“Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? So there was a division among the people of him.” (John 7:41-43)
I sat in a church as a guest a few weeks back and they had a guest speaker. The guest speaker started off saying how he could encourage the members of the church on how they could have confidence in their bible. I did not have a real problem with this, however; it became evident that he had some issues against the Authorized Version of the Bible. This is what most of us know as the King James Version of the Bible. Now I know that there are allot of differences between the versions of the Bible and I have my own view of which one is best. However, I did not understand how telling someone NOT to read a version of the Bible that has lasted for over 400 years and had such a great impact on the English speaking world would be productive.
So in light of that I thought that I would share my own ideas on why we can have trust in the scriptures. No there are not allot of dates and scripture textual comparisons, instead, I am looking from the perspective that the scripture is consistent. There are allot of people who say that the Bible contradicts itself, and this is one of the main arguments used against new Christians who are bold enough in their zeal to try to evangelize. This lie has been told so many times that many Christians have assumed that it is true. I will use this scripture as an example of how a lack of study, and proper context can be misleading.
There is an estimated 400 plus prophecies concerning Christ in the Old Testament. (Associates for Biblical Research. Website. http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2012/07/27/400-Prophecies-of-Christ-in-the-Old-Testament.aspx#Article)
- 117 prophecies, appearances, or foreshadowing of Christ in the Law
- 144 Prophecies, appearances, or foreshadowing of Christ in the Writings
- 153 Prophecies, appearances, or foreshadowing of Christ in the Prophets
So does the Bible contradict itself? Are the Old and New Testament in disagreement with one another? The confusion caused by this lie has gone on since the book of Genesis. Even Satan tricked Eve with misleading the message of the Word of God. This though process as we will discover is not a new phenomenon. This belief comes from a lack of knowledge of Scripture.
- Some Scripture can be ambiguous.
- Some Scripture can be symbolic and require dedicated study.
- But some Scripture just takes a little research to gain understanding.
- Some Scripture is written so plain that it cannot be missed if it is read in context with other Scripture.
- All Scripture should be read and studied with an attitude of prayer and direction of the Holy Spirit.
- “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Timothy 3:16)
Scripture tells us and most readily accept that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth yet Jesus chose the Galilean fishing village of Capernaum as His home base during His ministry. However, for those who were closet to the time period, they did not know all the circumstances of Jesus’ early childhood, that we are privileged to.
Capernaum comes from two words: Kaphar Nachum (Village of Nahum), though it does not refer to the prophet Nahum. We don’t read about this village in the Old Testament because it simply did not exist in the time period of the Old Testament. Capernaum first appeared during the 2nd century BC.
Why did Jesus privilege Capernaum as His ministry base? There has been allot of speculation. Different scholars and historians have tried to have relevant reasons for Jesus centering his ministry in this reagion.
- Some might say because Capernaum is where he successfully called the following disciples:
- Others might say because Capernaum offered a seaside escape from the hostility and drama of urban Jerusalem. But even in Capernaum, a town of about 1,500 people, Jesus would withdraw “by boat to a secluded place by Himself.”(Matthew 14:13; Mark 1:35–37)
While these are some good reasons and may have contributed to the reasoning of Jesus, there is one that is already recorded hundreds of years prior. The restoration of the Kingdom of David would be set to begin in this rejected area. Israel would be redeemed to her King and her God. The real reason that Jesus chose to begin His ministry in Capernaum is that it fulfilled prophecy and set the stage for the physical and spiritual restoration of Israel and all nations of the world.
Eight centuries before the incarnation of Jesus the Messiah, God allowed the empire of Assyria to capture and take into captivity the ten tribes of northern Israel, whose land included the Upper and Lower Galilee. God had warned His people for centuries and even up to their final days that if they did not repent, then this would be the judgement they would receive. They would be chastised by God for their disobedience. God warned them through a prophet named Hosea. Hosea 11:1-6 reads:
When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images.
I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them.
I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.
He shall not return into the land of Egypt, and the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return.
And the sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches, and devour them, because of their own counsels. (Hosea 11:1–6)
By 724 BC, Assyria had captured northern Israel. This invasion brought a massive change of populace. The influx of Gentiles repopulated the region, bringing with them their culture of pagan idols, rituals, and customs. This changed the Israelis and their way of life. This was recorded in 2 Kings.
“The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, Sepharvaim, and settled them in the cities of Samaria [the capital of Northern Israel] in place of the sons of Israel. So they possessed Samaria and lived in its cities.” (2 Kings 17:24)
For this reason, the region took on the name Galil ha’Goyim (Galilee of the Nations or Galilee of the Gentiles). These Gentiles incorporated Jewish customs into their own pagan practices, developing a range of superstitions and false doctrines. However, evidence suggests that by the time of Jesus’ arrival, many parts of Galilee had regained its Jewish identity.
Jesus’s choice of Galilee as His home base caused a stumbling block for those who looked to Scripture for Messiah, because they were ignorant. They said,
“Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he? Has not the Scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” (John 7:41–42)
- These people did not understand thatJesus was, indeed, born in Bethlehem of Judea, where David lived (Micah 5:2; Luke 2:4–20).
- He then had to flee to Egypt to escape to avoid death from the State
- After the death of King Herod Jesus returned and His family was directed to Nazareth, located in the Lower Galilee
- Jesus grew up in Nazareth (Matthew 2:13–23; paralleled in Hosea 11:1, 5).
- Later Jesus moved to Upper Galilee, in Capernaum.
It is from Capernaum that Jesus would begin the work of restoring this once contemptible land to glory, as Isaiah prophesied: Isaiah 9:1-2 says:
Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. (Isaiah 9:1-2)
This is what Matthew is referencing when he records:
And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. (Matthew 4:13-16)
Isaiah said that this glory comes from a “great light” Just so that there would be no confusion as to who or what will be the source of this “great light” in Galilee, Isaiah tells us just a few verses later how to identify it: Continuing from Isaiah 9 at verse 6.
“For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon His shoulders; and He is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Father of Everlasting, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Jesus himself said that He (Jesus ) is the light, the way, and the truth!
700 years after Isaiah’s prophecies we find that Jesus has arrived. He has been baptized (by immersion) by John the Baptist, then he was taken into the wilderness for trails and testings (put through the fire), and now enters Nazareth to declare His arrival as Messiah (Luke 4:16–21; Isaiah 61:1–2).
During this time, John the Baptist had been immersing people for the remission of their sins, proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (Matthew 3:2) Jesus had begun recruiting his early disciples and started his missionary journey in Nazareth. But while in Nazareth, Jesus learned that John had been arrested.
The apostle Matthew tells us that when Jesus heard this news, “He left Nazareth and made His home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled. …” (Matthew 4:13–14; see Isaiah 9:1–2)
Matthew wants us to know that Jesus came to this ancient land that God took away from the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali (due to their disobedience) because he wants us to understand that restoration has now arrived, as Isaiah prophesied. That restoration is in Jesus.
Matthew tells us that Jesus entered Capernaum proclaiming, just as John the Baptist — “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)
- The Kingdom of God- Has Arrived
- Jesus being there is in the direct fulfillment of prophecy
- There is no error in Scripture
- There is only error in human thought
- John the Baptist declared, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
- Jesus the Messiah declared, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
- Christian you should be declaring, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
There, in the spiritual darkness of Galilee, Jesus declared, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12; also Luke 2:29–32)
Jesus declared he was indeed the messiah, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;” (Isaiah 61:1)
Jesus backed up His claim Messiah by performing glorious acts of physical and spiritual restoration before the people of Galilee. Some examples are:
- Jesus healed a woman with an issue of blood
- Raised the dead daughter of Jairus
- Healed a nobleman’s son
- Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law
- Jesus multiplied a handful of bread and fish to feed four thousand (Matthew 15:29–39) and five thousand (Luke 9:10–17).
- Jesus expelled a legion of demons from a tormented man (Mark 5:1–20).
- Jesus walked on water (Matthew 14:22–33) and calmed a raging sea (Mark 4:35–41), restoring and strengthening His disciples’ faith in Him.
These people whom Jesus touched in some way in Galilee believed in His identity as Messiah and did not at all take offense at Him. Because of that, they were greatly blessed. The message that God has told us from Genesis to Revelation is still the same. God is always reaching out to you and me and even to Israel and the whole world to restore us back to Himself. The message of the Bible is – “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
After His baptism, Jesus came to the land of Zebulun and Naphtali in the Galilee where God’s wrath against Israel’s disobedience first manifested in exile, as prophesied by Isaiah, and He is coming again to complete the physical and spiritual restoration of David’s kingdom for both Jew and Gentile, as prophesied:
“And I will set up one shepherd over them, and He shall feed them, even My servant David; He shall feed them, and He shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them.” (Ezekiel 34:23–24)
You see the scripture can be trusted. The Old and New Testament support one another and edify one another. What we need to do is get serious with our study. If we truly believe that God exists, and that Jesus is his Son and He has paid the ultimate sacrifice for us, then what are we doing? When the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus the voice of God said, this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased, -LISTEN TO HIM.
Self-Study of Scriptures Fulfilled by Jesus.
