- Past and Present gods
- What have all These Religions Done for Mankind?
- Who is this God and Creator?
- The Holy Spirit’s Revelation
- Gospel of John
- Epistle to the Colossians
- Epistle to the Hebrews
- What is the Dispensation of the Grace of God?
- By Faith Alone
- What does it mean to have Faith in Jesus Christ?
- What does it mean to be Born Again?
- Following Jesus by Faith through Believing all Scripture
- The Importance of the Holy Spirit’s Instruction through the Apostle Paul to the Church and all Christians
- The Scriptures
- Receiving through Believing
- Saved by Grace
- Jesus Christ, the Son of God
- Saved and Kept by God’s Work
- The Coming of Jesus for His Church The Hope
- The Believer’s Eternal Future
- The Christian’s Future Life, Bright
Man’s nature and spiritual being are being addressed in this booklet. It shows that all people, no matter what race they are, have an inward push for a god or gods. The history of this desire goes back to the first man and woman on the earth, and has carried down through the ages, even to the present day. Many may deny this statement but most all people have a sense of what is right or what is wrong, hence comes religion. The history of man and his religion is addressed, but not all religions, as this would take more pages than necessary to show the obvious.
Truth based on fact is the determinant factor as to what is true and what is not true. Truth must speak for itself without imposing other preconceived ideas on it. This booklet attempts to do this with the subject it addresses. The first part is an overview; it does not go into the many divisions that people and the gods have picked for man’s religion. Truth, and what it is, finishes out the booklet, and gives factual study on its very nature.
A few Scriptures are repeated several times. This is not an oversight, but it is done to impress the reader with the meaning and importance of truth, and the depth of these Scriptures.
Chapter I: Past and Present gods
Among mankind there has always been gods, a multitude of gods without number. This is true no matter where in the world a person may go. Man is a spiritual being, looking for and finding a god or gods for his spiritual nature. It is part of his makeup. Usually his god will turn out to be a god of licentiousness for the flesh, or require severe penalties for violation of rules, laws and absolutes in the religion. Many of these gods demand the blood sacrifice of a human. A god or gods of the Mayan or Aztec Indians required the sacrificing of men, women, children or animals. These were supposed to appease the god or gods.
One of the definitions of religion: “A body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices” (Webster’s Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language). Webster gives 7 different expressions of the word “religion.” This particular definition expressed above is No. 3 in the Webster’s Dictionary, and it will be used in this booklet when defining the word “religion”. When used in this booklet, it is speaking about spiritual entities that man either follows or is drawn to. These entities become idols to those who give way to them.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Here is a short list of mostly past religions around the world:
- Odin: Odin has been the Norwegian god to people in the northern hemisphere of Europe up to 1,000 A.D., as well as to other people in past years. Odin was a god of much violence and plunder. This evil, played out on many nations who were the object of war and plunder by the Norwegian adventurers, called Vikings.
- Asian gods: In Asia, for thousands of years ancestor worship has been practiced by these people.
- Middle-east gods: In the Middle East, many different gods have been worshiped; going back to Nimrod (his origin has been explained plausibly as Sumerian, Unger’s Bible Dictionary). His wife, Semiramis, a legendary Assyrian occultist queen, was sometimes seen as the high priestess and origin of these middle-east gods (“The Two Babylonians”, page 5, by Alexander Hislop). Later these same gods are seen in middle-eastern and Grecian countries with different names. One of the gods was called Molech or Moloch. Worship was practiced by throwing children or babies in a fire. Others report that babies were put on the arms of Moloch, which was made as an idol statue of iron, and heated red hot (Unger’s Bible Dictionary).
- Gods of Ireland: Before 1,000 A.D. Ireland had many gods and goddesses. Danu was the mother goddess and the father god was Dagda.
- Gods of Africa: The gods worshiped by the tribes of Africa are called “Orishas”, and also called “Loa”. Worship was a form of voodoo, where spirits had much power. This varied from region to region. It was another form of the occult.
- South American gods: Research by some has shown that there were at least 62 gods in South America. Some of these gods may have hundreds of names. Two are well known –Kami and Keri.
- Central American: The Aztecs main god was called Huitzilopochtli; he headed up all the lesser gods. The Mayan god, Quetzalcoati, was the authoritative god of all the Mayan gods. Both of these practiced worship by human sacrifice. When the Spanish people came to Chi-sa-netsa,around 1500 A.D., they found a three-foot high, 30-foot square concrete bin filled with human skulls. The bin had images of skulls on the walls. The flat stone, where a victim had his heart cut out, is still there today.
- India’s gods: Three of the main gods of India are Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer. Multitudes of gods are added to these three; some say there are 300,000,000 gods in Hinduism. Reincarnation is a major belief of many of these people.
- Islam’s god: The god of Islam is Allah. Origin of the name Allah: In Arabia, possibly for hundreds of years, Arabs worshiped as many as 300 gods. One of these gods was the moon god. Evidence: The use of the crescent moon is a symbol for Islam. It is believed to be a throwback to the days when Allah was worshiped as the moon god in Mecca (Arabia). This information can be found on Google.
- American Indians: The gods of the American Indians were tied to physical things in nature. The spiritual leader (Shaman) or the people seeking direction or medical cures from spirits was not uncommon. Their practices would be known today as spiritualism.
- Middle East: Gods here were without number. Ba’al was a chief god. He was the god of fertility. When Israel took over the land of Canaan (present day Israel), they declared there was only one God, Jehovah. God had revealed himself to Abram then Abraham as the true and only God(Genesis, chapter 12:1-8). Jehovah had delivered Israel out of slavery in Egypt by Moses. Israel conquered their enemies, and their God did many miracles among and for the people. When Israel believed what Jehovah said and acted in obedience to Him, they won every battle and were blessed by their God in everything they did. The nations around them feared Jehovah.
This is only a sample of the many gods that civilizations around the world have turned to in the past. Some name their gods or god as the creator of the world, others do not. The amount of gods in the world followed by various people groups is endless.
Today: New gods but the same entities that preyed on mankind in past ages
Many of these gods are still followed in our present day, and many have passed by the wayside, while new gods have arisen. Mankind’s advancement in learning, education, and the sciences have taken him where he has never been before. True science has given mankind many life easing advancements. However good these improving developments may be, they have not answered man’s spiritual desire for a god. Here is a list of a small but dominate present-day gods. They are a few of the newer religions of this day:
Marxism: This is for a human utopia. The belief is that man has no spirit or soul, only a body, and there is no ultimate God. Man owns nothing; the state owns him. Well known leaders in the foundation of this religion are Carl Marx and Vladimir Lenin.
