in truth and integrity.

3. To help strengthen weak Christians in their faith. Some Christians are stronger than others. The weak ones need a little more instruction, time, and tender loving care to help them along. It's much like a young child learning how to walk. Some catch on sooner than others.

4. To help some pastors, some Bible teachers, and some Christian leaders. Sometimes a leader needs the right tools to accomplish a mission. That what this web page is. It's a tool for others to use in their service for Christ.

5. To correct incorrect doctrine. There are a lot of voices in the world today. There is a lot of false teaching. Do you know how government workers spot counterfeit paper money? They are trained to study the genuine. Once you know what is genuine it is relative easy to spot the counterfeit. So, if we study the genuine truth and doctrine contained here, we should be able to spot the counterfeit when we are presented with it.

God bless each of you as you embark upon this rewarding and wonderful study of our Savior.

The problem wasn't the apple in a tree
It was the pair on the ground

"One Solitary Life"
(author unknown)

"Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty and then for three years was an itinerant preacher. He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put his foot inside a big city. He never traveled more than two hundred miles from the place where He was born. He never did one of those things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but himself-

While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed on a cross between two thieves. While he was dying his executors gambled for the only piece of property he had on earth- His coat. When he was dead, He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

Twenty long centuries have come and gone and today He is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever were built, all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life."

Don't put a question mark
where God puts a period

"Christology is that part of Christian theology that studies and defines who Jesus the Christ was and is. It is generally less concerned with the minor details of His life; rather it deals with who He was, the incarnation, and the major events of His life (His birth, death, and resurrection)."

Two important issues in Christology include:

  • His divine nature
  • Forsaken of God Psalms 22:1, Psalms 22:11

  • Not heard of God Psalms 22:2, Psalms 69:17

  • A reproach among men Psalms 22:6; bearing reproach for God Psalms 69:7, Psalms 69:9b

  • Despised of the people Psalms 22:6; shame-faced Psalms 69:7

  • Ridiculed and laughed at Psalms 22:7; Psalms 69:11, Psalms 69:12

  • His trust in God- mocked at Psalms 22:8

  • No help from anywhere or anyone Psalms 22:11; not pitied Psalms 69:20

  • Physical sufferings, Psalms 22:14, Psalms 22:16b, Psalms 69:3

  • Encompassed by evil men, Psalms 22:16, Psalms 69:19

  • Anguish of soul, Psalms 69:1, Psalms 69:20, Psalms 69:29

  • Overwhelmed with sorrow Psalms 69:2; weeping Psalms 69:10

  • Hated without reason Psalms 69:4

  • A stranger to His own brethren Psalms 69:8

  • Spoken against Psalms 69:12

  • Offered vinegar to drink Psalms 69:21

  • Smitten and wounded of God Psalms 69:26

    Gracious attitudes are found in the hearts of the psalmists towards Christ:

    1. The Psalmists expressed trust, a godly dependence, upon the Messiah they anticipated:
    "The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name."

    "O LORD, I have come to you for protection; don't let me be put to shame. Rescue me, for you always do what is right."
    (Psalm 23:1-3, and Psalm 31:1).

    2. They also loved Him:
    "I love you, LORD; you are my strength."
    (Psalm 18:1),
    and consequently praised Him:
    "Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, I tell myself."

    "Praise the LORD, I tell myself; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name."

    "He has not done this with any other nation; they do not know his laws. Praise the LORD!"
    (Psalm 146:1, Psalm 103:1, Psalm 147:20).

    3. They called upon Him, invoking His Name:
    verse 3 "I will call on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, for he saves me from my enemies."

    verse 6 "But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears."

    "Give victory to our king, O LORD! Respond to our cry for help."
    (Psalm 18:3,6, Psalm 20:9).

    4. They rejoiced in Him, and found in Him all their good:
    "Let the godly sing with joy to the LORD, for it is fitting to praise him."

    "So rejoice in the LORD and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!"

    "The godly will rejoice in the LORD and find shelter in him. And those who do what is right will praise him."

    "But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God's presence. Let them be filled with joy."

    "May all who are godly be happy in the LORD and praise his holy name!"
    (Psalm 33:1, 32:11, 64:10, 68:3, 97:12).

    5. They blessed Christ, and expressed their thanksgiving to Him:
    "Praise the LORD, everything he has created, everywhere in his kingdom. As for me- I, too, will praise the LORD."

    "Praise the LORD, I tell myself; O LORD my God, how great you are! You are robed with honor and with majesty..."

    "Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done."

    "Praise the LORD! Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Who can list the glorious miracles of the LORD? Who can ever praise him half enough?"
    (Psalm 103:22, 104:1, 105:1, 106:1-2).

    Different aspects of Christ's kingship are shown in the Psalms:
    1. A glorious kingship, marked by brilliance, magnificence and excellence:
    "Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter. Who is the King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, invincible in battle. Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter. Who is the King of glory? The LORD Almighty..."
    (Psalm 24:7-10).
    2. An effective kingship of judgement over His enemies: "Serve the LORD with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling. Submit to God's royal son, or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of your pursuits- for his anger can flare up in an instant. But what joy for all who find protection in him!"
    (Psalm 2:11-12).
    3. A gracious kingship over his elect:
    "For the LORD declares, "I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, my holy city."

    "It is magnificent in elevation- the whole earth rejoices to see it! Mount Zion, the holy mountain, is the city of the great King!

    "O Israel, rejoice in your Maker. O people of Jerusalem, exult in your King."
    (Psalm 2:6, Psalm 48:2, Psalm 149:2).

    4. An everlasting kingship of righteousness:
    "Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. Your royal power is expressed in justice. You love what is right and hate what is wrong. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else."
    (Psalm 45:6-7, Psalm 10:16).
    5. A sovereign and supreme kingship over the universe, His created order:
    "The LORD rules over the floodwaters. The LORD reigns as king forever."

    verse 2 "For the LORD Most High is awesome. He is the great King of all the earth."

    verse 7 "For God is the King over all the earth. Praise him with a psalm!"
    (Psalm 29:10, Psalm 47:2 and 7).

    as well as over the spiritual realm:
    "For the LORD is a great God, the great King above all gods."
    (Psalm 95:3).
    Psalm 23

    "There is no difficulty in ascertaining the person here intended; for the description agrees to no other than our Lord Jesus Christ, who is at one JEHOVAH and the SHEPHERD promised to the fathers" (J.M.Mason).

    In Psalm 23, the best-known hymn of confidence in Christ, He is depicted by David's pen as the Lord who exercises care and goodness, the shepherd who abundantly provides for his own. The image of shepherd is inexhaustibly rich. The shepherd:

    a. stays with his flock
    "He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young."

    "In all their suffering he also suffered, and he personally rescued them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years. But they rebelled against him and grieved his Holy Spirit. That is why he became their enemy and fought against them. Then they remembered those days of old when Moses led his people out of Egypt. They cried out, "Where is the one who brought Israel through the sea, with Moses as their shepherd? Where is the one who sent his Holy Spirit to be among his people? Where is the one whose power divided the sea before them, when Moses lifted up his hand, establishing his reputation forever? "
    (Isaiah 40:11, 63:9-12).

    b. owns sheep who are totally dependent upon him for food and sustenance, as well as for water.

    In the same way, and fulfilling this prophecy, Jesus is revealed as both

    the Good Shepherd
    "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."

    "I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me"
    (John 10:11, 14).

    as well as the Great Shepherd of the sheep
    "And now, may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, all that is pleasing to him. Jesus is the great Shepherd of the sheep by an everlasting covenant, signed with his blood. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen"
    (Hebrews 13:20-21),

    a. promises His continual presence with His people:

    "Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

    "For I am with you, and no one will harm you because many people here in this city belong to me."

    "That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, "Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have told the people about me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome."
    (Matthew 28:20; Acts 18:10, 23:11);


    b. provides them with life and nourishment

    "Jesus replied, "I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever be hungry again. Those who believe in me will never thirst."

    "So Jesus said again, "I assure you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. But those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them at the last day. For my flesh is the true food, and my blood is the true drink. All who eat my flesh and drink my blood remain in me, and I in them. I live by the power of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, those who partake of me will live because of me. I am the true bread from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever and not die as your ancestors did, even though they ate the manna."

    "On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, "If you are thirsty, come to me!"
    (John 6:35, 53-58, 7:37).

    David spoke about the Lord Himself (Adonai), the supreme and only God being his all-sufficient Master. That same title, Lord, is freely given to Jesus Christ, and thus marked out as the same One about whom David sang. David spoke with confidence about his future, in perfect fellowship with His Lord, forever: exactly what Christ promises His disciples
    (John 14:1).



    Some Titles of Jesus Christ

    In this section we will study some of the titles of Jesus Christ. Why? Because the titles (and names) of Jesus Christ help prove the fact that He is eternal.

    An unknown author at Direction Inc. furnished the following info about the "Titles of Jesus Christ:"

    The complex nature and mission of Jesus Christ is revealed in the many names and titles that He is referred to throughout scripture. As we review those titles we are left with the reality that our human minds will never fully comprehend the magnificence and goodness of our Creator in His merciful efforts toward our human family.

    The salvation of God as revealed in His son Jesus Christ is the greatest act of love man will ever experience. The titles of Jesus helps us to appreciate this wondrous gift that God is offering to us.

    In defining who Jesus is the Bible uses some 260 names and titles from "Advocate" to "Word". Many of these titles are duplicate in meaning to define His specific involvement with our human family. For example, the title "Savior" is duplicated with the titles "Savior, Jesus Christ", "Savior of the Body" and "Savior of the World".

    The summary of Jesus can, however, be found in four of His titles:

    1. The Son of God
    2. The Son of Man
    3. The Messiah
    4. The Prophet
    5. Other Titles
    Jesus, The Son Of God

    There are 205 references in the Bible declaring Jesus to be the Son of God- emphasis being on the word, the.

    While all human beings may claim to be "sons and daughters of God" in that we are His physical creation- the Bible reveals only "One begotten of the Father" as The spiritual Son who possessed the complete nature, attributes, power and authority of God. This One is identified to be Jesus of Nazareth.

    "When Jesus came to Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who are the people saying I am?" "Well," they replied, "some say John the Baptist; some, Elijah; some, Jeremiah or one of the other prophets." Then he asked them, "Who do you think I am?" Simon Peter answered, "The Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God." "God has blessed you, Simon, son of Jonah," Jesus said, "for my Father in heaven has personally revealed this to you- this is not from any human source"
    (Matthew 16:13-17).

    "While he spoke, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, �This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him�"
    (Matthew 17:5).

    Jesus, The Son Of Man

    In contrast to being the Son of God the Bible further reveals Jesus to be the Son of Man.

    Many find this confusing, especially when it is understood that Jesus was the physical son of Mary (but not Joseph) who was born through the birth process as other human beings.

    The Bible reveals the birth of Jesus as a miraculous event whereby a virgin woman was impregnated by God�s Holy Spirit. Joseph, who was then Mary�s fianc�e awaiting their marriage, was informed by a heavenly Angel that Mary had been selected to be the physical birth mother of God�s Son�and that her pregnancy was not of human conception.

    The question sometimes heard is�"Why didn�t Jesus appear on earth in a miraculous revelation (like suddenly floating down from heaven in a cloud) to erase all doubt as to who He is?" Why did he choose to enter the world through the natural birth process like other human beings?

    The Bible answers that question in several places. First of all, had Jesus chosen to enter the world through some mystical event there would still be those who challenged and questioned that it actually happened. This is human nature- to be suspicious and skeptical of mystical religious events- especially when humans had already settled in to their own religions.

    A more compelling evidence of Jesus� credibility would be that He had fulfilled certain prophecies spoken centuries before regarding Him�prophecies that began with the sign of the virgin birth- spoken through Isaiah some seven-hundred years prior to His birth.

    "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel"
    (Isaiah 7:14).
    Throughout history there have been many self-proclaimed "saviors of mankind." All have been proven to be counterfeit- ordinary men of ordinary parents. One of the reasons that God chose a physical virgin birth was to give a clear sign that would identify His Son beyond doubt.

    There are also other prophecies regarding the coming Messiah that were explicitly fulfilled in the life of Jesus. These prophecies were all recorded hundreds of years before the birth and life of Christ. Their fulfillment is a forceful confirmation to the credibility of Jesus- that He is who He claimed to be- the Son of God who came to earth as the promised Messiah.

    "Your attitude should be the kind that was shown us by Jesus Christ, who, though he was God, did not demand and cling to his rights as God, but laid aside his mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men. And he humbled himself even further, going so far as actually to die a criminal's death on a cross. Yet it was because of this that God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name which is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father"
    (Phillipians 2:5-11).
    Another reason for the physical birth of Jesus was that God wanted to experience what human beings experience. God, who is a spiritual Being far above the circumstances of human beings, wanted to understand human experiences- including birth, life and death.

    God became human to understand human dilemma- especially our dilemma with sin. In order to do that God chose to experience every phase of human life beginning at birth through adulthood.

    "And that is the way it was with us before Christ came. We were slaves to Jewish laws and rituals, for we thought they could save us. But when the right time came, the time God decided on, he sent his Son, born of a woman, born as a Jew, to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law so that he could adopt us as his very own sons.And because we are his sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, so now we can rightly speak of God as our dear Father. Now we are no longer slaves but God's own sons. And since we are his sons, everything he has belongs to us, for that is the way God planned"
    (Galatians 4:3-7).

    "Since we, God's children, are human beings- made of flesh and blood- he became flesh and blood too by being born in human form; for only as a human being could he die and in dying break the power of the devil who had the power of death. Only in that way could he deliver those who through fear of death have been living all their lives as slaves to constant dread. We all know he did not come as an angel but as a human being- yes, a Jew. And it was necessary for Jesus to be like us, his brothers, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God, a Priest who would be both merciful to us and faithful to God in dealing with the sins of the people. For since he himself has now been through suffering and temptation, he knows what it is like when we suffer and are tempted, and he is wonderfully able to help us"
    (Hebrews 2:14-18).

    "Dearly loved friends, don't always believe everything you hear just because someone says it is a message from God: test it first to see if it really is. For there are many false teachers around, and the way to find out if their message is from the Holy Spirit is to ask: Does it really agree that Jesus Christ, God's Son, actually became man with a human body? If so, then the message is from God. If not, the message is not from God but from one who is against Christ, like the "Antichrist" you have heard about who is going to come, and his attitude of enmity against Christ is already abroad in the world"
    (1 John 4:1-3).

    "Watch out for the false leaders- and there are many of them around- who don't believe that Jesus Christ came to earth as a human being with a body like ours. Such people are against the truth and against Christ. Beware of being like them and losing the prize that you and I have been working so hard to get. See to it that you win your full reward from the Lord. For if you wander beyond the teaching of Christ, you will leave God behind; while if you are loyal to Christ's teachings, you will have God too. Then you will have both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to teach you, and he doesn't believe what Christ taught, don't even invite him into your home. Don't encourage him in any way. If you do, you will be a partner with him in his wickedness"
    (2 John 1:7-11).

    Jesus, The Messiah

    The words "Messiah" and "Christ" both mean the same thing and refer to the same person. Each is used to identify "The Anointed One." Messiah is the Hebrew word while Christ is the Greek translation.

    Throughout the Bible we are introduced to a Messiah. The Old Testament contains prophecies of a Messiah who would eventually come to earth as the negotiator between God and man. The New Testament identifies Jesus of Nazareth to be that Messiah who fulfilled all the Old Testament prophecies. Later we will discuss the specific role of Messiah, "The Anointed One," in relation to our human family.

    "Now when John (the Baptist) had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, "Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?" Jesus answered and said unto them, "Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me"
    (Matthew 11: 2-6).

    "When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, "Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?" And they said, "Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He saith unto them, "But whom say ye that I am?" And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered and said unto him, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven"
    (Matthew 16:13-17).

    "Philip now went off to look for Nathanael and told him, "We have found the Messiah!- the very person Moses and the prophets told about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth!"
    (John 1:45).

    "The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). When He comes, He will tell us all things." Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He"
    (John 4:25-26).

    Jesus, The Prophet

    The words prophet and prophesy are used in two distinct ways in the scriptures. The Hebrew and Greek words, nabiy� and prophetes, from where we get our English word, prophet, mean "an inspired speaker" (who speaks by Divine inspiration). They also imply "a fore teller" (who foretells or predicts future events).

    The two-fold role of God�s prophet is seen in scripture to "speak or teach by Divine inspiration" and to "foretell future events" as God revealed them. On occasion the prophet may speak inspired words (powerful truths) that do not include the foretelling of the future.

    There have been numerous men throughout history who were chosen of God as prophets- who spoke powerful truths as God inspired them to do so. Some were also inspired to reveal future events long before they happened�events that were fulfilled hundreds and thousands of years after the life of the prophet.

    But while there were a number of men of Old Testament times chosen as prophets, God ordained One to be The Prophet who would declare God�s truths as never before spoken. This One Prophet was Jesus, God�s Son.

    The two-fold role of a prophet (inspired teacher and foreteller of future events) was extraordinarily expressed in the life of Jesus. His message and revelations have proven Jesus to be the most inspired teacher in all of history. The truths which He taught are so timely and eternal that they suffice even today as the answer to all our human needs. Nowhere in all of human teachings is there to be found such wisdom as what Jesus, the Prophet of God, has left with us.

    Jesus also was the most enlightened "seer of the future" that the world has ever known. He foretold future events so accurately that even the most critical skeptic must give respect to His prophetical ability.

    "A great fear swept the crowd, and they exclaimed with praises to God, "A mighty prophet has risen among us," and, "We have seen the hand of God at work today"
    (Luke 7:16).

    "There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, "Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him"
    (John 3:1-2).

    "When the people realized what a great miracle had happened, they exclaimed, "Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!"
    (John 6:14).

    "Jesus traveled all through Galilee teaching in the Jewish synagogues, everywhere preaching the Good News about the Kingdom of Heaven. And he healed every kind of sickness and disease. The report of his miracles spread far beyond the borders of Galilee so that sick folk were soon coming to be healed from as far away as Syria. And whatever their illness and pain, or if they were possessed by demons, or were insane, or paralyzed- he healed them all"
    (Matthew 4:23-24).

    "They said to Jesus, "Sir, we know what an honest teacher you are. You always tell the truth and don't budge an inch in the face of what others think, but teach the ways of God"
    (Luke 20:21).

    An understanding of Jesus as "The Son of God", "The Son of Man", "The Messiah" and "The Prophet" is a beginning toward realizing who He is- and how He relates to our human family."

    John A. Hardon in his writing on "Christology" had this to say about the names and titles of Jesus Christ:

    Meaning of the Name of Jesus:

    "At the Annunciation, when the angel told Mary she was to become the mother of the Son of the Most High, she was told, "You are to conceive and bear a son and you must," yet the imperative verb, "you must name him Jesus." Then when Joseph was in a quandary whilst he discovered that Mary was with child he knew it wasn�t his child, again, the angel appeared to him, told him, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must," again the imperative, "you must name Him Jesus because He is the one Who is to save His people from their sins."

    And the evangelist goes on recalling the prophesy of Isaiah. Two names are synonyms- Jesus and Emmanuel. Why is Jesus the one Who will save His people from their sins? Because He is God with us. God became man. That�s the reason for the Incarnation. The invisible God became a visible man. Talk about being with us. He could be seen, heard, touched, felt. And His touching us and our being touched by Him is the means, the channel, by which the Almighty become a man, saves us from our sins. Then, in one crisp verse when the eighth day came and the child was to be circumcised, they gave Him the name, Jesus; the name the angel had given Him before His conception.

    So far the meaning with one more word added. What does the name mean? It means Saviour. The one Who saves sinners estranged from God. Save sinners, that�s not some generic name for humanity. That�s us. Saves us by reconciling us with a God we�ve offended. Without Jesus, there is no reconciliation. With a just God, He saves us by removing the penalty we�ve deserved for our sins. Sin means two things: loss of God�s friendship and pain, suffering as a penalty for having sinned. This being saved locks up everything that we believe we need, because we have sinned."

    The titles of Jesus Christ prove His deity:

  • Christ (Matthew 16:16 Revised Standard Version or RSV)

  • Messiah (John 4:25 RSV)

  • Leader and Saviour (Acts 5:31 RSV)

  • Redeemer (Isaiah 49:26 RSV)

  • Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
             (Isaiah 9:6 RSV)

  • Faithful Witness, First-born of the Dead, and Ruler of Kings on Earth
             (Revelation 1:5 RSV)

  • Word (John 1:1 RSV)

  • the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6 RSV)

  • Light of the World (John 8:12 RSV)

  • Good Shepherd (John 10:11 RSV)

  • the Mediator of a New Covenant (Hebrews 9:15 RSV)

  • Deliverer (Romans 11:26 RSV)

  • High Priest (Hebrews 6:20 RSV)

  • the Author of Life (Acts 3:15) (RSV)

  • Advocate (1 John 2:1) (RSV)

  • Emmanuel, which means, God with us (Matthew 1:23) (RSV)

  • Son of God (Matthew 4:3 RSV)

  • Holy One of God (Mark 1:24 RSV)

  • King of kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16 RSV)

  • Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David (Revelation 5:5) (RSV)

  • Lamb of God (John 1:36 RSV)

  • Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 1:8) (Revelation 21:6 RSV)

  • the First-born of All Creation (Colossians 1:15 RSV)

  • The Son of Man (Matthew 24:29-31)

  • King of the Jews (Mark 15:1-2)

  • Adonai (Psalm 110:1; Mark 14:61-63; Luke 20:41-44)

    (Thanks to Key-Way Publishing in Canada for this info)

    Who Is Jesus To You?

  • In Genesis, He is your Creator.

  • In Exodus, He is your Redeemer.

  • In Leviticus, He is your Sanctification.

  • In Numbers, He is your Guide.

  • In Deuteronomy, He is your Teacher.

  • In Joshua, He is your Mighty Conqueror.

  • In Judges, He gives you Victory Over His Enemies.

  • In Ruth, He is your Kinsman, your Lover, and your Redeemer.

  • In I Samuel, He is your Root of Jesse.

  • In 2 Samuel, He is your Son of David.

  • In 1st and 2nd Kings, He is your King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

  • In 1st and 2nd Chronicles, He is your Intercessor and High Priest.

  • In Ezra, He is your Temple, your House of Worship.

  • In Nehemiah, He is your Mighty Wall, (protecting you from your enemies).

  • In Esther, He Stands in the Gap (to deliver you from your enemies).

  • In Job, He is your Arbitrator (who not only understands your struggles,
              but has the power to do something about them).

  • In Psalms, He is your Song- and your Reason To Sing.

  • In Proverbs, He is your Wisdom,
              (helping you make sense of life and live it successfully).

  • In Ecclesiastes, He is your Purpose, (delivering you from vanity).

  • In the Song of Solomon, He is your Lover, (your Rose of Sharon).

  • In Isaiah, He is your Mighty Counselor, your Prince of Peace, your
              Everlasting Father, and more. (In short, He's everything you need).

  • In Jeremiah, He is your Balm of Gilead, your Healer.

  • In Lamentations, He is your Ever-faithful One (upon whom you can depend).

  • In Ezekiel, He is your Wheel in the Middle of a Wheel
              (the one who assures you that your dry, dead bones will come alive again).

  • In Daniel, He is your Ancient of Days, the Everlasting God
              (who never runs out of time).

  • In Hosea, He is your Faithful Lover, (always beckoning you to come back
              if you have abandoned Him).

  • In Joel, He is your Refuge, (keeping you safe in times of trouble).

  • In Amos, He is your Husbandman, (the One you can depend on).

  • In Obadiah, He is your Lord of the Kingdom.

  • In Jonah, He is your Salvation, (bringing you back within His will).

  • In Micah, He is your Judge.

  • In Nahum, He is your Jealous God.

  • In Habakkuk, He is your Holy One.

  • In Zephaniah, He is your Witness.

  • In Haggai, He is the Overthrower of Your Enemies.

  • In Zechariah, He is your Lord of Armies.

  • In Malachi, He is your Merciful One.

  • In Matthew, He is your King.

  • In Mark, He is your Servant, (washing your feet).

  • In Luke, He is the Son of Man, (feeling what you feel).

  • In John, He is the Son of God (your Saviour).

  • In Acts, He is your Miracle Worker.

  • In Romans, He is your Righteousness.

  • In I Corinthians, He is your Rock (Who is immovable).

  • In II Corinthians, He is your Triumphant One, (giving you the victory).

  • In Galatians, He is your Liberty, (He sets you free).

  • In Ephesians, He is your Head of the Church.

  • In Philippians, He is your Joy.

  • In Colossians, He is your Completeness.

  • In 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, He is your Hope.

  • In I Timothy, He is your Faith.

  • In II Timothy, He is your Stability.

  • In Philemon, He is your Benefactor.

  • In Titus, He is your Truth.

  • In Hebrews, He is your Perfection.

  • In James, He is the Power Behind Your Faith.

  • In I Peter, He is your Good Example.

  • In II Peter, He is your Purity.

  • In I John, He is your Life.

  • In II John, He is your Pattern.

  • In III John, He is your Motivation.

  • In Jude, He is the Foundation of Your Faith.

  • In the Revelation, He is your Coming King.

    From the beginning of the world to its end, there is no place you can look and not see Jesus.
    He is everywhere.
    He is everything.
    He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
    (Colossians 1:17)

    (Thanks to Food for Thought for sharing this with us).

    An unknown author at gotquestions.org had this to say about the names and titles of Christ:

    Question: "What does it mean that Jesus is the Son of God?"

    "Jesus is not God�s Son in the sense of how we think of a father and a son. God did not get married and have a son. Jesus is God�s Son in the sense that He is God made manifest in human form
    (John 1:1, 14). Jesus is God's Son in that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit.

    Luke 1:35 declares, "The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.'" In Bible times, the phrase "son of man" was used to describe a human being. The son of a man is a man.

    Another example can be found in John 17:12 where Judas as described as the "son of perdition."
    John 6:71 tells us that Judas was the son of Simon. What does
    John 17:12 mean by describing Judas as the "son of perdition"? The word "perdition" means "destruction, ruin, waste." Judas was not the literal son of "ruin, destruction, and waste"- but those things were the identity of Judas' life. Judas was a manifestation of perdition. In this same aspect, Jesus is the Son of God. The Son of God is God. Jesus is God made manifest"
    (John 1:1, 14).

    An unknown author at Direction Inc. furnished the following information on the "Biblical Titles of Jesus Christ:"

    Biblical Titles of Jesus

    1.   Adam (the last)                           1 Corinthians 15:45 
    2.   Advocate                                  1 John 2:1 
    3.   Almighty                                  Revelation 1:8 
    4.   Alpha and Omega                           Revelation 1:8 
    5.   Amen                                      Revelation 3:14  
    6.   Angel                                     Exodus 23:20 
    7.   Anointed                                  Psalms 2:2 
    8.   Apostle                                   Hebrews 3:1 
    9.   Arm of the Lord                           Isaiah 51:9 
    10.  Author and Finisher of Our Faith          Hebrews 12:2 
    11.  Beginning and End of the Creation of God  Revelation 3:14 
    12.  Beloved                                   Ephesians 1:6 
    13.  Bishop                                    1 Peter 2:25 
    14.  Blessed and Only Potentate                1 Timothy 6:15 
    15.  Branch                                    Zechariah 3:8 
    16.  Bread of Life                             John 6:48 
    17.  Bridegroom                                Matthew 9:15 
    18.  Bright and Morning Star                   Revelation 22:16 
    19.  Brightness of the Father's Glory          Hebrews 1:3 
    20.  Captain of the Lord's Host                Joshua 5:14 
    21.  Captain of Salvation                      Hebrews 2:10 
    22.  Carpenter                                 Mark 6:3 
    23.  Carpenter's Son                           Matthew 13:55 
    24.  Chief Shepherd                            1 Peter 5:4 
    25.  Chiefest Among Ten Thousand               Song of Solomon 5:10 
    27.  Child                                     Isaiah 9:6 Luke 2:27 
    28.  Chosen of God                             1 Peter 2:4 
    29.  Christ:                                   Matthew 1:16 Luke 9:20
           a. The Christ                           Matthew 16:20 Mark 14:61  
           b. Christ, a King                       Luke 23:2
           c. Christ Jesus                         Hebrews 3:1
           d. Christ Jesus Our Lord                1 Timothy 1:12
           e. Christ of God                        Luke 9:20                  
           f. Christ, the chosen of God            Luke 23:35
           g. Christ, the Lord                     Luke 2:11
           h. Christ, the Power of God             1 Corinthians 1:24   
           i. Christ, the Wisdom of God            1 Corinthians 1:24   
           j. Christ, the Son of God               Acts 9:20 
           k. Christ, Son of the Blessed           Mark 14:61         
    30.  Commander                                 Isaiah 55:4 
    31.  Consolation of Israel                     Luke 2:25 
    32.  Cornerstone                               Ephesians 2:20 
    33.  Counselor                                 Isaiah 9:6 
    34.  Covenant of the People                    Isaiah 42:6 
    35.  David                                     Jeremiah 30:9 
    36.  Daysman                                   Job 9:33 
    37.  Dayspring                                 Luke 1:78 
    38.  Day Star                                  2 Peter 1:19 
    39.  Deliverer                                 Romans 11:26 
    40.  Desire of All Nations                     Haggai 2:7 
    41.  Door                                      John 10:7 
    42.  Elect                                     Isaiah 42:1 
    43.  Emmanuel                                  Isaiah 7:14 
    44.  Ensign                                    Isaiah 11:10 
    45.  Eternal life                              1 John 5:20 
    46.  Everlasting Father                        Isaiah 9:6 
    47.  Faithful and True                         Revelation 19:11 
    48.  Faithful Witness                          Revelation 1:5 
    49.  Faithful and True Witness                 Revelation 3:14 
    50.  Finisher of Faith                         Hebrews 12:2 
    51.  First and Last                            Revelation 1:17 
    52.  First Begotten                            Hebrews 1:6 
    53.  First Begotten of the Dead                Revelation 1:5 
    54.  Firstborn                                 Psalms 89:27 
    55.  Foundation                                Isaiah 28:16 
    56.  Fountain                                  Zechariah 13:1 
    57.  Forerunner                                Hebrews 6:20 
    58.  Friend of Sinners                         Matthew 11:19 
    59.  Gift of God                               John 4:10 
    60.  Glory of Israel                           Luke 2:32 
    61.  God                                       John 1:1 
    62.  God Blessed Forever                       Romans 9:5 
    63.  God Manifest in the Flesh                 1 Timothy 3:16 
    64.  God of Israel, the Savior                 Isaiah 45:15 
    65.  God of the Whole Earth                    Isaiah 54:5 
    66.  God our Savior                            1 Timothy 2:3 
    67.  God's Dear Son                            Colossians 1:13 
    68.  God With Us                               Matthew 1:23 
    69.  Good Master                               Matthew 19:16 
    70.  Governor                                  Matthew 2:6 
    71.  Great Shepherd of the Sheep               Hebrews 13:20 
    72.  Head of the Church                        Ephesians 5:23 
    73.  Heir of all Things                        Hebrews 1:2 
    74.  High Priest                               Hebrews 4:14 
    75.  Head of Every Man                         1 Corinthians 11:3 
    76.  Head of the Church                        Colossians 1:18 
    77.  Head of the Corner                        Matthew 21:42 
    78.  Holy Child Jesus                          Acts 4:30 
    79.  Holy One                                  Psalms 16:10 Acts 3:14 
    80.  Holy One of God                           Mark 1:24 
    81.  Holy One of Israel                        Isaiah 41:14 Isaiah 54:5 
    82.  Holy Thing                                Luke 1:35 
    83.  Hope (Our)                                1 Timothy 1:1 
    84.  Horn of Salvation                         Luke 1:69 
    85.  I Am                                      John 8:58 
    86.  Image of God                              Hebrews 1:3 
    87.  Israel                                    Isaiah 49:3 
    88.  Jehovah                                   Isaiah 40:3 
    89.  Jehovah's Fellow                          Zechariah 13:7 
    90.  Jesus Christ Our Lord                     Romans 1:3 1 Corinthians 1:9 
    91.  Jesus Christ Our Savior                   Titus 3:6 
    92.  Jesus, the King of the Jews               Matthew 27:37 
    93.  Jesus, the Son of God                     Hebrews 4:14 
    94.  Judge                                     Acts 10:42 
    95.  Just One                                  Acts 3:14 Acts 7:52 
    96.  King                                      Matthew 21:5 
    97.  King of Israel                            John 1:49 
    98.  King of Saints                            Revelation 15:3 
    99.  King of Kings                             1 Timothy 6:15 
    100. King over All The Earth                   Zechariah 14:9 
    101. Lamb of God                               John 1:29 
    102. Lawgiver                                  Isaiah 33:22 
    103. Leader                                    Isaiah 55:4 
    104. Life                                      John 14:6 
    105. Light                                     John 8:12 
    106. Light, Everlasting                        Isaiah 60:20 
    107. Light of the World                        John 8:12 
    108. Light, True                               John 1:9 
    109. Living Bread                              John 6:51 
    110. Living Stone                              1 Peter 2:4 
    111. Lion of the Tribe of Judah                Revelation 5:5 
    112. Lord                                      Romans 1:3 
    113. Lord of Lords                             Revelation 17:14 
    114. Lord our Righteousness                    Jeremiah 23:6 
    115. Lord God Almighty                         Revelation 15:3 
    116. Lord from Heaven                          1 Corinthians 15:47 
    117. Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ             2 Peter 1:11  
    118. Lord Jesus Christ                         Acts 11:17 
    119. Lord of Glory                             James 2:1 
    120. Lord of the Dead and Living               Romans 14:9 
    121. Lord Over All                             Romans 10:12 
    122. Lord, Our Righteousness                   Jeremiah 23:6 
    123. Lord, Your Redeemer                       Isaiah 43:14 
    124. Man Christ Jesus                          1 Timothy 2:5 
    125. Man of Sorrows                            Isaiah 53:3 
    126. Master                                    Matthew 23:8 
    127. Mediator                                  1 Timothy 2:5 
    128. Messenger of the Covenant                 Malachi 3:1 
    129. Messiah                                   John 1:41 
    130. Mighty God                                Isaiah 9:6 
    131. Morning Star                              Revelation 22:16 
    132. Most Holy                                 Daniel 9:24 
    133. Most Mighty                               Psalms 45:3 
    134. Only Begotten of the Father               John 1:14 
    135. Only Wise God, Our Savior                 Jude 1:25 
    136. Potentate                                 1 Timothy 6:15 
    137. Physician                                 Matthew 9:12 
    138. Precious Cornerstone                      Isaiah 28:16 
    139. Priest                                    Hebrews 7:17 
    140. Prince                                    Acts 5:31 
    141. Prince of Peace                           Isaiah 9:6 
    142. Prophet                                   Matthew 21:11 Luke 24:19 
    143. Rabbi                                     John 1:49 
    144. Redeemer                                  Isaiah 59:20 
    145. Resurrection and Life                     John 11:25 
    146. Righteous Judge                           2 Timothy 4:8 
    147. Righteous Servant                         Isaiah 53:11 
    148. Righteousness                             1 Corinthians 1:30 
    149. Rock                                      1 Corinthians 10:4 
    150. Root of David                             Revelation 5:5 
    151. Rose of Sharon                            Song of Solomon 2:1 
    152. Salvation                                 Luke 2:30 
    153. Savior of the World                       1 John 4:14 
    154. Sceptre                                   Numbers 24:17 
    155. Seed of the Woman                         Genesis 3:15 
    156. Servant                                   Isaiah 42:1 
    157. Shepherd, Good                            John 10:11 
    158. Son of God                                Matthew 3:17 Mark 1:1
                                                   Luke 1:32 John 1:1 
    159. Son of Man                                Matthew 21:5 Mark 2:14
                                                   Luke 5:27 
    160. Sure Foundation                           Isaiah 28:16 
    161. Teacher                                   John 3:2 
    162. True God                                  1 John 5:20 
    163. True Vine                                 John 15:1 
    164. Truth                                     John 14:6 
    165. Unspeakable Gift                          2 Corinthians 9:15 
    166. Vine                                      John 15:1 
    167. Way                                       John 14:6 
    168. Which Is, Which Was, Which Is To Come     Revelation 1:4 
    169. Wisdom of God                             1 Corinthians 1:24 
    170. Witness                                   Revelation 1:5 
    171. Wonderful                                 Isaiah 9:6 
    172. Word of God                               Revelation 19:13 
    173. Word of Life                              1 John 1:1 

    "My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither,
    but just to enjoy your ice cream while it's on your plate"
    -Thornton Wilder



    Christophanies in the Old Testament

    In this section we will look at the appearances of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament days. Why? Because the Christophanies of Jesus Christ prove that He is eternal. Only God is eternal.

    What is a Christophany? A Christophany is just a fancy religious word that refers to the appearance of Jesus Christ in bodily form in the Old Testament times. Why is studying this important? Because it is part of the proof of Christ's deity. Also it shows that He is not just a transcendent God but an imminent God. He is actively involved in His creation. What does that mean to you and me? It means that He is always near to help us when we get into trouble just like He helped His saved people in Old Testament times. Remember, Who He is. He is God the Son. As such He is eternally existent.
    (John 1:1).

    Don't let the things you can't do
    stop you
    from doing the things you can do.

    An unknown author at mountainretreatorg.net had this to say about a Christophany:
    "The word Christophany is from the Greek words [Christos] meaning Anointed One, and [phaninomai], meaning manifestation or appearance. Thus a Christophany is the appearance of Jesus Christ (the Anointed), the second person of the Trinity come to earth in another form (an angel, man, etc.). That is to say, Christ appears to man in a form which they can visibly see. For example, Christ's appearance to his disciples after His crucifixion and death, or His appearance in the furnace of fire with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego."


    Hope springs eternal
    the eternal is our hope

    Horace Hummel had this to say about the Christophanies of Jesus Christ:

    "Christians have long spoken of the "pre-existence" of Christ from eternity to eternity, so our Lord Himself:

    "Jesus answered, "The truth is, I existed before Abraham was even born!"
    (John 8:58).

    "Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation"
    (Colossians 1:15).

    But there is no Gospel or Good News in His pre-existence, as such. More to the point is that long before the incarnation, God would sometimes reveal Himself to His people in an "incarnational" way. Among the most obvious are various passages where "angel of the Lord" is used interchangeably with "Lord" or "God" alone
    (Genesis 22:15-16; Exodus 3:2).

    A common picture or metaphor for visualizing such a confession is the bud and the blossom. Anyone who knows the flower will see in its bud what he knows will eventually open into a beautiful flower. Everything is really in the bud, but what is there will only be revealed in the "fullness of time"
    (Galatians 4:4). Any attempt to "read" the bud in another way would simply be mistaken." In other words what Horace Hummel is saying is that we have now the full revelation of Christ in the New Testament as seen in the flower and can now look back to the bud- the partial revelation of our pre-incarnate Christ in the Old Testament. The Old Testament precedes the New Testament just as a flower bud precedes the flower in full bloom.

    God will give us the victory
    if we will go to the fight

    Remember what the Lord of Armies did in Old Testament days:

    13 "As Joshua approached the city of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man facing him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, "Are you friend or foe?"
    14 "Neither one," he replied. "I am commander of the LORD's army." At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. "I am at your command," Joshua said. "What do you want your servant to do?"
    15 The commander of the LORD's army replied, "Take off your sandals, for this is holy ground." And Joshua did as he was told"
    (Joshua 5:13-15).

    Remember the outcome of this war. The Israelites with the help of God went into the Promised Land and had complete victory rather than anhilation. It was because the Lord went before them as their military leader.

    Where LOVE abides
    GOD resides

    Charles T. Buntin had this to say about Christophanies:
    "The underlined portion of the verse is the key to understanding this passage as an appearance of Christ before the Incarnation. The Commander of the LORD�s army uses the same words that Jehovah uses when Moses came before the burning bush. That, and the Person�s acceptance of worship, which is reserved for God alone,
    (Exodus 20:1-3) prove this to be a Christophany. There are many Christophanies in the Old Testament. Christ has always been- our Savior did not come into existence on the day of His birth- He came into flesh on that day."

    Count your blessings
    not your bruises

    An unknown author at Key-Way Publishing in Canada had this to say about Christophanies:

    "The Bible has many references to angels. Some are "regular" angels (Your Guardian Angel), and some are "archangels" (like Gabriel), but there is also reference to a very special Spirit Being, known as "The Angel of The Lord," Who alone guided the Israelites through the Exodus, and was present at, and in control of, key events through the Old Testament. Who could The Angel of The Lord have been?

    First, just what does The Bible record about The Angel of The Lord? A few examples-

    "The Angel of The Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur- She gave this name to The Lord Who spoke to her: "You are The God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen The One who sees me"
    (Genesis 16:7,13).

    "But The Angel of The Lord called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. "Do not lay a hand on the boy," He said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from Me your son, your only son"
    (Genesis 22:11-12).

    "There The Angel of The Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight- why the bush does not burn up." When The Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am." "Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." Then He said, "I Am The God of your father, The God of Abraham, The God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God"
    (Exodus 3:2-6).

    The Angel of The Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you." So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night. And The Word of The Lord came to him: "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
    (1 Kings 19:7-9).

    So, just Who was The Angel of The Lord? The apostle Paul answers that question for us, in plain unmistakable language:
    "I don't want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, what happened to our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. God guided all of them by sending a cloud that moved along ahead of them, and he brought them all safely through the waters of the sea on dry ground. As followers of Moses, they were all baptized in the cloud and the sea. And all of them ate the same miraculous food, and all of them drank the same miraculous water. For they all drank from the miraculous rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ "
    (1 Corinthians 10:1-4).



    Christ's Preexistence Proved In the New Testament

    In this section we will examine the proofs from scripture concerning Christ's preexistence.

    "Jesus answered, "The truth is, I existed before Abraham was even born"
    (John 8:58).

    Charles T. Buntin in his article titled "The Person of Christ" had this to say about Christ's preexistence:

    "The One theologians call "the divine Logos (Word)," the Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, our Savior Jesus Christ, did not come into existence when He was born of the virgin Mary. That was His Incarnation (coming in flesh). He was, as the prophet Micah said,
    ". . .The One to be ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting- "
    (Micah 5:2).

    He was pre-existent. Christ�s pre-existence is obvious from His Godhood. As God, He is Eternal and Immutable
    (Isaiah 9:6-7; Revelation 1:8; Hebrews 13:8, 1:12; Psalms 102:27), so He always existed. There was never a time when He was not.

    " . . .In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
    (John 1:1).

    Christ�s pre-existence is amply testified by Scripture-
    (John 8:58, 17:5, 17:24; Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 7:3;
    Revelation 22:13; Philippians 2:5-11)- the Bible continually emphasizes it. "

    Wise men
    seek Him

    The Bible says:
    "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).

    A Christian cult likes to point to this scripture as an apparent contradiction to try to prove that Jesus Christ is not God. They say that Jesus could not be God because people in the Old Testament saw Him and worshipped Him as God. Therefore if He were really God they could not have seen Him.

    It's not a contradiction at all. Most theologians of mainline Christianity agree that this refers to God the Father in Heaven. Even Isaiah could not fully see Him or approach Him because of the smoke and because of the brilliance of His countenance, His shekinah glory.
    (Isaiah 6:1-8). This does not refer to Jesus Christ, God the Son- either in His pre-incarnate form or His incarnation. This cult also denies the Holy Trinity so go figure.

    God has
    no hands
    our hands



    Christ's Preexistence Proved by His Works

    In this section we will look at some of the scriptures to see what Christ said and did. Why? What He said and did proves who He is. His preexistence is thus proved. Let's first take a look at what Christ said to His disciples:

    1 "Don't be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me.

    2 There are many rooms in my Father's home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly.

    3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.

    4 And you know where I am going and how to get there."

    5 "No, we don't know, Lord," Thomas said. "We haven't any idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?"

    6 Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

    7 If you had known who I am, then you would have known who my Father is. From now on you know him and have seen him!"

    8 Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and we will be satisfied."

    9 Jesus replied, "Philip, don't you even yet know who I am, even after all the time I have been with you? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking to see him?

    10 Don't you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I say are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me.

    11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of what you have seen me do.

    12 The truth is, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.

    13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, because the work of the Son brings glory to the Father.

    14 Yes, ask anything in my name, and I will do it!

    15 If you love me, obey my commandments."
    (John 14:1-15) (New Living Translation or NLT)

    15 "Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation.

    16 For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; All things were created and exist through Him (by His service, intervention) and in and for Him. (Amplified Bible).

    17 He existed before everything else began, and he holds all creation together."
    (Colossians 1:15-17) (NLT)


    The Incarnation of Jesus Christ

    In this section we will study how the powerful, loving, and eternal God of the universe came to earth and robed Himself in a body of human flesh. The actions of Jesus doing this is called His incarnation. In other words the Incarnation was when the eternal Second Person of the Trinity took on Himself humanity or flesh.

    "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth"
    (John 1:14).

    In this section we will also take a look at Jesus Christ's Incarnation which Includes:

    A. The Deity of Jesus Christ


    B. The Humanity of Jesus Christ

    The one who follows Christ
    leads the way for others

    An unknown author at Key-Way Publishing in Canada had this to say about Christ's incarnation:

    "Incarnate means "existing with a bodily form, especially of a human body," so the term "incarnate spirit" (not to be confused with the pagan idea of "reincarnation") seems like a paradox, and yet throughout The Bible, spirit beings appeared from time to time with a physical body. The greatest example of that is Jesus Christ as He appeared to many people in the time between His resurrection and ascension. Angels also often appeared as humans
    (Genesis 19:1, 5), although it's interesting to note that, at least as far as it's recorded in the Bible record, righteous angels always appeared as themselves, in human bodily form, while demons usually "appeared" only by "possessing" existing humans
    (Mark 5:2-13).

    Jesus Christ-
    In the time between His resurrection and ascension, the Messiah appeared, differently, to numerous people. He sometimes appeared with the body that had suffered the grievous wounds of the crucifixion, and as such was recognized by those who knew Him, but He also appeared differently so that those who knew Him did not recognize Him (although they did eventually also realize that the man that they didn't recognize was Jesus Christ). He appeared physically, as He plainly said, and yet He was able to appear and disappear at will.

    "And as they thus spake, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And He said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have. And when He had thus spoken, He showed them His hands and His feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, He said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And He took it, and did eat before them"
    (Luke 24:36-43). (KJV)

    "When He was at table with them, He took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished out of their sight"
    (Luke 24:30-31). (RSV)

    "After this He appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country"
    (Mark 16:12). (RSV)

    "Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus ... Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." Now none of the disciples dared ask Him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after He was raised from the dead"
    (John 21:4, 12-14). (RSV)

    Our words may hide our thoughts
    our actions reveal them

    Greg Herrick had this to say in his writing on the "Incarnation of Christ:"

    "Jesus Christ was born of the virgin Mary
    (Matthew 1:23; Gal 4:4) in fulfillment of Isaiah�s prediction
    (Isaiah 7:14). From a more theological point of view, John says that the eternal and divine Word became flesh and that God thus "tabernacled" among us
    (John 1:1, 14; Exodus 40:34-35). The doctrine of the incarnation means that the second person of the Trinity took on human flesh. Jesus Christ is both undiminished deity united with perfect humanity forever and without confusion of attributes. One person, two natures (divine-human).

    God became a man in order to redeem his creation and rule over it.

    Thus he came to fulfill the Davidic covenant as the promised King

    "You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!"
    (Luke 1:31-33).
    In his role as Lord and King He reveals God to men:
    "No one has ever seen God. But his only Son, who is himself God, is near to the Father's heart; he has told us about him"
    (John 1:18).
    In his role as Lord and King He saves sinners:
    "He died for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live"
    (Galatians 1:4).
    In his role as Lord and King He destroys the works of the devil:
    "But when people keep on sinning, it shows they belong to the Devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy these works of the Devil"
    (1 John 3:8).
    In his role as Lord and King He judges men:
    "For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead"
    (Acts 17:31).

    and in his role as Lord and King He brings all things in creation back in submission to God:

    "But the fact is that Christ has been raised from the dead. He has become the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again. So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, Adam, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man, Christ. Everyone dies because all of us are related to Adam, the first man. But all who are related to Christ, the other man, will be given new life. But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised first; then when Christ comes back, all his people will be raised. After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having put down all enemies of every kind. For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. For the Scriptures say, "God has given him authority over all things." (Of course, when it says "authority over all things," it does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.) Then, when he has conquered all things, the Son will present himself to God, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere"
    (1 Corinthians 15:20-28).

    "And this is his plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ- everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because of Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us from the beginning, and all things happen just as he decided long ago"
    Ephesians 1:10-11).

    Fear not tomorrow
    God is already there

    Jay Rogers in his article on "Christology" had this to say about Christ's incarnation:

    "Incarnation -- Two natures -- full deity and full humanity -- are inseparably united in the one person of Christ.

    His full humanity is supported by Scripture:
    (John 8:40; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 2:14, 17).

    His full deity is likewise supported:
    (John 1:1-3; 10; 30; Hebrews 1:10-12; Romans 9:5; Colossians 2:9). Because man brought sin and death into the world
    (Romans 5:12-19), Christ the only begotten Son of God became man in order to die for our sins and become a true mediator-priest
    (Hebrews 2:17-18). Further, Christ vicariously lived a perfect life for us
    (Luke 4:1-2; James 1:13) that He might reveal God to us
    (John 1:18; Hebrews 1:1-3) and so that righteousness could be imputed to man through His sinless life"
    (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 1 John. 3:5).

    The CALL is higher
    than the FALL

    John A. Hardon in his article on "Why God Became Man" had this to say about Christ's incarnation:

    "Now some implications. Given the vastness of our subject and the impossibility of doing it full justice, let�s just choose three.

    First, why did God become man? Because He loves us. So what follows? God loves us and He couldn�t have, mind you, this is the omniscient God, He could not have invented a more powerful manifestation of His love, than by becoming, literally, one of us. So, what are we supposed to do? Love Him! In order with His grace to become like Him. This is not a cheap twist of language. God became man so we might become like God.

    Second implication�
    God become man because he wanted to teach us how we are to become like him. So what did He do? He taught us. He called Himself the Teacher. Well, if He is the teacher, we better be His students. And Christ coined a word � the word is disciple. Meaning what? Meaning one who has learned. Learned from whom? Learned from Christ what He, Who is God in human form has come into the world to teach us. We are, therefore, to strive with all the power at our disposal to learn everything we can from this Jesus Who is our God.

    Finally, why did God become man?
    To show how much He loves us, to teach us the way to salvation from sin and for Heaven. But especially that He might give us the example so that behaving like Him as man, we might become like Him, Who is God. In a word, God became man. He, the Almighty, took on human virtues. You name them, He had them. So that by following His example on earth, we might possess his company in the world to come."

    Life is God's gift to us
    what we do with it
    is our gift to God

    Charles T. Buntin in his article titled The "Person of Christ" had this to say about Christ's incarnation:

    "The Incarnation (Christ the Son of God coming into flesh) and the Virgin Birth (the way He came into flesh) are doctrines which cannot be understood logically or scientifically. They involve God acting outside the realm of natural law and intervening in human history in the most direct and personal way possible, by becoming part of it. The Incarnation and the Virgin Birth were part of the ancient promise given to the race about the release from the bondage of the race to Satan (who was the serpent depicted in
    Genesis 3:14-15). The promise was reiterated to Abraham that from his seed "all the families of the earth," would be blessed
    (Genesis 12:3). Job revealed his faith that "- I know my Redeemer liveth, and in the latter days shall stand upon the earth." The Purpose of His coming was the redemption of His people- all those who would ever believe in Him.

    John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (NIV)

    Hebrews 2:14-18 "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death- that is, the devil- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham�s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted." (NIV)

    Galatians 4:4-5 "But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons." (NIV)

    Romans 8:3-4 "For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit."

    The Fulfillment of the promises and prophecies came when the angel Gabriel announced His coming birth to the Virgin Mary. The doctrine of the Virgin Birth has been attacked by critics inside and outside the church. Sometimes the critics try to slyly suggest that the words translated "virgin" in the Bible can mean something other than "virgin." However, the words of Mary herself "I know not a man," (KJV) or in 21th century common language, "I have never had sexual relations with a man," make plain that she was a virgin, and that the Incarnation and birth of the Savior was a miracle of God.
    Luke 1:34-35 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" [Literally, "since I know not a man"] The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God." (NIV)
    Paul and the apostle John both had profound comments on the mystery of the incarnation itself:
    1 Timothy 3:16 "Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory." (NIV)

    John 1:14-18 "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, `He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.�"

    Jesus Christ is the Creator of the Universe



    The Deity of Jesus Christ
    (Jesus Christ Is God)

    In this section we will look at the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. The Scriptures declare:

    His virgin birth:

    "Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and He will be called Immanuel (meaning, God is with us)."
    (Matthew 1:23)

    "Don't be frightened, Mary," the angel told her, "for God has decided to bless you! You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give Him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!"
    (Luke 1:30-33).

    "The angel replied, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby born to you will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God"
    (Luke 1:35).

    His sinless life:
    "He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has now been set apart from sinners, and he has been given the highest place of honor in heaven"
    (Hebrews 7:26).

    "He never sinned, and he never deceived anyone"
    (1 Peter 2:22).

    His miracles:

    "Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know"
    (Acts 2:22).

    "And no doubt you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the Devil, for God was with him"
    (Acts 10:38).

    His substitutionary work on the cross:

    "I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me- that Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said"
    (1 Corinthians 15:3).

    "For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ"
    (2 Corinthians 5:21).

    His bodily resurrection from the dead:

    "He isn't here! He has been raised from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying"
    (Matthew 28:6).

    "Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it's really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don't have bodies, as you see that I do!"
    (Luke 24:39).

    "He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures said"
    (1 Corinthians 15:4).

    His exaltation to the right hand of God:

    "It was not long after he said this that he was taken up into the sky while they were watching, and he disappeared into a cloud"
    (Acts 1:9).

    "They said, "Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring at the sky? Jesus has been taken away from you into heaven. And someday, just as you saw him go, he will return!"
    (Acts 1:11).

    "Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear"
    (Acts 2:33).

    "Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father"
    (Philippians 2:9-11).

    "The Son reflects God's own glory, and everything about him represents God exactly. He sustains the universe by the mighty power of his command. After he died to cleanse us from the stain of sin, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God of heaven"
    (Hebrews 1:3).

    Reference: Assemblies of God Fundamental Truths

    Happiness is inward and not outward
    It does not depend on what we have
    but on what we are

    The DEITY of The Jewish Messiah (Jesus Christ) was foretold in the scriptures:

    "From now on, you and the woman will be enemies, and your offspring and her offspring will be enemies. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel"
    (Genesis 3:15).

    "Your divine throne, O God, endures forever and ever. Your royal power is expressed in justice. You love what is right and hate what is wrong. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else"
    (Psalms 45:6-7).

    "The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit in honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet"
    (Psalms 110:1).

    "All right then, the Lord himself will choose the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel- "God is with us"
    (Isaiah 7:14).

    "For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace"
    (Isaiah 9:6).

    "Listen! I hear the voice of someone shouting, "Make a highway for the LORD through the wilderness. Make a straight, smooth road through the desert for our God. Fill the valleys and level the hills. Straighten out the curves and smooth off the rough spots. Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The LORD has spoken!"
    (Isaiah 40:3-5).

    "Messenger of good news, shout to Zion from the mountaintops! Shout louder to Jerusalem- do not be afraid. Tell the towns of Judah, "Your God is coming!" Yes, the Sovereign LORD is coming in all his glorious power. He will rule with awesome strength. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes. He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young"
    (Isaiah 40:9-11).

    "I will give him the honors of one who is mighty and great, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among those who were sinners. He bore the sins of many and interceded for sinners"
    (Isaiah 53:12).

    "For the time is coming," says the LORD, "when I will place a righteous Branch on King David's throne. He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land. And this is his name: `The LORD Is Our Righteousness.' In that day Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety"
    (Jeremiah 23:5-6).

    "As my vision continued that night, I saw someone who looked like a man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence"
    (Daniel 7:13).

    "But I, the LORD their God, will show love to the people of Judah. I will personally free them from their enemies without any help from weapons or armies."
    (Hosea 1:7).

    "But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village in Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past"
    (Micah 5:2).

    "Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the family of David and on all the people of Jerusalem. They will look on me whom they have pierced and mourn for him as for an only son. They will grieve bitterly for him as for a firstborn son who has died"
    (Zechariah 12:10).

    "Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, the man who is my partner, says the LORD Almighty. Strike down the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn against the lambs"
    (Zechariah 13:7).

    "The Father and I are one."
    (John 10:30)

    "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness"
    (Philippians 2:6).

    "Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming," says the LORD Almighty"
    (Malachi 3:1).

    Jesus Christ Possesses Attributes Which Only God Has:

    1. Jesus Christ Is Eternal (He does not have a beginning or ending to His life)

    "He existed before everything else began, and he holds all creation together"
    (Colossians 1:17).

    "But to his Son he says, "Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. Your royal power is expressed in righteousness. You love what is right and hate what is wrong. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else. And, "Lord, in the beginning you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands"
    (Hebrews 1:8-10).

    "I am the Alpha and the Omega- the beginning and the end," says the Lord God. "I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come, the Almighty One"
    (Revelation 1:8).

    "In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God"
    (John 1:1). Also see Isaiah 9:6; and Micah 5:2.

    2. Jesus Christ Is Omnipresent (He is everywhere at the same time)
    "For where two or three gather together because they are mine, I am there among them"
    (Matthew 18:20).

    "Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age"
    (Matthew 28:20).

    "No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven- the Son of Man"
    (John 3:13).

    3. Jesus Christ Is Omniscient (He knows everything)
    "Now we understand that you know everything and don't need anyone to tell you anything. From this we believe that you came from God"
    (John 16:30).

    "Once more he asked him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, "Lord, you know everything. You know I love you." Jesus said, "Then feed my sheep"
    (John 21:17).

    4. Jesus Christ Is Omnipotent (He is all powerful)
    "Put on your sword, O Mighty Warrior! You are so glorious, so majestic!"
    (Psalms 45:3).

    "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body"
    (Philippians 3:20-21).

    "I am the Alpha and the Omega- the beginning and the end," says the Lord God. "I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come, the Almighty One"
    (Revelation 1:8).

    5. Jesus Christ Is Immutable (He never changes)
    "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever"
    (Hebrews 13:8).
    6. Jesus Christ Is Self-existent (no one created Him)
    "In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God. He was in the beginning with God. He created everything there is. Nothing exists that he didn't make"
    (John 1:1-3).

    "He became a priest, not by meeting the old requirement of belonging to the tribe of Levi, but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed"
    (Hebrews 7:16).

    "He will even raise from the dead anyone he wants to, just as the Father does. And the Father leaves all judgment to his Son, so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. But if you refuse to honor the Son, then you are certainly not honoring the Father who sent him. "I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. And I assure you that the time is coming, in fact it is here, when the dead will hear my voice- the voice of the Son of God. And those who listen will live. The Father has life in himself, and he has granted his Son to have life in himself"
    (John 5:21-26).

    7. Jesus Christ Is Holy
    "You rejected this holy, righteous one and instead demanded the release of a murderer"
    (Acts 3:14).

    "And I heard the angel who had authority over all water saying, "You are just in sending this judgment, O Holy One, who is and who always was. For your holy people and your prophets have been killed, and their blood was poured out on the earth. So you have given their murderers blood to drink. It is their just reward."
    (Revelation 16:5-6).

    "He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God"
    (1 Peter 1:19).

    He Performs Works Which Only God Can Do:

    8. Jesus Christ Forgives Sins

    "I will prove that I, the Son of Man, have the authority on earth to forgive sins"
    (Mark 2:10).

    "I tell you, her sins- and they are many- have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love"
    (Luke 7:47).

    9. Jesus Christ Will Be The Judge of Each Individual
    "And the Father leaves all judgment to his Son"
    (John 5:22).

    "And so I solemnly urge you before God and before Christ Jesus- who will someday judge the living and the dead when he appears to set up his Kingdom..."
    (2 Timothy 4:1).

    "For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead"
    (Acts 17:31).

    10. Jesus Christ Is The Creator
    "And, "Lord, in the beginning you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands"
    (Hebrews 1:10).

    "Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation"
    (Colossians 1:15).

    11. Jesus Christ Is The Sustainer
    "He existed before everything else began, and he holds all creation together"
    (Colossians 1:17).

    "The Son reflects God's own glory, and everything about him represents God exactly. He sustains the universe by the mighty power of his command. After he died to cleanse us from the stain of sin, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God of heaven"
    (Hebrews 1:3).

    12. Jesus Christ Worked Miracles
    "Don't believe me unless I carry out my Father's work. But if I do his work, believe in what I have done, even if you don't believe me. Then you will realize that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father"
    (John 10:37-38).
    He Owns the Names and Titles of Deity:

    13. Jesus Christ Is The Son of God

    "They began screaming at him, "Why are you bothering us, Son of God? You have no right to torture us before God's appointed time!"
    (Matthew 8:29)

    "Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God"
    (Matthew 16:16).
    (also see Mark Chapter 1).

    14. Jesus Christ Is Master and Lord
    "And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God, while we look forward to that wonderful event when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed"
    (Titus 2:12-13).

    "Jesus responded, "Then why does David, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, call him Lord? For David said, `The LORD said to my Lord, Sit in honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.' Since David called him Lord, how can he be his son at the same time?"
    (Matthew 22:43-45).

    Also see John 1:1 and 18; Hebrews 1:8

    15. Jesus Christ Claimed to Be God and He Received Worship
    "And the Father leaves all judgment to his Son, so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. But if you refuse to honor the Son, then you are certainly not honoring the Father who sent him"
    (John 5:22-23).