|1. Gen. 3:15||Seed of a woman (virgin birth)||Galatians 4:4-5, Matthew 1:18|
|2. Gen. 3:15||He will bruise Satan’s head||Hebrews 2:14, 1John 3:8|
|3. Gen. 3:15||Christ’s heel would be bruised with nails on the cross||Matthew 27:35, Luke 24:39-40|
|4. Gen. 5:24||The bodily ascension to heaven illustrated||Mark 16:19, Rev. 12:5|
|5. Gen. 9:26, 27||The God of Shem will be the Son of Shem||Luke 3:23-36|
|6. Gen. 12:3||Seed of Abraham will bless all nations||Galatians 3:8, Acts 3:25, 26|
|7. Gen. 12:7||The Promise made to Abraham’s Seed||Galatians 3:16|
|8. Gen. 14:18||A priest after the order of Melchizedek||Hebrews 6:20|
|9. Gen. 14:18||King of Peace and Righteousness||Hebrews 7:2|
|10. Gen. 14:18||The Last Supper foreshadowed||Matthew 26:26-29|
|11. Gen. 17:19||Seed of Isaac (Gen. 21:12)||Romans 9:7|
|12. Gen. 22:8||The Lamb of God promised||John 1:29|
|13. Gen. 22:18||As Isaac’s seed, will bless all nations||Galatians 3:16|
|14. Gen. 26:2-5||The Seed of Isaac promised as the Redeemer||Hebrews 11:18|
|15. Gen. 28:12||The Bridge to heaven||John 1:51|
|16. Gen. 28:14||The Seed of Jacob||Luke 3:34|
|17. Gen. 49:10||The time of His coming||Luke 2:1-7; Galatians 4:4|
|18. Gen. 49:10||The Seed of Judah||Luke 3:33|
|19. Gen. 49:10||Called Shiloh or One Sent||John 17:3|
|20. Gen. 49:10||Messiah to come before Judah lost identity||John 11:47-52|
|21. Gen. 49:10||Unto Him shall the obedience of the people be||John 10:16|
|22. Ex. 3:13-15||The Great “I AM”||John 4:26; 8:58|
|23. Ex. 12:3-6||The Lamb presented to Israel 4 days before Passover||Mark 11:7-11|
|24. Ex. 12:5||A Lamb without blemish||Hebrews 9:14; 1Peter 1:19|
|25. Ex. 12:13||The blood of the Lamb saves from wrath||Romans 5:8|
|26. Ex. 12:21-27||Christ is our Passover||1Corinthians 5:7|
|27. Ex. 12:46||Not a bone of the Lamb to be broken||John 19:31-36|
|28. Ex. 15:2||His exaltation predicted as Yeshua||Acts 7:55, 56|
|29. Ex. 15:11||His Character-Holiness||Luke 1:35; Acts 4:27|
|30. Ex. 17:6||The Spiritual Rock of Israel||1Corinthians 10:4|
|31. Ex. 33:19||His Character-Merciful||Luke 1:72|
|32. Lev. 1:2-9||His sacrifice a sweet smelling savor unto God||Ephesians 5:2|
|33. Lev. 14:11||The leper cleansed-Sign to priesthood||Luke 5:12-14; Acts 6:7|
|34. Lev. 16:15-17||Prefigures Christ’s once-for-all death||Hebrews 9:7-14|
|35. Lev. 16:27||Suffering outside the Camp||Matthew 27:33; Heb. 13:11, 12|
|36. Lev. 17:11||The Blood-the life of the flesh||Matthew 26:28; Mark 10:45|
|37. Lev. 17:11||It is the blood that makes atonement||Rom. 3:23-24; 1John 1:7|
|38. Lev. 23:36-37||The Drink-offering: “If any man thirst”||John 7:37|
|39. Num. 9:12||Not a bone of Him broken||John 19:31-36|
|40. Num. 21:9||The serpent on a pole-Christ lifted up||John 3:14-18; 12:32|
|41. Num. 24:17||Time: “I shall see him, but not now.”||John 1:14; Galatians 4:4|
|42. Deut. 18:15||“This is of a truth that prophet.”||John 6:14|
|43. Deut. 18:15-16||“Had ye believed Moses, ye would believe me.”||John 5:45-47|
|44. Deut. 18:18||Sent by the Father to speak His word||John 8:28, 29|
|45. Deut. 18:19||Whoever will not hear must bear his sin||Acts 3:22-23|
|46. Deut. 21:23||Cursed is he that hangs on a tree||Galatians 3:10-13|
|47. Joshua 5:14-15||The Captain of our salvation||Hebrews 2:10|
|48. Ruth 4:4-10||Christ, our kinsman, has redeemed us||Ephesians 1:3-7|
|49. 1 Sam. 2:35||A Faithful Priest||Heb. 2:17; 3:1-3, 6; 7:24-25|
|50. 1 Sam. 2:10||Shall be an anointed King to the Lord||Mt. 28:18, John 12:15|
|51. 2 Sam. 7:12||David’s Seed||Matthew 1:1|
|52. 2 Sam. 7:13||His Kingdom is everlasting||2Peter 1:11|
|53. 2 Sam. 7:14||The Son of God||Luke 1:32, Romans 1:3-4|
|54. 2 Sam. 7:16||David’s house established forever||Luke 3:31; Rev. 22:16|
|55. 2 Ki. 2:11||The bodily ascension to heaven illustrated||Luke 24:51|
|56. 1 Chr. 17:11||David’s Seed||Matthew 1:1; 9:27|
|57. 1 Chr. 17:12-13||To reign on David’s throne forever||Luke 1:32, 33|
|58. 1 Chr. 17:13||“I will be His Father, He…my Son.”||Hebrews 1:5|
|59. Job 9:32-33||Mediator between man and God||1 Timothy 2:5|
|60. Job 19:23-27||The Resurrection predicted||John 5:24-29|
|61. Psa. 2:1-3||The enmity of kings foreordained||Acts 4:25-28|
|62. Psa. 2:2||To own the title, Anointed (Christ)||John 1:41, Acts 2:36|
|63. Psa. 2:6||His Character-Holiness||John 8:46; Revelation 3:7|
|64. Psa. 2:6||To own the title King||Matthew 2:2|
|65. Psa. 2:7||Declared the Beloved Son||Matthew 3:17, Romans 1:4|
|66. Psa. 2:7, 8||The Crucifixion and Resurrection intimated||Acts 13:29-33|
|67. Psa. 2:8, 9||Rule the nations with a rod of iron||Rev. 2:27; 12:5; 19:15|
|68. Psa. 2:12||Life comes through faith in Him||John 20:31|
|69. Psa. 8:2||The mouths of babes perfect His praise||Matthew 21:16|
|70. Psa. 8:5, 6||His humiliation and exaltation||Hebrews 2:5-9|
|71. Psa. 9:7-10||Judge the world in righteousness||Acts 17:31|
|72. Psa. 16:10||Was not to see corruption||Acts 2:31; 13:35|
|73. Psa. 16:9-11||Was to arise from the dead||John 20:9|
|74. Psa. 17:15||The resurrection predicted||Luke 24:6|
|75. Psa. 18:2-3||The horn of salvation||Luke 1:69-71|
|76. Psa. 22:1||Forsaken because of sins of others||2 Corinthians 5:21|
|77. Psa. 22:1||“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”||Matthew 27:46|
|78. Psa. 22:2||Darkness upon Calvary for three hours||Matthew 27:45|
|79. Psa. 22:7||They shoot out the lip and shake the head||Matthew 27:39-44|
|80. Psa. 22:8||“He trusted in God, let Him deliver Him”||Matthew 27:43|
|81. Psa. 22:9-10||Born the Saviour||Luke 2:7|
|82. Psa. 22:12-13||They seek His death||John 19:6|
|83. Psa. 22:14||His blood poured out when they pierced His side||John 19:34|
|84. Psa. 22:14, 15||Suffered agony on Calvary||Mark 15:34-37|
|85. Psa. 22:15||He thirsted||John 19:28|
|86. Psa. 22:16||They pierced His hands and His feet||John 19:34, 37; 20:27|
|87. Psa. 22:17, 18||Stripped Him before the stares of men||Luke 23:34, 35|
|88. Psa. 22:18||They parted His garments||John 19:23, 24|
|89. Psa. 22:20, 21||He committed Himself to God||Luke 23:46|
|90. Psa. 22:20, 21||Satanic power bruising the Redeemer’s heel||Hebrews 2:14|
|91. Psa. 22:22||His Resurrection declared||John 20:17|
|92. Psa. 22:27-28||He shall be the governor of the nations||Colossians 1:16|
|93. Psa. 22:31||“It is finished”||John 19:30, Heb. 10:10, 12, 14, 18|
|94. Psa. 23:1||“I am the Good Shepherd”||John 10:11, 1Peter 2:25|
|95. Psa. 24:3||His exaltation predicted||Acts 1:11; Philippians 2:9|
|96. Psa. 30:3||His resurrection predicted||Acts 2:32|
|97. Psa. 31:5||“Into thy hands I commit my spirit”||Luke 23:46|
|98. Psa. 31:11||His acquaintances fled from Him||Mark 14:50|
|99. Psa. 31:13||They took counsel to put Him to death||Mt. 27:1, John 11:53|
|100. Psa. 31:14, 15||“He trusted in God, let Him deliver him”||Matthew 27:43|
|101. Psa. 34:20||Not a bone of Him broken||John 19:31-36|
|102. Psa. 35:11||False witnesses rose up against Him||Matthew 26:59|
|103. Psa. 35:19||He was hated without a cause||John 15:25|
|104. Psa. 38:11||His friends stood afar off||Luke 23:49|
|105. Psa. 38:12||Enemies try to entangle Him by craft||Mark 14:1, Mt. 22:15|
|106. Psa. 38:12-13||Silent before His accusers||Matthew 27:12-14|
|107. Psa. 38:20||He went about doing good||Acts 10:38|
|108. Psa. 40:2-5||The joy of His resurrection predicted||John 20:20|
|109. Psa. 40:6-8||His delight-the will of the Father||John 4:34, Heb. 10:5-10|
|110. Psa. 40:9||He was to preach the Righteousness in Israel||Matthew 4:17|
|111. Psa. 40:14||Confronted by adversaries in the Garden||John 18:4-6|
|112. Psa. 41:9||Betrayed by a familiar friend||John 13:18|
|113. Psa. 45:2||Words of Grace come from His lips||John 1:17, Luke 4:22|
|114. Psa. 45:6||To own the title, God or Elohim||Hebrews 1:8|
|115. Psa. 45:7||A special anointing by the Holy Spirit||Mt. 3:16; Heb. 1:9|
|116. Psa. 45:7, 8||Called the Christ (Messiah or Anointed)||Luke 2:11|
|117. Psa. 45:17||His name remembered forever||Ephesians 1:20-21, Heb. 1:8|
|118. Psa. 55:12-14||Betrayed by a friend, not an enemy||John 13:18|
|119. Psa. 55:15||Unrepentant death of the Betrayer||Matthew 27:3-5; Acts 1:16-19|
|120. Psa. 68:18||To give gifts to men||Ephesians 4:7-16|
|121. Psa. 68:18||Ascended into Heaven||Luke 24:51|
|122. Psa. 69:4||Hated without a cause||John 15:25|
|123. Psa. 69:8||A stranger to own brethren||John 1:11, 7:5|
|124. Psa. 69:9||Zealous for the Lord’s House||John 2:17|
|125. Psa. 69:14-20||Messiah’s anguish of soul before crucifixion||Matthew 26:36-45|
|126. Psa. 69:20||“My soul is exceeding sorrowful.”||Matthew 26:38|
|127. Psa. 69:21||Given vinegar in thirst||Matthew 27:34|
|128. Psa. 69:26||The Saviour given and smitten by God||John 17:4; 18:11|
|129. Psa. 72:10, 11||Great persons were to visit Him||Matthew 2:1-11|
|130. Psa. 72:16||The corn of wheat to fall into the Ground||John 12:24-25|
|131. Psa. 72:17||Belief on His name will produce offspring||John 1:12, 13|
|132. Psa. 72:17||All nations shall be blessed by Him||Galatians 3:8|
|133. Psa. 72:17||All nations shall call Him blessed||John 12:13, Rev. 5:8-12|
|134. Psa. 78:1-2||He would teach in parables||Matthew 13:34-35|
|135. Psa. 78:2||To speak the Wisdom of God with authority||Matthew 7:29|
|136. Psa. 80:17||The Man of God’s right hand||Mark 14:61-62|
|137. Psa. 88||The Suffering and Reproach of Calvary||Matthew 27:26-50|
|138. Psa. 88:8||They stood afar off and watched||Luke 23:49|
|139. Psa. 89:27||Firstborn||Colossians 1:15, 18|
|140. Psa. 89:27||Emmanuel to be higher than earthly kings||Luke 1:32, 33|
|141. Psa. 89:35-37||David’s Seed, throne, kingdom endure forever||Luke 1:32, 33|
|142. Psa. 89:36-37||His character-Faithfulness||Revelation 1:5; 19:11|
|143. Psa. 90:2||He is from everlasting (Micah 5:2)||John 1:1|
|144. Psa. 91:11, 12||Identified as Messianic; used to tempt Christ||Luke 4:10, 11|
|145. Psa. 97:9||His exaltation predicted||Acts 1:11; Ephesians 1:20|
|146. Psa. 100:5||His character-Goodness||Matthew 19:16, 17|
|147. Psa. 102:1-11||The Suffering and Reproach of Calvary||John 19:16-30|
|148. Psa. 102:25-27||Messiah is the Preexistent Son||Hebrews 1:10-12|
|149. Psa. 109:25||Ridiculed||Matthew 27:39|
|150. Psa. 110:1||Son of David||Matthew 22:42-43|
|151. Psa. 110:1||To ascend to the right-hand of the Father||Mark 16:19|
|152. Psa. 110:1||David’s son called Lord||Matthew 22:44, 45|
|153. Psa. 110:4||A priest after Melchizedek’s order||Hebrews 6:20|