Millions of people have been murdered by their own government in the 1900’s when Marxism was the religion of their government.
Now, some facts: According to the authoritative “The Black Book of Communism,” written by six French scholars and published in the United States by Harvard University Press, the numbers of people murdered; not people killed in combat; ordinary civilians trying to live their lives; by communist regimes were:
- Latin America: 150,000.
- Vietnam: 1 million.
- Eastern Europe: 1 million.
- Ethiopia: 1.5 million.
- North Korea: 2 million.
- Cambodia: 2 million.
- The Soviet Union: 20 million (many scholars believe the number was considerably higher).
- China: 65 million.
These numbers are quite conservative.
Over the last 100 years there can be no doubt that the leaders of Marxism see any religion as a competing religion for the masses. (Quoted from the Epoch Times).
One day a man is reported to have said to Mr. Lenin that the existence of God can be proven. Lenin answered in the negative; the man then asked Mr. Lenin to think of something that has not already been created? Mr. Lenin could not answer the question, nor can anybody else. The reason: The Creator of all things has made man within His creation. Man does not know or can he think outside of the creation.
Humanism: This religion is where man becomes his own god; hence he is the god man. He makes the eternal laws to fit his own nature. Example; They can now call “evil good, and good evil.” They can now “put darkness for light and light for darkness, put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20-21). Israel started to follow this religion and was rebuked by Jehovah’s prophets. This is the very nature of being a god in the religion of humanism. In 1961 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that humanism is a religion. Humanism, when acted out, weakens the laws of any nation and brings the people down.
Evolution: There is no god of creation, everything created itself. Carl Sagan, a well known Astronomy and Science professor at Cornell University stated “As far as the heavenly bodies are concerned, they always were.” Many professors in universities or colleges become the high priests of this religion of Evolution. And the government gives grants and other financial help to support these teachers and archaeologists who look for evidence to fit this religion. If archaeological findings are presented that shows their findings do not match the facts, they are swept under the proverbial rug.
In recent years passed, Dwayne Dish, a well educated man in the sciences, debated the evolutionary professors from main colleges and universities before the student bodies.
In a statewide newspaper (The Oregonian, Oregon), it was reported that Dwayne Dish had debated evolutionary professors 153 times. Dwayne’s knowledge of sciences put him on top in all the debates. Some have reported that he never lost a debate with any evolutionist. How could this be? Mr. Dish insisted on scientific facts as the basis for the debate. These professors believed what they had taught, or chose to believe, rather than all known facts.
For further studies, the reader may look at the book with many graphics and illustrations entitled “Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation” by Dennis R.
Petersen. This will be of great help to anyone who has an open mind, and has interest in the facts on this subject. This particular book shows many archaeological findings not taught in Evolutionary classes.
These are some more of the well known religions of this age, but not all. Another book is by Michael A. Cremo called “The Hidden History of the Human Race.” This book is a condensed edition of “Forbidden Archaeology.” The new major religions of today have their foundation in evolution as taught by “higher education.” Their teaching is that there is no god except man; he is the only god, the god man. Some may object to this statement; however, when their teaching is analyzed, one has to come to that conclusion. Books could be written on all three of these religions, bringing up a question. How many people want to know that what they believe is untrue?
Articles of Faith
Evolution articles of belief are like Marxism. Man is a body. He has no soul, no spirit. He is what you see, and that is all he is. He came from the sea. More recently some evolutionists think he came from the dirt of the earth, as reported by some news agencies in the last 25 to 30 years they believe Man evolved all by himself. No creator had anything to do with who he is today. It just happened through stages of Evolution over billions of years. Man is his own god. Under these new religions (Marxism, Humanism and Evolution), man is owned by the state. He exists for the good of the state.
Five hundred years ago the Inca Indians in South America had the same doctrine; everything man has must be for the good of the state or else. To read further about the end result of these present day religions, everyone should read: “The Gulag Archipelago” by Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn. In 1970 he was a Nobel Prize Winner for Literature. Solzhdnitsyn lived under the totalitarian government in the 1900s in Russia, where he wrote the history of these religions which are Marxism, Evolution and Humanism.
Question: Does the reader really believe that he is a god?
Chapter II: What Have all These Religions Done for Mankind?
When a person studies all the religions of the world, one thing is common and cohesive among them. The commonality is the killing of people who disagree or refuse to convert to the religion that is held among the majority. This has been clear back to the time of Adam’s son, Cain. Cain, following his religion, brought him to kill his brother Abel over jealousy of his right to worship the Creator (Genesis 4:8). To name all of these murders over man’s religion and time on the planet would be exhaustive and impossible to recount.
Modern religion has kept this pattern during past history. For example, the Roman Catholic Church in the last 1,500 years has burned people at the stake for not following Roman Catholic teaching. Inquisition centers as well as torture chambers (the writer has gone through one in Europe)were used to convert the Jews or Christians to Romanism. In Spain from 1,400 A.D. to 1,800 A.D., 400,000 Jews found only death in the end, as the way out. (See Miller’s Church History by Andrew Miller, Believer’s Bookshelf). There is much recorded in church history regarding all the murders and suffering put on Christians, Jews and others from the Roman Catholic religion.
In the same time period of the reformation (the 1,500’s), John Calvin arose as a leader in the reformation time. John Calvin became known as the Protestant pope of Geneva, Switzerland. History shows Rome’s method (burning people at the stake) was still used by him. It is unclear how many people he burned at the stake for heresy. For more complete information, read the book “Calvinism, None Dare Call it Heresy” by Bob Kirkland D.D.
This is only a small sample of what religion has brought to mankind. If other nations and religions were examined, the result would be the same. Some escaped the tyranny of religion through war, or moving to faraway places. However, no one can deny that mankind needs order and justice through government, if governments are ruling through just and fair laws. This is why the Creator has installed His laws into man’s being and gave him a conscience to measure his ways and his life by these internal laws (Romans 2:14-15).
One thing religion has in common with people around the world is violence. People have suffered the world over from this violence. Violence comes in two forms –physical violence and spiritual violence, or both together. We have looked at the measure of physical violence. Spiritual violence generally leads people away from what is true. Truth is mankind’s friend. Following deception leads mankind into a false or destructive future, even though the physical rewards may be an immediate benefit. The Bible gives an example of this in Matthew 4:1-11; when the devil offered Jesus Christ the kingdoms of this world if he would bow down to him. In the sciences, truth is found by proving what is true through testing. In the spiritual, truth is found the same way. The Bible declares that spiritual truth is found by truth alone. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). For this test, man must have a spiritual measuring rod.