    Also see John 10:30; Matthew 4:10;
    Revelation 22:8-9; Philippians 2:10).

    False Views of Jesus Christ:

    The False Theory of Ebionism which indicated that Jesus was a natural son of Joseph and Mary.

    The False Theory of Arianism which indicated that Jesus was not divine and eternal- similar to, but not the same as God. Some theologians believe this is a very very similar false doctrine to what the Jehovah's Witnesses Cult subscribes to today.

    We cannot be neutral
    and be a true Christian

    An unknown author at gotquestions.org had this to say about the deity of Jesus Christ:

    "So, who did Jesus claim to be? Who does the Bible say He was? First, let's look at Jesus� words in
    John 10:30, "I and the Father are one." At first glance, this might not seem to be a claim to be God. However, look at the Jews� reaction to His statement, "We are not stoning you for any of these, replied the Jews, but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God"
    (John 10:33). The Jews understood Jesus� statement to be a claim to be God. In the following verses, Jesus never corrects the Jews by saying, "I did not claim to be God." That indicates Jesus was truly saying He was God by declaring, "I and the Father are one"
    (John 10:30). John 8:58 is another example. Jesus proclaimed, "I tell you the truth, Jesus answered, before Abraham was born, I am!" Again, in response, the Jews take up stones in an attempt to stone Jesus
    (John 8:59). Jesus announcing His identity as "I am" is a direct application of the Old Testament name for God
    (Exodus 3:14). Why would the Jews again want to stone Jesus if He hadn�t said something they believed to be blasphemous, namely, a claim to be God?

    John 1:1 says that "the Word was God."

    John 1:14 says that "the Word became flesh." This clearly indicates that Jesus is God in the flesh. Thomas the disciple declared to Jesus, "My Lord and my God"
    (John 20:28). Jesus does not correct him.

    The Apostle Paul describes Him as, "our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ"
    (Titus 2:13).

    The Apostle Peter says the same, "our God and Savior Jesus Christ"
    (2 Peter 1:1).

    God the Father is witness of Jesus� full identity as well, "But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom."

    Old Testament prophecies of Christ announce His deity, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

    Why is the question over Jesus� true identity so important? Why does it matter whether or not Jesus is God? The most important reason that Jesus has to be God is that if He is not God, His death would not have been sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world
    (1 John 2:2).

    Only God could pay such an infinite penalty
    (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21).

    Jesus had to be God so that He could pay our debt. Jesus had to be man so He could die. Salvation is available only through faith in Jesus Christ! Jesus� deity is why He is the only way of salvation. Jesus� deity is why He proclaimed, "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me"
    (John 14:6).

    Nothing else can be as good
    as the blessing God has for you

    Fred G. Zaspel in his outline and writing titled "The PERSON of JESUS CHRIST" had this to say:

                                          His Deity
    I. Evidence From Jesus Himself
            A. His BEHAVIOR
                    1. He Accepted & Encouraged Worship:
                            Matthew 4:10                    
                            Matthew 14:33
                            Matthew 16:16
                            Matthew 21:15-16
                            Matthew 28:9 and 17
                            Mark 14:3-9
                            John 5:23  
                            John 20:28  
                    2. He Granted Forgiveness & Salvation: 
                            Isaiah 43:25
                            Mark 2:1-12 
                            Luke 7:47-50 
                            John 10:9 
                            John 14:6
                    3. He Displayed Omniscience:
                            Matthew 12:25
                            Mark 2:8
            B. His CLAIMS
                    1. Messiahship 
                    2. Divine Prerogatives
                            a. Salvation, Forgiveness, & Judgment:
                                    Jonah 2:9
                                    Matthew 7:21-23
                                    John 5:22 
                                    John 10:9 
                                    John 14:6
                            b. Resurrection:
                                    John 5:21 
                                    John 11:25
                            c. Send the Holy Spirit:
                                    John 15:26 
                                    John 16:7
                    3. Divine Attributes:
                            a. Omnipotence:
                                    Matthew 28:18
                            b. Omnipresence:
                                    Matthew 28:20
                                    John 1:44-49
                            c. Eternity:
                                    John 8:58 
                                    Revelation 1:8
                            d. Perfection:
                                    John 8:46
                    4. Deity:
                            Matthew 11:27 
                            Mark 2:1-12
                            Mark 14:61-64
                            Isaiah 43:25
                            John 5:16-18 and 23; 
                            John 8:58 
                            John 10:11 and 15  
                            John 10:24-33 
                            John 12:45 
                            John 14:8-10
                            John 15:23
                            John 17:5 
                            John 18:4-6
    a Trilemma: 
    In light of these direct claims of Jesus, the 
    modern assertion that He was not God but rather a good man, 
    is entirely implausible. Having claimed deity, Jesus is 
    either God, or He is a liar, or He is a mad-man (who 
    thinks He is God when He is not). He is either Lord, 
    lunatic, or liar; there are no other alternatives. Jesus' 
    behavior and His claims attest to His deity.
    II. Evidence from Jesus' Contemporaries
            A. How They UNDERSTOOD Him
                    1. His Enemies:
                            Mark 2:1-12 
                            Mark 14:61-64 
                            John 5:16-18  
                            John 8:59 
                            John 10:30ff
                    2. His Friends:
                            Matthew 16:16
                            John 20:28
            B. How They RESPONDED To Him:
                    1. Anger/Resentment 
                    2. Worship
    Jesus' contemporaries- 
    both friends & enemies- agreed on this point; namely, that 
    Jesus claimed deity. Their disagreement was only in their 
    acceptance or rejection of the claim. Again, this is in 
    contrast to the modern idea that Jesus never claimed deity. 
    The understanding of those who heard Him was that He did 
    indeed claim to be God.
    III. Evidence from the New Testament Writers
            A. DIVINE ATTRIBUTES ascribed to Him
                    1. Omniscience:
                            Matthew 12:25
                            Mark 2:8 
                            John 21:17
                            Colossians 2:3
                    2. Eternity:
                            Isaiah 9:6 
                            Micah 5:2 
                            Colossians 1:17 
                            Hebrews 1:7-8 
                            Hebrews 7:24-25
                            Revelation 1:8
                            Revelation 4:8
                    3. Immutability:
                            Hebrews 13:8
            B. DIVINE WORKS Ascribed to Him
                    1. Creation:
                            Isaiah 42:5
                            John 1:43
                            Ephesians 3:9
                            Colossians 1:16
                    2. Preservation:
                            Colossians 1:17 
                            Hebrews 1:3
                    3. Resurrection:
                            I Corinthians 15:22
            C. DIVINE WORSHIP Given to Him
                    1. Worship by men:
                            Matthew 14:33 
                            Matthew 16:16 
                            Matthew 21:15 
                            Matthew 28:9 and 17 
                            John 20:28 
                            Jude verses 24-25
                    2. Worship by angels:
                            Hebrews 1:6
                    3. Prayer directed to Him:
                            Acts 7:59
            D. DIVINE NAMES & TITLES Given to Him
                    1. Son of God:
                            Matthew 16:16 
                            Matthew 26:61-64 
                            Luke 22:67-71 
                            John 1:34
                    2. Immanuel:
                            Isaiah 7:14
                            Matthew 1:23
                    3. Lord:
                            Matthew 12:8 
                            Matthew 22:43-45 
                            Luke 6:46 
                            John 20:28 
                            I Peter 3:15
                    4. God:
                            Isaiah 9:6 
                            John 1:1 and 18; 
                            John 20:28 
                            Romans 9:5 
                            I Timothy 3:16
                            Titus 2:13 
                            Hebrews 1:3 and 8 
                            I John 5:20 
                            Revelation 4:8
            E. DEITY Ascribed to Him:
                    Philippians 2:6 and 11 
                    Colossians 1:15 and 19 
                    Colossians 2:9 
                    I Timothy 3:16 
                    Jude verse 25
    The New Testament Writers unanimously and consistently 
    ascribe deity to Jesus Christ. Their understanding was 
    that Jesus of Nazareth is God.
    IV. Evidence from the Old Testament Writers 
    FOCUS: The Promised Messiah
            A. The DEITY of The Messiah:
                    Genesis 3:15 
                    Genesis 4:1 
                    Psalms 45:6-7 
                    Psalms 110:1;  
                    Isaiah 7:14 
                    Isaiah 9:6 
                    Isaiah 40:3-4
                    Isaiah 40:9-11 
                    Isaiah 53:12 
                    Jeremiah 23:5-6 
                    Daniel 7:13 
                    Hosea 1:7 
                    Micah 5:2
                    Zechariah 12:10 
                    Zechariah 13:7 
                    John 10:30 
                    Philippians 2:6  
                    Philippians 14:3-4 and 9
                    Malachi 3:1
    B. The IDENTITY of the Messiah (The Messiahship of Jesus)
          1. The Messiah's Credentials/Requirements
              a. His Place of Birth- Bethlehem in Israel:
                     Micah 5:2
                     Matthew 2:1
                     Also- Nazareth in Israel:
                     Matthew 2:23
                     Also- Egypt:
                     Hosea 11:1
                     Matthew 2:15
              b. The Manner of His Birth:
                     Isaiah 7:14
                     Matthew 1:18
              c. The Time of His Birth:
                      Genesis 49:10 = A.D. 12? 44? 70? (No later)
                      Daniel 9:24 = A.D. 33
              d. His Ancestry:
                      Genesis 12:2-3 (descended from Abraham)
                      II Samuel 7:12-16 (descended from David)
                      Matthew 1:1
              e. His Reception:
                      Jeremiah 31:15 compare with Matthew 2:16
                      Isaiah 53:3 compare with John 1:11
              f. His Ministry:
                      1) Preceded by Forerunner:
                         Isaiah 40:3 
                         Malachi 3:1 
                         John 1:23
                      2) Perform Miracles:
                         Isaiah 35:5-6 compare with John 20:30-31
                      3) Speak in Parables:
                         Psalms 78:2 compare with Matthew 13:3
                      4) Enter the Temple Suddenly:
                         Malachi 3:1 compare with Matthew 21:12
                      5) Enter Jerusalem on a Donkey:
                         Zechariah 9:9 compare with John 12:12
               g. His Betrayal by a Friend:
                  Psalms 41:9 compare with Matthew 10:4
                  Zechariah 11:12 compare with Matthew 26:15 
                  Zechariah 11:13 compare with Matthew 27:5 and 7
               h. His Forsakenness:
                      1) By His Disciples:
                         Zechariah 13:7 compare with Mark 14:50
                      2) By God:
                         Psalms 22:1 compare with Matthew 27:46
               i. His False Accusers:
                  Psalms 35:11 compare with Matthew 26:59-60
               j. His Silence before his accusers:
                  Isaiah 53:7 compare with Matthew 27:12
               k. His Sufferings:
                  Isaiah 53:4 compare with Matthew 8:17
                  Isaiah 50:6 compare with Matthew 26:67
                  Psalms 22:7-8 compare with Matthew 27:31
                  Psalms 22:16 compare with Luke 23:33 and John 20:25
                  Psalms 22:18 compare with John 19:23-24
                  Psalms 34:20 compare with John 19:33
                  Isaiah 53:12 compare with Matthew 27:38
               l. His Death:
                  Isaiah 53:8 
                  Daniel 9:26 
                  Zechariah 12:10 compare with John chapter 19
               m. His Resurrection:
                  Psalms 16:10 compare with Acts 2:31
               n. His Ascension:
                  Psalms 68:18 compare with Acts 1:9
                    2. The Claims of Jesus:
                            Matthew 5:17
                            Matthew 11:10  
                            Matthew 13:14 
                            Matthew 21:42  
                            Matthew 26:5 and 56;
                            Mark 13:26
                            Luke 4:20-21 
                            Luke 22:37  
                            Luke 24:27 and 44 
                            John 5:39 and 46
                            John 15:25
                    3. The Claims of the NT writers:
                            Matthew 1:1 
                            Matthew 16:16 
                            Galatians 4:4
            Conclusion: The Old Testament writers consistently and 
            unanimously ascribe deity to the promised Messiah. 
            Furthermore, only Jesus of Nazareth has the credentials 
            and fits the requirements for the Messiah. Therefore, 
            the testimony of the Old Testament to Jesus is that 
            He is God.
    V. Evidence from the NT Interpretation of the OT
            Psalms 68:18 compare with Ephesians 4:7-8
            Psalms 97:7 compare with Hebrews 1:6
            Psalms 102:12, 25-27 compare with Hebrews 1:10-12
            Isaiah 6:1, 3 compare with John 12:41
            Isaiah 8:13 compare with I Peter 3:15
            Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1 compare with Matthew 3:3 
            and Luke 3:4
            Isaiah 41:4; Isaiah 44:6 compare with Revelation 1:8 and 17 
            and Revelation 2:8
            Isaiah 45:21-25 compare with Philippians 2:10-11
            Joel 2:32 compare with Romans 10:13
            Zechariah 12:10 compare with Revelation 1:7
            Conclusion: The New Testament writers consistently interpret 
            Old Testament references to Jehovah as speaking of Jesus 
            Christ. Clearly, they understood Jesus to be God Himself, 
            the incarnation of Jehovah.

    The Transfiguration of Jesus Christ



    The Humanity of Jesus Christ

    Jesus Christ was a human being. In this section we will examine the scriptures that prove that Jesus Christ had a human body. Why? It's important in our understanding of Him to know He fully identifies with each individual. He knows what it is like to be here on this earth and knows about joy, security, finances, testing, poverty, suffering, death, etcettera. Also because there was a false teaching in past ages that denied He had a human body.

    Jesus Christ had a human body:
    "But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law."
    (Galatians 4:4).

    Jesus Christ exhibited the characteristics of a human being:
    "So Jesus grew both in height and in wisdom, and he was loved by God and by all who knew him."
    (Luke 2:52).

    Fred G. Zaspel in his writing titled "The PERSON of JESUS CHRIST" gives us this outline about Christ's humanity:

    A. Biblical Evidences of Jesus' Humanity

    1. His Human Body
    "So Jesus grew both in height and in wisdom, and he was loved by God and by all who knew him"
    (Luke 2:52).

    "For forty days and forty nights he ate nothing and became very hungry"
    (Matthew 4:2).

    "Jesus knew that everything was now finished, and to fulfill the Scriptures he said, "I am thirsty"
    (John 19:28).

    "Suddenly, a terrible storm came up, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping"
    (Matthew 8:24).

    2. His Human Names and Titles
    Jesus, Son of Man, Son of Abraham, Son of David, Man of Sorrows

    3. His Human Claims

    "I told you the truth I heard from God, but you are trying to kill me. Abraham wouldn't do a thing like that"
    (John 8:40)
    4. His Human Soul
    "He told them, "My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and watch with me"
    (Matthew 26:38).

    "Then Jesus shouted, "Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!" And with those words he breathed his last"
    (Luke 23:46).

    "Now Jesus was in great anguish of spirit, and he exclaimed, "The truth is, one of you will betray me!"
    (John 13:21).

    5. Old Testament Predictions Regarding the Humanity of the Messiah
    (Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 53:1-2)
    6. New Testament Statements Regarding the Humanity of Jesus Christ
    "For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and people. He is the man Christ Jesus"
    (I Timothy 2:5).

    "So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father"
    (John 1:14).

    "Their ancestors were great people of God, and Christ himself was a Jew as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Amen"
    (Romans 9:5).

    "And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross!"
    (Philippians 2:8).

    "Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to be in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. He then could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people"
    (Hebrews 2:17).

    B. Biblical Expressions of Jesus' Humanity:
    1. The Gospels
    a. His Growth
    "So Jesus grew both in height and in wisdom, and he was loved by God and by all who knew him"
    (Luke 2:52)
    b. His Fatigue
    "Jacob's well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime"
    (John 4:6).

    "Suddenly, a terrible storm came up, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping"
    (Matthew 8:24).

    c. His Hunger
    "For forty days and forty nights he ate nothing and became very hungry"
    (Matthew 4:2)
    d. His Thirst
    "Jesus knew that everything was now finished, and to fulfill the Scriptures he said, "I am thirsty"
    (John 19:28)
    e. His Testings
    (Matthew Chapter 4 and following)
    f. His Praying
    (John Chapter 17; Matthew Chapter 26)
    g. His Anger
    "Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand. Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus' enemies watched him closely. Would he heal the man's hand on the Sabbath? If he did, they planned to condemn him. Jesus said to the man, "Come and stand in front of everyone." Then he turned to his critics and asked, "Is it legal to do good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing harm? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?" But they wouldn't answer him. He looked around at them angrily, because he was deeply disturbed by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, "Reach out your hand." The man reached out his hand, and it became normal again!"
    (Mark 3:1-5)
    h. His Helpless Compassion
    "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God's messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn't let me"
    (Matthew 23:37).
    i. His Sorrowful Compassion
    "Then Jesus wept"
    (John 11:35).
    2. The Epistles:
    a. He died our death
    "What we do see is Jesus, who "for a little while was made lower than the angels" and now is "crowned with glory and honor" because he suffered death for us. Yes, by God's grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone in all the world. And it was only right that God- who made everything and for whom everything was made- should bring his many children into glory. Through the suffering of Jesus, God made him a perfect leader, one fit to bring them into their salvation"
    (Hebrews 2:9-10).
    b. He calls us brethren
    "So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters"
    (Hebrews 2:11).
    c. He was made like us in order to be our priest
    "Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to be in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. He then could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since he himself has gone through suffering and temptation, he is able to help us when we are being tempted"
    (Hebrews 2:17-18).
    d. He is personally acquainted with our weaknesses so He can help us
    "This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it"
    (Hebrews 4:15-16).
    e. He learned the restrictions of life
    "So even though Jesus was God's Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered"
    (Hebrews 5:8).
    f. He is man's mediator with God
    "For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and people. He is the man Christ Jesus"
    (1 Timothy 2:5)
    Jesus is truly human in the fullest sense of the term. He became all that we are, in every detail except sin. (Sin is not essential to true humanity as with Adam and Eve before the fall.)

    The Importance of Christ's Humanity:

    A. Concerning His Example

  • 1 Peter 2:21
  • As man He provided for us the pattern for living as men.
  • B. Concerning His Everlasting Priesthood
  • Hebrews 2:17-18
  • Only as man can Jesus be able to faithfully represent men to God.
  • C. Concerning His Daily Provision of Grace
  • Hebrews 2:17-18, Hebrews 4:15-16
  • He understands our lives because He has lived it also.
  • Because He understands, coming to Him we "obtain mercy
              and find grace to help in time of need."
  • Practical Observations:
    A. Our physical and bodily limitations are aspects of real humanity.
  • The physical weaknesses and limits which we experience are not in themselves sinful or shameful but are merely aspects of humanity with which our Lord Himself is personally acquainted.
  • B. Our psychological and emotional makeup are likewise aspects of real humanity.
  • Laughter, crying, anger, etc., are all very proper expressions of our humanity.
  • C. Our natural human and bodily functions are proper
              but must be subject to the will of God.
  • Human appetites are not sinful, although the way in which we satisfy them may be.
  • D. Jesus Christ is Himself the living model and pattern for our lives.
  • We must think of Him more in this way!"
  • False Theories of Christ's Humanity:

    The false theory of Docetism denied Christ's humanity and claimed that He only had an appearance of humanity. This theory was off balance and too one-sided.

    The false theory of Apollinarianism stated that Divine Logos replaced human spirit.

    How will you spend eternity--
    smoking or non-smoking?

    Charles T. Buntin in his article titled "The Person of Christ" had this to say about Christ's humanity:

    "The humanity of Christ, the incarnate God-man, was Real Humanity- He was not a phantom; He was not a new type of being. He was "very God of very God," as the old statements of faith say, but He was fully and completely man as well. He went through the common experiences of manhood, He suffered the common discomforts, pains, and griefs of manhood, He suffered temptation, and He died a common criminal�s death. He was in every way a man.

    For examples, see these scriptures:
    Matthew 1:1, Matthew 12:23, Matthew 15:22, Matthew 21:9, Matthew 26:37
    Mark 10:48, Mark 12:35
    Luke 2:40, Luke 4:2, Luke 8:23, Luke 9:58
    John 4:6, John 7:42; Revelation 5:5
    Some people think that the humanity of Christ necessitated that He have a sin nature and be innately sinful Himself. However, this is not the case at all. A sin nature is our inheritance if we are children of Adam, but it was not part of man�s original makeup- God did not create the sin nature. Our sinfulness was a reaction, it was a result of the sin our representative headman, the first man, Adam. We are born sinful because Adam became sinful. Christ was the "second Adam,"
    (1 Corinthians 15:45-49), not a son of Adam. Because of the Virgin Birth, He was "the seed of the woman"
    (Genesis 3:14-15), and had no human father. As He had no human father, the sin of Adam and Adam�s sin nature was not passed on to Him. He lived a Sinless life in every way. In the formulation of the old puritans, "He had no sin, knew no sin, and did no sin." Yet, as the next chapter tells us in detail, the beauty and mystery of The Faith is that this perfect God-man became sin and suffered its penalty for us.
    Hebrews 4:14-15 "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, 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 sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are- yet was without sin." (NIV)

    Even when we feel
    God is not

    An unknown author at Key-Way Publishing in Canada had this to say about Christ's humanity:

    "Therefore He had to be made like His brethren in every respect, so that He might become a merciful and faithful High Priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people. For because He Himself has suffered and been tempted, He is able to help those who are tempted."
    (Hebrews 2:17-18). "For we have not a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one Who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin."
    (Hebrews 4:15).

    "Made like His brethren in every respect"

    Jesus Christ, as a human, was completely human. He could not have been killed, and been completely dead for 3 days and 3 nights, and resurrected from the dead otherwise. During His human lifetime He knew hunger, thirst, weariness, joy, grief and temptation. The only difference was that He never sinned.
    "In the morning, as He was returning to the city, He was hungry"
    (Matthew 21:18). "Jacob's well was there, and so Jesus, wearied as He was with His journey, sat down beside the well"
    (John 4:6).

    "And He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan"
    (Mark 1:13).

    "And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but He was asleep. And they went and woke Him, saying, "Save, Lord; we are perishing"
    (Matthew 8:24-25).

    "When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in Spirit and troubled; and He said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to Him, "Lord, come and see." Jesus wept"
    (John 11:33-35).

    "And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground"
    (Luke 22:44).

    We are over dressed
    wrapped up in ourselves


    The Person and Life of Jesus Christ

    In this section we will also take a look at the evidence for "The Person and Life of Jesus Christ" which includes:

    A. His Virgin Birth (Matthew 1:23 and Luke 1:35)

    B. His Two Genealogies (Matthew and Luke)

    C. His Infancy, Childhood, and Growth To Maturity

    D. His Baptism

    E. His Temptation

    F. His Ministry in Judea

    G. His Ministry in Galilee

    H. His Preaching and Teaching

    I. His Miracles

    J. His Offices

    K. The Stumbling Block of the Cross of Jesus Christ

    No problem is too big for God's POWER
    no person is too small for God's LOVE



    The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ

    In this section we will study the scriptures that prove Christ's virgin birth. Why? The virgin birth was necessary so that the blood of Christ remained sinless. Only sinless blood would take away the sins of humanity.

    Character is doing what is right when no one is looking

    An unknown author at gotquestions.org had this to say about Christ's virgin birth:

    "The doctrine of the virgin birth is crucially important
    (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:27,34). First, let�s look at how scripture describes the blessed event. In response to Mary�s query, "how?," Gabriel says, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee"
    (Luke 1:35). The angel encourages Joseph to marry Mary with these words: "that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost"
    (Matthew 1:20). Matthew states that the virgin "was found with child of the Holy Ghost"
    (Matthew 1:18). Galatians 4:4 also clearly teaches the Virgin Birth: "God sent forth His Son, made of a virgin."

    From these passages, it is certainly clear that Jesus� birth was the result of the Holy Spirit working within Mary�s body. The immaterial (the Spirit) and the material (Mary�s womb) were both involved. Mary, of course, could not impregnate herself, and in that sense she was simply a "vessel." Only God could perform the miracle of the Incarnation.

    Denying a physical connection between Mary and Jesus would imply that Jesus was not truly human. Scripture teaches that Jesus was fully human, with a physical body like ours. This He received from Mary. At the same time, Jesus was fully God, with an eternal, sinless nature.
    See John 1:14; Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 3:16; and Hebrews 2:14-17.

    Jesus was not born in sin; that is, He had no sin nature
    (Hebrews 7:26). It would seem that the sin nature is passed down from generation to generation through the father
    (Romans 5:12, 17, 19). The Virgin Birth circumvented the transmission of the sin nature and allowed the eternal God to become a perfect man."

    Human spirit FAILS
    The Holy Spirit FILLS

    Josh McDowell in his book "A Ready Defense" had this to say about Christ's virgin birth:

    "The miracle of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ has perplexed many people, and actually has kept them from accepting the truth of Christianity. However, the Bible declares that God decided His Son would have a miraculous entrance into humanity.

    Seven hundred years before the birth of Christ, the prophet Isaiah said, "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel"
    (Isaiah 7:14) (NASB).

    The New Testament records the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy:

    "Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin's name was Mary ... And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary: for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus..."
    "And Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?"
    "And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit, will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God ... For nothing will be impossible with God"
    (Luke 1:27-37) (NASB).
    The virgin birth is set down in the Bible as an historical fact. The writers who recorded the story were Matthew- an eyewitness to the events in the life of Jesus- and Luke, the doctor, who presents many things in the life of Christ from Mary's viewpoint. The passages in both Matthew and Luke are authentic, with no evidence at all that they were later additions to the text.

    The doctrine of the virgin birth has been believed by the church from its inception. Ignatius, who lived at the start of the second century, wrote to the Ephesians: "For our God, Jesus the Christ, was conceived in the womb by Mary, according to a dispensation, of the seed of David but also of the Holy Ghost."

    A Necessary Fact of History

    There are several reasons the virgin birth was a necessity. The Bible teaches that the Word who became flesh was with God from the very beginning
    (John 1:1). The fact of the pre-existence of Christ is confirmed many times in the New Testament
    (John 8:58; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:15,16).

    When Jesus came into the world, He was not a newly created individual such as we are, but was rather the eternal Son of God. To be born into this world, of the virgin Mary, required divine intervention, and this is exactly what the Gospels record.

    Another reason Jesus needed to be virgin-born was His sinless nature. A basic New Testament teaching is that from the day He was born until the day He died, Jesus was without sin. To be a perfect sacrifice, He must Himself be perfect- without sin. Since our race is contaminated with sin, a miraculous entrance into the world would be required, hence the virgin birth.

    Moreover, if Jesus had been sired by Joseph, He would not have been able to claim the legal rights to the throne of David. According to the prophecy of
    Jeremiah 22:28-30, there could be no king in Israel who was a descendant of King Jeconiah, and
    Matthew 1:12 relates that Joseph was from the line of Jeconiah. Jesus would have been of the cursed lineage.

    The virgin birth of Christ is not only an historical fact, but it was also a necessary historical fact when one considers all the data.

    The main problem people have with the virgin birth is its miraculous nature. Scripture does not treat this event as an ordinary occurrence but rather as a supernatural act of God. The miracle of the virgin birth should not pose any special problem if one grants the possibility of miracles.

    Why, we may ask, is the virgin birth any greater miracle than, say, the feeding of the five thousand or Jesus walking on water?"

    The family that prays together
    Stays together



    The Genealogy of Jesus Christ

    In this section we will observe the two genealogies of Jesus Christ. Why? Because the genealogy (family tree) of Jesus Christ is important to prove His deity. It shows that He is descended from King David. The Messiah had to be descended from King David. Christ is descended from King David. Christ is the Jewish Messiah. In the Bible 2 genealogies are written.

    Matthew wrote His paternal genealogy (His step-father, Joseph)
    (Matthew 1:1-17).

    Luke wrote His maternal genealogy (His mother, Mary)
    (Luke 3:23-38).

    Mary had a little Lamb
    His blood cleans our sin
    white as snow

    The "Daily Bible Study" contained this statement:
    "Both Joseph and Mary were descended from David. Joseph's record satisfies the legal requirement of primogeniture (inheritance rights, and responsibilities, usually went from the father to the oldest son, or legal step-son) for the line from David, while Mary's satisfies the actual physical descent from David. All Messiah requirements, legal and genetic, are fully met."

    Ken Palmer at LifeofChrist.com had this to say about Christ's earthly genealogy:

    "To better understand the genealogy of Jesus, it is important to know some of the notions Jews had regarding ancestral records. This section discusses property rights, prophecies, and Jewish use of the word son.

    Property rights
    Jews carefully maintained accurate genealogical records. They did so primarily because property rights in Israel were linked to family heritage. When the Jews settled in Israel, the tribes were given portions of the land as an inheritance. Families within each tribe were given parcels of that land. The land could be farmed, developed, or sold. Every 50 years a dispossessed family could lay claim to the parcel of land which their ancestors had received when it was originally distributed. Individuals who could not trace their family had no inheritance in the nation of Israel. They were treated as dispossessed foreigners. This factor alone contributed strongly to the Jewish preoccupation with genealogies.

    Prophecies also contributed to Jewish interest in genealogies. God had promised several people that the messiah would be one of their descendants. To prove this descent, it was important to maintain accurate genealogical records. The table below shows the promises and their fulfillment:

    Person                      Promise                   Fulfillment 
    Adam                        Genesis 3:15              Luke 3:38 
    Abraham                     Genesis 22:18             Matthew 1:1-2
                                                          Luke 3:34 
    Judah                       Genesis 49:10             Matthew 1:2-3
                                Micah 5:2                 Luke 3:33
    Jesse                       Isaiah 11:1, 10           Matthew 1:5-6
                                                          Luke 3:33 
    David                       2nd Samuel 7:12-13        Matthew 1:1 & 6
                                                          Luke 3:31 

    Use of the word "Son"
    The Jews did not use the word son in a limited sense, as we do today.
    Matthew 1:1 states Jesus was the "son of David, the son of Abraham." This appears to indicate that David was the father of Jesus, and Abraham was his grandfather. A Jew would have understood that Matthew did not mean there was only one generation between these men; but that Jesus was a descendant of David, who was a descendant of Abraham. This fact is born out in the verses that follow
    (Matthew 1:2-17). In the Jewish mind, the word son could be applied to one who was not a literal, first generation son, as is commonly understood today. It could mean a descendant; which could be a grandson, great grandson, or son of a more distant generation. The custom of skipping generations can be called "genealogical abridgement."

    Genealogical abridgement
    Genealogical abridgement occurs not only in Matthew 1:1, but also in the Old Testament. Compare
    Ezra 7:3 with 1st Chronicles 6:7-10, and you can see how Ezra deliberately skipped six generations from Meriaoth to Azariah (son of Johanan). Son could also be used to describe kinship without sonship. Although Zerubbabel was the nephew of Shealtiel
    (1st Chronicles 3:17-19), he was called the "son of Shealtiel"
    (Ezra 3:2, Nehemiah 12:1, Haggai 1:12). Jair is another example of this principle. He was a distant son-in-law of Manasseh
    (1st Chronicles 2:21-23 and 7:14-15); yet, he was called the "son of Manasseh"
    (Numbers 32:41, Deuteronomy 3:14, 1st Kings 4:13). The point to remember is that the word son can be applied to several types of relationships.

    Joseph in Christ's genealogy
    Matthew and Luke showed that Joseph was a legal parent, but not a genetic parent to Jesus. Jesus was miraculously conceived in Mary, through the Holy Spirit. By virtue of being Mary's husband, Joseph was considered the father of Jesus. Since Jesus was born into Joseph's family, he was a legal heir. Through Joseph, Jesus obtained a rightful claim to the throne of David. Although Jesus was a legal descendant to Joseph, he was not a physical descendant. Luke's genealogy directly addressed this issue by stating Jesus was "supposedly the son of Joseph"
    (Luke 3:23). Clearly, people had assumed that Joseph was the biological father of Jesus, when in fact he was not
    (Matthew 13:55).

    Who was Joseph's Father?
    At first glance, Matthew and Luke appear to be in disagreement as to who Joseph's father was. Matthew states he was the son of Jacob, while Luke states he was the son of Heli. Fortunately, an unlikely source has aided scholars in unraveling this mystery. The Jerusalem Talmud indicates that Mary was the daughter of Heli. Joseph was the son-in-law of Heli. Luke could rightfully call Joseph the "son of Heli" because this was in compliance with use of the word "son" at that time. Moreover, designating a son-in-law as a son had scriptural precedent. Refer to Son in Jewish Genealogies for more on this topic. Thus, Joseph was the son of Jacob, and the son-in-law of Heli.

    Matthew's genealogy of Jesus
    Matthew wrote to the Jews to present Jesus as King of the Jews. The account is in
    Matthew 1:1-17. It begins by showing Jesus was a legal heir to the throne of David, by virtue of his lineage. This fact is immediately set forth in verse one, which states Jesus was the "son of David, the son of Abraham." His kinship to David the King of Israel is mentioned before that of Abraham, the father of Israel. Matthew's genealogy traces the ancestors of Joseph, the legal father of Jesus.

    An Abridged Genealogy
    Matthew abridged the genealogy by omitting some names that appear in earlier records. Some speculate that the abridged arrangement was intended to aid in memorization. Genealogical abridgement has biblical precedent, as was disussed earlier.

    Repeated Names
    It is important to note that Matthew did not say there was a total of 42 generations
    (for example 14 multiplied by 3). He respectively indicated that there were 14 generations from Abraham to David, 14 from David to the Babylonian Captivity, and 14 from the release to Christ. The names of David and Jeconiah are repeated in the genealogy. David's name was repeated because he was alive when the first division ended, and when the second division began. Jeconiah's name may have been repeated because of a transcription error. Jeconiah's father was Jehoiakim. The names had similar spellings. Given the fact that some ancient manuscripts contain both names, it is not unreasonable to admit that a transcriber may have overlooked the different spellings, and repeated Jeconiah's name.

    Luke's Genealogy of Jesus
    This record is in Luke 3:23-38. Luke was a physician. He carefully investigated the life of Christ, and wrote the books of Luke and Acts
    (Colossians 4:14, Luke 1:1-4, Acts 1:1).

    Luke's Audience
    The original readers of Luke's works were Greek Christians. While Matthew wrote to the Jews, Luke wrote to the Greeks. Matthew's genealogy emphasized Jesus' claim to the throne of David. Since Luke's readers were less concerned about the fulfillment of Jewish prophecy, his genealogy focused on Jesus' descent from God. It placed no emphasis on Jesus being the descendant of King David.

    Reason for Differences
    Differences between the genealogies of Matthew and Luke may be attributed to the fact that Matthew traced the ancestry of Joseph, while Luke traced the that of Mary.

    Unique Placement of the Genealogy
    The placement of Luke's genealogy is after the baptism of Christ. When Jesus was baptized, God said "This is my beloved son." Immediately following this event, as if to prove God's declaration, Luke inserted the genealogy.

    Encouragement to Greek Christians
    The genealogy culminated by showing Jesus was the "son of Adam, the son of God"
    (Luke 3:28). This emphasized the humanity of Jesus, and the equality of all christians, regardless of ethnic backgrounds. Christians of Jewish descent originally considered Greek Christians as inferior to themselves
    (Acts 15:1-31, Galatians 2:11-16). Luke's genealogy underscored the fact that Jesus was the son of God. Since all men are made in the image of God
    (Genesis 1:26-27), this may have been a source of encouragement to the Greek Christians.

    Women in Christ's Genealogy
    Matthew included five women in his genealogy of Christ. This is notable since it was not customary for Jews to include women in their records. Even more remarkable is the fact that Matthew included some women who had disreputable histories. The five women included were: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary.

    Tamar: Genesis 38:6-30
    Tamar was the daughter-in-law of Judah. She was a childless widow, who was given to her brother-in-law after her husband's death. By this marriage, her offspring would continue the name and inheritance of the deceased. Such a union was later called a Leverite marriage
    (Deuteronomy 25:5-6). Unfortunately, Tamar's brother-in-law refused to have proper intercourse with her. God killed him for this. Afterwards, Judah would not give Tamar to any of his other sons. So Tamar disguised herself as a harlot and seduced Judah. Through him, she became the mother of Perez.

    Rahab: Joshua 2:1-24
    Rahab was a harlot who lived in Jericho. She hid the spies of Joshua. Because of this, the Israelites spared her life when they conquered Jericho. She later became the wife of Salmon, and the mother of Boaz. Rahab's faith was later commended
    (Hebrews 11:30-31).

    Ruth: Ruth 1:1-4:22
    Ruth was a foreigner from the land of Moab. She was the widow of a Jew. Her mother-in-law, Naomi, also lived in Moab. Naomi journeyed to Israel after her family died. Ruth's devotion was extraordinary. She left her own country to follow Naomi. While in Israel, Ruth was married to Boaz, one of Naomi's relatives. Ruth later became the mother of Obed, the grandfather of David the King.

    Bathsheba: 2 Samuel 11:1-27
    Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah the Hittite, who was a soldier in the army of King David. She and David had an adulterous affair. When David discovered Bathsheba was pregnant, he tried to cover it up by summoning Uriah home from war, hoping that Uriah would have intercourse with his wife. Uriah came home to Jerusalem, but refused to lay with Bathsheba as long as the armies of Israel were at war. So, David sent Uriah back into battle, with orders that Uriah should be withdrawn from when the fighting became fierce. After Uriah was slain in this manner, David took Bathsheba as his own wife. God punished them for this by killing their first child. Bathsheba later became the mother of Solomon.

    Mary: Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 1:26-56
    Mary was the mother of Jesus and the wife of Joseph. She was a virgin when Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Joseph was betrothed to Mary when he discovered she was pregnant. He intended to put her away secretly because this was shameful. However, an angel told Joseph what had happened. So Joseph took Mary as his wife, and kept her as a virgin until she gave birth to Jesus. During her pregnancy, Mary spent time with her relative Elizabeth, who was the mother of John the Baptist
    (Luke 1:39-56). Mary was not a perpetual virgin, as she later became the mother of other sons and daughters
    (Matthew 13:55-56). Mary was a widow at the time of Jesus' death. While on the cross, Jesus committed her to the care of John, his apostle
    (John 19:25-27).

    The Curse of Jehoiakim
    An unusual curse in Jeremiah 36:1-32 gives new insight into the virgin birth of Jesus.

    The Curse
    Jehoiakim was a king of Israel. He angered God by burning a scroll that Jeremiah the prophet wrote. God cursed Jehoiakim by indicating that none of his children would sit on the throne of David (Jeremiah 36:29-31). And although Jehoiakim had children, scripture shows that none of them ever reigned as King David had.

    The Problem
    Joseph, the father of Jesus, was one of Jehoiakim's descendants (through Jeconiah). Joseph's offspring could not claim David's throne because of the curse. Jesus laid claim to the throne of David
    (Luke 1:32, Acts 2:30, Hebrews 12:2). If Jesus had been born of Joseph, the curse would have been contradicted. Also, God had promised David that one of his physical descendants would reign on the throne of his kingdom forever
    (2 Samuel 7:12-13). As explained above, Joseph was excluded from being the genetic father of the future king of Israel. It was impossible to fulfill the requirements of both curse and promise by natural means. One man had to be both heir to and offspring of David, without being the genetic descendant of Jehoiakim. This problem required a divine solution.

    The Solution
    God created a solution through the miracle of the virgin birth. Although Joseph was one of Jehoiakim's offspring (through Solomon), Mary was not. She was a descendant of Nathan, one of David's other sons
    (Luke 3:31). God's promise to David was fulfilled because Mary was the biological parent of Jesus. The virgin birth also addressed the curse God had pronounced upon Jehoiakim. Kingship was an inherited right. By Joseph, Jesus inherited a legal claim to the throne of David. However, he was exempt from the curse of Jehoiakim because Joseph was not his genetic father. So the miracle of the virgin birth accomplished God's will in two ways. First, it granted Jesus a legal claim to the throne of David. And second, it maintained the integrity of the curse God had pronounced upon Jehoiakim. Indeed, Jesus was not one of Jehoiakim's offspring.

    Alleged Discrepancies
    A discussion of the genealogies would be incomplete without considering some of the apparent discrepancies between the records. Some of the most common objections are raised here. Those which are addressed in greater detail in the preceding information, are briefly recapped.

    1. If Matthew indicated there were 42 generations from Abraham to Jesus, why do only 40 names appear in his genealogy? This is a common objection, which a cursory look at
    Matthew 1:17 would seem to justify. However, careful examination shows that Matthew broke the genealogy down into three historic divisions, each of which contained fourteen generations. Two of the names are repeated. David's was repeated because he was alive when the first division ended, and the second division began. It is widely held that Jeconiah's name was repeated because of a mistranslation. Jeconiah's father's name was Jehoiakim. The names had similar spellings. Apparently the oversight of transcribers caused the name to be repeated. This scenario has added credibility because some ancient manuscripts actually do contain both names.

    2. Matthew's genealogy is inconsistent with Old Testament records, that show Matthew skipped generations. Matthew's genealogy was deliberately abridged. This may have been to aid in memorization of the tables. Old Testament writers also abridged their genealogical records, so Matthew had scriptural precedent to do so
    (compare Ezra 7:3 with 1 Chronicles 6:7-10).

    3. Comparison shows that Matthew and Luke did not record the same names in their genealogies. Since they are not in harmony with each other, one or both of them must be erroneous. Matthew and Luke traced two family histories. Matthew recorded the ancestors of Joseph, the legal father of Jesus. Luke recorded the ancestors of Mary, the biological mother of Jesus. The divergence of names is natural, given the fact that both authors presented two different family trees.

    4. Luke stated that Joseph was the son of Heli, while Matthew stated he was the son of Jacob. The Jerusalem Talmud shows that Joseph was the son-in-law of Heli. Joseph's father was Jacob. It was customary to refer to a son-in-law as a son in the first century. So Luke's statement was culturally correct."



    The Infancy, Childhood, and Growth To Maturity of Jesus Christ

    In this section we will look at the infancy, childhood, and growth to maturity of Jesus Christ. Why? His young years prove His humanity and His further identification with each human individual.

    If you plant seeds of kindness
    You will reap a harvest of love

    An unknown author at Direction, Inc. had this to say about Christ's childhood:

    The Birth and Youth of Jesus

    While the Bible provides extensive details regarding the birth of Jesus, there is little known of His growing years other than one event when He was twelve years old.

    "When Jesus was twelve years old he accompanied his parents to Jerusalem for the annual Passover Festival, which they attended each year. After the celebration was over they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn't miss him the first day, for they assumed he was with friends among the other travelers. But when he didn't show up that evening, they started to look for him among their relatives and friends; and when they couldn't find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there. Three days later they finally discovered him. He was in the Temple, sitting among the teachers of Law, discussing deep questions with them and amazing everyone with his understanding and answers. His parents didn't know what to think. "Son!" his mother said to him. "Why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere." "But why did you need to search?" he asked. "Didn't you realize that I would be here at the Temple, in my Father's House?" But they didn't understand what he meant. Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them; and his mother stored away all these things in her heart. So Jesus grew both tall and wise, and was loved by God and man."
    (Luke 2:41-52).

    "These are the facts concerning the birth of Jesus Christ. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But while she was still a virgin she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph, her fianc�, being a man of stern principle, decided to break the engagement but to do it quietly, as he didn't want to publicly disgrace her. As he lay awake considering this, he fell into a dream, and saw an angel standing beside him. "Joseph, son of David," the angel said, "don't hesitate to take Mary as your wife! For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a Son, and you shall name him Jesus (meaning 'Savior'), for he will save his people from their sins. This will fulfill God's message through his prophets- 'Listen! The virgin shall conceive a child! She shall give birth to a Son, and he shall be called "Emmanuel" (meaning "God is with us").' When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel commanded and brought Mary home to be his wife, but she remained a virgin until her Son was born; and Joseph named him "Jesus."
    (Matthew 1: 18-25).

    In the Bible there are 2,003 scriptures
    dealing with the poor

    The Encyclopedia Encarta had this information about Christ's childhood:

    "Two of the Gospels, those of Saint Matthew and Saint Luke, provide information about Jesus' birth and childhood. They also provide genealogies tracing Jesus' descent through the Hebrew patriarch Abraham and the 10th-century BC King David
    (Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38). Presumably, the genealogies are offered as proof of Jesus' messiahship. According to
    Matthew (1:18-25) and Luke (1:1-2:20), Jesus was miraculously conceived by his mother. He was born in Bethlehem, where Joseph and Mary had gone to comply with the Roman edict of enrollment for the census. Matthew alone
    (Matthew 2:13-23) describes the flight into Egypt, when Joseph and Mary took the child out of reach of the Judean king Herod the Great. Only Luke relates the compliance of Joseph and Mary with the Jewish law, which required circumcision and presentation of the firstborn son at the Temple in Jerusalem
    (Matthew 2:21-24). Luke also describes their later journey
    (Luke 2:41-51) with the young Jesus to the Temple for the Passover feast. The Gospels mention nothing concerning Jesus from the time he was 12 years old until the time he began his public ministry, about 18 years later- "



    The Baptism of Jesus Christ

    In this section we will look at the water baptism of Jesus Christ. Why? Because He is showing us the way to follow. The Greek word for the English word "baptism" is "baptizo" which means to immerse, plunge, dip, or bury in water. The act of water baptism is an outward symbol (of water) of an inner cleansing (by blood).

    Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan river near Bethany. Jesus was about 30 years old when he was baptized.

    John was reluctant to baptize Jesus, for he said "I have need to be baptized by you." John knew that Jesus was the son of God. Jesus had no need to be forgiven of sins because he was sinless. Knowing John's reluctance, Jesus told him, "It is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." So John obeyed Jesus and baptized him in the Jordan River.

    Here is the scriptural account of Jesus' baptism in water:

    Matthew 3:13-16
    "Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."

    The phrase "to fulfill all righteousness" simply means "to set the example." Jesus was setting an example for the rest of us to follow.

    Ken Palmer in his writing titled "The Baptism of Christ" had this to say:

    "God's response:
    When Jesus came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended as a dove, and the voice of God spoke from Heaven, saying "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased."

    Jesus begins his ministry:
    Following his baptism, Jesus was lead by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Jesus began his ministry after these events.

    The Nature of God:
    The baptism of Jesus confirms the Biblical doctrine of the trinity. Besides John the Baptist, there are 3 individuals presented in the baptism:

    My (Kraig Rice's) personal opinion about the views of unsaved critics of the Bible is not sympathetic. The Bible is a love letter to God's children from God. Have you ever had a love letter from another person of the opposite sex? If so, would you want some outsider grabbing your letter away from you and criticizing it to their friends in front of you? No way! Your love letter in about a relationship between you and the one you love. Children of the devil, whether they are infiltrators into Christianity from a Satanic or witchcraft coven or not, don't have a right to read and criticize God's love letter to God's children. They are children of the devil. They are outsiders. God's love letter is not to them or for them, except as it may influence them to accept Christ as their saviour. If they criticize God's love letter anyways, regardless of their motive(s), then we can consider their efforts to be a Satanic stronghold that needs to be attacked. And God has raised up certain individuals in the field of apologetics (a defense of the Christian faith) to do this. They refute the false teachings of the false teachers and cults that lead others into doctrinal error. This is a specific calling and teaching from God to certain Christian individuals to perform a specific duty for Him in this area.

  • God the Father speaking from Heaven
  • God the Son at His water baptism
  • God the Holy Spirit descending from Heaven in the form of a dove

    The Trinity or godhead consists of 3 beings: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

    Jesus Christ (God the Son) is not God the Father:
    God's word shows that Jesus was not an incarnation of the Father. If Jesus had been, then it would have been more accurate for God the Father to say from Heaven "This is an incarnation of myself. I am pleased with myself."

    The Holy Spirit is not an "It". The Holy Spirit is presented as an individual, who leads Jesus into the wilderness after he is baptized. John the Baptist called the Holy Spirit by the masculine pronoun "He," which also shows that the Spirit is not an "It," but an individual."
    (John 1:32).

    Baptism by submersion signifies the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The believer goes under the water signifying death (as when one is placed beneath the sod in physical death). The believer comes up out of the water signifying resurrection. As Jesus was resurrected so also each of God's saved children will be resurrected to life everlasting. The scripture on this is:

    Romans 6:3-5
    "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his."

    Here are a few other scriptures on water baptism:

    Galatians 3:26-27:
    "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."

    Matthew 28:19-20:
    "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."

    Acts 2:38-41:
    "And Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him." And he testified with many other words and exhorted them, saying, "Save yourselves from this crooked generation." So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls."



    The Temptation (or Testing) of Jesus Christ

    In this section we will study the testing of Jesus Christ by the devil. Why? Because all testing is similar. The way Satan tested Christ may be the way the he tests you and I. It will help each of us to know what Satan may throw at us. Satan did not test Christ's deity. Satan tested Christ's humanity. Satan thought that Christ's humanity (or flesh) was His weak point. Prior to this time Satan had tested humans (for thousands of years) to sin against God due to the weakness of their flesh. And, unfortunately, he had been somewhat successful with this strategy.
    "For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure (lust of the flesh), the lust for everything we see (lust of the eye), and pride in our possessions (pride of life). These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world"
    (I John 2:16).

    The bible states that Jesus Christ was tempted in all points like we are
    "This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin"
    (Hebrews 4:15).

    Human temptations are divided into three areas:
    1. the lust of the flesh
    2. the lust of the eye
    3. the pride of life

    Satan also used these 3 areas of temptation on Adam and Eve and he was successful. Why shouldn't he try these 3 also on Jesus? Why shouldn't he try these on you and I? Satan's strategy is to derail you and I from our relationship with God. Let's look at these temptations:

    In regards to the lust of the flesh: {my (Kraig Rice) paraphrase}

    Satan told Eve to eat the fruit of the tree of good and evil. It would be pleasurable to eat the fruit.

    Satan told Jesus to turn the stones into bread to eat. It would be pleasurable to eat the bread.

    In the first temptation Satan tempted Jesus with his true personality. Jesus used the Word of God, His dependence and faith on His father, and He used the power of the Holy Spirit to defeat Satan. The fulness of the Holy Spirit yields power to help you overcome temptation. Satan appealed to Christ as a man. Satan used His hunger for food as a temptation. Be independent- take your own initiative to satisfy your needs and wants. It's sin to act independent of God. Christ did nothing apart from the will of His father. The physical shall not dominate is the answer that Christ gave to Satan.

    My note:
    God wants each of His children to carry a cross of self denial. If you go into a candy shop and eat everything that is there then you are going to get sick. Unbridled physical pleasure outside of God's boundaries can be fatal. For instance, adultery is called the blood sin because, many times, it leads to someone getting killed. Unbridled sex may lead one to getting AIDS, etc. Satan keeps on tempting everyone to sin.

    In regards to the lust of the eye: (my paraphrase)
    Satan told Eve: the forbidden fruit looks so delicious. It tastes as good as it looks. You want it. You have to have it. It will be good for you. Go ahead and take a little bite and see for yourself. And when you do your eyes will be opened which will also be good for you. Take a second look. It even looks better the second time, doesn't it!

    Satan told Jesus: look at all of the money, sex, power, and fame that is in the evil world system. You can have it all. Look at the glitter of sparkling diamonds and the yellow color of all of that gold. I will give it all to You if you fall down and worship me.

    In this temptation the devil was trying to get Jesus away from the pathway of perfect service. The devil is the prince of this world. Service is linked to worship. Satan thinks that every person has a price at which they can be bought. He can offer money, sex, power, and fame to get a person to serve and worship him.

    My note:
    Things don't always taste as good as they look. Some rowdy teenagers went into a restaurant one time and dumped the contents of the salt shaker into the sugar bowl. That sugar looked good and sweet. But the next customer, which happened to be me, put 3 tea spoons of it into my cup of coffee and it was ruined rather than enhanced.

    If you are a fisherman you want to use a glittery lure to attract the fish. It looks so good to the hungry fish. But the lure does not taste as good as it looks-

    What is lust? One description of lust is when a person takes the second look. There is a true and tragic story in the Bible that emphasizes my point. This story starts off this way: "David's son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar. And Amnon, her half brother, fell desperately in love with her. Amnon became so obsessed with Tamar that he became ill. She was a virgin, and it seemed impossible that he could ever fulfill his love for her."

    Amnon lusted after his half sister. He took the second look. After he raped her the fruit of the victory did not taste as good as it had looked. Guilt can do that. "Then suddenly Amnon's love turned to hate, and he hated her even more than he had loved her. "Get out of here!" he snarled at her.

    The story had a tragic ending. "So at Absalom's signal they murdered Amnon."
    (2 Samuel Chapter One). Temptations must be resisted like our Lord Jesus Christ showed us to do no matter how good they may appear.

    In regards to the pride of life: (my paraphrase)
    Satan told Eve: You shall be as gods. Trust in yourself without God's help. Be your own god. Be self sufficient. You don't need God. Owning deity is one's greatest possession and goal. If man cannot become God then he does the next best thing: he makes himself into a god with self worship. This was Satan's goal and he achieved self worship through his pride on his own without God's help.

    Satan told Jesus: Go ahead and throw yourself down. You won't die. A god cannot die. Trust in yourself without God's help. Be self sufficient. Only pride in Himself would have made Jesus throw Himself down. But that was Satan's sin. Instead, Jesus was humble. Jesus did not trust in Himself to do His own will but His father's will. Christ is God but He didn't have to prove it to Satan for this test.

    In this temptation Satan tried to undermine Christ's trust and confidence in God. The high pinnacle shows pride. Each of us should beware of pride that would lead us down the wrong pathway. To test God in this manner would be to show a lack of trust in God. Trust abides in confidence.

    My note:
    We should always recognize our dependence on God. We should strive to be like Him but not to replace Him.

    An unknown author at Direction, Inc. had this to say about Christ's temptation:

    "...now God understands our human dilemma- that we cannot successfully combat the evil temptations of satan within the weakness of human flesh- that we need Divine help.

    Jesus, the incarnate God, experienced these three temptations prior to entering His public ministry and is now able to sympathize with and help those who come to Him for deliverance from temptation."

    Ken Palmer in his writing on "The Temptation of Christ" had this to say:

    "And immediately the Spirit impelled Him to go out into the wilderness. And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him."
    (Mark 1:12-13)

    "So begins and ends Mark's account of the wilderness temptations. Mark's concise summary helps establish the setting for the temptation of Jesus.

    The wilderness temptation is the first recorded event that follows the baptism of Jesus. It's important to review Christ's baptism to better understand the nature of Satan's attacks.

    Baptism of Jesus:
    When Jesus was baptized God declared, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased"
    (Matthew 3:17, Mark 1:11). Satan challenged this declaration in the first two temptations.

    The wilderness:
    Following the baptism, Mark indicated that the Spirit "immediately" led Jesus into the wilderness. The word "wilderness" refers to deserted areas in the unpopulated wilds of Palestine. It is often translated as "desert." Mark indicates Jesus was "with the wild beasts," presumably isolated from the distractions of humanity
    (Mark 1:13).

    Jesus fasts 40 days:
    According to Luke, Jesus "ate nothing" for 40 days prior to the temptation
    (Luke 4:2). Moses and Elijah endured similar fasts before receiving divine revelations from God
    (Exodus 34:28, 1st Kings 19:8).

    And after He had fasted 40 days and 40 nights He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."
    (Matthew 4:2-3).

    The First Temptation:
    Satan tried to place doubt in the mind of Jesus with the words "If you are the Son of God." Matthew shows that the devil came at the end of Jesus' fast.

    The Trap:
    The danger of this temptation was not in making bread. Jesus was not under a prohibition from miraculously creating food. On two occasions Jesus used his power to create bread for a multitude of people"
    (see Mark 6:35-44, Mark 8:1-21). The real peril lay in Satan's proposed reason for creating bread. That reason being "If you are the Son of God." Satan was challenging Christ's credentials.

    Jesus quotes Moses:
    But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"
    (Matthew 4:4). Jesus immediately perceived the real danger, and responded with a passage from
    Deuteronomy 8:3. In that passage, Moses reminded the Israelites that God humbled them in the wilderness when He provided manna from heaven.

    His humble attitude:
    This quote gives insight into Christ's mindset during this ordeal. His reliance on God's will is contrasted with reliance on temporal things, like food. Jesus humbly relied on God. He rendered obedience by not doubting God's declaration, "This is my beloved Son."

    Then the devil took Him into the holy city; and he had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If you are the Son of God throw yourself down. For it is written, 'He will give His angels charge concerning you,' and, 'On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone."
    (Matthew 4:5-6).

    The Second Temptation:
    Satan took Jesus to Jerusalem to stand on the temple. There Satan challenged Jesus to throw himself down. Although the exact spot is not given, Josephus recorded that Herod's royal portico towered 450 feet over the Kedron Valley (Antiquities XV.412).

    Satan misquotes scripture:
    Having lost the first challenge, Satan appeals to scripture by quoting
    Psalm 91:11-12. When isolated from other passages, this proposal seems reasonable. If Jesus were God's Son, then scripture promised to save Him.

    Jesus Responds:
    Deceptively, Satan tried inciting Jesus to test the scripture. Jesus addressed the real issue by quoting
    Deuteronomy 6:16. Jesus said to him, "On the other hand it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'"
    (Matthew 4:7).

    Testing God:
    To commit this act would have tested God, not scripture. Putting God to the test does not refer to an exam. Rather, the idea of "experimenting with God" is contained in this phrase. Had He fallen to this temptation, Jesus would have substituted humble faith in God's guidance with a blatant challenge to the Father's loving kindness. God protects His children, but also expects them to exercise sound judgement.

    Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory. And he said to Him, "All these things will I give you if you fall down and worship me"
    (Matthew 4:8-9).

    The Third Temptation:
    Since no mountain stands high enough to view all the world's kingdoms, it's likely that Satan exercised some supernatural power to show Christ "all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time"
    (Luke 4:5).

    Satan's authority:
    Jesus did not question Satan's authority to grant the world's kingdoms. Bear in mind, however, that Jesus did not directly address Satan's apparent deceptions in the first two temptations. Either Satan possessed this authority, or he was validating his reputation as "the father of lies"
    (John 8:44). In either case, Satan's authority was not the issue. His suggestion violated the first commandment, "You shall have no other gods before Me"
    (Exodus 20:3).

    Jesus Responds:
    Then Jesus said to him, "Begone, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only"
    (Matthew 4:10). Again, Jesus quoted Moses; this time from
    Deuteronomy 6:13.

    Gospel differences:
    The order of the 2nd and 3rd temptations are inverted in Matthew and Luke. Which account is chronological? Many commentators belive that Matthew's account is chronological, while Luke's is topical. This opinion is founded on two facts.
    Matthew 4:5 and 4:11 contain the word "then" when transitioning through this event. Luke connects the temptations with the word "and," which contains no chronological inference. Jesus' response to the third temptation strengthen this view. The words "Begone, Satan!" likely signal an end to this trial.

    Angels minister to Jesus:
    Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him
    (Matthew 4:11). When Satan left, angels attended to the needs of Jesus. The next angelic appearance during Christ's ministry occured when He was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. An angel appeared in the garden to strengthen Him
    (Luke 22:43).

    Twice the writer of Hebrews indicated that Jesus was tempted. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted
    (Hebrews 2:18). For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin
    (Hebrews 4:15).

    Jesus was tempted by Satan, and was in fact tempted in all the ways that we are tempted today. Yet He did not sin. One reason Jesus is our perfect high priest is because he can sympathize with us. He knows how it felt to be tempted."

    "And remember, no one who wants to do wrong should ever say, "God is tempting me." God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else either. Temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires. These evil desires lead to evil actions, and evil actions lead to death."
    (James 1:13-15). (NLT)

    "Then Jesus was led out into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, to be tempted there by Satan. For forty days and forty nights he ate nothing and became very hungry.

    Then Satan tempted him to get food by changing stones into loaves of bread. "It will prove you are the Son of God," he said. (lust of the flesh) But Jesus told him, "No! For the Scriptures tell us that bread won't feed men's souls: obedience to every word of God is what we need."

    Then Satan took him to Jerusalem to the roof of the Temple. "Jump off," he said, "and prove you are the Son of God; for the Scriptures declare, 'God will send his angels to keep you from harm,' . . . they will prevent you from smashing on the rocks below." (pride of life) Jesus retorted, "It also says not to put the Lord your God to a foolish test!"

    Next Satan took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him the nations of the world and all their glory. "I'll give it all to you," he said, "if you will only kneel and worship me." (lust of the eye) "Get out of here, Satan," Jesus told him. "The Scriptures say, 'Worship only the Lord God. Obey only him.' Then Satan went away, and angels came and cared for Jesus."
    (Matthew 4:1-11).

    "That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it."
    (Hebrews 4:14-16).

    Roman map of Judea



    The Ministry of Jesus Christ in Judea

    In this section we will look at the ministry of Christ in Judea. Why? It is important to know where He went and what He did in the southern part of the nation of Israel. We can know a lot about Him this way.

    The Encyclopedia Encarta contained this information about the Lord's ministry in Judea:

    "Jesus' public ministry started after the imprisonment of John the Baptist, and lasted for three years. He was then baptized in the Jordan River and tempted by Satan in the wilderness of Judea.

    Later, despite growing opposition to Him in Jerusalem, Jesus' popularity increased, especially among social outcasts and the oppressed. Eventually, the enthusiasm of his followers led them to make an attempt to take him by force, to make him king
    (John 6:15). Jesus, however, frustrated this attempt, withdrawing with his disciples by ship over the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias) to Capernaum
    (John 6:15-21). In Capernaum, he delivered a discourse in which he proclaimed himself the Bread of Life.