|154. Psa. 112:4||His character-Compassionate, Gracious, et al||Matthew 9:36|
|155. Psa. 118:17, 18||Messiah’s Resurrection assured||Luke 24:5-7; 1Cor. 15:20|
|156. Psa. 118:22, 23||The rejected stone is Head of the corner||Matthew 21:42, 43|
|157. Psa. 118:26||The Blessed One presented to Israel||Matthew 21:9|
|158. Psa. 118:26||To come while Temple standing||Matthew 21:12-15|
|159. Psa. 132:11||The Seed of David (the fruit of His Body)||Luke 1:32, Act 2:30|
|160. Psa. 129:3||He was scourged||Matthew 27:26|
|161. Psa. 138:1-6||The supremacy of David’s Seed amazes kings||Matthew 2:2-6|
|162. Psa. 147:3, 6||The earthly ministry of Christ described||Luke 4:18|
|163. Prov. 1:23||He will send the Spirit of God||John 16:7|
|164. Prov. 8:23||Foreordained from everlasting||Rev. 13:8, 1Peter 1:19-20|
|165. Song. 5:16||The altogether lovely One||John 1:17|
|166. Isa. 2:3||He shall teach all nations||John 4:25|
|167. Isa. 2:4||He shall judge among the nations||John 5:22|
|168. Isa. 6:1||When Isaiah saw His glory||John 12:40-41|
|169. Isa. 6:8||The One Sent by God||John 12:38-45|
|170. Isa. 6:9-10||Parables fall on deaf ears||Matthew 13:13-15|
|171. Isa. 6:9-12||Blinded to Christ and deaf to His words||Acts 28:23-29|
|172. Isa. 7:14||To be born of a virgin||Luke 1:35|
|173. Isa. 7:14||To be Emmanuel-God with us||Matthew 1:18-23, 1Tim. 3:16|
|174. Isa. 8:8||Called Emmanuel||Matthew 28:20|
|175. Isa. 8:14||A stone of stumbling, a Rock of offense||1Peter 2:8|
|176. Isa. 9:1, 2||His ministry to begin in Galilee||Matthew 4:12-17|
|177. Isa. 9:6||A child born-Humanity||Luke 1:31|
|178. Isa. 9:6||A Son given-Deity||Luke 1:32, John 1:14, 1Tim. 3:16|
|179. Isa. 9:6||Declared to be the Son of God with power||Romans 1:3, 4|
|180. Isa. 9:6||The Wonderful One, Peleh||Luke 4:22|
|181. Isa. 9:6||The Counsellor, Yaatz||Matthew 13:54|
|182. Isa. 9:6||The Mighty God, El Gibor||1Cor. 1:24, Titus 2:13|
|183. Isa. 9:6||The Everlasting Father, Avi Adth||John 8:58; 10:30|
|184. Isa. 9:6||The Prince of Peace, Sar Shalom||John 16:33|
|185. Isa. 9:7||Inherits the throne of David||Luke 1:32|
|186. Isa. 9:7||His Character-Just||John 5:30|
|187. Isa. 9:7||No end to his Government, Throne, and kingdom||Luke 1:33|
|188. Isa. 11:1||Called a Nazarene-the Branch, Netzer||Matthew 2:23|
|189. Isa. 11:1||A rod out of Jesse-Son of Jesse||Luke 3:23, 32|
|190. Isa. 11:2||Anointed One by the Spirit||Matthew 3:16, 17, Acts 10:38|
|191. Isa. 11:2||His Character-Wisdom, Knowledge, et al||Colossians 2:3|
|192. Isa. 11:3||He would know their thoughts||Luke 6:8, John 2:25|
|193. Isa. 11:4||Judge in righteousness||Acts 17:31|
|194. Isa. 11:4||Judges with the sword of His mouth||Rev. 2:16; 19:11, 15|
|195. Isa. 11:5||Character: Righteous & Faithful||Rev. 19:11|
|196. Isa. 11:10||The Gentiles seek Him||John 12:18-21|
|197. Isa. 12:2||Called Jesus-Yeshua||Matthew 1:21|
|198. Isa. 22:22||The One given all authority to govern||Revelation 3:7|
|199. Isa. 25:8||The Resurrection predicted||1Corinthians 15:54|
|200. Isa. 26:19||His power of Resurrection predicted||Matthew 27:50-54|
|201. Isa. 28:16||The Messiah is the precious corner stone||Acts 4:11, 12|
|202. Isa. 28:16||The Sure Foundation||1Corinthians 3:11, Mt. 16:18|
|203. Isa. 29:13||He indicated hypocritical obedience to His Word||Matthew 15:7-9|
|204. Isa. 29:14||The wise are confounded by the Word||1Corinthians 1:18-31|
|205. Isa. 32:2||A Refuge-A man shall be a hiding place||Matthew 23:37|
|206. Isa. 35:4||He will come and save you||Matthew 1:21|
|207. Isa. 35:5-6||To have a ministry of miracles||Matthew 11:2-6|
|208. Isa. 40:3, 4||Preceded by forerunner||John 1:23|
|209. Isa. 40:9||“Behold your God.”||John 1:36; 19:14|
|210. Isa. 40:10.||He will come to reward||Revelation 22:12|
|211. Isa. 40:11||A shepherd-compassionate life-giver||John 10:10-18|
|212. Isa. 42:1-4||The Servant-as a faithful, patient redeemer||Matthew 12:18-21|
|213. Isa. 42:2||Meek and lowly||Matthew 11:28-30|
|214. Isa. 42:3||He brings hope for the hopeless||Mt. 12:14-21; John 4:1-54|
|215. Isa. 42:4||The nations shall wait on His teachings||John 12:20-26|
|216. Isa. 42:6||The Light (salvation) of the Gentiles||Luke 2:32|
|217. Isa. 42:1, 6||His is a worldwide compassion||Matthew 28:19, 20|
|218. Isa. 42:7||Blind eyes opened.||John 9:25-38|
|219. Isa. 43:11||He is the only Saviour.||Acts 4:12|
|220. Isa. 44:3||He will send the Spirit of God||John 16:7, 13|
|221. Isa. 45:21-25||He is Lord and Saviour||Philippians 3:20, Titus 2:13|
|222. Isa. 45:23||He will be the Judge||John 5:22; Romans 14:11|
|223. Isa. 46:9, 10||Declares things not yet done||John 13:19|
|224. Isa. 48:12||The First and the Last||John 1:30, Revelation 1:8, 17|
|225. Isa. 48:16, 17||He came as a Teacher||John 3:2|
|226. Isa. 49:1||Called from the womb-His humanity||Matthew 1:18|
|227. Isa. 49:5||A Servant from the womb.||Luke 1:31, Philippians 2:7|
|228. Isa. 49:6||He will restore Israel||Acts 3:19-21; 15:16-17|
|229. Isa. 49:6||He is Salvation for Israel||Luke 2:29-32|
|230. Isa. 49:6||He is the Light of the Gentiles||John 8:12, Acts 13:47|
|231. Isa. 49:6||He is Salvation unto the ends of the earth||Acts 15:7-18|
|232. Isa. 49:7||He is despised of the Nation||John 1:11, 8:48-49, 19:14-15|
|233. Isa. 50:3||Heaven is clothed in black at His humiliation||Luke 23:44, 45|
|234. Isa. 50:4||He is a learned counselor for the weary||Matthew 7:29; 11:28, 29|
|235. Isa. 50:5||The Servant bound willingly to obedience||Matthew 26:39|
|236. Isa. 50:6||“I gave my back to the smiters.”||Matthew 27:26|
|237. Isa. 50:6||He was smitten on the cheeks||Matthew 26:67|
|238. Isa. 50:6||He was spat upon||Matthew 27:30|
|239. Isa. 52:7||Published good tidings upon mountains||Matthew 5:12; 15:29; 28:16|
|240. Isa. 52:13||The Servant exalted||Acts 1:8-11; Eph. 1:19-22, Php. 2:5-9|
|241. Isa. 52:14||The Servant shockingly abused||Luke 18:31-34; Mt. 26:67, 68|
|242. Isa. 52:15||Nations startled by message of the Servant||Luke 18:31-34; Mt. 26:67, 68|
|243. Isa. 52:15||His blood shed sprinkles nations||Hebrews 9:13-14, Rev. 1:5|
|244. Isa. 53:1||His people would not believe Him||John 12:37-38|
|245. Isa. 53:2||Appearance of an ordinary man||Philippians 2:6-8|
|246. Isa. 53:3||Despised||Luke 4:28-29|
|247. Isa. 53:3||Rejected||Matthew 27:21-23|
|248. Isa. 53:3||Great sorrow and grief||Matthew 26:37-38, Luke 19:41, Heb. 4:15|
|249. Isa. 53:3||Men hide from being associated with Him||Mark 14:50-52|
|250. Isa. 53:4||He would have a healing ministry||Matthew 8:16-17|
|251. Isa. 53:4||Thought to be cursed by God||Matthew 26:66; 27:41-43|
|252. Isa. 53:5||Bears penalty for mankind’s iniquities||2Cor. 5:21, Heb. 2:9|
|253. Isa. 53:5||His sacrifice provides peace between man and God||Colossians 1:20|
|254. Isa. 53:5||His sacrifice would heal man of sin||1Peter 2:24|
|255. Isa. 53:6||He would be the sin-bearer for all mankind||1John 2:2; 4:10|
|256. Isa. 53:6||God’s will that He bear sin for all mankind||Galatians 1:4|
|257. Isa. 53:7||Oppressed and afflicted||Matthew 27:27-31|
|258. Isa. 53:7||Silent before his accusers||Matthew 27:12-14|
|259. Isa. 53:7||Sacrificial lamb||John 1:29, 1Peter 1:18-19|
|260. Isa. 53:8||Confined and persecuted||Matthew 26:47-75; 27:1-31|
|261. Isa. 53:8||He would be judged||John 18:13-22|
|262. Isa. 53:8||Killed||Matthew 27:35|
|263. Isa. 53:8||Dies for the sins of the world||1John 2:2|
|264. Isa. 53:9||Buried in a rich man’s grave||Matthew 27:57|
|265. Isa. 53:9||Innocent and had done no violence||Luke 23:41, John 18:38|
|266. Isa. 53:9||No deceit in his mouth||1Peter 2:22|
|267. Isa. 53:10||God’s will that He die for mankind||John 18:11|
|268. Isa. 53:10||An offering for sin||Matthew 20:28, Galatians 3:13|
|269. Isa. 53:10||Resurrected and live forever||Romans 6:9|
|270. Isa. 53:10||He would prosper||John 17:1-5|
|271. Isa. 53:11||God fully satisfied with His suffering||John 12:27|
|272. Isa. 53:11||God’s servant would justify man||Romans 5:8-9, 18-19|
|273. Isa. 53:11||The sin-bearer for all mankind||Hebrews 9:28|
|274. Isa. 53:12||Exalted by God because of his sacrifice||Matthew 28:18|
|275. Isa. 53:12||He would give up his life to save mankind||Luke 23:46|
|276. Isa. 53:12||Numbered with the transgressors||Mark 15:27-28; Luke 22:37|
|277. Isa. 53:12||Sin-bearer for all mankind||1Peter 2:24|
|278. Isa. 53:12||Intercede to God in behalf of mankind||Luke 23:34, Rom. 8:34|
|279. Isa. 55:3||Resurrected by God||Acts 13:34|
|280. Isa. 55:4||A witness||John 18:37|
|281. Isa. 55:4||He is a leader and commander||Hebrews 2:10|
|282. Isa. 55:5||God would glorify Him||Acts 3:13|
|283. Isa. 59:16a||Intercessor between man and God||Matthew 10:32|
|284. Isa. 59:16b||He would come to provide salvation||John 6:40|
|285. Isa. 59:20||He would come to Zion as their Redeemer||Luke 2:38|
|286. Isa. 60:1-3||He would shew light to the Gentiles||Acts 26:23|
|287. Isa. 61:1||The Spirit of God upon him||Matthew 3:16-17|
|288. Isa. 61:1||The Messiah would preach the good news||Luke 4:16-21|
|289. Isa. 61:1||Provide freedom from the bondage of sin||John 8:31-36|
|290. Isa. 61:1-2||Proclaim a period of grace||Galatians 4:4-5|
|291. Jer. 11:21||Conspiracy to kill Jesus||John 7:1, Matthew 21:38|
|292. Jer. 23:5-6||Descendant of David||Luke 3:23-31|
|293. Jer. 23:5-6||The Messiah would be both God and Man||John 13:13, 1Ti 3:16|
|294. Jer. 31:22||Born of a virgin||Matthew 1:18-20|
|295. Jer. 31:31||The Messiah would be the new covenant||Matthew 26:28|
|296. Jer. 33:14-15||Descendant of David||Luke 3:23-31|
|297. Eze.34:23-24||Descendant of David||Matthew 1:1|
|298. Eze.37:24-25||Descendant of David||Luke 1:31-33|
|299. Dan. 2:44-45||The Stone that shall break the kingdoms||Matthew 21:44|
|300. Dan. 7:13-14||He would ascend into heaven||Acts 1:9-11|
|301. Dan. 7:13-14||Highly exalted||Ephesians 1:20-22|
|302. Dan. 7:13-14||His dominion would be everlasting||Luke 1:31-33|
|303. Dan. 9:24||To make an end to sins||Galatians 1:3-5|
|304. Dan. 9:24||To make reconciliation for iniquity||Romans 5:10, 2Cor. 5:18-21|
|305. Dan. 9:24||He would be holy||Luke 1:35|
|306. Dan. 9:25||His announcement||John 12:12-13|
|307. Dan. 9:26||Cut off||Matthew 16:21; 21:38-39|
|308. Dan. 9:26||Die for the sins of the world||Hebrews 2:9|
|309. Dan. 9:26||Killed before the destruction of the temple||Matthew 27:50-51|
|310. Dan. 10:5-6||Messiah in a glorified state||Revelation 1:13-16|