This measuring Rod that God provided unto man is revealed by the prophets, whom He gave to Israel thousands of years ago. They prophesied of a measuring Rod that He would send to man. This Rod of God is the promised Messiah of God to Israel. “The Lord shall send the Rod of our strength out of Zion (Israel). (He will) Rule in the midst of your enemies” (Psalms 110:2).
“There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, (the father of King David) and a (living) Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him…” (Isaiah11:1-2). These prophecies and many others were fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ (00 A.D).
Chapter III : Who is this God and Creator?
The Creator has made all that we see in the heavens above and the earth, and all life upon it. He has given us the answers to these questions in the Scriptures. “For thus says the Lord, Who created the heavens…”
“Who formed the earth and made it… Who formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:18). “I have made the earth and created man on it. I – my hands – stretched out the heavens, and all their host I have commanded” (Isaiah 45:12).
God chose Israel to be His people, apart from all people on the earth. “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 7:6).
Jehovah God chose Israel to be His witnesses to all people of the earth that He is the only God that is, or ever will be. “You are my witnesses, says the Lord, and My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no savior…. Therefore you are my witnesses, says the Lord, that I am God.” (Isaiah 43:10-12).
The prophet Isaiah spoke God’s Word to Israel (740 B.C.). “I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me; …Alas, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel, they have turned away backward. …From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it…” (Isaiah 1: 2-6)
God had given the Law of God to Moses for Israel to live by. It consisted of 613 commandments for Israel to follow. Centuries later a Roman general who helped conquer Israel said, “Israel’s law was a higher standard of life than any country they had conquered.” The Law of Moses given by God to Israel was divine truth for a rebellious and fleshly people.
Moses (1,400 B.C.) prophesied to Israel in Deuteronomy Chapter 28. The first 14 verses are all the blessings that they will receive if they will believe Him and live as His people. The next 54 verses are all curses they will live under if they reject Him by evil ways that following false gods bring.
However, over the centuries Israel refused to believe God for what He told them to do. They took up with the false gods of earthly people and rejected Jehovah, their God. Moses, God’s leader and prophet to Israel, repeated God’s word to them when He said to them, “…for they are a perverse generation, children in whom is no faith” (Deuteronomy 32:20).
Other prophets prophesied of Israel’s rebellion and of the armies of the nations that would invade Israel and take them into captivity. For example, Jeremiah prophesied that Israel would be carried off and be apart from their land, and that it would be 70 years before they could return (Jeremiah 25:11-12).
Israel consisted of 12 tribes, which came from Jacob’s 12 sons. Jacob was the grandson of Abraham. They had split as a nation into 10 tribes in the northern part of Israel and two tribes in the south. The 10 tribes were conquered by the Assyrians and did not come back to their land,as many prophets had foretold. (2 Kings 17:1-18).
Later in 610 B.C. the two southern tribes rebelled against Jehovah God. Again the prophets spoke to Israel of their future if they did not repent of following false gods, carved images and false spirits, and turn back to Jehovah. They refused. Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke the word of the Lord to them. They would lose the war with Babylon and would be taken captive for 70 years (Jeremiah 25:11-13). Isaiah had prophesied to Israel of a deliverance from captivity by Cyrus, a Persian king, 175 years before he gave the order for Jews to be free to return to the land of Israel. This prophecy by the prophet Isaiah was given before Cyrus was born. Cyrus conquered Babylon and released Israel to go back to the land of Israel (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1-4). For further information read the books of Nehemiah and Ezra.
When Israel (Judah) came back to their land, there were some people who believed the word of their God; Nehemiah, Ezra, and others. They rebuilt the protective wall around Jerusalem and the temple as Isaiah prophesied (Nehemiah 6:15). God’s Word was words of hope to a defeated people. Four hundred years later –
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).
There may be over 300 prophesies of the Messiah in the Old Testament given to Israel. Here is a short list of a few of them:
- Messiah will come to crush Satan’s head (power) Prophecy: Because of Adam’s sin brought on by Satan’s lofty lying to Eve, God told the serpent (Satan) that a deliverer (Messiah) will crush (destroy) his head. The meaning of this is that Jesus Christ would shed His blood on the cross of Calvary for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2) which would crush Satan’s power (Genesis 3:14-15 JND), once and for all time (Hebrews 10:10; 12, 14). Jacob prophesied to his son Judah that one would come out of his linage who would hold the scepter (a king), and it would not depart from Him. All people will be obedient to Him (Genesis 49:8-10). Fulfillment: David was anointed King of Israel in 1,000 B.C. The temple records kept in Jerusalem (Matthew 1:1-17) show that Jesus Christ was in the linage of King David; who came from the linage of Judah. King David prophesied: “The Lord (God) said to my Lord (Jesus), sit at my right hand, till I make Your enemies Your foot stool” (Psalms 110:1). This means that God will put the enemies of Jesus into subjection to Him.When Jesus was on trial before Pilate, the Roman governor asked Jesus if He was a King, Jesus told Pilate that He was a king, but not of this world (John 18:37).
- Messiah will come into this world, through a virgin Prophecy: This prophecy the Lord spoke to Ahaz, and to the house of David. He said the Messiah would be born of a virgin, and His name was to be Immanuel (God with us). (Isaiah 7: 14; 700 B.C.)“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (God with Us) (Isaiah 7:14; 742 B.C.).
The Prophet Micah prophesies of the place of Messiah’s birth and who He shall be.“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2).It is said that there was more than one Bethlehem in Judah in those days of this prophecy, but only one with the name of Ephrathah. This is the one in which the Messiah would be born. The description of “whose going forth are from of old, from everlasting” can be no other than the Creator Himself. The prophet Isaiah prophesied, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace…” (Isaiah 9:6-7; 748 B.C.). Isaiah prophesied that the child would be Messiah, God in human form, and would be the Messiah who would be in the linage of King David. Fulfillment: Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, Mary. The Angel Gabriel came to her to reveal to her that the child to be born by her would be the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God would give Him the throne of His Father David. Furthermore, His name was to be Jesus (Savior) (Luke 1:26 -38 date 00 A.D.).“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, ”Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His Name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His Father David.And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1 26-35).“And she (Mary) brought forth her first born Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). Gabriel gives a divine word to Joseph, Mary’s future husband:“But while Joseph thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son and you shall call His name Jesus, (which means “Jehovah is Salvation” or “Jehovah, the Saviour”) for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20-21; 00 A. D.).