    Jesus then divided His time between travels to cities in and outside the province of Galilee and periods of retreat with his disciples in Bethany
    (Mark 11:11-12) and Ephraim (John 11:54), two villages near Jerusalem. The synoptists (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) generally agree that Jesus spent most of his time in Galilee, but John centers Jesus' public ministry in the province of Judea, reporting that Jesus made numerous visits to Jerusalem. According to John, his discourses and the miracles he performed at this time particularly the raising of Lazarus in Bethany
    (John 11:1-44) made many people believe in him (John 11:45)."

    An unknown author at injesus.com in his writing titled "Matthew Introduction" gave us this outline about His ministry in the south:

             a. His ministry in Judea- Matthew 20:17-34
                1) Another prediction of Christ's death and resurrection- 
                   Matthew 20:17-19
                2) Ambitious request of Zebedee's sons- Matthew 20:20-28
                3) Healing of two blind men- Matthew 20:29-34
             b. His ministry in Jerusalem- Matthew 21:1-25:46
                1) Triumphal entry- Matthew 21:1-11
                2) Cleansing the Temple- Matthew 21:12-17
                3) Cursing of the barren fig tree- Matthew 21:18-22
                4) Questioning of Jesus' authority and His 
                   parabolic answer- 
                   Matthew 21:23-22:14
                5) Questioning of Jesus by various groups- Matthew 22:15-46
                6) Jesus' public denunciation of the Pharisees- 
                   Matthew 23:1-39
                7) Olivet Discourse- Matthew 24:1-25:46



    The Ministry of Jesus Christ in Galilee

    In this section we will look at the ministry of Christ in Galilee. Why? It is important to know where He went and what He did in the northern part of the nation of Israel. We can know a lot about Him this way.

    Bob Deffinbaugh in his writing titled "The Commencement of Jesus� Ministry" had this to say about Christ's ministry in Galilee:

    A Historical Footnote:
    "When the United Kingdom Of Israel was divided during the reign of Rehoboam, Galilee became a part of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The Southern Kingdom was Judah, which continued to be ruled by the descendants of David. The Northern Kingdom, under Jeroboam and subsequent ungodly kings, turned to false worship. Israel did not do much better, although some of her kings were godly men. When both kingdoms became corrupt, God began to warn of a coming day of judgment, a day when God would use the Assyrians as His instrument of judgment, carrying the people of the Northern Kingdom into captivity. The Assyrians would threaten Judah and Jerusalem but would not succeed in sacking that city.
    (Isaiah 8:1-8).

    Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, did just as God had forewarned
    (2 Kings 15:29).

    When the Assyrians sacked the Northern Kingdom, they carried the people to Assyria. Later, Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, would once again march against Israel and would carry the Israelites into exile in Assyria
    (2 Kings 17:1-6). The Assyrians then brought captives from other places to live in the Northern Kingdom
    (2 Kings 17:24). As a result, the Northern Kingdom (which included Galilee) became diluted (the people of Judah would probably say polluted) ethnically and spiritually. Over time the Jewish population in the Northern Kingdom increased somewhat. Nevertheless, for the Jews of Judah and Jerusalem, Galilee was not considered a place of status. As Bruner put it,

    Galilee is a strange place for a Messiah to work. There is no early rabbinic reference to the Messiah�s appearing or working in Galilee. Galilee was not just geographically far from Jerusalem; it was considered spiritually and politically far, too. Galilee was the most pagan of the Jewish provinces, located as it was at the northernmost tier of Palestine. This distance from Zion was not only geographic; Galileans were considered by Judaeans to sit rather loosely to the law and to be less biblically pure than those in or near Jerusalem. Finally, Galilee was notorious for being the nest of revolution and the haunt of Zealot revolutionary movements. Just a few years before Jesus� birth, Sephoris, capital city of Galilee, had been led in revolt by Judas of Galilee against the Roman government and had brought Galilee into defeat and many of the people of God into shame.
    The people living in Galilee were called Samaritans. Israel and the Samaritans had never become friends since that happened. They did not like each other. So, most of the Children of Israel would not travel through the country belonging to the Samaritans. The Samaritans did not treat the Children of Israel very well either.

    Matthew very cryptically informs his readers that Jesus left Nazareth and settled in Capernaum "by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali"
    (Matthew 4:12). Because this was our Lord�s home base, only a few miracles were performed there (due to their unbelief), including the healing of the centurion�s servant
    (Matthew 8:5-13), and of Simon�s mother-in-law (Matthew 8:14-17), exorcising the man with an unclean spirit
    (Mark 1:23-28), and the healing of the paralytic who was lowered through the roof
    (Mark 2:1-12). No wonder Jesus could say that Capernaum was worthy of greater condemnation:

    "And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be thrown down to Hades! For if the miracles done among you had been done in Sodom, it would have continued to this day. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for the region of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you!"
    (Matthew 11:23-24).
    Capernaum may have its military garrison, and a tax-collector�s office, where Matthew was seated
    (Matthew 9:1, 9), but it was hardly the kind of town one would expect the Messiah to make his headquarters:

    Little is known about Capernaum, but Matthew tells us that it occupied a seaside position and that it was in the general area of Zebulon and Naphtali. The name Capernaum means "Nahum�s village," but this does not help us because it is not known who the Nahum in question was. It is generally accepted that the site of the city is that known as "Tell Hum" at the northwest corner of the Sea of Galilee. It was of fair size (J. P. Kane says that its area was c. 800 by 250 m.), but it was not a great city and there are few references to it outside the Gospels. For whatever reason, Jesus made Capernaum the center of his ministry rather than his hometown
    (Matthew 9:1).

    What is so important about Capernaum and Galilee that Matthew makes such a point of telling us about these places? Matthew wants his readers to know that Jesus� withdrawal to Galilee was no mistake; it was, in fact, the fulfillment of prophecy, another proof that Jesus is the promised Messiah.

    "The gloom will be dispelled for those who were anxious. In earlier times he humiliated the land of Zebulun, and the land of Naphtali; but now he brings honor to the way of the sea, the region beyond the Jordan, and Galilee of the nations. The people walking in darkness see a bright light; light shines on those who live in a land of deep darkness"
    (Isaiah 9:1-2).
    Matthew cites the first two verses of Isaiah 9. In chapter 8, Isaiah warned of the coming invasion of the Assyrians, which would sack the Northern Kingdom and threaten Judah. Now in chapter 9, Isaiah speaks of a coming day of salvation and deliverance. While the more immediate deliverance will be a return to the land of Israel, Matthew sees the ultimate deliverance in the coming of Messiah. It is Matthew alone who points to our Lord�s withdrawal into Galilee as the fulfillment of prophecy. It is noteworthy, as R.V.G. Tasker points out that,
    The expressions "by the way of the sea" (towards the Mediterranean) and "beyond Jordan" (west of Jordan) depict the district from the viewpoint of the Assyrian invaders.
    As the Assyrians (followed by the Babylonians) made their destructive assault on the Northern Kingdom, as they made their way toward Judah, so Jesus made His saving assault first in Galilee, and then later in Judah. Matthew�s reference to Isaiah 9 indicates that it was his belief that the prophet Isaiah foretold (perhaps unwittingly) the geographical sequence of our Lord�s coming to save His people.

    Can anything good come out of Nazareth?

    For the above reasons the Jews were prejudiced against the Galileans at that time called Samaritans.

    Up to this point in Matthew, Jesus has not yet preached nor has He performed any miracle. Let�s briefly review where Matthew has taken us thus far. In chapter 1, Matthew�s genealogy shows that Jesus is qualified to be King of Israel because He is both a "son of Abraham" and a "son of David"
    (Matthew 1:1-17). It is also emphasized that several women in the messianic line were Gentiles. In Matthew�s account of the birth of Jesus
    (Matthew 1:18� 2:12), he provides an angelic witness to the virgin birth and testimony from Gentile magi that Jesus is the "king of the Jews"
    (Matthew 2:2).

    I believe the remainder of Matthew chapter 2 is closely related to our text.
    In Matthew 2:13-18, Matthew records the flight of Joseph and his family to Egypt, along with an account of the slaughter of the innocent infants. I take these verses as an early indication of the fact that Jesus will be rejected, opposed, and eventually put to death. The final verses of
    Matthew chapter 2 (Matthew 2:19-23) contain a similar theme. When Joseph is given the angelic instruction to take his family back to the land of Israel, he is providentially guided to Nazareth in Galilee, and not to Judah. As a result, Matthew informs us, prophecy is fulfilled, prophecy that indicated Jesus would be called a Nazarene. There is no Old Testament text that we can directly link with this reference to Nazareth
    Matthew 2:23. Some scholars think it was a cultural rather than scriptural reference.

    For myself (Bob Deffinbaugh), I am inclined to the view of Frederick Bruner and others:

    "For theological reasons I like to consider the...possibility, and it is no more than a possibility, that for Matthew a person from Nazareth, a Nazorean, was considered a nobody and that this, too, is what prophets had often predicted the Christ would at first be considered and become for us- One likes to think that the Nazorean divinely promised through the prophets was the suffering Messiah, the Servant of God whose roots were transplanted first from Bethlehem to Egypt, and then from Egypt into the parched ground of Nazareth- "He shall be called a Nazorean," then, may mean at least this: "he shall be considered a nobody."
    Our Lord�s ministry was not only extensive, it was taxing and time consuming, as D.A. Carson indicates:
    "Jesus� ministry included teaching, preaching, and healing. Galilee, the district covered, is small (approximately seventy by forty miles); but according to Josephus, writing one generation later, Galilee had 204 cities and villages, each with no fewer than fifteen thousand persons. Even if this figure refers only to the walled cities and not to the villages (which is not what Josephus says), a most conservative estimate points to a large population, even if less than Josephus�s three million. At the rate of two villages or towns per day, three months would be required to visit all of them, with no time off for the Sabbath."
    Jesus Heals, Preaches, and Teaches in Galilee
    (Matthew 4:23-25):
    "Jesus went throughout all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of disease and sickness among the people."
    "So a report about him spread throughout Syria. People brought to him all who suffered with various illnesses and afflictions, epileptics, paralytics, and those possessed by demons, and he healed them."
    "And large crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan River."
    We should keep in mind that the greater portion of our Lord�s earthly ministry occurred in Galilee. Here, Matthew describes the commencement of Jesus� Galilean ministry as starting out with a bang. It was an instant success. It could not have been otherwise. Jesus went "throughout all Galilee," teaching, preaching, and healing
    (Matthew 4:23). You can imagine how word must have spread. Matthew gives us a general, overall description of our Lord�s success in Galilee."

    The Encyclopedia Encarta had this to say about our Lord's ministry:

    "After Jesus' baptism and temptation in the wilderness, he returned to Galilee, visited his home in Nazareth
    (Luke 4:16-30), where his fellow Nazarenes objected to him, and then moved to Capernaum and began teaching there. About this time, according to the synoptists, Jesus called His first disciples."

    An unknown author at injesus.com in his writing titled "Matthew Introduction" gives us this outline:

    The ministry of Jesus Christ- Matthew 4:12-25:46
             a. His ministry in Galilee- Matthew 4:12-18:35
                1) Residence at Capernaum- Matthew 4:12-17
                2) Call of four disciples- Matthew 4:18-22
                3) General survey of the Galilean ministry- Matthew 4:23-25
                4) Sermon on the mount- Matthew 5:1-7:29
                5) Ten miracles and related events- Matthew 8:1-9:38
                6) Mission of the twelve- Matthew 10:1-42
                7) Christ's answer to John, and related discourse- 
                   Matthew 11:1-30
                8) Opposition from the Pharisees- Matthew 12:1-50
                9) A series of parables on the kingdom- Matthew 13:1-58
               10) Withdrawal of Jesus following John's beheading- 
                   Matthew 14:1-36
               11) Conflict with the Pharisees over tradition- Matthew 15:1-20
               12) Withdrawal to Phoenecia and healing of a Canaanitish
                   woman's daughter- Matthew 15:21-28
               13) Return to the Sea of Galilee and performing of miracles-
                   Matthew 15:29-38
               14) Renewed conflict with the Pharisees and Sadducees- 
                   Matthew 15:39-16:4
               15) Withdrawal to the region of Caesarea Philippi- 
                   Matthew 16:5-17:23
               16) Instruction of the twelve at Capernaum- 
                   Matthew 17:24-18:35
            b. His ministry in Perea- Matthew 19:1-20:16
               1) Teaching on divorce- Matthew 19:1-12
               2) Blessing of the children- Matthew 19:13-15
               3) Interview with the rich young man- Matthew 19:16-30
               4) Parable of the laborers in the vineyard- 
                  Matthew 20:1-16



    The Preaching and Teaching of Jesus Christ

    In this section we will look at the preaching and teaching of Christ. Why? It is important to know what He said. We can know a lot about Him this way. We will look at
    The Kingdom of God
    Old Testament history and miracles
    The Sermon on the Mount and Final Address
    A list of the parables of Jesus
    what He taught about money, and
    what He said about the Old Testament scriptures

    Jesus Christ preached with His life. Jesus is love. Everything that He said and did was from a motive of pure love. He is the Gospel that all men must obey.

    What was His first sermon?
    "From that time Jesus began to preach this message: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."
    (Matthew 4:17).

    How did Jesus teach?

    Jesus used Simpicity in His teaching-
    He used profound truth in simple language. In most cases He taught on the modern equivalent of a third grade level so all could understand Him.

    Jesus was Informal in His teaching-
    He prepared no written lessons or addresses for speaking to large crowds- His teaching was natural.

    Jesus used Concrete Examples in His teaching-
    He used parables and illustrations- He taught with authority. He got His point across to His listeners.

    Jesus was Progressive in His teaching-
    He progressed from old truth in the Old Testament scriptures to new truth.

    Jesus had Ethos in His teaching-
    Jesus had character. He lived and practiced what He taught.

    Jesus was Foundational in His teaching-
    He taught basic truth including seed ideas.

    Jesus used several Methods in His teaching-
    He used simple figures of speech, parables, and object lessons (such as the money in the mouth of the fish). He made use of questions, used miracles, and made use of the Old Testament scriptures.

    Jesus preached a lot about the Kingdom of God. What is the Kingdom of God? To answer this question I quote from a short research paper I wrote many years ago:

    The Kingdom of God
    (written by Kraig J. Rice when I was in Bible College)

    "To me the kingdom of God refers to two things: the one thousand year Millennial Reign of Christ here on earth, and the heart of a believer. The kingdom is set forth in Scripture as a rule established on earth, and also the spiritual condition of a believer's heart.
    Isaiah 24:23 states, "Then the LORD Almighty will mount his throne on Mount Zion. He will rule gloriously in Jerusalem, in the sight of all the leaders of his people. There will be such glory that the brightness of the sun and moon will seem to fade away." The kingdom of God appears seventeen times in Matthew's Gospel, and Jesus introduced into the model for prayer which He gave His disciples the words "thy kingdom come."

    Glimpses of the coming kingdom of God are found from Amos onward. Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, and Micah spoke of a great future beyond the approaching day of evil. The kingdom of God seems to symbolize an ideal future that presents itself at a time when Jehovah reigns in Zion over His people and teaches His ways to all nations.
    Micah 4:7 says, "They are weak and far from home, but I will make them strong again, a mighty nation. Then I, the LORD, will rule from Jerusalem as their king forever."
    Psalms 145:11-13 also states "They will talk together about the glory of your kingdom; they will celebrate examples of your power. They will tell about your mighty deeds and about the majesty and glory of your reign. For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule generation after generation. The LORD is faithful in all he says; he is gracious in all he does."
    Daniel 4:3 states, "How great are his signs, how powerful his wonders! His kingdom will last forever, his rule through all generations."

    This relation of Jehovah to Israel's ideal future is rooted in Israel's past, however, now there is a new covenant and a new people with Jehovah. Salvation has been granted to the gentiles also by the death of Jesus Christ and new prophecy has been given. It seems that the Old Testament prophecies and the Book of Revelation denote the same earthly kingdom of God.
    Revelation 20:6 also states, "Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. For them the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him a thousand years." The word usage of Jesus infers that He thought of the kingdom as having actually begun with Him and His disciples. I believe this refers to the spiritual condition of believers' hearts. It is peculiar to Jesus that He thought of the kingdom of God as having a lowly beginning. The heart of a child is the most favorable soil for it.1 The mustard seed is the fittest symbol of it, both in smallness and in the size of plant which it produces.2 Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is within you."

    Jesus speaks of a kingdom of God as existing on both sides of the grave, or in two spheres- an earthly and a heavenly. There is definately a difference between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Heaven but no difference between these two are clearly marked in the words of Jesus. It seems that possibly when the saints rule with Jesus that the kingdom of God will be the kingdom of Heaven.

    1 "But when Jesus saw what was happening, he was very displeased with his disciples. He said to them, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these"
    (Mark 10:14).

    2 "Jesus asked, "How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it? It is like a tiny mustard seed. Though this is one of the smallest of seeds, it grows to become one of the largest of plants, with long branches where birds can come and find shelter"
    (Mark 4:30-32).

    One of my college professors at the time distributed a paper to each member of the class (Synoptic Gospels) that contained this information about the kingdom of God.

    Christ's central theme was the Kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is a universal rule of God now for all saints. The Kingdom of Heaven is in the future- many believe it will be on this earth after this earth has been renovated and purified with fire.

    Some Reflections On The Kingdom Of God:

    One of the most important phrases in the Bible is "the Kingdom of God." Since the term has varying connotations in Scripture and has been the source of much controversy, it is the feeling of your instructor (Norman Arnesen) that an effort should be made to distinguish between the various aspects of God's rule. The following summary is substantially the work of Doctor Donald G. Barnhouse, to whom we are indebted for this valuable information:

    I. The term "Kingdom" in Greek is basileia 
       which occurs 158 times in the New Testament:
       A. It occurs in the Gospels and the Acts- 132 times
          It occurs in the Pauline Epistles- 17 times
          It occurs in the General Epistles and Revelation- 9 times
       B. The remaining 10 books of the New Testament omit the term.
       C. The Old Testament, Hebrew equivalent to basileia is 
    II. Eight Different Aspects of the Kingdom of God:
       A.  The Kingdom of God in its universal, eternal aspect- 
           God's sovereignty over Heaven, Earth, and Hell- 
           ruling over angels, men, and demons.
       B. The Kingdom of Satan- Christ described it as not being 
          "divided against itself."
       C. The various Kingdoms of Men- Earthly power, rule, 
          and authority. 
       D. An Earthly Kingdom Promised to David- Eventually to dominate 
          the whole world. Also God's answer to the rebellion of Satan 
          and mankind as prophesied in the Old Testament.
       E. The Spiritual Kingdom of God in the hearts of men- 
          Entered into by the New Birth-
          Sometimes called the Kingdom of Heaven or 
          the Kingdom of Christ. It consists today of
          the invisible body of believers (His church).
       F. The Kingdom in Mystery- It is co-existent with 
          the spiritual kingdom of God in the
          hearts of man and a phase of it- 
          representing organized Christendom.
       G. The Future Earthly Kingdom of David with the Lord 
          ruling from Jerusalem. Also known as the Millennium- 
          the realization of an earthly kingdom promised to David.
       H. The Final, Eternal Realization of the Kingdom of God-
          It has a universal, eternal aspect when Christ shall 
          give back all rule to His Father.

    The Encyclopedia Encarta had this to say:

    "He stressed the infinite love of God for the humble and weak, and he promised pardon and eternal life in heaven to the most hardened sinners, provided their repentance was sincere. The essence of these teachings is presented in:
    Matthew 5:1-7 and verse 27, in the Sermon on the Mount
    containing the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12) and
    the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). Jesus' emphasis was on moral sincerity rather than strict adherence to religious ritual."

    I believe in the sun,
    even when it's not shining;

    I believe in love,
    even when I feel it not;

    I believe in God,
    even when He is silent.

    Jesus taught and preached what He believed. What did He believe?

    An unknown author at Wikipedia in his writing titled "New Testament view on Jesus' life" helps answer this question:

    "...Jesus made extensive use of paradox, metaphor and parable in preaching the kingdom of God. According to the Bible, the theme of Jesus' preaching was "Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near"
    (Matthew 4:17). Jesus' commission from God was to preach about his father's Kingdom, and he trained his disciples to do the same work. "Let us go somewhere else," he told his first disciples, "that I may preach there also, for it is for this purpose I have gone out"
    (Mark 1:38; Luke 4:43). Later, after extensively training twelve apostles, Jesus instructed them: "As you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of the heavens has drawn near'"
    (Matthew 10:7). Some months later, after training 70 others, he sent them forth with the command: "Go on telling them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you'"
    (Luke 10:9). Clearly, Jesus wanted his disciples to be preachers and teachers.

    "Then Jesus "designated seventy others and sent them forth by twos in advance of him into every city and place to which he himself was going to come." These were not just to preach in public places but were also to contact people at their homes. Jesus instructed them: "Wherever you enter into a house say first, 'May this house have peace'"
    (Luke 10:5-6).

    And toward the end of his ministry, he explained: "For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth"
    (John 18:37).

    So he occupied himself with preaching the kingdom of God."

    Avoid gossip
    lest you come to be regarded as its originator

    An unknown author at The Lockman Foundation shares this outline with us about the teaching and preaching of Jesus Christ:

    I. What Jesus Believed About Old Testament History And Miracles:

    A. His Attitude toward the Old Testament in general.
    1. He believed (accepted as true and responded) in all that God said
    (Luke 24:25-27, 44-45; Matthew 5:17-20).

    2. He accepted every word as being true, without trying to change it
    (Matthew 22:29-32).

    3. He submitted to the Law of God and encouraged others to do so
    (Matthew 21:23-27).

    B. What did Jesus believe about Old Testament history and miracles?
    1. God's judgments against nations- Matthew 11:20-24.

    2. Historical David- Matthew 12:3-4.

    3. Jonah and the great fish- Matthew 12:38-41.

    4. Historical Solomon- Matthew 12:42.

    5. Truthfulness of the prophecies of Isaiah- Matthew 13:14-17.

    6. Truthfulness of the Law of Moses- Matthew 15:3-6.

    7. God's creation of all things, including marriage- Matthew 19:3-6.

    8. The Flood- Matthew 24:37-39.

    9. Elijah, Elisha and miraculous curing of Naaman- Luke 4:23-27.

    10. Thousands of years of history- Luke 11:48-51.

    11.Sodom again- Luke 17:28-32.

    12. The burning bush, Moses and the Exodus- Luke 20:37-38.

    13. Moses and the serpent- John 3:14-15.

    14. Miraculous bread from heaven- John 6:30-33.

    II. What Jesus Believed About New Testament History And Miracles
    A. Jesus claimed that He, by sending the Holy Spirit, would supply the apostles with all truth
    (John 14:26, 16:12-13).

    B. Jesus claimed that God would confirm their word through miraculous powers that would be provided to them by the Holy Spirit
    (Mark 16:17-18).

    C. The apostles acknowledged these things to be true
    (1 Corinthians 14:37; Hebrews 2:1-4).

    III. How Miracles Relate To Believing In Jesus
    A. Jesus claimed that His miracles were done to confirm His identity
    (John 10:24-26, 37-39).

    B. John states that these miracles have been written so that we might have reason to believe and follow Jesus
    (John 20:30-31).

    What Are We To Believe?
    A. If we are to be loyal to Jesus, we must, as He did, accept as true the Old Testament record.

    B. He believed the accuracy of Old Testament history prophecies and miracles.

    C. He also took responsibility for the truthfulness of what would become the New Testament.

    D. To verify His identity before those living then and to us today, He performed many miracles.

    E. Although we may feel pressure to accept scientific and modern interpretations of the Bible and Jesus, we must accept Him and the Bible together if we are going to be pleasing to God."

    Most would like to change their circumstances
    but not themselves

    An unknown author at Direction, Inc. had this to say about the teaching and preaching of Jesus Christ:

    "The teachings of Jesus are so profound and timely that they could literally change our entire world if they were honored and followed. The truths which Jesus unveiled have never been duplicated in all of human wisdom. He understood God and He understands mankind.

    Jesus knew the needs of our human family as well as our problems- and He knew the solutions. Those who follow His teachings enjoy a full and meaningful existence even in the complex world in which we live.

    The two most in-depth recorded lessons of Jesus are His "Sermon On The Mount", recorded in
    Matthew, chapters 5,6,7 and His "Final Address To His Followers", recorded in
    John, chapters 14,15,16. The wisdom and revelations of these two sermons are so remarkably pure and pertinent to human life that they are regarded to be the "greatest published literature" in all of the known writings throughout history.

    "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people"
    (Matthew 4:23).

    "He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes"
    (Matthew 7:29).

    "Then they asked Him, saying, "Teacher, we know that You say and teach rightly, and You do not show personal favoritism, but teach the way of God in truth"
    (Luke 20:21).

    "This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him"
    (John 3:2).

    Jesus came to earth to declare God's truths for all mankind. The plan and process that God designed has made certain that His truths would be available to the entire human race for all generations.

    The most important and powerful part of God's plan was to send His Son to the world as His supreme teacher of the people. While on earth Jesus taught the masses, the religious leaders and a group a self selected disciples who would be ordained to continue His teachings throughout the world after Jesus returned to heaven.

    In the short space of three years Jesus succeeded in teaching God's truths so convincingly and training a group of twelve men so precise that God's words have been passed along for all these centuries against the most extreme circumstances and opposition. That alone is a miracle of Divine magnitude.

    Jesus' Teaching Ministry To The Religious Leaders

    "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people"
    (Matthew 4:23).
    Jesus went where the religious leaders assembled...in their synagogues where He was given audience. As they listened the religious leaders were overwhelmed by His truth. Some rebelled while others embraced the insights and wisdom that only God's true Prophet could possess.

    Jesus' Teaching Ministry To His disciples

    "And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him"
    (Matthew 5:1).
    Jesus selected a group of men as disciples who He would train to carry His message throughout the then known world after His return to heaven. He often took them aside privately to reveal and explain His truths to them. It was during these times that they had the opportunity to ask and receive a detailed explanation to some of His profound statements. These twelve men were privileged to be personally tutored by the God of the universe. Sometimes the lessons were so extraordinary that Jesus had to rehearse the meaning over and over to them. Finally, their human intellect was made to understand the truths of Divine wisdom. These simple and ordinary men became God's ordained scribes to the remaining generations.

    Jesus' Teaching Ministry To The Masses

    "And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities"
    (Matthew 11:1).

    "In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, "Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me"
    (Matthew 26:55).

    "And He began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land"
    (Mark 4:1).

    "And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place"
    (Luke 23:5).

    At every occasion and opportunity Jesus made certain that the masses of ordinary people would receive the truths of God. Never in all of man's existence has God avoided ministering to all people. Every person on earth is special to God and His truths are available for each one who desires to know what God is saying to them.

    The Message of Jesus

    "And they (religious leaders) sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men"
    (Matthew 22:16).
    The message of Jesus is simple, powerful and effective. It can be summarized in one word, "love", to embrace God, yourself and other human beings. For those who learn to follow its guidelines the results are a happy, successful and stable life.

    Jesus introduced us to God, the Father, who is love. He revealed our Heavenly Father to us through His words and actions which declare God as One who desires the very best for every human being on earth. Jesus showed us what love will do.

    Matthew 22:37-40
    "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

    Another word closely related to "love" is "respect". Learning to respect the authority and sovereignty of our Creator, to obey and do His will, is the beginning of a healthy and happy life. Learning to respect oneself as a person of value and purpose is the answer to placing life's priorities in proper perspective. Learning to respect other people as God's creation with the same needs, fears and potential as you have is the foundation of peace on earth, good will to all men.

    The message of Jesus is that..."life is that simple" whereby love can conquer our ills and fulfill our dreams.

    The Authority of Jesus' Message

    Those who were privileged to hear Jesus speak realized the authority and wisdom of his teachings. Never had a man spoken with such power and insight before. There was something unique about this messenger who spoke far above the wisdom and training of mere mortals.

    Today, centuries later, man is still awed at the wisdom and relevance of Christ's teachings. His words are the most influential and effective guidelines available for human life even today. His words offer realistic solutions to life's problems and hope for man's future, both in this life and the life to come.

    If mankind could learn to follow the simple teachings of Christ, our world would indeed be heaven on earth. Every problem facing our human family would disappear and man could enjoy the fullness and abundance of life where joy and peace reigns.

    Jesus Christ came to this world with the authority of God to announce to the human race who God is and what God expects of His creation. Jesus announced to the world that God loves us- therefore we should love God in return- and one another as ourselves.

    "For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes"
    (Matthew 7:29).

    "And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly"
    (Luke 20:21).

    "The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him"
    (John 3:2).

    The Method Of Jesus' Teaching

    Jesus, the great teacher, came to earth with a message from God to our human family. He wanted man to clearly understand the message and spoke with simple language whereby we could.

    His favorite method for teaching God's great lessons was by the use of "parables"...which are picture or story examples that illustrate a message.

    Listed below are the parables of Jesus and their scripture reference.


    The wise and foolish builders          Matthew 7:24-27, Luke 6:47-49 
    Two debtors                            Luke 7:41-47 
    The rich fool                          Luke 12:16-21 
    The servants waiting for their Lord    Luke 12:35-40 
    Barren fig tree                        Luke 13:6-9 
    The sower                              Matthew 13:3-23, Mark 4:1-20, Luke 8:5-15 
    The tares                              Matthew 13:24-43 
    Seed growing secretly                  Mark 4:26-29 
    Mustard seed                           Matthew 13:31-32, Mark 4:30-32, Luke 13:18-19 
    Leaven                                 Matthew 13:33, Luke 13:20, Luke 13:21 
    Hidden treasure                        Matthew 13:44 
    Pearl of great price                   Matthew 13:45-46 
    Drawnet                                Matthew 13:47-50 
    Unmerciful servant                     Matthew 18:23-35 
    Good Samaritan                         Luke 10:30-37 
    Friend at midnight                     Luke 11:5-8 
    Good shepherd                          John 10:1-16 
    Great supper                           Luke 14:15-24 
    Lost sheep                             Matthew 18:12-14, Luke 15:3-7 
    Lost piece of money                    Luke 15:8-10 
    The prodigal and his brother           Luke 15:11-32 
    The unjust steward                     Luke 16:1-9 
    Importunate widow                      Luke 18:1-8 
    Pharisee and publican                  Luke 18:9-14 
    Laborers in the vineyard               Matthew 20:1-16 
    The pounds                             Luke 19:11-27 
    The two sons                           Matthew 21:28-32 
    Wicked husbandmen                      Matthew 21:33-44, Mark 12:1-12, Luke 20:9-18 
    Marriage of the king's son             Matthew 22:1-14 
    Fig tree leafing                       Matthew 24:32, Mark 13:28-29 
    Man taking a far journey               Mark 13:34-37 
    Ten virgins                            Matthew 25:1-13 
    Talents                                Matthew 25:14-30 
    The vine                               John 15:1-5 

    You TAKE to HEAVEN
    What you GIVE To God on EARTH

    Did Jesus Christ ever teach anything about money?

    Before I answer this question let me diverse a little. One time I worked for a certain foreman who drove a bus for a secular company. I was also driving a bus at the same time when we both arrived at a public gas station together. I had the station attendant fill my bus with gasoline. I was honest in my business transactions. The foreman ordered the attendant to give him ten dollars of gasoline and then write him out a receipt for twenty dollars. That way the foreman would present the receipt to his manager at the bus terminal and get reimbursed twenty dollars. But he only paid for ten dollars worth of gasoline out of his own pocket. That meant that he was dishonest and had actually stolen ten dollars from the company that he worked for. And he got away with it...

    "Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won't be faithful in large ones. If you cheat even a little, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? And if you are not faithful with other people's money, why should you be trusted with money of your own? No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." The Pharisees, who dearly loved their money, naturally scoffed at all this. Then he said to them, "You like to look good in public, but God knows your evil hearts. What this world honors is an abomination in the sight of God."
    (Luke 16:10-15).

    So Jesus did talk about money and how to handle it. Some scholars think that He never carried any money on Him at all. Some think He only carried enough money on His person to purchase one meal for one person. I don't know if those opinions are true or not. Judas Iscariot carried His money bag. I knew a man one time who said that he did not believe in giving God ten percent of his income. The man was unsaved. He did not pray, go to church, or read his bible, but he always had a "bone to pick" with any Christian minister about giving his most treasured commodity- his money. God does not want the money of the unsaved- God wants the heart of the unsaved and "luke warm" individuals to change by His power. God wants the heart and not the wallet. God does not expect the unsaved to pay tithes.

    But how about tithes? Does God expect the saved (His children) to pay tithes? Is tithing for gentile believers a New Testament priority? Before I answer this question let me share with you some of the teachings of Jesus about money and possessions:

    "Don't store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be"
    (Matthew 6:19-21).

    Jesus is saying that one's giving comes from his heart. He also said that what one says comes from his heart. He also said that what one does comes from his heart. The fruit is in the root. What is the motivation for whatever a Christian does? True motivation comes from love. Therefore, a true believer's motive for giving money is on a love basis and not on a legal basis (as in the Old Testament dispensation). The legal basis of a believer giving money is not valid in the New Testament dispensation. In other words if a true believer does not give money he is going to hell. If that were the case then the giving of money would be "works of salvation" and any person could pay God to take him to heaven regardless of his unsaved condition. This is unscriptural. The interpretation of giving may not be valid in this New Testament dispensation, however, the principle of giving is valid for today. God would not have started the church lest He had some way to finance it.

    How does God respond to our giving? Before I answer this question let me diverge from the subject for a moment. One time I went to an animal circus. The animals were expected to act in a certain way. For instance, the dolphin had to swim under a small floating ring made of plastic and come out of the water with it around his nose. If the dolphin did not do it right he was not punished, however, he was not rewarded, either. When the dolphin did the trick right he was rewarded- the animal trainer threw it a fish to eat. Giving money to God is considered a form of worship. It comes from your heart of love. If you are saved and you do not give your money to God then you are not punished, however, you won't be rewarded, either. If you are saved and you do give your money to God from a right motive of love then God will respond to your giving. How? This is what Jesus said:

    "If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving- large or small- it will be used to measure what is given back to you" (NLT)
    (Luke 6:38).

    There is a principle laid down here from our Lord. The principle is that you will receive more back from the Lord than you initially gave to Him. In other words you will be rewarded for correct behavior. A late pastor friend of mine used to say to his congregation, "God shovels back with a bigger shovel than what you or I shovel to Him with."

    "...You will always reap what you sow!"
    (Galatians 6:7).

    The Lord has laid down here another principle in regards to giving. You will reap what you sow. If you sow in giving money to the Lord with the right motive then you will reap money in return. This is a spiritual law that won't be broken by God. God will never stay in debt to any man. There is a certain joy that comes from giving money to the Lord and His work that is hard to prove to anyone but the giver. I recommend that you try it for yourself to see what I mean if you are unfamiliar with it. God has ways of stretching your ninety percent to well over one hundred per cent. At times there is "a miracle of multiplication" where you are blessed abundantly and over the point that the mathematical numbers never come out the way you expect when figured intellectually.

    Now, I want to stop preaching and start meddling (in your life). If you are saved the good Lord expects you to pay ten percent of your income to your church where you are getting your spiritual nourishment. Your local church pastor is in the similar position as were the Levitical priests in the Old Testament times. God expects His people to support His church. The ten percent amount and figure does not come from Kraig J. Rice. The ten percent figure comes from God. It is firmly established in His word.

    As I have already taught, the good Lord will bless you and reward you for your faithfulness to Him. I can assure you from experience that your local pastor likes to eat regularly and likes to pay his bills on time. Your local church needs your financial support. Your church is a light house to the community where it exists for evangelism purposes and it also has a foreign missions budget to help reach the unreached. Your church also has certain programs that is deemed important to bless it's members and help reach it's community for Christ.

    When you sign a membership card for local church involvement then you pledge your word to your local church Board of Directors to tithe ten percent of your income there. Love offerings are free will donations paid in addition to the tithe.

    I heard of a pastor one time who had a congregation where most of the folks did not tithe for one reason or another. So the pastor challenged them all to test God for one year. The pastor challenged them- that after one year- they would never have to pay another cent to his church if God let them down and did not bless them back more than they had given. The folks agreed to this test. They tried it for one year. After the year was up the pastor asked for the results. The results were one hundred percent in favor of paying the local tithe. I can assure you. Pay your tithes. Do your part and God will always do His part.

    Here is what Hampton Keathley IV had to say about money in his writing titled "The Unjust Steward."

    "Somebody defined money as, "an article which may be used as a universal passport to everywhere except heaven and as a universal provider of everything except happiness." People think that if they just had more money, life would be better because then they could buy all the things they wanted and that would make them happy. Do you know anybody who doesn�t want to win the Lotto? Do you know anybody that thinks winning $10 million would make them miserable?

    The passage of scripture for us to look at: Luke 16:1-13:

    "Jesus told this story to his disciples: "A rich man hired a manager to handle his affairs, but soon a rumor went around that the manager was thoroughly dishonest. So his employer called him in and said, `What's this I hear about your stealing from me? Get your report in order, because you are going to be dismissed.' "The manager thought to himself, `Now what? I'm through here, and I don't have the strength to go out and dig ditches, and I'm too proud to beg. I know just the thing! And then I'll have plenty of friends to take care of me when I leave!' "So he invited each person who owed money to his employer to come and discuss the situation. He asked the first one, `How much do you owe him?' The man replied, `I owe him eight hundred gallons of olive oil.' So the manager told him, `Tear up that bill and write another one for four hundred gallons.' " `And how much do you owe my employer?' he asked the next man. `A thousand bushels of wheat,' was the reply. `Here,' the manager said, `take your bill and replace it with one for only eight hundred bushels.' "The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the citizens of this world are more shrewd than the godly are. I tell you, use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. In this way, your generosity stores up a reward for you in heaven. "Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won't be faithful in large ones. If you cheat even a little, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? And if you are not faithful with other people's money, why should you be trusted with money of your own? "No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."
    The Problem
    Some people say that the problem is that the steward forgot he was a steward and began using the money as his own. I don�t think that is what the passage is really about. It doesn�t say he was using it for his own. It just says he wasted it. Perhaps one of the ways he wasted the money was by spending it on himself, so the idea might be included in the parable, but that is not the emphasis. If the emphasis is not on using the money for himself, then what is it?

    I think the main problem is related to the emphasis on eternity following the parable. The main problem is that the steward did not work with a view to the future. He assumed he would always have that job and was not careful with the stuff entrusted to him. If he�d believed he might be fired for poor performance, I can�t help but think he would have performed better and been more careful with what was entrusted to him.

    If you know you are about to lose your job next month or might lose your job next month, you are not going to go out and take out a loan on a new house, go out to eat every night, buy a new set of golf clubs or a big screen TV, or whatever. You are going to spend money only on what you must. You will live with a very real sense of what the future holds for you. If you are being evaluated, you will perform your job diligently so that you receive a good evaluation and don�t get fired. This steward was not thinking about the future until he got his termination notice.

    I think the emphasis in our parable is on eternity and using money for eternity.

    So, the question is: How can believers be shrewd in dealing with their money?

    The Progression

    Chronological and logical

    The problem for the present (Luke 16:1-3)
    The master heard that the steward was not performing properly and told him he was fired, but before he left, he was to prepare his books for an audit.

    We�ve already mentioned that we don�t know how the steward squandered the money. Suffice it to say that he was caught and in trouble.

    Verse 3- The steward said to himself, "What shall I do..." I think it is significant that this steward recognized his problem. He did not try to deny that it was happening, hope it would go away, hope the master would forget, etc. He is now looking to the future and he knows that the future holds trouble. And he doesn�t procrastinate once he hears the bad news. It seems that animals have more sense than humans in this area. They go south or store up food for the winter, but most humans live for the present and don�t worry about the future.

    Unsaved people spend their lives denying that God exists, denying that there is a hell, denying their sin problem, etc. If they really believed there was a problem, that they were going to go to hell, I can't help but think that they would do something about it. That is why we sometimes say, "You have to get the unsaved person lost before you can get them saved." They deny reality and don�t want to worry about the future.

    The believers have a different problem. They know there is a heaven and hell. They worried about it enough to get their life insurance. But now they need to recognize that they are going to be held accountable for their stewardship of what God has given them.

    The dishonest steward lived like he wouldn�t ever be held accountable. Now he knows he is in trouble, so what does he do?

    The plan for the future (Luke 16:4-7)
    He prepares for the future. He decides to make some friends. He does this by going to those who owe his master money and giving them big discounts. Then, when he leaves his present employment, perhaps these business acquaintances will hire him.

    Notice also that he acted immediately. He did not delay in making preparations for his future. We have a tendency to think that there is plenty of time to get right with God or put off giving what we should to the church. We think things like
    ..."I�ll just finish paying off that loan and then I�ll start giving more-
    or ... After I get $5000 in the bank for emergencies then I�ll start giving more-
    or ... After we replace the ______ then we can start giving more"
    If we get into that mode, there will always be something that we think we need NOW and never prepare for later.

    The praise for shrewdness (Luke 16:8)
    Some have problems with the praise that is given to the steward because it seems Jesus is praising the steward for being dishonest. First, we can point out that it is the master in the parable and not Jesus doing the praising. Second, if you understand the culture, you know that he wasn�t being dishonest by giving discounts to the master�s debtors.

    How was he shrewd? Why was this not dishonest? Israelites were not to charge interest to their fellow citizens
    (Exodus 22:25; Leviticus 25:36; Deuteronomy 15:8, 23:19). But they were charging interest. They did it by lending a person $80 but making them sign an IOU for $100. From Josephus we know that olive oil was a very volatile commodity and they charged 100% interest. The interest rate on wheat was 25%. That matches the figures Jesus used. Therefore, all the steward did was drop off the interest. He was shrewd because the master couldn�t turn him in for anything illegal, because he wasn�t supposed to charge interest in the first place. The master still fired him, but he certainly did the debtors a favor.

    I�ve heard that this kind of stuff still happens today in Israel. In Israel it is illegal to milk a cow on the Sabbath unless you only do it for the cows benefit. How do you know if it is for the cows benefit? The elders have determined that you can do it for the cows benefit by milking her and letting the milk fall onto the rocks. So, they made a law that you must milk a cow on the rocks on the Sabbath. Shrewd Israelites sterilize rocks, put them in the bottom of the bucket and milk the cow on the rocks. There are always ways to get around the law if you want to. They should have left the principle or spirit of the law in place rather than define a specific action as fulfilling the principle.

    Luke 16:8- How are sons of this age more shrewd? Many people do plan for their earthly retirement. But most Christians are not planning for their heavenly retirement.

    Luke 16:9- Jesus says, use your money to make heavenly friends. This is the point of the parable.

    The Point
    Christians ought to be shrewd in their stewardships and use earthly finances to make heavenly friends.

    Do you realize that when your stewardship is finished here on earth, you will have to leave everything behind and go to a place where the only thing you can send ahead are people.

    The Relationship of the Parable to the Kingdom Program of God
    We derive our understanding of the relationship of the parable to the Kingdom of God from
    Luke 16:10.

    In the kingdom, rewards and responsibilities will be given to those who demonstrated a faithfulness in their earthly entrustments. If you squandered your resources while on earth, you will not be given much responsibility in the kingdom.

    We should invest our money in evangelistic purposes so that when we go from here to eternity, we will have friends there to welcome us.

    The Particulars
    Luke 16:11-12- There are lots of people who have no respect for the property of their landlords and tear up the house. There are government project houses in which people live for free or next to free and they do the same thing. I've heard people say that the solution to this is to actually give them the houses and once they are their own, then they will take care of them. What does this parable say about that?

    The Principles
    The money of this world should be used as a ministry for the next. Temporary fortune should be invested to secure eternal friends. You can�t take it with you. The only thing that you can take with you is people
    (Luke 16:9). Money management is not a little issue. It is loaded with implications. Money is the sight glass (on the coffee pot) of our lives. Let me see your checkbook and I�ll tell you your priorities. Faithfulness in stewardship will be rewarded with true ownership. The worship of God and gold is mutually exclusive. Why is it mutually exclusive? If gold is your god, then your major motivation will be to get it for yourself. If God is your god, then your major motivation will be to give it. This is a great parable about stewardship.

    There is a story about a man crawling across the desert and he comes to a rusty old pump with a little glass jug of water with a lid on it and a piece of leather parchment. He grabs the jar of water and just before he drinks it, he reads the parchment which says, "Stop! Don�t drink this. Use the water in the jar to wet the leather gasket on the pump. Then you can pump as much water as you like for drinking. Then fill the jar up and leave it with this note for the next traveler."

    That is a good illustration of how we often want to use our money for instant gratification but wise use of our money will reap far greater rewards.

    I think the parable of the unfaithful steward is subtle, but significant. Some say that the servant was cutting out his commissions when he reduced the debts. That might be true. The master probably got most of the interest being charged, but I�m sure some of it went to the steward. Therefore, when the servant cut his commission out of the transactions, there was nothing in it for him in the short term. Everything went to the master. Perhaps we could make the application or analogy that when we give our money to missionary or charitable causes, we might not see any benefits now, but it can reap rewards later."

    Don't honk if you love Jesus
    Tithe if you love Jesus
    anyone can honk!

    The Story of the Three Servants
    Matthew 25:14-30: (NLT)

    14"Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a trip. He called together his servants and gave them money to invest for him while he was gone.

    15He gave five bags of gold to one, two bags of gold to another, and one bag of gold to the last- dividing it in proportion to their abilities- and then left on his trip.

    16The servant who received the five bags of gold began immediately to invest the money and soon doubled it.

    17The servant with two bags of gold also went right to work and doubled the money.

    18But the servant who received the one bag of gold dug a hole in the ground and hid the master's money for safekeeping.

    19"After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money.

    20The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of gold said, `Sir, you gave me five bags of gold to invest, and I have doubled the amount.'

    21The master was full of praise. `Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!'

    22"Next came the servant who had received the two bags of gold, with the report, `Sir, you gave me two bags of gold to invest, and I have doubled the amount.'

    23The master said, `Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let's celebrate together!'

    24"Then the servant with the one bag of gold came and said, `Sir, I know you are a hard man, harvesting crops you didn't plant and gathering crops you didn't cultivate.

    25I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth and here it is.'

    26"But the master replied, `You wicked and lazy servant! You think I'm a hard man, do you, harvesting crops I didn't plant and gathering crops I didn't cultivate?

    27Well, you should at least have put my money into the bank so I could have some interest.

    28Take the money from this servant and give it to the one with the ten bags of gold.

    29To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who are unfaithful, even what little they have will be taken away.

    30Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'"

    What is the Lord teaching us in this story? Everything on the earth belongs to the Lord. He created it all and He owns it all. Everything that you and I use here is only borrowed to start with. I have never seen a loaded hearst pulling a U-haul trailer behind it. We don't take this world's goods to heaven with us. We leave it all behind us after we die. So, with this preface in mind, what is the story about? The story is about the heart of man, his priorities, and his money. And it's a story about you and me. The Lord commands us "to occupy" while He is gone (to Heaven). "To occupy" means to be responsible with what earthly goods we are each blessed with until Christ returns or until we die, whatever is first.

    While the owner (the Lord) was away temporarily (in Heaven) but soon coming back, (the second advent) three individuals were selected on the earth. Two (love) servants were saved. They loved the Lord. They paid their tithes and were faithful with their money to invest it into God's work in His church. They used their money to build up God's kingdom. They used their money wisely in this regard. One had more money than the other one which is usually the case in church circles. One saint may have more than the one sitting on the other side of the church building in a Sunday morning worship service. But that is ok. These men were "other centered" rather than "self centered."

    It is ok to have two bags of gold rather than five bags of gold. It is ok to have five bags of gold rather than two bags of gold. God does not love one more than the other. The emphasis is not on the amount of money you and I have. Rather the emphasis is on how faithful you and I are with what God has been given to us. Since all blessings come from God, what you and I have comes from God's hand of provision. So it is a fact that some Christians have more than others. Are you and I faithful to Him with what He has given us?

    The third servant did not love the Lord. He was not saved. He belonged to the devil. Maybe he was an infiltrator into a local church congregation from a nearby witchcraft or satanic coven sent to cause division and trouble. What do you expect an individual like this to do with his money? Jesus indicated that one will spend their money on those things that they love the most. Your money will follow your heart. Jesus said this man hid his money rather than give any of it to God. His money followed his heart. He kept it all for himself. He was selfish. He was "self centered" rather than "other centered." At the judgment he was "weighed in the balance scale and found wanting." The Lord asked him about his faithfulness to Him. The man admitted to the Lord that he had not been faithful to God with his life nor with his money. The man had served himself first. He gave the Lord no regard.

    The man was cast into outer darkness where hell is located. Hell is the garbage dump of the universe down wind, so to speak, and out of sight from those in Heaven. It's a bottomless pit of endless burning that never ceases. It's pure torment forever and ever. The man didn't want to go there. He probably never believed that hell existed. While on earth he served the devil and did the devil's will. Now, he gets his reward. He gets to spend eternity in a lake of fire with his master. They burn there together gnashing their teeth because of the endless pain and weeping tears of self pity.

    So, what is the conclusion to Jesus' story?

    "To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who are unfaithful, even what little they have will be taken away. Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

    The best things in life
    are not things

    Jesus gave the parable of the rich fool:

    "Then he said, "Beware! Don't be greedy for what you don't have. Real life is not measured by how much we own." And he gave an illustration: "A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. In fact, his barns were full to overflowing. So he said, `I know! I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I'll have room enough to store everything. And I'll sit back and say to myself, My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!' "But God said to him, `You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get it all?' "Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God"
    (Luke 12:15-21).
    J. Vernon McGee in his book titled "Through the Bible With J. Vernon McGee" had this to say about the rich fool:
    "This is the way many people live. The philosophy of the world today is "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die." Our Lord said, "That's the problem, that's what makes a man a fool." If you live as though this life is all there is, and you live just for self, and as though there is nothing beyond death, you are a fool. Now, of course it is not wrong to store up things. The problem with the rich fool was covetousness. He was trying to get more, more, and more..."

    J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee,
    Thru the Bible Radio, Pasadena, Calif., 1983, Volume 4, page 302.

    A person cannot buy eternal life. Here is the true story of a rich man who came to Jesus:

    "As he was starting out on a trip, a man came running up to Jesus, knelt down, and asked, "Good Teacher, what should I do to get eternal life?" "Why do you call me good?" Jesus asked. "Only God is truly good. But as for your question, you know the commandments: `Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not testify falsely. Do not cheat. Honor your father and mother.'" "Teacher," the man replied, "I've obeyed all these commandments since I was a child." Jesus felt genuine love for this man as he looked at him. "You lack only one thing," he told him. "Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." At this, the man's face fell, and he went sadly away because he had many possessions. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for rich people to get into the Kingdom of God!" This amazed them. But Jesus said again, "Dear children, it is very hard to get into the Kingdom of God. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!"
    (Mark 10:17-25).
    J. Vernon McGee in his book titled "Through the Bible With J. Vernon McGee" had this to say about the rich man:
    "Jesus tries to get the young man to think. Why should he call Jesus good? There is only One who is good and that is God. If he is calling Jesus good, then Jesus is God. Now notice that Jesus gives the young man the commandments... The young man said that he had kept them all. Jesus told him he lacked one thing. What was that? The thing that was hindering him was his riches. He had called Jesus good- and if he will follow Jesus, he'll find out that the reason Jesus is good is because He is God. Jesus asked him to separate himself from his riches and follow Him. Where would this lead him? Well, at this time the Lord Jesus is on the way to die for the sins of this man. Had he followed Jesus, he would have come to the cross for redemption. But the young man "was sad at that saying: and went away grieved: for he had great possessions."

    J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee,
    Thru the Bible Radio, Pasadena, Calif., 1983, Volume 4, page 205.

    A small amount of example
    is worth more than
    a large amount of advice

    Did Jesus Christ believe and teach that the Old Testament scriptures were inspired and that they were God's Word?

    David Livingston had some thoughts about Christ's teachings in his writing titled "Jesus Christ on the Infallibility of Scripture:"

    "There is considerable debate these days concerning the inerrancy (infallibility) of Scripture. The authority of God's Word is the main issue. But, if one yields to the authority of Jesus Christ (Yeshua HaMoshiach), he must, in turn, yield to Christ's view of the Scripture itself. Anyone and everyone who claims to be a Christian (a believer under the authority of Christ) must hold to the same view He did! What was it?

    I. Negative Aspects (an argument from silence but a loud silence!)

    Jesus (Yeshua) never belittled Scripture (as some modern critics do), or set it aside (as the Jewish leaders of His day had done with their Oral Traditions), or criticized it (although He criticized those who misused it), or contradicted it (although He rejected many interpretations of it), or opposed it (although He sometimes was free or interpretive with it), nor spoke in any way as "higher" critics do of the Old Testament (Tanakh).
    II. Christ's Use of Scripture

    As L. Gaussen has asserted, "We are not afraid to say it: when we hear the Son of God quote the Scriptures, every thing is said, in our view, on their divine inspiration we need no further testimony. All the declarations of the Bible are, no doubt, equally divine; but this example of the Savior of the world has settled the question for us at once. This proof requires neither long nor learned researches; it is grasped by the hand of a child as powerfully as by that of a doctor. Should any doubt, then, assail your soul let it behold Him in the presence of the Scriptures!"

    1. He knew the Scriptures thoroughly, even to words and verb tenses. He obviously had either memorized vast portions or knew it instinctively:
    (John 7:15).

    2. He believed every word of Scripture. All the prophecies concerning Himself were fulfilled, and He believed beforehand they would be.

    3. He believed the Old Testament (Tanakh) was historical fact. This is very clear, even though from the Creation
    (compare Genesis 2:24 and Matthew 19:4-5) onward, much of what He believed has long been under fire by critics, as being mere fiction. Some examples of historical facts:

  • Luke 11:51 Abel was a real individual
  • Matthew 24:37-39 Noah and the flood (Luke 17:26-27)
  • John 8:56-58 Abraham
  • Matthew 10:15; 11:23-24 (Luke 10:12) Sodom and Gomorrah
  • Luke 17:28-32 Lot (and wife!)
  • Matthew 8:11 Isaac and Jacob (Luke 13:28)
  • John 6:31, 49, 58 Manna
  • John 3:14 Serpent
  • Matthew 12:39-41 Jonah (verse 42- Sheba)
  • Matthew 24:15 Daniel and Isaiah
  • 4. He believed the books were written by the men whose names they bear:
  • Moses wrote the Pentateuch (Torah): Matthew 19:7-8; Mark 7:10, 12:26
              ("Book of Moses" the Torah); Luke 5:14; 16:29, 31; 24:27, 44
              ("Christ's Canon"); John 1:17; 5:45-46; 7:19
              ("The Law [Torah] was given by Moses;
              Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ")
  • Isaiah wrote Isaiah: Mark 7:6-13; John 12:37-41
  • Jonah wrote Jonah: Matthew 12:39-41
  • Daniel wrote Daniel: Matthew 24:15
  • 5. He believed the Old Testament (Tanakh) was spoken by God Himself, or written by the Holy Spirit's inspiration, even though the pen was held by men:
    (Matthew 19:4-5, 22:31-32, 43; Mark 12:26; Luke 20:37).

    6. He believed Scripture was more powerful than His miracles:
    (Luke 16:29 and 31).

    7. He actually quoted it in overthrowing Satan (Hasatan)! The Old Testament Scriptures (Tanakh) were the arbiter in every dispute:
    (Matthew chapter 4; Luke 16:29 and 31).

    8. He quoted Scripture as the basis for his own teaching. His ethics were the same as what we find already written in Scripture:
    (Matthew 7:12, 19:18-19, 22:40; Mark 7:9 and 13, 10:19, 12:24 and 29-31; Luke 18:20).

    9. He warned against replacing it with something else, or adding or subtracting from it. The Jewish leaders in His day had added to it with their Oral Traditions:
    (Matthew 5:17, 15:1-9, 22:29; 5:43-44; Mark 7:1-12).

    (Destroying faith in the Bible as God's Word will open the door today to a "new" Tradition.)

    10. He will judge all men in the last day, as Messiah and King, on the basis of His infallible Word committed to writing by fallible men, guided by the infallible Holy Spirit:
    (Matthew 25:31; John 5:22 and 27; 12:48; Romans 2:16).

    11. He made provision for the New Testament (B'rit Hadashah) by sending the Holy Spirit (the Ruach HaKodesh). We must note that He Himself never wrote one word of Scripture although He is the Word of God Himself (the living Torah in flesh and blood),
    see John chapter 1). He committed the task of all writing of the Word of God to fallible men guided by the infallible Holy Spirit. The apostles' words had the same authority as Christ's:
    (Matthew 10:14-15; Luke 10:16; John 13:20, 14:22, 15:26-27, 16:12-14).

    12. He not only was not jealous of the attention men paid to the Bible (denounced as "bibliolatry" by some), He reviled them for their ignorance of it:
    (Matthew 22:29; Mark 12:24).

    13. Nor did Jesus (Yeshua) worship Scripture. He honored it even though written by men.

    The above leaves no room but to conclude that our Lord Jesus Christ (Yeshua HaMoshiach) considered the canon of Scripture (Tanakh) as God's Word, written by the hand of men.

    Although some religious leaders profess to accept Scripture as "God's Word," their low view of "inspiration" belies the fact. They believe and teach that Scripture is, to a very significant degree, man's word. Many of their statements are in essential disagreement with those of Jesus Christ (Yeshua HaMoshiach). From the evidence of their books, we conclude that some Christian leaders are opposite to Christ in His regard for the authority, the inspiration, and the inerrancy of Scripture.

    And now, the most important point.

    III. Jesus Christ Was Subject to Scripture
    Jesus (Yeshua) obeyed the Word of God, not man. He was subject to it. If some leaders' view of inspiration were true, Jesus (Yeshua) was subject to an errant, rather casually thrown-together "Word of Man." Jesus (Yeshua) would have been subject, then, to the will of man, not the will of God.

    However, in all the details of His acts of redemption, Jesus (Yeshua) was subject to Scripture as God's Word. He obeyed it. It was His authority, the rule by which He lived. He came to do God's will, not His own, and not man's. Note how all of His life He did things because they were written as if God had directly commanded. He fulfilled Old Testament (Tanakh's) prophecies about Himself. The passages are found all over the Old Testament (Tanakh). We cite here only a very few quoted in the New Testament (B'rit Hadashah):
    (Matthew 11:10, 26:24, 53-56; Mark 9:12-13; Luke 4:17-21, 18:31-33, 22:37, 24:44-47).

    He Himself IS the Word of God. All the words from His lips were the Word of God.
    (John 3:34). If He had desired, He could have written a new set of rules and they would have been the Word of God. But, He did not. He followed without question the Bible already penned by men.

    This is the sensible thing for every believer to do. May all who read this adopt Jesus' (Yeshua's) attitude and become subject BOTH to Him as Living Word (living Torah) AND to the Bible as the infallible, written Word of God."



    The Miracles of Jesus Christ

    In this section we will look at some of the miracles that Jesus Christ performed. Why is this important? Because the miracles that Jesus Christ performed help prove His deity.

    An unknown author at Direction, Inc. had this to say about Christ's miracles in his writing titled "The Miracles of Jesus Christ:"

    "The ministry of Jesus included His teaching and His healing miracles- both of which are well documented in the Bible. But as the disciple John reveals, the earthly ministry of Jesus was so extensive that a complete library of books would not have told it all
    (John 21:25).

    The four gospels provide a detailed record of thirty-five miracles that Jesus performed. Some tell of miraculous events with nature- such as the draught of fishes, stilling the storm and walking on the water. Others tell of miraculous healings that include the healing of the blind, of the deaf and dumb, and of those with leprosy. Also recorded are the casting out of demons and the raising of the dead. On several occasions it is reported that multitudes of people brought their sick and afflicted to Jesus, who "healed every manner of disease and sickness"- although a detail of each one of these miracles was not recorded.

    The miracles of Jesus were witnessed by huge gatherings of people that continued to grow in number as the word was spread of all that Jesus was capable of doing. Many realized that Jesus was more than just a human being, accepting that He was God capable of all things. Others regarded His abilities as a gift from God to fulfill His role as prophet. The truth of it is that Jesus could not have accomplished the miraculous deeds He did had not God been a part of Him.

    Fulfilled prophecies and the ability to perform miracles are strong evidence of the credibility of Jesus."

    An unknown author at Key-Way Publishing in Canada had this to say about Christ's miracles:

    "Jesus Christ Himself was a miracle. From the manner of His Birth, to His Resurrection, and everything in between, He lived a wonderfully miraculous life entirely unlike any other human. Below is a listing of just a few of the recorded public miracles that He performed during His Ministry.

    Miracles of Healing:

    A paralyzed man
    "Some people brought to him a paralyzed man on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, "Take heart, son! Your sins are forgiven." "Blasphemy! This man talks like he is God!" some of the teachers of religious law said among themselves. Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, "Why are you thinking such evil thoughts? Is it easier to say, `Your sins are forgiven' or `Get up and walk'? I will prove that I, the Son of Man, have the authority on earth to forgive sins." Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, "Stand up, take your mat, and go on home, because you are healed!" And the man jumped up and went home! Fear swept through the crowd as they saw this happen right before their eyes. They praised God for sending a man with such great authority"
    (Matthew 9:2-8).

    2 blind men

    "After Jesus left the girl's home, two blind men followed along behind him, shouting, "Son of David, have mercy on us!" They went right into the house where he was staying, and Jesus asked them, "Do you believe I can make you see?" "Yes, Lord," they told him, "we do." Then he touched their eyes and said, "Because of your faith, it will happen." And suddenly they could see! Jesus sternly warned them, "Don't tell anyone about this." But instead, they spread his fame all over the region"
    (Matthew 9:27-31).