|311. Hos. 11:1||He would be called out of Egypt||Matthew 2:15|
|312. Hos. 13:14||He would defeat death||1Corinthians 15:55-57|
|313. Joel 2:32||Offer salvation to all mankind||Romans 10:9-13|
|314. Jonah 1:17||Death and resurrection of Christ||Matthew 12:40; 16:4|
|315. Mic. 5:2||Born in Bethlehem||Matthew 2:1-6|
|316. Mic. 5:2||Ruler in Israel||Luke 1:33|
|317. Mic. 5:2||From everlasting||John 8:58|
|318. Hag. 2:6-9||He would visit the second Temple||Luke 2:27-32|
|319. Hag. 2:23||Descendant of Zerubbabel||Luke 2:27-32|
|320. Zech. 3:8||God’s servant||John 17:4|
|321. Zech. 6:12-13||Priest and King||Hebrews 8:1|
|322. Zech. 9:9||Greeted with rejoicing in Jerusalem||Matthew 21:8-10|
|323. Zech. 9:9||Beheld as King||John 12:12-13|
|324. Zech. 9:9||The Messiah would be just||John 5:30|
|325. Zech. 9:9||The Messiah would bring salvation||Luke 19:10|
|326. Zech. 9:9||The Messiah would be humble||Matthew 11:29|
|327. Zech. 9:9||Presented to Jerusalem riding on a donkey||Matthew 21:6-9|
|328. Zech. 10:4||The cornerstone||Ephesians 2:20|
|329. Zech. 11:4-6||At His coming, Israel to have unfit leaders||Matthew 23:1-4|
|330. Zech. 11:4-6||Rejection causes God to remove His protection||Luke 19:41-44|
|331. Zech. 11:4-6||Rejected in favor of another king||John 19:13-15|
|332. Zech. 11:7||Ministry to “poor,” the believing remnant||Matthew 9:35-36|
|333. Zech. 11:8||Unbelief forces Messiah to reject them||Matthew 23:33|
|334. Zech. 11:8||Despised||Matthew 27:20|
|335. Zech. 11:9||Stops ministering to those who rejected Him||Matthew 13:10-11|
|336. Zech. 11:10-11||Rejection causes God to remove protection||Luke 19:41-44|
|337. Zech. 11:10-11||The Messiah would be God||John 14:7|
|338. Zech. 11:12-13||Betrayed for thirty pieces of silver||Matthew 26:14-15|
|339. Zech. 11:12-13||Rejected||Matthew 26:14-15|
|340. Zech. 11:12-13||Thirty pieces of silver cast in the house of the Lord||Matthew 27:3-5|
|341. Zech. 11:12-13||The Messiah would be God||John 12:45|
|342. Zech. 12:10||The Messiah’s body would be pierced||John 19:34-37|
|343. Zech. 12:10||The Messiah would be both God and man||John 10:30|
|344. Zech. 12:10||The Messiah would be rejected||John 1:11|
|345. Zech. 13:7||God’s will He die for mankind||John 18:11|
|346. Zech. 13:||A violent death||Mark 14:27|
|347. Zech. 13:7||Both God and man||John 14:9|
|348. Zech. 13:7||Israel scattered as a result of rejecting Him||Matthew 26:31-56|
|349. Zech. 14:4||He would return to the Mt. of Olives||Acts 1:11-12|
|350. Mal. 3:1||Messenger to prepare the way for Messiah||Mark 1:1-8|
|351. Mal. 3:1||Sudden appearance at the temple||Mark 11:15-16|
|352. Mal. 3:1||Messenger of the new covenant||Luke 4:43|
|353. Mal. 3:6||The God who changes not||Hebrews 13:8|
|354. Mal. 4:5||Forerunner in spirit of Elijah||Mt. 3:1-3; 11:10-14; 17:11-13|
|355. Mal. 4:6||Forerunner would turn many to righteousness||Luke 1:16-17|
Psalm 16.1-11 – I Shall Not Be Moved
How do most of us complete this sentence? “The key to happiness is _______________________”. What do you thing that happiness is? Where does it come from? What about joy? Is joy based upon out “happiness”? Is it possible to go through trying circumstances and to still have genuine joy?
In Psalm 16 we see a very personal song. The author uses the terms “my”, “I” and “me” twenty-three different times and in 10 of the 11 verses of this Psalm. Some of the terms he use are:
- I put my trust (v1)
- Will I not offer (v4)
- I have a goodly inheritance (v5)
- I will bless the Lord (v6)
- My heart is glad (v9)
The singer of this song is truly appreciative of what the Lord has done in their life. The poet is genuinely appreciative of what the Lord still is doing in their life, and they author knows and rejoices in the knowledge what the Lord will do in their life and in the generations to come.
In our lives we will have troubles, and sorrows. We will have loved ones who will pass away. We will have friends who abandon us. We may fall ill from sickness or disease. Some may have terrible accidents caused by someone else’s foolishness that will maim us for life.
Bearing the Cross of Jesus has it’s own troubles outside of these things mentioned that happens just as a matter of life. Rejection, ridicule, social ostracizing are things that all Christians encounter at some point in their walk with Christ. Some lose jobs and fall on financial hardships from sharing their testimony. Some suffer more severe repercussions. Some are imprisoned, beaten, and tortured for years. Some are executed and suffer acid attack, burnings, hangings, and even crucifixion themselves.
Yet joy is not an emotion. Joy is a command. Philippians 4.4 tells us to “Rejoice in the Lord always”. Then the Apostle Paul tells us why, in our rejoicing in adversity, as well as in celebrations, we show to “all men” that the Lord is at hand, He is very present in our time of need. Psalm 5.11 explains, “But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favor wilt thou compass him as with a shield.”
Seeking joy is not small thing. God wants us to be happy, but he also knows that only place that we can find happiness and true joy is in his presence. So he commands us to seek him. In verse 1 of Psalm 16 David prayed, “Preserve me…. O God! David knew he was in need and knew who could help him. He went straight to the source. He immediately took his need to the ONE who cared, and had the authority to do something about his plight. David right away put his trust in the Lord, God! Then he restated his faith in verse 2 and even went further to declare that “my goodness extendeth not to thee”. David is simply acknowledging that he has not good outside of God.
David acknowledges to God,
- I have done NOTHING for your favor!
- Still my soul calls out to you!
- I have commanded my soul to submit to you!
- I am at your great mercy!
In verse 3-4 David draws a contrast in what He knows about the differences between those who trust in God and those who don’t. Those who follow after other gods will have their sorrows multiplied. Those other gods cannot deliver them out of their troubles. Listen if money is what you put your trust in, it will burn up! When I use to be a practicing alcoholic, when payday came around and I went to the bar and bought rounds for everyone in the bar, and threw my money around like I was some kind of a big shot. I have all kinds of friends. People called me “brother”, and said things like, “Man I love you”, “If you ever need someone, call on me”. But you know when the money ran out. So did my friends. Those who supposedly loved me were gone. The ones who said that I could count on them, even after I went broke buying them drink after drink, couldn’t even spare the cash to get me a bottle of water to sooth my thirst. Friends your other gods will abandon you, because they are NOT real!
In contrast David tells us, those who server the Living God, those who trust in Jesus, will never be abandoned. He won’t leave you thirsting for water in your time of need, because He is the living water! Amen! The God of Heaven, the Creator of all that is seen and unseen has given me an inheritance. You know what that means? That means that I will NEVER be without! The One true God who made all of the splendor of the universe has given me pleasant places to dwell. He has a place with many mansions, and He has prepared a place form me! I know this because he said so. I also know this because every single day he gives me the things I need. Like David it is not because of anything that I have done, it is not because I have been a good man. I did not earn His favor. He just loves me. He has always loved me from the foundations of the earth. You know he has always loved you, from before you were formed in the womb? It is true. He said it.
The Psalmist goes on to say that He is joyful, that we can be joyful because we can rest in the assurance of who God IS! David said that the Lord:
- Gives counsel (wisdom)
- Gives instructions (Correction)
- Will never leave us alone (Protection)
- Show us the way (Guidance)
- Gives us everlasting pleasures in Him (Rewards Us)
It is the Lord who sustains us. When we acknowledge Him as our Lord, when we submit to Him and choose to follow Him as our God, the one True God sustains us. He sets hi seal on us through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, and keeps us to the day of redemption. It is not our doing at all. This is where our joy comes from. Amen!
Remember this and apply it to your heart…
“I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” Psalm 11.8-9
“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:11
I heard a story about a minister by the name of Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892). For those who do not know who this man was, he was and still is a world renowned Baptist preacher whose sermons and quotes are still used as a reference or verbatim in many pulpits even today. He was a Methodist that converted to Baptist and still held to his Calvinist theology. He once remarked, “I do not hesitate to take the name of Baptist, but if I am asked what is my creed, I reply, ‘It is Jesus Christ.’”
So as the story goes, Spurgeon was to speak at the Crystal Palace in London and the venue had an expectation of over 20,000. Days before the event Spurgeon and some of the staff went to check the acoustics in the Crystal Palace, so that they could place the pulpit in the optimal position to carry his voice with the best reception throughout the room.
Spurgeon got behind the pulpit and bellowed out one verse, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the son of the world!” (John 1:29). This is the statement John the Baptist exclaimed when he saw the Spirit of God descend on Jesus and remained on Jesus. Spurgeon’s sound test carried all though the structure and reached ears of one of the workers in an adjacent gallery.
The worker was immediately overtaken with conviction, and not know what to do, left and went home. After a while the conviction grew so intense that the worker repented of his lifestyle and accepted Jesus as his savior. With just those simple words of Scripture, the Holy Spirit went to work in this man’s conscience. Spurgeon, unknowingly had planted a seed in the man’s heart. The Spirit of God moved on the man’s heart and grew that seed into a spiritual harvest.
We tend to think that we have to have all the right words to say, or the right way to say it, that we have to be clever in our delivery. We sometimes feel that we don’t even know what we should say. Well, sometimes we should just get out of the way and do what the Lord told us to do, Preach the Word, and let Him do the rest. The responsibility of saving someone’s soul is not ours. Jesus already saved their soul. Our responsibility it to just bear witness to the Truth. Peter said that “he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.” (Acts 10:42).
When Peter proclaimed Jesus Christ to Cornelius in Acts 10.36-48, Peter did not even get to finish his sermon before the Holy Spirit fell on ALL that was there. The Scripture that Peter shared and the testimony he gave concerning Jesus was used by the Spirit to convict Cornelius and his guests, all at the same time. We should therefore concentrate on sharing of the scripture, and communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our own lives and in scripture. We should focus on Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2.2)
1 John 1:1-4 What Have You Heard?
- That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
- (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
- That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
- And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
John was so overwhelmed with the importance of his message that he dispensed with normal salutations and introductions what would normally arrive in such a letter. During the time of the writing of this epistle the church was being influenced with by the acceptance of Gnosticism.
The Gnostics were marked with a philosophy that had a variety of views, one such basic view is that the spirit is good and matter is inherently evil, and the two constantly war against one another. So then the one who is more knowledgeable or of a strong enough will, could overcome the weaknesses of the flesh. As a result Gnosticism held two major thoughts on Christ.
Docetic Gnosticism held that the humanity of Christ was ethereal, and that he only appeared to have a body. That is that Jesus was just a phantom force, which appeared and had no real physical substance.
Cerinthus Gnosticism held that the man Jesus, the son of Joseph and Mary was not the “Christ” until is was bestowed upon him at his baptism and then the Spirit empowered his ministry, and then it left him before the crucifixion.
Now you may ask, who cares if they believed this? What does it matter? Well either view of Jesus in this manner removes the incarnation of Christ, and the atonement of his sacrifice. The word “incarnation” simply means “the act of being made flesh”. In other words, Jesus was indeed the Son of God and became man through his divine intervention and as such remained both God and man.
The Gospel of John puts it this way. “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:1).
If Jesus was not “Christ” from before his birth, through his death, and resurrection then he would have been just a man. As a man, he could not have escaped the original sin of Adam. Jesus could not have brought atonement because he would have had sin. It doesn’t matter how enlightened he may have been. Knowledge does not relieve us of sin, knowledge exposes sin.
You see Adam (man) was created by God. In fact man was singled out from all of God’s creation to be made in the likeness of God. As part of this likeness of God man was created with a free will. When man was created and set in the world he was given dominion over all the earth and man was without sin. In fact when God finished creation He looked at it and said that it was “good”.
But man rebelled against God, of his own free will, and then sin entered into man, and a curse has since followed man. Now that man was in sin and darkness, he was separated from God, because God is pure and righteous. His presence would destroy man. Romans 5:12 tells us, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered in to the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”.
So you see a man cannot save man, because he is already tainted with sin. Only God can save man, through a sinless sacrifice that would only be made once, one that could cover all of man’s sin, past, present and future. There could only be one way to bridge the gap between man (creation) and God (Creator), God would have to provide the sacrifice. This shows the necessity of God becoming man.
God had compassion on man. God in his grace, had a plan to redeem man, from the very beginning.
The whole bible from beginning to end is a revelation of God’s plan of salvation in Jesus Christ. In Genesis 3:15 God tells the serpent that deceived Adam and Eve into rebellion that, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
This is the first prophecy concerning the salvation that would come through Jesus. There are over 300 prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus in his short life here on earth, and there are still more prophecies yet to be fulfilled upon his return.
The author of this letter claims to be an eye witness to the ministry of Christ. This makes the author and authority on who Jesus is and what he is doing. We must not ever forget the importance of having a witness. John is telling his readers of this epistle that the things that they have been taught concerning Jesus is the truth and has been witnesses by them. The witnesses are in what they have heard, both in the scriptures and in the words of Jesus.
- Your testimony of what Jesus has done in your life is your witness of the truth of Jesus.
- No one else can stand up and proclaim what you have seen and what you have heard from God.
- No one else can explain how the love of Jesus has changed your heart.
- No one else can explain the release of the guilt and the shame that you have suffered.
There is an old saying that people love to use. “Who are you to judge me?” This is a true statement. Who are you? To many Christians get saved and in their enthusiasm to have others convert, forget that they were once lost and in rebellion. They forget that it took someone who in genuine concern reached out and connected with them.
And you know how they did that?
- They shared who they were, and who they are now.
- They shared how Jesus made that difference and they shared the love that was given to them – freely.
It does not matter how much time we spend in church, Sunday school, or in memorizing bible scriptures. It doesn’t even matter if we speak in tongues, or if we can heal others at a touch. What matters is if we can reach out in love. We have to love others enough to overcome the fear and insecurity of sharing our testimony.
Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one to another.” (John 13:35). He also said that I speak that which I have heard of the father. Jesus led by example.
He didn’t talk about things he didn’t know.
- He talked about things of heaven.
- He explained the things that pertained to the Kingdom of God.
- He gave examples and illustrations.
- He testified of things he knew, that he had seen, and he had heard.
- Because he is God.
- He existed before creation.
- He was the creator.
So what do you know? What have you seen? What have you heard?
You know the truth
- Jesus is the Son of God
- Jesus is faithful
- Jesus loves you
- Jesus forgave you
- Jesus provided atonement for you
- Jesus released you from your bondage
- From sexual immortality
- From lies
- From disease
- From the bondage of sin
- Jesus gave you a choice again
- You are no longer a slave
- You have eternal life
These are the things that are in your testimony. Henry Clay Trumbull (1830-1903) is considered one of God’s pioneers in soul-winning evangelism. In fact he wrote the first books ever devoted strictly to the principles of personal evangelism. He was a renowned expositor of scripture, missionary, organizer and lecturer. He was the editor of the Civil War era publication. “The Sunday School Times”. He was the author of 38 books in total. He lectured at Yale University and traveled relentlessly spreading and teaching the gospel. Yet here is what he said concerning personal evangelism.
“Looking back upon my work in all these years I can see more direct results of good through my individual efforts with individuals that I can know of through all my spoken words to thousands upon thousands of persons in religious assemblies, or all my written words on the pages of periodicals or of books. Reaching one person at a time is the BEST way of reaching all the world in time.”
When Jesus said no man lights a candle and puts it under a table, but he puts in on top of the table so that all who enter the house can see the light, he was talking about you. You are the light of Christ! Don’t put it under a table and hide it! Tell somebody what Jesus has done for you. –Amen!
Eschatology is the study of the last things, often referred to as end times, or last days, and even as “the day of the Lord.” These terms are often used interchangeably, even though context and perspective should dictate otherwise. For instance, when we talk about the “last days” what are we actually referring to? When we ask if we are living in the last days, do we mean are we in the last days for Israel, the Church, or the end of mankind? We must differentiate what we are talking about when we discuss the last days with scriptural context. When referring to these terms we need to determine whether the Bible is speaking of the last days as relating to Israel, or of the end times in reference to the church (Hitchcock, Mark. The End). Understand that everything in the Bible is to teach that Jesus has come to fulfill the Old Testament promises and that Jesus is the promised Messiah sent from God the Father. (Luke 1:30-33) The prophets (John 1:29), scriptures, Apostles, and even the angels (Luke 2:10-11), demons (Mark 1:24), and God Himself (Matthew 3:17; Matthew 17:5;Luke 3:22; Mark 9:7) bore witness that Jesus came to the earth, died for our sin, and was resurrected, ascended to his Father, and that he will come again to judge both the living and the dead.
The timeline of the return of Christ is discussed in several portions of the bible, both in the Old Testament and the New. By using the book of the Revelation of John we can get the general flow of the timeline to be in this manner. Revelation 1-3 covers the Church here on earth. The rapture of the Church then happens as covered in 1 Thessalonians 4. The book of Revelation switches back and forth between events in heaven and events on earth. Once the church is raptured then the 7 years of tribulation occurs on earth, depicted in Revelation 6-18, and the Judgement seat of Christ and Marriage of the Lamb occur in heaven as shown in Revelation 4-5;19:1-10. Then the Lord, “the Word of God” returns to establish his kingdom on earth (Revelation 19:11-21), at this time Satan is bound for 1000 years (Revelation 20:1-3). Once the 1000 years has been completed, Satan will be loosed from the pit and will cause the nations to war against the Lamb, and this will bring the final judgement of God (Revelation 20:7-15). The Revelation of John the Apostle ends with the Lord establishing a new heavens and a new earth, and establishing his kingdom for ever (Revelation 21-22).
John Macarthur explains concerning the reading of Revelation,
“The book of Revelation is the ultimate action thriller. Anyone who loves a great novel will certainly love this book. It contains drama, suspense, mystery, and horror. It tells of rebellion, unprecedented economic collapse, and the ultimate war of human history. Revelation is a book of astounding drama and horror, but also of hope and joy. It culminates with a happy ending, as sin and death are banished forever (21:4; 22:3).”(John MacArthur Explains the Book of Revelation.2007).
What has become known as “The Olivet Discourse” is considered to be a concise outline of the end times. This discussion was held by Jesus on Mount Olivet with just four of his disciples: Peter, James, John, and Andrew. This discussion took place shortly after Jesus had made a remark to the disciples concerning the eventual destruction of the temple at Jerusalem. The disciples were concerned with what would be the sign of the destruction of the temple and the return of the Lord. They could not imagine the destruction of the temple and the return of the Lord as separate events (Zechariah 14:1-11). The sermon is recorded in Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, and Luke 21; and addresses specifically the seven years of tribulation prior to the Lords return. In this revelation, Jesus gave 8 signs that would increase in intensity and frequency, “as birth pains”, as the time of His return grew closer.
The signs are: wars; famines; earthquakes (Mathew 24:7); persecution (Mathew 24:9); false prophets (Mathew 24:5; 11); apostasy (Mathew 24:10); lawlessness (Mathew 24:12); and worldwide preaching of the gospel, and “then shall the end come.” (Matthew 24.14). All of these signs have been fulfilled and are continuing to be fulfilled. Jesus said that these signs would be like birth pains growing in frequency and intensity. So that even as when a woman is in labor you can tell that she is about to give birth because her contractions are getting stronger and closer together and the slowly get in more and more pain, then you know the baby is in the birth canal. So we can see that as the time of Christ’s return gets closer we will see more intensity and frequency in the signs listed above. Still Jesus does say that these signs are “just the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:8). Then Jesus mentions a final indication that the time is right for his return. This sign is so significant that he warns that when this sign is seen, that those who witness it should flee and hide in the mountains. They who witness this final sign should be so flee so urgently that they should not even go back into their house to get their coat! “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand. Then let them which be in Judea flea into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house:” (Matthew 24:15-17).
The book of Daniel covers what is commonly referred to as the 70 weeks of Daniel and is considered the “Backbone of Bible Prophecy” and “God’s Prophetic Clock”. The 70 week time period covers an expanse of 490 years. The 490 years is a countdown to the fulfillment of the promises of God concerning the nation of Israel. The church is not directly included in this timeline. Mark Hitchcock explains in his book, The End: A Complete Overview of Bible Prophecy and the End of Days, that the 70 weeks have six divine goals in their purpose, as listed here:
- To finish the transgression
- To make an end of sin
- To make atonement for iniquity
- To bring in everlasting righteousness
- To seal up the vision and the prophecy
- To anoint the Most Holy Place
The clock of Daniel started ticking in 444BC when Artaxerxes, King of Persia, allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild (Nehemiah 2:1-8). Xerxes allowed Nehemiah to return to Jerusalem with written letters of authorization for safe passage and use of the king’s forests for supplies to rebuild Jerusalem. Then 483 years transpired between the actions of Nehemiah 2:1-8 and the coming of Jesus as the Messiah in AD 33 (Luke 19:28-44). This means that the first 69 weeks prophesied in Daniel have already occurred (Daniel 9:25). There is only one week in remaining, the 70th Week of Daniel. This is the final week, or period of 7 years.
We are now living in what is called “The Church Age”, or the “Age of Grace”. The prophetic clock for Israel has been halted for almost 2000 years, since the fulfillment of the killing of the Messiah for our sins (Isaiah 53; 1 Peter 2:24; Romans 5:6-8) and the destruction of the Temple (Matthew 24; Daniel 9:26). The church age was established to give a time for Grace to abound. The church, the body of Christ, are here to be a light to the lost, by our manner of living and to show the testimony of God’s grace. In this way God is glorified. (Matthew 5:13-16). The Lord has paused the timeline, for our benefit. He is has not abandoned the world, or thrown in the towel. He is demonstrating patience and love to us because he does not want anyone to die in their sin, but to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
The church looks forward to the rapture of the church. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15 we should be ready because in an instant the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed and be made immortal. We will be brought up and glorified in Christ.
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have not hope. For it we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descent from heaven with 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.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
If all we had to go by on the rapture were these two references, it would be enough to understand that: (1) we cannot inherit the kingdom of God in these “earth suits”, because they are mortal and corrupted. (2) the rapture is concerned only with the church and is only the 1st phase in the line of events that leads to the return of Jesus as Lord, and (3) this is solely dependent on the grace and will of God Himself. The rapture of the church is the next great event that will occur in bible prophecy. Jesus will return and claim his bride. “The ‘Marriage of the Lamb,’ as described in Rev. 19:1-10, will take place in heaven, during the time of the awful ‘Wrath of God’ being poured out upon the Earth.” (Sharrit. 1978). That is to say that the church will be raptured up by Christ prior to the tribulation, and the marriage of the Lamb will take place in heaven while the 70th week of Daniels prophecy continues on earth.
The 70 Weeks are for Israel’s benefit, so that they can repent and accept Jesus as the Messiah. The prophet Daniel continues on in his vision. The final antichrist will come on the scene, and he will make a peace treaty with many for one week. This is the final week, the 70th week of Daniel (Daniel 9:27). Then halfway through the peace period, the antichrist will break the peace. He will double-cross Israel and sacrilege the temple in Jerusalem (Matthew 24:21; Revelation 13:14-15). The Antichrist will proclaim himself as God (Danial 11:36; 12:11). This marks the final 3 ½ years of the tribulation.
During this time, since the church will have already been removed in the rapture, God will send two witnesses. These two witnesses will be responsible to preach and prepare the way of the Lord. They will be given miraculous powers and have the authority and ability to call down fire from heaven and to cause it to not rain. Their miracles will be similar to those of Moses and Elijah (John the Baptist), who also appeared, to minister to Jesus, in the account of Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountain recorded in Matthew 17. Jesus tells us that Elijah had already come to clear the way for his (Jesus’) coming. Malachi 3.1 declares, “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, who ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.” Elijah is the Lords profit. Jesus declared that there has been no greater profit in history, which is to say that there has been no prophet with a more important purpose than John the Baptist. The reference to the messenger of the covenant could only be Moses who brought the law down from Mt Sanai, Moses and Abraham are the most influential prophets in Judaism. Moses however, is the messenger of the covenant. These two Elijah and Moses will be given their unique message and extraordinary powers in order to reach out to the nation of Israel for a last chance to accept Jesus as Lord, prior to his return. Their time will be brief and they will eventually be martyred and put on display in the streets of Jerusalem. After 31/2 days there will be a major earthquake, a sign from God, and the two witnesses will be raised from the dead and ascend into heaven. This earthquake will cause great destruction in Israel and kill many inhabitants, but those who remain will believe and give glory to God (Revelation 11).
This time period is also known as the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 7:21).He will then begin to persecute all those who refuse to accept his lordship. The intensity of the persecutions is so intense that nothing like it has ever been seen on the face of the earth since time began, and there will never be anything like it again; it will be un-parallel in human existence (Matthew 24:21). Jacob is Israel, he had 12 sons and God made him change his name to Israel (Genesis 32:28), the descendants of Jacob (Israel) are the Jews. The passages referring to this period as Jacob’s trouble refer to this being an Israeli plight. This period of tribulation is targeted at Israel and his descendants. This is necessary because if we continue to read the passage it tells us “But he shall be saved out of it.” The great tribulation results in salvation for Israel.
“Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek. But thou, Beth-lehem Eph’ra-tah, though thou be little among the thousands of Juda, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting. Therefore will he give them up, unto the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and they shall abide; for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.” (Micah 5:1-5)
At the end of the 70th week God will kill the antichrist and bind Satan in the bottomless pit for 1000 years (Daniel 9:27; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 19:20). Jesus will rule from the throne of David as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Isaiah chapter 11 gives a view of what the millennial kingdom will be like. There will be a time of peace, which only the Lord Jesus could bring. The whole earth will be blessed through the Lord dwelling in Israel. “Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,’ declares the Lord. Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you.” (Zechariah 2:10-11). Isaiah continues to describe this period with peace towards man and all of creation. Even predatory animals like lions and bears will be at peace with one another and with man, just as it was in the beginning. Once this time has been fulfilled, then Satan will be set free for a short period of time.
When Satan is released he gets busy with the task of deceiving the nations, and leads them in a rebellion against Jesus. This culminates in the battle of Armageddon. When the armies of Satan are arrayed out against the armies of the Lord fire comes down from heaven and destroys the complete army of the deceiver. Once the armies of the nations who rebelled are destroyed, Satan is thrown into the lake of fire, where the beast and the false prophet were cast into.
Then the judgment of all the wicked before the throne of God occurs, and everyone whose name is not found in the Book of Life will be cast in to the lake of fire just like the devil and his demons. “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” (Revelation 20:11-12). There won’t be any place to hide. It won’t matter how rich and poor you were in life, it won’t matter how influential you were in this life. Everyone will be judged by the same standards. First, did you believe and follow Jesus? If you did not, then you will be judged by the very Word of God you rejected. What now? All of this being true, should we not have an urgency about the work to which we have been called?
Jesus warned us that he would return when we did not expect it. “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man (the return of Jesus) be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered in to the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:37-39). Christians can look forward to this return with great anticipation, and can be encouraged knowing that the things that they suffer through and endure for Christ’s sake are being noted and will be rewarded, not just now in this life, but in the kingdom to come.
We also have a grave responsibility as stewards of this knowledge. As we look around us we know that the world political climate is growing more unstable by the moment. The spread of persecution against the church and the Hebrew people has grown exponentially since the turn of the Century. While our capacity to reach civilizations all over the world for Christ through television, radio, social media, and the ease of modern day travel has increased the actual mission in the field and financial support for such missions has declined. Churches report baptizing and serving fewer members than ever in recent history indicate an apostasy (2 Timothy 3). The last days are characterized in the bible by “lawlessness” or “iniquity or iniquities”. We have kicked God out of our Governments, schools, and even most of our churches. In the United States, as of June 8, 2017 there have been an estimated 405,471 abortions performed since 1973. (“Number of Abortions – Abortion Counters.” Number of Abortions in US & Worldwide – Number of Abortions since 1973. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 June 2017). Homosexuality and Transgendered tendencies are not only accepted, but expected.
Those who speak out against this abomination are ridiculed fined and even suffer loss of jobs and imprisonment, even here in the United States. Everyone has freedom of speech except those who proclaim the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the way it was before the flood of Noah’s Ark. God was sorry that he even made man (Genesis 6:6). We all know someone who needs to know the truth. We all know someone who needs to turn and repent before it is too late, before we are taken away in the rapture and they then have to face the wrath of God. Being stewards of the knowledge of the Word of God gives us an awesome responsibility to reach out to those who walk in ignorance. Our boldness does not come from arrogance, but from love and understanding of the peril that our loved ones are in imminent danger and are out of time. Jesus could come right now. As John said. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”(Revelation 22:20)
Hitchcock, Mark. The End: A Complete Overview of Bible Prophecy and the End of Days. Ed. Adan Graber`. Illinois: Tyndale House, 2012. Print.
Sharrit, John T. Soon Coming World-shaking Events. Phoenix, AZ: Christian Missionary Society, 1978. Print.
Wiersbe, Warren W. The Bible Exposition Commentary. Vol. 2. Wheaton, IL: Victor, 1989. Print. Ephesians-Revelation.
MacArthur, John. Because the Time Is Near: John MacArthur Explains the Book of Revelation. Chicago: Moody, 2007. Print.
“Number of Abortions – Abortion Counters.” Number of Abortions in US & Worldwide – Number of Abortions since 1973. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 June 2017.
Mark 12:28-31 The First Commandment
If I were to ask 100 different Christians what they thought was the most important part of Christianity I would undoubtable get many different answers. Some would say it is Faith, others study of the Bible, or Prayer. Even others would say the Holy Spirit, or service in the church. I am of the persuasion that while all of these are important, they are merely manifestations that come out of the most important aspect of your belief in Christ.
*******************Read the Passage Mark 12:28-31********************
In Mark 12:28-33 Jesus is asked this very question. Jesus said that the first thing we should have is a directed love towards God. We should be careful, that we don’t misunderstand this word love. It is not a general kind of love. It is not like when we say, “Oh I just love that dress, or I love this new car!” It is not even like a when we say that we should “love all mankind”.
Jesus didn’t say that the most important commandment is to love God and to second, love animals. Had he said that then we could take away that he was talking about a general kind of love, where we should express love for everything, love people, love animals, love the planet, love everything. But “love” in itself is not the main topic Jesus is speaking of.
Even when he goes on to say that the second commandment is like it, to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Instead he is still stressing the importance of the first command. Jesus is saying the main point is to LOVE GOD! The second is like it because it is still loving God, man was made in the image of God.
1 John 4:20 says that if a man says he loves God and hates his brother, then he is a liar!
James 3:9-10 says, “Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessings and cursing. My brethren this ought not so to be.”
This love Jesus is speaking of is not a blanket that we throw over our shoulders and sing warm little campfire songs for. It is a more specific kind of love. It is even more specific than a love for a spouse, or a child. Instead it is a living love directed explicitly at God above all other things, places, or persons.
You see, God is Love (1 John 4.8 ”He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”). So then whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God in him (1 John 4:16).
How do we then love God? Jesus tells us this also. We love with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength. We demonstrate this with our love for one another. This is all simple words and easy to say, but how do we put this in action?
Our natural state as fallen creatures is not to love God, but rather to regard him with suspicion and resist his authority. Jesus told Nicodemus that in order to enter heaven you must be born again. You have to know that you are fallen and in danger of judgement, and in danger of eternal separation from God. Matthew 25:41 “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:”
But also as apostle Paul told us in the Colossians 1:20-22, that even though we were enemies with God, he had mercy on us and provided a sacrifice for our sins, in Jesus’ blood, to that we could be reconciled to God the Father. So we were once alienated from God because of our evil nature. But God Himself made a way for us to be with him.
“The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.” (Deuteronomy 30.6)
God himself gave us the way to love him, buy wiping out our record of sin. By this I mean past, present, and future… This gives us the ability to love God with a pure heart and in good conscience, having a sincere faith. Jesus has set us free, “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.” (Tutus 1.15)
God knows that we cannot love him of ourselves. He provided the way through Jesus Christ. Jesus suffered so that we would not have to suffer in our sin and bondage.
Psalms 22: 14-16 records a portion of his suffering, “I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it has melted within Me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue clings to My jaws; you have brought Me to the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation if the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet;”
So knowing these things we desire to please him. The question is not “What would Jesus do”, but “What would please Him?” We put Him first in all things. The psalmist said “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.” (Psalm 73.25)
We love the Lord with our all in all; as a result of salvation through Jesus. This is the starting point, without this relationship with Jesus, we cannot love God. The love of Jesus must be the key feature in our lives.
We love the Lord by eliminating competing loves. Loving God must become the key feature in our lives. Don’t compartmentalize God into on little piece of your life.
Each one of us have 168 hours in a week. In that week the average Christian devotes 7 hours in Church, Sunday School, and a small group devotion or study. During each week if you sleep 8 hours a day, every day then you spend another 56 hours in sleep. That leaves 105 hours that are spent in eating, school, work, shopping, social events, or other leisure activities. The question is how much of that 105 hours is spent demonstrating an active love for God?(Southern Baptist of Texas Convention, 4/25/2017)
This isn’t just a temporary fasting. Not just a time where we skip a meal or that we don’t eat red meat for few weeks. It is not even a deprivation of sleep from an all-night prayer meeting, or a week of revival. It is instead a way of living for God.
In fact the Lord said in Isaiah 58:6-7 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and hot hide yourself from your own flesh?”
Wouldn’t it be awesome if someone were to ask your best friend, or your wife, or husband, or your children, “Tell me one thing about so-in-so…” and they could say, “That you really love God.” Shouldn’t your life SHOW others that you truly love God!
This is a conscious choice. We purpose ourselves for his service (Romans 12:11 says that we should be passionate in spirit, serving the Lord). We do everything in life as if we are performing it whole heartedly for the Lord (Colossians 3:23). In short we live “all out” for Him. We hold nothing back from Him. We are fully dedicated to His purposes. We have to be wholehearted in our devotion to Him. We are not ashamed of Him.
Do you know that God knows that we are not perfect? Do you know that he knows that sometimes, even on the way to church some of us have terrible arguments in the car? Then we put on a smile and walk in the church like we just love everybody. Then as soon as we walk out and start the car, our argument picks right back up from where it was. Do you know that is wrong? Sure we do.
We need to pray, and seek the Lord. You know that as we humble ourselves and understand that we are not perfect, and hey no one else is either, and we realize again that Jesus still loves us. He forgave us. You know we can forgive others too. We can love God by loving those around us.
We can even be so radical in our love for Him… that “We Love Our Neighbors, as we Love Ourselves!” (Mark 12:31) Do you know the best thing you can do for someone else is to let them see you LOVE God with all you have to love Him with?
In Matthew 25:34-40 we read “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have don’t it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:34-40)
If someone asked that question, if the asked about you… today… if they asked “tell me about so-in-so”; and they were pointing the finger at you… Could who they were asking say, “They really love God”? Does your life show your love for God? Does your language show that your love God? Do your neighbors even know that you know who Jesus is? If not, maybe you need to make a commitment today.
Get things right with God today. Come to the alter of his mercy and tell him. Lord I have not been living like I love you. I have not been doing the things that I should, or speaking up for you. Lord people have no idea that you’re my God or my savior by the way I act, speak, or how I treat other people, not even other believers. I want to make that right with you today.
Or maybe you’re here and you have never even considered the sacrifice that Jesus made for you; how he poured out his blood to make restitution for your wrong doings. Maybe you need to come and tell him you believe in Him. You believe that he sacrificed himself for you, so that you could learn how to truly live in love.
“But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.” (II Thessalonians 3.13)
Life can get overwhelming sometimes. We can often overstretch ourselves in trying to be there for everyone in every situation. Our finances get overtaxed, and our patience gets a little run down. We sometimes mean to do well, but we just keep hitting barriers. It seems that the good things we try to do for one another are just taken for granted or even misunderstood. Sometimes the things we need to do out of love, are just painful.
Paul tells us, relax, and just keep going. Don’t let yourself get run down or frustrated. Paul tells us in this chapter of Thessalonians that some of us just turn into busybodies. Work for the Lord should be done to the Lord, and not to men’s eyes. Don’t be busy trying to please men and seeming to be busy with the work of the Lord, when in actuality you are just busy trying to be a people pleaser. Remember you are NOT God. You don’t have the authority to sit in judgement over others.
The best way to help someone is to pray for them. Lift up their needs before the One who CAN make a difference in their lives, and their lifestyle. We should always do everything in love, not out of a burdened grudge. Remember to take time in the Lord for yourself. Jesus said that the Sabbath was made form man, not man for the Sabbath.
At one time Jesus sent his disciples out to spread the Word and when they returned he asked them, how did it go? They then replied with all they had said and done. When they had completed, Jesus told them no go away to a private place and rest. You see it is necessary for us to take time to rest. Just as you need sleep at the end of the day you also need to recharge your spirit. Jesus would often get away and pray in private.
I was reading through my studies and found a card my wife had wrote me. The card was very nice and encouraging. It did not ask for anything, it just expressed her desire to be with me. Sometimes just a simple encouragement is all we really need to give someone. The card she wrote me said this;
“All I want is to love you for the rest of my life… to wake up every morning with you by my side, knowing that no matter what happens, I’ll be able to come home to your loving arms. All I want is to share everything with you… to talk to you about our ideas, our dreams, the little everyday things that make us laugh, and the not-so-little things that we can’t help worrying about. All I want is to give you my love… as a place you can always come to for acceptance or the simple comfort that silence brings when things left unspoken can still be understood. All I want is to grow old with you… to watch our live unfold, our dreams, one by one, come true. All I want is to love you forever. – Love Me”
Every morning my wife and I get up, we start the day with a cup of coffee and some quiet time with one another before we start our daily routines. I cannot tell you how valuable this time is to me, and how it helps my day. Then when she gets off to work, I spend time in prayer and in reading my daily bible readings. I start every morning the same way, no matter what day of the week, if I am working or a day off. I spend time with my wife and my Jesus, before anything else. If I did not, I don’t think I could get through the day.
My wife and I talk, text and pray for one another throughout the day. My Savior and I talk and sing together throughout the day. These are the things that keep my battery charged. I look forward to spending time with them every moment of the day. I enjoy having time alone with the Word and to feel the presence of the Spirit of the Lord. Knowing that Jesus is coming back to take us home is the hope that we should all have, and express.
1st hand knowledge our Lord is why we should not be weary in doing well. We should always work with the end game in mind. Just as I look forward to the end of the day when I can have some quiet time with my wife and to the next morning when I can sit with her over coffee. Just as I know the Lord is right there with us as we pray for our loved ones and our friends, just as we know that the Lord is coming to bring us home. Just as we know that the Lord is returning soon, we should be motivated to please him, not man.
To many Christians are caught up in trying to be everything the world thinks that they should be. Instead, be what is pleasing to your Father in Heaven. Be a child of the Father. Live with this focus in mind and you will do well. Do well because it pleases your Heavenly Father, and also take time with Him and let Him know you love Him too.
When listening to advice, we need to ask ourselves these 6 questions:
- Is the advice biblical?
- Is the advice factual in foundation?
- Is the advice necessary?
- Is the advice teachable?
- Does the advice acknowledge the imperfection of the individual giving the advice?
- Is the advice given in love?
“Lo this, we have searched it, so it is; hear it, and know thou it for thy good.”- Job 5.27
This is the summation of the end of a long string of advice that Eliphaz gave to Job, when he was trying to encourage him. He came from a false assumption that Job was being punished for sin, or disobeying God. His advice was to confess, repent and beg for mercy. He told Job that God would surely deliver him out of his troubles if he would repent.
Sometimes people offer advice, meaning well, they do however not have a proper understanding of God or you, or your situation. Sometimes the advice is sought out, and sometimes it comes unsolicited. Whenever we receive advice or move to give advice, we should really examine our motivations and intent. First we need to make sure that the advice in biblical.
Advice received or given should always come from the Word of God. It should be plain and straight forward, and in context with biblical doctrine. We should always test everything against the scriptures, whether it is a sermon, Sunday school, or even advice. Even advice from a church elder of Pastor needs to be tried by the Scriptures. This means that you have to have a foundation in place, prior to your trials or testing. In order to know if the advice is biblical you need to have a familiarity and understanding of scriptures. You need to have a daily walk with the Lord. Daily prayer is a necessity to hear the Spirit of the Lord.
Daily reading and study helps to develop a foundation of faith. How can you say you believe in the Bible if you do not know what it says? In reading the scriptures we see examples of people who have gone through trials, and had to make decisions. We see how those who sought God’s counsel and searched the scriptures have been rewarded. We also see how those who did not seek God’s counsel and acted on the poor advice of others failed to overcome their trials or made poor life decisions.
While I was in the army they taught me what is called the problem solving process. It goes something like this. (1) Identify the problem, (2) Gather information, (3) Decide on a course of action, (4) Implement the course of action, and (5) Evaluate the course of action. In simple terms it would mean to gather the facts. Make sure what the problem actually is.
For instance, if there is a problem with a relationship between two individuals you would first have to determine what the root of the problem is in the relationship. The problem could be one of selfishness, pride, jealousy, or some other sin. It could also be that there is only a problem of perception on one or both sides of the relationship. If someone have been wronged in the past, they are likely to be on the watch for certain types of behavior that indicate that they may be harmed again. Getting the facts straight may be exhaustive, but it is necessary to develop possible courses of action.
When developing courses of action, one needs to take the time to consider all the options available. This is not only when giving advice, but when receiving. Seeking the scriptures, and advice from a Pastor or others who have actually been through a similar experience can show you different avenues. Seeing the different ways this trial or problem can be approached can be invaluable in later deciding on the way to handle the situation. In seeing how others have handled similar situations you will be able to further identify pitfalls and successes. Prayer, and possibly fasting, should be a part of this process.
The scripture say we should seek the Lord first. Before making a decision we should take to time to ensure that the advice is necessary. Based on the facts and scriptures, does this advice actually require action? Sometimes we receive advice on things that are not actually necessary to change. Sometimes, things will resolve themselves through natural processes. Sometimes in the process of the before mentioned considerations, the situation will reveal that the advice is bad. If considering to open your mouth, maybe you should evaluate your own reasons for offering advice.
Often times we give our opinions as advice. We assume to know more than we do about a situation. We think that we know better than someone else. We call that “giving out two cents”. Other times we have a genuine empathy for someone going through a difficult time, and inadvertently offer insensitive advice. An example would be when someone has lost a loved one, or been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and we tell them, “God has a plan”. Yes, he does have a plan, but as a friend, it is probably best just to be there. Let them know that they have support and be silent, hold them while the morn. Grief is a natural part of the healing process, and you are not there so you can feel better, but to allow them to go through the grief process with someone there to help them pass through the fire.
Something else to consider is if there is a teachable lesson in the advice. Is there a life lesson that is revealed in either the advice or the omission of the advice? When considering the advice someone gives you look if this is something that is going to have a good positive change in your life. If you are planning to give the advice, look to see if the advice you give is going to have a good impact. Is the advice teaching and edifying? Does it teach a truth about God? When teaching a truth about God, again refer back to scriptures. Does it teach a biblical truth? Is it a lesson that can then be passed on to someone else for their benefit?
Mentioned earlier is the person perspective. Consider the advice, whether it is given with the understanding that it is not infallible. Scriptures can be misquoted, and pulled out of context. Our own personal perspectives and twist our view of proper avenues. Sometimes advice, like that from an advice column, is purposely given with an end result in mind. The actual intent of the advice is to control the outcome. An example would be a young girl who, got pregnant and went to seek advice on how to best deal with the unexpected pregnancy. Questions like, “How will I get medical treatment?’; “How will I afford to raise a baby?”; “How can I ever expect to have a life again?”; “How do I tell my parents?” Would not receive the same advice from a Pastor, or a woman’s shelter as they would at a company who’s primary business is performing abortions. This brings us to the final question.
Is the advice given in love? 1 Corinthians 16.15 says that all things should be done with love. Love should be the primary motivation for everything we do. When someone gives you advice, or when you give advice make sure that the reason is that you love them. Love covers a multitude of sin. Advice given out of spite, fear, envy, or anger should always be ignored. We should never in anger curse one another, and that includes in giving bad advice. In the same measure we should never listen to advice in anger. Cool down, go through your mourning process, seek the Lord. Study the scriptures now, so that you will have a firm foundation to discern trials, and the advice that comes while your in them. Scripture tells us, to seek wisdom, pray for wisdom both before and during trials. Pray always.
1 Corinthians 15:12-20 – You Cannot Believe in Just Half the Gospel and Be Saved.
This letter of Corinthians was written by the apostle Paul. It is believed that the letter was written around 55 AD. The letter deals with spiritual and moral issues that had arose in the church since Paul’s preaching there in 50 AD. The main emphasis on this of Chapter 15 verses 12-20 deals with the Athenian philosophers of the Epicurean and Stoic beliefs concerning death and the resurrection, and their influence on the church.
The Epicurean believed that when one dies, they simply no longer exist. The Stoic believe that when we die, our soul is absorbed into the soul of the universe, there in no individual conscience. These two philosophies originated between 341-313 BC. These two philosophies are still very prevalent in today’s one world philosophy.
They are portrayed in popular writings and movies like Star Trek and Star Wars. Among the other thoughts in these philosophies are man’s oneness with the energy of the universe, the end justifies the means, and that everything that happens to a man is a cause and effect relationship, man has no real will of his own, or Kharma. For this selection in Corinthians we are concerned with the beliefs of what happens after one dies and the resurrection beliefs in modern churches.
There are many Christians today that don’t believe that a body can be resurrected out of the grave. They make silly arguments about the condition of the body, the decay, or it the person was mutilated or burned to death. This becomes their basis to say that the physical body cannot be raised. The dead will not come out of the grave.
In 2006 a poll released by the Scripps Howard News Service and posed on the Ohio University Survey Research Center website stated that only 65% of professing “Born Again” Christians believe in the physical resurrection of Christ.
A more recent poll released in 2014, by Thomas D. Williams, PH.D., showed that 3 out of 4 Americans believe in some sort of life after death, but only 37% believe in a bodily resurrection from the dead. This is from Americans who have some sort of “religious affiliation”. What seems to be an odd trend is that those with higher educations are more likely to believe in life after death of some sort.
The frightening aspect is that those who call themselves “Followers of Christ”, and “Born Again” in increasing numbers do not believe in the resurrection of the body, and do not believe that Jesus physically rose from the dead. Christians are rejecting one of the fundamental beliefs of their own religion because of improper discipleship and ignorance of the full gospel. For an answer to this heresy we turn to Paul’s writings to the Corinthians.
Paul tells us that it is necessary to believe in the resurrection of the body. You have to believe in the whole gospel or none of it. The resurrection is not just a fable made up to give us a false since of security.
Let us begin at verse 12 in 1st Corinthians chapter 15.
V12. Now it Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is not resurrection of the dead?
Paul is saying here that this is essential to the gospel. Remember he is speaking to believers. Paul says if you have believed on Jesus, that you have then been baptized as an outward showing of your faith, then how can you deny the resurrection? This is inconceivable to Paul.
Romans 10:9-10 “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
I can hear Paul saying, don’t you remember what we preached to you? Don’t you remember how we told you that even the Apostle Thomas had his doubts because he did not see what the others saw? Don’t you remember how we testified to you that Jesus appeared again to the disciples and told Thomas, and I quote;
“Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing” (John 20:27)
So this is what we preach, that Christ died and is risen again, because you cannot be saved unless you believe that He is risen. This being so, if you confess that Christ is risen, then how can you not believe there is a resurrection of the dead? The Greeks looked at themselves as very logical and philosophical people, Paul appeals to this reasoning they were so proud of. It is illogical to say you believe that Jesus rose from the dead so you could have eternal life, but don’t believe you will be resurrected.
V13. But if there is not resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen.
Here Paul starts his logical argument. He says, “OK. Let’s say that there is not resurrection of the dead.” Let us say that a dead body cannot rise from the grave. Let’s forget about the story of Lazarus, and how Jesus raised him from the dead. If when a man dies he simply ceases to exist, or he is absorbed into the cosmos, then it is impossible for Jesus to have risen from the grave. If this is what you believe concerning death, then you cannot believe that Jesus arose, it is not logical. Even though there were other examples that we have been told about. The scriptures tell us about a resurrection and a judgment to come.
Let’s forget about how Psalm 19:9-10 prophesies about Jesus and says, “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.”
Let’s even forget how the scriptures of Daniel tell us in 12:2 about a general resurrection of the body where it is written, “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.”
If there is no resurrection of the dead…. Then Christ did not rise either…. That is the first argument. If you don’t believe in the dead rising from the grave, then you cannot believe that Jesus rose from the grave. Why….? Because Christ, while being the Son of God, was also human. He died and was as dead as any other human. Yes he was sinless, a sacrifice. Stay with me now, in order for a sacrifice of death to be complete, something has to die in it’s place. You see, Jesus was, “dead as a doornail.” As we say in south-east Texas.
How do we know that Jesus was a man? The scriptures testify to it:
- Acts 2:22 “Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God…”
- Galatians 4:4 says Jesus was born of a woman
- 1 Timothy 2:5 says that there is only mediator between God and Man and that HE is the Man Christ Jesus
There are at least 12 other references in the New Testament that describe how Jesus, wept, felt tired, slept, spit, breathed and so on, testifying that he was not some ethereal presence, but a real flesh and blood human being.
V14. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.
So in following that thought process, the deeper reality would begin to sink in. If there is no resurrection of the dead, and Jesus therefor did not rise from the grave, because it is impossible for a man to be raised from the dead. Then there is no basis for what we preach.
The whole of the apostolic preaching was the crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. That was the whole point of the message! Therefore, if you believed our preaching, and it was not based on fact, then you have believed in nothing. Christianity itself is empty.
There was never a claim that Mohammed rose from the grave. There was never a claim that Buddha rose from the grave. In fact neither of them said they were the Son of God. But Jesus said he was the Son of God. In fact in Matthew 12:38-40 Jesus says that a sign of Him being the Son of God would be His resurrection.
V15. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up_ if in fact the dead do not rise.
Paul goes farther, he says that if you do not believe in the resurrection of the Dead, and by extension do not believe in the resurrection of Jesus, and we have testified that we have seen his resurrection… then we are liars, and false witnesses. You cannot believe anything we say. If you cannot believe in the simple doctrine we put forward to you, then you cannot believe anything else.
V16. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen.
Truth be told, if it is not possible for the dead to rise, then Christ did not rise. If a man cannot come back from the dead, then Christ could not have come back from the dead either.
V17. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!
Now Paul shows why it is so important to believe in the resurrection of life. The physical resurrection of Jesus. IF Jesus is not risen, then Jesus is not alive and with the Father, then you have believed a lie. So your faith is unfounded, and there is no forgiveness of sins. You have not mediator for men. Death is still inescapable. Now you have a real problem to fear. You have to enter into eternity within your fallen, unforgiven state. You will be condemned.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6.32)
V18. Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
This means that those who have been martyred for the cause of Christ have died in vain. Those who believed and have passed on, are lost forever. This also means all of the Old Testament prophets and patriarchs have also died in vain, because they prophesied about Jesus and His resurrection. The prophets of old looked forward to the resurrection. If a man cannot be resurrected, then Jesus could not have been resurrected. If Jesus was not resurrected and the whole thing was made up. If it was all made up then you cannot believe in a lie. If it is a lie, then there is no hope for mankind in Jesus. If the resurrection was a lie then so is the rest of the gospel, and all who have died, have died in sin. That means that the war in Heaven is over and that God lost. Everyone is doomed. If Jesus did not accomplish our salvation, then no one can.
V19. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.
If all this has been a lie, and we have believed in vain, then we are the stupidest people on Earth. If we live a life to show love toward one another, and selfless sacrifice in gratitude for the hope of life we have in Jesus, and there is no basis for this belief, then we have been fools. If we have put others first, and been beaten, and tortured, lost our homes, jobs, and even family ties for Christ sake, and it is a lie, then we are the most miserable people on the face of the earth. It is right for others to call us stupid and mistreat us, because we deserve it. We have purposely made ourselves a victim. If the only benefit to believing in Jesus, in this life, is to be a good person, then we have wasted our lives. Because we don’t believe in Jesus just to live a good life.
- The scriptures tell us that none is good! (Matthew 19.17)
- There is none righteous (Romans 3.10)
- Everyone, altogether has become filthy and can do no good, NO NOT ONE! (Psalm 53.3)
V20. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
How do we know Jesus was resurrected? We have witnesses; that is how know he was resurrected.
”For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, and then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once,…” 1 Cor 15:3-6a.
Paul tells us, Hey, I myself have seen Him, Peter has seen him, the scriptures testify to God’s plan, and even 500 believers have seen him… All at the same time! This is not made up, there are too many witnesses.
Jesus himself told us that the sign of His being the Son of God would be “the sign of Jonah”. How Jonah was in the belly of the whale 3 day, so would the Son of Man be in the ground for 3 days, then he would rise. This is God’s testimony of Jesus. This is His Word fulfilled! – Amen
Jesus rose from the dead, he physically came out of the grave! This is a sign that we are forgiven. This is God’s signature at the end of the letter! He is saying, “Here is the guarantee!
If Jesus didn’t rise from the grave, then sin killed him. If sin killed him then death was not subdued. But… scripture tell us that the resurrection of the dead out of the grave is not only possible, but that it will occur for everyone. You do not need to believe it is possible for you to be resurrected. But you do need to believe that Jesus was resurrected in order to avoid being condemned by your own lack of belief, not God’s. Listen to John 5:28-29.
John 5: 28-29 “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”
Therefore, we know that the resurrection of the dead is possible. Therefore we know that the resurrection of Jesus is not only possible, but that it did occur. It occurred as a testimony of the forgiveness of sins, and of the resurrection of life.
We also know that there is a day coming when everyone will be called up out of the grave and brought to judgment. Those who have believed in Jesus will be rewarded. Those who have not believed, those who were filled with how intellectually important they were, will be brought to face their condemnation. But there is hope! There is hope in Jesus, the Lamb of God, who was slain for the remission of sin.
By God raising Jesus from the dead it means that God was satisfied with the sin offering made by Jesus. In Romans 4 the scriptures tell us about how Abraham’s faith in God being able to do what He said he would do was enough for God to impute righteousness to Abraham. Having faith in God to do what he said He would do concerning Jesus, also imputes righteousness to us.
“It shall be imputed to use who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, Who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.” (Romans 4: 24-25)
The resurrection of Jesus is a testimony from God that the sacrifice Jesus made for our sin, is acceptable to God, and that believing in this is how righteousness is imparted to us.
Romans 5:8-10 says “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
Romans 8:11 says, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
The grace of God is that we have eternal life through Jesus Christ, the proof of that is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because Jesus was resurrected, we will also be resurrected to eternal life.
How do we know that Jesus physically arose?
- John 20.17 – Jesus tells Mary not to touch him yet because He still has to ascend to the Father.
- Acts 20.11 – Tells us that Jesus ate with the disciples
- Luke 24.38-39 – “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.”
Paul wrote to the Corinthians explaining, “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15.20-22)
So I ask you today. Do you believe that there is life after death? Do you believe that a man can be brought back from the dead? Do you believe that Jesus was raised from the dead as a sign, that as the scripture records, and even Jesus himself told, that the sign of Jonah would be the only sign given concerning his atonement?
If you do then you need to confess it.
Acknowledge to God and to man, that Jesus was resurrected and that He is the only mediator between the Father and man.
He is because he lives. – Amen