- Messiah, will be the only Son of God Prophecy: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6; 700 B.C.). Fulfillment: The child in this verse describes the humanity of Jesus. He was born of a woman. The Son is His Deity; His Father was God, the Holy Spirit. On his human side He was the perfect man (Matthew 3:13-17; 17:5). On His divine side He was God, the Son (John 1:1; 1:14). In the yet to be future, He will reign as King and Lord over everything and all people (Matthew 25:31-46). The list of His attributes Wonderful: He is everything His Father desires and everything man needs for fulfillment and justice (Matthew 17:5).Counselor: His perfection is seen in His rulership; through His words and wisdom (Proverbs 8:12-31). Mighty God: All things were created by Him and for Him the boundaries of the creation He has set (Isaiah 50:2; Colossians 1:15-19). Everlasting Father: He is, He always was, and will always be. He is eternity past and eternity future. He is love (1 John 4:8). This love is bestowed on His children who have been born of God (John 1:12-13). Prince of Peace: Peace on this planet is not going to remain untill the One who is the Prince of Peace is ruling over this planet (Isaiah 11:10). David’s Throne: Jesus Christ sits on God’s throne now in heaven (Colossians 3:1-2). The Lord will, when the time is to be fulfilled, bring it to pass, Jesus ruling on David’s throne in Jerusalem (Isaiah 9:7; Zechariah 6:12-13). When will this happen? When God brings all of the Jews back to the land of Israel!“It shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left… He will set up a banner for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth” (Isaiah 11:10-12).
- Messiah will be in total Oneness with God His Father Prophecy: “…that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord, and beside Me there is no saviour. I have declared and saved, I have proclaimed, and there was no foreign god among you…Indeed before the day was, I am He; and there is no one that can deliver out of my hand” (Isaiah 43:10-13).
The Apostle John writes
Fulfillment: “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Saviour of the world” (1 John 4:14).
Jesus said, “I am the Son of God…” (John 10:36). One God, three manifestations of One God: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:13-17; John 1:1; 3:13). Name of God in Hebrew: Elohim, a plurality of one (Genesis 1:26).
Jesus made His identity clear when He said “I and My Father are One” (John 10:30).
One God The Holy Spirit
“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” (Romans 8:11)
“Jesus answered and said to them, destroy this temple (His body), and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19).
“This Jesus, God has raised up (from the dead), of which we are all witnesses” (Acts 2:32).
- Prophecy of Messiah entering Jerusalem Prophecy: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9; 520 B.C.).
The Testimony of Jesus Christ
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
Jesus answered to Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here. Pilate therefore said to Him, Are you a king then? Jesus answered; You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:36-37).
Fulfillment: When Jesus was going to enter Jerusalem, he was about 33 years old, He told his disciples to go to the village and they would find a colt. The disciples went and found the colt and brought it to Jesus.“…and they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. As He went, many spread their clothes on the road. Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest” (Luke 19:28-40; 33 A.D.).
- Daniel prophesied when Messiah would be cut off (die 33 A. D.) Prophecy: God promised Israel to send the Messiah. The Prophet Daniel spoke, as the angel Gabriel had shown him. The Israelites were in captivity in Babylon when the angel Gabriel gave this prophecy to Daniel.“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks—And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself…” (Daniel 9:25-26; 538 B.C.).Asstated above, 62 weeks and 7 weeks equal 69 weeks. This means that one week equals 7 years. This is called a heptad. Harry Ironside, in his commentary on the book of Daniel, chapter 9:26, cleared up the weeks verses the years; 7 years times 69 is 483 years until the death of the Messiah (cut off). The Angel Gabriel came to Daniel and revealed more to him about the vision. He showed him that 70 weeks (490 years) must take place for the whole vision to be completed. Verse 27 shows the end result of the 70th week. There is one week left for the prophecy to be fulfilled. It has not been revealed when this final week will begin.Isaiah also prophesied of Messiah being cut off. “He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken.” (Isaiah 53:8). To see Messiah’s circumstances of His death read Isaiah chapters 52:13-15; 53.Fulfillment: At the time of 33 A. D. Jesus the Messiah was crucified/cut off from His life on this planet. The time would start at the King of Persia’s edict to release the Jews to go back to their own homeland, Israel (445 B. C.). Sixty-nine weeks is 483 years (heptad). This has been calculated to be about 33 A.D. when Messiah was crucified. To complete the 70 weeks of Daniel’s prophecy, one week is left after Messiah was cut off. Verse 27 shows the end result of the 70th week. The last week of Daniel’s vision, Jesus referred to it in Matthew 24:6, 15, is yet to happen.Jesus was on trial in Jerusalem before the Roman Governor Pilate. Pilate said to the Jews, 33 A. D., “…Behold your King!” But they cried out, “Away with Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief Priests answered, we have no king but Caesar. Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led him away. And He, bearing His cross, went out to the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him…” (John 19:14-18).
The sin question put away once and for all time
“And He Himself (Jesus)is the propitiation (mercy seat) for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world” (1 John 2:2). When Jesus had shed his blood on the cross of Calvary for the sins of the world, He said, “It is finished.” (John 19:30).
“….For He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
Jesus accomplished what He came into this world to fulfill, all that had been prophesied of Him. He is now, God’s only way of salvation, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
Chapter IV: The Holy Spirit’s Revelation Gospel of John
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1).
This Word was and is eternal as seen in this passage, “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of his way, before His works of old. I have been established from everlasting, from the beginning, before there was ever an earth” (Proverbs 8:22-23). For a more complete understanding, read Proverbs 8:22-36. The plurality of God is shown in His name, Elohim, which means plurality of One. The word, Elohim, is used for God in Genesis 1:26, and at the beginning of the world when God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26).
We are shown further in John that this Word is God. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
The Word became flesh and bones and lived among men (John 1:14). He created everything that exists. “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3).
In this Man who came from heaven was something that did not exist on the earth. He could create life and did so by raising people from the dead, healing the blind, crippled, diseased, and brought a heavenly hope to all who follow Him “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). This next verse records His deity without question. Jesus said, “No one ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven” (John 3:13). Jesus was the Divine Man from heaven, who came to this earth. And in so doing He brought what is in heaven to earth, Himself. These verses show the nature of man under Satan’s power, which is darkness. “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:5).
While on the earth Jesus fully complied with every word His Father told Him to do. Jesus said, “…the Father has not left me alone, for I always do those things that pleases Him” (John 8:29). Jesus was the only man born on the earth who did not sin. Jesus was the second Adam, born of God, the perfect man in the eyes of God (Matthew 17:5).
He “…who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth” (1 Peter 2:22).
Epistle to the Colossians
Jesus Christ has completed a divine work for mankind for all who receive Him.
“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sin” (Colossians 1:13-14).
Jesus Christ the perfect image of the invisible God made visible
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things and in Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:15-17).
Firstborn: Jesus is the eternal Son of God. This means He is the Son from eternity past and will always be the Son, with God in eternity future. (Micah 5:2). Firstborn in this passage has nothing to do with time. His relationship with His Father has always been and will always be. All believers are sons of God but only from the time, on this planet, that God begat them through second birth by the Holy Spirit. (John 1:12-13; 3: 3-6). The believer is born again by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ.
Creation of all things: In many Scriptures, up until now, it has been clear that Jesus Christ created all things. And again, all things that exist are held together through Him and by Him. And the creation was done for Him (Colossians 1:16).
“And He is the Head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have preeminence” (Colossians 1:18).
The body here is made up of all people who have put their faith in Jesus Christ. It is the church that Jesus is building (Matthew 16:18). Its purpose is to express the heart and mind of Jesus Christ on the earth. Every believer has the privilege of individually being an ambassador of the head, Christ Jesus. This ambassadorship is to be practiced in the believer by the Spirit of Jesus living and working in him. (Romans 8:9).
Next is again, the word, firstborn. Here it has a different expression. There are several people recorded in the Bible who rose from the dead, but all died again or will die. Jesus shows His present state after rising from the dead; speaking to the Apostle John. “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen, and I have the keys of Hades and of Death” (Revelation 1:18).
Jesus is the firstborn (Colossians 1:18) of many brethren who will bodily rise from the dead in a new body, forevermore. They have become by the power of God, the assembly of the firstborn, believers who are “…the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven…” (Hebrew 12:23).
Jesus, through the power of His resurrection from among the dead, has all preeminence in the invisible and visible world.
Epistle to the Hebrews
The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul (it is understood by many that the Apostle Paul was the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews) wrote this to the Hebrews:
“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1-2).
This Scripture reveals that when Jesus Christ came into the world, this world is in its last days. He is the last and final revelation of God to the world. His Son, who is God in human flesh, is the world’s final revelatory prophet. When Satan‘s final doom has come upon him, he will be cast into the lake of fire forever and ever (Revelation 20:10).
Then Jesus Christ will be the unchallenged heir of this world and the new heavens and earth yet to come (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22-23; 2 Peter 3:13). He is the only rightful heir, and will take possession when He rules, sitting on David’s throne.
However, Christ reigns now in His kingdom through the Holy Spirit in every Christian, who bows the knee.
“…Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His Person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high.” (Hebrews 1:3).
In this verse Jesus is the brightness of His Father and the very image of His Father. “Jesus said to him, (Philip)–He who has seen Me has seen the Father,” (John 14:9). “I and My Father are one,” (John 10:30).
Everything that God is, Christ is. God is a Spirit; Christ is the physical form of God in completeness. He made the worlds (Hebrews 1:2), and they are held together by the word of His power (verse 3).
When He had accomplished redemption so all men could be redeemed unto God, He purged our sins, (by shedding His blood on the cross). His work was finished! (John 19:30). He went back to the Father and now sits at the right hand of God (Acts 1:8-11; Colossians 3:1-2).
Chapter V : What is the Dispensation of the Grace of God?
“…that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3).
God in millennia past singled out the Jewish people apart from all peoples of the earth, first through Abraham to whom He gave the land of Israel, then to all of Abraham’s offspring, Israel (Deuteronomy 7:6-8). They were to be His special earthly people above all people on the earth, chosen for earthly blessing.
The Jewish people who believed God’s promise of His coming Messiah would receive the blessing of eternal life (Job 19:25-27; 2 Samuel 12:23; John 8:49-59; Hebrews 11:8-19).
When Jesus Christ, the man from heaven (John 3:13) came into the world to die for the sins of the world (all mankind), everything changed.
God has now called all people on the earth to be His special heavenly people. The invitation is to come into fellowship with God through faith in Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:9). Through faith in Jesus, a person becomes one of God’s special heavenly people forever. This new calling is a mystery known only to God, unknown in ages past, and has now been revealed to all people through the apostles and prophets of Jesus Christ. This is a new dispensation of the grace of God (Ephesians 3:5), and revealed now to all people as the Church. The Church is comprised of both Jew and Gentile (Ephesians 2:15).
All those in the Church have been called into fellowship with Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:9). Through this fellowship with Jesus believers, have entered into full communion with God.
The mystery of the faith is this: The God who made the heavens and the earth, and made man upon it, has called every believer into a full and complete blessing of God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Key to unlocking the Treasure
Jesus was blessing the children that were brought to Him. And He said to all around Him, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it” (Luke 18:16-17).
Childlike faith in Jesus will bring understanding to the believer’s development in the knowledge and grace of God. In reading the Scripture daily, he will grow in wisdom in the kingdom. And his prayers will surely be received of God.
“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:9-10). This means when a person became a believer by faith in Jesus, God made him a totally complete person. The Christian has been given the truths of the kingdom of Christ by grace alone through his faith.
The Holy Spirit works in the Christian, using the truths of the kingdom of Christ found in the Scriptures.
Chapter VI: By Faith Alone
“That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you may have fellowship with us, with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1-3).
- “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17).
- “But to him who does not work but believes on him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5).
- “… just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works” (Romans 4:6).
These three verses, Romans 1:17; 4:5; 4:6, 500 years ago caused a reformation in Christianity in Europe, wherever they were understood. They are doing the same today. Wherever people are hoping their good works in this life will bring God’s favor for their salvation, they are building on sand, because nowhere in the Scriptures is this taught. What is taught is that God requires judgment and a penalty for sin; for example, “For the wages of sin is death (eternal death)” (Romans 6:23).
The Scriptures, given at the beginning of the chapter, teach that those who come to faith from the heart to Jesus, without good works, enter into the kingdom of God forever and ever. They will never enter into the judgment of eternal death (John 5:24) “..for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29).
Jesus paid the debt and God gave the Christian the gift of eternal life!
Chapter VII: What Does It Mean to Have Faith in Jesus Christ?
“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you — unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: That Christ died for our sins according to the Scripture, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15: 1-4).
When a person believes verses 3 and 4 from the heart, “That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” his hope in Jesus delivers him from darkness into the kingdom of Christ (Colossians 1:13). This is the simplicity of the gospel.
Chapter VIII: What Does It Mean to Be Born Again?
“Jesus answered and said to him, Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God – unless one is born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:3, 5).
To be come born again, two things must happen: First, one must be born of water. Jesus said to His disciples, “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you” (John 15:3). When His disciples believed the words of Jesus to follow Him, He pronounced them clean. Again, Scripture shows us that His word received washes and cleans His Church (all Christians). “…Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5:25-26).
Second, when Jesus was at a feast in Jerusalem, He stood up and said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow living water” (John 7:37-38).
Jesus is the Word of God. All who drink in His word will receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was given for all people on the day of Pentecost (Galatians 3:14). Now all who receive Jesus will become born of God (John 1:12-13). These believers are born again. The Apostle Peter makes this clear: “…having been born again, not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Peter 1:23).
Chapter IX: Following Jesus by Faith through Believing All Scripture
“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).
In the beginning of the Church, all believers accepted the Doctrine of Christ (2 John 9), as the only ground of truth for the Church to follow. As the apostles of Jesus taught the revelation of Jesus Christ, it also became known as the Apostles’ Doctrine, the very revelation and words of Jesus. All truth came through them (Galatians 1: 6-9; 1 Thessalonians 2:13). Today, 2,000 years later, the Church has become weakened through various doctrines, not of the apostles. One of these errors is to call parts of the Scripture, culture. When this done the Apostles’ Doctrine is not believed, nor practiced. Religious traditions, developed by the devil and man in the church, have replaced the Apostles’ Doctrine (Mark 7:6-13).
1 Corinthians, chapters 1 through 14
In 1 Corinthians chapters 1-14 we are taught the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ, as stated in chapter 14, verse 37. These commandments are the very word of God for the Church. Chapter 1:2 teaches that the truths in these 14 chapters are for the Church, until Jesus comes for His Church to take it out of this world.
A few examples of failure are in chapters 1-4 where the Holy Spirit taught that Christ’s body is made up of all believers worldwide. The failure is seen in sectarianism. “Sectarianism means, “adherence to a particular sect which has broken away from a larger group; they are narrow-minded and ready to quarrel over petty differences of opinion,” (Webster’s Encyclopedic Dictionary). These four chapters rebuke the carnality that has come into the Church, even to the present day (1 Corinthians 3:1-4). The meaning in plain words is “denominationalism, independence, sects and tradition and philosophy”, meaning divisions in the body. The Church of God is one body, not multiple bodies (Ephesians 4:4, 15-16).
Chapter 5 – Here immorality is taking place. The Apostle Paul rebuked it and then explains how the Church should deal with it in their assembly. Earlier he stated by the Holy Spirit that the Church is God’s temple (1 Corinthians 3:19).
Chapter 6 – Attention is called to the sin of homosexuality. Today homosexuality is fully accepted in many churches. We are taught by the Holy Spirit that those who practice it will not inherit the kingdom of God (verse 10).
Chapter 7 –This is the marriage chapter for the Christian. It gives the problems of sexuality for those that are single, married, no longer married, and those who are about to be married.
Chapter 8 – This chapter speaks to idolatry, and the offering of food to an idol. For the Christian there is only One God. The Christian may eat the food if offered, as long as a weaker brother is not harmed.
Chapter 9 – The Apostle Paul vindicates his apostleship and his equality with the other apostles. He made himself a servant to win more souls for Christ. He had a right, as a laboring brother, to some remuneration from those who offered it in faith. However, he took none, so his life of faith would not be criticized, therefore bringing no blot on the Lord’s name.
Chapter 10 – Revelry and idolatry is self interest, not the Lord’s interest. Another example is to take a religious figure and elevate him above the Lord’s Word. It must be said that anything that takes a Christian away from our first love of Jesus is sin. This applies to a church, religious personages, sports, cultural pursuits, and pursuit of self. The list can be quite long.
Chapter 11 – Christian women are commanded to be veiled when praying or speaking the word of God. Those who do not bend their knee to the Holy Spirit’s commandment are practicing idolatry of themselves. Also, the assembly is not to practice idolatry in remembering Jesus in His death by breaking of bread with drunkenness, or other such works of the flesh, as the Corinthian assembly did.
Chapter 12 – The gifts of the Holy Spirit to the Church are listed in this chapter. These gifts are for the building up of the Church, edifying it, laboring in Christ and for the working of the Holy Spirit to grow each member of the body. The Holy Spirit will continue this work “till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).
Chapter 13 – Love in this chapter is “Agape love.” It is the love of God; it functions in the Christian. We can say that “God is Love” (1 John 4:8). All labors, gifts, exercise of any work in Christ coming from the Spirit, has its foundation in Agape love. This chapter gives examples.
Chapter 14 – Misuse of spiritual gifts cause much disorder. Women are to be silent in an assembly of believers during authoritative worship, praying or teaching. Failure of men, who are commanded to teach their wives the order of God’s government for the home and the assembly, has allowed the doctrine of feminism to rule in the home and the assembly in a multitude of churches. Children grow up in confusion as to the truth in Christ, and the order of God’s government (1 Corinthian 11:3). Through the parent’s example the children follow worldliness and many other plans of the devil. This chapter speaks to the commandments of the Lord without question. The commandments to the Church do not leave room for arguments against the Holy Spirit. Misuse of spiritual gifts can bring in foreign spirits, masquerading as the Holy Spirit.
Violating the teaching of the Holy Spirit weakens and undermines the Church and Christian families. Again, the Holy Spirit has commanded that all Scripture is in force for the churches (1 Corinthians 1:2),until Jesus takes the Church out of this world.
A new believer needs to be knowledgeable of these truths so he may walk after the Jesus in the Scriptures, and not be deceived by modern churches that practice a false Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).
Chapter X: The Importance of the Holy Spirit’s Instruction through the Apostle Paul to the Church and All Christians
“…for I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. Therefore, take heed to yourselves and to all the flock – the Church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:27-28).
Jesus said, “I and My Father are One” (John 10:30).
Jesus Christ, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are One, one God, manifested in three separate revelations. This can be seen in Matthew 3:15.17.
In John 14:23, Jesus said anyone who keeps His word, His Father will love him; and “We will come to him and make our home with him.” This statement is true for all Christians for as long as the Church is on the earth. It is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, who comes to live in every Christian (John 14:23, 25-26). If the Holy Spirit is there, the Father and the Son are there.
Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1; Revelation 19:11-16). Jesus never spoke a word that was not in line with His Father. In other words, every word He spoke was the word of God.
For the Christian
In Scripture, the term “the doctrine of Christ” (2 John 9) shows the believer what his new life is, the divine pathway to follow Jesus. The doctrine of Christ is made known to all honest seekers through the apostles of Jesus (The Apostle’s Doctrine).
“…that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it, not as the word of men but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:12-13).
The Christian has two things to make him strong in the faith against the enemies of God and His Son.
One: The word of God is to direct him in his walk in this world.
Two: He also has the Holy Spirit living within him to overcome the world, the flesh (his own), and the devil.
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
Chapter XI: The Scriptures
“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4).
“…looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
Reading the Scripture in faith and a hope in God will produce in the believer an insatiable appetite for truth and knowledge of God. This will bring forth many questions, and an increase in the heart for the hope of Christ Jesus. Any compromise or legal doctrines will deaden a person’s spiritual senses.
Walking through this life in the hope of Jesus, and in faith to what He has told us in His word, will bring forth Christian growth and a continuing desire for the depth in his heart in the knowledge of God. The increase in spiritual intelligence to his faith will bring discernment and Godly wisdom to his life choices. His capacity to help others in the faith will enlarge that person and those whom he is able to help. Anyone who wants to install the mind of God in their heart can do so by reading the Scriptures daily. By doing this, a person will gain more light in his heart to teach others.
The gift of helps (1 Corinthians 12:28), exercised to others in the faith, will equip them for a labor in Christ, perfecting the saints and edifying the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12).
Distracting errors will be dispelled, and the lion will become toothless (1 Peter 5:8). The glories of Christ will increase.
For the believer, fulfillment will be found in receiving all Scripture to light every room in his heart.
Chapter XII: Receiving through Believing
“Then Jesus said to the centurion, Go your way, and as you have believed, so let it be done for you. And his servant was healed that same hour” (Matthew 8:13).
Grace = Unmerited Favor “And of His fullness we have all received and grace for grace” (John 1:16).
Jesus came into the world to bring God’s grace unto all people who receive Him. (John 1:11-13). The fullness and completeness of God was in Him and He freely gives grace, grace and more grace to all who receive Him in faith. In His grace are the riches of His kingdom. These riches through His grace are uncountable. A few can be seen in His kindness and mercy where judgment is due.
God has given the best that heaven has to offer (Jesus). When there is failure in a believer’s life, forgiveness He gives rather than wrath. The list is endless of His grace. By grace alone the believer has been given His riches to use and increase the kingdom of Christ. Most all people in this life build their wealth like a pyramid. The more wealth they have, the higher and wider the pyramid. This, of course, is to hold their wealth. The opposite is how wealth is gained in the kingdom of God. The Christian turns the pyramid upside down which holds God’s riches and gives them away freely. The grace, truth, mercy and all of God’s riches increase in the Christian as he freely gives that which he has received of Jesus.
God gives the gift of eternal life to every believer. This gift given does not hinge on the believer’s ability to come up to whom and what God is in His person. The gift of God is given to the believer without works on his part (Romans 4:5), but believes God in faith.
When God gives a gift, He does not take it back because we are failures. “My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:27-28). “… for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29). Further proof is found in this Scripture: “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). God has put His seal of approval on every believer because Jesus paid the penalty for their sins on the cross at Calvary. God’s purposes for the believer are eternal. God asks only one thing from those people who are His, believe Me through My Son.
Chapter XIII: Saved by Grace
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works (ours), lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Most of the world’s religions, including professed believers in Jesus, think that to gain God’s favor, a person needs to do good works. They believe that, when their good works outweigh their wrong or bad works, God will judge them on that scale on judgment day. They think they will be accepted of God when their good works are more than their bad. Many use the Ten Commandments given to Israel as their standard, as their rule of life. When Israel tried to keep them, they failed. In fact the leaders in Israel who claimed to be righteous before God are the very persons who murdered Jesus, the Son of God.
Scripture teaches, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “There is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10).
God put forth the only way for man to be accepted by God, “…for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).
God’s way for man to find acceptance with God is NOT by man’s works or abilities!! Man, a sinner, trying to act like God, will never be brought into favor or acceptance through his works.
God’s way is quite simple -by grace through what God has told us, which is: Jesus came to die for our sins which happened at Calvary’s cross 2,000 years ago. This He did, and was in the grave for three days and nights; then He arose from among the dead, to live forevermore. (Revelation 1:18).
Abraham, an unbeliever and an unrighteous man when God spoke to him, “…and he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). Because Abraham believed God, God imputed to Abraham God’s divine righteousness. All who put their faith in Him from the heart are saved the same way.
“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
This is God’s way of salvation. Jesus called His disciples children, and so we are. God has made the way of salvation so even children can enter in by faith, without their works (Romans 4:1-6).
From a servant to a son
“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15).
Jesus has chosen everyone who has put their faith in Him to be His friend. And because a believer is His friend, He makes known to the believer all things His Father has shown Him. The believer now saved, God has made him a son of God. This sonship comes with the ability to know the Lord, and in Christian growth to understand and to learn the mind of God. This means the Christian not only knows Him through reading and believing the book of God, the Scriptures, but receives the knowledge of God. This includes wisdom, understanding of life, discernment in spiritual truths, and being led in his heart by God’s Spirit. This opens up a whole new world for the believer. This growth is of God’s making to develop him into the image of Christ Jesus (Romans 8:29).
As the truths of God’s kingdom become more clear to the believer, his life becomes one that is grounded in Christ.
Chapter XIV: Jesus Christ, the Son of God
“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9).
- Jesus, as the Son of Man, was the second Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45-47). Everything the first Adam did failed, and brought displeasure to His Creator. Jesus Christ pleased His Father in every detail of His life, even unto death (Matthew 3:17; Luke 23:34). Because of His obedience unto His Father, God gave Him a name above all names on the earth and in the heavens.Some say it is the name of Jehovah. In Isaiah 45:22-23, it is decreed that every knee will bow to the name of Jehovah (God) (Believer’s Bible Commentary, by William Mac Donald).“..that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and of those on earth, and of those under the earth” (Philippians 2:10).
- Jesus never spoke a word or did an action that was not in perfect agreement with His Father (Matthew 17:5). Because of this Oneness with His Father, Jesus is Lord of heaven and of earth. Believers in Jesus have already bent their knee to Jesus, because they have seen Him for who He is. They have given Him homage, worship, praise, and elevation above all things or people in heaven or earth. When He comes again as victor over the heavens and the earth, all his enemies will also bow down to Him (Revelation 19: 11-21).
- “…and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:11). Today there are many who resist the lordship of Jesus Christ. In that future day, all men will confess that Jesus is Lord of all. The glory of God will prevail over the earth and heaven. And the Son of Man, Son of God has brought exaltation from all people to His Father.
- “Therefore, my beloved, as you have obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling…” (Philippians 2:12). To those who have come to faith in Jesus Christ, God has given them His Holy Spirit to live in them. He lives in every believer to direct him in living a life of faith in Jesus Christ through the truths in the Scriptures. The Scriptures are God’s word (1 Thessalonians 2:13). They direct the Christian’s pathway, as he walks in them through faith. He is given the ability to overcome the world, the devil, and his own sin nature. This work of God empowers his life in overcoming.
- “…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
We are reminded in this verse that God is the power in every Christian to live the Christian life. In other words, God is living the life of Jesus through the believer (Romans 8:14).
Jesus said that He and the Father would come to the one who loves Him and make their home with him (John 14:23). Man’s efforts are futile to bring this about. It is by faith from the heart in Jesus and His every word. If God the Holy Spirit is in the believer, so also are the Father and the Son. The three are three expressions of the one eternal God. This is the pure grace of God with the love of God imparted to the believer.
Chapter XV: Saved and Kept by God’s Work
“But God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2: 4-6).
When a person becomes a Christian, God has raised him up from the place of death, and given him a new resurrected life. (God raised him, a dead man, to new everlasting life). As Jesus was raised from among the dead, the believer was positionally raised with Him when he was given a new resurrected life.
As the believer now lives his new life by faith in Jesus, the natural life, his old life, will fall away by the divine life God has given him. As the old hymn states, “The world becomes strangely dim.” Whereas he was set for judgment before God (Revelation 20:11-15), now he is in full favor with God in Christ Jesus. He will never come into judgment for his sins before God (John 5:24). This new life brings him into full friendship with God (John 15:15), and also into complete fellowship with Jesus (1 Corinthians 1: 9).
For those in Jesus, there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1). For those in Jesus, judgment of their sins has already taken place at the cross of Calvary, where Jesus paid the price for our sins with his own blood once and for all .past, present, and future (Hebrews 10:10, 12, 14). The Christian’s sins have been put away once and for all time, forever.
The Christian Summation
- Every Christian has a new divine life which God has installed within him, the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9).
- He has been given the riches of the kingdom of Christ to spend for the Father’s glory (Ephesians 1:6).
- “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk upright” (Psalms 84:11).
- If faith in Jesus is our life, “…we shall also reign with Him” (2 Timothy 2:12).
Chapter XVII: The Believer’s Eternal Future
Jesus said of Himself, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die…” (John 11:25-26).
The meaning of these words is that our body may die, go back to the earth and our spirit will leave the body, but the Christian is told of the hope that lies before him. “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).
The Christian’s future is eternal, with Christ living in the believer. “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
Death is no more for the Christian, we shall be changed. “Behold, I tell you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed —— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall all be changed.
For this corruptible must put on in corruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on in corruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:51-55).
The Crushing of Satan’s Head The Christian Overcomes Through Jesus Defeating Death and Hades
Jesus said, “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and Death” (Revelation 1:18).
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
The Christian’s hope is built on the victory of Jesus Christ over all enemies, death being the last enemy of man. Death will not exist anymore. And the Christian will reign with Christ forevermore (Revelations 22:5). The Hope of Him is eternal, and full of joy.
Chapter XVIII: The Christian’s Future Life, Bright
“I KNOW YOUR WORKS – For you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have kept my command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 3:8, 10).
After Jesus comes to take His Church to Himself, a time of great trouble will come on the world for seven years (Revelation 6:11-18; 11:19; 20:15). After this time Jesus will come and destroy His enemies, and then He will sit on the throne of Israel’s former King David, His saints with Him reigning for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:4).
Then God will create new heavens and a new earth (Isaiah 65:17;66:22; 2 Peter 3:10-14; Revelation 21:1-7) where His saints will be with Him forever and ever (Revelation chapter 20-22).
The Christian’s final subjective place is to reign with Christ forever and ever. This is why the Apostle Peter directs the Christian to: “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” for the glory of God is forevermore (2 Peter 3:18).
By grace Jesus saved the believer when he was dead in trespasses and sins. He raised him up in a new resurrected life, a dead man made alive. By grace He will bring him to the highest heaven where He sits on His throne. By His grace all things are ours and by His grace nothing can separate us from His love. We are His forevermore. (Romans 8:35-39). Hymn 287
In the past, the gods of this world show where mankind has come from, and some of these same gods are still being followed at the present time. All this bloodshed that has caused men to make human sacrifices that have gone on for thousands of years has been stopped by Truth, the true light of the world, who is Jesus Christ. He is God’s gift to mankind because He died once and for all, for all people who receive Him. Jesus has come into the world so that all people may have a way of escape from eternal death and the coming judgment that will take place at the end of this world (Revelation 20:11-15). Jesus is the only true God who came to live in human form among His creation. His main purpose was to die for the sins of mankind (John 3:16). The people who have been given eternal life through Him will never enter into this judgment of God, which is eternal death (John 5:24).
To grow in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ means to follow the pattern of Jesus, to walk in His ways, mercies, and kindness by His Spirit. It means to grow in the knowledge of God, to live out in the believer the truths found in the New Testament epistles. The Holy Spirit awakens the believer to truths he knew not, and gives direction in his walk. When these truths we have received from the Scripture, to live them out in our lives, God will give the increase through His Spirit. The joy of God that the believer receives from faith in Jesus, through these truths, gives hope and God’s Rock to build our faith on. This Rock is Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:13-20).
“For you are my Rock and my fortress “(Psalms 31:3).
“…but grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever” (2 Peter 3:18).
“But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.”
“Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:31-32).
D. Neely 3-30-21