    A deaf man

    "Jesus left Tyre and went to Sidon, then back to the Sea of Galilee and the region of the Ten Towns. A deaf man with a speech impediment was brought to him, and the people begged Jesus to lay his hands on the man to heal him. Jesus led him to a private place away from the crowd. He put his fingers into the man's ears. Then, spitting onto his own fingers, he touched the man's tongue with the spittle. And looking up to heaven, he sighed and commanded, "Be opened!" Instantly the man could hear perfectly and speak plainly! Jesus told the crowd not to tell anyone, but the more he told them not to, the more they spread the news, for they were completely amazed. Again and again they said, "Everything he does is wonderful. He even heals those who are deaf and mute."
    (Mark 7:31-37).

    A blind man at Bethsaida

    "When they arrived at Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to Jesus, and they begged him to touch and heal the man. Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man's eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, "Can you see anything now?" The man looked around. "Yes," he said, "I see people, but I can't see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around." Then Jesus placed his hands over the man's eyes again. As the man stared intently, his sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly. Jesus sent him home, saying, "Don't go back into the village on your way home"
    (Mark 8:22-26).

    A man blind from birth, at Jerusalem

    "As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. "Teacher," his disciples asked him, "why was this man born blind? Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?" "It was not because of his sins or his parents' sins," Jesus answered. "He was born blind so the power of God could be seen in him. All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent me, because there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an end. But while I am still here in the world, I am the light of the world." Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and smoothed the mud over the blind man's eyes. He told him, "Go and wash in the pool of Siloam" (Siloam means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came back seeing!"
    (John 9:1-7).

    A woman who had been crippled for 18 years

    "One Sabbath day as Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, he saw a woman who had been crippled by an evil spirit. She had been bent double for eighteen years and was unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, "Woman, you are healed of your sickness!" Then he touched her, and instantly she could stand straight. How she praised and thanked God! But the leader in charge of the synagogue was indignant that Jesus had healed her on the Sabbath day. "There are six days of the week for working," he said to the crowd. "Come on those days to be healed, not on the Sabbath." But the Lord replied, "You hypocrite! You work on the Sabbath day! Don't you untie your ox or your donkey from their stalls on the Sabbath and lead them out for water? Wasn't it necessary for me, even on the Sabbath day, to free this dear woman from the bondage in which Satan has held her for eighteen years?" This shamed his enemies. And all the people rejoiced at the wonderful things he did"
    (Luke 13:10-17).

    10 people with leprosy

    "As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" He looked at them and said, "Go show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, their leprosy disappeared. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, "Praise God, I'm healed!" He fell face down on the ground at Jesus' feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, "Didn't I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Does only this foreigner return to give glory to God?" And Jesus said to the man, "Stand up and go. Your faith has made you well"
    (Luke 17:11-19).

    A high fever in Peter's mother-in-law

    "When Jesus arrived at Peter's house, Peter's mother-in-law was in bed with a high fever. But when Jesus touched her hand, the fever left her. Then she got up and prepared a meal for him. That evening many demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. All the spirits fled when he commanded them to leave; and he healed all the sick. This fulfilled the word of the Lord through Isaiah, who said, "He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases"
    (Matthew 8:14-17).

    The Centurion's servant

    "When Jesus arrived in Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, "Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and racked with pain." Jesus said, "I will come and heal him." Then the officer said, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed! I know, because I am under the authority of my superior officers and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, `Go,' and they go, or `Come,' and they come. And if I say to my slaves, `Do this or that,' they do it." When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to the crowd, he said, "I tell you the truth, I haven't seen faith like this in all the land of Israel! And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. But many Israelites- those for whom the Kingdom was prepared--will be cast into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, "Go on home. What you have believed has happened." And the young servant was healed that same hour"
    (Matthew 8:5-13)

    Malchus' ear after Peter sliced it off with a sword

    "And one of them slashed at the high priest's servant and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, "Don't resist anymore." And he touched the place where the man's ear had been and healed him"
    (Luke 22:50-51).
    "News about Him spread all over Syria, and people brought to Him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, the epileptics and the paralytics, and He healed them all"
    (Matthew 4:24).

    Miracles Concerning Nature:

    A large catch of fish
    "When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Now go out where it is deeper and let down your nets, and you will catch many fish." "Master," Simon replied, "we worked hard all last night and didn't catch a thing. But if you say so, we'll try again." And this time their nets were so full they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking. When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, "Oh, Lord, please leave me- I'm too much of a sinner to be around you." For he was awestruck by the size of their catch, as were the others with him. His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed. Jesus replied to Simon, "Don't be afraid! From now on you'll be fishing for people!" And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus"
    (Luke 5:4-11).

    Calming of the storm on the Sea Of Galilee

    "Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a terrible storm came up, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went to him and woke him up, shouting, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" And Jesus answered, "Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!" Then he stood up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly all was calm. The disciples just sat there in awe. "Who is this?" they asked themselves. "Even the wind and waves obey him!"
    (Matthew 8:23-27).

    The feeding of the 5,000

    "As soon as Jesus heard the news, he went off by himself in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed by land from many villages. A vast crowd was there as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. That evening the disciples came to him and said, "This is a desolate place, and it is getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves." But Jesus replied, "That isn't necessary- you feed them." "Impossible!" they exclaimed. "We have only five loaves of bread and two fish!" "Bring them here," he said. Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. And he took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and asked God's blessing on the food. Breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave some of the bread and fish to each disciple, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and they picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. About five thousand men had eaten from those five loaves, in addition to all the women and children!"
    (Matthew 14:13-21).

    Walking on the water

    "Immediately after this, Jesus made his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake while he sent the people home. Afterward he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone. Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o'clock in the morning Jesus came to them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him, they screamed in terror, thinking he was a ghost. But Jesus spoke to them at once. "It's all right," he said. "I am here! Don't be afraid." Then Peter called to him, "Lord, if it's really you, tell me to come to you by walking on water." "All right, come," Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink. "Save me, Lord!" he shouted. Instantly Jesus reached out his hand and grabbed him. "You don't have much faith," Jesus said. "Why did you doubt me?" And when they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. "You really are the Son of God!" they exclaimed"
    (Matthew 14:22-33).

    The feeding of the 4,000

    "Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, "I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. I don't want to send them away hungry, or they will faint along the road." The disciples replied, "And where would we get enough food out here in the wilderness for all of them to eat?" Jesus asked, "How many loaves of bread do you have?" They replied, "Seven, and a few small fish." So Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, thanked God for them, broke them into pieces, and gave them to the disciples, who distributed the food to the crowd. They all ate until they were full, and when the scraps were picked up, there were seven large baskets of food left over! There were four thousand men who were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children. Then Jesus sent the people home, and he got into a boat and crossed over to the region of Magadan"
    (Matthew 15:32-39).

    Money needed to pay taxes obtained from inside a fish

    "On their arrival in Capernaum, the tax collectors for the Temple tax came to Peter and asked him, "Doesn't your teacher pay the Temple tax?" "Of course he does," Peter replied. Then he went into the house to talk to Jesus about it. But before he had a chance to speak, Jesus asked him, "What do you think, Peter? Do kings tax their own people or the foreigners they have conquered?" "They tax the foreigners," Peter replied. "Well, then," Jesus said, "the citizens are free! However, we don't want to offend them, so go down to the lake and throw in a line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a coin. Take the coin and pay the tax for both of us"
    (Matthew 17:24-27).

    A fig tree withered

    "In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry, and he noticed a fig tree beside the road. He went over to see if there were any figs on it, but there were only leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" And immediately the fig tree withered up. The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, "How did the fig tree wither so quickly?" Then Jesus told them, "I assure you, if you have faith and don't doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, `May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,' and it will happen. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer"
    (Matthew 21:18-22).
    Miracles Worked By Jesus For The Deliverance from Demon Possession:
    In the synagogue
    "Jesus and his companions went to the town of Capernaum, and every Sabbath day he went into the synagogue and taught the people. They were amazed at his teaching, for he taught as one who had real authority- quite unlike the teachers of religious law. A man possessed by an evil spirit was in the synagogue, and he began shouting, "Why are you bothering us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are- the Holy One sent from God!" Jesus cut him short. "Be silent! Come out of the man." At that, the evil spirit screamed and threw the man into a convulsion, but then he left him. Amazement gripped the audience, and they began to discuss what had happened. "What sort of new teaching is this?" they asked excitedly. "It has such authority! Even evil spirits obey his orders!" The news of what he had done spread quickly through that entire area of Galilee"
    (Mark 1:21-28).

    A blind and mute man who was possessed by a demon

    "Then a demon-possessed man, who was both blind and unable to talk, was brought to Jesus. He healed the man so that he could both speak and see. The crowd was amazed. "Could it be that Jesus is the Son of David, the Messiah?" they wondered out loud"
    (Matthew 12:22-23).

    2 demon-possessed men in the region of the Gadarenes. The demons went into a herd of pigs that then ran into the lake and were drowned.

    "When Jesus arrived on the other side of the lake in the land of the Gadarenes, two men who were possessed by demons met him. They lived in a cemetery and were so dangerous that no one could go through that area. They began screaming at him, "Why are you bothering us, Son of God? You have no right to torture us before God's appointed time!" A large herd of pigs was feeding in the distance, so the demons begged, "If you cast us out, send us into that herd of pigs." "All right, go!" Jesus commanded them. So the demons came out of the men and entered the pigs, and the whole herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water. The herdsmen fled to the nearby city, telling everyone what happened to the demon-possessed men. The entire town came out to meet Jesus, but they begged him to go away and leave them alone"
    (Matthew 8:28-34).

    The Canaanite woman's daughter

    "Jesus then left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter has a demon in her, and it is severely tormenting her." But Jesus gave her no reply- not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. "Tell her to leave," they said. "She is bothering us with all her begging." Then he said to the woman, "I was sent only to help the people of Israel- God's lost sheep- not the Gentiles." But she came and worshiped him and pleaded again, "Lord, help me!" "It isn't right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs," he said. "Yes, Lord," she replied, "but even dogs are permitted to eat crumbs that fall beneath their master's table." "Woman," Jesus said to her, "your faith is great. Your request is granted." And her daughter was instantly healed"
    (Matthew 15:21-28).

    The epileptic boy with a demon

    "When they arrived at the foot of the mountain, a huge crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said, "Lord, have mercy on my son, because he has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn't heal him." Jesus replied, "You stubborn, faithless people! How long must I be with you until you believe? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me." Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well. Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, "Why couldn't we cast out that demon?" "You didn't have enough faith," Jesus told them. "I assure you, even if you had faith as small as a mustard seed you could say to this mountain, `Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible"
    (Matthew 17:14-21).
    Raised From The Dead Miracles Performed By Jesus:
    Jairus' daughter
    "As Jesus was saying this, the leader of a synagogue came and knelt down before him. "My daughter has just died," he said, "but you can bring her back to life again if you just come and lay your hand upon her." As Jesus and the disciples were going to the official's home, a woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years came up behind him. She touched the fringe of his robe, for she thought, "If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed." Jesus turned around and said to her, "Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well." And the woman was healed at that moment. When Jesus arrived at the official's home, he noticed the noisy crowds and heard the funeral music. He said, "Go away, for the girl isn't dead; she's only asleep." But the crowd laughed at him. When the crowd was finally outside, Jesus went in and took the girl by the hand, and she stood up! The report of this miracle swept through the entire countryside"
    (Matthew 9:18-26).

    The widow's only son at Nain

    "Soon afterward Jesus went with his disciples to the village of Nain, with a great crowd following him. A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate. The boy who had died was the only son of a widow, and many mourners from the village were with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. "Don't cry!" he said. Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. "Young man," he said, "get up." Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk to those around him! And Jesus gave him back to his mother"
    (Luke 7:11-15).

    Lazarus at Bethany

    "Then they came to the grave. It was a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. "Roll the stone aside," Jesus told them. But Martha, the dead man's sister, said, "Lord, by now the smell will be terrible because he has been dead for four days." Jesus responded, "Didn't I tell you that you will see God's glory if you believe?" So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, "Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so they will believe you sent me." Then Jesus shouted, "Lazarus, come out!" And Lazarus came out, bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, "Unwrap him and let him go!"
    (John 11:38-44).

    We plant the seeds
    God gives the harvest

    An unknown writer had this to say about Christ's miracles:

    Jesus changes water to wine-
    "In his first recorded miracle, which took place at Cana in the Galilee area at a wedding, Jesus changes water into wine after the host's wine ran out unexpectedly."

    "Six stone waterpots were standing there; they were used for Jewish ceremonial purposes and held twenty to thirty gallons each. Jesus told the servants, "Fill the jars with water." When the jars had been filled to the brim, he said, "Dip some out and take it to the master of ceremonies." So they followed his instructions. When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. "Usually a host serves the best wine first," he said. "Then, when everyone is full and doesn't care, he brings out the less expensive wines. But you have kept the best until now!" This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was Jesus' first display of his glory. And his disciples believed in him"
    (John 2:6-11).

    Jesus heals the paralytic at the pool-
    At the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem, Jesus heals a man who had been unable to walk for 38 years.

    "One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew how long he had been ill, he asked him, "Would you like to get well?" "I can't, sir," the sick man said, "for I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred up. While I am trying to get there, someone else always gets in ahead of me." Jesus told him, "Stand up, pick up your sleeping mat, and walk!" Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up the mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath day"
    (John 5:5-9).

    Jesus heals the leper-

    "Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached Jesus. He knelt before him, worshiping. "Lord," the man said, "if you want to, you can make me well again." Jesus touched him. "I want to," he said. "Be healed!" And instantly the leprosy disappeared"
    (Matthew 8:2-4).

    Jesus heals the paralytic-

    "Some people brought to him a paralyzed man on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, "Take heart, son! Your sins are forgiven." "Blasphemy! This man talks like he is God!" some of the teachers of religious law said among themselves. Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, "Why are you thinking such evil thoughts? Is it easier to say, `Your sins are forgiven' or `Get up and walk'? I will prove that I, the Son of Man, have the authority on earth to forgive sins." Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, "Stand up, take your mat, and go on home, because you are healed!" And the man jumped up and went home! Fear swept through the crowd as they saw this happen right before their eyes. They praised God for sending a man with such great authority"
    (Matthew 9:2-8).

    Jesus is himself resurrected from the dead-
    In the greatest miracle of all, Jesus is raised from the dead, just as he had foretold on numerous occasions.

    "Suddenly there was a great earthquake, because an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled aside the stone and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. Then the angel spoke to the women. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn't here! He has been raised from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples he has been raised from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember, I have told you." The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to find the disciples to give them the angel's message. And as they went, Jesus met them. "Greetings!" he said. And they ran to him, held his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Don't be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there." As the women were on their way into the city, some of the men who had been guarding the tomb went to the leading priests and told them what had happened. A meeting of all the religious leaders was called, and they decided to bribe the soldiers. They told the soldiers, "You must say, `Jesus' disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body.' If the governor hears about it, we'll stand up for you and everything will be all right." So the guards accepted the bribe and said what they were told to say. Their story spread widely among the Jews, and they still tell it today. Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him- but some of them still doubted! Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age"
    (Matthew 28:2-20).

    The final miraculous catch of fish-
    After his resurrection, Jesus performs another miracle. His disciples immediately identify who is responsible for this sudden abundance of fish stocks on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. It is the resurrected Jesus of Nazareth.

    "Later Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the Sea of Galilee. This is how it happened. Several of the disciples were there- Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples. Simon Peter said, "I'm going fishing." "We'll come, too," they all said. So they went out in the boat, but they caught nothing all night. At dawn the disciples saw Jesus standing on the beach, but they couldn't see who he was. He called out, "Friends, have you caught any fish?" "No," they replied. Then he said, "Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you'll get plenty of fish!" So they did, and they couldn't draw in the net because there were so many fish in it"
    (John 21:1-6).

    And Jesus did a lot more miracles that are not listed here.

    Quoted from:

    Your salvation is free
    Christ paid the enormous price



    The Offices of Jesus Christ

    The three offices of Jesus Christ are

    In this section we will study the three offices of Jesus Christ. Why? Because these show a portion of His life. People study the life of the One they choose to follow. This study leads one to respect the Son of God. Respect has to precede love. Christ is worthy so that each of us will choose to follow Him.

    Christ as Prophet
    In this office Jesus reveals God to man

    "My Father has given me authority over everything. No one really knows the Son except the Father, and no one really knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him"
    (Matthew 11:27).

    "Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him"
    (John 3:1-2).

    "No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven- the Son of Man"
    (John 3:13).

    "For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit"
    (John 3:34).

    "And now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began. "I have told these men about you. They were in the world, but then you gave them to me. Actually, they were always yours, and you gave them to me; and they have kept your word"
    (John 17:5-6).

    "I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not"
    (John 17:14).

    "And I have revealed you to them and will keep on revealing you. I will do this so that your love for me may be in them and I in them"
    (John 17:26).

    Christ as Priest
    In this office Jesus reconciles God and man

    "Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to be in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. He then could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people"
    (Hebrews 2:17).

    "And so, dear brothers and sisters who belong to God and are bound for heaven, think about this Jesus whom we declare to be God's Messenger and High Priest. For he was faithful to God, who appointed him, just as Moses served faithfully and was entrusted with God's entire house"
    (Hebrews 3:1-2).

    "And no one can become a high priest simply because he wants such an honor. He has to be called by God for this work, just as Aaron was. That is why Christ did not exalt himself to become High Priest. No, he was chosen by God, who said to him, "You are my Son. Today I have become your Father"
    (Hebrews 5:4-5).

    Christ as King
    In this office Jesus will rule over all

    "I will make him my firstborn son, the mightiest king on earth"
    (Psalms 89:27).

    "This letter is from John to the seven churches in the province of Asia. Grace and peace from the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come; from the sevenfold Spirit before his throne; and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness to these things, the first to rise from the dead, and the commander of all the rulers of the world. All praise to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us"
    (Revelation 1:5).

    "The armies of heaven, dressed in pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword, and with it he struck down the nations. He ruled them with an iron rod, and he trod the winepress of the fierce wrath of almighty God. On his robe and thigh was written this title: King of kings and Lord of lords"
    (Revelation 19:16).

    Greg Herrick in his writing titled "Christology" had this to say about the offices of Christ:

    The Three Offices of Christ:

    "While there were early church fathers who spoke about different offices of Christ, it was John Calvin in his Institutes (2.15) who systematized the idea of the threefold office of Christ:
    (1) Prophet; (2) Priest, and (3) King.

    In Deuteronomy 18:18 Moses predicted that God would send another prophet like him to the people of Israel. Both John and Peter understood Jesus to be that one
    (John 6:14, 7:40; Acts 3:22-24; see also Matthew 13:57, John 4:44). The title of "prophet," however, is not found in the epistles. Nonetheless, it is clear that Christ functioned as the consummate prophet�one who both gave revelation from God (forthtelling and foretelling) and was himself the quintessential revelation from God
    (John 1:18). In this way he is unlike other prophets� a fact which may account for the conspicuous absence of this title from the epistles.

    Jesus Christ also functioned in the office of priest. While the prophet was God�s representative to the people, the priest was the peoples� representative before God. But in contrast to priests in the Levitical order, Jesus did not offer any animal sacrifice for our sin, he offered himself, an unblemished lamb of eternal worth. As a priest he has entered the holy of holies, not the copy on earth in the temple, but the heavenly place and is able to lead us, therefore, into the presence of God- a distinctly priestly function. He does not just enter the holy of holies once a year, but indeed he lives there forever now. Finally, both
    Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 7:25 teach us that his priestly role continues even now as he "ever lives to make intercession" for us in our weakness!

    Finally, Jesus Christ fulfilled the office of King. But in contrast to the greatest of Israelite kings, King David, Christ rules over the entire world, indeed the universe, including the church
    (Eph 1:20-23). He is the consummate king who rules wisely, attentively and with final authority and justice
    (Psalms 2:8-9). In short, He rules as the God-man over the entire cosmos and when he returns he will deal definitively with all hindrances and obstacles to His deserved reign. At that time He will be called "the King of Kings"
    (Revelation 19:16).

    Jesus Christ is a prophet. Why is Jesus Christ a prophet?

    An unknown author in his writing titled "JESUS CHRIST, OUR ONLY MEDIATOR AND REDEEMER" had this to say about Christ being a prophet:

    "A Prophet of God was sent from God to speak His words to the People. This is a mediatorial role. God rarely spoke to the people directly, as He had at Mount Sinai. If they were to know God�s Truth, they had to hear it from the Prophets. The Prophets, you know, often called for repentance. When the people sinned and broke God�s covenant, the prophets, in God�s Name, called them back to Him, saying "Thus saith the Lord." Moses was a great man of God and a prophet to the people. Yet Moses said, "One day, God shall raise up from among your brethren, a Prophet like me. Him shall you hear." Jesus, of Whom the Father said, "This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased, hear ye him," is none other than that great Prophet from God of whom Moses spoke.

    John 1:1, 14, 18: Jesus Christ is the Incarnate Logos, or Message of God. He came preaching the Gospel, teaching much truth (often through parables), calling for changed lives and righteousness far greater than possessed by the most outwardly religious people of His day, and telling people that they could come to Him, the Way, the Truth, and the Life to find eternal life and to know Truth and to know the way back to God, and that they could exchange burdens with Him, to find rest for their souls.

    If you wish to know love, you must come to Christ
    (Romans 5.8).

    If you would know truth, you must get it from Jesus Christ, Who is the Truth. Remember Pontius Pilate and his philosophical question, What is truth?

    If you wish to walk on the Way to God, you must be IN Christ Jesus, Who IS the Way to God.

    If you would live forever, you can only have this life through the dear Son of God.

    See Jesus Christ for Who God says He is, and yourself for who God says you are. He is the eternal Son of God and only Savior of your soul. You are a sinner Who is in need of the righteousness of Jesus Christ if you would be right before God. For Jesus Christ lived the Perfect Life, and only His perfect righteousness imputed to you can make you acceptable to God. Only thereafter following in His footsteps (with a Christ-like life) can enable you to live pleasingly before Him. Jesus Christ Himself, our only and great Prophet from God, is calling you. Hear Him."

    An unknown author at Key-Way Publishing in Canada had this to say about Christ being a prophet:

    "Jesus Christ was a prophet, who, like many Prophets, was often unrecognized as such by some of those closest to Him."

    "And the crowds that went before Him and that followed Him shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" And when He entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, "Who is this?" And the crowds said, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee"
    (Matthew 21:9-11 RSV).

    Jesus Christ is a priest. Why is He a priest?

    John MacArthur is his writing titled "Entering God's Rest- Our Great High Priest" answers this question:

    The Theme of the Book of Hebrews:

    Throughout the book of Hebrews the priesthood of Christ is exalted. Jesus is the mediator who bridges the gulf between sinful men and holy God.
    Hebrews 1:3 speaks of His purging our sins. Hebrews 2:17 calls Jesus a merciful and faithful High Priest, while
    Hebrews 3:1 and 4:15 also refer to Him as our High Priest. Hebrews 7-10 expounds on the priesthood of Christ in great detail. The priesthood of Jesus Christ is the theme of the entire book of Hebrews.

    The inducements:

    (1) Our High Priest is both God and man

    The task of the high priest was to represent God before the people and the people before God. Once a year, the high priest would go into the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement and offer a sacrifice to atone for the sins of the people. A perfect high priest would know both God and men perfectly and Jesus does. Because Jesus is the God-Man, He is the perfect High Priest who has brought God and man together.

    (2) Our High Priest is superior to all other high priests

    The book of Hebrews has already had much to say about the superiority of Christ. He is superior to
    the Old Testament prophets (Hebrews 1:1-3),
    angels (Hebrews 1:4-14),
    Moses (Hebrews 3:1-6), and
    Joshua (Hebrews 4:8).
    In Hebrews 4:14-16 we find He is superior to all other high priests. Jesus has none of the weaknesses of the other priests. Because He is our High priest, He calls men to come into God's rest.
    In verses Hebrews 4:14-16, we see three features that make Jesus our great High Priest:
    His perfect priesthood,
    His perfect person, and
    His perfect provision.


    "Seeing, then, that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession."

    A. The Position of Our High Priest
    1. He passed through the heavens

    The correct translation of the phrase "passed into the heavens"
    (Hebrews 4:14) is "passed through the heavens." That important phrase tells us that Jesus, following His ascension, passed through the heavens into God's presence.

    2. He finished His work

    On the basis of His finished work on earth, Jesus entered into God's presence.
    In John 17:4 Jesus says to the Father, "I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." Paul tells us in
    Philippians 2:9-10 that God highly exalted Him and gave Him a name above every name, a name at which every knee should bow. The reason God so honored Jesus is that He perfectly accomplished His priestly work. Jesus performed a redemptive act that brought God and man together in an eternal relationship. That's something no human priest could ever do. Every year on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) the high priest would offer a sacrifice for the sins of the people for that year. That sacrifice needed to be repeated yearly, in addition to the many other sacrifices for sin that were made throughout the year. Jesus Christ, in contrast, made one sacrifice whereby He perfected forever those are His
    (Hebrews 10:14).

    Jesus did something no priest ever did when he was ministering: He sat down
    (Hebrews 1:3). That indicates He finished His work. The high priest in Israel never sat down in the Holy of Holies- in fact, there weren't any seats, except for the mercy seat, and you didn't dare sit on that! When Jesus accomplished His perfect work and sat down, that indicated the work of atonement was finished. No more sacrifices needed to be made. Shortly after the book of Hebrews was written, the Temple was destroyed when the Romans sacked Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Since that time there have been no sacrifices. They are no longer needed because Jesus made the final sacrifice.

    B. The Preeminence of Our High Priest

    The Old Testament priest on the Day of Atonement would take the blood of the sacrifice and go through three areas: the outer court, the Holy Place, and then through the veil into the Holy of Holies, where he would sprinkle blood on the mercy seat. That is described for us in
    Leviticus chapter 16. Before the high priest could go in to make atonement for the sins of the people, he first had to make atonement for his own sins, because he too was a sinner. He was not permitted to remain in the Holy of Holies any longer than was necessary to present the blood of the sacrifice. As soon as the sacrifice was made, he left and did not return for another year.

    Jesus, our great High Priest, also went through three areas: He passed through the first heaven (the earth's atmosphere), the second heaven (interstellar space), and into the third heaven (the abode of God:
    2 Corinthians 12:2). Unlike the high priest on the Day of Atonement, however, Jesus remains permanently in the presence of God. All sacrifices prior to Jesus were but pictures of His perfect sacrifice, which fully satisfied God.
    Hebrews 12:24 says, "To Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel."
    First Peter 1:2 says we're "elect according to the foreknowledge of God, the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ."

    C. The Perfections of Our High Priest

    The book of Hebrews exalts the perfections of Jesus, our great High Priest.

    1. Hebrews 7:25-26
    "He is able ... to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens."

    2. Hebrews 8:1
    "Of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is seated on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens."

    3. Hebrews 9:12-14
    "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"

    The Bible teaches that God has designated the shedding of blood (sacrificial death) as the atonement for sin
    (Hebrews 9:22). Jesus Christ shed His blood on our behalf that God might be satisfied. Through placing our faith in Him, His perfect sacrifice covers all our sin.

    4. Hebrews 9:24
    "Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us."

    5. Hebrews 10:11-12
    "Every priest standeth daily ministering and offering often the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God."

    D. The Purpose of Our High Priest

    Jesus is now in the presence of God interceding for us. A Christian could never have any sins held against him, because Jesus is constantly interceding on our behalf.
    First John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
    First John 2:1 says, "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." Because of Christ's intercession Paul could say, "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect?"
    (Romans 8:33). Who can accuse us of anything when Christ is interceding for us? Our Lord has accomplished what no other high priest could accomplish: He paid the penalty for our sin in full, and God is satisfied.

    Do We Still Need Priests Today?

    The book of Hebrews marks the end of the sacrificial system. Old Testament Judaism was based on a priesthood interceding between men and God, but when Jesus came as the final priest and offered the final sacrifice, the need for such a priesthood vanished.

    There is no place in Christianity for any Aaronic priesthood- that is an affront to the full and final priesthood of Jesus Christ Himself. Any priesthood on earth now implies that atonement for sin has not yet been made. Christians have no need for someone to go to God for them;
    Hebrews 4:16 tells us we can go directly to God's throne of grace.
    First Peter 2:5, 9 tells us that all Christians are priests. Every man, by faith in Jesus Christ, enters directly into God's presence. When Jesus died, the veil in the Temple was torn from top to bottom
    (Matthew 27:51) indicating that access to God is now forever open to those who come through His Son.

    II. CHRIST'S PERFECT PERSON (Hebrews 4:15)

    "For we have not an high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."

    In the phrase "Jesus, the Son of God"
    (Hebrews 4:14), we have the Messianic title of Jesus Christ. Jesus is a human name, the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew name Jehoshua or Joshua, which means "Jehovah saves." The Son of God is Christ's divine title.

    A. Sinless Humanity

    To many people, God seems far off and unconcerned with human affairs, but that is not true. Jesus is God the Son, but that doesn't mean He didn't experience our feelings, temptations, and suffering.
    Verse 15 confirms that He did. Jesus sympathizes with us. He understands us. I don't want to tell my troubles to someone who doesn't understand. When I hurt Jesus hurts. He has an unequaled capacity for sympathizing with us in every danger, trial, or situation that comes our way, because He's been through it all. He endured every form of testing that a man could endure. Some people believe Jesus can't really understand how they feel because they are weak and fall into temptation, while Jesus successfully resisted temptation. Such people forget His agony while being tempted not to follow God's will in Gethsemane. Jesus was tempted, tested, and subjected to every kind of trial that you'll ever know.

    Jesus faced a much harder battle with temptation than we do. We can experience only so much pain before we lose consciousness or go into shock. When I was thrown out of a car going about seventy- five miles an hour, I felt pain for a while and then I didn't feel anything. There is a degree of pain we will never experience because our bodies turn off the pain before we get to that level. The same thing is true in temptation. There is a degree of temptation we never experience because we succumb long before we get to that point. Since Jesus never sinned He experienced temptation to the uttermost extreme.

    B. Sympathetic Deity

    1. The indifferent gods of men
    a) Of the Jews

    The Jewish people tended to believe that God was incapable of sharing the feelings of men. He was too distant, too far removed in nature from man to be able to identify with our feelings, temptations, and problems. Under the Old Covenant, God's dealings with His people were more indirect, more distant. Except for rare instances, even faithful believers did not experience His closeness and intimacy in the way that all believers now can.

    b) Of the Greeks

    The Stoics, whose philosophy dominated much of Greek and Roman culture in the first century, believed God's primary attribute was apathy (In Greek the word is apatheia). They said in some of their writings that God is incapable of feeling joy, sorrow, gladness, grief, or any other human emotion. The Epicureans taught that the gods live in the intermundium, the space between the physical and spiritual worlds. They believed the gods did not participate in either world, and so could hardly be expected to understand the feelings, problems, and needs of mortals, being completely detached from mankind.

    2. The caring God of the Bible

    In contrast to the uncaring gods of the Jews and Greeks, Christians have a High Priest who feels everything that men feel. That was a revolutionary concept. The God of the Bible is big enough to create the whole universe, yet He understands our hurts. We not only have a God who is there, but a God who has been here as well.

    a) His separation from sin

    The Greek word translated "infirmities"
    (Hebrews 4:15) does not refer to sin. Jesus could not relate to our sin, since He never sinned. The word refers to feebleness or weakness- all the natural limitations of humanity, including liability to sin. Jesus knew firsthand the drive of human nature toward sin. His humanity was His battleground. It is here that Jesus faced and fought sin. He was victorious, but not without the most intense temptation, grief, and anguish.

    The phrase at the end of verse 15, "without sin" (In Greek the words are choris hamartias) indicates the complete absence of sin. Despite the constant temptation Jesus endured, He did not sin. Not the slightest taint of sin ever entered His mind.
    Hebrews 9:28 says, "Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." Jesus was just as sinless during His life on earth as He will be when He returns in glory.
    First John 1:5 says, "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." Jesus had no capacity to sin because He is God. Our great High Priest sympathizes with us in our trials, yet remains without the slightest taint of sin.

    b) His sympathy for sinners

    Some people wonder how Jesus could understand our struggle with sin since He Himself is sinless. A surgeon may have performed hundreds of operations without ever having had surgery himself. On the other hand, a person may know nothing of surgery in spite of having had many operations himself. If you were to be operated on, which person would you choose to perform the surgery? Merely experiencing something doesn't necessarily give us an understanding of it. Jesus never sinned, yet He understands sin better than any of us. He has seen it more clearly and fought it more diligently than any of us ever could.

    Hebrews 12:3-4 says, "Consider him [Jesus] that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin." If you want to talk to someone who understands the power of sin, talk to Jesus Christ. He understands the struggle we all endure.
    First Corinthians 10:13 says, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not permit you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will, with the temptation, also make the way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." Jesus Christ knows the path of victory over sin.

    He Understood

    The following story is told of a man named Booth Tucker, who was conducting evangelistic meetings in the great Salvation Army Citadel in Chicago. One night, after he had preached on the sympathy of Jesus, a man came forward and asked Mr. Tucker how he could talk about a loving, understanding, sympathetic God. "If your wife had just died, like mine has," the man said, "and your babies were crying for their mother who would never come back, you wouldn't be saying what you're saying."

    A few days later, Mr. Tucker's wife was killed in a train wreck. Her body was brought to Chicago and carried to the Citadel for the funeral. After the service the bereaved preacher looked down into the silent face of his wife and then turned to those who were attending. "The other day when I was here," he said, "a man told me that, if my wife had just died and my children were crying for their mother, I would not be able to say that Christ was understanding and sympathetic, or that He was sufficient for every need. If that man is here, I want to tell him that Christ is sufficient. My heart is broken, it is crushed, but it has a song, and Christ put it there. I want to tell that man that Jesus Christ speaks comfort to me today." The man was there, and he came and knelt beside the casket while Booth Tucker introduced him to Jesus Christ. (MOODY: THIS STORY APPEARS UNDOCUMENTED IN THE HEBREWS COMMENTARY. WE CAN'T DOCUMENT IT.)


    "Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."

    The author is exhorting Hebrews who had given only mental assent to the gospel to come all the way to the throne of grace and obtain salvation. The throne of grace is God's throne. It used to be a throne of judgment, but when Jesus sprinkled His blood upon it, He turned it into a throne of grace. That's His perfect provision.

    What was it that sinful men needed? Mercy and grace. So we are to come boldly before God's throne to receive the grace He has provided for us through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ. How can anyone reject such a High Priest? The phrase "find grace to help in time of need" means you will find grace when you need it most. And that time is now, before it's too late, and your heart is hard and God's today is over."

    An unknown author had this to say about Jesus Christ being our High Priest in his writing titled "JESUS CHRIST, OUR ONLY MEDIATOR AND REDEEMER:"

    "Throughout the Old Testament, Priests were anointed with oil and approved by God for a special task. It was their duty to stand as a mediator between God and the People, so that there would be a way for sinful men to approach God. Because our Holy God hates sin with a holy hatred, no corrupt, sinful man may enter into His Presence or into fellowship with Him.

    Adam and Eve fell from their sweet communion and peace with their Creator. They knew they were naked, and they were banished from the Garden of God. But God mercifully interposed with a covering. And even as He justly pronounced His curse upon Mankind, He also made a promise of a Deliverer Who would crush the Serpent�s head.

    The majority of the rest of the Old Testament record concerns, of course, the nation of Israel. The People of Israel had many sins. They often violated the covenant God had made with them at Mount Sinai. They often disobeyed His commandments. Not only was God�s heart grieved at this, God�s wrath was kindled against them. It was at such times that someone would be needed to stand in between sinful and rebellious men and the holy God whom they had offended. That Someone was God�s anointed priest. The priests were appointed from among the people of Israel (the tribe of Levi). They were therefore able to pray sympathetically on behalf of the people. When a man felt within his bosom the guilt of his sins, he was to bring a sacrificial animal to the priests. When, in the presence of the priest, and with his hands upon the head of the animal, he had confessed his sins, the priest would place the animal upon an altar. There he would slay the animal with a knife. He would capture its blood in a bowl and sprinkle the blood all about the altar. Then he would pour the remainder of the blood out at the base of the altar. The laying on of hands on the head of the innocent animal signified the transfer of the man�s sin and guilt and shame before God to the sacrificial animal. The violent death and the blood-shedding symbolized the wrath of God against sinners for their sins. It was a very messy business, but commanded and typical (pictorial). The death of the victim stood for wages of sin. DEATH was deserved by the man who had brought the sacrifice to the priest. Now all of the Old Testament sacrifices were part of temporary and provisional system. As great and important as this work of the priest was, no priest in the Old Testament, and no animal sacrifice in the Old Testament, was able to actually take away a man�s sins. All these merely pointed forward in time, until God should send His Only Son to be the True Sacrifice for Sins.

    Jesus, because He is the infinite Son of God, suffered the infinite and holy wrath of God against our sins. Because He became the Perfect Man, He was qualified and He was able to suffer and die in our place, bearing our sin and guilt. Unlike the millions of animals that were repeatedly slain in Old Testament times, which could not actually bear away any of man�s sin, and whose blood could not remove his guilt, nor the wrath of God, the blood of Jesus Christ, which He shed in one act of sacrifice, is powerful to cleanse the heart, mind, and conscience of all who come to God through faith in Him. Jesus died in our place. His blood cleanses us completely. He bore and has removed our sins, and we have been credited with His righteousness, when we believed in Him. Jesus puts His blessing on us now, from His throne of grace. Praise God!

    Jesus rose from the dead! Because He lives, and is now exalted to the Father�s right hand, and sits on His throne of Grace, He is able to help us. We may pray to Him, our sympathetic high priest, concerning our problems, and know that He cares. Was He not Incarnate for us? Did He not suffer and die for us? He shall not abandon us, nor refuse to listen to our heart�s cry now. He knows. He cares. You have a problem? He has been there, and knows all about it. He, better than even the priests of old, is able to put His blessing on you.

    You need Jesus Christ as your High Priest, to bring you back to God, and so that you may be acceptable in His sight even when you pray to Him in weakness. You may have, up until now, not realized that you were born in sin and under the wrath and curse of God. Flee to Jesus Christ for refuge and seek the mercy of God which Christ offers to you. Find there that He offers to you Himself! Perhaps you may have attempted to conceal from others or even from yourself that you are not right with God. Repent of this. Confess and agree with God that you need a Saviour, and that Jesus Christ is the Only Saviour Given. Come to Jesus Christ today. Find, day by day by faith in His blood, continual enjoyment and peace with God, also the forgiveness and the cleansing of your sins."

    "Therefore, holy brethren, who share in a heavenly call, consider Jesus, the apostle [apostle means someone who is sent] and High Priest of our confession. He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, just as Moses also was faithful in God's house"
    (Hebrews 3:1-2 RSV).

    "Since then we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin"
    (Hebrews 4:14-15 RSV).

    'Tis one life
    'Twill soon be past
    only whats done
    for Christ will last

    Mark A. Copeland shares with us his "Executable Outlines" about Jesus Christ being our High Priest:

                           "THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS"
                Christ's Qualifications As High Priest (Hebrews 5:1-10)
    1. A recurring theme in this epistle is that of Jesus as our High 
       Priest; He has been described as:
       a. A "merciful and faithful High Priest"- Hebrews 2:17
       b. The "High Priest of our confession"- Hebrews 3:1
       c. A "great High Priest who has passed through the heavens"- 
         Hebrews 4:14
       d. A High Priest who can "sympathize with our weaknesses"- 
         Hebrews 4:15
    2. This is in keeping with the overall purpose of the epistle...
       a. Which is to show the superiority of Jesus and His new covenant
       b. We have considered Jesus' superiority to...
          1) Prophets - Hebrews 1:1-3
          2) Angels - Hebrews 1:4-2:18
          3) Moses - Hebrews 3:1-6
          ...it is only natural that a comparison to Aaron and his 
             priesthood be made
    3. The actual comparison with Aaron will follow later, but first there
       is a need to...
       a. Review the qualities required in high priests
       b. Establish that Jesus does indeed qualify as a High Priest
          Which is what we find in the text for our study today - Hebrews 5:1-10
    [For non-Jewish readers who may be unfamiliar with the role of high 
    priests, this section of Scripture can be enlightening and increase our
    appreciation of Jesus as our High Priest.
    We begin by noticing...]   
       A. DIVINE APPOINTMENT (Hebrews 5:1 and 4)
          1. The work of the high priest involves "things pertaining to 
             God" Hebrews 2:17
          2. He must "offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins" 
             Hebrews 8:3
             Thus only God can rightfully select a high priest, 
             even as God called Aaron 
          Exodus chapters 28-29; 
             Leviticus chapters 8-9 
             Numbers chapters 16-18
       B. HUMAN SYMPATHY (Hebrews 5:1-3)
          1. A high priest is selected "from among men"
          2. This helps to ensure a spirit of "compassion"...
             a. Toward "those who are ignorant and going astray"
                1) Note that the high priest was to make a distinction 
                   between sins of ignorance and sins of presumption 
                   (rebellion) - Numbers 15:22-31
                2) Sacrifices were to be offered in behalf of the former, 
                   but not the latter
             b. For "he himself is often beset by weakness"
                1) A high priest who knew his own weakness would be more 
                   likely to be understanding of his brethren
                2) It also explains why the high priest in the Old Testament offered 
                   sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of
                   the people - Lev 16:11
             Thus a high priest would need to be well acquainted with the 
             "human condition" (for instance, the struggle against temptation)
    [The parallel between high priests in the Old Testament and Jesus as our High 
    Priest does not hold true in every minute detail (Hebrews 7:26-27).  
    But certainly in the most fundamental ways Jesus has the qualities to 
    be our High Priest, as we now consider...]
       A. DIVINELY APPOINTED (Hebrews 5:5-6)
          1. Christ was Divinely called to serve as High Priest, just as 
             Aaron was
          2. As evidence of His calling, two Messianic prophecies are 
             a. His position as God's Son - Psalms 2:7
             b. His appointment as a priest after the order of Melchizedek 
                -Psalms 110:4
                As God's Son, sitting and ruling at the right hand of God
                (Psalms 110:1-3), His calling as a priest is only natural
          1. While "in the days of His flesh", Christ...
             a. "offered prayers and supplications with vehement cries and
             b. He prayed "to Him who was able to save Him from death"
             c. He was heard "because of His godly fear"
          2. That Jesus would have "godly fear" and offer such prayers 
             provides insight into the extent of His temptations and 
             sufferings in the flesh - also Hebrews 2:18; 4:15
          3. Even though He was God's Son, by the things which He suffered
             "He learned obedience"- what does this mean?
             a. Certainly He knew obedience as the Son of God
             b. Perhaps it means He came to know what obedience involved as
                one "in the flesh" (for instance the challenge of 
                obedience in the midst of suffering, temptations, etc.)
             Through His suffering, Jesus certainly understands the "human 
             condition" which qualifies Him to serve as High Priest
    [Qualified by virtue of His calling and His compassion to be a High 
    Priest, what kind of High Priest is Jesus? The next two verses 
    introduce two themes that will be developed much further later on...]
          1. "Perfected" by virtue of His sufferings "in the flesh", 
                He has become the "author" of eternal salvation
             a. The word "author" comes from aitio, meaning literally, 
             b. Later, we will see how Christ is the "cause" of our 
                salvation- Hebrews 7:24-27
          2. But for now, note that He is the cause of salvation for "all 
             those who obey Him"
             Is obedience necessary for salvation?  Consider these 
                1) Jesus will bring vengeance on those who have not obeyed
                   the gospel- 
                     2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; 
                     1 Peter 4:17-18
                2) Paul sought to bring about the "obedience to the 
                        faith" among all the nations- 
                    Romans 1:5
                       Romans 16:25-26
                   a) But not all had obeyed the gospel- Romans 10:16
                   b) Yet he was grateful for those who had- Romans 6:17-18
                3) Those who have obeyed the truth have purified their 
                   souls- 1 Peter 1:22
          1. Here we begin to learn the distinct nature of Christ's 
          2. As prophesied in Psalms 110:4, the Messiah would be "a priest
             forever according to the order of Melchizedek"
          3. Thus His priesthood would be different from the Aaronic or 
             Levitical priesthood
             a. Different, but would it be superior?
             b. Would the difference be enough to persuade them not to 
                forsake Christ?
                The difference between the two priesthoods and the 
                superiority of Christ's over Aaron's is taken up later in
                this epistle (Hebrews 7:1-28)
    1. The spiritual immaturity of the Hebrew readers will necessitate a 
       temporary digression (Hebrews 5:11-6:20)
    2. But for the moment, the author has established "Christ's 
       Qualifications As High Priest"...
       a. He was Divinely appointed
       b. He is sympathetic because of His own sufferings
    3. This makes Jesus suitable as the "author of eternal salvation"
       a. But don't forget that He is the author of salvation "to all who
          obey Him"
       b. Have you rendered obedience to the gospel of Christ? - 
            Mark 16:15-16; 
               Acts 2:36-39

    Jesus Christ is a King. Why is Jesus Christ a King?

    In studying the genealogy (family tree) of Jesus Christ we learned that He is descended from King David and has inherited the throne by right of birth and succession. Jesus Christ is a king because He fulfills the Davidic Covenant. What was the covenant that God made with King David? Here is what the scriptures declare:

    This is the Davidic Covenant:

    "...from the time I appointed judges to rule my people. And I will keep you safe from all your enemies.
    " `And now the LORD declares that he will build a house for you- a dynasty of kings! For when you die, I will raise up one of your descendants, and I will make his kingdom strong. He is the one who will build a house- a temple- for my name. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. If he sins, I will use other nations to punish him. But my unfailing love will not be taken from him as I took it from Saul, whom I removed before you. Your dynasty and your kingdom will continue for all time before me, and your throne will be secure forever.' "
    (2 Samuel 7:11-16).

    An unknown author at biblia.com had this to say about Christ being a king:

    "David thinks of building a temple- his intention, though not accepted, is rewarded with the promise that his throne will last forever. The reason why David will not build the Temple to God: 'You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.'
    (1 Chronicles 28:3). His son, Solomon built the Temple.

    God's promise to David in 2 Samuel chapter 7 has to be among the most brilliant moments in the history of salvation. It is matched in importance and prestige by
    the Covenant made with Abraham in Genesis chapter 12,
    the Mosaic Covenant in Exodus chapter 19, and later in
    Jeremiah's New Covenant to Israel and Judah and all the human race
    (Jeremiah 31:31-34)."

    "Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. "Don't be frightened, Mary," the angel told her, "for God has decided to bless you! You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!"
    (Luke 1:29-33).

    "For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His ever expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule forever with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David. The passionate commitment of the LORD Almighty will guarantee this!"
    (Isaiah 9:6-7).

    "For God never said to any angel what he said to Jesus: "You are my Son. Today I have become your Father." And again God said, "I will be his Father, and he will be my Son." And then, when he presented his honored Son to the world, God said, "Let all the angels of God worship him." God calls his angels "messengers swift as the wind, and servants made of flaming fire." But to his Son he says, "Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. Your royal power is expressed in righteousness. You love what is right and hate what is wrong. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else"
    (Hebrews 1:5-9).

    "The LORD said, "I have made a solemn agreement with David, my chosen servant. I have sworn this oath to him: `I will establish your descendants as kings forever"
    (Psalms 89:3-4).

    "Your dynasty and your kingdom will continue for all time before me, and your throne will be secure forever' "
    (2 Samuel 7:16).

    "But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised first; then when Christ comes back, all his people will be raised. After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having put down all enemies of every kind. For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet"

    "The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit in honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet"

    "God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, " 'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet" '
    (Acts 2:32-35).

    Greg Herrick mentions the Kingship of Christ in his writing titled "Christology: Jesus Christ:"

    "Jesus Christ fulfilled the office of King. But in contrast to the greatest of Israelite kings, King David, Christ rules over the entire world, indeed the universe, including the church:

    "I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else in this world or in the world to come. And God has put all things under the authority of Christ, and he gave him this authority for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is filled by Christ, who fills everything everywhere with his presence"
    (Ephesians 1:19-23).

    He is the consummate king who rules wisely, attentively and with final authority and justice:

    "Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the ends of the earth as your possession. You will break them with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots.' "
    (Psalms 2:8-9).

    In short, he rules as the God-man over the entire cosmos and when he returns he will deal definitively with all hindrances and obstacles to his deserved reign. At that time he will be called "the King of Kings:"

    "On his robe and thigh was written this title: King of kings and Lord of lords"
    (Revelation 19:16).

    James L. Melton in his tract titled "The Second Coming of Jesus Christ" had this to say about the Kingship of Christ:

    One only has to read a newspaper or listen to a newscast in order to see Bible prophecy being fulfilled. There have been more prophecies fulfilled in the twentieth century than in any other time in church history. We believe there is a great reason for this. We believe that the time is rapidly approaching for the Lord Jesus Christ to return to this earth and take the kingdoms of this world for Himself.

    In this tract, we will attempt to show you from God's word the chronological order of future prophetic events. That is, we will attempt to TEACH you some basic Bible doctrine about the Second Coming. It is our prayer that you will read carefully through these pages, asking the Holy Spirit of God to lead and guide you through the truths in His word
    (John 16:13). Please check all Scripture references very carefully for a better understanding. May God richly bless your study.

    The Coming Righteous Kingdom

    The main theme of the Bible is the Lord Jesus Christ, and the main subject is the Kingdom that His Father has promised Him. There are many Bible prophecies that speak of this coming King and Kingdom. Some are as follows:

    "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be."
    (Genesis 49:10)

    "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them."
    (Isaiah 11:1-6)

    "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth."
    (Jeremiah 23:5)

    Such Old Testament verses as these state very clearly that God intends to set the Lord Jesus Christ up as King over the earth. There have been many kings to rise and fall throughout history, but God has in mind a PERFECT King for His promised Kingdom.

    Coming to the New Testament we find that God still has this Kingdom very much in mind.

    John the Baptist came preaching that this Kingdom was at hand in
    Matthew 3:2, and Jesus also preached this message when He began to preach
    (Matthew 4:17).

    During the actual ministry of Christ, He preached mostly to His people, the Jews
    (Matthew 10:5-6, 15:24), because Israel is the one nation that God chose long ago to be a shining light to this lost and dying world. In
    Isaiah 62:1 God says, "For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth."
    God will not rest until His chosen nation is established in the earth as a BURNING LAMP
    (Genesis 15:17) to this lost and dying world. Starting with Abraham in Genesis chapter twelve, God begins to focus on ONE CHOSEN PEOPLE to bring forth His King for the coming Kingdom. All of the promises that God made to Abraham and his descendants are still in effect today, and they will soon reach their fulfillment, for the Kingdom WILL come.

    "And when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find an ass tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If any one says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and he will send them immediately." This took place to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet, saying, "Tell the Daughter of Zion, Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of an ass"
    (Matthew 21:1-5 RSV).

    "I charge you to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ; and this will be made manifest at the proper time by the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords"
    (1 Timothy 6:14-15 RSV).

    Many teach that the Kingdom promises are no longer valid, because the Jews rejected Christ, but this is a false teaching. In
    Acts 1:6-7, before Jesus ascended into Heaven, the apostles asked Him about this Kingdom, saying, " . . . Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" If the Kingdom promises were no longer valid, then Jesus would have told them so, but instead He says, "...It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power." So Israel's rejection of Christ doesn't make void the promises of God. God will chastise the Jews for their sin, and then He will restore the Kingdom to Israel
    (Psalms 89:29-36).

    Someone says, "If the Jews won't receive their King, then how can God restore the Kingdom? Doesn't this put God in some sort of a jam?" No, God has a master plan. He knows exactly what He will do. In
    Hebrews 8:8-10, we read some interesting words quoted from Jeremiah chapter 31: "For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people."

    The words "after those days" clearly refer to a future time when Israel will be converted to the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul tells us in
    Romans 11:25-27 that Israel has been BLINDED for this present age, but that "all Israel shall be saved" because God will "take away their sins." God promised Israel a Kingdom, so there WILL be a Kingdom.

    Since this Kingdom wasn't established at the First Coming of Christ, it must be established at the Second Coming. God knew that the Jews would reject His Son; so He predetermined that Christ's shed Blood on Calvary would serve as an atonement for the sin of the world. This was God's plan all along- to come into the world and pay for the sins of all men
    (John 1:29; Revelation 13:8). So the First Coming was one of suffering and shame, but the Second Coming will be one of glory, honor, and praise
    (1 Peter 1:10-12). The first time Jesus received a crown of thorns, but when He comes again He will have MANY crowns
    (Revelation 19:12). He was the "lamb of God" when He came the first time, but He will be the "lion of the tribe of Judah" the second time
    (Revelation 5:5). The First Coming gave Jesus Christ to the world, but the Second Coming will give the world to Jesus Christ! Just as David was chosen to be the king of Israel many years before he actually received the kingdom
    (1 Samuel chapter 16), the Lord Jesus Christ has been chosen to take over the kingdoms of this world and rule as God's "KING OF KINGS"
    (Revelation 11:15, 19:16).

    A "Christianity" without a Second Coming is a very selfish religion, for it robs Jesus Christ of all God's precious promises to Him. The teaching and preaching of the Second Coming is very essential, because it speaks of God's righteous King returning to this earth and taking what rightfully belongs to Him. Christians should be rejoicing! The Lord Jesus Christ, the Captain of your Salvation (if you're saved), will soon return to this earth and set things in order and YOU can be on the winning side!"

    An unknown author in his writing titled "JESUS CHRIST, OUR ONLY MEDIATOR AND REDEEMER" had this to say about the kingship of Jesus Christ:

    "Every little child who knows his Bible knows that the Old Testament is full of stories about prophets, priests, and . . . kings! God sent Prophets to the people to tell them His will. He gave Priests so that the people might have a way back to Him. He gave some men as His anointed kings to rule over the people.

    This perspective, of understanding the significance of the mediatorial offices, is very helpful in understanding the Gospel.

    Now, Solomon was the greatest of the Kings of Israel. He ruled over the greatest territory. He collected tribute from all the surrounding nations. His armies protected the people from their enemies. He was a very wise ruler and judge. His glory as a king was great. His wealth, his building projects, his fame, his knowledge, his abilities, all made him very great. So great, in fact, that the queen of Sheba came from a very great distance to see his kingdom and marveled greatly at it all. "The half had not been told me!" she said.

    Well, I am here to tell you that the kings of Israel in the Old Testament times were only a dim shadow of the glorious Son of God our King! A greater than Solomon is here! It is Jesus! He was anointed by the Spirit of God! He came teaching that the Kingdom was at hand, and that He Himself was the King! When Jesus came, though, it is as though men did not receive Him as King, nor submit to Him as they should have. But Jesus did a great act which secured subjects for Himself: He died on the cross.

    His foes, Judas, the traitor, and Satan himself, must have thought that conspiring to have our Saviour crucified was their victory and His defeat. But, in the plan of God, and through the power of the resurrection of His body from the tomb, Jesus got the victory He had come to gain. By the cross, He actually smashed sin�s power over us, and defeated the devil once and for all. By His resurrection, He secured the eternal life which we believers already enjoy now and will possess forever, and entered into His exaltation. In His victorious exaltation at the right Hand of God, Jesus is now on His throne of glory. This glory is Christ�s reward for His obedience to His Father�s will.
    Hebrews 12.2.

    He is the most important Person in all of universal history! All ruling authority is HIS!
    Matthew 28.18! It is from there on His throne that He has sent His Holy Spirit to convict (and so, subdue) our rebellious hearts, enlighten our minds, and cause us to see that we must bow the knee before the Son of God. He has translated us into His kingdom, and out of the kingdom of darkness we had been in all our lives. His love have now triumphed over us. As a good King should do, He protects us, defends us, defeats our every foe, including sin, fear, and DEATH. He rules our minds. He commands us.

    By the Ten Commandments. . .
    By the Sermon on the Mount. . .
    By the Law of Love...
    By His Word, and...
    By His Holy Spirit...
    He rules as King over all we do, know, and are. Submit to the universal sovereignty of Jesus Christ. He loves us. As Lord of the Church which He purchased with His own blood, He commands us to take our place in the assembly of the saints. He is someday coming again. When he does, all the nations shall bow the knee and confess Him as Lord. There is an awful day of Judgment coming. But we are not waiting until He comes again to bow and confess. Jesus Christ is our Lord now.

    Is He your Lord, today? Or are you still doing your own will, and what is right in your own eyes, without regard to what God says is right, and what is His will? God now commandeth all men everywhere to repent. God is calling on you to believe the Gospel, which is His message to you about His Son and His Salvation. Surrender to Jesus Christ now, before it is too late, and before you must face Him in judgment.

    Doctrines subjected to neglect
    soon give way to heresy



    The Stumbling Block of the Cross of Jesus Christ

    In this section we will briefly look at some of the opposition to Jesus Christ.

    "But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness"
    (1 Corinthians 1:23).

    Paul stated in the above verse that the intellectual, rational Greeks at the time thought that the teaching of any person who could rise from the dead and live again was absurd or foolish thinking. And the Jews- what of the Jews? What did they think? They wanted a political Messiah who could liberate them from their oppressors and One who could solve their problems for them. Did Jesus Christ do that for them at His first coming? No way. They didn't want a Messiah who offered a cross. They didn't want a Messiah who offered forgiveness of sins. When these things were put in their pathway by their Messiah, Jesus Christ, they tripped over them, so to speak. The truth of the cross became their spiritual stumbling block.

    The Silver Lining Periodical had this to say in it's article on "Stumbling Blocks:"

    "Satan has many devices to cause confusion and heartache for God's people. One of the tools he uses so successfully is to cause stumbling blocks to be placed in our paths.

    A stumbling block is something which causes us to err or to stray from the truth. Casting a stumbling block in one's way is the opposite of being our brother's keeper.

    The seriousness of casting a stumbling block in one's way was made very clear by Jesus when He said "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in"
    (Matthew 23:13).

    The very ones who should have been helpful were guilty of making it more difficult for God's people to do what was right.

    The problem of causing others to err has been evident since long before Christ.
    Isaiah wrote ". . .Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling block out of the way of my people"
    (Isaiah 57:14). Malachi also wrote of the problem when he chastised the messengers of the Lord who
    "...are de parted out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts"
    (Malachi 2:7).

    Ezekiel wrote at length about the shepherds who were more concerned about their selfish interests than they were about feeding the flocks.
    In Ezekiel Chapter 34 he wrote of those who neither cared for the diseased nor sought those who were scattered. The sheep wandered upon the face of the earth and no one searched for them. The stumbling block was acts of selfishness and neglect.

    From this example and other scriptures, we can understand that there are many ways we can cast a stumbling block in the way of God's people. Perhaps the most serious stumbling block of all was committed when the Savior was put to death. This was done to discourage others from following Him. The Jewish leaders at that time were willing to go to any extreme to silence the message of salvation and to prevent anyone from following Jesus.

    Persecution against Christians has been tool that Satan has used ever since Christ arose from the dead.
    "...And at that time there was great persecution against the church- "
    (Acts 8:1). Throughout history and continuing to our time, persecution has made it difficult for those who want to worship God."

    Ken Ham in his article "The Cross� a stumbling block!" had this to say:

    "Peter didn�t have to convince them concerning the truth of creation. He didn�t have to convince Jews that there was such a thing as sin. He didn�t have to convince them that the Holy Scripture was God�s infallible Word. The problem they had was not accepting that Jesus Christ was God manifest in the flesh and was the Messiah. This was their stumbling block.

    From a human perspective, Peter, therefore, had to convince the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah, and that His death and resurrection were vital to their salvation. It was only by accepting what Christ did on the cross that they could have their sins forgiven."


    The Suffering and Death (Passion) of Jesus Christ

    In this section we will study the passion of Christ. Why? Because He died to forgive our sins if we ask Him to. I have a couple of other web pages that deal with the passion of Christ you might want to explore:

    The Passion (Suffering) of Jesus Christ
    This article answers the question of WHY Jesus Christ had to suffer and die.

    A Physician Looks at the Death of Jesus Christ

    Betrayal hurts Jesus

    An unknown author at Direction, Inc. had this to say about Christ's Passion:

    "God loved the human family so much that He provided a supreme sacrifice in the person of His son�that we each might find eternal life. Jesus knew His role as God�s sacrifice and willingly suffered the anger and arrogance of men who thought themselves more powerful than God. He did so in love that all men might be free.

    "Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him"
    (Matthew 27:27-31).

    "Yet while Christ was here on earth he pleaded with God, praying with tears and agony of soul to the only one who would save him from (premature) death. And God heard his prayers because of his strong desire to obey God at all times. And even though Jesus was God's Son, he had to learn from experience what it was like to obey when obeying meant suffering"
    (Hebrews 5:7-8).

    "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth�and he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand"
    (Isaiah 53:3-10).

    The Death of Jesus

    The life and death of Jesus are historical facts confirmed by many sources. But what is so remarkable about the life of Jesus, including His death, is that it was all prophesied centuries before. And not only do the prophecies identify the event they also include the dates when the events would occur. This is true of both the birth and death of Jesus� that not only was the events revealed centuries before they occurred but also the exact date of their occurrence.

    Also, another amazing circumstance regarding His death was the method by which Jesus was crucified- for although the method of His death was described by Isaiah seven hundred years previous- it was a method not yet invented in Isaiah� time.

    God not only revealed that the Messiah would be crucified at a certain future date- He also described the manner of crucifixion which had yet to be conceived by evil men.

    "Now listen! It will be 49 years plus 434 years from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One comes! Jerusalem's streets and walls will be rebuilt despite the perilous times. After this period of 434 years, the Anointed One will be killed, his kingdom still unrealized- and a king will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple. They will be overwhelmed as with a flood, and war and its miseries are decreed from that time to the very end"
    (Daniel 9:25-26).

    "As Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and talked to them about what would happen to him when they arrived. "I will be betrayed to the chief priests and other Jewish leaders, and they will condemn me to die." And they will hand me over to the Roman government, and I will be mocked and crucified, and the third day I will rise to life again"
    (Matthew 20:17-19).

    The purpose for the cruel death of Jesus was as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Although at the hands of men, it was in the plan and the permission of God that His only Son be offered up as a sacrifice."

    Josh McDowell in his book "A Ready Defense" had this to say about the Passion of Christ:

    "You Can't Keep a "Good Man" Down"

    "And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone"
    (Luke 18:19).

    "A student at the University of Uruguay said to me, "Professor McDowell, why can't you refute Christianity?"

    I answered, "For a very simple reason- the resurrection of Jesus Christ."

    After more than 700 hours of studying this subject and thoroughly investigating its foundation, I came to the conclusion that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is either one of the most wicked, vicious, heartless hoaxes ever foisted upon people, or it is the most important fact of history.

    The resurrection issue takes the question, "Is Christianity valid?" out of the realm of philosophy and makes it a question of history. Does Christianity have a historically acceptable basis? Is sufficient evidence available to warrant belief in the resurrection?

    Obvious Observations

    In my attempt to refute Christianity, I made five acute observations of the resurrection that I previously had been totally unaware of.

    OBSERVATION #1- Testimony of History

    Before my research, I had never realized there was so much positive historical, literary and legal testimony supporting its validity.


    Professor Thomas Arnold, for fourteen years the headmaster of Rugby, author of the three-volume History of Rome, and holder of the chair of modern history at Oxford, was well acquainted with the value of evidence in determining historical facts.

    This great scholar said, "I have been used for many years to study the histories of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them, and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God hath given us that Christ died and rose again from the dead."


    Brooke Foss Wescott, English scholar, said, "Taking all the evidence together, it is not too much to say that there is no historic incident better or more variously supported than the resurrection of Christ."


    Dr. Paul L. Maier, professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University, concluded that, "If all the evidence is weighed carefully and fairly, it is indeed justifiable, according to the canons of historical research, to conclude that the tomb in which Jesus was buried was actually empty on the morning of the first Easter. And no shred of evidence has yet been discovered in literary sources, epigraphy or archaeology that would disprove this statement."


    Lord Caldecote, Lord Chief Justice of England, has written:"My faith began with and was grounded on what I thought was revealed in the Bible. When, particularly, I came to the New Testament, the Gospels and other writings of the men who had been friends of Jesus Christ seemed to me to make an overwhelming case, merely as a matter of strict evidence, for the fact therein stated ... The same approach to the cardinal test of the claims of Jesus Christ, namely, His resurrection, has led me, as often as I have tried to examine the evidence, to believe it as fact beyond dispute."


    One man who was highly skilled at dealing with evidence was Dr. Simon Greenleaf. He was the famous Royall Professor of Law at Harvard University and succeeded Justice Joseph Story as the Dane Professor of Law in the same university. The rise of Harvard Law School to its eminent position among the legal schools of the United States is to be ascribed to the efforts of these two men. Greenleaf produced his famous three-volume work, A Treatise on the Law of Evidence, which still is considered one of the greatest single authorities on this subject in the entire literature of legal procedure.

    Greenleaf examined the value of the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ to ascertain the truth. He applied the principles contained in his three-volume treatise on evidence. His findings were recorded in his book, An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice.

    Greenleaf came to the conclusion that, according to the laws of legal evidence used in courts of law, there is more evidence for the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ than for just about any other event in history.


    Dr. Frank Morrison, a lawyer who had been brought up in a rationalistic environment, had come to the opinion that the resurrection was nothing but a fairy-tale happy ending which spoiled the matchless story of Jesus. He felt that he owed it to himself, and to others, to write a book that would present the truth about Jesus and dispel the myth of the resurrection.

    Upon studying the facts, however, he, too, came to a different conclusion. The sheer weight of the evidence compelled him to conclude that Jesus actually did rise from the dead. Morrison wrote his book- but not the one he had planned. It is titled, Who Moved the Stone? The first chapter, very significantly, is called, "The Book That Refused to Be Written."


    The literary scholar, C. S. Lewis, former professor of Medieval and Renaissance literature at Cambridge University, when writing about his conversion to Christianity, indicated that he had believed Christians "to be wrong."

    The last thing Lewis wanted was to embrace Christianity. However, "Early in 1926 the hardest boiled of all atheists I ever knew sat in my room on the other side of the fire and remarked that the evidence for the historicity of the Gospels was really surprisingly good. 'Rum thing,' he went on. 'All that stuff of Frazer's about the Dying God. Rum thing. It almost looks as if it had really happened once.'

    "To understand the shattering impact of it, you would need to know the man (who has certainly never since shown any interest in Christianity). If he, the cynic of cynics, the toughest of the toughs, were not- as I would still have put it- 'safe,' where could I turn? Was there then no escape?"

    After evaluating the basis and evidence for Christianity, Lewis concluded that in other religions there was "no such historical claim as in Christianity." His knowledge of literature forced him to treat the Gospel record as a trustworthy account. "I was by now too experienced in literary criticism to regard the Gospels as myth."

    Finally, contrary to his strong stand against Christianity, Professor Lewis had to make an intelligent decision, "You must picture me alone in that room in Magdelen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England."

    OBSERVATION #2- Resurrection Foretold

    Christ actually predicted He would rise on the third day. His claims are substantiated throughout the four Gospels. When Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, "We are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered to death. They will deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify Him. And on the third day He will be raised up"
    (Matthew 16:21; Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22).

    Mark points out in his Gospel that "He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, and the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again"
    (Mark 8:31).

    John confirms this when he writes, "Jesus answered and said to them, 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' The Jews therefore said, 'It took forty-six years to build this Temple, and will You raise it up in three days?' But He was speaking of the temple of His body"
    (John 2:19-21).

    OBSERVATION #3- Basis of Christianity

    The historical fact of the resurrection is the very basis for the truth of Christianity. To put it simply, the resurrection of Jesus Christ and Christianity stand or fall together. One cannot be true without the other.

    The apostle Paul emphasized this point when he wrote, "But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain; your faith also is in vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless"
    (1 Corinthians 15:13-17).

    OBSERVATION #4- Intelligent Faith

    My fourth observation on Christianity was quite an eye-opener. The more I studied the historical/biblical Christian faith the more I realized it was an "intelligent faith." When an individual in the Scriptures was called upon to exercise faith, it was to be that intelligent faith. Jesus said: "You shall know the truth [not ignore it] and the truth shall make you free"
    (John 8:32).

    A lawyer asked Jesus, "Which is the greatest commandment?"

    Jesus replied, "...[To] love the Lord your God with all your heart ... and with all your mind"
    (Matthew 22:37).

    Never is an individual called upon to commit intellectual suicide in trusting Christ as Savior and Lord. Instead, a believer is instructed to be ready always to give an answer (an intelligent one) as to why he believes
    (1 Peter 3:15).

    In his work, I Believe in the Resurrection, Dr. George Eldon Ladd observes that faith does not mean a leap in the dark, an irrational credulity, a believing against evidences and against reason. It means believing in the light of historical facts, consistent with evidences, on the basis of witnesses.

    OBSERVATION #5- Historical Criteria

    The resurrection of Christ must be examined by the same criteria as is any other past event in history. The faith of the early church was founded on experiences in the factual realm. For example, the followers of Christ said He showed Himself alive to them by "many convincing proofs"
    (Acts 1:3). Luke used the word "tekmerion." That connotes a "demonstrable proof."

    It became apparent to me that my research would have to include the historical criteria for truth if I were to discover what really happened that first Easter.

    Sufficient Evidence Needed

    Wolfhart Pannenberg is a professor of systematic theology at the University of Munich, Germany. He has been concerned primarily with questions of the relationship between faith and history. This brilliant scholar says, "Whether the resurrection of Jesus took place or not is an historical question, and ... at this point is inescapable. And so the question has to be decided on the level of historical argument."

    The evidence must be approached with an honest, fair view of history and the investigation must not be prejudiced by preconceived notions or conclusions. There is a compelling need to let the evidence speak for itself. Historian Ronald Sider writes about the need for objectivity in historical research, "What does the critical historian do when his evidence points very strongly to the reality of an event, which contradicts his expectations and goes against the naturalistic view of reality? I submit that he must follow his critically analyzed sources. It is unscientific to begin with the philosophical presupposition that miracles cannot occur. Unless we avoid such one-sided presuppositions, historical interpretation becomes mere propaganda. We have a right to demand good evidence for an alleged event, which we have not experienced, but we dare not judge reality by our limited experience. And I would suggest that we have good evidence for the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth."

    Proper Approach

    The Erlangen historian Ethelbert Stauffer gives further suggestions on how to approach history, "What do we (as historians) do when we experience surprises which run counter to all our expectations, perhaps all our convictions and even our period's whole understanding of truth? We say as one great historian used to say in such instances: "It is surely possible." And why not? For the critical historian nothing is impossible."

    Historian Philip Schaff adds to the above: "The purpose of the historian is not to construct a history from preconceived notions and to adjust it to his own liking, but to reproduce it from the best evidences and to let it speak for itself."

    The ultimate test historically concerning the resurrection is whether the purported facts are supported by the evidence.

    NOTE: Much of what follows is based on the eye-witness reports recorded in the Gospel narratives of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. For evidence concerning the reliability of this material, see "Section I: The Bible and Its Reliability" of this book. For further evidence of the reliability of the resurrection reports in the New Testament, see He Walked Among Us, pp. 278-90. The points covered there are:
    (1) the early origination of the reports, including evidence that
    1 Corinthians 15:3-8 originated within three years of the death and resurrection of Jesus;
    (2) the historical nature of the reports; and
    (3) the fact that the actual resurrection of Jesus is the only way to explain the early Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus.

    Security Precautions


    Jesus was brought for trial before the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. All available evidence shows Pilate to have been an extremely cruel and merciless despot. Philo records that he was responsible "for countless atrocities and numerous executions without any previous trial."

    Six Trials

    One needs to realize that Jesus Christ went through six distinct trials. One was before Annas, the high priest
    (John 18:13), another was before Caiaphas
    (Matthew 26:57), the third before the Sanhedrin
    (Matthew 26:59), the fourth before Pilate
    (Matthew 27:2), the fifth before Herod
    (Luke 23:7), and the sixth was back before Pilate
    (Luke 23:11-25). There were three Jewish trials and three Roman trials.

    The Jewish legal system was made up of two different Sanhedrins. One Sanhedrin was composed of 23 members who tried cases involving capital punishment. The other Sanhedrin of 71 could serve as a trial court for cases involving the head of state, the high priest, or for offenses against the state or the Temple. The Sanhedrin of 71 could not try a case involving capital punishment. It was probably the Sanhedrin of 23 that tried Jesus.

    One was located in every major city in Judea.

    Finally after three Jewish trials and three Roman trials, the Jewish authorities, in conjunction with the Roman authorities, delivered Jesus to be crucified
    (Matthew 27:26).

    Various "security precautions" were taken to make sure that when Jesus was dead He would remain dead and buried.

    SECURITY PRECAUTION #2- Death by Crucifixion

    Alexander the Great introduced crucifixion into the Mediterranean world- mainly Egypt and Carthage. From all indications, the Romans learned the practice from the Carthaginians.

    A Cruel Death

    Death by crucifixion developed into one of the world's most disgraceful and cruel methods of torture. Cicero called it "the most cruel and hideous of tortures." Will Durant wrote that "even the Romans- pitied the victims."

    Flavius Josephus, the Jewish historian, who was an advisor to Titus during the siege of Jerusalem, had observed many crucifixions and called them "the most wretched deaths."

    The Custom of Whipping

    After the verdict of crucifixion was pronounced by the court, it was customary to tie the accused to a post at the tribunal. The criminal was stripped of his clothes, then severely whipped by the lictors or scourgers.

    The whip, known as a flagrum, had a sturdy handle to which were attached long leather thongs of varying lengths. Sharp, jagged pieces of bone and lead were woven into them. The Jews were limited by their law to 40 lashes. The Pharisees, with their emphasis on strict adherence to the law, would limit their lashes to 39, so that if they miscounted they would not break their law. The Romans had no such limitations. Out of disgust or anger, the Romans could totally ignore the Jewish limitation, and probably did so in the case of Jesus.

    A Medical Perspective

    Dr. C. Truman Davis, a medical doctor who has meticulously studied crucifixion from a medical perspective, describes the effects of the Roman flagrum used in whipping, "The heavy whip is brought down with full force again and again across [a persons] shoulders, back and legs. At first the heavy thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continue, they cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles. The small balls of lead first produce large, deep bruises, which are broken open by subsequent blows. Finally the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is finally stopped."

    Eusebius, a third-century historian, confirms Dr. Davis's description when he writes: "The sufferer's veins were laid bare, and the very muscles, sinews, and bowels of the victim were open to exposure."

    A Crown of Thorns

    After placing the crown of thorns on Christ's head, they began to mock Him saying, "Hail, the King of the Jews." They also spit on Him and beat Him with a rod. Then they led Him away to be crucified.

    The Crossbar Burden

    A man condemned to be crucified had to carry his own crossbar from prison to the place of his execution.

    Dr. Pierre Barbet points out that "they began to use a long piece of wood, which was used for barring doors and was called the patibulum (from patere, to be open)." The patibulum weighed approximately 110 pounds and was strapped to the victim's shoulders.

    Crucifixion With Nails

    Upon reaching the execution site, the condemned person was nailed or bound by ropes to the cross. Many have questioned the historical accuracy of the nailing of the hands and feet. The reason for this skepticism is that there has been almost zero evidence of it in history.

    Dr. J. W. Hewitt, in his Harvard Theological Review article entitled, "The Use of Nails in the Crucifixion," said, "To sum up, there is astonishingly little evidence that the feet of a crucified person were ever pierced by nails." He went on to say that the victim's hands and feet were bound by ropes to the cross.

    For years Dr. Hewitt's statement was quoted as the final word. The conclusion, therefore, was that the New Testament account of Christ being nailed to the cross was false and misleading. Crucifixion by use of nails was considered legendary. It was believed that nails would have ripped the flesh and could not have supported a body on the cross.

    A Dead Man Speaks

    Then, a revolutionary archaeological discovery was made in June 1968. Archeologist V. Tzaferis, under the direction of the Israeli Department of Antiquities and Museums, discovered four cave-tombs at the site of Gav'at ha-mivtar (Ras el-Masaref) just north of Jerusalem near Mount Scopus.

    In Ossuary 4 of Tomb I, inscribed with the name Yohanan Ben Ha'galgal, were found the bones of an adult male and of a child. A large 7-inch spike had been driven through the heel bone, and both legs had been fractured. Haas reported: "Both the heel bones were found transfixed by a large iron nail. The shins were found intentionally broken. Death caused by crucifixion."

    The bones in Ossuary 4 confirm another passage in the New Testament:

    The soldiers therefore came, and broke the legs of the first man, and of the man who was crucified with Him; but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs
    (John 19:32, 33).

    Purpose for Breaking the Legs

    To understand why the legs were broken, one must study the means of execution. The soldiers would feel for the depression at the front of the wrist, then drive the heavy wrought-iron spike through at that point. Next, the legs were placed together and a large nail was driven through them. The knees were left moderately flexed, and a seat (known as a sedecula) was attached to the cross for the buttocks of the victim.

    Dr. Truman Davis, the M.D. whom I quoted before, describes what happens to the human body after a short time of exposure on the cross, "As the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by His arms, the pectoral muscles are paralyzed and the intercostal muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the bloodstream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, He is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen.

    After a while, orthostatic collapse through insufficient blood circulating to the brain and heart would follow. The only way the victim could avoid this was to push up by his feet so the blood could be returned to some degree of circulation in the upper part of his body.

    When the authorities wanted to hasten death or terminate the torture, the victim's legs were broken below the knees with a club. This prevented him from pushing himself upward to relieve the tension on the pectoral or chest muscles. Either rapid suffocation or coronary insufficiency followed. In the case of Christ, the legs of the two thieves crucified with Him were broken, but Christ's were not because the executioners observed He already was dead."

    Spilling of Blood and Water

    One of the executioners thrust a spear into Christ's side, and, as recorded in
    John 19:34, "Immediately there came out blood and water."

    Davis relates that there was "an escape of watery fluid from the sac surrounding the heart. We, therefore, have rather conclusive post-mortem evidence that [Christ] died, not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium."

    A Job Well Done

    Pilate required certification of Christ's death before the body could be turned over to Joseph of Arimathea. He consented to Christ's being removed from the cross only after four executioners had certified His death.

    The efficiency of execution by crucifixion was quite well-known in the time of Christ. Dr. Paul L. Maier, professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University, writes, "True, there is a recorded instance of a victim being taken down from a cross and surviving. The Jewish historian Josephus, who had gone over to the Roman side in the rebellion of A.D. 66, discovered three of his friends being crucified. He asked the Roman general Titus to reprieve them, and they were immediately removed from their crosses.

    Still, two of the three died anyway, even though they apparently had been crucified only a short time. In Jesus' case, however, there were the additional complications of scourging and exhaustion, to say nothing of the great spear thrust that pierced His rib cage and probably ruptured His pericardium. Romans were grimly efficient about crucifixions: Victims did not escape with their lives."

    SECURITY PRECAUTION #3- Solid Rock Tomb

    The body of Christ was placed in a new tomb, hewn out of a solid rock, in a private burial area. Jewish tombs usually had an entrance four to five feet high.

    SECURITY PRECAUTION #4- Jewish Burial

    The New Testament is very clear that the burial of Christ followed the customs of the Jews.

    In preparing a body for burial, the Jews would place it on a stone table in the burial chamber. The body first would be washed with warm water.

    It was the custom, as verified in the New Testament, to prepare the corpse (after cleansing) with various types of aromatic spices.

    In the case of Christ's burial, 75 pounds of spices were used. One might regard this as substantial, but it was no great amount for a leader. For example, Gamaliel, grandson of the distinguished Jewish scholar Hillel, also was a contemporary of Jesus. Saul of Tarsus studied under him. When Gameliel died, 86 pounds of spices were used in his burial. Josephus, the Jewish historian, records that when Herod died, it required 500 servants to carry the spices for his body. So the 75 pounds for Jesus was not at all unusual.

    After all the members of the body were straightened, the corpse was clothed in grave vestments made out of white linen. There could not be the slightest ornamentation or stain on the cloth. The grave linens were sewn together by women. No knots were permitted. For some this was to indicate that the mind of the dead was "disentangled of the cares of this life" to others, it indicated the continuity of the soul through eternity. No individual could be buried in fewer than three separate garments.

    At this point, the aromatic spices, composed of a fragrant wood pounded into a dust known as aloes, were mixed with a gummy substance known as myrrh. Starting at the feet, they would wrap to the armpits, put the arms down, then wrap to the neck. A separate piece was wrapped around the head. I would estimate an encasement weighing a total of between 92 and 95 pounds. John Chrysostom, in the fourth century A.D., commented that "the myrrh used was a drug which adheres so closely to the body that the graveclothes could not easily be removed."

    SECURITY PRECAUTION #5- Very Large Stone

    Matthew records in his writings that a large stone was rolled against the front of the tomb
    (Matthew 27:60). Mark said the stone was extremely large
    (Mark 16:1-4). In today's language, he would have said, "Wow! Get a loada' that rock!"

    Just how large was that "Wow, get a loada' that rock" stone?

    In the Mark 16:4 portion of the Bezae manuscripts in the Cambridge Library in England, a parenthetical statement was found that adds, "And when He was laid there, he (Joseph) put against the tomb a stone which 20 men could not roll away."

    The significance of this statement is realized when one considers the rules for transcribing manuscripts. It was the custom that if a copier was emphasizing his own interpretation, he would write his thought in the margin and not include it within the text. One might conclude, therefore, that the insert in the text was copied from a text even closer to the time of Christ, perhaps, a first-century manuscript. The phrase, then, could have been recorded by an eyewitness who was impressed with the enormity of the stone, which was rolled against Jesus' sepulcher.

    One and a Half to Two Tons

    After my lecture at Georgia Tech, two engineering professors went on a tour of Israel with other Georgia Tech faculty members. They remembered the comments I had made about the large size of the stone. So, being engineers, they considered the type of stone used in the time of Christ and calculated the size needed to roll against a four and a half to five foot doorway.

    Later, they wrote me a letter containing all the technical terms, but they put their conclusions in simple language on the back of it.

    They said a stone of that size would have to have had a minimum weight of one and a half to two tons. No wonder Matthew and Mark said the stone was extremely large.

    One might ask, "If the stone were that big, how did Joseph move it into position in the first place?" He simply gave it a push and let gravity do the rest. It had been held in place with a wedge as it sat in a groove or trench that sloped down to the front of the tomb. When the wedge was removed, the heavy circular rock just rolled into position.

    SECURITY PRECAUTION #6- Roman Security

    Jewish officials panicked, because thousands were turning to Christ. To avoid a political problem, it was to the advantage of both the Romans and the Jews to make sure Jesus was put away for good.

    So the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together and said to Pilate, "Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, 'After three days I am to rise again.' Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, lest the disciples come and steal Him away and say to the people, 'He has risen from the dead,' and the last deception will be worse than the first"
    (Matthew 27:63).

    Pilate said to them, "You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how." And so "they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone"
    (Matthew 27:65).

    Some people would argue that Pilate said, "Look, you have your Temple police. You take your Temple police, and go make it secure."

    The Temple Police

    Now, if you want to say it's a Temple guard, you need to realize who made up that guard. It consisted of a group of 10 Levites who were placed on duty at different places at the Temple. The total number of men on duty was 270. This represented 27 units of 10 each. The military discipline of the Temple guard was quite good. In fact, at night, if the captain approached a guard member who was asleep, he was beaten and burned with his own clothes. A member of the guard also was forbidden to sit down or lean against something when he was on duty.

    A Roman Guard

    However, I am convinced it was the Roman guard that was placed at the grave of Christ to secure it.

    A. T. Robertson, noted Greek scholar, says this phrase is in the present imperative and can refer only to a Roman guard, and not the Temple police. According to him, Pilate literally said, "Have a guard."

    Robertson adds that the Latin form koustodia occurs as far back as the Oxyrhynchus papyrus in reference to the Roman guard. The Jews knew Pilate wanted to keep the peace, so they were sure he'd give them what they wanted.

    What was the Roman guard?

    A Roman "custodian" did a lot more than care for a building. The word "custodian" represented the guard unit of the Roman Legion. This unit was probably one of the greatest offensive and defensive fighting machines ever conceived.

    One helpful source for understanding the importance of the Roman guard is Flavius Vegitius Renatus. His friends called him Vegitius. A military historian, he lived several hundred years after the time of Christ when the Roman army started to deteriorate in its discipline. He wrote a manual to the Roman Emperor Valentinian to encourage him to instill the methods of offensive and defensive warfare used by the Romans during the time of Christ. Called The Military Institutes of the Romans, it is a classic today.

    Vegitius wanted to see the Roman armies restored to the efficiency and might, which characterized them at the time of Christ. These armies were great because they were highly disciplined. He wrote, "Victory in war does not depend entirely upon numbers or mere courage; only skill and discipline will insure it. We find that the Romans owed ... the conquest of the world to no other cause than continual military training, exact observation of discipline in their camps and unwearied cultivation of the other arts of war."

    There are two other excellent sources. At Indiana University, Dr. George Currie did his doctoral dissertation on the Roman custodian, and Dr. Smith edited a dictionary entitled, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

    The Force of the Roman Guard

    These and other sources point out that the Roman guard was not a one, two, or three man force. Supercilious pictures of the tomb of Jesus Christ show one or two men standing around with wooden spears and mini-skirts. That's really laughable.

    A Roman guard unit was a 4 to 16 man security force. Each man was trained to protect six feet of ground. The 16 men in a square of 4 on each side were supposed to be able to protect 36 yards against an entire battalion and hold it.

    Normally what they did was this: 4 men were placed immediately in front of what they were to protect. The other 12 were asleep in a semi-circle in front of them with their heads pointing in. To steal what these guards were protecting, thieves would first have to walk over those who were asleep. Every four hours, another unit of 4 was awakened, and those who had been awake went to sleep.

    They would rotate this way around the clock.

    Historian Dr. Paul Maier. writes, "Peter would be guarded by four squads of four men each when imprisoned by Herod Agrippa
    (Acts chapter 12), so sixteen would be a minimum number expected outside a prison. Guards in ancient times always slept in shifts, so it would have been virtually impossible for a raiding party to have stepped over all their sleeping faces" without waking them.

    High Priest Offers Bribe

    Even Matthew records that it was a multi-man force when he wrote that "some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened"
    (Matthew 28:11).

    A critic at this point might say, "See, they came to the high priest. It shows that they were the Temple guard." The context is clear, however, that they came to the high priest because he had influence with the Roman authority and because it was the only possible way to save their necks. The high priest tried to bribe them (which would have been a mockery if they had been Temple police). He gave them money and told them what to tell the people. When the news reached Pilate, the high priest said he would keep them from being killed. Normally, they would receive the death penalty, because the story was to be that they had fallen asleep while guarding the tomb.

    It is significant that the governor had to be satisfied, because I have not been able to find any account in history- secular, Jewish or Christian- indicating that the Roman governor had anything at all to do with the Temple police.

    Even if the guard at the tomb had been made up of Temple police, the security would have been no less thorough.

    A Fighting Machine

    T. G. Tucker, in his book, Life in the Roman World of Nero and St. Paul describes one of these Roman guards:

    Over his breast, and with flaps over the shoulders, he will wear a corset of leather covered with hoop-like layers, or maybe scales, of iron or bronze. On his head will be a plain pot-like helmet, or skull-cap, of iron.

    In his right hand he will carry the famous Roman pike. This is a stout weapon, over 6 feet in length, consisting of a sharp iron head fixed in a wooden shaft, and the soldier may either charge with it as a bayonet, or he may hurl it like a javelin and then fight at close quarters with his sword.

    On the left arm is a shield, which may be of various shapes. The shield is not only carried by means of a handle, but may be supported by a belt over the right shoulder. In order to be out of the way of the shield, the sword- a thrusting rather than a slashing weapon, approaching 3 feet in length- is hung at the right side by a belt passing over the left shoulder .... On the left side, the soldier wears a dagger at his girdle.

    Polybius, the Greek historian of the second century B.C., records that, in addition to all this, the men are adorned with a crown made of feathers and with three upright feathers, either purple or black, about a foot and a half high; when they add these on the head along with the other arms, the man appears twice as big as he really is, and his appearance is striking and terrifying to the enemy.

    The men of the lowest property classes also wear a bronze plate, 8 inches square, which they place in front of their chests and call the heart guard; this completes their armanment. But those worth more than 10,000 drachmae, instead of wearing the heart guard, along with the rest of their equipment, wear a coat of mail.


    Mathew records that along with the guard they set a "seal on the stone"
    (Mathew 27:66). A.T. Robertson says this could be placed on the stone only in the presence of the Roman guards who were left in charge. Vegitius indicates the same thing. The purpose of this procedure was to prevent anyone from tampering with the grave�s contents.

    After the guard inspected the tomb and rolled the stone in place, a cord was stretched across the rock. This was fastened at either end with sealing clay. Finally, the clay packs were stamped with the official signet of the Roman governor.

    A parallel to this is seen in Daniel: "And a stone was brought and laid over the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signet rings of his nobles, so that nothing might be changed in regard to Daniel"
    (Daniel 6:17).

    Purpose of the Seal

    Henry Sumner Maine, member of the Supreme Council of India, formerly regius professor of the civil law at the University of Cambidge, speaking on the legal authority attached to a Roman seal, said, "Seals in antiquity were actually considered as a mode of authentication."

    To authenticate something simple means to prove that it is real or genuine. So this seal on Jesus� tomb was a public testimony that Jesus� body was actually there. In addition, because the seal was Roman, it verified the fact that His body was protected from vandals by nothing less than the power and authority of the Roman Empire.

    Anyone trying to move the stone from the tomb�s entrance would have broken the seal and thus incurred the wrath of Roman law and power.

    Grave Robbers Warned

    In Nazareth, a marble slab was discovered with a very interesting inscription� a warning to grave robbers. It was written in Greek and says, "Ordinance of Caesar. It is my pleasure that graves and tombs remain perpetually undisturbed for those who have made them for the cult of their ancestors or children or members of their house. If, however, anyone charges that another has either demolished them, or has in any other way extracted the buried, or has maliciously transferred them to other places in order to wrong them, or has displaced the sealing or other stones, against such a one I order that a trial be instituted, as in respect of the gods, so in regard to the cult of mortals. For it shall be much more obligatory to honor the buried. Let it be absolutely forbidden for anyone to disturb them. In case of violation I desire that the offender be sentenced to capital punishment on charge of violation of sepulcher."

    Maier observes, "All previous Roman edicts concerning grave violation set only a large fine, and one wonders what presumed serious infraction could have led the Roman government to stiffen the penalty precisely in Palestine and to erect a notice regarding it specifically in Nazareth or the vicinity." It well could be a response to the commotion caused by Christ's resurrection."
    Josh McDowell, "A Ready Defense", copywrite 1972



    The Atonement of Jesus Christ

    "Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins"
    (Hebrews 9:22).

    In this section we will look at the definition of Atonement, propitiation, reconciliation, justification, the necessity of Christ's sacrifice, and various views or theories regarding Christ's Atonement such as the Ransom Theory, the Satisfaction Theory, the Penal-Substitution Theory, the Moral Example Theory, and the Governmental Theory.

    What is the Definition of Atonement? The Free Dictionary renders this definition for the Atonement:
    "Atonement in Christianity is the reconciliation of God and humans brought about by the redemptive life and death of Jesus Christ."

    If we divide the English word atonement into different syllables it could read "at one ment" where the sinner is now justified through the blood of Jesus Christ making the repentent sinner and God "one" or in "agreement with one another."

    In Old Testament days the blood of animals was sprinkled on the Mercy Seat by the Jewish high priest once a year on the day of atonement for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus Christ is pictured here in typology. He was the Lamb without spot or blemish meaning He was without sin. This lamb's blood was a type of sinless blood. Only this blood that was not tainted with sin was good enough for God to accept. No other blood would ever do. Only the blood of Christ is good enough for atonement.

    If you want a more indepth study about sin I have another page on my website that you might want to study. Click here to go to Kraig J. Rice's page on the study of sin.

    An unknown author at Theopedia in his writing titled "Atonement of Christ" had this information to share with us about Christ's atonement:

    "The necessity of the atonement of Jesus Christ was brought about due to

    The fall of mankind,
    The total depravity of mankind, and the
    Original sin of mankind
    The reason for the varying theories of Christ's atonement is that the New Testament does not set forth a "theory of atonement," it just states the facts of the case (for example Christ�s death paid for sin). Scripture makes many and varied references to the atoning work of Christ. Christ is called:
    a "sacrifice" (Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 9:26),
    a "sin offering" (Isaiah 53:10; 2 Cor. 5:21 [NIV alternate reading]),
    a "ransom" (Matthew 20:28; 1 Timothy 2:6; Hebrews 9:15) and
    an "atoning sacrifice" (Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:2, 4:10).

    Theories of the atonement:

    1. The Ransom Theory: The earliest of all, originating with the Early Church Fathers, this theory claims that Christ offered himself as a ransom
    (Mark 10:45). Where it was not clear was in its understanding of exactly to whom the ransom was paid. Many early church fathers viewed the ransom as paid to Satan.

    2. The Satisfaction (or Commercial) Theory: The formulator of this theory was the medieval theologian Anselm of Canterbury (1034-1109), in his book, Cur Deus Homo (litterally �Why the God Man�). In his view, God�s offended honor and dignity could only be satisfied by the sacrifice of the God-man, Jesus Christ. Anselm offered compelling biblical evidence that the atonement was not a ransom paid by God to the devil but rather a debt paid to God on behalf of sinners. Anselm�s work established a foundation for the Protestant Reformation, specifically the understanding of justification by faith.

    3. The Penal-Substitution Theory: This view was formulated by the 16th century Reformers as an extension of Anselm�s Satisfaction theory. Anselm�s theory was correct in introducing the satisfaction aspect of Christ�s work and its necessity, however the Reformers saw it as insufficient because it was referenced to God�s honor rather than his justice and holiness and was couched more in terms of a commercial transaction than a penal substitution. This Reformed view says simply that Christ died for man, in man�s place, taking his sins and bearing them for him. The bearing of man�s sins takes the punishment for them and sets the believer free from the penal demands of the law: The righteousness of the law and the holiness of God are satisfied by this substitution.

    4. The Moral-Example Theory (or Moral-Influence Theory): Christ died to influence mankind toward moral improvement. This theory denies that Christ died to satisfy any principle of divine justice, but teaches instead that His death was designed to greatly impress mankind with a sense of God's love, resulting in softening their hearts and leading them to repentance. Thus, the Atonement is not directed towards God with the purpose of maintaining His justice, but towards man with the purpose of persuading him to right action. Formulated by Peter Abelard (1079-1142) partially in reaction against Anselm�s Satisfaction theory, this view was held by the 16th century Socinians. Versions of it can be found later in F.D.E. Schleiermacher (1768-1834) and Horace Bushnell (1802-1876).

    5. The Governmental Theory: God made Christ an example of suffering to exhibit to erring man that sin is displeasing to him. God's moral government of the world made it necessary for him to evince his wrath against sin in Christ. Christ died as a token of God's displeasure toward sin and it was accepted by God as sufficient; but actually God does not exact strict justice. This view was formulated by Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) and is subsequently found in Arminianism, Charles Finney, the New England Theology of Jonathan Edwards (the younger), and Methodism.

    Sufficiency of Christ's person and his atoning death

    The deity of Christ establishes the infinite intrinsic value of his person. Since Jesus Christ is the God-man, truly God and truly man, his death is also of infinite intrinsic value and all-sufficient as a sacrifice. The book of Hebrews clearly says that the sufficiency of Christ's death negated the need for additional sacrifices. The biblical word translated once for all (Greek "ephapax" in
    Romans 6:10; Hebrews 9:26 and 28; 10:10) is clearly a contrast with the Old Testament yearly sacrifice on the Day of Atonement and declares the complete sufficiency of Christ's death.

    The infinite intrinsic value and all-sufficiency of Christ's death is a doctrine maintained in the Reformed tradition. The Canons of Dort, which is the historical statement of the so-called "five points of Calvinism" formulated at the Synod of Dort (1618-1619), state:

    This death of the Son of God is the only and most perfect sacrifice and satisfaction for sins, of infinite value and worth, abundantly sufficient to expiate the sins of the whole world. This death is of such great value and worth because the person who submitted to it is not only a true and perfectly holy man, but also the only-begotten Son of God, of the same eternal and infinite essence with the Father and the Holy Spirit, for these qualifications were necessary for our Savior. Further, this death is of such great value and worth because it was accompanied by a sense of the wrath and curse of God, which we by our sins had deserved."
    John Owen (1616-1683) echos the same position, "It was then the purpose and intention of God that his Son should offer a sacrifice of infinite worth, value, and dignity, sufficient in itself for the redeeming of all and every man, if it had pleased the Lord to employ it to that purpose. . . Sufficient we say, then, was the sacrifice of Christ for the redemption of the whole world, and for the expiation of all the sins of all and every man in the world.
    (Works of John Owen, vol. 10, pages 295-296)"

    An unknown author at Wikipedia, in his writing titled "Unlimited Atonement" had this information to share with us:

    "Unlimited atonement (sometimes called general atonement or universal atonement) is the doctrine in protestant Christianity that is normally associated with Jacobus Arminius and his followers, commonly termed Arminians. The doctrine states that Jesus died on behalf of all people, that He draws all people unto himself, and that salvation is available for all. In Arminianism the design of the atonement was to make all men savable.

    The Doctrine

    The terms unlimited, universal, and general are somewhat of a misnomer and have been adopted primarily to distinguish this doctrine from a Calvinist understanding of limited atonement. More accurately, the call of the Gospel is universal and there are no limits on who can believe through faith, but the legal payment is still regarded as limited only to those that respond through faith in Jesus.

    What It States

    The purpose of the atonement was universal- Jesus died on behalf of all people, not just the elect.

    The atonement makes a way for all to respond to the Gospel call- Part of the effect of the atonement is the restoration of the ability to respond to God's call of salvation (see Prevenient grace).

    Salvation is available for all- The doctrine of unlimited atonement rejects the predeterminism associated with Calvinism and states that every human has the opportunity to accept Jesus through faith.

    The atonement legally pays for the sins of those who believe on Jesus- Only those who believe on Jesus are forgiven- only the believers' sins are paid."

    These are Scriptures commonly used by those who support Unlimited atonement:
    John 3:14-18: "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

    2 Corinthians 5:14-15: "For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again."

    1 Timothy 2:3-6: "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."

    1 Timothy 4:10: "For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe."

    Titus 2:11 (ESV): "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people."

    1 John 2:2: "And He [Christ] Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world."

    "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins"
    (1 John 4:10).

    J. Vernon McGee had this to say about Christ's atonement:

    "The next day Moses said to the people, "You have committed a terrible sin, but I will return to the LORD on the mountain. Perhaps I shall make an atonement for your sin."
    (Exodus 32:30).

    An atonement covered up sin. That is the way sin was handled before Jesus Christ came to earth and died on the cross. After the cross, sin is removed.

    So Moses returned to the LORD and said, "Alas, these people have committed a terrible sin. They have made gods of gold for themselves.
    (Exodus 32:31).

    What is this? Confession. If you want to get along with God, you will have to agree with Him about sin. Sin is sin and it must be confessed. It does not matter who you are, either. These are God's chosen people, the children of Israel, and Moses says, "We have sinned!" Israel had sinned a great sin and made gods of gold. Moses spelled out the sin before God. And friends, when we confess our sin to God, we should spell it out. Tell God exactly what it is.

    God will deal with sin personally. He will, however, take the people into the land. Those that had not sinned in the idolatry of the calf would be led by the Angel of God. Now the Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament is the visible presence of Christ- the pre-incarnate Christ. Because of Moses' intercession, God has not given up His people. This should impress upon us the extreme importance of prayer."

    J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee,
    Thru the Bible Radio, Pasadena, Calif., 1983, Volume 1, page 303

    J. Vernon McGee continues:

    "Propitiation means "mercy seat"; it is the same as the Old Testament word atonement, meaning "to cover." Let me make this as clear as I possibly can. In the tabernacle in the Holy of Holies there was the ark of the covenant. On top of that ark there was a highly ornamented lid crowned with two cherubim of solid gold, facing each other and looking down upon the lid of the box. The ark was a very beautiful thing, for it was all made of acacia wood, and covered inside and outside with gold. The lid was called the mercy seat. It was here that the nation of Israel met God in the person of the high priest. Once a year and only once a year, the high priest came into the Holy of Holies, bringing blood to br sprinkled on the mercy seat. That is what made it a mercy seat because they could meet God only in that way. God loved them, but He didn't simply slop over with love and say, "You can come to Me any way you want." This was the way they were to come to God: On that great Day of Atonement, the high priest went in and sprinkled the blood on the mercy seat. That meant that the nation was accepted by God for another year, and then they would need to go through it again the next year.

    Now here in the verse before us, the Lord Jesus Christ is called "the propitiation for our sins" which means that He is the mercy seat for our sins. Jesus is Himself the mercy seat because He died down here for us- "Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification"
    (Romans 4:25). He has made expiation for our sins so that you and I can come with boldness to God's throne of grace. That throne is now a throne of grace because there is mercy there for us. That is what Christ did, and that is the way God demonstrated His love for us."

    J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Radio, Pasadena, Calif., 1983, Volume 5, page 806.

    J. Vernon McGee continues:

    "And I will turn against anyone, whether an Israelite or a foreigner living among you, who eats or drinks blood in any form. I will cut off such a person from the community, for the life of any creature is in its blood. I have given you the blood so you can make atonement for your sins. It is the blood, representing life, that brings you atonement. That is why I said to the Israelites: `You and the foreigners who live among you must never eat or drink blood.' And this command applies both to Israelites and to the foreigners living among you. If you go hunting and kill an animal or bird that is approved for eating, you must drain out the blood and cover it with earth. The life of every creature is in the blood. That is why I have told the people of Israel never to eat or drink it, for the life of any bird or animal is in the blood. So whoever eats or drinks blood must be cut off"
    (Leviticus 17:10-14).

    I consider verse 11 one of the key verses of this book (Leviticus). The life is in the blood. This is restated in verse 14. This is the basis of all sacrifice.

    Jesus Christ said something very interesting. "But those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them at the last day. For my flesh is the true food, and my blood is the true drink. All who eat my flesh and drink my blood remain in me, and I in them.
    (John 6:54-56). Because the life of the flesh is in the blood, Jesus is saying that we are to accept His shed blood for our sins in faith and then we receive life. Jesus shed His blood and gave His life. The (spiritual) life is in the (spilt) blood.

    This is a great, eternal truth. This explains why Abel's sacrifice was more excellent than Cain's. It is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul. The blood of Christ is the only thing that can wash away sin. There is nothing offensive about the blood; the offense is in our sin."

    J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee,
    Thru the Bible Radio, Pasadena, Calif., 1983, Volume 1, page 406.

    A delete key can remove mistakes on a computer file
    An eraser can eliminate wrong pencil marks
    White-out can cover up typing errors
    Only the blood of Jesus Christ can take away sin

    An unknown author at Direction, Inc. had this to say in his writing titled "Christ's Atonement":

    "We are taught in the Bible that God demands the shedding of blood for the remission of sin. This shedding of blood in the Old Testament era was accomplished through animal sacrifices which were offered up once every year. But these yearly animal sacrifices were only to represent the true sacrifice, God�s Son, who would shed His blood once and for all that man�s sins be forgiven. The death of Jesus was the single event that accomplished God�s demand for our redemption. No other sacrifice is needed."

    "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
    (Matthew 20:28).

    "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
    (Matthew 26:28).

    "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."
    (John 3:13-17).

    "The Father loves me because I lay down my life that I may have it back again. No one can kill me without my consent- I lay down my life voluntarily. For I have the right and power to lay it down when I want to and also the right and power to take it again. For the Father has given me this right." John 10:17-18

    An unknown author at Key-Way Publishing in Canada had this to say about Christ's Atonement:
    Why Blood?

    "And they went to a place which was called Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, "Sit here, while I pray." And He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And He said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch." And going a little farther, He fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible to Thee; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what Thou wilt."
    (Mark 14:32-36) (RSV)

    Jesus Christ knew that He was the Messiah, the "Lamb of God"
    (John 1:29). And yet, knowing what awaited Him in a few hours, since He was as human as anyone else, before or since
    (Hebrews 2:17, 4:15), He asked The Father to relieve Him of the need to actually go through with it. Ironically, He prayed so hard that "His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground"
    (Luke 22:44 KJV). He asked three times, in deep and sorrowful prayer, but God's answer was that it must be carried through. Why? Why did Jesus have to actually shed His blood as a sacrifice for humanity?

    Life, Blood and Justice
    Right from the earliest times, as God decreed, blood was equated with life:

    "For the life of every creature is the blood of it"
    (Leviticus 17:14) (RSV)

    "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in His own image."
    (Genesis 9:6) (RSV)

    The Penalty of Sin Is Death

    When humans became sinners, they became subject to the penalty of sin, which is death:

    "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever, therefore The Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden"
    (Genesis 3:22-23) (RSV)

    "you are dust, and to dust you shall return"
    (Genesis 3:19) (RSV)

    "For the wages of sin is death"
    (Romans 6:23) (RSV)

    Jesus Christ Paid The Death Penalty For Us, By His Shed Blood.
    "with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake"
    (1 Peter 1:19-20) (RSV)

    "...for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins"
    (Matthew 26:28) (RSV)

    "But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water"
    (John 19:34) (RSV)

    Old Testament Sacrifices Were Symbolic Of The Messiah
    "But when Christ appeared as a High Priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent, not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, He entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but His own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God."

    "Therefore He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred which redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant."

    "For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. Hence even the first covenant was not ratified without blood. For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, "This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you." And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins."

    "Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has entered, not into a sanctuary made with hands, a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the Presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer Himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the Holy Place yearly with blood not his own for then He would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, He has appeared once for all at the end of the age to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him."
    (Hebrews 9:11-28) (RSV)



    1. The Propitiation of Jesus Christ

    In this section we will look at the doctrine of propitiation and it's relation to the atonement of Jesus Christ.

    "This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins"
    (1 John 4:10).

    J. Vernon McGee had this to say about propitiation in his book titled "Thru the Bible Radio":

    "John has use the word propitiation previously: "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world"
    (1 John 2:2). This word is quite remarkable. I recognize that there are two different Greek words translated as "propitiation" in the New Testament; actually, it is the same word, but two different forms of it. Dr. A.T. Robertson, whom I consider the greatest Greek scholar of them all, writes that here the word propitiation is a predicate accusative in apposition with "huion," that is, the Son."

    J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee,
    Thru the Bible Radio, Pasadena, Calif., 1983, Volume 5, page 806.

    John F. Walvoord wrote this about propitiation in his book titled "Jesus Christ Our Lord:"

    Definition of Propitiation:

    "In its theological usage propitiation has in view the satisfaction of all God's righteous demands for judgment on the sinner by the redemptive act of the death of Christ."
    (page 155).


    "As a biblical doctrine, propitiation embodies the concept that the death of Christ fully satisfied the demands of a righteous God in respect to judgment upon the sinner. The word "propitiation" appears only three times in the Authorized Version
    (Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:2, 4:10) and an additional reference is found in the American Standard Version
    (Hebrews 2:17). Other New Testament words related to this doctrine are from the same Greek root
    (Luke 18:13; Hebrews 2:17, 8:12, 9:5; Romans 3:25;
    1 John 2:2, 4:10; Matthew 16:22).

    The doctrine of propitiation has been complicated by contemporary theologians who deny that a loving God needs the death of Christ to satisfy His righteousness. Sometimes they argue that God's love does not require satisfaction, or that the word "propitiation" itself is improperly construed if it is defined as satisfaction.

    Propitiation in the Old Testament

    Although C.H. Dodd and others consider the concept of propitiating God as a crude prebiblical point of view derived from pagan religions, Leon Morris has carefully demonstrated that this is not the case. Citing George Smeaton, Morris declares concerning the word (Greek, hilasmos; "propitiation"), "The uniform acceptation of the word in classical Greek, when applied to the Deity, is the means of appeasing God, or averting His anger; and not a single instance to the contrary occurs in the whole Greek literature." Morris goes on to demonstrate that the wrath of God is an important doctrine in the Old Testament with over 580 occurrences of this concept. He summarizes the Old Testament doctrine of the wrath of God in these words:

    There is a consistency about the wrath of God in the Old Testament. It is no capricious passion, but the stern reaction of the divine nature to evil in man. It is aroused only and inevitably by sin, which may be thought of in general terms
    (Job 21:20; Jeremiah 21:12; Ezekiel 24:13), or may be categorized more exactly
    as the shedding of blood (Ezekiel 16:38, 24;8),
    adultery (Ezekiel 23:25),
    violence (Ezekiel 8:18),
    covetousness (Leviticus 6:11)
    revenge (Ezekiel 25:17),
    afflicting widows and orphans (Exodus 22:23 and following)
    taking brethren captive (2 Chronicles 28:11-13), etc.
    Wrath comes upon Israel because of the evil of Jeroboam as repeated by Jehoahaz
    (2 Kings 13:3), and because of the evil of Manasseh
    (2 Kings 23:26), while Moses feared that the desire of the two and a half tribes not to pass over Jordan would have a similar effect
    (Numbers 32:14). Profaning the sabbath arouses wrath
    (Nehemiah 13:18) which comes also upon men who "have not told the truth about" God (Job 42:7, Moffatt), and Gideon feared that his repeated testing of the Lord would also cause God's anger
    (Judges 6:39).

    Morris further concludes, based on Old Testament usage: "Where there is sin, the Old Testament teaches, there is wrath; but this does not mean that all men are to be consumed, for that wrath is the wrath of a loving father who yearns for His children to come to Him." The Old Testament concept of propitiation, therefore, elevates it above the crude pagan idea of placating an unreasonable deity and introduces a high concept of divine righteousness which is satisfied by a propitiation of a loving God who desires to provide a proper basis by which the sinner can come to Himself. If this is the proper understanding of the Old Testament doctrine, it provides a broad platform upon which the New Testament concept can be understood.
    (end of page 172)

    Propitiation in the New Testament

    The New Testament doctrine of propitiation like that of the Old Testament depends upon the concept of the wrath of God as requiring satisfaction. The wrath of God is expressly mentioned in
    Mark 3:5; Luke 21:23, 3:7 Matthew 3:7; John 3:36;; Romans 9:22;
    Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:6; Revelation 6:16, 11:18; 14:10; 16:19, and 19:15. These references to wrath using the Greek term "orge" are also supported by another word "thumos", meaning anger or wrath, mentioned frequently in the New Testament in such passages as
    Romans 2:5, 3:5, 4:15, 5:9; Ephesians 2:3; 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 2:16, 5:9;
    2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Hebrews 12:29, and
    Revelation 14:10, 14:19, 15:1, 16:1 and 19, and 19:15. The New Testament doctrine of propitiation is God's answer to the problem of His righteous judgment upon the sinner.

    One of the most important references to propitiation in the New Testament is found in
    Romans 3:25-26, "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forebearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." (KJV) The same Greek word (hilasterion) is found in Hebrews 9:5, the only other New Testament occurrence, where it is translated "mercyseat." Scholars have differed as to whether these two usages of the word are the same. Paul's argument in the Romans passage would seem to be that propitiation here is the act of satisfying the proper demands of a righteous God for judgment on sin as fulfilled in the death of Christ. This is supported by the references to the righteousness of God in
    1 John 2:2 in the context of His forgiveness in 1 John 1:9.

    Some, however, have preferred to consider the Romans passage as identical with that of Hebrews, namely, the place of propitiation rather than the act of propitiation. The ultimate meaning, however, is not too different as in either case it is a direct statement not only that God requires satisfaction for sin, but that such satisfaction was provided in the propitiation of Christ in His death. The opposition of modern authors such as C.H. Dodd who attempt to make this a pagan concept is not borne out by the text.
    (end of page 173)

    The two facts that place propitiation in the Bible above the pagan concepts in extra biblical literature are first of all that it is not the question of satisfying a vengeful God, but satisfying a God who is just, righteous and holy in all of His dealing. Second, such a God, while on the one hand demanding complete satisfaction of His righteousness, is the same God who because of His love for lost mankind sent His Son to be that propitiation. Before such a revelation of grace, objections to the idea of propitiation fade and are refuted by the doctrine of sin and condemnation as well as by the necessity for the righteousness of God being satisfied before love is free to operate.

    Other references to the concept of propitiation in the Scriptures bear this out.
    In Hebrews 2:17 it is stated of Christ, "Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people." (KJV). The Authorized Version's "reconciliation" is translated from the Greek "hilaskomai" which should have been rendered "to make propitiation for the sins of the people" (ASV). Although some scholars have felt this expression awkward, there is no good reason for avoiding the conclusions embodied in the translation of the American Standard Version (ASV) that the expression "the sins" found in the accusative after the verb is an accusative of general respect. That is, propitiation is in respect to sin but actually directed toward God and His righteousness. This passage accordingly confirms what has been learned in other instances, namely, that Christ in His sacrifice is the answer to the problem of the sinner who is justly under the condemnation of God. Christ is His propitiation, that is, He satisfies the righteous demands of God completely.

    The commonly quoted prayer of the publican in Luke 18:13 properly translated should read, "God, be thou propitiated to me, a sinner." Although the passage does not refer to the propitiation of Christ, it introduces the same concept. Other instances of words related to propitiation do not seem to throw any added light on the doctrine.
    (end of page 174)

    Taken as a whole, the doctrine of propitiation as revealed in the New Testament fully sustains the orthodox concept that Christ in His death on the cross through the shedding of His blood and the sacrifice of His life accomplished a satisfaction of divine justice which God accepts on behalf of the sinner. This propitiation makes possible the manifestation of His love toward men and bestowal of righteousness through justification by faith. The doctrine is supported by
    the necessity of propitiation occasioned by sin (Romans 3:9 and 23, 5:12),
    the righteousness of God (Psalms 119:137, 145:17; Romans 3:25-26), and
    the historic fact that Christ actually died for sinful man (Isaiah 53:5-7;
    1 Corinthians 15:3; Galatians 1:4, 3:13; Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 9:22 and 28;
    1 Peter 1:18-19, 2:24; Revelation 1:5).

    The Substitutional Character of Propitiation

    In the Old Testament sacrifices the concept of substitution and temporary propitiation is constantly in view. All of the Old Testament offerings prefigure Christ in His substitutional sacrifice. The non-sweet savor offerings, consisting principally of the sin offering and the trespass offering, represent Christ satisfying the demands of God by bearing the guilt and judgment of sin
    (John 1:29). The sweet-savor offering represents Christ satisfying the demands of God by presenting His merit for us
    (Ephesians 5:2).

    The New Testament doctrine is an advance on the Old in that the offering of Christ is once and for all
    (Hebrews 9:28) and is a complete and eternal satisfaction for sin
    (Romans 3:25; Hebrews 10:4). In contrast to the Old Testament sacrifices which were animals unintelligent and involuntary in their substitution, Christ willingly dies and intelligently offers Himself as a sacrificial Substitute for sinners.

    The objections of liberal scholars that a God of love does not need such propitiation and that forgiveness purchased is not true forgiveness has been often answered. Representing the liberal point of view, Henry Sloane Coffin argues:

    "Certain widely used hymns still perpetuate the theory that God pardons sinners because Christ purchased that pardon by His obedience and suffering. But a forgiveness which is paid for is not forgiveness. The God of the prophets and psalmists, the God and Father of Jesus' own teaching, forgives graciously all who turn to Him in penitence. The cross of Christ is not a means of procuring forgiveness: the Father waits to be gracious."
    (end of page 175)
    Such objections of course are founded upon a concept of God which is not afforded in the Scriptures. It is true that God is a God of love and to this the Scriptures give abundant testimony. Contemporary thinkers are unwilling to face the fact that God is also revealed to be a God of righteousness as manifested in His many judgments in the Old Testament and in countless pronouncements that he must judge sin. The argument that God is a God of love and therefore not a God of righteousness is playing one attribute against another in a way that is contrary to biblical revelation.

    The logic embodied in this point of view is faulty. Forgiveness by its very nature involves recompense. If the one sinned against forgives without recompense or justice, the one injured in effect bears the penalty himself. This is pre-eminently illustrated in the death of Christ who as God is the One sinned against, who as the sacrifice for sin bore the judgment which His own righteous nature demanded. Even in modern scholarship among liberals all do not follow the view of Coffin and tend to recognize that the death of Christ in some sense was accepted by God even if in less than a true substitutionary meaning.

    Leon Morris has summarized the evidence for substitution in this way:

    "In the last resort it seems that we are shut up to three possibilities:
    the moral view (that the effect of Christ's death is its effect on us),
    the view that Christ as our Substitute bore what we should have borne, and
    the view that Christ did not bear our suffering but something different which effects more or less the same thing.

    The first of these views is obviously inadequate. While it contains a truth, it is yet unable to meet the statements of scripture which persistently speak of something as being effected outside man, and that something as the most important part of the process. The third view has been rejected wherever it has been put forward and studied seriously. It is essentially Duns Scotus' view of "acceptilatio", defined as 'the optional taking of something for nothing, or of a part for the whole.' It is Grotius' view that Christ did not bear our penalty, but such sufferings as would show the ill desert of sin. Always such views have been found inadequate, and, for all the earnestness with which they are argued, the modern equivalents seem no more satisfying. Like Anselm's view, they find no necessary connection between Christ's sufferings and us. If we reject the moral view as inadequate, there seem only two possibilities- either Christ took my sins and bore their consequences, or He did not take my sins, in which case they are still on me, and I bear the consequences. Such views do not explain the atonement. They reject it. We are left with the thought of substitution."
    (end of page 176)

    The Results of Propitiation

    At least three important results of propitiation can be derived from the doctrine:

    1. God is justified in forgiving sin. On the basis of the death of Christ, God is fully justified in forgiving sin in that Christ has paid the price in full.

    2. God is justified in bestowing righteousness. In addition to forgiving sin, propitiation permits God to impute the righteousness of Christ to the sinner as foreshadowed in the sweet-savor offerings of the Old Testament. Hence, God can justify the sinner and accept him in the merit of His Son.

    3. God is justified in bestowing all grace on sinners. Having been completely propitiated or satisfied by the death of Christ, God is now free to pour out all blessings indicated by His loving heart upon the objects of His grace. This may be manifested in spiritual enablement, ministry for God, prayer, spiritual fruit, spiritual sustenance, illumination of the Holy Spirit, sanctification in all of its phases and ultimate glorification. On the basis of being propitiated, God stands ready now to bless abundantly all who come to Him."

    A man is never so tall
    as when he stoops to help someone in need



    2. The Reconciliation of Jesus Christ

    John F. Walvoord wrote this about Reconciliation:

    Definition: "The act of reconciliation in the salvation of a believer in Christ is the application of the death of Christ to the individual by the power of the Spirit changing his status from that of condemnation to complete acceptability to God. It reconciles man to God by elevating man to God's level morally and, therefore, is far deeper in meaning than recon on the human plane where harmony between parties estranged is often accomplished by compromise."
    (page 156)


    "Few doctrines are more important in a total theology than the doctrine of reconciliation. Though based on comparatively few specific references, reconciliation has been hailed as a doctrine of "vital concern both for doctrinal clarity and pulpit vitality." Vincent Taylor speaks of reconciliation as "the best New Testament word to describe the purpose of the Atonement." Referring to Paul's discussion in
    2 Corinthians Chapter 5, Taylor comments, "All through this section one cannot fail to be impressed with the immense importance Saint Paul attaches to this message and to his sense of being divinely commissioned to declare it." Leon Morris introduces the subject of reconciliation by quoting T.H. Hughes to the effect that "in the New Testament the basic idea of the atonement is that of reconciliation." The importance attached to the doctrine of reconciliation not only justifies its discussion, but is also the occasion for major differences of opinion as to its meaning. A careful study of the scriptural presentation of the doctrine of recon demonstrates that it is properly the work of God for man in which God undertakes to transform man and and make possible and actual his eternal fellowship with a holy God. Provisionally, recon was accomplished once and for all by Christ on the cross and the whole world was potentially reconciled to God. Recon becomes actual and effective in the person of believers in Christ at the time of their salvation.

    New Testament References

    The most important reference to reconciliation is found in the Greek word "katallasso"
    (Romans 5:10; 1 Corinthians 7:11; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20)."

    (pages 177-179)

    A prayer of Saint Francis of Assissi:
    "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
    Where there is hatred, let me sow love
    Where there is injury, let me sow pardon
    Where there is doubt, let me sow faith
    Where there is despair, let me sow hope
    Where there is darkness, let me sow light
    Where there is sadness, let me sow joy

    Oh, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek:
    To be consoled as to console
    To be understood as to understand
    To be loved as to love

    For it is in giving that we receive
    It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
    And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen."

    Why is the study of the doctrine of reconciliation so important?

    In this modern day there are some liberal pastors preaching to "luke warm" or "cold" congregations. These pastors preach the false doctrine of Universal Salvation that every human is going to be saved in the end. They teach that it is not necessary to accept Christ. They teach that it is not necessary for anyone to forsake their sinful lifestyle. Does the Bible teach this kind of salvation?

    John F. Walvoord explains:

    Reconciliation Provided for All

    "Reconciliation in its provision is intended for all men, and theologians who differ on this subject usually do so by definition of terms. As Shedd writes in connection with his discussion of the vicarious atonement of Christ:

    In answering the question as to the "extent of Christ's atonement," it must first be settled whether "extent" means its intended application, or its intrinsic value; whether the active or the passive signification of the word is in the mind of the inquirer. If the word means value, then the atonement is unlimited, if it means extending, that is, applying, then the atonement is limited.
    Properly understood then, the question of the extent of the atonement does not give basis for the universalist who would teach that all men are saved, for the Bible contradicts his concept. On the other hand, it does not support the adherent of limited atonement who would try to make the provision of reconciliation limited to the elect. A proper orthodox point of view is that reconciliation is provided for all, but applied only to the elect.
    (Walvoord- end of page 186)

    An unbeliever goes on to his eternal doom in much the same manner as if Christ had not died. A person proceeds to eternal punishment not because God has failed to provide, or because the love of God has been ineffective, but rather because he has rejected that which God has provided. This is set forth plainly in
    John 3:18: "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." The condemnation of the sinner now is not simply because he is a sinner, but because he has rejected God's provision to care for his sin. Though he is still judged according to his works, his eternal punishment has a new character of being that which he chose in rejecting the love and grace in Christ."

    "Fellowship with God leads straight to obedience and good works. That is the divine order and it can never be reversed"
    - A.W. Tozer

    What is the Reason why the Christian Church sends forth Missionaries?

    John F. Walvoord indirectly answered this question:

    "The reconciling work of Christ for all men does not become effective even for the elect until that moment of faith in Christ in which they pass from death unto life.
    Ephesians 2:1 referring to the Ephesian Christians, plainly indicates that even though they were elect prior to their salvation, they were "dead through- trespasses and sins." Because of this, they lived according to the pattern of the world and "were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest"
    (Ephesians 2:3b). (ASV). What is true of the Ephesian Christians is true today. Though the death of Christ occurred centuries ago, even the elect are not saved in any sense until reconciliation is applied. It is for this reason that the responsibility of carrying the message of reconciliation is pressed upon those who have already believed, and they are exhorted to carry the message to others.

    (Walvoord- end of page 188)

    The Results of Reconciliation

    "In its broadest sense, the work of reconciliation extends to the total work of God on behalf of the believer, while redemption is active toward the payment of the price for sin, and propitiation is directed to satisfaction of the righteousness of God. Reconciliation, then, deals with man's total need and total restoration. These certain aspects, however, should be mentioned specifically:

    1. The baptism of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13) is the work of God by which the believer is united to the body of Christ and comes into his position "in Christ." This, of course, is the key to the whole reconciling work of God.

    2. In regeneration, the believer becomes a new creation, having received the very eternal life of God. Just as Adam became a natural man by having breathed into his body the breath of life, so the unregenerated man at the moment of salvation in Christ has breathed into his spiritually dead body the eternal life of God. As such, he is a new creature with a new nature and a new destiny.

    3. By justification, the believer is declared righteous before God, because he is now in Christ. In this position there is imputed to him the righteousness of Christ and he is accepted as perfect in the presence of God.

    4. The new position in Christ and His justification assures the believer's positional sanctification in which he is set apart as holy to God.

    5. In his new position, as reconciled to God, the believer has the possibility of intimate fellowship with God assisted by the indwelling presence of the triune God and the transformation of his character through the new birth. Reconciliation, while essentially positional, has an experiential aspect as the believer walks in fellowship with God.

    6. Ultimate sanctification is also assured the one who is thus reconciled to God, in which the believer's spiritual state is elevated to his high position.

    7. The final state of reconciliation is that of glorification in the presence of God in which the last evidences of sin are destroyed and the believer stands perfect and complete, sharing the very glory of Christ in heaven."
    (Walvoord- end of pages 186-190).

    isn't a matter of chance
    but of choice



    3. The Justification of Jesus Christ

    In this section we will look at the bible doctrine of Justification and see how it relates to Christ's atonement.

    One of the best studies on this subject was written by L. Thomas Holdcroft in his looseleaf large booklet titled Soteriology
    (pages 15-20). Soteriology is the bible doctrine of salvation.

    I now quote his writing from this booklet:

    by L. Thomas Holdcroft

    "In the English Bible, the word "justify" in its various forms occurs 63 times so that the doctrine is clearly one of importance. About one-third of these references are in the Old Testament and certain saints of that time are said to be justified even though the doctrine was not fully developed. The believer's view concerning justification guides his entire outlook concerning the appropriation and application of salvation. One of the most fundamental of all differences between protestantism and the Roman church is the difference in the doctrine of justification. The Roman church, particularly in medieval times, confounded justification with sanctification and they thereby taught that at least a part of justification was grounded in good works. Martin Luther rediscovered the Bible doctrine that "the just (or justified) shall live by faith"
    (Romans 1:17), and it was on this basis that the Protestant Reformation was launched. Luther considered that justification was at the center of the New Testament.

    1. The Nature of Justification

    The original words for "justify" are "tsadek" in the Hebrew and usually "dikaioo" in the Greek, or occasionally "logizomai". In primary usage these are legal words which denote a judicial act of God rather than a subjective experience of the believer. The protestant view holds that in justification there is no physical operation, transfusion, or transmutation, but only a divine legal pronouncement, the Roman view prefers to see justification as a process serving "to make righteous" one who has confessed Christ. Whether there are grammatical grounds for the Roman version is a matter of dispute, but the over-all spirit, doctrine and context of Scripture assuredly bear out the Protestant version. Justification is depicted as the declaration of God whereby He affirms, on the basis of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, that all the claims of the Law are satisfied with respect to the sinner. Justification is set forth as a forensic word which applies for the purpose of pronouncing the outcome of a trial. Because the sinner is declared justified, he is granted freedom and absolution from all changes before God.
    (Holdcroft- end of page 15).

    Prior to justification God condemned; He now acquits both in the sense that He pronounces not guilty and that He sets free from an accusation: God has reversed His attitude towards the sinner because he has been placed in a new relationship to Christ. The sinner is united by faith to Christ and no longer exposed to the condemnation of the Law. The Shorter Catechism declares: "Justification is an act of God's free grace, wherein He pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us and received by faith." Justification concerns the believer's standing before God in contrast to his state, and the term never is used to mean "to sanctify" or "to make inwardly holy." God provides justification to change our relationship, not our character or conduct.

    There are no degrees of justification for it is not a matter of attaining to personal righteousness but of appropriating Christ's righteousness. When God declares a sinner justified, He claims no real righteousness on the part of that sinner; He simply declares him righteous and treats him accordingly. The sum total of all of the convert's sins, past, present, and future, is in the mind of God when He pronounces that one justified. The response of the convert and the measure of his enjoyment of this fact do not at all affect its reality. There is no need for God to repeat the act of justification; He does it only once for each believer and in itself it is instantaneous and complete, but the consequences of the act extend consecutively throughout that believer's life.

    2. The Bestowment of Justification

    Justification is a composite provision that has been described as "heaven's perfection brought to earth." It relates to the believer in a threefold manner.

    1) Justification provides for the forgiveness of sins: God's act of justification completely provides for the sins of the convert in all their phases in time. "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered"
    (Romans 4:7). The total record of that man's sin is imputed to Jesus Christ and in turn provided for by His atoning sacrifice. "We have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all"
    (Isaiah 53:6). The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is wholly efficacious to provide for all imputed sin. In turn, the provision of God totally assures that man is delivered from sin. "Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him"
    (Romans 5:9). Scripture repeatedly tells of the work of justification whereby the sins of the convert are assigned to Jesus Christ to be resolved. "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 Corinthians 5:21); "By Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which he could not be justified by the law of Moses"
    (Acts 13:39). The fact of forgiveness of sins gives the believer a very favorable status in relation to God. "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth"
    (Romans 8:33).

    2) He is restored to the favor of God: Justification provides that all of those rights and privileges that man had lost through sin are wholly restored. Not only is man's record of negative works blotted out, but also he is freely restored to the society of God. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ"
    (Romans 5:1); "The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever"
    (Isaiah 32:17). "Thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back"
    (Isaiah 38:17). Although the sinner is beneath God's disfavor and the object of His hostility, those who are justified become the special offer of God's love and care. Only a Christian believer can enjoy that privileged relationship whereby God becomes a loving heavenly Father. Saint Paul describes the relationship made possible by justification "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God"
    (Ephesians 2:19). Justification leads to prospects of glorification "....whom he justified, them he also glorified"
    (Romans 8:30).
    (Holdcroft- end of page 16).

    3) Righteousness is imputed to Him: Justification provides that the convert is related to God as if he had lived in perfection throughout his lifetime of moral accountability. "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness"
    (Romans 4:5). The justification of a sinner provides not only pardon, but also a title to the reward of the righteous. "That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life"
    (Titus 3:7). When God justifies He does not ascribe righteousness to those who are not righteous in the sense of a mere fiction, but only to those who actually are. God declares men righteous only because they are righteous, and this is so because of the process of imputation.

    Both Paul and James used the word "impute" in the New Testament and by it they mean "to ascribe to another something that was not originally his own" or "to put something against the account of another". The story of Abraham is especially used to illustrate the process of imputation. The Old Testament reports "and he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness"
    (Genesis 15:6). Saint Paul describes the faith of Abraham and his commitment to God and then comments "And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness"
    (Romans 4:22). In similar words Saint James records "Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness"
    (James 2:23). It is imputation that makes possible the assignment of the righteousness of Christ to the account of the sinner. Imputation assures that the believer is not a pardoned criminal but a truly righteous man. When God imputes the righteousness of Christ, He thereafter judges and acknowledges that righteousness to be the possession of the believer. It is on this basis that He continues to deal with believers and to evaluate their relation to the Law of God.

    3. The Nature of the Righteousness which God Imputes

    The righteousness which God imputes to the believer is that of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not a human work, nor is it subject to modification by any effort of man. God is able to declare the sinner justified, exclusively on the basis of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. This relationship is explained by Shedd:

    Christ's atoning death for sin is not the sinner's atoning death for sin, but God imputes it to him: that is, he calls or reckons it his. Christ's perfect obedience which merits eternal life is not the sinner's perfect obedience, but God imputes it to him; he calls or reckons it his.
    (Holdcroft- end of page 17).

    The demands of the Law are just as severe as the nature of God Himself, and thus they are far beyond the ability of natural man in his state of depravity. The exclusive means whereby the righteousness of the Law may be attained is by way of the imputation of the moral perfection of Jesus Christ. On the one hand, Christ yielded the perfect obedience that the Law required; on the other, He fulfilled for believers the supreme penalty of the whole Law. Christ's death both makes His inherent righteousness available to the appropriating faith of believers, and at the same time atones for the believer's sin. No other righteousness is available to God that He might impute to believers except that attained by Jesus Christ. This righteousness becomes available to the believer because Christ lived as his substitute and died as his sin bearer.

    The state of the man to whom the Lord has imputed righteousness is described by Saint Paul "Not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith"
    (Philippians 3:9). Paul further comments upon the state of justification, "Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works"
    (Romans 4:6). The imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ as the basis of the believer's justification, has been proved adequate for even the most flagrant of sinners. The fact that Jesus Christ was resurrected is evidence that every demand imposed by a righteous God upon sinful men had been completely satisfied. "Who was delivered for our offences and was raised again for our justification"
    (Romans 4:25). More literally rendered, this verse would read: "...was raised again because of our justification." Bishop Moule has paraphrased this statement: "We sinned, therefore, He suffered, we were justified, therefore He rose." The sinner by virtue of the quality of the imputed righteousness bestowed upon him is saved from wrath and saved to an acceptable standing before God. "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference"
    (Romans 3:22).

    4. The Method of Justification

    Even in the time of Job, man questioned the method of justification. "How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be free that is born of a woman?"
    (Job 25:4). It is gratifying to note that many Old Testament saints discovered the answer to Job's question so that Scripture specifically reports that men such as Abraham or David were indeed declared righteous. However, the development of the doctrine of imputed righteousness and the obtaining of justification largely awaited the time of Saint Paul in the New Testament era. Saint Paul emphasized that justification was not a matter of personal works or human merit in an effort to conform to the Law of God. He taught that faith is the sole instrument for the appropriation of justification and thereby it alone is the responsibility of the convert. The disputes and misconceptions of the church relating to this topic through the centuries would appear to be largely the outcome of misreading or ignoring the plain doctrine set forth by Saint Paul.
    (Holdcroft- end of page 18)

    The New Testament teaches that man cannot hope to achieve justification according to the Law. "That no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident"
    (Galatians 3:11); "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ,...for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified"
    (Galatians 2:16). The function of the Law is simply to reveal that a man is not justified; it pointedly fails to show the method of justification. "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin"
    (Romans 3:20). God certainly does not discourage good works, but He emphasizes that even the best of the believer's works fall short in achieving justification. Man cannot pay his debt to God out of his own purse nor even out of God's purse, but God Himself can pay man's debt out of His purse. The effort to satisfy the Law of God by the practice of good works fails pathetically and is without merit, nevertheless, the sincere effort to practice good works is, of course, the external evidence of a genuine spiritual change.

    Exclusively and uniquely the instrument for the appropriation of justification is faith. But it must be clearly recognized that this faith is not the meritorious ground of the believer's justification; it is only the condition. "We reckon therefore that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law"
    (Romans 3:28); "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ"
    (Romans 5:1); "...we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ"
    (Galatians 2:16). These verses indicate that it is not for faith that the believer is justified, but by faith. Berkhof comments: "Faith is the organ by which we appropriate the righteousness of Christ as the ground of our justification, rather than the organ by which we appropriate justification itself." The story of the Old Testament saints, particularly that of Abraham as told in Genesis Chapter 15 and retold in Romans Chapter 4, clearly shows that God at no time has ever had any other instrument of justification than believing faith. This faith, by its very nature, assures the proper response on the part of the recipient. Faith is active loyalty and it is this that God expects of those whom He would justify.

    Inasmuch as justification originates in the heart of God and is based upon His attributes of goodness and generosity, it may be linked with the grace of God. Theologians sometimes describe the grace of God as "the efficient cause of justification." "That being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life"
    (Titus 3:7). God was under no obligation to provide justification, but in doing so He acted on the basis of His grace. The generous extension of God's grace, or unmerited favor, coincides with the fact that man lacks the ability to conform to God's standards by works and God has prescribed only believing faith as the instrument of appropriation of justification. "For by grace are ye saved through faith"
    (Ephesians 2:8). God exercises grace toward the convert because He has available the full provision attained by Jesus Christ. "Being now justified by His blood we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him"
    (Romans 5:9). God may act in grace to declare the sinner justified, not in the sense of excusing sin, but because He sees it punished in the person of His Son who became the substitute for all who believe.
    (Holdcroft- end of page 19)

    That which is so clearly taught in Scripture has proved difficult for the church on earth to believe aright. Even within the era of the early church there was the beginning of a distinction whereby sins before baptism were assigned a different mode of forgiveness from sins after baptism. Justification was determined to be a process of learning to live morally for the purpose of dealing with post-baptism sins. By the middle ages, justification was being thought of as an infusion of righteousness, the achievement of which was never complete nor certain. This, of course, amounted to a confusion between justification and experimental sanctification. The outcome of this confusion is to attempt to replace the imputed righteousness of the Saviour with the self-achieved righteousness of the believer. Justification becomes dependent upon the actual condition of man himself and the work of Christ is made of no effect. So strongly did the Roman church Council of Trent (1545-1563) believe this that they decreed, "If any one says that the sinner is justified by faith alone- let him be anathema (cursed)".

    The Protestant Socinians of the late sixteenth century similarly embraced a doctrine of justification by works. The Socinians taught that the believer's relationship to God is a matter of intention and method rather than objective achievement. They are associated with the Moral Example theory of the atonement, with its claim that the life of Christ as an example of the way of faith is more basic than His role as Saviour and the object of faith. One tendency, both for the Socinians and also for the Roman theologians, is to reduce the degree of perfection required by the divine standard, since their system equates justification with human achievement. The Roman doctrine of supererogation teaches that exceptional believers may achieve good works above the mere demands of the Law. Such good works which are voluntary additional service (such as celebacy, poverty, and obedience) earn merit and they are available for added rewards for the justified believer. It is Roman doctrine that the keeper and dispenser of this supererogatory merit is the Pope, and one of his privileges is to dispense such merit as he sees fit. Such non-Scriptural views are the unfortunate outcomes of attempting to involve human works in the process of justification. The limit of the role of human works is described by Saint James, "seest thou how faith wrought with his works (for example Abraham's) and by works was faith made perfect"
    (James 2:22). Only in its widest sense does justification include human works, and when it does those works are simply evidences of an accompanying genuine experience.

    One of the further developments of the Roman confusion is to see justification as a two fold process. In the first justification there is infused into the convert a principle of habit of grace. This infusion transforms the one who is inherently and habitually unjust into a being objectively justified on the basis of the merit of Jesus Christ. In second justification the believer manifests good works and thus attains a divine standard in his practical living. It is held that first justification is that described by Saint James. The evangelical would say that neither description fully characterizes justification; loosely Roman first justification corresponds to positional sanctification and Roman second justification corresponds to experimental sanctification. There is no difference between the views of Paul and James on the subject of justification, although characteristically James stresses the practical evidence while Saint Paul stresses the legal reality. For the evangelical the method of justification is just that which would be expected in view of justification's nature and apart from Socinian and Roman confusion it would likely have been unnecessary to develop justification's method as a separate topic."
    (Holdcroft- end of page 20).


    The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

    In this section we will study Christ's resurrection. Christ is not in His grave. He resurrected from the grave and is alive forevermore.

    "Then the angel spoke to the women. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.

    He isn't here! He has been raised from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.

    And now, go quickly and tell his disciples he has been raised from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember, I have told you"
    (Matthew 28:5-7).

    Why is the study of Christ's resurrection so important? Let's take a look:

    Christ's resurrection testifies to the authority and truthfulness of Jesus and His message:

    "But Jesus replied, "Only an evil, faithless generation would ask for a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so I, the Son of Man, will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights"
    (Matthew 12:39-40).

    "All right," Jesus replied. "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up"
    (John 2:19).

    "And if Christ was not raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your trust in God is useless"
    (1 Corinthians 15:14).

    Christ's resurrection objectively demonstrates our forgiveness: that Christ's death was effective for forgiving sins:
    "He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised from the dead to make us right with God"
    (Romans 4:25).

    "And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless, and you are still under condemnation for your sins"
    (1 Corinthians 15:17).

    "All honor to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for it is by his boundless mercy that God has given us the privilege of being born again. Now we live with a wonderful expectation because Jesus Christ rose again from the dead"
    (1 Peter 1:3).

    The study of Christ's resurrection helps one's understanding of the Old Testament atonement. The Old Testament priest re-emerging alive from the Holy of Holies is alluded to in the book of Hebrews and elsewhere. The fact that the priest survived rather than God striking him dead was evidence that the sacrifice he had offered had been accepted by God. It affirms the fact of the believer's future resurrection and eternal life:
    "In that case, all who have died believing in Christ have perished! And if we have hope in Christ only for this life, we are the most miserable people in the world. But the fact is that Christ has been raised from the dead. He has become the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again. So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, Adam, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man, Christ. Everyone dies because all of us are related to Adam, the first man. But all who are related to Christ, the other man, will be given new life. But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised first; then when Christ comes back, all his people will be raised"
    (1 Corinthians 15:18-23).
    The resurrection of Christ assures the believer's position in Christ:
    "For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised as he was"
    (Romans 6:4-5).

    "For he raised us from the dead along with Christ, and we are seated with him in the heavenly realms- all because we are one with Christ Jesus"
    (Ephesians 2:6).

    The resurrection of Christ helps the believer to recognize the power he or she has to live the Christian life:
    "I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms"
    (Ephesians 1:19-20).

    Buddha is in his grave
    Confucius is in his grave
    Mohammed is in his grave
    Jesus Christ is NOT in His grave

    An unknown author at Direction, Inc. had this to say about Christ's resurrection:

    "Did it really happen or didn�t it? The evidence is overwhelming that Jesus did indeed resurrect from the dead�just as He said He would.

    The political and religious authorities of Jesus� day had a serious problem on their hands when Jesus returned to life three days after He was crucified. The masses of people now knew for certain that Jesus was telling the truth and that their Messiah had been wrongly judged and crucified by their religious and political leaders. To cover up their crime the politicians and priests conspired to concoct a false story that the body of Jesus had been stolen from the grave by His disciples. Their story of course had many loopholes and was never accepted by the people.

    Had the Roman guards, who were assigned to guard the tomb of Jesus, fallen asleep at their post- they would have automatically been put to death by their superiors as punishment. This was an unalterable law of the Roman army�no one slept at their post. But no guard was punished.

    Had they fallen asleep, could a few men have actually rolled away the huge stone that covered the grave entrance without the use of oxen- doing it so quietly as not to disturb one single guard lying next to the grave asleep?

    Had the disciples been successful in doing this, why was there never an all out search and investigation by the Roman and Jewish officials to make certain to recover the body of Jesus? Why was not one disciple brought before the court to confess what they did with the body?

    Had the disciples stolen and hidden the body of Jesus, why was there never anyone of the masses of followers who would have betrayed their hoax by revealing it to the authorities?

    Had the disciples stolen the body of Jesus�where in the world would they have hidden it so that it would never be recovered? Would not this still be the number one priority of every other religion on earth- to uncover the body of Jesus to prove that He was a hoax- if they really believed He was?

    Instead of being brought before the leaders immediately when the body was discovered to be missing, the disciples were left alone while they preached everywhere in public places to masses of people- telling them that Jesus had resurrected- while the religious and political leaders looked on helplessly.

    Had the disciples stolen and hidden the body of Jesus- covering up and advancing a hoax started by a now dead man- why would they eventually suffer imprisonment, beatings and death for a lie? They could have been spared all their sufferings and death by simply ceasing to preach that Jesus had resurrected from the dead. They could have lived to ripe old age had they decided to turn over the body of Jesus to the officials.

    But how can you turn something over that you don�t have and how can you quit telling others about the most remarkable event in all of human history? The disciples died for their teaching because they knew the truth- Jesus was alive. They had seen Him, conversed with Him and were being empowered by His Spirit to preach those things they knew for certain were true. Physical punishment and death were a small price to pay to share the message of a living Savior to the world.

    The evidence is overwhelming- Jesus of Nazareth did indeed resurrect from the dead three days after His crucifixion- just as the prophets and Jesus Himself proclaimed He would do.

    "For as Jonah was in the great fish for three days and three nights, so I, the Messiah, shall be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights"
    (Matthew 12:40).

    "Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled aside the stone and sat on it. His face shone like lightning and his clothing was a brilliant white. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and fell into a dead faint. Then the angel spoke to the women. "Don't be frightened!" he said. "I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified, but he isn't here! For he has come back to life again, just as he said he would. Come in and see where his body was lying- And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and that he is going to Galilee to meet them there. That is my message to them"
    (Matthew 28:1-7).

    "During the forty days after his crucifixion he appeared to the apostles from time to time, actually alive, and proved to them in many ways that it was really he himself they were seeing. And on these occasions he talked to them about the Kingdom of God"
    (Acts 1:3).

    "O men of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus of Nazareth by doing tremendous miracles through him, as you well know. But God, following his prearranged plan, let you use the Roman government to nail him to the cross and murder him. Then God released him from the horrors of death and brought him back to life again, for death could not keep this man within its grip. King David quoted Jesus as saying: "I know the Lord is always with me. He is helping me. God's mighty power supports me." No wonder my heart is filled with joy and my tongue shouts his praises! For I know all will be well with me in death- You will not leave my soul in hell or let the body of your Holy Son decay. 'You will give me back my life and give me wonderful joy in your presence.' "Dear brothers, think! David wasn't referring to himself when he spoke these words I have quoted, for he died and was buried, and his tomb is still here among us. But he was a prophet, and knew God had promised with an unbreakable oath that one of David's own descendants would (be the Messiah and) sit on David's throne. David was looking far into the future and predicting the Messiah's resurrection, and saying that the Messiah's soul would not be left in hell and his body would not decay. He was speaking of Jesus, and we all are witnesses that Jesus rose from the dead- Moreover, he further stated, 'God spoke to my Lord, the Messiah, and said to him, Sit here in honor beside me until I bring your enemies into complete subjection.' Therefore I clearly state to everyone in Israel that God has made this Jesus you crucified to be the Lord, the Messiah!"
    (Acts 2:22-36).

    "When they had fulfilled all the prophecies concerning his death, he was taken from the cross and placed in a tomb. But God brought him back to life again! And he was seen many times during the next few days by the men who had accompanied him to Jerusalem from Galilee- these men have constantly testified to this in public witness"
    (Acts 13:29-31).

    An unknown author at whoisjesus-really.com wrote the following concerning Christ's resurrection:

    "The resurrection is central to the Christian faith. If Jesus was not raised from the dead, then Christian beliefs don't amount to much, since Jesus himself said that he would be raised from the dead on the third day. On the other hand, if Jesus did rise from the dead, all his claims are true and we can know for sure that there is life after death.

    A large volume of evidence exists to support the resurrection claims. In fact, there is more legal-historic evidence (the kind used in courtrooms) for the resurrection than there is for Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo. There are several reasons why those who have studied the resurrection are convinced beyond a doubt that it is true.

    Jesus himself foretold his death and resurrection, and these events came about exactly as he had predicted.

    John 2:19-21 "Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." The Jews replied, 'It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?' But the temple he had spoken of was his body."

    John 10:17 "The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life- only to take it up again."

    John 16:16-22 "In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me." Some of his disciples said to one another, 'What does he mean by saying, 'In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,' and 'Because I am going to the Father'?' They kept asking, 'What does he mean by 'a little while'? We don't understand what he is saying.' Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, "Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, 'In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me'? I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy-"

    Matthew 12:40 "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

    Matthew 16:21 "From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life."

    Luke 18:31-33 "Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again."

    The event is well-documented by numerous reliable, historical sources.

    Historians such as Josephus (c.37-110 AD), Ignatius (c.50-115 AD), Justin Martyr (c.100-165 AD) and Tertullian (c.160-220 AD) were convinced of the authenticity of the resurrection. Their writings validate the accounts of the Gospel writers, who, according to leading biblical scholarship, recorded the event as soon as 37 AD and no later than 64 AD.

    In addition, other first and second century historians including Cornelius Tacitus, Suetonius, Plinius Secundus, and Lucian of Samosata acknowledged the impact this incredible event had on the people of the time.

    The resurrection is the only plausible explanation for the empty grave.

    Roman soldiers closely guarded the tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Moreover, the grave's entrance was sealed by an enormous boulder. The Roman guard, which was usually composed of 16 members, would have made it impossible for the disciples- who, by the way, were cowering in fear for their own lives- to steal the body. If, as some have claimed, Jesus was not dead, but only weakened, the guards and the stone would have stopped his escape. After being beaten and flagellated, hung on a cross for six hours, pierced by the spear of his executioners to ascertain his death, and wrapped, as was the custom, in 100 pounds of linen and spices, Jesus would have been in no shape to roll a two-ton stone uphill, outwit 16 Roman soldiers and then appear radiantly to his disciples.

    The Jewish leaders of the day could easily have refuted all claims of the resurrection by simply producing a body, but they were unable to do so because there was no body.

    There are numerous eyewitnesses to the resurrection.

    After he rose from the dead, Jesus appeared at least ten times to those who had known him and to as many as 500 people at one time. These appearances were not hallucinations; Jesus ate and talked with his followers and they touched his resurrected body. Their experiences were not delusions.

    Luke 24:36-39 "While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."

    John 20:26-29 "A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.' Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

    In 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, the Apostle Paul wrote, "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born."

    The resurrection is the only reasonable explanation for the beginning of the Christian movement.

    The Christian church was born in the very city where Jesus was publicly killed and buried. The belief in a resurrected Jesus had to be authentic to take root in Jerusalem and grow to encompass the whole world. The Christian church is now the largest institution that exists or has ever existed in the history of humanity. Clearly, this would have been impossible if the resurrection was a fabricated story.

    The resurrection is the only logical explanation for the transformed lives of the disciples.

    They deserted and even denied Jesus before his public trial; after his death they were discouraged and fearful. They did not expect Jesus to rise from the dead. Yet, after his resurrection and their experience at Pentecost, these same discouraged, disappointed men and women were transformed by the mighty power of the risen Christ. In his name, they turned the world upside down. Many lost their lives for their faith; others were terribly persecuted. Their courageous behavior does not make sense apart from their conviction that Jesus Christ was truly raised from the dead- a fact worth dying for.

    Throughout the centuries, most great scholars who have considered the proofs of the resurrection have believed, and still believe, that Jesus is alive.

    After examining the evidence for the resurrection given by the Gospel writers, the late Simon Greenleaf, an authority on legal issues at Harvard Law School, concluded: "It was therefore impossible that they could have persisted in affirming the truths they have narrated, had not Jesus actually risen from the dead, and had they not known this fact as certainly as they knew any other fact." Mr. Greenleaf was a Jewish professor who became a believer in Jesus the Messiah after studying the facts for himself.

    A question which is raised occasionally is, "Since the New Testament was written so long after Christ�s death, how can anyone trust the Gospel accounts of His life?" The fact of the matter is that eyewitnesses or people who recorded firsthand testimony wrote the Gospels. The writers were all living at the same time these events transpired, and they had personal contact either with the events or with people who witnessed the events.

    There is strong internal testimony that the Gospels were written at an early date. The Book of Acts records the missionary activity of the early church and was written as a sequel by Luke [attested by prominent secular historians as one of the most accurate historians of ancient times] who wrote the Gospel according to Luke. The Book of Acts ends with the apostle Paul alive in Rome.

    This would lead us to believe that it was written before he died, since the other major events in his life have been recorded. We have some evidence that Paul was put to death in the Neonian persecution of A.D. 64, which means the Book of Acts was composed before this time.

    The Gospel of Luke, then, had to have been composed some time before that, probably in the last 50s or early 60s of the first century. The death of Christ took place around A.D. 30, which would make the composition of Luke at the latest within 30 years of the events.

    The early church generally taught that the first Gospels composed were that of Mark and Matthew, which would place us still closer to the time of Christ. This evidence leads us to believe that the first three Gospels were all composed within 20-30 years of the time these events occurred, a time when unfriendly eyewitnesses were still living who could contradict their testimony if it was not accurate.

    This type of evidence recently led one liberal scholar, John A. T. Robinson, to redate the New Testament documents much earlier than most modern liberal scholars would have us believe. Robinson argued in Redating the New Testament that the entire New Testament could have been completed before A.D. 70, which is still well into the eyewitness period.

    The evidence points out that the documents were not written long after the events, but within close proximity to them. Moreover, people wrote them during the period in which many eyewitnesses or people acquainted with the facts were still living. The inescapable conclusion is that the New Testament picture of Christ can be trusted.

    Again, one finds after examining the evidence, that reliability and accuracy is not the issue. The real issue is what you will do about the claims in the Bible Jesus made to be God and the only One who can pay the penalty for your sins?"

    Quoted from:

    True freedom is found
    in the empty tomb

    Josh McDowell in his book "A Ready Defense" had this to say about Christ's resurrection:

    Facts (of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ) to Be Reckoned With:

    "Now, something happened. Something happened almost two thousand years ago that changed the course of history from B.C. (Before Christ) to A.D. (the Latin Anno Domini- the year of our Lord).

    That "something" was so dramatic it completely changed eleven men's lives, so that all but one died a martyr's death.

    That something was an empty tomb! An empty tomb that a 15-minute walk from the center of Jerusalem would have confirmed or disproved.

    Even after the two thousand years since that time, mankind hasn't forgotten the empty tomb nor the resurrection appearances of Jesus Christ.

    If you wish to rationalize away the events surrounding Christ and His resurrection, you must deal with certain imponderables. In fact, you might say that both the Jews and the Romans outwitted themselves when they took so many precautions to make sure Jesus was dead and remained in the grave. These "security precautions"- taken with the trial, crucifixion, burial, entombment, sealing and the guarding of Christ's tomb- make it very difficult for critics to defend their position that Christ did not rise from the dead!

    Consider these seven facts:

    FACT #1- Broken Roman Seal:

    The first obvious fact was the breaking of the seal that stood for the power and authority of the Roman Empire. The consequences of breaking the seal were severe. The FBI and CIA of the Roman Empire were called into action to find the man or men responsible. When they were apprehended, it meant automatic execution by crucifixion upside down. Your guts ran into your throat. So people feared the breaking of the seal. Even the disciples displayed signs of cowardice, and hid themselves.

    FACT #2- The Empty Tomb:

    Another obvious fact after the resurrection was the empty tomb. The disciples of Christ did not go off to Athens or Rome to preach Christ raised from the dead; they went right back to the city of Jerusalem where, if what they were teaching were false, their message would have been disproved. The resurrection could not have been maintained for a moment in Jerusalem if the tomb had not been empty.

    Dr. Paul Maier says:

    Where did Christianity first begin? To this the answer must be: "Only one spot on earth- the city of Jerusalem." But this is the very last place it could have started if Jesus' tomb remained occupied, since anyone producing a dead Jesus would have driven a wooden stake through the heart of an incipient Christianity inflamed by His supposed resurrection.

    What happened in Jerusalem seven weeks after the first Easter could have taken place only if Jesus' body were somehow missing from Joseph's tomb, for otherwise the Temple establishment, in its embroglio with the Apostles, would simply have aborted the movement by making a brief trip over to the sepulcher of Joseph of Arimathea and unveiling exhibit A. They did not do this, because they knew the tomb was empty. Their official explanation for it- that the disciples had stolen the body- was an admission that the sepulcher was indeed vacant.

    There are both Jewish and Roman sources and traditions that acknowledge an empty tomb. These sources range from the Jewish historian Josephus to a compilation of fifth-century Jewish writings called the Toledoth Jeshu. Maier calls this "positive evidence from a hostile source, which is the strongest kind of historical evidence. In essence, this means that if a source admits a fact decidedly not in its favor, then that fact is genuine."

    Gamaliel, who was a member of the Sanhedrin, put forth the suggestion that the Christian movement was of God
    (Acts 5:34-42); he could not have done this if the tomb had been occupied, or if the Sanhedrin had known the whereabouts of Christ's body.

    Even Justin Martyr in his Dialogue With Trypho relates that the Jerusalem authorities sent special representatives throughout the Mediterranean world to counteract the story of the empty tomb with the explanation that His followers stole the body. Why would the Jewish authorities bribe the Roman guard and propagate the "stolen body" explanation if the tomb was occupied? Historian Ron Sider concluded that: "If the Christians and their Jewish opponents both agreed that the tomb was empty, we have little choice but to accept the empty tomb as an historical fact."

    FACT #3- Large Stone Moved:

    On that Sunday morning, the first thing that impressed the people who approached the tomb was the unusual position of that one and a half to two ton stone that had been lodged in front of the doorway. All the Gospel writers mentioned the removal of the large stone.

    Up an Incline:

    For example, in Matthew 27, it is said that a "large stone was rolled against the entrance of the tomb." Here the Greek word used for roll is "kulio," meaning "to roll." Mark used the same root word kulio. However, in
    Mark chapter 16, he added a preposition to explain the position of the stone after the resurrection.

    In Greek, as in English, to change the direction of a verb or to intensify it, you add a preposition. He added the preposition "ana," which means "up or upward." So, "anakulio" can mean "to roll something up a slope or an incline." For Mark, then, to have used that verb, there would have had to be a slope or an incline coming down to the front of that tomb.

    Away From:

    In fact, that stone was so far "up a slope" that Luke used the same root word "kulio," but added a different preposition, apo. Apo can mean, according to the Greek lexicons, "a separation from," in the sense of "a distance from." "Apokulio," then, means to roll one object away from another object in a sense of "separation" or "distance from it." Now, they saw the stone moved away in a sense of distance from "what"?

    Let's go back to Mark 16. On Sunday morning, the women were coming to the tomb.

    You might say, "Wait a minute! Why were those women coming to the tomb Sunday mornings?" One reason was to anoint the body over the grave clothes with a mixture of spices and perfume. Another might ask, "Why would they come since the Roman security unit was there guarding the grave?"

    That's quite simple. The guard did not examine the body and secure the sepulcher until Saturday afternoon. On Friday afternoon the women had watched as the body was prepared in a private burial area. They lived in the suburb of Bethany and therefore were not aware of the Roman and Jewish actions about putting extra security at the place of Christ's burial.

    Let's go back to Mark 16 again:

    The women are saying, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?" Here, they used the Greek word for entrance. That's logical, isn't it? But, when they got there they said, "Who rolled the stone away from ...?" and here they changed the Greek word for "the entrance" to the word used for the entire massive sepulcher. Apokulio, then, means "away from" in the sense of at a "distance from the entire massive sepulcher."

    Picked Up and Carried:

    In fact, the stone was in such a position up a slope away from the entire massive sepulcher that John (chapter 20) used a different Greek verb, airo, which (according to the Arndt and Gingrish Lexicon) means, "to pick something up and carry it away."

    Now, I ask you, if the disciples had wanted to come in, tiptoe around the sleeping guards, then roll the stone over and steal the body, why would they have moved a one and a half to two ton stone up a slope away from the entire massive sepulcher to such a position that it looked like someone had picked it up and carried it away? Those soldiers would have had to be deaf not to have heard that stone being moved.

    FACT #4-Roman Guard Goes AWOL (absent with out leave):

    The Roman guard fled. They left their place of responsibility. This has to be explained away because the military discipline of the Romans was exceptionally good. Justin, in his Digest #49, mentions all offenses which required the penalty of death: a scout remaining with the enemy, desertion), losing or disposing of one's arms, disobedience in war time, going over the wall or rampart, starting a mutiny, refusing to protect an officer or deserting one's post, a drafted man hiding from service, murder, laying hands on a superior or insult to a general, leading flight when the example would influence others, betraying plans to the enemy, wounding a fellow soldier with a sword, disabling self or attempting suicide without reasonable excuse, leaving the night watch, breaking the centurion's staff or striking him when being punished, escaping guard house, and disturbing the peace. To the above, one can add "falling asleep." If it was not apparent which soldier had failed in duty, then lots were drawn to see who would be punished with death for the guard unit's failure.

    Fear of Punishment:

    One way a guard was put to death was by being stripped of his clothes, then burned alive in a fire started with the garments. The entire unit certainly would not have fallen asleep with that threat hanging over their heads. The history of Roman discipline and security testifies to the fact that if the tomb had not been empty the soldiers never would have left their position, nor would they have gone to the high priest. The fear of the wrath of their superiors and the possibility of the death penalty meant they paid close attention to the most minute details of their job. Dr. George Curie, who studied carefully the military discipline of the Romans, wrote that fear of punishment "produced flawless attention to duty, especially in the night watches."

    Dr. Bill White is in charge of the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem. His responsibilities have caused him to study quite extensively the resurrection and the events following the first Easter. White makes several critical observations about the Jewish authorities bribing the Roman guard.

    If the stone were simply rolled to one side of the tomb, as would be necessary to enter it, then they might be justified in accusing the men of sleeping at their posts, and in punishing them severely. If the men protested that the earthquake broke the seal and that the stone rolled back under the vibration, they would still be liable to punishment for behavior, which might be labeled cowardice.

    But these responsibilities do not meet the case. There was some undeniable evidence, which made it impossible for the chief priests to bring any charge against the guard. The Jewish authorities must have visited the scene, examined the stone, and recognized its position as making it humanly impossible for their men to have permitted its removal. No twist of human ingenuity could provide an adequate answer or scapegoat and so they were forced to bribe the guard and seek to hush things up.

    FACT #5- Graveclothes Tell a Tale:

    In a literal sense, the tomb was not actually empty. Instead, an amazing phenomenon occurred. After visiting the grave and seeing the stone rolled away, the women ran back and told the disciples. Then Peter and John took off running. John outran Peter, and upon arriving at the tomb he did not enter. Instead, he leaned over and looked in and saw something so startling that he immediately believed.

    He looked over to the place where the body of Jesus had lain. There were graveclothes, in the form of a body, slightly caved in and empty- like the empty chrysalis of a caterpillar's cocoon. That was enough to make a believer out of anybody! He never did get over it!

    The first thing that stuck in the minds of the disciples was not the empty tomb- but the empty graveclothes, undisturbed in their form and position.

    FACT #6- Appearances of Christ Confirmed:

    On several occasions, Christ appeared alive after the cataclysmic events of that first Easter.

    A Principle to Remember:

    When studying an event in history, it is important to investigate whether enough people who were participants or eyewitnesses to the event were alive when the facts about the event were published. This is helpful to validate the accuracy of the published report. If the number is substantial, the event can be fairly well established. For instance, if we all witness a murder, and in a week the police report turns out to be composed of fabricated lies, we as eyewitnesses can refute it.

    In other words, when a book is written about an event, the accuracy of its contents can be validated if enough people are alive at the time it is published who have been either eyewitnesses of, or participants in, the events recorded.

    Several very important factors often are overlooked when investigating Christ's post-resurrection appearances to individuals. The first is the large number of witnesses of Christ after that first Sunday morning.

    Fifty Hours of Eyewitnesses:

    One of the earliest records of Christ's appearing after the resurrection is by Paul
    (I Corinthians 15). The apostle appeals to his audience's knowledge of the fact that Christ had been seen by more than five hundred people at one time. Paul reminds them that the majority of these people were still alive and could be questioned.

    Dr. Ewin M. Yamauchi, associate professor of history at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, emphasizes: "What gives a special authority to the list [of witnesses] as historical evidence is the reference to most of the five hundred brethren being still alive. St. Paul says in effect, "If you do not believe me, you can ask them."

    Let's take the more than five hundred witnesses who saw Jesus alive after His death and burial and place them in a courtroom. Do you realize that if each of these five hundred people were to testify only six minutes each, including cross-examination, you would have an amazing fifty hours of firsthand eyewitness testimony? Add to this the testimony of many other eyewitnesses and you could well have the largest and most lopsided trial in history.

    Variety of People:

    The second factor often overlooked is the variety of locations and people involved in Jesus' appearances.

    Professor Merrill C. Tenney of Wheaton College writes:

    It is noteworthy that these appearances are not stereotyped. No two of them are exactly alike. The appearance to Mary Magdalene occurred in early morning; that to the travelers to Emmaus in the afternoon; and to the apostles in the evening, probably after dark. He appeared to Mary in the open air. Mary was alone when she saw Him; the disciples were together in a group; and Paul records that on one occasion He appeared to more than five hundred at one time
    (1 Corinthians 15:6).

    The reactions also were varied. Mary was overwhelmed with emotion; the disciples were frightened; Thomas was obstinately incredulous when told of the Lord's resurrection, but worshiped Him when He manifested Himself. Each occasion had its own peculiar atmosphere and characteristics, and revealed some different quality of the risen Lord.

    In no way can anyone say His appearances were stereotyped.

    Hostile Viewers:

    A third factor very crucial to interpreting Christ's appearance is that He also appeared to those who were hostile or unconvinced. Over and over again I have read or heard people comment that Jesus was seen alive after His death and burial only by His friends and followers. Using this argument, they attempt to water down the overwhelming impact of the eyewitness accounts- but this line of reasoning is so pathetic it hardly deserves comment.

    No author or informed individual would regard Saul of Tarsus to have been a follower of Christ. The facts show the exact opposite. He despised Christ and persecuted Christ's followers
    (Acts 8:1; Acts 9:1-2; Philippians 3:5-6). For Paul it was a life-shattering experience when Christ appeared to him
    (Acts 9:3-6). Although Paul was not at the time a disciple, he later became one of the greatest witnesses for the truth of the resurrection.

    No one acquainted with the facts can accurately say that Jesus appeared to just "an insignificant few."

    FACT #7- Women Saw Him First:

    Another authenticating feature of the resurrection narrative is that the first appearances of the risen Christ were not to His disciples, but rather to women- to Mary Magdalene and the other women. This must have been an embarrassment to the apostles, Christ's inner circle. They were likely quite jealous.

    According to Jewish principles of legal evidence women were invalid witnesses. They did not have a right to give testimony in a court of law.

    Unreliable Testimony:

    Dr. Maier accurately observes that since the testimony of a woman was deemed unreliable, the "initial reaction of the Eleven was understandably one of suspicion and disbelief. Again, if the resurrection accounts had been manufactured- women would never have been included in the story, at least, not as first witnesses."

    It Changed Their Lives:

    The changed lives of those early Christian believers is one of the most telling testimonies to the fact of the resurrection. We must ask ourselves: What motivated them to go everywhere proclaiming the message of the risen Christ?

    Had there been visible benefits accruing to them from their efforts such as prestige, wealth or increased social status- we might logically account for their actions. As a reward, however, for their wholehearted and total allegiance to this "risen Christ," these early Christians were beaten, stoned to death, thrown to the lions, tortured, crucified and subjected to every conceivable method of stopping them from talking. Yet they were the most peaceful of men, who physically forced their beliefs on no one. Rather they laid down their very lives as the ultimate proof of their complete confidence in the truth of their message.

    Those Hardest to Convince:

    There was the skeptical family of Jesus (John 7:1-5). His brothers did not believe in Him. They were embarrassed to hear their brother say to the people, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by Me," and "I am the vine, you are the branches," and "I'm the shepherd, you are the sheep"
    (John 14:6; 15:5; 10:11). What would you do if your brother did that?

    There was James, His brother. He was found in the company of the Pharisees. James and his brothers mocked Jesus.

    However, after Jesus went to that degrading death on the cross, disgracing the family, and was buried, where do we find those hardest to convince- His own family?

    We find them in the upper room with the disciples waiting for the Holy Spirit to be sent
    (Acts 1:13,14). Now, since they mocked Him while He was alive, what happened in a matter of a few days to turn their lives upside down?

    James became a leader in the early church and wrote an epistle stating, "I James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ [his brother]..."
    (James Chapter 1). Eventually, for the cause of Christ, James died a martyr's death- he was stoned.

    What happened?

    The best explanation I know is recorded by Paul: "Then He appeared to James"
    (I Corinthians 15:7).

    His Cowardly Followers:

    What about the fearful disciples of Jesus? When the authorities captured Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, "all the disciples left Him and fled"
    (Matthew 26:56; Mark 14:50). During Christ's trial, Peter went out and denied Him three times
    (John 18:15-27; Mark 14:66-72). After Christ was crucified, the fearful disciples hid themselves in an upper room and locked the doors
    (John 20:19). But something happened within days to totally change this group of cowardly followers into a bold band of enthusiasts who faced martyrdom without fear or hesitation. Peter, who had denied Jesus, was imprisoned for his persistency in preaching a "risen Christ" and later was himself crucified upside down.

    What happened? The most logical explanation is that the resurrected Jesus "appeared to Cephas [Peter]- then to all the Apostles"
    (1 Corinthians 15:5-7).

    A Jewish Fanatic Converted

    And how about Paul, the religious persecutor of the Christians? This Jewish fanatic so hated the followers of Christ that he obtained special permission to go to other cities and incarcerate Christ's disciples. He ravaged the church
    (Acts 8:1-3; Acts 9:1-2; Acts 22:3-5).

    But something happened to this persecutor. He turned from an antagonist to a protagonist of Jesus. He was transformed from a murderer to a Christian missionary. He changed from a bitter interrogator of Christians to one of the greatest propagators of the Christian faith.

    The irony is that Paul began to confound the Jewish authorities "by proving Jesus is the Christ," the Son of God
    (Acts 9:22). He was eventually killed for his devotion to Christ.

    What happened? This historical explanation is Paul's statement that Jesus "appeared to me also"
    (1 Corinthians 15:8; Acts 9:3-22).

    It would be very difficult to explain the transformation of these men if the resurrection were not true. Professor Robert Grant says: "The origin of Christianity is almost incomprehensible unless such an event took place."

    A Resurrection Explains All the Facts:

    Harvard law professor Simon Greenleaf, a man who lectured for years on how to break down testimony and determine whether or not a witness is lying, concludes:
    "It was therefore impossible that they could have persisted in affirming the truths they have narrated, had not Jesus actually risen from the dead, and had they not known this fact as certainly as they knew any other fact."

    The annals of military warfare afford scarcely an example of the like heroic constancy, patience, and unflinching courage. They had every possible motive to review carefully the grounds of their faith, and the evidences of the great facts and truths they asserted.

    A believer in Jesus Christ today can have the complete confidence, as did those first Christians, that his faith is based not on myth or legend but on the solid historical fact of the empty tomb and the risen Christ."

    Josh McDowell, "A Ready Defense", copywrite 1972

    J. Hampton Keathley, III in his writing titled "The Resurrection of Jesus Christ" had this to say:

    Christ�s Past Work:

    (1) It is the proof of the value of His redemptive work for us as our substitute.
    Christ was raised on account of our justification, that is, to prove He was a worthy substitute and that we might be declared righteous by God
    (Romans 4:25). Therefore, if He is risen, we become justified sinners through faith in Christ. The only proof or evidence we have of pardon, and acceptance, of justification and peace with God is the risen Christ. Faith�s question is not how we feel, but is Christ risen. No sinner can have settled peace except on the ground of the death and resurrection of Christ
    (Romans 5:1).

    Without the resurrection our faith is worthless and we are still in our sins- and of all men most miserable and to be pitied
    (1 Corinthians 15:17-19).

    (2) It is the basis of our sanctification and victory over sin
    Because He is risen, we can walk in newness of life. His resurrection proved He has conquered sin and Satan and released us from the domination of sin
    (Romans 6:4).
    Our Response to the Resurrection:
    Faith in Christ:
    Obviously, it means we should put our faith in the Christ as our personal Savior. It means we should put our trust in Christ as the only one who can give us eternal life and bring us into a personal relationship with God. This is why Peter proclaimed the truth of
    Acts 4:12.

    And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.

    But once that is done, it means something else for the Christian.

    Commitment to Christ:
    The empty tomb means we have a living Savior who, though seated and exalted at God�s right hand, is also with us and desires to have fellowship with us. As He tells us in
    Revelation 3:20, He stands at the door and knocks seeking the fellowship of those believers who have not been walking with Him. Our response should be one of opening the door and inviting Him in for fellowship by confessing our sins and by asking Him to come in and take charge of our lives because, as the exalted Lord, the God-Man Savior, He also has the right to lead, direct, and control our lives through that fellowship.

    Our response should be one of total commitment to Him. The resurrection proves He is the Creator-God who is to have preeminence in each of our lives
    (Colossians 1:15-18). Anything less is a contradiction, totally illogical, and pure rebellion on our part.

    This means there is no place for complacency, or half-hearted devotion and submission to Christ because He is the Lord and God. Some people measure out their involvement with the Lord, with the study of the Word, and assembling together with believers with a teaspoon as though they were adding sugar to their coffee. In other words, a lot of Christians go to church only occasionally-

    With this emphasis in mind, let�s be reminded of three passages:
    Romans 12:1
    "I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship."
    "Therefore, by the mercies of God," is a call to total commitment and is made on the basis of God�s work for us in the person of His Son whom He raised from the dead to authenticate His person and work. As the risen Christ:

    He sits in heaven as our advocate, but also as our Lord. As our Lord, He walks amongst the churches examining our lives
    (Revelation 2:1). Compare these scriptures:
    (Romans 1:4, 8:11-13, 14:10-12 with 2 Corinthians 5:10 where Paul wrote of the "Bema of Christ" rather than the "Bema of God."

    2 Timothy 2:8
    "Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descendant of David, according to my gospel"
    In this context, Paul was challenging Timothy to give himself totally to the ministry God had called him to
    (2 Timothy 2:1-7). As a motivation, he calls on Timothy to remember Jesus Christ as the risen one. Why? Because He is the Lord who is there for us no matter what our need, but also as our Lord to whom we will each give an account.
    1 Kings 18:21
    "And Elijah came near to all the people and said, "How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." But the people did not answer him a word.
    The great confrontation and the miracle of Mount Carmel was designed not only to demonstrate that Israel�s God, Yahweh, was the only true God and thus their means of salvation, but also to call them, indeed, to challenge them to get off the fence of indecision and apathy. It was a call to repentance and commitment.

    In God�s work in Christ on the cross and in Christ�s resurrection, God did done something many times more miraculous than he did on Mt. Carmel. This not only demonstrates that Christ is God and the Savior, but it calls for our full allegiance and the commitment of our lives. Anything but total commitment and availability to Jesus as our Lord, to follow Him and to give Him our lives, our families, our businesses, our everything is insane and utterly sinful.

    Let�s look at Paul�s response to the risen Lord while on the road to Damascus?

    Acts 22:6-10
    "And it came about that as I was on my way, approaching Damascus about noontime, a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me, and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" "And I answered, "Who art Thou, Lord?" And He said to me, "I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting." "And those who were with me beheld the light, to be sure, but did not understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me. "And I said, �What shall I do, Lord?� And the Lord said to me, "Arise and go on into Damascus; and there you will be told of all that has been appointed for you to do."

    "God never hurries. There are no deadlines against which He must work" - A.W. Tozer


    The Work of Jesus Christ

    In this section we will study the work of Jesus Christ. His work takes us in study from the time of His ascension to the end of time as we know it. I divide this section into three parts:

    (A) The Ascension of Jesus Christ

    (B) The Church of Jesus Christ

    (C) The Second Coming of Jesus Christ

    "...for the works which The Father has granted Me to accomplish, these very works which I am doing, bear Me witness that The Father has sent Me"
    (John 5:36). (RSV)

    "Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me; or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father"
    (John 14:10-12). (RSV)

    Exercise daily
    Walk in the Lord

    An unknown author at Direction, Inc. had this to say about Christ's work:

    "Two thousand years ago a man named Jesus walked on the earth- healing all manner of disease and teaching powerful truths of hope for our human family. He was killed by the religious and political leaders- not because of His rebellion against the state but because of His message of love. Three days after His crucifixion, Jesus resurrected from the dead. Where is He now?

    This same Jesus, who was mocked and crucified with common criminals two thousand years ago, now sits at the right hand of God in the place of highest honor throughout the vast universe. His role on earth was finished when He became the sacrifice and savior for man�s sins. He now sits in authority over His church (those who choose to follow Him) making intercession for all who come to God through Him."

    Let's examine some of the scriptures that refer to Christ's work:

    "And Jesus said, "Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah must suffer and die and rise again from the dead on the third day, and that this message of salvation should be taken from Jerusalem to all the nations: There is forgiveness of sins for all who turn to me. You have seen these prophecies come true. And now I will send the Holy Spirit upon you, just as my Father promised. Don't begin telling others yet- stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven." "Then Jesus led them out along the road to Bethany, and lifting his hands to heaven, he blessed them, and then began rising into the sky, and went on to heaven. And they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem filled with mighty joy, and were continually in the Temple, praising God"
    (Luke 24:46-53).

    "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
    (John 14:2-3).

    "It was not long afterwards that he rose into the sky and disappeared into a cloud, leaving them staring after him. As they were straining their eyes for another glimpse, suddenly two white-robed men were standing there among them, and said, "Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring at the sky? Jesus has gone away to heaven, and some day, just as he went, he will return!"
    (Acts 1:9-11).

    "When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down at God's right hand"
    (Mark 16:19).

    "And now he sits on the throne of highest honor in heaven, next to God. And just as promised, the Father gave him the authority to send the Holy Spirit- with the results you are seeing and hearing today"
    (Acts 2:33).

    "But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily upward into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at God's right hand. And he told them, "Look, I see the heavens opened and Jesus the Messiah standing beside God, at his right hand!"
    (Acts 7:55-56).

    "I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to help those who believe him. It is that same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God's right hand in heaven, far, far above any other king or ruler or dictator or leader. Yes, his honor is far more glorious than that of anyone else either in this world or in the world to come. And God has put all things under his feet and made him the supreme Head of the Church- which is his body, filled with himself, the Author and Giver of everything everywhere"
    (Ephesians 1:19-23).

    "Yet it was because of this that God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name which is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father"
    (Philippians 2:9-11).

    "And now Christ is in heaven, sitting in the place of honor next to God the Father, with all the angels and powers of heaven bowing before him and obeying him"
    (1 Peter 3:22).



    Christ's Ascension

    In this section we will look at Christ's ascension. Why? It is important in proving His deity and is useful in realizing what He is currently doing in relation to His works. What was His ascension?

    Let's take a look at the scriptures that prove His ascension:

    Christ's resurrected body was literally taken up into the sky, and He is seated at the right hand of God in heaven. He presented His body as a living and eternal sacrifice to the Father:

    "Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our hearts from deeds that lead to death so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins"
    (Hebrews 9:14).

    He went to prepare a place for believers:

    "There are many rooms in my Father's home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. 3When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am"
    (John 14:2-3).

    He went to be glorified and to allow the Holy Spirit to be sent to the church:

    "If you believe in me, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow out from within." (When he said "living water," he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory)"
    (John 7:38-39).

    His ascension is described in scripture:

    "It was not long after he said this that he was taken up into the sky while they were watching, and he disappeared into a cloud. As they were straining their eyes to see him, two white-robed men suddenly stood there among them. They said, "Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring at the sky? Jesus has been taken away from you into heaven. And someday, just as you saw him go, he will return!"
    (Acts 1:9-11).

    The prayer phone line
    to Heaven
    is never busy

    An unknown author at Key-Way Publishing in Canada had this to say about the "Ascension of Jesus Christ:"

    The ascension of Jesus Christ into the heavens occurred from The Mount Of Olives, forty days after His resurrection:

    "In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up, after He had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles Whom He had chosen. To them He presented Himself alive after His passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God. And while staying with them He charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of The Father, which, He said, "you heard from Me, for John baptized with water, but before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

    "So when they had come together, they asked Him, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"

    "He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which The Father has fixed by His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth."

    "And when He had said this, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight."

    "And while they were gazing into heaven as He went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, Who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven."

    "Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away"
    (Acts 1:1-11). (RSV)

    The Return Of Jesus Christ will occur at the same place as the ascension, the Mount of Olives
    (Acts 1:11, Zechariah 14:4).

    What is Christ doing now?

    Christ sits at the right hand of God, interceding for believers and guiding the church as its head during the present age. He mediates between us and the Father:

    "My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if you do sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who pleases God completely. He is the sacrifice for our sins. He takes away not only our sins but the sins of all the world"
    (1 John 2:1-2)

    "Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save everyone who comes to God through him. He lives forever to plead with God on their behalf"
    (Hebrews 7:25).

    He rules and guides the Church:
    "...that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God's right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else in this world or in the world to come. And God has put all things under the authority of Christ, and he gave him this authority for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is filled by Christ, who fills everything everywhere with his presence"
    (Ephesians 1:20-23).
    He rules over the nations with all authority
    (Psalm 110).

    Christ is building His Church. This includes it's formation and direction. He is also nurturing and cleansing the saints. He is giving gifts. He is a Lawyer for believers, He assures the security of our salvation, He restores us to fellowship when fellowship is broken through sin, He prepares a heavenly abode for us, He is producing fruit in the lives of believers, and He is answering the prayers of His children.

    Prayer is more a frame of mind
    a framing of words

    Part of the work of Christ is when He listens to and answers our prayers. But how should we pray? Should we use His name in our prayers to Him? Here is what an unknown author at Direction Inc. had this to say about how we should use the "Name of Jesus" when we pray to Him:

    The Name of Jesus
    1. To be confessed, honored by right living
    2. Recognized in the believer's baptism
    3. Necessary for the remission of sins
    4. Required in prayer
    5. Brings miracles
    6. The authority and message of preaching
    7. The foundation of faith
    8. The essence of spiritual life


    The name of Jesus has a powerful influence to God the Father. Those who trust in the name of Jesus enjoy life's blessings that are unavailable any other way.

    "God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name"
    (Philippians 2:9).

    "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him"
    (Colossians 3:17).

    His name is to be confessed and honored
    with righteous living

    "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity"
    (2 Timothy 2:19).
    His name is necessary For The Remission of sins
    "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His (Jesus) name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem"
    (Luke 24:47).

    "To him give all the prophets witness, that through His name (Jesus) whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins"
    (Acts 10:43).

    "I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name's (Jesus) sake"
    (1 John 2:12).

    "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved"
    (Acts 4:12).

    The name of Jesus is Recognized In The Believer's Baptism
    "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost"
    (Matthew 28:19).

    "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost"
    (Acts 2:38).

    The name of Jesus is Required in prayer

    "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son"
    (John 14:13).

    "And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full"
    (John 16:23).

    "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ"
    (Ephesians 5:20).

    The name of Jesus Brings miracles

    "Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk"
    (Acts 3:6).

    "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole"
    (Acts 4:10).

    The name of Jesus is the authority and message of preaching

    "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem"
    (Luke 24:47).

    The name of Jesus is the foundation of faith

    "And in his name shall the Gentiles trust"
    (Matthew 12:21).

    "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name"
    (John 1:12).

    The name of Jesus is the essence of spiritual life

    "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name"
    (John 20:31).

    Jesus said: "I will come again"
    Is your heart's door open
    Or is it locked?

    J. Hampton Keathley, III in his writing titled "The Resurrection of Jesus Christ" had this to say about how "Christ�s Present Life and Work:" cannot be seperated from His resurrection.

    "The resurrection not only proves the past value of Christ�s earthly life and work on the cross, but it also is the doorway and proof of His present life and ministry in heaven for us as our advocate, intercessor, indweller, and the sender of the Holy Spirit. In other words, the resurrection which resulted in the glorified Savior is the means for the Lord�s ascension and exaltation to the right hand of God on high.

    Two key verses on this are Romans 8:34 and Hebrews 13:20-21. Romans 8:34 shows that because the Lord was raised, He is now at God�s right hand to intercede on our behalf. The point of the Hebrews passage is that because of the resurrection, Christ was able to become the Great Shepherd who cares for and provides in every way for His sheep.

    This includes:

    The indwelling of Christ Himself-
    His life within ours was dependent on the resurrection
    (John 14:18-20). In Colossians Paul declares "Christ in you, the hope of glory." Our hope of divine enablement, of a new kind of life now, is Christ dwelling within us, but this confidence depends on the resurrection.

    The sending of the Holy Spirit as our enabler-
    Over and over again, the Lord promised that He would send the Holy Spirit, but this too was contingent on His resurrection and return to glory
    (John 7:37-39, John 14:26, John 15:26, John 16:7). So, compare Acts 2:32-33. The resurrection was the means of continuing Christ�s ministry to us today. The major feature of this present age, the indwelling Holy Spirit, was vitally dependent on the resurrection.

    The gift of eternal life-
    In John 14:19 Christ said, "because I live, you shall live also." Christ was thinking of His resurrection as the basis for the gift of eternal life.

    The Head of the church, the new Creation-
    It was only through resurrection that Christ became authenticated as the head and preeminent Lord of the church
    (Ephesians 1:20-23; Colossians 1:17-18). As head, He forms the body of Christ, the church, via the Holy Spirit whom He sent to place believers into union with Himself
    (1 Corinthians 12:12-13).

    Without the resurrection there would be no church.

    The present work of Christ as our advocate and intercessor
    (Romans 8:34).

    The bestowal of gifts to the church:
    (Ephesians 4:7-11). The basis of gifts are twofold, the cross where He defeated sin and Satan, and the resurrection, the glorious triumph and proof of His victory.

    His preparation of a place for us as the bride of Christ
    (John 14:2-3).

    Christ�s Future Life and Work:
    It is our guarantee of resurrection with a resurrection body like His
    (1 Corinthians 15:20-23, 51-53; 1 Peter 1:3; Philippians 3:20-21; John 5:25-29).
    In John 11:25 He said, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me shall live even if he dies."

    The resurrection marks Him out as the eternal ruler of the earth. He will one day rule as God�s perfect king and because of His resurrection and glorification, His rule will go on without end
    (Luke 1:32-33; Psalms 2:7-9; Revelation 5:1-10; Psalms 22:28).

    The resurrection marks him out as the judge who will judge all men. This is an awesome thought.

    a) For believers, it involves their examination before the judgment seat of Christ, the Bema
    (compare 1 Corinthians 3:12; 2 Corinthians 5:9; with Revelation 2:1-2).

    b) For unbelievers, it involves the judgments of tribulation
    (Revelation 6-19), the judgment of the Jews and Gentiles at the end of the tribulation
    (Matthew chapters 24-25), and the judgment of the Great White Throne
    (Revelation chapter 20). So, compare Acts 17:31 and Acts 10:40-42.

    As to Mankind
    It guarantees to men that:

    Through faith in Christ they can find redemption from sin and peace with God. They can know the peace of God and personal fellowship with Him through a living Savior. Death means to be in God�s presence. They will also one day experience a resurrection like the Lord�s and live eternally with God. In other words, the empty tomb authenticates all the claims of the Bible and all that Jesus Himself declared as truth. The ultimate issue, then, is what should be our response be? What difference should this make in our daily lives?"



    The Church of Jesus Christ

    In this section we will briefly study about the church that Jesus Christ started. The study of the church is called ecclesiology and it is usually separated into two parts:

    1. The church universal comprising all individuals who are born again, and

    2. The church local comprising imminent denominations and churches.

    I believe the Assemblies of God has a good description of the church universal also called "The Church at Large"� the Body of Christ.

    "What does the Assemblies of God believe about the entire Christian church world (all born-again believers in our world) being part of the body of Christ? Is it possible for so many denominations and church groups to hold such differing theologies and lifestyles and yet be of one faith or universal Body?

    The New Testament is clear in its teaching that there is only one Church, which is described as the body of Christ

    "And God has put all things under the authority of Christ, and he gave him this authority for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is filled by Christ, who fills everything everywhere with his presence"
    (Ephesians 1:22-23)

    "Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death, and our hostility toward each other was put to death"
    (Ephesians 2:16).

    "We are all one body, we have the same Spirit, and we have all been called to the same glorious future"
    (Ephesians 4:4).

    "For he has rescued us from the one who rules in the kingdom of darkness, and he has brought us into the Kingdom of his dear Son. God has purchased our freedom with his blood and has forgiven all our sins. Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation. For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; All things were created and exist through Him (by His service, intervention) and in and for Him. (Amplified Bible). He existed before everything else began, and he holds all creation together. Christ is the head of the church, which is his body. He is the first of all who will rise from the dead, so he is first in everything. For it has pleased (the Father) that all the divine fullness should dwell in Him permanently. And God purposed that through Him all things should be completely reconciled back to Himself, whether on earth or in Heaven, as through Him (the Father) made peace by means of the blood of the cross. (Amplified Bible). This includes you who were once so far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions, yet now he has brought you back as his friends"
    (Colossians 1:13-22).

    "Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ's body. We are all parts of his one body, and each of us has different work to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others"
    (Romans 12:4-5).

    "The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up only one body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into Christ's body by one Spirit, and we have all received the same Spirit. Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, "I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand," that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, "I am not part of the body because I am only an ear and not an eye," would that make it any less a part of the body? Suppose the whole body were an eye- then how would you hear? Or if your whole body were just one big ear, how could you smell anything? But God made our bodies with many parts, and he has put each part just where he wants it. What a strange thing a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body"
    (1 Corinthians 12:12-20).

    That one Church includes all who have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and are serving Him as the Lord of their lives. It is also clear that Jesus� desire for the Church is that all believers be one, even as He and the Father are one
    (John 17:11). The unity for which Jesus prayed comes obviously from His redemptive work on the cross
    (Ephesians 2:16). It is a spiritual unity rather than an institutional unity.

    The New Testament testifies to a spiritual unity that both already is and yet is to be pursued. Paul exhorts us to be "diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace"
    (Ephesians 4:3, NASB). Despite denominational labels or distinctives, all true believers in Christ are one in Him. Yet unity must be cultivated and promoted within the Church at large and within local congregations.

    The same passages that declare the unity of the body of Christ also speak of the great diversity in God�s creation:
    (Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:14-21; Ephesians 4:4-7).

    So it should not surprise us if the Church contains groups that differ in theological interpretations and lifestyles. The Assemblies of God has always held that the divine inspiration of Scripture makes it the final judge in deciding matters of faith and practice
    (2 Timothy 3:16). While we may disagree with the interpretation of Scripture by other Christian groups on a variety of issues, we must heed Paul�s advice that we are not "to judge another�s servant? To his own master he stands or falls"
    (Romans 14:4, NKJV). At the same time, we must not surrender our own convictions, remembering that "each of us will give an account of himself to God"
    (Romans 14:12).

    Assemblies of God doctrine of the church

    Any description of the church local is subject to it's interpretation by the church founder(s), it's beliefs, it's creeds, it's doctrines, and it's practices. For example, here is a good description of the church local as it pertains to the Assemblies of God Church denomination:

    The Church and its Mission

    "The Church is the Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her great commission. Each believer, born of the Spirit, is an integral part of the General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn, which are written in heaven.

    "And God has put all things under the authority of Christ, and he gave him this authority for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is filled by Christ, who fills everything everywhere with his presence"
    (Ephesians 1:22-23).

    "Through him you Gentiles are also joined together as part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit"
    (Ephesians 2:22).

    "You have come to the assembly of God's firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge of all people. And you have come to the spirits of the redeemed in heaven who have now been made perfect"
    (Hebrews 12:23).

    Since God's purpose concerning man is to seek and to save that which is lost, to be worshipped by man, and to build a body of believers in the image of His Son, the priority reason for being of the Assemblies of God as part of the Church is:

    1. To be an agency of God for evangelizing the world:

    "But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere- in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth"
    (Acts 1:8).

    "Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age"
    (Matthew 28:19-20).

    "And then he told them, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned"
    (Mark 16:15-16).

    2. To be a corporate body in which man may worship God:
  • (1 Corinthians 12:13). Already quoted above.
  • 3. To be a channel of God's purpose to build a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son:
    "He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ, until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ. Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth. Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love"
    (Ephesians 4:11-16).

    "Here is a list of some of the members that God has placed in the body of Christ: first are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who can get others to work together, those who speak in unknown tongues"
    (1 Corinthians 12:28).

    "Since you are so eager to have spiritual gifts, ask God for those that will be of real help to the whole church"
    (1 Corinthians 14:12).

    The Assemblies of God exists expressly to give continuing emphasis to this reason for being in the New Testament apostolic pattern by teaching and encouraging believers to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. This experience:

    1. Enables them to evangelize in the power of the Spirit with accompanying supernatural signs:

    "And then he told them, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in tongues. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won't hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick and heal them." When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honor at God's right hand. And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked with them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs"
    (Mark 16:15-20).

    "And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give your servants great boldness in their preaching. Send your healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus." After this prayer, the building where they were meeting shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. And they preached God's message with boldness"
    (Acts 4:29-31).

    "What makes us think that we can escape if we are indifferent to this great salvation that was announced by the Lord Jesus himself? It was passed on to us by those who heard him speak, and God verified the message by signs and wonders and various miracles and by giving gifts of the Holy Spirit whenever he chose to do so"
    (Hebrews 2:3-4).

    2. Adds a necessary dimension to worshipful relationship with God.
    "But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by his Spirit, and his Spirit searches out everything and shows us even God's deep secrets. No one can know what anyone else is really thinking except that person alone, and no one can know God's thoughts except God's own Spirit. And God has actually given us his Spirit (not the world's spirit) so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. When we tell you this, we do not use words of human wisdom. We speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit's words to explain spiritual truths. But people who aren't Christians can't understand these truths from God's Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them because only those who have the Spirit can understand what the Spirit means. We who have the Spirit understand these things, but others can't understand us at all. How could they? For, "Who can know what the Lord is thinking? Who can give him counsel?" But we can understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ"
    (1 Corinthians 2:10-16).

  • (1 Corinthians Chapter 12).
  • (1 Corinthians Chapter 13).
  • (1 Corinthians Chapter 14).
  • 3. Enables them to respond to the full working of the Holy Spirit in expression of fruit and gifts and ministries as in New Testament times for the edifying of the body of Christ."
    "But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another"
    (Galatians 5:22-26).

    "He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ, until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ"
    (Ephesians 4:11-13).

    "I work very hard at this, as I depend on Christ's mighty power that works within me"
    (Colossians 1:29).

  • (1 Corinthians 14:12). Already quoted above.
  • (1 Corinthians 12:28). Already quoted above.
  • Quoted from Assemblies of God doctrine of the church

    Your life speaks so loudly
    I can't hear what you are saying

    The Ministry of the Church

    A divinely called and scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for the threefold purpose of leading the Church in:

    1. Evangelization of the world.

    "And then he told them, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won't hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick and heal them" When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honor at God's right hand. 20And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked with them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs"
    (Mark 16:15-20).
    2. Worship of God.
    "But the time is coming and is already here when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for anyone who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth"
    (John 4:23-24).
    3. Building a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son.
    "He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ, until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ. Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth. Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love"
    (Ephesians 4:11-16).
    Quoted from Assemblies of God ministry of the church

    The Ordinances of the Church:

    Most local churches and denominations have two ordinances: water baptism and holy communion. Some have a third ordinance: foot washing. The Assemblies of God church denomination has two. Let's take a brief look at these ordinances in light of scripture.

    Baptism in Water

    "The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded by the Scriptures. All who repent and believe on Christ as Saviour and Lord are to be baptized. Thus they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life."

    "Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit"
    (Matthew 28:19).

    "Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned"
    (Mark 16:16).

    "Then Peter asked, "Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?" So he gave orders for them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Afterward Cornelius asked him to stay with them for several days"
    (Acts 10:47-48).

    "For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives"
    (Romans 6:4).

    Holy Communion

    The Lord's Supper, consisting of the elements- unleavened bread and the non-alcoholic fruit of the vine- is the symbol:

    expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ:

    "And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature"
    (2 Peter 1:4).
    a memorial of his suffering and death:
    "For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord's death until he comes again"
    (1 Corinthians 11:26).
    a prophecy of His second coming:
    "For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord's death until he comes again"
    (1 Corinthians 11:26).
    and is enjoined on all believers "till He come!"




    The Second Coming of Jesus Christ
    (pre-trib pre-mil)

    In this section we will study about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This study is in two parts:

    1. The Rapture of the Church and

    2. The Second Advent (or His literal 2nd Return to earth).

    Right now we are living in the period of world wide evangelization. The Lord is moving in a mighty way all across the face of this earth. Why? He is seeking individuals who will love and serve Him for who He is. He wants their worship and He deserves their love and obedience. And He is building His church.

    The next major divine happening to take place is "the great catching away" also known in church circles as the rapture or the rapture of the church. The rapture is yet in the future from where we are in time now. It could happen soon from now or a thousand years from now but it is sure to take place. What happens is that Jesus is going to come to earth but not step foot on it. He will remain in the clouds and have His angel blow the trumpet. At that moment- in the twinkling of an eye, God's saved people will leave earth, be given a glorified body, and will arrive in Heaven in a very fast moment of time. How fast is it going to be? I looked up the word twinkling that is used here in the Bible in the original Greek language. It means sparkling. I went to the English dictionary to see what the word sparkling meant. It is the time that it takes a particle of sun light traveling at 186,000 miles per second to bounce off the surface of one's eye. This is how fast the rapture is going to happen. The generation that is alive when this takes place is going by the Upper-Taker rather than the under-taker.

    Then there is going to be a 7 year period of time known as Daniel's 70th week, the Great Tribulation, or The Great Tribulation Period. There will be a world dictator who will be possessed by Satan. He is known by his figurative name, Anti-christ, or the Man of Sin. His Satanic number will be 666. There will be a world religion that is opposed to Jesus Christ. The world and it's billions of people will reject God and will declare war against God. Satan's rule on the earth through the anti-christ will be absolute. Mankind's war against God will cause a lot of destruction and many will perish. A lot of details of this war are described in the Bible. The beginning of the end of this war will be when the Anti-christ gets his army together and marches against Israel to exterminate God's people by covenant, the Israelites. Jesus Christ literally comes back to earth with His righteous army and does battle with the army of Anti-christ and wins. He saves the Israelites from total annhilation.



    1. The Rapture of the Church.

    In this section we will study about the rapture of the (Universal) Church. Right now is the time of the evangelization of the world. So the rapture is the next event to take place in God's time table.

    An unknown author at The Lockman Foundation had this to say about the rapture:

    "In the marriage customs of Jesus� day, after a period of betrothal (generally about a year), there would be a ceremony (always held at night) in which the groom would come for his bride and escort her to the wedding feast. The bride and her bridesmaids awaited the bridegroom as soon as it began to get dark. When the bridegroom came, the wedding procession would begin. As the procession approached the groom�s house (or his father�s house, depending upon where the feast was held), others came out with lamps to meet the procession. All went into the wedding feast together and the doors were closed. In the story of Matthew chapter 25, the bridegroom delayed and 5 virgins were not prepared for that delay. As they went off to get more oil, the bridegroom came, the procession took place, and the doors were shut."

    The implication here from scripture is that Jesus Christ came when expected the least and took those folks in the Rapture who were ready and looking for Him the most. The rest were left behind.

    James L. Melton is his article titled The Second Coming of Jesus Christ had this to say about the Rapture:

    Bible prophecy deals mainly with Israel, but the Church is also very important. In fact, the Church has a very SPECIAL relationship with Christ: she is His BRIDE
    (Ephesians 5:25-32; Revelation 19:7-9).

    Before God can swing His full attention back to Israel, He must fulfill certain promises that He has made to the Church. While He has spent the last two thousand years chastising Israel for her disobedience, He has also been calling out a Gentile bride for the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as Joseph found a Gentile bride while he was separated from his brethren
    (Genesis 41:45), Jesus finds a Gentile bride while He is separated from the Jews. It is true that many Jews have been saved by receiving Christ, but most have not. The Church consists mostly of converted Gentiles. God is taking out from among the Gentiles a people for His name, and then He will once again take up His dealings with Israel as a nation. Notice what the Bible says in
    Acts 15:14-16, "Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up."

    In the near future God will put Israel through a very troublesome period of time known as the "great tribulation"
    (Matthew 24:21), but Christians will not have to endure the Tribulation. Paul tells us in
    1 Thessalonians 1:10 that the Church is waiting for the Lord from Heaven, not for the Great Tribulation, because He has delivered us from the wrath to come.

    1 Thessalonians 5:9 says that God has not appointed us (Christians) to wrath, but to obtain salvation through Christ. Those who have been "born again"
    (John 3:3) will soon be "caught up" to Heaven without dying. Notice what the word of God says:

    "Behold, I show 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
    (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

    "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
    (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)

    It is a "comfort" for Christians to have this blessed promise. It would NOT be a comfort if Christians had to endure the Great Tribulation. Our merciful Lord will call the Church out of this world BEFORE the Tribulation starts. After all, the Church was never really a part of this evil world system anyhow
    (James 4:4; Romans 12:2; Colossians 3:2)! We're just passing through this world to a much better place
    (Galatians 4:26), and we will be leaving very soon! What about you?

    This great departure of the saints is pictured on various occasions in the Bible. Just as God took Enoch out of the world before the flood
    (Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5), He will take His Church out of the world before the Tribulation. Just as God delivered Lot and his family from the violent judgment upon Sodom
    (Genesis 19:22-24), He will deliver His saints from the coming judgment of the Great Tribulation. Like any responsible Father, God will take proper care of His children. He will destroy the Devil's children
    (John 8:44; 1 John 3:10), but His own children are safe and secure.
    As Psalm 145:20 assures us, "The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy."

    This calling-out of the Church is commonly referred to as the "Rapture" because of the quick and surprising nature in which it occurs..."

    The Assemblies of God had some good information in regards to the rapture:
    The Rapture of the Church is also called The Blessed Hope:

    The second coming of Christ includes the rapture of the saints, which is our blessed hope, followed by the visible return of Christ with His saints to reign on earth for one thousand years.

    "You will flee through this valley, for it will reach across to Azal. Yes, you will flee as you did from the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all his holy ones with him"
    (Zechariah 14:5).

    "For as the lightning lights up the entire sky, so it will be when the Son of Man comes"
    (Matthew 24:27).

    "And then at last, the sign of the coming of the Son of Man will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the nations of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man arrive on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory"
    (Matthew 24:30).

    "Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see him- even those who pierced him. And all the nations of the earth will weep because of him. Yes! Amen!"
    (Revelation 1:7).

    "Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. And the one sitting on the horse was named Faithful and True. For he judges fairly and then goes to war. His eyes were bright like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him, and only he knew what it meant. 13He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in pure white linen, followed him on white horses"
    (Revelation 19:11-14).

    "Then I saw an angel come down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit and a heavy chain in his hand. 2He seized the dragon- that old serpent, the Devil, Satan- and bound him in chains for a thousand years. The angel threw him into the bottomless pit, which he then shut and locked so Satan could not deceive the nations anymore until the thousand years were finished. Afterward he would be released again for a little while. Then I saw thrones, and the people sitting on them had been given the authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus, for proclaiming the word of God. And I saw the souls of those who had not worshiped the beast or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their forehead or their hands. They came to life again, and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years. This is the first resurrection. (The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the thousand years had ended.) Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. For them the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him a thousand years"
    (Revelation 20:1-6).

    The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord is the imminent and blessed hope of the church.

    "For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the call of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, all the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with him forever"
    (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

    "And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering. We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children, including the new bodies he has promised us"
    (Romans 8:23).

    "...while we look forward to that wonderful event when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed"
    (Titus 2:13).

    "But let me tell you a wonderful secret God has revealed to us. Not all of us will die, but we will all be transformed. It will happen in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, the Christians who have died will be raised with transformed bodies. And then we who are living will be transformed so that we will never die"
    (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).


    Under the section "The Blessed Hope" in the Statement of Fundamental Truths of the Assemblies of God, is the following statement concerning The Rapture of the Church:

    "The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord is the imminent and blessed hope of the Church"
    (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Romans 8:23; Titus 2:13; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52).

    Jesus taught that He will return to earth. He was careful to warn His disciples to be constantly prepared for this
    (Matthew 24:42-51, 25:1-13; Mark 13:37; Luke 12:37).
    They understood that the present age will end with His coming
    (Matthew 24:3). The assurance of His return was one of the truths with which He comforted His followers before His death
    (John 14:2-3).

    At the time of Christ's ascension two angels came to the group of watching disciples to repeat the promise that He will return. They declared it would be in the same manner as He went away
    (Acts 1:11). This clearly means His second coming will be literal, physical, and visible.

    The New Testament Epistles refer often to the Second Coming, and the theme of imminence runs through all the passages of Scripture dealing with this subject. Though there would be a period of time between the first and second comings
    (Luke 19:11), the whole body of teaching concerning the return of the Lord emphasizes that it will happen suddenly without warning; that believers should be in a state of continual readiness
    (Philippians 4:5; Hebrews 10:37; James 5:8, 9; Revelation 22:10).

    Believers in the early days of the Church lived in this state of expectancy
    (1 Corinthians 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 1:9, 10). Paul's "we" in
    1 Corinthians 15:51 and 1 Thessalonians 4:17 shows that he maintained the hope he would be alive when Jesus comes back.

    A comparison of passages of Scripture relating to the Second Coming shows that some speak of a visible event seen by all mankind and involving the judgment of sinners. Others describe a coming known only to believers and resulting in their deliverance from earth.

    The latter is referred to among evangelicals as the Rapture. This word is not in the English Bible, but has been used so widely that one of the definitions of "rapture" in Webster's Third New International Dictionary Unabridged is: "Christ's raising up of His true church and its members to a realm above the earth where the whole company will enjoy celestial bliss with its Lord." The word raptured could well be used to translate the expression "caught up" of
    1 Thessalonians 4:17. Jesus said His coming will result in one individual being taken from a location while another is left. This indicates a sudden removal of believers from the earth with unbelievers left to face tribulation
    (Matthew 24:36-42).

    Jesus spoke of His return as a time when the nations of the earth shall mourn as they see Him
    (Matthew 24:30). The apostle Paul spoke of the Lord's return as a time of judgment and wrath upon the wicked
    (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).

    In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, he considered a different aspect of the Second Coming. This brief passage is the most direct and clear teaching on the Rapture in the New Testament. It speaks only of believers, living and dead. Nothing is said about the wicked seeing Christ at this time. Paul described Jesus as coming in the air, but nothing is said about His feet touching the earth, as we are told elsewhere they will at His return
    (Zechariah 14:4). It is the moment when
    1 John 3:2 will be fulfilled, and we shall be like Him.

    The same Greek word used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 for "caught up" is used in
    Acts 8:39 to describe Philip's being "caught away" after baptizing the Ethiopian. The latter verse states that the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away- identifying the source of the power that will remove believers from earth at the Rapture.

    In 2 Thessalonians 2:1 Paul called the Rapture "our gathering together unto him." The Greek word for "gathering" is the same as the one used for "assembling" in
    Hebrews 10:25, referring to the assembling of Christians for worship. It is a picture of the saints congregating around Christ at His coming for them.

    The supernatural removal of godly individuals from earth is not unknown in Scripture. The outstanding event in the life of Enoch was his miraculous disappearance from earth after years of walking with God
    (Genesis 5:21-24). The author of Hebrews called this experience a translation, bypassing death
    (Hebrews 11:5).

    Although some aspects of Elijah's translation differed from Enoch's, it also involved the sudden removal of a believer from the world without experiencing death
    (2 Kings 2:1-13).

    First Corinthians 15:51-54 deals with the same event as
    1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Here also Paul spoke of the changes that will take place in both living and dead believers at the Rapture. He called this a mystery
    (1 Corinthians 15:51), a truth previously unrevealed but made known to him by the Holy Spirit.

    In Philippians 3:21 Paul connected the Lord's coming to the time when "our vile body" will be changed- another reference to the Rapture.

    Passages which pertain to the Rapture describe the coming of the Lord for His people. Passages which refer to the revelation of Christ describe the coming of the Lord with His saints.
    Colossians 3:4 speaks of believers appearing with Christ at His coming.
    Jude 14 also foresees the Lord's return with His people to execute the judgment referred to in many other passages relating to His public appearing.

    Since Scripture does not contradict itself, it seems reasonable to conclude that the passages describing Christ's coming for the saints and with the saints indicate two phases of His coming. We believe it is scripturally correct to assume that the intervening period between the two is the time when the world will experience the Great Tribulation, involving the reign of Antichrist and the outpouring of God's wrath on the wicked
    (Daniel 12:1-2, 10-13; Matthew 24:15-31; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).

    Although God's people may endure severe trials before the Lord comes, the Church will be raptured before the period called the Great Tribulation.

    In 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2 Paul indicated certain things must take place before the Day of the Lord (of which the Great Tribulation is a part) can begin. An individual called the man of sin (Antichrist) will appear. The mystery of iniquity has been at work since Paul's time but is being restrained by the power of the Spirit working through the true Church. Only when the Church is removed from earth by the Rapture can this man come forward publicly.

    In 1 Thessalonians Chapter 5, following the passage on the Rapture in chapter 4, Paul taught about the Day of the Lord. He warned of the destruction it will bring to the wicked (verses 2-3). He was quick to assure Christians that those who abide in Christ will not be overtaken by it (verse 4).

    Still speaking of the Day of the Lord Paul wrote: "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ" (verse 9). It seems clear that he meant the deliverance of believers from the judgments of the Day of the Lord, including the Great Tribulation.

    Christians are told repeatedly in the New Testament to be watchful for the Lord's appearing. Never are they taught to watch for the Great Tribulation or the appearance of Antichrist. To expect that such things must happen before the Rapture destroys the teaching of imminence with which the New Testament is replete.

    Believers are told to wait "for his Son from heaven," not the Great Tribulation
    (1 Thessalonians 1:10). When the signs of the end of the age are evident, they are to look up and lift up their heads in expectation of their redemption, not the Great Tribulation
    (Luke 21:28).

    The signs of the Lord's coming will be fulfilled before His public appearing, but they do not have to be fulfilled before the Rapture. Any teaching that certain events must transpire before the Rapture is out of harmony with the doctrine of imminence.

    It is consistent with God's dealings with His people in the Old Testament to believe that the Church will be removed from the world before the Great Tribulation. God did not send the Flood until Noah and his family were safe in the ark. He did not destroy Sodom until Lot was taken out.

    The weight of Scripture supports a pre-Tribulation Rapture. Wherever teaching about the Second Coming occurs in the New Testament, imminence is underscored. To interpose other events before the Rapture does violence to such teaching.

    While Christians are looking forward to the coming of the Lord, it is well to remind themselves of Paul's words to Titus: "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works"
    (Titus 2:11-14).

    Quoted from:
    Position Papers are official documents of the Assemblies of God Church that have been approved by its General Presbytery.



    2. The Second Advent.

    In this section we will look at the literal second coming of Jesus Christ. Also in this section we will briefly look at the Millennial Reign of Christ, the Final Judgment, and the New Heavens and the New Earth.

    The Bible predicts that someday Jesus Christ will return, suddenly, bodily and with great glory for all to see
    (Matthew 24:30; Revelation 19:11). At that time He will judge Satan and his angels, the living and the dead, and will establish His kingdom in its fullest sense.

    His literal second coming is called His Second Advent-

    Christ will physically return to earth to rule, descending bodily from the sky
    (Acts 1:9-11).

    He will rule the world as King of Kings
    (Revelation 21:1-4).

    He will reward the members of the church for their good deeds
    (2 Corinthians 3:10-15, 5:10).

    He will also raise the dead, reward many people, and exercise judgment.

    The Millennial Reign of Christ

    The millennial reign of Christ is when He will literally rule the world from Jerusalem for 1,000 years. The prefix "mil" in the word millennium means 1,000. Now, let's take a look at this future happening in the light of scripture.

    The Assemblies of God has a lot of good information concerning the millennial reign of Christ:

    1. The millennial reign will bring the salvation of national Israel:

    "...give them this message from the Sovereign LORD: I will gather the people of Israel from among the nations. I will bring them home to their own land from the places where they have been scattered. I will unify them into one nation in the land. One king will rule them all; no longer will they be divided into two nations"
    (Ezekiel 37:21-22).

    "And I will deal severely with all who have oppressed you. I will save the weak and helpless ones; I will bring together those who were chased away. I will give glory and renown to my former exiles, who have been mocked and shamed. On that day I will gather you together and bring you home again. I will give you a good name, a name of distinction among all the nations of the earth. They will praise you as I restore your fortunes before their very eyes. I, the LORD, have spoken!"
    (Zephaniah 3:19-20).

    "And so all Israel will be saved. Do you remember what the prophets said about this? "A Deliverer will come from Jerusalem, and he will turn Israel from all ungodliness. And then I will keep my covenant with them and take away their sins"
    (Romans 11:26-27).


    2. The establishment of universal peace:

    "In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard and the goat will be at peace. Calves and yearlings will be safe among lions, and a little child will lead them all. The cattle will graze among bears. Cubs and calves will lie down together. And lions will eat grass as the livestock do. 8Babies will crawl safely among poisonous snakes. Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes and pull it out unharmed. Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain. And as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the LORD"
    (Isaiah 11:6-9).

    "May the mountains yield prosperity for all, and may the hills be fruitful, because the king does what is right. Help him to defend the poor, to rescue the children of the needy, and to crush their oppressors. May he live as long as the sun shines, as long as the moon continues in the skies. Yes, forever! May his reign be as refreshing as the springtime rains- like the showers that water the earth. May all the godly flourish during his reign. May there be abundant prosperity until the end of time. May he reign from sea to sea, and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth"
    (Psalms 72:3-8).

    "The LORD will settle international disputes. All the nations will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. All wars will stop, and military training will come to an end. Everyone will live quietly in their own homes in peace and prosperity, for there will be nothing to fear. The LORD Almighty has promised this!"
    (Micah 4:3-4).

    Quoted from

    The New Jerusalem for you and me...

    The millennial reign nearly marks the end of the world. Christ will rennovate this present world with fire in order to create a new one for us. Then the saved will live in the New Jerusalem with Him there. But, there are yet a few more happenings to take place first.

    An unknown author(s) at the Assemblies of God has done an excellent job in describing these future happenings:

    The Final Judgment-
    There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works. Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be consigned to the everlasting punishment in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

    "And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life"
    (Matthew 25:46).

    "If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better to enter heaven with only one hand than to go into the unquenchable fires of hell with two hands. If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better to enter heaven with only one foot than to be thrown into hell with two feet. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It is better to enter the Kingdom of God half blind than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where the worm never dies and the fire never goes out"
    (Mark 9:43-48).

    "And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles on behalf of the beast- miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue. Both the beast and his false prophet were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur"
    (Revelation 19:20).

    "And I saw a great white throne, and I saw the one who was sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God's throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to the things written in the books, according to what they had done. The sea gave up the dead in it, and death and the grave gave up the dead in them. They were all judged according to their deeds. And death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death- the lake of fire. And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire"
    (Revelation 20:11-15).

    "But cowards who turn away from me, and unbelievers, and the corrupt, and murderers, and the immoral, and those who practice witchcraft, and idol worshipers, and all liars- their doom is in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. This is the second death"
    (Revelation 21:8).

    The New Heavens and the New Earth-
    We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.
    "But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world where everyone is right with God"
    (2 Peter 3:13).

  • (Revelation chapter 21).
  • (Revelation chapter 22).
  • http://ag.org/top/Beliefs/Statement_of_Fundamental_Truths/sft_full.cfm#1

    Charles T. Buntin in his writing titled "The Work of Christ" had this to say about the 2nd Coming of Christ:

    "The Returning Christ"

    "The night was late as the seminary library closed. A stocky young man about 27 years old gathered up his notes and books, stuffed them in an old beat-up case, and trudged out the door. The young man, let�s call him Mike, was in his third year of seminary, and was completely confused for the first time in his Christian life. A required course, "Eschatology" (the study of last things, or the end times) was beating him to death. As he studied the conflicting opinions of great Bible scholars, he was completely amazed how these men who agreed on so many other things could be so different on this topic. As he slowly walked down the hallway, he spied Old John. Old John was the janitor in this building, a distinguished-looking old black man with a reputation as a very strong believer. John had rigged up a stool on his cleaning cart, and when it came time for a break, he would just park the cart wherever he was, sit in the stool, break out his coffee thermos and Bible, and read. Mike liked to talk to John, as did many of the students. With his many years of walking with the Lord, he was a great counselor about the practical problems of life. As Mike and he greeted one another, the young man saw that John was reading the book of Revelation- currently the great headache of Mike�s life. "John, I see you are reading Revelation. That book is driving me crazy! All the great Bible teachers teach so many different things on it, and it just isn�t clear to me at all. John, tell me, what in the world do you think the book is talking about." Old John turned to the back of the book, read the last chapter aloud, then looked up and grinned at the young student. "Young preacher, the meaning of the Book of Revelation is that Jesus Wins!"

    No topic is more confusing to a believer than the End Times. My friend, "Mike," in the story above, was not alone in his confusion. In this century, possibly more ink has been spilled about the meaning of the Book of Revelation and the theology of the end times than on any other topic of the Faith. Many great Bible teachers who agree on just about everything else disagree greatly on this doctrine- many teachers speak about the end times as if there was no doubt as to the exact scenario, but their scenarios do not agree in the least. This book will not address the controversies; we will not even define the controversies, for there are plenty of books that do that. What we will do is to define the basic orthodox requirements for a beautiful and vital doctrine that gets lost in the arguments over particulars. We will define the absolute minimums of the orthodox doctrine, but no more.

    Christ is Returning
    The second coming of Christ is a cornerstone of Biblical doctrine. It is not possible to be considered orthodox and evangelical unless you believe Jesus is coming back. Our Lord promised it, the apostles confirmed it, and the entire book of Revelation celebrates it. Below are just a few examples of the verses that establish this fact.

    John 14:1-3 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father�s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (NIV)

    Matthew 26:64 "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." (NIV)

    Luke 21:27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." (NIV)

    The return of Christ will be visible. He will not come in secret; He will not come "mystically," or only to those with eyes to see Him. All humanity will witness His coming, and those who do not belong to Him will be terrified."
    Acts 1:11 "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." (NIV)

    Matthew 24:29-30 "Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.� "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn." (NIV)

    The Second Coming of Christ will be Bodily. He will not come "spiritually," He will return in His Body. He has a body now, a glorious body, witnessed by the apostle John
    (Revelation 1:12-16), and when He comes in clouds of glory, it will be in that glorious body.
    Philippians 3:21 "who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body." (NIV)

    Zechariah 14:3 "Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south." (NIV)

    He will come in Power and Glory- unlike His first coming, His true nature will not be concealed. He will come at the head of a heavenly army, as the conquering Sovereign that He is.
    Titus 2:13 "while we wait for the blessed hope- the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, (NIV)

    Matthew 24:30 "They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory."

    "I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God
    who is sending a love letter to the world"
    -Mother Teresa

    An unknown author at Key-Way Publishing in Canada had this to say:

    Jesus Christ Is Going To Actually Return:

    "So when they had come together, they asked Him, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which The Father has fixed by His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth." And when He had said this, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as He went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, Who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven." Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem."
    (Acts 1:6-12) (RSV)

    "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; and He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other"
    (Matthew 24:29-31). (RSV)

    "Then The Lord will go forth and fight against those nations as when He fights on a day of battle. On that day His feet shall stand on The Mount Of Olives which lies before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley; so that one half of the Mount shall withdraw northward, and the other half southward. And the valley of my mountains shall be stopped up, for the valley of the mountains shall touch the side of it; and you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then The Lord your God will come, and all the holy ones with Him"
    (Zechariah 14:3-5).

    "For The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet The Lord in the air"
    (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). (RSV)

    "And The Lord will become king over all the earth; on that day The Lord will be one and His Name one"
    (Zechariah 14:9). (RSV)

    "It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of The Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it, and many nations shall come, and say: "Come, let us go up to the mountain of The Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us His ways and we may walk in His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of The Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and shall decide for strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and none shall make them afraid; for the mouth of The Lord of hosts has spoken"
    (Micah 4:1-4). (RSV)

    "And he said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true. And The Lord, the God of the spirits of the Prophets, has sent His angel to show His servants what must soon take place. And behold, I am coming soon." Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book"
    (Revelation 22:6-7). (RSV)

    "See, the LORD is coming with fire, and his swift chariots of destruction roar like a whirlwind. He will bring punishment with the fury of his anger and the flaming fire of his hot rebuke. The LORD will punish the world by fire and by his sword, and many will be killed by the LORD."
    (Isaiah 66:15-16) (NLT)

    "As surely as my new heavens and earth will remain, so will you always be my people, with a name that will never disappear," says the LORD. "All humanity will come to worship me from week to week and from month to month. And as they go out, they will see the dead bodies of those who have rebelled against me. For the worms that devour them will never die, and the fire that burns them will never go out. All who pass by will view them with utter horror."
    (Isaiah 66:22-24). (NLT)

    Wayne Jackson in his writing titled "Jesus Christ- The Righteous Warrior" had this to say about the end times:

    "The most common impression of Jesus is that of a loving, tender, compassionate Savior. But there is another side to that "coin"- the one portrayed in
    Revelation 19:11 plus following verses. One of the more awesome scenes in the final book of the Bible reads as follows:

    "And I saw the heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and he that sat thereon called Faithful and True; and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. And his eyes are a flame of fire, and upon his head are many diadems; and he hath a name written which no one knoweth but he himself. And he is arrayed in a garment sprinkled with blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and pure. And out of his mouth proceedeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God, the Almighty. And he hath on his garment and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS"
    (Revelation 19:11-16). (ASV)
    Introductory Matters

    The scene begins with John using that expression which asserts that his message is of divine origin. He saw "heaven opened"
    (see Revelation 4:1; Ezekiel 1:1). Moreover, the events of earth are under the sovereign control of him who orchestrates his will from heaven, and the apostle was given a preview of the final conflict.

    John uses his characteristic "behold" (26 times in Revelation) to enliven the narrative, to awaken attention to what he is about to describe.

    The Holy Warrior

    The primary subject of the vision was on a "white horse." "White" in Revelation can suggest either
    purity (Revelation 3:18) or
    victory (Revelation 6:2); here the latter sense seems implied- particularly in view of the astounding conquest that is described subsequently.

    The rider undeniably is Jesus Christ. He is designated as the "Word" of God, whom the apostle elsewhere identifies as the Lord Jesus
    (John 1:1,14; 1 John 1:1). Christ is the divine Word (logos) because he is the thought and voice of Heaven to humanity
    (John 1:18, 14:8). The will of God for mankind cannot be ascertained apart from the revelatory mission of Jesus of Nazareth.

    The Lord is further characterized as "faithful" because he ever was loyal to the will of his Father
    (John 8:29; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 3:2, 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22). It was Jesus� perfect life that qualified him to be the atoning sacrifice for sin
    (1 Peter 1:18-19). Moreover, he is "true" as to his witness of the will of God to our blighted race
    (Revelation 1:5, 3:7,14).

    The Purpose of His Mission

    The apostle sets forth the mission of the heavenly warrior. In righteousness he judges and makes war!

    When Jesus came to earth the first time, his purpose was to inaugurate a system of redemption for Adam�s fallen family. As he himself said: "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved"
    (John 3:17). Once that mission of mercy was implemented, no further plan was to be offered. Aside from Jesus, there is no other sacrifice for sins
    (Hebrews 10:26).

    In this latter instance, however, the Lord has not come on a mission of mercy; rather, he has arrived for judgment and the destruction of the ungodly. It is important to note the connection between "judge" and "make war." The two occur simultaneously. The war is the day ofjudgment!
    See 2 Corinthians 5:10 and 2 Thessalonians 1:7.

    One can hardly consider this context without referring back to the scene in
    Revelation chapter 16, when, in the graphic symbolism of the narrative, wrath from heaven is poured out as a prelude to a holy war. The major enemies of truth (the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet) were gathered "unto the war of the great day of God"
    (Revelation 16:14). Figuratively, it was designated as "Har-Magedon" (the hill of Megiddo). Megiddo, the most famous battlefield in history, thus becomes a symbol for the conflict that is to take place on the final day of this globe�s existence. Observe that this is "the great day of God," which corresponds to "the day of God" described by Peter in the third chapter of his second epistle
    (Revelation 16:12). It also is referred to as "the day of the Lord"
    (Revelation 16:10), or the time of "his coming"
    (Revelation 16:4).

    According to the vision in Revelation 16:13, the forces of Satan are gathered for a mighty confrontation with the Sovereign of the universe. The actual conflict is viewed in
    Revelation chapter 19- together with the predictable result.

    Significantly, it is affirmed that the Lord will act (judge and make war) in "righteousness"
    (Revelation 16:11), and be consistent with the ultimate standard of a just Deity. Abraham once expressed confidence in the fact that God would treat humanity fairly, distinguishing between the righteous and the wicked. He asked: "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
    (Genesis 18:25). The theme of divine justice is common to this book
    (Revelation 16:5,7, 19:2). The final judgment will be fair in that it will:

    take into consideration one�s level of personal knowledge
    (Luke 12:47-48),

    be consistent with one�s individual abilities
    (Luke 19:13),

    be rendered in light of one�s unique opportunities
    (Matthew 11:20),

    be cognizant of the law-system to which one was amenable
    (Hebrews 10:28-29). There are many aspects of Heaven�s judgment that we cannot appreciate from our current, limited vantage point, but on that final day, called "the day of wrath and the revelation of the righteous judgment of God"
    (Romans 2:5), our questions will be resolved, and the whole of humanity, in one fashion or another, will acknowledge the Creator�s justice
    (Romans 14:10-12).

    The Warrior Described

    John said of the Conqueror: "His eyes are a flame of fire"
    (Revelation 19:12). This descriptive has occurred twice previously in this book
    (Revelation 1:14; 2:18). The symbolism likely highlights the deep, penetrating insight of the Son of God, suggesting that he is perfectly qualified to judge. All things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him with whom we have to do
    (Hebrews 4:13).

    Upon the Lord�s head were many "crowns" (KJV), or "diadems" (ASV). There are two words for "crown" in the New Testament. There is the stephanos, the wreath of victory
    (1 Corinthians 9:25), with which Christ is adorned in the scene of
    Revelation 14:14, and which faithful saints are promised
    (Revelation 2:10). Yet, in this case, the term is diadem, the crown of royalty. The picture is that of the regal authority of the Son of God. He has the divine right of judgment and conquest.

    The apostle says the warrior "had a name written which no one knows but himself." This phrase is obscure. It is generally taken to mean that there are mysteries associated with Jesus which the human mind can never fathom.

    The Lord is here arrayed with a garment dipped in blood. "Dipped" is supported by the better manuscript evidence than is "sprinkled". But whose blood is it that so saturates this garment, that it almost looks dyed? While some would argue that the imagery points to the shed blood of the Lamb, it is more likely that the graphic is borrowed from the Old Testament- specifically
    Isaiah 63:1-6. In this sacred narrative, the prophet sees a strong and majestic being, who is returning from a devastating slaughter of the Edomites (enemies of the Lord�s people). His garment is soaked in blood- stained like one who has trod the winepress. The blood is that of those rebels who flaunted his will. God has had his "day of vengeance" upon them. No one was able to deliver these rogues from his mighty hand.

    So similarly, the Son of God shall destroy those who have resisted his grace
    (Matthew 10:28; 2 Thessalonians 1:7). Unatoned wrongs will be addressed on the final day of history
    (Luke 18:7-8; Romans 12:19; Revelation 6:9-11).

    It is intriguing to note that later in chapter 19, the beast and the kings of the earth are represented as being gathered together to make war against the Lord and his armies
    (Revelation 19:19). Some suggest this indicates that the blood cannot be the enemies�; they are alive still. But, as Mounce notes, such an argument "misunderstands the nature of apocalyptic writing". The picture emphasizes that the battle is over before it is ever engaged! Such is the Lord�s power!

    A Shared Victory

    The conquering Christ is followed by heavenly armies who also are mounted on white steeds. Moreover, they are clothed in fine linen, pure and white. This celestial army consists of the redeemed, who, by their obedience, have washed their robes in the Lamb�s blood, making them white
    (Revelation 7:14). They share in the Lamb�s victory because they were willing to commit their very lives to the Master�s cause
    (Revelation 12:10).

    The Destruction of the Enemy

    The weapon employed by the Faithful and True One is that of a sword, a sharp sword, that kept on proceeding from his mouth
    (Revelation 16:15). This is an obvious allusion to his powerful word
    (Hebrews 4:12).

    Scripture is replete with references to the incomprehensible power of the spoken word of God. No less than ten times in Genesis chapter 1 Moses employed the verb "said" in describing the creative acts by which the universe was fashioned. Later, the Psalmist expressed it like this: �By the word of Jehovah were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. . . for he spake and it was done"
    (Psalms 33:6,9). In maintaining the world, the writer of Hebrews observes that the Lord Jesus upholds all things "by the word of his power"
    (Hebrews 1:3).

    And so, at the time of judgment, the Savior will wage no carnal conflict with his enemies; he will merely speak the word, and they will be banished to eternal punishment
    (Isaiah 11:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:8).

    When John describes Christ as ruling his enemies "with a rod of iron"
    (Revelation 16:15), the picture is one of crushing judgment. The Psalmist speaks of the conquering role of the Messiah when he says that he shall "break [his foes] with a rod of iron" and "dash them in pieces like a potter�s vessel"
    (Psalms 2:9 compare with Revelation 2:27). It is interesting that the original term for "rule" hints of a shepherd�s club, by which he not only destroys the predator, but also saves the flock.

    The Messianic-warrior will tread the winepress of "the fierceness of the wrath of God, the Almighty"
    (Revelation 16:19). The "wrath" of God should not be interpreted in terms of an emotional outburst, as with frail humans; rather, it is a measured response of divine justice to human arrogance and rebellion. Too, it must be viewed against the backdrop of the Creator�s amazing love- so hatefully rejected by the masses.
    In Revelation 14:10, the apostle speaks of the "wine of the wrath of God, unmixed [also meaning undiluted, full strength] in the cup of his wrath." This judgment will forever demonstrate that he is KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.


    The most common impression of Jesus, entertained by devout Bible students, is that of a loving, tender, compassionate Savior. These qualities must never be minimized. But there is another side to that "coin" - the one portrayed in
    Revelation 19:11 - that of the righteous warrior. Don�t trifle with the Son of God!"

    Christian Courier: Archives
    Wednesday, May 26, 2004



    Worship Him!

    In this section we will look at
    the person and character of Christ,
    how Jesus Christ is the cure for any sin and rebellion in our life,
    Jesus Christ as an Intercessor,
    Jesus Christ as judge,
    faith yields works and obedience,
    the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, and
    how Jesus Christ came to destroy the works of the devil.

    Lives rooted in Christ
    are never uprooted

    David B Loughran in his writing titled "Yeshua the Messiah (The Lord Jesus Christ)" had this to say about the person and character of Christ:

    "Even eternity will not suffice to fully appreciate the personage and character of Yeshua the Messiah. Consequently in this short lesson we will seek to understand his immeasurable worth by considering just a few of the metaphors and parables which the Bible uses to declare him. And as we do this we will pray that the Holy Spirit of Yahweh will not only enlighten us as to the worth of His Son Emmanuel, but will also lift us to higher levels of Christian experience than we have hitherto thought possible. Readers will notice that we often use the Saviour's Hebrew name YESHUA. We also use the name Jesus, which is the popular Greek rendering of the Saviour's Hebrew name. We trust that students will understand that in every instance, whether we use Yeshua, Yahshua, Jesus, Emmanuel, the Master, the Saviour, I AM, the Logos etc. we are referring to the only begotten Son of the Almighty God, to the One who died for the sins of the world on Calvary. With that thought in mind let us continue.

    To begin with JESUS IS THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD. That is, he came forth or issued from God the Father, and is therefore God the Son. He is not just a good man or a great thinker. He is the Almighty's Son and is therefore God!
    (Luke 1:35, Matthew 3:17, Matthew 16:16, 1 John 4:15).

    JESUS IS THE 'LIVING WORD' OF YAHWEH, the Logos, the Spokesman, the Ambassador, the Representative of the Almighty. But he did not merely present an audible message about his Father and His work. He did far more than that. He was and still is the visible expression of Yahweh's will, a living demonstration of how the Most High wants mankind to live
    (Malachi 3:1, John 1:1, Hebrews 1:1-3).

    JESUS IS THE LAWGIVER of the past, the Advocate of the present and he will be the Judge on the future Day of Judgement. Being the only example of faultless obedience to Yahweh's Law this world has ever known, Yeshua is the only one qualified to understand and judge a sinner's case in the tribunal of heaven. He alone can recommend forgiveness or condemnation for the transgressors of Yahweh's commandments
    (James 4:12, 1 John 2:1, Acts 17:31).

    JESUS IS THE HIGH PRIEST of the Melchisedec Order, the only valid spiritual link between the Father and mankind. What's more, he will always be the High Priest of that eternal order and will live forever to make intercession for us
    (Hebrews 5:6-10).

    JESUS IS THE LAMB OF GOD, the innocent victim of sin, the one and only sin-offering the Father is unable to refuse. The merits of his amazing sacrifice will always gain access to the heart of God, and the sinner would do well to remember this great truth when seeking pardon from the Almighty
    (John 1:29-36, Acts 8:32).

    JESUS IS THE CREATOR of the visible and invisible universe; the one who brought the Father's designs into existence. The Most High was the architect of the creation, but His Son Yeshua was the builder. Indeed there is no created thing in all heaven or earth that was not brought into being by Emmanuel the Son
    (John 1:3, Hebrews 1:2, Psalm 33:6-9).

    JESUS IS THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF THE FAITH, the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last. In other words besides being the creator of the physical universe, he is also the Master builder of Yahweh's spiritual creation- the CHURCH! And just as Eve was taken from Adam's body, in like manner the Saviour is himself the source from which the Church is fashioned and formed; a church which will one day be presented to him as a bride
    (Hebrews 5:9, Hebrews 12:2, Revelation 1:11, Rev 21:2-4).

    JESUS IS THE SAVIOUR of mankind, the Redeemer, the Debt payer, the Kinsman or "next of kin" of every man, woman and child this earth has ever known. What's more he is able and willing to save to the uttermost all those who come unto him by faith
    (Matthew 1:21, John 3:16, Acts 4:12, Acts 16:30-31).

    JESUS IS THE BAPTIZER, the Cleanser, the Smelter and Refiner of precious souls and the Purifier of corrupt and filthy hearts. In fact his paramount desire is to purge his followers and make them pure and presentable to his Father
    (Malachi 3:2-3, John 1:33).

    JESUS IS THE HEALER, the great Physician, the Restorer of diseased bodies and minds, the balm of Gilead and the eye salve of the mind. Indeed he can and does still heal the sick, cleanse the leper and raise the dead, both in the physical and spiritual sense
    (Acts 10:38, Exodus 15:26, Psalm 147:3).

    JESUS IS THE SUSTAINER OF LIFE, the true Manna and the Bread of Heaven, the Water of Life, the Vine and Wine of God. Consequently any individual, institution or government which departs from the standards Yahweh gave to the universe through His Son Jesus will sooner or later end in ruin
    (John 6:48-51, 1 Corinthians 10:4).

    JESUS IS THE PRIZE, the Goal, the Reward, the Pearl of Great Price. But his worth can only be truly appreciated by those who know him; and even that will take all eternity
    (Matthew 13:45-46, Philippians 3:14).

    JESUS IS THE WAY, the Route, the Light and the Destination for all those who are desperately searching for direction and purpose in life; and who are perhaps going around in meaningless circles
    (John 14:6, Psalm 27:1).

    JESUS IS THE SHELTER, the Hiding Place, the Cleft Rock, the Fortress, the City of Refuge to which fleeing spiritual fugitives may escape from the vicious onslaught of the Devil
    (Psalm 61:2, Psalm 62:2, Psalm 94:22).

    JESUS IS THE CHAMPION, the Mighty One of Israel, the Captain of the Armies of the Lord of Hosts. And he says to the faint hearted, "Fear Not"
    (Isaiah 1:24, Luke 12:32, John 14:27).

    JESUS IS THE GREAT PROPHET, the Seer, the All-knowing One, the "One like unto Moses," the one who speaks with Yahweh face to face and to whom the future is as well known as the past. He is the Word of the Lord that enlightened all the prophets of truth from the days of Enoch to this present time
    (Deuteronomy 18:18-19, Matthew 21:11, Luke 7:16, John 6:14).

    JESUS IS THE TEACHER, the Good Master, the Chief Rabbi of Yahweh's Church and he says to all who seek true knowledge: "Learn of me."
    (John 3:1-2)

    JESUS IS THE SERVANT OF MANKIND and with astonishing humility and power he manifests that strange divine principle where "he who is the greatest among men is the servant of all." Not that Yeshua is some kind of reluctant unpaid menial, but rather that he is a ministering being whose supreme goal is to benefit the universe; the universe which he made, and for which he gave his life
    (Matthew 12:18, Philippians 2:7).

    JESUS IS THE COUNSELLOR, the Adviser, the Divine Consultant and the very Wisdom of God. He is the One who is wiser than Solomon and ringing down the ages comes the invitation to the world's ignorant masses. "If anyone lacks wisdom let him ask of God. Ask and ye shall receive"
    (Matthew 7:7-11, Isaiah 9:6, James 1:5).

    JESUS IS THE HUSBANDMAN, the Vinedresser, the Gardener of Paradise and his constant concern is to produce fruit in every season, the fruit of joyful holiness and praise in all of his myriad charges.
    (James 5:7, John 15:4-8)

    JESUS IS THE BEST FRIEND, the Constant Companion, the "one who sticketh closer than a brother" and he says to all his followers (and especially the lonely ones) "Lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."
    (Proverbs 18:24, John 15:13-15, Matthew 28:19-20).
    It would be true to add that Yeshua the Messiah is infinitely greater than all the realities of which these earthly allegories tell. But till such time as we ourselves are glorified and actually see him, we will have to be content with what we can learn about Jesus from the Holy Scriptures and from our present limited experience. Nevertheless we have this absolute assurance that there lies in store for every believer an endless measure of joyful fellowship and communion with Yeshua which no pen can possibly describe and no human mind can properly imagine. And it is with this kind of holy expectation and faith that we of the Stewarton Bible School are able to say that "we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, Yeshua the Messiah, the matchless Son of the Almighty God." And we would respectfully add that until such time as the student has accepted this fundamental Christian doctrine about the Saviour of the world, his/her walk with God has not in reality even begun."

    Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland

    An unknown author at Direction Inc. had this to say about Jesus Christ being our Saviour.

    The Problem Of Mankind Including Every Single Human Being

    "The Bible teaches that mankind�s only problem is our rebellion against God and His laws. That rebellion and disobedience is referred to as sin.

    Sin is further defined as an inner power that totally consumes and controls our actions. It is this power of sin that causes every human problem, whether they be social, mental, physical or spiritual problems. War, crime, family troubles, illness are all the results of an inner evil power which the Bible defines as sin.

    Sin also separates us from God. He will not fellowship with any form of sin or sinner. God's back is turned against the plight and anguish of a sinner- even though He loves them. And we have all sinned and fallen short of God�s glory- no human is any better than another.

    The Only Answer And Hope For Mankind

    The answer? Remove sin from the earth and all our problems immediately disappear. Life is actually that basic and simple. Our only hope individually, nationally and internationally is that we be delivered from the power of sin that dominates every human life. But how do we do that?

    Nothing in our human capacity can resolve the problem of sin. Science, education, political power, social and economic status�nor our mental and physical health professions can remove the sin within each one of us. Even "religion" is incompetent to resolve the problem of the sinner.

    Fortunately, the Bible has the answer. Another role that God has assumed for Himself in behalf of our human family is the role of Savior whereby we may be forgiven and delivered from sin�s power.

    Salvation (deliverance from sin) is an act of God alone. Although human religions and efforts have devised many methods of salvation- the Bible teaches that there is one Lord, one Savior, one method of salvation. Those who trust in His salvation are free from the guilt, fear and consequences of sin. Those who do not trust God's salvation still struggle with life- and death.

    "For salvation comes from God. What joys he gives to all his people"
    (Psalms 3:8).

    "For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it. There is no eternal doom awaiting those who trust him to save them. But those who don't trust him have already been tried and condemned for not believing in the only Son of God. Their sentence is based on this fact: that the Light from heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the Light, for their deeds were evil. They hated the heavenly Light because they wanted to sin in the darkness. They stayed away from that Light for fear their sins would be exposed and they would be punished. But those doing right come gladly to the Light to let everyone see that they are doing what God wants them to"
    (John 3:16-21).

    "I know very well how foolish it sounds to those who are lost, when they hear that Jesus died to save them. But we who are saved recognize this message as the very power of God. For God says, "I will destroy all human plans of salvation no matter how wise they seem to be, and ignore the best ideas of men, even the most brilliant of them. So what about these wise men, these scholars, these brilliant debaters of this world's great affairs? God has made them all look foolish and shown their wisdom to be useless nonsense. For God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never find God through human brilliance, and then he stepped in and saved all those who believed his message, which the world calls foolish and silly"
    (1 Corinthians 1:18-21).

    "His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And he did this because he wanted to! Now all praise to God for his wonderful kindness to us and his favor that he has poured out upon us because we belong to his dearly loved Son. So overflowing is his kindness toward us that he took away all our sins through the blood of his Son, by whom we are saved and he has showered down upon us the richness of his grace- for how well he understands us and knows what is best for us at all times. God has told us his secret reason for sending Christ, a plan he decided on in mercy long ago; and this was his purpose: that when the time is ripe he will gather us all together from wherever we are- in heaven or on earth- to be with him in Christ forever"
    (Ephesians 1:4-10).

    "It is he who saved us and chose us for his holy work not because we deserved it but because that was his plan long before the world began- to show his love and kindness to us through Christ. And now he has made all of this plain to us by the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ, who broke the power of death and showed us the way of everlasting life through trusting him"
    (2 Timothy 1:9-10)

    "God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into this wicked world to bring to us eternal life through his death. In this act we see what real love is: it is not our love for God but his love for us when he sent his Son to satisfy God's anger against our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us as much as that, we surely ought to love each other too"
    (1 John 4:11).

    An unknown author at Direction Inc. had this to say about Jesus Christ- Our Intercessor To God:

    "Mankind has no influence or authority with God in any way. We have all fallen short of God's expectations in that we have all sinned...

    "Yes, all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious ideal"
    Romans 3:23

    This means that none of us can approach God either to seek His forgiveness or ask any other thing of Him in prayer.

    "But the trouble is that your sins have cut you off from God. Because of sin he has turned his face away from you and will not listen anymore"
    (Isaiah 59:2).

    Fortunately, we have been given Someone to intercede to God in our behalf- Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Jesus is on the right hand of God as our mediator, our intercessor. We can look at it this way- that when we pray, Jesus hears our prayer and speaks for us to God something like this:

    "Father, I ask that you hear and honor this prayer because of what I have done at Calvary's cross to reunite sinful man to you."

    God hears and answers our prayers, not for anything we have done, but because of what Jesus has done for us. Every time we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, God is reminded on what His Son did at Calvary.

    "And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots"
    (Luke 23:33-34).

    "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me"
    (John 14:6).

    "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it"
    (John 14:13-14).

    "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God"
    (Romans 5:1-2).

    "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us"
    (Romans 8:34).

    "For through him (Jesus) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father"
    (Ephesians 2:18).

    "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ"
    (Ephesians 5:20).

    "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus"
    (1 Timothy 2:5).

    "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin"
    (Hebrews 4:14-15).

    "But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them"
    (Hebrews 7:24-25).

    "For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us"
    (Hebrews 9:24).

    "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world"
    (1 John 2:1-2).

    An unknown author at Direction Inc. had this to say about Jesus Christ- The Eternal Judge Of Mankind:

    Jesus Christ is the Judge of each individual. Jesus has been given the authority to be our Judge at the final judgment of all mankind- that is soon coming. His justice will be certain and fair, for Jesus knows firsthand what it means to live in human flesh.

    He too was tempted in the flesh like we are, yet Jesus was without sin. Jesus overcame all temptation to live pure and righteous, even in the evil world to which He came.

    God offers each one of us His great salvation whereby we are forgiven of our sins and empowered by His Spirit to live above sin. This salvation is available to everyone. The expectations of God is that we surrender to His salvation and Spirit to defeat sin and no longer live therein. In so doing, we will be able to stand before the judgment seat of Christ with pure hearts and righteous lives- to receive His rewards.

    Romans 6:1-23
    "Well then, shall we keep on sinning so that God can keep on showing us more and more kindness and forgiveness? Of course not! Should we keep on sinning when we don't have to? For sin's power over us was broken when we became Christians and were baptized to become a part of Jesus Christ; through his death the power of your sinful nature was shattered. Your old sin-loving nature was buried with him by baptism when he died; and when God the Father, with glorious power, brought him back to life again, you were given his wonderful new life to enjoy. For you have become a part of him, and so you died with him, so to speak, when he died; and now you share his new life and shall rise as he did. Your old evil desires were nailed to the cross with him; that part of you that loves to sin was crushed and fatally wounded, so that your sin-loving body is no longer under sin's control, no longer needs to be a slave to sin; for when you are deadened to sin you are freed from all its allure and its power over you. And since your old sin-loving nature "died" with Christ, we know that you will share his new life. Christ rose from the dead and will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. He died once for all to end sin's power, but now he lives forever in unbroken fellowship with God. So look upon your old sin nature as dead and unresponsive to sin, and instead be alive to God, alert to him, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Do not let sin control your puny body any longer; do not give in to its sinful desires. Do not let any part of your bodies become tools of wickedness, to be used for sinning; but give yourselves completely to God--every part of you- for you are back from death and you want to be tools in the hands of God, to be used for his good purposes. Sin need never again be your master, for now you are no longer tied to the law where sin enslaves you, but you are free under God's favor and mercy. Does this mean that now we can go ahead and sin and not worry about it? (For our salvation does not depend on keeping the law but on receiving God's grace!) Of course not! Don't you realize that you can choose your own master? You can choose sin (with death) or else obedience (with acquittal). The one to whom you offer yourself- he will take you and be your master, and you will be his slave. Thank God that though you once chose to be slaves of sin, now you have obeyed with all your heart the teaching to which God has committed you. And now you are free from your old master, sin; and you have become slaves to your new master, righteousness. I speak this way, using the illustration of slaves and masters, because it is easy to understand: just as you used to be slaves to all kinds of sin, so now you must let yourselves be slaves to all that is right and holy. In those days when you were slaves of sin you didn't bother much with goodness. And what was the result? Evidently not good, since you are ashamed now even to think about those things you used to do, for all of them end in eternal doom. But now you are free from the power of sin and are slaves of God, and his benefits to you include holiness and everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus."
    The salvation of God is now available regardless of whether we accept it our not. Someday we shall be judged by Him who made this great salvation available:
    "But when I, the Messiah, shall come in my glory, and all the angels with me, then I shall sit upon my throne of glory. And all the nations shall be gathered before me. And I will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and place the sheep at my right hand, and the goats at my left. Then I, the King, shall say to those at my right, 'Come, blessed of my Father, into the Kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels"
    (Matthew 25:31-33,41).

    "He (Jesus the Christ) will separate chaff from grain, and burn up the chaff with eternal fire and store away the grain"
    (Luke 3:17).

    "And he sent us to preach the Good News everywhere and to testify that Jesus is ordained of God to be the Judge of all- living and dead"
    (Acts 10:42).

    "The day will surely come when at God's command Jesus Christ will judge the secret lives of everyone, their inmost thoughts and motives; this is all part of God's great plan, which I proclaim"
    (Romans 2:16).

    "So be careful not to jump to conclusions before the Lord returns as to whether someone is a good servant or not. When the Lord comes, he will turn on the light so that everyone can see exactly what each one of us is really like, deep down in our hearts. Then everyone will know why we have been doing the Lord's work. At that time God will give to each one whatever praise is coming to him"
    (1 Corinthians 4:5).

    Come work for the Lord
    The work is hard
    The hours are long and the pay is low
    But the retirement benefits are out of this world

    An unknown author at Key-Way Publishing in Canada had this to say about Christian works in his writing titled "Works Means Obedience"

    Christian Works As Proof Of A Christian:

    "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing"
    (John 15:5 RSV).

    "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father Who is in heaven"
    (Matthew 5:16 RSV).

    "Now there was at Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity"
    (Acts 9:36 RSV).

    "The signs of a true apostle were performed among you in all patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works"
    (2 Corinthians 12:12 RSV).

    "Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good life let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom"
    (James 3:13 RSV).

    Faith And Works:
    "For He will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, He will give eternal life; but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury"
    (Romans 2:6-8 RSV).

    "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries"
    (Hebrews 10:23-27 RSV).

    "My Works Will Show You My Faith:"
    "What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him?"

    "If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead."

    "But some one will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith."

    "You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe- and shudder."

    "Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, and the scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness"; and he was called the friend of God."

    "You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone."

    "And in the same way was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead."
    (James 2:14-26 RSV)

    Harold S. Martin shares with us the uniqueness of Christ in his writing titled "THE UNIQUENESS OF JESUS CHRIST:"

    "The doctrine of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ is the most important and the most urgent issue before the church today. The cornerstone of the Christian faith is Christ's deity, death, and resurrection as the only basis of salvation for human beings. The deity and uniqueness of Jesus Christ is not a footnote to the Gospel; it is the heart of the Gospel itself.

    Many view "salvation through Jesus Christ alone" as judgmental thinking, and see the concept as a "Christianized" form of bigotry. But to proclaim Jesus Christ as "the one and only Saviour" is indeed what is declared in the Word of God. Conservative Christians may sound narrow and intolerant when they insist that there is only one way to salvation and heaven. But in declaring that fact, we are only being faithful to what Jesus himself said in
    John 14:6, and to the teaching of the apostles in passages like
    Acts 4:12 and I John 5:11-12.

    We note the words of Jesus in John 14:6, "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

    We observe the testimony of Peter in Acts 4:12, "There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved."

    We hear the witness of John in I John 5:11-12, "And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life."

    To say that a person may adopt any form of religion and still find acceptance with God, would be a denial of these biblical truths. Sincere belief in a false teaching does not provide a valid way to God. The Christian message is that persons who submit themselves to Jesus Christ, acknowledging their sins and desiring his salvation, may be assured of everlasting life
    (John 3:36).

    Further biblical support for the teaching that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation and heaven, can be found in other passages of Scripture.

    In John 10:1-15, Jesus speaks of himself as the "door", and "the good shepherd." Among other things, Jesus affirms:
    (1) that there is only one shepherd giving eternal life (namely, Jesus himself);
    (2) that there is only one door leading to life (namely, Jesus);
    (3) that there are others who pretend to be doors or shepherds, but they are thieves and robbers. We must conclude from this passage that Jesus is the only good shepherd (the only door) that leads to life.

    In Acts chapters 10 and 11 we are told about Cornelius. He was "a devout man who feared God with all his household; he gave alms generously to the people and prayed constantly to God"
    (Acts 10:2). In spite of all these good deeds, the angel of God came to Cornelius and told him where he can learn the true way to be reconciled with God
    (Acts 11:13-14). The Apostle Peter lifted up Jesus Christ as the only way of salvation, and concluded with the words, "everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name"
    (Acts 10:43). Cornelius was a sincere follower of the Jewish faith, but it was only when he had met Jesus and believed in him that he could claim salvation.

    There are some mysteries about God's eternal plan of salvation that we do not understand, but we know with absolute certainty that it is our commissioned duty to preach the gospel of salvation through faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ, and to seek to make disciples of all nations. It is hard for people to believe in one about whom they have never heard, or to hear if no one preaches the truth about Jesus Christ to them"
    (Romans 10:14).

    I don't know what tomorrow holds
    I know Who holds tomorrow

    Stephen Wagoner shares with us the uniqueness of Christ in his writing titled "The Uniqueness of Jesus Christ:"

    "Tony Campolo was on a flight to Philadelphia some years ago, and a very talkative, exuberant man sat down next to him. During the conversation the talkative companion asked Campolo what he does for a living. Campolo normally has two responses to that question:
    (1) The reply is, "I'm a sociology professor" (which usually leads to further conversation) or
    (2) "I'm a Baptist evangelist" (which usually scares people off). This time Campolo was tired and hoped to rest, so he tried the second response. But instead of being deterred, the man enthusiastically said, "Oh good! Do you know what I believe?" The man said, "I believe that going to heaven is like going to Philadelphia; you know, there are many ways to get to Philadelphia, but the destination is the same. I believe there are many religions and faiths in the world, but we are all going to the same place."

    But shortly before arriving in Philadelphia, the plane was caught in a terrible storm. The plane was being bounced around by strong winds, and passengers were holding on to their seats, and obviously scared. The pilot announced that they were having some problems coming in for a landing. Campolo couldn't resist. He leaned over to his talkative friend and said, "I'm certainly glad the pilot of this plane doesn't believe in your theology." "Oh, how's that?" the man asked. Campolo smiled and said, "Right now the pilot is depending on guidance from the control tower to make his approach. They will tell him if he is on beam, or if he needs to go a little bit farther to the left or to the right. Suppose the pilot were to radio the tower and announce, "I believe there are many different ways to land at this airport, and since the results will be the same in the end, I think I'll choose my own approach." His companion saw the lesson.


    The Bible message is clear. There is only one way to heaven. Jesus said the way is narrow and few there will be who find it. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Him. He alone can guide us safely home.

    Most often when Christians say that salvation is through Jesus alone, we are referred to as being "narrow-minded." Have you heard it? But think for a moment. Suppose that today you learned that you urgently need open heart surgery to continue living. Would you trust that operation to just anyone? Or would you seek out the best available medical facility and surgical team? Most of us would prefer the best, hoping that this would ensure a successful outcome. Is that being narrow-minded?

    When we face death squarely in the face, and all eternity is at stake, we won't want some self-proclaimed prophet who is imperfect, who was not around at the foundation of the world, who will himself some day die only to be heard from no morel No! We will prefer the guarantee of the resurrected Christ who came back from the dead! We will want to know for certain that our Redeemer lives. We will want Someone who has the qualifications described in
    Hebrews 1:14, Someone who has the radiance of God's glory, the exact likeness of God's own being, and One who can make purification for our sins. Only one Messiah meets those criteria- Jesus Christ the Lord. People don't repent for having believed in Jesus Christ when they approach the death bed.


    At baptism, we Brethren promise to turn away from evil, and with God's help we seek to live according to the teachings and example of Jesus. Even radical Bible critics must admit that Jesus' view of Scripture was solidly evangelical. Jesus trusted the Scriptures implicitly. At no point did Jesus engage in textual criticism, cite copyist errors, or label certain Old Testament stories as pious legend, myth, or fable. In fact, it is fair to say that Jesus was a creationist; He believed in the Genesis Flood, and that Noah, Jonah, and Adam were real persons. Jesus attributed the Old Testament miracles to God's mighty power, not to naturalistic phenomenon. Jesus believed that the prophets wrote of things to come, and not that the prophets wrote after the events happened in order to make their predictions appear credible.

    The crowning evidence for the inspiration and trustworthiness of the Bible is the testimony of Jesus. He quoted an obscure passage from
    Psalm 82, and then said, "The scripture cannot be broken"
    (John 10:35). Jesus quoted Exodus 3:6 (in Matthew 22:31-32), and then said that what Moses wrote "was spoken to you by God." During His earthly ministry

    He spoke of the flood that destroyed the world in Noah's time
    (Luke 17:27),

    the miracles performed by Elijah
    (Luke 4:25),

    the big fish that swallowed Jonah
    (Matthew 12:40),

    the life of David
    (Matthew 12:3),

    the glory of Solomon
    (Matthew 6:29),

    the provision of manna from heaven in the wilderness
    (John 6:31)

    and in all this record we have of Jesus' words, there is not even the slightest intimation at any time that the Scriptures may be inaccurate at any point.

    Can it be that Jesus trusted the Scriptures more than many Brethren do today? How can it be that a denomination full of people who have vowed to live according to Christ's teaching and example, allow teachings in our colleges, at the seminary, and among our leadership- that depart so markedly from Jesus' view of Scripture?

    In light of all that Jesus said about the Scriptures, and how they pointed to Him as the coming Messiah
    (Luke 24:44-48), we need to look at the Scriptures as a book to live by and to die by.


    When Jesus accepted worship on nine occasions in the Gospels- worship that
    Exodus 34:14 claims is reserved for God alone our Lord Jesus claimed divinity. When Jesus calmly announced many times in the four Gospels that He would rise from the dead; when He claimed He could forgive sins; when He made clear statements like, "I and the Father are one," and "Before Abraham was born, I AM" when He healed the sick and broke up every funeral He attended with a resurrection; when He controlled nature, and declared that He had authority to give eternal life- Jesus claimed to be God!

    Since Jesus is God, why not listen to Him when He says:

    "The Scriptures cannot be broken. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away"
    (John 10:35; Matthew 24:35).

    "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations"
    (Matthew 28:18-19). (Why baptize and teach and make disciples of people all over the globe? Because Jesus said that all authority belongs to Him! And if all authority belongs to Jesus, that means that Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, and others have none).

    "If you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins"
    (John 8:24).

    "There is a judge for the one who rejects me, and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day"
    (John 12:48).

    In John 10:1-15, Jesus explains that He is the door for the sheep. Those who enter the sheepfold through Jesus will be saved
    (verse 9). Jesus says that all who came before Him (and all who climb in by some other way) are thieves and robbers
    (verses 1 and 8). In the following paragraphs we will note what some of the promoters of the world religions say.


    No one can read the life of Jesus without being impressed by the number of women who ministered to Him out of their personal means.

    Buddha taught that women are jealous, treacherous, vicious creatures of feeling (not thought), and are not to be trusted. Hindu wives are commanded to offer incense to their husband's big toe, and bow low, before speaking each morning. How many wives of Christian men did that this morning? On a more grim note, if your husband should die before you, the Hindu Vedas command the wife to throw herself alive on his burning funeral pyre. And as if this were not cruel enough, a Hindu woman is taught that she cannot hope to merge with the universe at death, because of her sex. The best she can hope for is to so serve her husband in this life, that hopefully she can come back as a man in the next life. Only men can achieve nirvana.

    Or consider Judaism. In the eyes of the Jewish law, a woman is considered as a minor, an irresponsible person. A Jewish prayer recommended for daily use, states: "Blessed be God who hath not made me a woman." Neither the Old Testament, nor the Mishnah, has a feminine form of the Hebrew adjectives "pious," "just," and "holy." "The woman," says the law, "is in all things inferior to a man."

    Or consider Islam. When Mohammed wanted another wife, a revelation was forthcoming to sanction it. When he wanted to marry the wife of his adopted son (Zaid), his son's divorce was sanctioned by a revelation, so that Mohammed might have Zaid's wife. From such things came Islam's legitimization of polygamy, divorce by the husband at will, and slavery.

    Only against this dismal backdrop can we fully appreciate the attitude of Jesus toward women. Although the women of Israel were legally defined as personal property, totally subjected to the will of their men, Jesus came viewing women as persons of value in their own right. Women are prominent in all four Gospels. From the announcement of Jesus' coming birth to the time of the empty tomb, women play roles that no male can usurp. Strip the New Testament of its women, however briefly they are sketched in some instances, and it will become a valley of dry bones. Women have been strong links in the chain of Christian witness. Without them, where might the church be today?


    Not only did Jesus elevate womanhood to a new status, but He also had compassion on the poor and the oppressed.

    Buddhists and Hindus alike view natural disasters, crime, starvation, poverty, disease, and mental retardation as the accepted order of things. If the law of karma is a correct understanding of the order of things, then (according to the Eastern religions), we should not interfere with nature's handling of suffering. We should not seek to alleviate suffering, for if we do, then the one who suffers, will suffer even more in the next reincarnation.

    Christians do not hold that suffering now is the result of evil deeds or poor performance in the past life. Since the Fall in
    Genesis chapter 3, suffering is a part of our human experience, but mourning and crying and pain will pass away, and will not be found in God's future kingdom
    (Revelation 21:4).

    Suffering has a number of benefits: Suffering chastens us to make us more holy; it fits us for the ministry of sympathy; it turns our attention toward heaven. But Jesus, in healing the sick, restoring the ear of the high priest's servant, and in teaching us to show tender mercy and compassion toward those who suffer- teaches us by precept and example to do all we can to help alleviate suffering.

    By way of contrast, the fatalism of Islam; the disinterested, disillusioned aloofness of Buddhism; the pitiless "just desserts" view of Hindu karma- all leave human beings embroiled in suffering. Look at the section in the Koran where ninety-nine attributes of Allah are listed. There is none on love. That fact has to impoverish their world view.


    So who will be our Redeemer? Many years ago Vernon Schwalm wrote, "The Brethren were not afraid of Bible study, but they were afraid of speculative theology." Is it not speculative to insist that there are many ways to heaven, other than the Jesus way?
    Acts 4:12 says, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

    Peter and the other apostles were willing to die for that truth- and they did! So did a number of Anabaptists during the Reformation. Why should they have bothered if Jesus is not the only means of salvation?

    What we have before us is a choice between apostolic faith in Jesus Christ alone (for which many martyrs gladly laid down their lives), or faith in many paths to God (which is an apostate belief system). If Jesus is not the only way, we have surely lost our Anabaptist moorings, and are being cast adrift on mere presumption and relativism. When we proclaim the truth about Jesus Christ, we are not discussing something that is negotiable or subject to our "yay" or "nay." Our choice will not change the way of salvation; our choice will only determine who is on it.

    Jesus said, "But I, when I am lifted up...I will draw all men to myself"
    (John 12:32). This is the key to renewal and growth in the church. And if we won't believe Jesus, then let's believe the Father, who said, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him"
    (Luke 9:35). Since Jesus is God, let's proclaim it and get serious about evangelism and renewal. If, on the other hand, we believe what we like in the Bible, and reject what we like, it is no longer the Gospel that we believe, but ourselves. May God help us to choose life in Christ Jesus!

    Isaiah 9:6 predicted that God's Messiah would be the "Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Brethren have seized on Jesus as the Prince of Peace, almost at times as if peace alone were the Gospel. But Jesus is also the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father. We cannot very well proclaim Jesus as the Messiah/Prince of Peace without also lifting up the uniqueness and centrality of Jesus as God, and ultimate Ruler and Judge, who claimed that salvation can only be found through Him."

    Stephen Wagoner was pastor of the Broadfording Church of the Brethren near Hagerstown, Maryland. The essay printed here was excerpted from a message delivered on July 3, 1991 at the BRF Insight Session during the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference at Portland, Oregon.
    Quoted from the Editorial
    March/April, 1994
    Volume 29, Number 2

    Jesus Christ came to Destroy the Works of the Devil. I have another page that explains your God given authority (if you are a born again Christian) that will help you defeat the devil.
    Chapter 8
    of Dean Sherman's book, Spiritual Warfare for Every Christian, about using your God given authority. This work explains why Christ had to come as a man, the fact that Satan can be beat, Satan's plans, the way he works, and the weapons that we can use against Satan.

    Dale A. Robbins had this information to share with us in his writing titled "Defeating your Adversary, the Devil:"

    1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."

    Every Christian has an enemy. Although unseen by the natural eye, this adversary is not imaginary nor a mythological character. Satan, the Devil, is a real person- a spirit being, with intelligence, tangible characteristics, and whose incessant goal and ambition is to "steal, kill, and destroy"
    (John 10:10).

    Around the clock the enemy is on the prowl, seeking to cause mayhem and destruction to all believers and the work of Jesus Christ throughout the world. With military-like strategy and ruthless hostility, the devil aggressively searches for weakness in our faith and spiritual life, hoping to devour us with deception, temptation, or oppression. He is the personification of all that is evil and is the author of every despicable work.

    Regardless of whether you realize it, Satan has targeted you as a victim. He knows your name and address, your strengths and weaknesses. Somewhere in the shadows, he and his forces lurk, waiting, planing for the moment they will strike when you�re caught off-guard. He desperately hopes that you will, as many Christians, remain ignorant of his reality so that you�ll blame his assaults on somebody or something else.

    His method of operation is almost always "undercover." Subtly, he manipulates hindering circumstances and inspires evil thoughts or temptations, disguising his activities behind the shroud of people or things. He will always seek to divert attention and blame for his actions upon others. But make no mistake, he is the real enemy, not your husband, wife, employer, government or Christian brethren! "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places"
    (Ephesians 6:12).

    Satan has no Rightful Authority over Believers!

    The good news is that, although the Devil is described "like" a "roaring lion," in reality he has no actual authority over believers. He is not really a lion, but roars "like" a lion would to bluff his victims into fear and intimidation. Satan is a liar and deceiver and uses deception as his weapon to gain advantage over those who are ignorant of the limitations of his power.

    When Jesus gave his life on the cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the world, He also redeemed us from Satan�s power and dominion over us. "Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it"
    (Colossians 2:15).
    "...For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil"

    (1 John 3:8). Praise God! Satan is already a defeated enemy! His legal authority was neutralized by the finished work of Christ on the cross.

    Every Believer has Authority over Satan!

    So if Satan is already defeated, why then is he still able to cause trouble? Because, even though Christ broke Satan�s legal power, the Lord has left it up to us to "enforce" the Devil�s defeated condition. It's our responsibility to use the authority that Christ has given us to put Satan in his place.

    As a believer, you need not fear Satan, but realize and exercise the authority which God has given you over the Devil. Every person whose name has been recorded in the "Lamb�s Book of Life" (all those who are saved) have been given authority over the power of the Devil. "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you"
    (Luke 10:19).

    You have the right to use the authority of the name of Jesus to repel and drive Satan out of your territory and to break his grip over spiritual strongholds
    (2 Corinthians 10:4). When you recognize Satan�s activity and covert operations, take authority over him in the name of Jesus! Just as Jesus and the early apostles did, command Satan to leave
    (Mark 16:17).

    The Devil hates the name of Jesus and detests an atmosphere of praise and worship which exalts the name of Jesus. Christ said, "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them"
    (Matthew 18:20). Be assured, the presence of Christ will expel the presence of Satan. Lifting up Jesus in praise will send the Devil running!

    Slam the Door on the Devil!

    The name of Jesus will drive Satan away. But it would be futile to order Satan�s departure if we leave the door wide open for him to flourish. The Bible tells us to not "give place" for the Devil
    (Ephesians 4:27). That is, provide no area of your life where Satan can be comfortable or establish strongholds.

    The enemy can always be found working in those who entertain sin, disobedience, rebellion or a self-willed nature. Unforgiveness toward others is another area which Satan flourishes
    (2 Corinthians 2:11). Furthermore, any area of your life which is not submitted to God is considered open territory to the Devil, and he has the right to bring his expanding influence to those areas.

    This is why the scripture says, "...submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you"
    (James 4:7). The only way to actually resist Satan is to submit yourself fully to God. This was what Jesus was referring to when He said,
    "...the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me"
    (John 14:30). Jesus had submitted himself to God, and although the Devil would try Him, there was nothing for the Devil to use to gain an advantage.

    Rejoice Christian! God is in you, and YOU have been given power over the Devil! By submitting to God, and exercising your authority in the name of Jesus, you are more powerful than the enemy.
    "...He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world"
    (1 John 4:4).

    You can tell the brave from the coward
    By which way they run when trouble appears

    An old expression states that rebellion is satan's handmaid. To further amplify this thought John Piper in his writing titled "Desiring God" had this to say:

    The Son of God Appeared to Destroy the Works of the Devil

    "See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for he allows us to be called his children, and we really are! But the people who belong to this world don't know God, so they don't understand that we are his children. Yes, dear friends, we are already God's children, and we can't even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns. But we do know that when he comes we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who believe this will keep themselves pure, just as Christ is pure. Those who sin are opposed to the law of God, for all sin opposes the law of God. And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, for there is no sin in him. So if we continue to live in him, we won't sin either. But those who keep on sinning have never known him or understood who he is. Dear children, don't let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it is because they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. But when people keep on sinning, it shows they belong to the Devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy these works of the Devil. Those who have been born into God's family do not sin, because God's life is in them. So they can't keep on sinning, because they have been born of God. So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the Devil. Anyone who does not obey God's commands and does not love other Christians does not belong to God"
    (1 John 3:1-10).
    Now let's take in another concentric circle of our text and try to define the "works of the devil" more precisely. What is sin?
    1 John 3:4: "Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness." The law in John's mind here is not the U.S. Constitution. It is God's law. It's the expression of God's revealed will for his creatures.

    Lawlessness is living as though your own ideas are superior to God's. Lawlessness says, "God may demand it but I don't prefer it." Lawlessness says, "God may promise it but I don't want it." Lawlessness replaces God's law with my contrary desires. I become a law to myself. Lawlessness is rebellion against the right of God to make laws and govern his creatures.

    So now we can see better what the Son of God came to destroy. The "works of the devil" are sin. Sin is lawlessness. And lawlessness is rebellion against the right of God to rule over us. The work of Satan is to tempt us to reject the authority of God and become like God ourselves. Satan works to nurture and cultivate the pride that puts its own desires above the law of God. This is lawlessness; this is the essence of sin and this is what the Son of God came to destroy in you and me.

    So there are two ways the works of the devil are destroyed in this text. One is by the appearing of the Son of God and the other is by new birth. Now how are these two related? Why are both necessary and not just one? It's not enough for Jesus to come and die and rise again. People must be born of God. Otherwise the works of the devil are not destroyed. Sin goes on reigning. Nor is it possible that God should just cause people to be born anew without the appearance of the Son of God. Both are necessary. So we ask, how are these two related?

    Walking in the light doesn't mean that you are sinless; it means you see your sins now in God's light and respond to them the way God does.
    1 John 1:9 is a clear parallel to 1 John 3:7 and teaches this. "If we confess our sins" (that corresponds to "if we walk in the light") "he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (that corresponds to "the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin"). A person who walks in the light "confesses sin." That means he sees sin the way God does and agrees with God. He hates sin, he is sorry for sin, he turns and flees from known sin. When sin is pointed out in his life he does not bristle with self-righteousness; he confesses, admits, repents.

    Let me refer to one more verse and close with an illustration.
    1 John 5:4 says, "Whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith." The way to participate personally in Christ's victory over the world and the works of the devil is by trusting him� believing he is the very Son of God, with all that implies about his power to work for your good.

    So my encouragement to you is that the Son of God appeared to destroy the works of the devil� our sins and lawlessness and rebellion. The way he did it was by dying for sin and through the new birth. The way we participate in this victory is by trusting in the promises of God to work all things together for our good.

    May the Lord open our eyes to his glory and give us this faith."

    Happiness is knowing Christ

    The late Henry H. Halley in his book titled "Halley's Bible Handbook" had this to say about Jesus Christ. This book does not have a restrictive copyright. I now quote his work:


    This has been a profitable study, hasn't it! We have only touched a fraction of the information available about the study of Jesus Christ (Christology). If you have studied the whole way through this web page I want to thank you for your diligence and hope that you have come to love my Saviour as much as I do. I have created this web page as a love service to Him. It took me over a month of full time labor to put it all together but I have a talent for teaching and want to use my talent in His service. I got a blessing out of creating it and I hope you got a blessing from studying it. I give my thanks to all of those who I quoted.

    Love increases
    as we give it away

    In conclusion I want to present a document to you titled "God is Spirit" written by Richard L. Strauss:

    "The Lord Jesus was on His way to Galilee with His disciples. He had not taken the usual route for a Jew of His day� across the Jordan at Jericho, north along the east side of the river, then back into Galilee. Instead, He said that He had to go through Samaria
    (John 4:4). The disciples did not understand that but they went along without grumbling. They would soon learn why it was necessary to go that way. There were thirsty souls who were ready to receive Him.

    It was during that trip through Samaria that Jesus taught one of the most basic truths about God found anywhere in the Bible. Picture yourself at a well by the side of the road near the little village of Sychar and listen to our Lord�s conversation with a Samaritan woman, a rather unsavory character, to say the least. She had been married five times, and was at that moment living with a man to whom she was not married.

    Jesus had worked the conversation around to spiritual things and was responding to the woman�s comment about where people ought to worship: "Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall you worship the Father. You worship that which you do not know; we worship that which we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers"
    (John 4:21-23). It was at that point in the conversation that Jesus said something about God which had never been clearly stated before. The truth was apparent from what had been revealed in the Old Testament, but it had never been put into plain words. "God is spirit," He declared, "and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth"
    (John 4:24).

    God is spirit. There is no article in the Greek text before the word spirit, and that emphasizes the quality or essence of the word. Furthermore, the word spirit occurs first in the sentence for emphasis. The literal idea would be something like, "Absolutely spirit in His essence is God." Jesus did not leave any doubt about this truth. God is spirit!

    But what does that mean? Some have a strange idea about what a spirit is. That is particularly true of children. To them spirits mean ghosts. When two of my sons were small we overhead them talking about ghosts. The five-year-old said, "Did you know that God is a ghost? He�s the Holy Ghost." His four-year-old brother answered with great theological insight, "Yes, but he�s like Casper, the friendly ghost" (a popular television cartoon character of the day). Is that really what it means for God to be spirit? Let us examine what it does mean, as well as how it applies to our lives.

    He Is a Living Person
    We can know Him
    It is quite obvious that a spirit is alive. Our God is not an inanimate object, like a pagan idol with a mouth that cannot speak, eyes that cannot see, ears that cannot hear, and hands that cannot accomplish anything
    (Psalm 115:4-7). He is alive. The very word spirit also means "breath," and breath is the evidence of life. Throughout Scripture He is called the living God
    (Joshua 3:10; Psalm 84:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:9).

    But a spirit is also a person, not an impersonal force which acts without purpose or reason. I read in the newspaper that the British Columbia Appeal Court has ruled God to be a non-person. A suspect was observed by hidden camera praying, and in his prayer he admitted that he was guilty. The court ruled that privileged communication, which would be inadmissible in court, must take place between two people, but that since God is not a person, comments made to Him are considered to be admissible evidence.

    The judges who rendered that decision would seem to be rather unfamiliar with God�s revelation of Himself. The essential nature of personality is self-consciousness and self-determination, and God has both. He is conscious of His own being. He told Moses that His name was, "I AM WHO I AM"
    (Exodus 3:14). Only a person who is aware of Himself could make that statement. He also has the freedom to choose His own course of action according to what He considers best. He demonstrated it when He subsequently told Moses to return to Egypt, gather the elders together, and inform them that the nation was about to be delivered from Egyptian bondage
    (Exodus 3:15-17). An impersonal force does not speak and give logical directions like that.

    God also has the basic characteristics of personality� intellect, emotions, and will. He thinks, He feels, and He acts. And that is good news. Because He is a living person we can get to know Him personally and communicate with Him freely. If He were an inanimate object or an impersonal force there would be no hope of a personal relationship with Him.

    He Is Invisible
    We can know Him apart from our physical senses
    Just about everybody knows that a spirit cannot be seen. We cannot even see a human spirit. The most intimate of friends cannot see each other�s spirit and none of us can see God. Paul called Him "the invisible God"
    (Colossians 1:15), and "the King eternal, immortal, invisible"
    (1 Timothy 1:17).

    John assured us that "no man has seen God at any time"
    (John 1:18). Mortal men have seen visible manifestations which God used to reveal Himself to them and to communicate with them, as when God the Son took human form in a Bethlehem manger. But they have never seen Him fully in His spiritual being. There is no way they could. Spirits are invisible.

    Rather than spooking us out, that can be a very comforting truth. Because God is invisible, not only can we know Him, but we can know Him apart from our physical senses. We do not have to see Him or feel Him to know Him. We have spirits too, you see. God is spirit, but we have spirits housed within our physical bodies. And when our spirits are made alive toward God through the new birth, we have the capacity to commune with Him in our spirits, anytime, anywhere, and under any circumstances.

    Communion with God does not depend on external things because it takes place internally in the spiritual part of our being. That was the point of Jesus� comment to the woman at the well. Since God is spirit we must worship Him in spirit. Worship is not primarily a matter of physical location, surroundings, form, ritual, liturgy, or ceremony. It is not a matter of creating a certain kind of mood or atmosphere. It is a matter of spirit. Worship is the response of our spirits to God�s revelation of Himself.

    It is difficult for us to grasp this truth since our spirits live in physical bodies and our physical bodies inhabit a physical universe. Our occupation with the physical makes us try to put our relationship with God into that same realm. We want to be inspired to worship Him by lavish cathedrals, great art, pleasant sounds, lovely aromas, and beautifully worded liturgies. Our human natures cry out for religious symbols, images, and pictures to help us create a mood for worship. We think we have to be in a church building and follow certain prescribed procedures. God says, "You cannot reduce me to physical things that can be experienced with your senses. I dwell in the realm of spirit and that is where I want to meet with you." Physical things may direct our attention to God, particularly things He has made. But we meet with Him in our spirits. We can enjoy Him riding to work in the car, pushing the vacuum cleaner through the living room, walking from one class to another, or anywhere else. We know Him and enjoy Him in the spiritual realm, apart from the physical senses.

    He Is Immaterial
    Knowing Him delivers us from bondage to material things
    The major thing we learn about God as spirit is that He is immaterial. By that we do not mean He is insignificant or unimportant, but rather, incorporeal. He does not have a body. Jesus reaffirmed that fact to His frightened disciples shortly after the resurrection. When He entered the room in His glorified body they thought they had seen a spirit. He calmed them by saying, "See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have"
    (Luke 24:39). Spirits do not have bodies.

    This seems to present a problem, however, since Scripture does refer to God at times as though He has a body. For example, it mentions His hand and His ear
    (Isaiah 59:1), His eye (2 Chronicles 16:9), and His mouth (Matthew 4:4). Theologians call these anthropomorphisms, a word meaning "human form." They are symbolic representations used to make God�s actions more understandable to our finite minds. But God has no material substance and He is not dependent on any material thing. He dwells in the realm of spirit.

    That has some pertinent implications for our lives. If we know, love, and serve a God who does not have material substance, that should diminish our interest in material things. And that would make us different from the people around us, wouldn�t it? We live in a culture that continually tries to feed our desire for the things money can buy and the security money can provide. It is nearly impossible to escape that influence. Yesterday�s luxuries become today�s necessities. And the more we get, the less it satisfies. If we ever get everything we want, we will find that none of it brings any real contentment.

    I have a close friend who established as his goal in life to be a millionaire by the time he was forty-five years of age. He made it two years early, but it did not satisfy. His business had crowded out his time for God and left him empty and unfulfilled. I got to know him as the result of a funeral. His oldest son had been killed in an automobile accident, and it had left him despondent and disheartened. He had decided to let God have a place in his life again, but as he drove to church one Sunday after the tragedy, he admitted to himself that he really didn�t want to go to church. But he didn�t want to stay home either. In fact there was only one thing he could think of that he wanted in life, and that was to know God better. To his amazement, I announced that morning that I was beginning a series of messages on the attributes of God. His growing knowledge of God has brought him gratification that his money could never provide.

    We hear stories like that, yet because our knowledge of God is so inadequate we find it difficult to believe that material things cannot satisfy. We keep trying to acquire more and more simply because that has become our way of life. We continually ask ourselves, "How can I invest this money so it will make me more money?" There are literally hundreds of thousands of millionaires in our country, many of whom are Christians. Their Christian friends sometimes invite them to meetings to tell folks how God has blessed them. They seem to be equating God�s blessing with net worth. But that does not seem to be consistent with a God who is spirit.

    God is not opposed to money. He allows us to earn the money we have. He gives us the health, the strength, the brains, and the opportunities to acquire it. But a God whose being is spirit cannot measure blessing in terms of bank accounts, investment portfolios, or land holdings. He measures it in terms of inner peace, contentment, satisfaction, meaning, purpose, loving and joyful relationships with other people who have eternal souls, as well as a meaningful relationship with Himself. Money cannot buy those things.

    There are people talking about how much God has blessed them who know very little of what true blessing really is. Unfortunately, they confuse many of God�s people who are not wealthy and leave them feeling as though God doesn�t love them or care about them. It would be more helpful to testify about how little satisfaction money and material things can bring compared to the satisfaction which a personal relationship with God brings. Some unbelievers make lots of money too, but that does not necessarily mean that God�s blessing is on their lives. If money is the measure of blessing, then the crime syndicates and drug traffickers must be blessed above all. A God whose being is spirit does not measure blessing by the amount of material things we possess.

    Neither does He measure security in terms of how much we have stored up for the future. He can wipe out million dollar reserves as quickly as hundred dollar reserves (or ten dollar reserves, if that is closer to your financial situation). He wants us to find our security in Him, not in money or material things. He wants everything we have to be available to Him. He may not ask for all of it, but He has the right to do so if He so desires. He asked everything of a rich, young ruler, and that misguided man gave up the opportunity to receive eternal life because he was afraid of what discipleship would cost him
    (Luke 18:18-27). God would like us to be willing to give up any possession, any investment, anything He asks, and to trust Him fully with our future. We will be able to do that as we get to know the God who is spirit.

    The most important question we should be asking is not, "How can I invest my money to make more money?" or even, "How can I provide greater financial security for myself and my family?" A better question might be, "How can I use my spendable income and my available capital to glorify the Lord, to advance His cause, and to help others in need?" God gives us our money. To some He gives more than others. Nothing in Scripture would forbid modest savings or investments. But the clear emphasis of God�s Word is that money is not primarily to store up or spend for our own comforts. It is to use for God�s glory.

    That is the emphasis of Christ�s parable of the rich fool
    (Luke 12:16-21). That man hoarded riches for himself, but God never let him live to enjoy them. God said he was a fool, and his soul was required of him that very night. After telling the story Jesus added, "So is the man who lays up treasures for himself, and is not rich toward God"
    (Luke 12:21). To be rich toward God is to invest what we have over and above our needs for the salvation of souls, for the spiritual strengthening of God�s people, and for the alleviation of human suffering. That is real blessing and real security.

    The Lord Jesus summed up this subject beautifully in the Sermon on the Mount: "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also"
    (Matthew 6:19-21). We can read that, nod our agreement, then go right on laying up treasures on earth. Do you know why that is? It�s because we have not gotten to know God very intimately. We have not fully learned that, while He is interested in material things and while He can provide all that we need, He Himself is spirit, and the things on the top of His priority list relate to the spirit. Are you giving as much attention to developing your spiritual life as you are to increasing your net worth?

    Shortly after the Sermon on the Mount the Lord Jesus gave His disciples an opportunity to put His instruction into practice. He sent them out to minister two by two without money or extra supplies
    (Matthew 10:9-10). They learned that when they put His work first He takes care of their physical needs. We have opportunities to put His instructions into practice as well. There are needs all around us. How will we respond? Those who intimately know the God who is spirit will give more and more of their attention to the spiritual realm and, consequently, demonstrate a growing willingness to share their material substance with spiritual ministries and people in need. In that, the God who is spirit will be glorified."

    If you pause to think
    you'll have cause to thank

    Charles T. Buntin in his writing titled "The Essential Christian Worldview" had this to say:

    "It is our destiny and reward as believers to be conformed to the likeness, the image, of Christ. We won�t BE Him, as a pantheistic New Ager might say; we will never have His attributes of Omnipotence, Omniscience, Omnipresence, and Immutability- but our actions and our countenance will be like Him."

    May the LORD bless you
    and protect you

    May the LORD smile on you
    and be gracious to you

    May the LORD show you his favor
    and give you his peace

    (Numbers 6:24-26).

    Satan's job is to confuse you, lead you into doctrinal error, and have you believe falsely about who Jesus Christ is. The study about Jesus Christ is very important so that you will believe in Him and trust Him to be your God and Saviour. Don't be deceived. Studying the scriptures and learning the truth about Jesus Christ may keep a person out of Hell. One man could have learned this lesson:

    27 "Then the rich man said, `Please, Father Abraham, send him to my father's home.
    28 For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them about this place of torment so they won't have to come here when they die.'
    29 "But Abraham said, `Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read their writings anytime they want to.'
    30 "The rich man replied, `No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will turn from their sins.'
    31 "But Abraham said, `If they won't listen to Moses and the prophets, they won't listen even if someone rises from the dead.'"
    (Luke 16:27-31)

    The rich man said:
    SEE (a miracle) and they will BELIEVE
    but Jesus said
    Study the Scriptures and BELIEVE and they will SEE...

    Does Jesus own you? If Jesus does NOT own you then Satan does. I want you to take your time and study this matter. If you are unsure of your salvation or don't know about it then I want you to find out for sure. Please click on the above link titled "Does Jesus own you?" The information on the web page that you go to will explain why it is necessary for you to invite Christ into your heart and become "born again." Then I invite you to come back here to this web page and click on the picture below. I invite you to say the sinner's prayer and invite Him into your life. Then you will know Jesus now owns you and that you are going to Heaven after you die.

    "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life"
    (John 3:16).

    Blessed are you if you endure unto the end...

    click on the above picture if you want to learn how to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

    Elementary Teachings about Jesus Christ
    The Passion (suffering) of Jesus Christ
    Medical Details of Christ's Crucifixion
    Prophecies Concerning Jesus Christ
    An article on Christ's Resurrection
    Our Incomparable Christ article
    Celebrate Christ's Resurrection in Artwork form

    Pentecostal Evangel Magazine Articles:

    A Gift Certificate for You (which is Jesus)

    This document presented to you by the Bread On The Waters Ministry
    of Kraig Josiah Rice

    some good links

    Then Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah and World Ruler, will reign supreme over the entire world for 1,000 years from His capital city, Jerusalem. He will usher in world peace and be called the Prince of Peace. This is called the Second Advent.

    John F. Walvoord, Jesus Christ Our Lord, Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois, 1969, pages 177-190.

    John F. Walvoord, Jesus Christ Our Lord, Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois, 1969, pages 171-177.

    Child of God, love Him and obey all His words. Be His disciple. May God bless you, through the Lord Jesus Christ, His Son. Learn to see Christ as the One sent by God the Father to be our Prophet, Priest, and King."

  • The premillenial rapture of the church (1 chapter in Hall's book)

  • A link to my sermons page

    The Battle Bow Bible Teaching Series

    If you want to study the Holy Bible online then this is the place to go to.

    Take A Look


    As of April 10, 2006

  • His human nature"

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Lost your way?
    Jesus says: Follow Me
    I AM the Way

    An unknown author at gotquestions.org had this to say in his writing titled "Christology:"

    "A Biblical understanding of Jesus Christ is crucial to our salvation. Many cults and world religions claim to believe in Jesus Christ. The problem is that they do not believe in the Jesus Christ presented in the Bible. That is why Christology is so important. It helps us to understand why the deity of Christ is so crucial. It demonstrates why Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Christology teaches us that Jesus had to be man so that He could die- and had to be God so that His death would pay for our sins. It is perhaps the most important area of theology. Without a proper understanding of who Jesus Christ is and what He accomplished, all other areas of theology will be errant as well.

    Philippians 2:5-8 is perhaps the best summary of Christology: "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross!"


    The Eternality and Preexistence of Jesus Christ- Jesus Christ is Eternal

    In this section we will study the scriptures that prove Christ's preexistence. The Eternality of Jesus Christ means that Christ is eternal- He does not have a beginning or an end. It proves His deity because only God is eternal. Jesus Christ existed in times past, He exists now, and He will always exist in the future. That means that Jesus Christ was pre-existent. In this section we will take a look at the Preexistence of Christ. The definition of pre-existence means that He existed before His birth. In this section we will also take a look at

    The evidence for Christ's preexistence:
    A. His pre-existence was proved by the Old Testament (Isaiah 9:6)
    B. His pre-existence was proved by His titles.
    C. His pre-existence was proved by Christophanies (the appearance of the
              Angel of The Lord who was Christ),
              (Exodus 3:2,4; Genesis 22:11)
    D. His pre-existence was proved by the New Testament (John 8:58)
    E. His pre-existence was proved by His Works (Colossians 1:16)

    God is good all of the time
    All of the time God is good



    Christ's Preexistence Proved In the Old Testament

    In this section we will study the scriptures that prove Christ's preexistence in the Old Testament. Why? Because it is important to see Christ as eternal. It's one of the characteristics of His deity.

    "For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
    (Isaiah 9:6)

    God's provision
    is always behind
    God's call

    In "Truth For Today- Biblical Essays" Paul Mizzi had this to say about Christ's preexistence:

    Old Testament Christology:
    The Greek term "Christos" is purely equivalent to the Hebrew "Messiah," signifying "Anointed One."

    The name of Jesus and His title are inseparable. Being thus denominated, Jesus, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, is the first and principal object of the Old Testament prophecies; He is therein prefigured and promised; expected and desired by the patriarchs; the hope of the Gentiles; the glory, deliverance and consolation of Christians.

    The name Jesus, or, as the Hebrews pronounce it, Jehoshua, or Joshua, signifies the Saviour, or the Lord the Saviour. The name applies, in the full force of its signification, to Jesus of Nazareth, who saves His people from sin, death and hell. He is called Christ, or anointed, because He is consecrated by God to His mediatorial office.

    In the Old Testament Christ is revealed as the coming God-man, having a most excellent character, about whom all the Law, the Psalms and the Prophets speak, as He himself affirmed:

    "Then Jesus quoted passages from the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining what all the Scriptures said about himself"
    (Luke 24:27).

    "But if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me because he wrote about me"
    (John 5:46).

    In a very real sense, the Old Testament is full of Christ, though oftentimes in a veiled form. But with the full light of the New Testament, by His appearing, then we can read the Old Testament and cannot but be impressed and edified as we see Him there depicted in all His richness. Though the Son was incarnated at least 4,000 years after the Fall, yet all of God's elect knew about Him, trusted in Him,
    endured reproach for His sake:
    "It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be treated as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to share the oppression of God's people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of the Messiah than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to the great reward that God would give him"
    (Hebrews 11:24-26).
    looked forward for His day:
    "Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad"
    (John 8:56).
    and were justified by Him just as the New Testament saints are:
    "Now this wonderful truth- that God declared him to be righteous- wasn't just for Abraham's benefit. It was for us, too, assuring us that God will also declare us to be righteous if we believe in God, who brought Jesus our Lord back from the dead. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised from the dead to make us right with God"
    (Romans 4:23-25).
    God's people throughout the ages were dependent on the promised Messiah.
    As the Westminster Confession puts it:
    "Although the work of redemption was not actually wrought by Christ till after his incarnation, yet the virtue, efficacy, and benefits thereof, were communicated unto the elect in all ages successively from the beginning of the world, in and by those promises, types, and sacrifices, wherein he was revealed and signified to be the Seed of the woman, which should bruise the serpent's head, and the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world, being yesterday and to-day the same, and for ever"
    (Chapter 8:VI).

    A brief look at the various sections of the Old Testament will confirm how valid this affirmation is. The Son appears in numerous prophecies. All prophets before His incarnation were speaking on His behalf; Christ was speaking in and through them.

    Before Christ actually clothed Himself with our nature, He made certain appearances Christophanies (theophanies) in visible form. For instance:

    "Now go, lead the people to the place I told you about. Look! My Angel will lead the way before you!"
    (Exodus 32:34).
    The poetical books are replete with Christ in various ways and means. The Psalms, for instance, are only exhausted when seen as referring to Christ. Though not mentioned by name, His glorious person and work saturate the Songs of worship.

    Proverbs, which at first glance seems to be a purely ethical book, refers to Christ also:

    "The LORD formed me from the beginning, before he created anything else. I was appointed in ages past, at the very first, before the earth began. I was born before the oceans were created, before the springs bubbled forth their waters. Before the mountains and the hills were formed, I was born- before he had made the earth and fields and the first handfuls of soil. I was there when he established the heavens, when he drew the horizon on the oceans. I was there when he set the clouds above, when he established the deep fountains of the earth. I was there when he set the limits of the seas, so they would not spread beyond their boundaries. And when he marked off the earth's foundations, I was the architect at his side. I was his constant delight, rejoicing always in his presence. And how happy I was with what he created- his wide world and all the human family!"
    (Proverbs 8:21-31).

    "Wisdom (a name for Jesus Christ) has built her spacious house with seven pillars. She has prepared a great banquet, mixed the wines, and set the table. She has sent her servants to invite everyone to come. She calls out from the heights overlooking the city. "Come home with me," she urges the simple. To those without good judgment, she says, "Come, eat my food, and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your foolish ways behind, and begin to live; learn how to be wise. Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get a smart retort. Anyone who rebukes the wicked will get hurt. So don't bother rebuking mockers; they will only hate you. But the wise, when rebuked, will love you all the more. Teach the wise, and they will be wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn more. Fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in understanding." Wisdom (from God) will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.
    (Proverbs 9:1-12).

    If we do not see the golden thread through all the Bible, marking out Christ, we read the Scripture without the key. The Canticle expresses His love for the Church and the response of the bride to the heavenly Bridegroom.

    The prophets also saw His glory and spoke of Him:

    "The Lord has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts- so their eyes cannot see, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them. Isaiah was referring to Jesus when he made this prediction, because he was given a vision of the Messiah's glory."
    (John 12:40-41).
    Isaiah reaches such poetic heights in speaking of Christ that he is commonly known as the Evangelical Prophet. He refers to the universal dominion of Christ, the fruits of His reign and His ultimate victory. He is said to establish His kingdom through voluntary suffering and death:
    "Who has believed our message? To whom will the LORD reveal his saving power? My servant grew up in the LORD's presence like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected- a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins! But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed! All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the guilt and sins of us all. He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. From prison and trial they led him away to his death. But who among the people realized that he was dying for their sins- that he was suffering their punishment? He had done no wrong, and he never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man's grave. But it was the LORD's good plan to crush him and fill him with grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have a multitude of children, many heirs. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD's plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of what he has experienced, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. I will give him the honors of one who is mighty and great, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among those who were sinners. He bore the sins of many and interceded for sinners."
    (Isaiah Chapter 53).
    In their own ways, the other prophets speak of the Christ, as Peter affirms that they do:
    "Moses said, `The Lord your God will raise up a Prophet like me from among your own people. Listen carefully to everything he tells you.' Then Moses said, `Anyone who will not listen to that Prophet will be cut off from God's people and utterly destroyed.' "Starting with Samuel, every prophet spoke about what is happening today. You are the children of those prophets, and you are included in the covenant God promised to your ancestors. For God said to Abraham, `Through your descendants all the families on earth will be blessed.'"
    (Acts 3:22-25).
    Jeremiah presents Him as the Lord our Righteousness
    "For the time is coming," says the LORD, "when I will place a righteous Branch on King David's throne. He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land. And this is his name: `The LORD Is Our Righteousness.' In that day Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety"
    (Jeremiah 23:5-6).
    and Ezekiel adapts and develops the theme as the Spirit addresses new circumstances. Christ is described magnificently in chapter 1, and later on as the Good Shepherd:
    "And I will set one shepherd over them, even my servant David. He will feed them and be a shepherd to them. And I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David will be a prince among my people. I, the LORD, have spoken!"

    "I assure you, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! For a shepherd enters through the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they recognize his voice. They won't follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don't recognize his voice." Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn't understand what he meant, so he explained it to them. "I assure you, I am the gate for the sheep," he said. "All others who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. Wherever they go, they will find green pastures. The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness. "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will leave the sheep because they aren't his and he isn't their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he is merely hired and has no real concern for the sheep. "I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice; and there will be one flock with one shepherd."
    (Ezekiel 34:23-24; with John 10:1-16).

    Daniel's prophecy is filled with divine sovereignty. The Son of Man is none else but Jesus, who is given an everlasting kingdom of righteousness and holiness:
    "I watched as thrones were put in place and the Ancient One sat down to judge. His clothing was as white as snow, his hair like whitest wool. He sat on a fiery throne with wheels of blazing fire, and a river of fire flowed from his presence. Millions of angels ministered to him, and a hundred million stood to attend him. Then the court began its session, and the books were opened. I continued to watch because I could hear the little horn's boastful speech. I kept watching until the fourth beast was killed and its body was destroyed by fire. As for the other three beasts, their authority was taken from them, but they were allowed to live for a while longer. As my vision continued that night, I saw someone who looked like a man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. He was given authority, honor, and royal power over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal- it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed."
    (Daniel 7:9-14)
    The minor prophets are certainly not lacking in their reference to Christ. Even Jonah, which is a pure historical account, is not devoid of its Christological character. For Jonah himself is a type of Christ:
    "But Jesus replied, "Only an evil, faithless generation would ask for a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so I, the Son of Man, will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. The people of Nineveh will rise up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah. And now someone greater than Jonah is here- and you refuse to repent."
    (Matthew 12:39-41).
    Others, such as Micah, were privileged to give particular details about His coming, such as His birthplace:
    "But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village in Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past"
    (Micah 5:2).
    With Zechariah comes a lot of Christological predictions. Jesus is variously described as:

    1. The Source of His people's strength:

    "On that day the LORD will defend the people of Jerusalem; the weakest among them will be as mighty as King David! And the royal descendants will be like God, like the angel of the LORD who goes before them!"
    (Zechariah 12:8).
    2. (Malak, Messenger) of Jehovah and God's Fellow:
    "Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the family of David and on all the people of Jerusalem. They will look on me whom they have pierced and mourn for him as for an only son. They will grieve bitterly for him as for a firstborn son who has died."

    "Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, the man who is my partner, says the LORD Almighty. Strike down the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn against the lambs."
    (Zechariah 12:10; 13:7).

    3. Rich in salvation:
    "Rejoice greatly, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey- even on a donkey's colt. I will remove the battle chariots from Israel and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and I will destroy all the weapons used in battle. Your king will bring peace to the nations. His realm will stretch from sea to sea and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth"
    (Zechariah 9:9-10).
    4. High Priest and King:
    "Then I received another message from the LORD: "Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah will bring gifts of silver and gold from the Jews exiled in Babylon. As soon as they arrive, meet them at the home of Josiah son of Zephaniah. Accept their gifts and make a crown from the silver and gold. Then put the crown on the head of Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Tell him that the LORD Almighty says: Here is the man called the Branch. He will branch out where he is and build the Temple of the LORD. He will build the LORD's Temple, and he will receive royal honor and will rule as king from his throne. He will also serve as priest from his throne, and there will be perfect harmony between the two. "The crown will be a memorial in the Temple of the LORD to honor those who gave it- Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Josiah son of Zephaniah." Many will come from distant lands to rebuild the Temple of the LORD. And when this happens, you will know my messages have been from the LORD Almighty. All this will happen if you carefully obey the commands of the LORD your God."
    (Zechariah 6:9-15).
    5. The Fountain (opened for sin and uncleanness):
    "On that day a fountain will be opened for the dynasty of David and for the people of Jerusalem, a fountain to cleanse them from all their sins and defilement"
    (Zechariah 13:1).
    6. And as the One pierced by His own people:
    "Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the family of David and on all the people of Jerusalem. They will look on me whom they have pierced and mourn for him as for an only son. They will grieve bitterly for him as for a firstborn son who has died"
    (Zechariah 12:10).
    Malachi predicts that the results of His coming will be world-wide acknowledgement of Him:
    "But my name is honored by people of other nations from morning till night. All around the world they offer sweet incense and pure offerings in honor of my name. For my name is great among the nations," says the LORD Almighty."
    (Malachi 1:11),
    and great blessings for His people:
    "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do," says the LORD Almighty, "I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Let me prove it to you! Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not shrivel before they are ripe," says the LORD Almighty. "Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight," says the LORD Almighty"
    (Malachi 3:10-12).
    As the body without the spirit is dead, so the Old Testament is meaningless without Christ therein presented. He being the principal subject, the Old Testament is ever fresh and living because it presents us with the Living Word, who in the fullness of time was made of a woman:
    "But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law"
    (Galatians 4:4).
    Christ in Genesis

    Christ is in all the Scriptures. We may discover a relationship therefore between events (Creation, Fall, Flood, Babel Crisis) and characters (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph) in Genesis to our Lord Jesus Christ.


    Christ's relationship to creation is that of the firstborn (prototokos) over all of it

    "Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before God made anything at all and is supreme over all creation"
    Colossians 1:15).
    In thus designating him, Paul is not intimating that the Son was the first created being. In the Old Testament, a firstborn son would be the principal heir of an estate:
    "He must give the customary double portion to his oldest son, who represents the strength of his father's manhood and who owns the rights of the firstborn son, even though he is the son of the wife his father does not love"
    (Deuteronomy 21:17).
    Used of Christ, the term 'firstborn' means that He has such honour and dignity, not only that He was the oldest child in a family, but that Christ is especially loved by His Father:
    "For he has rescued us from the one who rules in the kingdom of darkness, and he has brought us into the Kingdom of his dear Son."
    (Colossians 1:13),
    and all things were created in Him, by Him, and for Him:
    "For it was in Him that all things were created, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, whether thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities; All things were created and exist through Him (by His service, intervention) and in and for Him. (Amplified Bible). He existed before everything else began, and he holds all creation together"
    (Colossians 1:16-17).
    Christ is Creator and Sovereign and Owner of all things.


    As soon as Adam apostasied from his Creator, the Son of God entered into his role as Mediator, or Second Adam. He was then promised as the seed of the woman that should eventually crush the serpent's head. As the Fall was decreed in God's wise and holy counsel, so Christ was predestined as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. What was lost and forfeited in Adam, Christ will not only regain but elevate to an even higher status. Man, as creature, was made lower than the angels, but will be higher than the angels, in that the elect will sit with Christ on his throne.

    Christ's relationship to the Fall is one of Restorer and Deliverer; and also that of Judge of all sinners.


    The same Hebrew terms for 'ark' and 'pitch' (with which the ark was covered) are used in
    Exodus 2:3 for the ark (of bulrushes) that protected Moses, whom God also used to bring forth a new humanity from a world under judgement.

    The Lord uniquely specified the design for the building of the ark, the Exodus tabernacle and Solomon's temple. The ark preserved Noah's covenant family through chaotic waters; the latter structures would sustain the later covenant people among the chaotic nations. When the judgement of the global flood came, God preserved his creation in miniature. God's work here was a type of Christ's work of definite redemption:

    "And they sang a new song with these words: "You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were killed, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation"
    (Revelation 5:9),
    where Christ is said to have purchased some from 'every tribe and tongue and people and nation'.

    The parallelism is seen principally in this: those who were in the ark were preserved (saved); those outside perished. The same happens to the human race throughout history: when the flood and tempest come and the winds beat and blow against each man's house, those who are in Christ will be saved, those without Christ will perish.


    At Babel God confused the tongues of men and separated them, constraining them to fill the whole earth. Those ancient people wanted to make a "name" for themselves, with the connotation that they were ambitious for fame and progeny, and wanted to find significance and immortality in their own achievements.

    But only God, through Christ gives an everlasting name:

    "I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life"
    (John 5:24),
    as he does shortly afterwards in calling Abraham from the midst of idolatry and giving him promises:
    "I will cause you to become the father of a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and I will make you a blessing to others"
    (Genesis 12:2):
    "I will make thy name great...". God grants significance and name to those who magnify His name:
    "When Seth grew up, he had a son and named him Enosh. It was during his lifetime that people first began to worship the LORD."

    "After that, Abram traveled southward and set up camp in the hill country between Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar and worshiped the LORD"
    (Genesis 4:26; and Genesis 12:8).

    "Where is the one whose power divided the sea before them, when Moses lifted up his hand, establishing his reputation forever? Where is the one who led them through the bottom of the sea? They were like fine stallions racing through the desert, never stumbling. As with cattle going down into a peaceful valley, the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest. You led your people, LORD, and gained a magnificent reputation"
    (Isaiah 63:12-14).


    Jesus' relationship to the great patriarch is that of Lord and son. He is before him ("Before Abraham was, I am.") and after him, according to the flesh. Matthew's gospel opens by tracing Jesus' genealogy from Abraham onwards, and starts with the statement: "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham."

    Abraham's hope was centred in the promised Messiah: "He (Abraham) saw it (Messiah's day) and was glad..." Christ is Abraham's greater son, through whom all believers are blessed

    "So you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have been made like him. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are all Christians- you are one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and now all the promises God gave to him belong to you"
    (Galatians 3:26-29).

    Having already graciously committed himself to Abraham, God tested Abraham's obedience in commanding him to offer his son Isaac on the altar. Abraham displayed his full commitment to the Lord, symbolically receiving Isaac, the child of promise, back from death

    "Later on God tested Abraham's faith and obedience. "Abraham!" God called. "Yes," he replied. "Here I am." "Take your son, your only son- yes, Isaac, whom you love so much- and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will point out to you." The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son Isaac. Then he chopped wood to build a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place where God had told him to go. On the third day of the journey, Abraham saw the place in the distance. "Stay here with the donkey," Abraham told the young men. "The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there, and then we will come right back." Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac's shoulders, while he himself carried the knife and the fire. As the two of them went on together, Isaac said, "Father?" "Yes, my son," Abraham replied. "We have the wood and the fire," said the boy, "but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?" "God will provide a lamb, my son," Abraham answered. And they both went on together. When they arrived at the place where God had told Abraham to go, he built an altar and placed the wood on it. Then he tied Isaac up and laid him on the altar over the wood. And Abraham took the knife and lifted it up to kill his son as a sacrifice to the LORD. At that moment the angel of the LORD shouted to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!" "Yes," he answered. "I'm listening." "Lay down the knife," the angel said. "Do not hurt the boy in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld even your beloved son from me"
    (Genesis 22:1-12).
    This event then typifies the death and resurrection of Christ, for Abraham had received the promise that it was through Isaac that his seed shall be called. Abraham knew that God was obliged to keep his promise, and he knew that a dead Isaac could not continue the covenant line.

    Hebrews 11:19 unveils Abraham's secret: he concluded that "God was able to raise (Isaac) up, even from the dead." In God's provision of the ram the sacrifice of Christ is also typified, who died instead of the elect so that they would live:

    "Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering on the altar in place of his son. Abraham named the place "The LORD Will Provide." This name has now become a proverb: "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided"
    (Genesis 22:13,14).
    "Instead of his son," signifies the substitutionary purpose of the sacrifice, and points forward to the sacrifice of Christ who died in our stead:
    "For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many."

    "He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing what is right."

    "For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ."
    (Mark 10:45; Titus 2:14; 2 Corinthians 5:21).


    In general, Abraham is the root of all promise, and the picture of the life of faith; Isaac is a type of the heavenly Man, who receives the bride Rebekkah (God's elect); and Jacob represents Israel as heir of the promises, by grace.

    Though Jacob was heir of the promises, and valued God's blessing in a selfish manner, he sought it not by faith, but tried in an evil and mean way to obtain it; first in buying the birthright when his brother was at the point of death; and then, in obtaining the blessing from his father by lying and deceit; a blessing which would surely have been his in God's way if he had waited. Refer to

    "But Jacob crossed his arms as he reached out to lay his hands on the boys' heads. So his right hand was on the head of Ephraim, the younger boy, and his left hand was on the head of Manasseh, the older. Then he blessed Joseph and said, "May God, the God before whom my grandfather Abraham and my father, Isaac, walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life, and the angel who has kept me from all harm- may he bless these boys. May they preserve my name and the names of my grandfather Abraham and my father, Isaac. And may they become a mighty nation." But Joseph was upset when he saw that his father had laid his right hand on Ephraim's head. So he lifted it to place it on Manasseh's head instead. "No, Father," he said, "this one over here is older. Put your right hand on his head." But his father refused. "I know what I'm doing, my son," he said. "Manasseh, too, will become a great people, but his younger brother will become even greater. His descendants will become a multitude of nations!" So Jacob blessed the boys that day with this blessing: "The people of Israel will use your names to bless each other. They will say, `May God make you as prosperous as Ephraim and Manasseh.' "In this way, Jacob put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh"
    (Genesis 48:14-20).
    Jacob being named Israel led to his descendants being called the children of Israel.

    They are however frequently addressed as Jacob, or house of Jacob, as if they had not preserved the higher character involved in the name of Israel. In Jacob (and his seed) then, we see most pre-eminently the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who for His (unmeriting) people tabernacled among them, so that the promises of God, in Him, might become yea and amen.


    In many respects Joseph is a striking type of the Lord Jesus. He was the beloved one of his father: this with the intimations given to him of his future position, destined for him by God in the midst of his family, stirred up the envy of his brethren and resulted in his being sold to the Gentiles: as the Lord was hated by His brethren the Jews, and sold by one of them. Joseph was accounted as dead. He was brought very low, being cast into prison, under a false accusation against him because he would not sin: his feet were "made fast in the stocks," and the iron entered his soul: in all these circumstances he was foreshadowing the Lord in his humiliation.

    On the elevation of Joseph to power he was unknown to his brethren, as the Lord in exaltation is now to His brethren after the flesh. During this time he had a Gentile wife and children and became "fruitful": so while the Lord is rejected by the Jews, God is gathering from the nations a people for His name. Joseph rules over the Gentiles, as Christ is doing now.

    Christ in the Psalms

    Christ Himself affirmed that He is mentioned regularly in the Psalms of Israel:

    "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).

    He is in the Psalms:

    a. As the Good Shepherd

    Psalm 78:52: "But made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock. And he led them on safely, so that they feared not: but the sea overwhelmed their enemies."

    b. As the Rock of Ages

    Psalm 62:1-2: "Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved."

    c. As our Light and Salvation

    Psalm 27:1: "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"

    d. As the Bringer of Righteousness

    Psalm 24:5: "He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation."

    From Psalms 22 and 69 we may point out many references to the sufferings of the Saviour: