(Note: Every believer in Christ, esp. those who are living in their ‘golden years’ should pay special attention to this message from the Bible. The Rapture is our Blessed Hope! Tit2:13)
The Rapture- Breaking the Adamic Curse of Death
The Legacy of Death
What is the legacy of death? It is the curse of death which Adam passed on to all living beings. But as we approach the last days of mankind, the legacy of death will accelerate signifying that many people, young and old, will experience catastrophic and premature death regardless of age. When asked regarding the end of the world Mt24:3, Jesus said ‘For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places’ Mt24:6. All these terrible events will bring a significant increase of horrible, widespread and sudden Death never experienced before in the history of mankind.
This is how the 4th Horseman of the Apocalypse is described: ‘And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with Death, and with the beasts of the earth’ Re6:8. Suffice to say that Death by cataclysmic destruction- by wars, famines, natural disasters, and diseases, is a major theme found in the book of Revelation. But God has also made an Escape from Death for us through Jesus Christ called the Rapture, which is explained in this paper.
Death- the Adamic Curse
Because of Adam’s original sin in disobeying God, Satan placed a curse upon Adam and on all mankind. This curse is the death penalty for every living person, not unlike any criminal who is sentenced to death for a heinous crime that he had committed. Everyone that ever lived is under this death penalty and will eventually die. The apostle Paul wrote ‘For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God’ Ro3:23, and ‘..the wages of sin is Death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’ Ro6:23. Paul explained ‘Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and Death by sin; and so Death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned’ Ro5:12.
When Adam broke God’s only law in the Garden of Eden, the death penalty was placed upon Adam and on all of us. We will also see below that Death is the work of Satan, the devil, and how God in the person of Jesus Christ came to ‘..destroy the works of the devil’ 1Jn3:8. Paul wrote ‘..as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, also (Jesus) himself likewise took part of the same; that through (his) Death he might destroy him that had the power of Death, that is, the devil’ Heb2:14.
Death is an inevitability for everyone! There is no escaping physical and eventual spiritual death except through Jesus Christ. Heb9:27 states ‘..as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment’. This means after death, there is a final judgment in the so called after-life.
The Adamic Curse- Physical and Spiritual Death
The Bible speaks of two types of death. It is one thing to experience physical death, but the Bible also speaks of a spiritual death– eternal damnation Mk3:29. Jesus said ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not Perish, but have everlasting life’ Jn3:16. Jesus continued ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God’ Jn3:17,18.
Jesus said anyone not believing on Him and what He did for us on the cross is condemned already to eternal damnation. To be saved means our soul would have everlasting life one day in heaven. To perish means to be condemned to eternal punishment and torment in hell forever. Jesus asked ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ Mt16:26. All the riches and glory of the entire world cannot compare with losing one’s soul in hell. Spiritual death is eternal damnation! But Paul wrote ‘..Christ died for our sins’ 1Co15:3, to save us from spiritual death.
The Garden Scene/the Garden Sin and the Tree of Death
Ge1:1 states God is the creator of all things. God put all the trees and animals, then Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Every tree the LORD God planted was pleasant to sight and good for food Ge2:9. There were two very significant trees in the Garden- the tree of Life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
In the the Garden 6000 years ago, the LORD God had only ONE LAW. He commanded Adam ‘..Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die’ Ge2:16,17. Since God only planted the good trees, how did this beautiful but deadly tree get into the Garden Ge3:6?
Did God allow Satan the serpent, the Devil to plant this evil tree of Death? Re12:9 states ‘the old serpent is the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world’. Mt13:25,39 state ‘the enemy, the devil is the sower of tares, or the planter of the bad seed’. Like God’s good trees, Satan’s evil tree was also beautiful, but deadly for food Ge3:6. Satan deceptively used the evil tree to introduce Death into the world.
A&E lived in the Garden for a while before one day succumbing to the serpent’s temptation. They were carefree, asexual with no children, and in daily communion with God. They had no hunger, no sweat, no sorrow, no pain, no lack, no strife, no bondage, no problems, no violence, no sickness, no disease, no sin, no evil and no death! They ate only fruits until they partook of the Tree of Death. They were healthy and would have lived forever. They were also beautifully clothed with glory, but became naked and cursed upon sinning Ge3:7,17.
Satan, the Author of Death- the Destroyer and Murderer
The Bible states that the serpent (the devil) was very subtil and wise Ge3:1, and perhaps very attractive. The serpent stood upright and could talk like a man. The serpent may have encountered A&E many times. One day, he laid a trap for them, even as he does for all of us. Paul warned us to beware ‘of the snare of the devil’ 2Ti2:26. Jesus said ‘the devil was a murderer from the beginning and is the father of lies’ Jn8:44. The devil, the liar, seeks ‘to steal, and to kill and to destroy us’ Jn10:10.
A&E believed the serpent’s lie about becoming wise as gods; disobeyed and broke God’s only law. A&E became wise, knowing good and evil, and also very perverted and corrupt. Their eyes were opened; they lost their glory clothing, became naked and corrupt Ge3:5-7.
Thus by Adam, sin and death entered into the world and were passed on to every man ever since. The apostle John wrote ‘He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he (Jesus) might destroy the works of the devil’ 1Jn3:8. By dying on the cross ‘Jesus might destroy the devil that had the power of death Heb2:14. Satan, the devil, is the author of death and has the power of death. Satan is a killer, ‘a murderer from the beginning’.
The Adamic Curse of Death- A Lifetime Bondage
David wrote ‘What man is he that liveth, and shall not see Death? shall (God) deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?’ Ps89:48. Paul stated ‘Through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage’ Heb2:15. Whether a person lives to 80, 90, 100 or more, Death is often a fearful preoccupation. A common saying is ‘Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die’. But if a person knows his Bible, he should have a better outlook in this matter. Curiously, the Bible speaks of a second death. Re20:14 states ‘And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the SECOND DEATH’.
The Bible also speaks of a coming generation of people living that will not experience physical death. It speaks of an Escape from this cursed lifetime bondage, when Jesus will return, to bodily translate His own alive back into heaven Jn14:3, 1Th4:17. This Escape is known as the Rapture of the Saints, much like how Enoch and Elijah were taken bodily alive into heaven.
Enoch and Elijah- Two Who Broke the Adamic Curse
The Bible states Enoch and Elijah were the only two living that escaped physical Death. Enoch, ‘the seventh from Adam’ Jude14, ‘..walked with God: and he was not; for God took him’ Ge5:24. ‘By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see Death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he PLEASED God’ Heb11:5. Enoch was 365 years old when God took him bodily into heaven.
Likewise, God also took Elijah, the prophet, directly to heaven in a chariot of fire. 2Ki2:11 states ‘And it came to pass.. behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven’. Both Enoch and Elijah were the only two people living before that never died, but were translated or Raptured into heaven.
By His Death, Jesus Defeated Death for Us
Jesus is the only person in history who said He would die and come back alive. Neither Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed, or anyone else made this claim, and did return from the dead except for Jesus Christ! The first instance of Jesus telling his disciples of his impending death and resurrection was in Mt16:21: ‘From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day’.
Throughout the four Gospels, Jesus repeatedly spoke of his death and resurrection, though no one believed Him. (See Mt17:22-23,20:17-19, Mk8:31,9:31,10:34, Lk9:22,18:33,24:7,46, Jn2:19). Jesus made this claim, and came back alive for 40 days after his brutal death on the cross Ac1:3. Jesus was seen alive by over 500 people at once, by many of his disciples, adversaries, and contemporaries of his days 1Co15:6, and He was then physically taken up alive into heaven Ac1:9.
Jesus came to earth to defeat death. Heb2:9 states ‘But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man’. By one man Adam, sin and death entered into this world, and by one man Jesus Christ, tasted death for all of us. John the Baptist said ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’; ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him’ Jn1:29,3:36.
The Acts of the Apostles is replete with accounts of the apostles preaching the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead! The apostle Paul went all over Asia Minor, Greece, Rome, and Spain Ro15:24, proclaiming the incredible story of Jesus’ crucifixion by the Romans and of His Resurrection; that Jesus was alive, and that everyone must believe in Him in order to be saved from sin, Satan, and Hell, for He died for our sins!
Jesus Christ Declared Himself as the Resurrection and the Life
The Resurrection is not only a historical event, but also a person- Jesus Christ. The Bible revealed that Jesus Christ is God Himself. In his own words Jesus said ‘I am the Resurrection, and the Life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: AND WHOSOEVER LIVETH AND BELIEVETH IN ME SHALL NEVER DIE. Believest thou this?’ Jn11:25-26. Jesus declared himself as the Resurrection and the Life. Jesus claimed to have power over Death and over Life. Jn1:4 states ‘In him (Jesus, the Word of God) was Life; and the Life was the light of men’.
Jesus said ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him’ Jn14:6,7. Know Jesus, know the Father! See Jesus, see the Father! Jesus said ‘I and my Father are One’ Jn10:30! Jesus is the only way to God the Father, and to Heaven!
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ From the Dead- 1 Corinthians Chapter 15
Paul declared the Resurrection of Jesus Christ in his first letter to the Corinthians. Paul said ‘For I delivered unto you first of all.. how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once..’ 1Co15:3-6.
Paul said ‘And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.. And if Christ be not raised, your Faith Is Vain; ye are yet in your sins’ 1Co15:14,17. Paul continued, ‘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’ 1Co15:21,22.
Here the apostle Paul spoke of a future Resurrection of the Dead and then of the Living, when Jesus will return to take us back to heaven. Paul desiring to attain to this Resurrection wrote ‘That I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the Resurrection of the Dead’ Php3:10,11. But we look forward to the Resurrection of the Living, our escape from death via the Rapture.
The Coming Rapture- Our Only Escape From the Adamic Curse
Jesus told us how to escape Death one day: ‘And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your Redemption draweth nigh’ Lk21:28. Jesus said ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to Escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man’ Lk21:36.
Then Paul added ‘How shall we Escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord..’ Heb2:3. Here both Jesus and Paul warned of a need to Escape the terrible things coming to pass upon the earth. The Rapture is our only Escape from physical Death. The Rapture represents ‘the Redemption of our Body’ as spoken of in Ro8:23.
Jesus promised that one day He will return to take us bodily into heaven in the Rapture. Jesus told his disciples ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also’ Jn14:1-3.
Paul then confirmed what Jesus said: ‘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 descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the Dead IN CHRIST shall rise first: Then we which are Alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words’ 1Th4:15-18. Paul wanted us to remember this promise of Jesus, and to comfort us with these words of the coming Rapture!
The Rapture- the Adamic Curse of Death Finally Broken
David wrote ‘This shall be written for the generation to come’; God will ‘..loose those that are appointed to death’ Ps102:18,20. Paul wrote ‘The last enemy that shall be destroyed is Death’ 1Co15:26. As Jesus holds ‘the keys of hell and of Death’ Re1:18, we are now living in that terminal generation when Jesus will return and loose those that are appointed to death. Jesus promised us ‘AND WHOSOEVER LIVETH AND BELIEVETH IN ME SHALL NEVER DIE..’ Jn11:26.
Here Jesus was referring to the Rapture, where a generation of believers living would be loosed from physical death. As Enoch and Elijah who pleased God were taken bodily alive into heaven, ‘.. so shall we ever be with the Lord’ 1Th4:17. But we must be IN CHRIST to be taken in the Rapture of the Saints 1Th4:16,17. If not, many will be left behind like the 5 foolish virgins Mt25:11,12.
Paul spoke of the Rapture again stating ‘Behold, I shew you a mystery; WE SHALL NOT ALL SLEEP (Die), but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, Where Is Thy Sting? O Grave, Where Is Thy Victory? ..But Thanks Be To God, Which Giveth Us The Victory Through Our Lord Jesus Christ’ 1Co15:51-57.
Our natural body will then be changed into a supernatural, spiritual, and glorious body like Jesus Christ 1Jn3:1-3. The Rapture will be our Reward, our Redemption, our Salvation, and our Resurrection. Finally, the Rapture will be our Escape from the Adamic Curse of Death which will be broken; we shall never die, but live forever! Praise The Lord! Amen!
Hell- A Most Terrible Place of Endless Torment
Jesus asked ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ Mt16:26. It is horrible when one loses his soul and perishes in Hell. HELL IS FOR REAL AND SADLY, MANY ARE HEADING THERE! Jesus said ‘ENTER YE IN AT THE STRAIT GATE: FOR WIDE IS THE GATE, AND BROAD IS THE WAY, THAT LEADETH TO DESTRUCTION, AND MANY THERE BE WHICH GO IN THEREAT’ Mt7:13. Jesus came to earth, to die for our sins and to save us from Hell! Hell is a place where souls are damned forever. Hell is where people who died in their sins will spend eternity, in anguish, torment, fear, pain, regret, remorse, without hope and they will never be able to leave there.
The subject of Hell can be found in many ancient civilizations throughout the world. There is a commonality in many cultures regarding Hell. Most agree that Hell is a place of extreme suffering where bad and evil people go- a place of anguish, punishment, gloom and doom, despair, and no escape! Whether in China, India, Egypt, Europe, or in the Americas, people have captured similar concepts of Hell in their art expressions, in their ancient writings, and legends.
China, the oldest standing civilization, has much written about Hell and its depiction in artwork. The Chinese believed in 10 kingdoms ruled by 10 kings, in charge of the torments therein. Their temples are filled with fearsome looking and grotesque idols, and depicting devils and gargoyles on their rooftops. In Dante’s Inferno, Hell is described as 9 circles of progressive sufferings located within the deep bowels of the earth.
What does the Bible say about Hell? Who was Hell created for and who will be going there? All of us have a unique soul that makes us different from the rest of the billions people that ever lived. The soul is the ‘real you’ consisting of our personality, our likes and dislikes, our hopes and fears, and our greed, lust, and vanity that makes us who we are. Our soul never dies! What will happen to our soul that lives only temporarily in our physical body? Where will our soul spend eternity, like for the next 100, 1000, or 1,000,000 years- in Heaven or in Hell? Our final destination depends upon our spiritual state upon death, whether we receive Jesus Christ as our Saviour or not. Heaven or Hell, one or the other, will be our final destiny. We will examine the subject of Hell and what the Word of God says about Hell and eternal damnation!
Characteristics of Hell- According to the Bible
Hell is a place of everlasting suffering and torment; of great pain and of sorrow; of punishment, of great regrets, and of weeping and gnashing of teeth Mt24:31,25:30. Hell is for real. It is place somewhere ‘in the nether parts of the earth’ Ez31:16; in the lower parts of the earth Ps63:9, the heart of the earth Mt12:40, the abyss, the bottomless pit, where there is a king, the Beast resides Re9:11,11:7. Hell is a place of unquenchable fire, where the soul, the spirit, and the body are in full consciousness, where people recognize and converse with each other; where fallen angels aka devils or demons 2Pe2:4 are doing the tormenting, and delight in the demise of people. The smell of sulfur aka brimstone Lk17:9, Re14:10, 19:20, and the stench pervades Hell, wretched and stifling Ps16:10; where their worm (maggots) does not die and the fire not quenched Mk9:43,46,48.
Hell also has different levels; ‘lowest hell’ Ps86:13; ‘greater damnation’ Mt23:14. Hell is described as a place of outer darkness Mt22:13, a holding place for the chained fallen angels reserved for judgment one day 2Pe2:4, Jude6. Hell is also the abode of the wicked, unregenerated people, those not ‘BORN AGAIN’ spiritually Jn3:3,5, not cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ Heb9:22.
Luke, the Gospel writer, tells the story of the rich man in Hell, and what it is like to be there, in torment, in flame, hot, and thirsty Lk16:19-31. It was so terrible there that the rich man begged Abraham to send someone to warn his five living brothers not to come to ‘this place of torment’ v28. Those in Hell desperately seek another chance, but it is too late! Jesus’ express purpose for coming to earth was to save us from Hell; that by dying on the cross for us and believing in Him, we should not perish but have everlasting life Jn3:16,17. Hell is a temporary place, for one day both Death and Hell will be ‘cast into the Lake of Fire’ Re20:14, where the beast, the false prophet, Satan, and all unbelievers will go. They ‘shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever’ Re20:10,15. The Bible also speaks of hands, feet, teeth, eyes, and tongues of people in Hell, and worms devouring them.
God Originally Created Hell For the Fallen Angels
The Bible states Hell was originally created for the fallen angels led by Satan aka Lucifer Is14:12,16 who rebelled against Almighty God in heaven and were ‘cast out into the earth’ Re12:9. It states ‘For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to Hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment. And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly..’ 2Pe2:4-5. Jude 6 is similar: ‘And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day’. It is interesting to note that not all fallen angels, aka demons/devils, are in Hell. In his ministry Jesus ‘cast out devils’ from many people Mt10:8, Mk1:34, Lk9:49. Thus, many are still roaming the earth working with Satan. The apostle Peter wrote ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour’ 1Pe5:8.
God created Hell for the devil, the fallen angels, and then for sinners Ez18:4! We see that sin first originated in heaven Is14:12, before Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden; that the angels were cast out into the earth down to Hell in chains of darkness awaiting a worst fate in the final day of judgment; that the millions also perished during the great flood are still there. As they did not heed Noah’s warning, God is warning us today that terrible judgment is also coming upon the earth. Jesus told his disciples ‘.. fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell’ Mt20:28. When Jesus returns, He will say to the unrighteous ‘Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels’ Mt25:41.
Jesus Came to Save Us From Hell- One Must Be BORN AGAIN Spiritually
Only those who are BORN AGAIN spiritually will go to heaven. If not, they will perish in Hell. Ro5:8 tells ‘.. God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us’. Ro5:12 states that sin and death came to the world by Adam and they were passed on to all of mankind. Jesus Christ paid the price by dying for our sins to save us from Hell which is the consequence of our sins. The Bible states ‘.. Hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure..’ Is5:14. Jesus told Nicodemus about the BORN AGAIN experience. He said ‘Except a man be BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God.. Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be BORN AGAIN’ Jn3:3,5,7.
We must be BORN AGAIN in order to see and to enter into the kingdom of God, and to escape eternal damnation. Jesus said ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not PERISH, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved’ Jn3:16,17. God does not want anyone to PERISH IN HELL, but all to be with Him in heaven. Jesus said ‘I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE: NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER, BUT BY ME’ Jn14:6. Thus, the only way to escape Hell is by believing in Jesus Christ. This is what the Great Commission is all about- to warn others about Hell. Jesus said ‘He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned’ Mk16:16.
The Holy Bible Lists Who Will End Up in Hell
The existence of Hell today is either denied, trivialized, or transformed into a fun event. Many youth, having feelings of invincibility and immortality, often ignore or deny the subject of Hell. Every October 31, Halloween day revelers spend big money to buy hideous masks and costumes of devils and demons, do tricks or treats, to celebrate and glorify Satan. In America, it is all a big joke and a big event rivaling even Christmas. Many rock concerts serve to worship the devil. Many churches have also avoided speaking about Satan and of Hell, and thus, offer no salvation to their members. But the Bible states Hell is real and many are heading there Is5:14, Mt7:13!
The Bible describes who will not inherit the kingdom of God, and therefore end up in Hell and into the Lake of Fire. The apostle Paul wrote ‘Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like.. they which do such things SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD’ Ga5:19,21. Paul repeated ‘Know ye not that the unrighteous SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD’? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God’ 1Co6:9,10. The Bible states un-forgiveness will also doom one to Hell! Jesus said ‘..if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses’ Mt6:12, Mk11:26.
The apostle John added ‘But the fearful, and UNBELIEVING, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the LAKE which burneth with fire and brimstone..’ Re21:8. Also, anyone taking the Mark of the Beast during the Great Tribulation shall be cast into Hell. Re14:10,11 state ‘..The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name’. Sadly, many will be deceived to take the Mark of the Beast.
High on the list of sins for those heading for Hell are sexual sins and immorality that are now sweeping the world. This includes same-sex marriages that the US Supreme Court recently declared as legal. Paul wrote expressly against the sin of Homosexuality calling it vile affections.. without natural affection. He said ‘For this cause GOD gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly.. without natural affection..’ Ro1:26,27,31. Other sins not specifically mentioned but under uncleanness and lasciviousness are sodomy, pedophilia, pornography, and bestiality; and under murders, abortion.
However, if one REPENTS of his sins, seeks forgiveness from God, turns from his wicked ways, and accepts Jesus Christ as his Saviour, he shall be saved. REPENTANCE is necessary for SALVATION. 2Co7:10 states ‘For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation..’. Ro10:13 states ‘For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved’.
Purgatory- a False Doctrine Not Found in the Holy Bible
Purgatory is a fabricated doctrine- a place where people are purged and cleansed before they can go to Heaven. According to the Bible, there are only two places for departed souls, either Heaven or Hell. Purgatory is not found anywhere in the Bible. It is a false doctrine created by the medieval Roman church in Europe to subjugate the ignorant masses in fear, and to enrich themselves through the sale of Indulgences– the paying of a priest to pray for the departed dead. The spin is that since no one is ever holy and good enough to go to heaven directly, one can obtain Indulgences from the church, who will pray for the departed souls in Purgatory undergoing purification, to lessen their time of punishment there. The priest through some mystical powers would make intercession for the departed soul, and thereby lessen one’s time in Purgatory.
Because many don’t know what the Bible says about salvation and Hell, and believe that they are never good enough to go directly to Heaven, they accept the false doctrines of Purgatory and Indulgences as gospel truth. But how can any priest forgive sins when he himself is a sinner? For many years now, the media has been rife with news of widespread pedophilia, homosexuality, and pornography among ministers, priests, and pastors. A case in point, the Catholic Church in America alone has paid out over $2.5 billion in child sex abuse settlements over the past decades. There are other false doctrines regarding Hell as being a temporary place, or a belief in reincarnation of a departed person into another form, or that Hell does not even exist.
Enter Pastor Rob Bell-‘Love Wins’; What the Hell?
In 2011, Rob Bell, a popular pastor wrote a bestseller called ‘Love Wins: A Book About Heaven and Hell’. Bell, the former pastor of the mega 10,000 member Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan stated there is no Hell, or at least that Hell is just a temporary place, until everyone is fully redeemed and is reunited with God in heaven. Though Bell believes in the redemptive work of Jesus at Calvary, for those outside of the church, those who never accepted Christ would eventually be saved because God is love and would never allow anyone to remain in Hell. Bell believes in ‘universalism’, stating God’s love is universal and never fails. Bell contends that the prospect of a place of eternal torment seems irreconcilable with the nature of God’s love. What Pastor Rob Bell teaches is false, and grossly contrary to the Word of God. If Bell is correct, then Jesus died in vain for our sins. The world would not need a saviour and all would eventually go to Heaven anyway, because no sin could ever keep us out of Heaven.
Bell’s message is a very popular one for those who do not know or believe in the Bible. His message gives people justification to live any way they want; that there is no consequence for sin since there is no Hell. As the sign of His coming, Jesus warned that in the last days, there shall be many false prophets and false teachers Mt24:4,5,11,24. Except Bell repents, he and all those who believe in his teachings will likewise perish Lk13:3,5. But Bell will take many souls to Hell with him, for his is the ‘doctrine of devils’ 1Ti4:1. The only way to God and to heaven is through a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour Jn14:6, Ac2:21,16:31, Ro10:13, Php3:20.
Only By Preaching the Cross Are Men Saved From Hell and Eternal Damnation
Paul said that it is only by the preaching of the cross are men saved 1Co1:18. When was the last time that you heard a message on how to be saved from Hell? When was the last time you heard a pastor tell the people they need to repent of their sins, and give an invitation to accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour? Have you personally accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour? Are you BORN AGAIN and have the assurance of going to Heaven? Do you believe that salvation is a very important matter? Do you know how to be saved? Are you also praying for your lost loved ones that they may be saved? Are you actively witnessing Jesus Christ to others, thereby obeying the Great Commission Mk16:15?
Do you know how to lead someone to Jesus Christ in a sinner’s prayer? Many churchgoers WRONGFULLY believe that by going to church, it will save them, or because they are in church they are saved. This is very far from the truth of the Bible! It is also conceivable that many people attending church today MAY NOT BE SAVED. They may have never heard the Gospel of Salvation in church, repented and accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour, or they may have fallen back into sin. Paul said ‘For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto Salvation to every one that BELIEVETH..’ Ro1:16. Paul wrote ‘For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord SHALL BE SAVED.. and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?’ Ro10:13,14.
The Bible states that Satan, the devil, was a murderer from the beginning, and the father of lies Jn8:44. His job is ‘to steal, and to kill, and to destroy’ Jn10:10. Satan wants to take as many people he can to Hell, to steal their salvation, to kill their bodies, and to destroy their souls. But Jesus already made a way for us to go to heaven by dying on the cross for our sins. The Bible clearly states how one can be forgiven and be cleansed of all unrighteousness: ‘If we confess our sins, (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ 1Jn1:9.
The Sinner’s Prayer of Repentance- Repent or Perish
HELL IS FOR REAL AND SADLY, MANY ARE HEADING THERE! But it is not necessary for anyone to perish in Hell and be cast into the Lake of Fire. If you believe that Jesus died for your sins and accept Him as your personal Saviour, YOU CAN BE SAVED and go to Heaven one day to your eternal blessing. Here is a simple prayer of REPENTANCE to SALVATION which you can humbly pray to accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour, or to recommit your life to Him again:
I AM A LOST SINNER AND I REPENT OF MY SINS. I’M SORRY FOR MY SINS AND ASK FOR YOUR FORGIVENESS. I ASK THAT YOU COME INTO MY HEART RIGHT NOW AND CLEANSE ME IN YOUR PRECIOUS BLOOD. I ACCEPT YOU AS MY LORD AND MY SAVIOUR. THANK YOU FOR DYING ON THE CROSS FOR ME AND THANK YOU FOR SAVING MY SOUL!
IN JESUS NAME I PRAY, AMEN!
SEE: PARIS HEAVY METAL WORSHIP TO THE DEVIL, then death and destruction!!! http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/paris-concert-crowd-was-singing-kiss-the-devil-the-moment-terror-attacks-began/
THE PASTOR’S MANDATE- ‘FEED MY SHEEP’
After Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, He gave Simon Peter this mandate- ‘FEED MY SHEEP’ Jn21:16,17. A pastor in the Greek means a shepherd– one who tends to a flock. To be a pastor of a church, one must have a calling from God. It is not just a job, but a spiritual calling with great responsibilities to serve God by teaching and protecting His people. Thus, the mandate Jesus gave to ‘FEED MY SHEEP’ applies to all pastors, even as Jesus is ‘THE CHIEF SHEPHERD’ 1Pe5:4. Jesus said ‘I am the GOOD SHEPHERD: the GOOD SHEPHERD GIVETH HIS LIFE FOR THE SHEEP’ Jn10:11.
David the psalmist wrote ‘The LORD is my SHEPHERD; I SHALL NOT WANT’ Ps23:1. David said ‘Know ye that THE LORD HE IS GOD: it is HE THAT HATH MADE US, AND NOT WE OURSELVES; WE ARE HIS PEOPLE, AND THE SHEEP OF HIS PASTURE’ Ps100:3. The word PASTORS is found only once in the New Testament Ep4:11, and SHEPHERDS 17 times. They are synonymous and the same. Jesus did not mean for PASTORS to literally take care of sheep, but to take care of God’s people as surrogate shepherds.
WHAT DID JESUS MEAN BY ‘FEED MY SHEEP’?
In this mandate,Jesus meant for Peter and ALL PASTORS to NURTURE, CARE, STRENGTHEN, PROTECT, TEACH, GUIDE, HELP, ENCOURAGE, CORRECT, WARN AND SAVE all those who belong to Him or who want to come to Him. Pastors need to protect the sheep from predators (false teachers and false prophets) Mt24:11,24, from false teachings and false doctrines. Pastors need to teach the unadulterated Word of God, about His standards, love, justice, judgment, and wrath.
Pastors need to warn people about Satan, whose job is ‘to steal, and to kill, and to destroy’ Jn10:10; of sin, to be holy and righteous, to be ready for the soon return of Jesus Christ and for the Rapture. People need to be warned of God’s forthcoming severe judgment and wrath, the Endtimes, and the coming Great Tribulation and about HELL! To neglect this mandate that Jesus gave to ‘FEED MY SHEEP’, would put both the Pastor and the Flock in danger of hellfire and of losing their salvation!
The pastors’ first and last order of business should be to SAVE SOULS, to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Anything short of this is a total failure! If one goes to church but loses his soul, he will PERISH IN HELL; the church has failed him, but the PASTOR WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE! The LORD said ‘When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and THOU GIVEST HIM NOT WARNING, NOR SPEAKEST TO WARN THE WICKED FROM HIS WICKED WAY, TO SAVE HIS LIFE; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; BUT HIS BLOOD WILL I REQUIRE AT THINE HAND’ Ez3:18.
God said ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I WILL ALSO REJECT THEE..’ Hos4:6. In church, we are supposed to learn about God, the need for REPENTANCE and to be ‘BORN AGAIN’ Jn3:3,5, the Christ-life, and eternal life; to be filled with the Spirit, how to be saved, and how we should live our lives! Invitations and prayers during altar calls should be made for people to repent, to accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour, or to recommit their lives to Him!
AN OPEN ‘DEAR PASTOR LETTER’- By Watchman73
The following is a polite but powerful Open Letter by a writer with a pen name of Watchman73 to an unnamed Pastor. His excellent blog can be found at https://bythebloodofthelamb.wordpress.com Here is Watchman73’s insightful, inquiring, incisive, and indicting open Dear Pastor Letter written straight from the heart of God that is sadly applicable to many thousands of apostate Christian churches and pastors in America and in the world today:
“I’m writing not to offend, but rather to respectfully inquire. Please don’t take offense to my questions, for I am a humble servant of God with no formal education in religion. You see sir, I have not been to seminary, nor have I been trained to read and love C.S. Lewis, as this seems to be a prerequisite for modern day preachers. I am a common man with a career and a family, reading my Bible daily, and praying for the Holy Spirit to give me discernment and lead me in the paths of righteousness.
While I do find your personality to be charming and your sermons to be quite entertaining, I do have a few burning questions. I say burning because week after week these questions arise during the course of Sunday worship service and completely distract me from worshipping in your congregation. I’ve tried to relax and ignore the angst that rises up in me every Sunday, focusing on the good parts of worship and the biblical excerpts that are sprinkled in your messages, but the questions remain.
WHEN WILL YOU CALL US TO REPENTANCE?
When will you speak of repentance and how I can be saved? When will you show me my brokenness and my need for a Savior? Can you please continue to speak of God’s unending love for me, but remind me of God’s sovereignty? Is a mention of hell and the eternal consequences of our sin and rejection of our one and only Savior Jesus Christ not in order? When will you teach us that wisdom comes from the fear of God?
WHEN WILL YOU STRENGTHEN THE BELIEVER?
Would it be possible to teach us of the spiritual realm that we cannot see, but that nevertheless surrounds us? Maybe you could focus a few minutes on enlightening us on the spiritual warfare that is taking place around us daily and the battle for our very souls? Maybe a mention that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places? If you don’t mind me saying, in my humble opinion, ignoring evil and pretending the devil is not like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour is foolishness.
I, for one sir, pray that you would encourage your flock to put on the whole armor of God, that they may be strengthened and encouraged to stand against evil, fearing nothing but God Almighty. Remind us what the armor of God consists of so that we can even begin to put it on. You know the verse…having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, above all taking the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, right?
WHEN WILL YOU TEACH THE WHOLE WORD OF GOD?
When I listen to your sermons or the teachings that take place in your Sunday morning classes, it seems that only certain parts of the Bible are ever taught. I find it odd that there is never a mention of prophecy. I am quite sure that in your seminary classes you have studied much more of the Bible than I have, and you’re quite aware that a little more than 25% of God’s Word is prophecy, right? So my question to you is, why do you teach only 75% of the Bible? Is it not God’s Word? Is it not your responsibility to teach the full counsel of God?
Do you not think that those scriptures that were written thousands of years ago and preserved in their entirety throughout the ages are the living Word of God? As God’s Word declares ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works’, right (2Ti3:16,17)?
WHEN WILL YOU WARN THE FLOCK?
I know that you are an intelligent man, and that you watch the news and see the state of our nation and the world. I have the feeling that you probably don’t want to frighten the congregation or waste time on anything other that preaching the Word of God. Am I right? Let me ask you another question. Do you think that the EARLY CHURCH that was so violently persecuted sat around having snacks and speaking only of the goodness of God and his enduring love while their brothers and sisters were being tortured and murdered in the public square, or ripped apart by lions in the colosseum? Of course not. But that couldn’t happen in America right, so why bother?
If you don’t know that our government is corrupt and evil, and totally hijacked by globalists bent on creating a ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT, then I suggest you do some research. If you are aware of this information and are withholding it from your flock, then shame on you sir! It would be better that you never went into ministry, for there is a greater responsibility on your head as a preacher and teacher of the Word of God.
So I ask you, when will you tell your people of the mounting danger that lies just outside of your sanctuary doors? When will the persecution of Christians be important enough to mention on Sunday? Will it be when the government forces you to perform gay weddings in your church or face losing your 501c3 tax exempt status, or worse yet, be arrested? It’s about to happen in America.
WHEN WILL YOU MAKE READY THE BRIDE?
Jesus made it clear throughout the Gospels, and the New Testament that the believer is to watch and be ready for Jesus’ return at any time. I have yet to hear any of those verses taught in your church yet. Forgive me if I missed that Sunday service. Has it occurred to you that there is a theme throughout the scriptures to watch for our Lord’s return? Or that if we are found not watching when he suddenly comes, we will be surprised, shamed, and shut out of His presence? Is that not the way you read your Bible?
The parable of the wise and foolish virgins in Matthew 25 needs to be taught at some point doesn’t it? The prospective brides were all virgins (Christians) but half of them were foolish, not having oil for their lamps (the Holy Spirit) and the other half were wise, with oil for their lamps and ready to go out to meet the bridegroom. So half were prepared and looking for the return of their bridegroom and the other half were not. What happened to the foolish virgins? Does that not apply to the Lord’s church? Is it not worthy of mentioning some Sunday? Do you truly know what our BLESSED HOPE is as believers (Tit2:13)? Will you, yourself be READY at that moment when our Lord returns unannounced? Are you watching for all the signs of His return, given to us in the Bible?
These questions burn in my heart. The angst I feel every Sunday, I feel throughout every day of the week; for I pity the lost and the foolish that turn away from the truth. I pray that you, as a Christian leader would do the same. I pray that theses questions would create a spark and light a fire in your heart. If you’re offended by this, then I pray you might examine yourself and your teaching. I pray everyday for you to make mention of these things and that the people that fill your congregation would not only be prepared, but would truly be saved. THERE IS A GREAT APOSTASY that is happening now, and I pray that you sir, would not be a part of it. The clock is ticking…it’s almost midnight…one more question Sir… ARE YOU READY?”
JESUS ‘DEAR PASTOR LETTERS’ TO THE 7 CHURCHES
Unlike Watchman73 polite letter, Jesus wrote scathing ‘DEAR PASTOR LETTERS’ to the 7 Churches in Asia Minor found in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. He strongly decried their failings, disregard and disdain for the Gospel message nearly 2000 years ago. And so the apostasy in the churches continues even today!
Basically, while Watchman73 guardedly questioned his Pastor, Jesus strongly rebuked the church Pastors for what they neglected and failed to do. He said ‘THOU HAST LEFT THY FIRST LOVE. REMEMBER THEREFORE FROM WHENCE THOU ART FALLEN, AND REPENT, AND DO THE FIRST WORKS; OR ELSE I WILL COME UNTO THEE QUICKLY, AND WILL REMOVE THY CANDLESTICK OUT OF HIS PLACE, EXCEPT THOU REPENT’ Re2:4,5. Jesus used very strong words, even accusing the church for being the ‘SYNAGOGUE (meeting place) OF SATAN’ Re2:9,3:9.
Jesus said ‘I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because THOU ART LUKEWARM, and neither cold nor hot, I WILL SPUE THEE OUT OF MY MOUTH’ Re3:15,16. In chapters 2 and 3, Jesus repeatedly told the churches to REPENT OR THEY WILL NOT HAVE ANY PART IN HIM Re2:5,16,21,22, 3:3,19. Except the people and pastors seek REPENTANCE, they would not have eternal life, but perish in HELL!
PAUL’S CHARGE TO ALL PASTORS AND MINISTERS
The apostle Paul wrote ‘I CHARGE THEE THEREFORE BEFORE GOD, AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; PREACH THE WORD; BE INSTANT IN SEASON, OUT OF SEASON; REPROVE, REBUKE, EXHORT WITH ALL LONGSUFFERING AND DOCTRINE. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, MAKE FULL PROOF OF THY MINISTRY’ 2Ti4:2-5.
Being a Pastor is a very difficult job, especially today. People do not want to hear about sin and hellfire, about God’s judgment and wrath, but more likely want to be entertained. But pastors must obey God, and not compromise His Word. Paul wrote ‘For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I SHOULD NOT BE THE SERVANT OF CHRIST’ v10. Pastors should seek not to please man but God, by what they preach!
TODAY’S APOSTATE CHURCHES
Over the past 20 years, a new paradigm has emerged within the churches. It is the SEEKER-FRIENDLY (aka Emergent Church) movement, to have more people come to church, and to enrich their coffers. The focus is on the unchurched, rather than on the unsaved; how to make church more contemporary, palatable, and people-friendly. The SEEKER-FRIENDLY church movement has caused an explosion in mega-churches with some membership numbering in the tens of thousands, and the pastors having become very rich. Emphasis is placed on the individual’s personal needs rather than their spiritual needs. These churches are often soft on sin, on fornication and young people shacking up, on homosexuality, on same-sex marriages; allowing ‘creative gay people’ to do church worship, and using programs, dramas, sophisticated lighting and special sound effects, high-tech/multi-media support in their services, but often not preaching the Gospel of Christ.
Sin and God’s judgment are not being preached; holy living is not advocated. The soon return of Jesus is not heralded. Satan and the coming Antichrist system are not mentioned. People are not warned of God’s coming great wrath upon the earth and of the coming Great Tribulation. HELL IS NEVER A NICE TOPIC TO TALK ABOUT! There is more talk on fun and fellowship, surfing and sports, dating and marriage, raising children, support groups, health and weight loss, and Christian entertainment, rather than on the Gospel of Jesus Christ- on sin, judgment, repentance, God’s wrath, end-times, what God is doing today, the lateness of the hour; how to be saved, how to pray; how to learn the Bible, etc. Humor and positive messages to make people feel good are used to keep them entertained and returning every Sunday. While some of their programs are good, many attending may not be saved because the GOSPEL OF SALVATION is not being preached!
The Bible tells us that only by the ‘PREACHING OF THE CROSS’ are men saved 1Co1:18. Preaching anything else will NOT bring salvation to people. REPENTANCE, the turning away from sin and turning to Christ, must be preached Lk24:47. Paul said ‘FOR I AM NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST: FOR IT IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION TO EVERY ONE THAT BELIEVETH’ Ro1:16. He said ‘it pleased God by the FOOLISHNESS OF PREACHING to save them that believe’ 1Co1:21. Paul said that if any man or even angel preached any gospel other than what he had preached, let him be accursed Ga1:8. Jesus said ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life’ Jn3:16. ONLY JESUS SAVES; NOTHING ELSE!
SATAN’S ROLE IN TODAY’S CHURCHES- ANOTHER GOSPEL
Apostasy, deception, and errors have crept into churches that don’t follow the Word of God. Satan uses his ministers to destroy faith in Jesus Christ. Paul said ‘And no marvel; for SATAN HIMSELF IS TRANSFORMED INTO AN ANGEL OF LIGHT. Therefore it is no great thing if HIS MINISTERS also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works’ 2Co11:14,15. If Satan cannot stop people from going to church, he will give to them another gospel. Paul wrote ‘I marvel that ye are so soon removed from (God) that called you into the grace of Christ unto ANOTHER GOSPEL’ Ga1:6. A good feeling, non-threatening, no-salvation gospel is being preached today– a soft, warm, and fuzzy message! Because of that, the salvation of many pastors, ministers, and many of their members come into question.
JESUS’ WARNING TO ALL PASTORS AND MINISTERS
There are grave consequences in disobeying Jesus. Pastors and ministers must obey JESUS’ MANDATE, ‘FEED MY SHEEP’ or they will PERISH! Jesus said ‘NOT EVERY ONE THAT SAITH UNTO ME, LORD, LORD, SHALL ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN; BUT HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN. MANY will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? AND THEN WILL I PROFESS UNTO THEM, I NEVER KNEW YOU: DEPART FROM ME, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY’ Mt7:21-23. Jesus will disavow knowing these ministers that didn’t do God’s will, but did their own will. Their names were not written in the Lamb’s BOOK OF LIFE and thus they will perish and one day, be cast into the LAKE OF FIRE Re20:15!
A FINAL MESSAGE TO PASTORS
This blog is not meant as a personal dig or putdown on pastors, but to point out the seriousness and grave responsibilities given by Jesus to ‘‘FEED MY SHEEP’. If they do well, they will be rewarded Re22:12. But if they don’t, they will perish along with the people they were charged to minister to. However, many churches, denominations, and pastors today are going into apostasy, ‘even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction’ 2Pe2:1.
There are many other places in the Bible where God showed great disdain toward pastors. Pastors are mentioned only 8 times in the Old Testament, only in the book of Jeremiah, 7 of which were used negatively and in a derogatory sense. God voiced His anger and dismay toward them. They were brutish and abusive to the flock. The references are Je2:8, 10:21, 12:10, 17:16, 22:22. Je23:1,2 state ‘WOE BE UNTO THE PASTORS that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the PASTORS that FEED MY PEOPLE; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I WILL VISIT UPON YOU THE EVIL OF YOUR DOINGS, SAITH THE LORD’.
In Matthew 23, Jesus severely chastised the scribes and Pharisees, the pastors and ministers to the Jews in his days. Jesus called them HYPOCRITES 7 times v13,14,15,23,25,27,29 (they say, but do not Mt23:3). He accused them of religious pride, deception, fraud, covetousness, excesses, and even hindering the work of God. They would not only perish in hell Mt23:33, but would ‘..receive the greater damnation’ Mt23:14. Jesus said ‘FEED MY SHEEP’– take care of my people! It is not too late to REPENT. But Jesus also said ‘EXCEPT YE REPENT, YE SHALL ALL LIKEWISE PERISH’ Lk13:3,5.
America’s final judgment is nearly here as she continues in her pernicious and rebellious ways against God!
(Author’s note May 2015: This post was written nearly 2 years ago, and America continues in its steep spiritual, moral, and economic decline. Next month June 2015, the US Supreme Court will render a decision to make Same-Sex Marriage mandatory for the 13 of 50 holdout states that are still against it. If so, then America will become the new Sodom and Gomorrah, whom God utterly destroyedGe19:24,25.
The US National Debt is presently over $18 trillion, equivalent to $60,000 for every man, woman, and child. The debt continues to soar and Congress has no solution to mitigate it. Thus, America is heading for a sure bankruptcy. California’s exceptional drought is heading into its 4th year, with just one year supply of water for human consumption and for agricultural needs. Produce, poultry, and livestock prices will soar, perhaps even doubling!
There are 38 million people now living in California, over 10% of the entire nation! Where will they all go to when the water…
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The Gospel of John- When Divinity Became Humanity, When God Became Man
This is Part 4 and the final dissertation of the Gospel of John. In the first 11 chapters of John, we witnessed the many miracles Jesus did- changing water into wine, feeding the multitudes, healing the sick, lame, and blind, and then raising dead Lazarus. Then from chapters 12 to 17, we learned of Jesus’ passion- his triumphant return to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday; the Last Supper, Foot Washing, the Promise of the Holy Spirit, and Jesus’ Special Prayer Requests to the Father for his disciples before his crucifixion and death on the feast of the Passover.
In the next two chapters 18 and 19, we will learn of Jesus’ betrayal, trial, humiliation, suffering, and death. We will see the ugly side of humanity, the killing of an innocent man, and the reason why God sent Jesus to earth- to save us from our sins; to suffer and die for us. And by believing in Him, we will have everlasting life Jn3:16. The final two chapters 20 and 21, speak of the drama and excitement of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, His appearances to His disciples, and His commissioning them to go into the world to continue the work that the Father had sent Him to do Jn20:21; to preach, teach, and nurture the people with the Gospel of Salvation Mk16:15, Mt28:19,20, Lk24:47, Jn21:15,16,17.
John Chapter 18- Jesus Betrayal and Trial Before the High Priests Annas and Caiaphas, and Pilate
Chapter 18 speaks of the betrayal, the arrest, and the trial of Jesus Christ, before the high priests Annas and Caiaphas, and then to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judaea. After Jesus prayed to the Father, he went with his disciples to a garden over the brook Cedron where Judas knew Jesus would resort. Earlier Judas left the last supper scene at night supposedly to buy something for the Passover feast Jn13:29. Judas returned with a band of men of the chief priests and Pharisees, with lanterns, torches and weapons v3. Jesus challenged them asking ‘whom seek ye?’ v4. They answered ‘Jesus of Nazareth’. When Jesus said ‘I AM HE’, all the men including Judas fell backward to the ground’ v6.
Here Jesus manifested his supernatural powers over the mob. Impulsive Peter ready to fight, drew his sword and smote the high priest’s servant, Malchus’ right ear, cutting it off v10. Jesus rebuked Peter telling him that this was already ordained by the Father, that he should drink this cup of suffering v11. Then Jesus performed an instant surgical miracle, healing and reattaching Malchus’ ear Lk22:51. Jesus was bound and taken first to Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas v13 then later to Caiaphas v24 for questioning – all this happening illegally late at night, contrary to Jewish laws. In this chapter, we see the fulfillment of what Jesus foretold Jn13:38- that Peter would deny Jesus three times. And immediately the cock crew v27. Peter wept bitterly Mt26:75.
The next morning the Jews took Jesus to the hall of judgment before Pilate. They themselves did not enter in, lest they should be defiled; but they might eat the Passover v28. At first Pilate refused to judge Jesus. But the Jews said to Pilate ‘It is not lawful for us to put any man to death’ v31. Ordinarily, the Jews conducted execution by stoning; only the Romans practiced ‘death by crucifixion’ v32. In the judgment hall, Pilate asked Jesus if he was the King of the Jews. Jesus answered him, ‘Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?’ v34. Jesus told Pilate ‘My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence’ v36.
Jesus admitted that He was a King, and came to bear witness unto the truth. Pilate asked Jesus ‘What is truth?’ . At this point Pilate went out again to the Jews and said ‘I find in him no fault at all’ v38, and was about to release Jesus. It was a custom in those days that one convict would be released by the Romans at Passover. Pilate said ‘Will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews’ v39. The Jews clamored for another; ‘Not this man, but Barabbas.. a robber’ v40.
Here Jesus did no wrong to be executed, but the Jews delivered Jesus to the Romans to be killed! This is a fulfillment of Jn3:16, that God loved us so much that He gave Jesus to die and to save us from our sins! Lk 24:7 states ‘The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again’.
John Chapter 19- The Humiliation of Jesus: His Crucifixion, Death and Burial
The day of the Passover had arrived. Pilate had Jesus scourged; the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and also put a purple robe on him. They mocked Jesus ‘Hail, King of Jews! and they smote him with their hands’ v3. Three times Pilate told the Jews ‘I find no fault in him’ Jn18:38,19:4,6, but the Jews insisted that Jesus be crucified, ‘because he made himself the Son of God’ v7. It was about noon when Pilate brought Jesus to the Pavement, and said unto the Jews ‘Behold your king!’ v14. The Jews said ‘Away with him, crucify him.. The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar’ v15. Then Jesus was delivered to be crucified between two thieves v18. Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross ‘JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS’ v19, written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.
The soldiers stripped Jesus naked of his garment and made four parts to it, but the purple robe was seamless and not parted and lots were cast for who should get it v24. Jesus was then nailed to the cross, given vinegar and died about 3 pm. Three Marys were there: Mary, his mother, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene v25. From that time on, John took Jesus’ mother unto his own home to care v27. This is somewhat interesting because Jesus had 4 half-brothers and at least 2 half-sisters that were still living Mt13:55.
Joseph of Armathaea, a secret disciple of Jesus petitioned Pilate for Jesus’ body. Then he and Nicodemus, with a hundred pound mixture of myrrh and aloes, wound Jesus’ body with linen clothes to bury him in a nearby new garden tomb belonging to Joseph who was a rich man v38; a fulfillment of Is53:9 that Jesus would be buried among the rich.
John Chapter 20- RESURRECTION SUNDAY
Chapter 20 begins with great excitement. Early Sunday morning while still dark, Mary Magdelene went to the tomb to pay her respects for Jesus v1. She noticed the stone was removed from the tomb. She then ran to Peter and John, who were also walking toward the tomb, telling them someone took the body. They both began to run. John being younger, got there first, but did not enter the tomb v4,5. Peter went into the tomb and saw only the linen clothes, and the head napkin by itself. John then entered the tomb, saw and believed v8.. ‘For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead’ v9.
Peter and John then went away unto their own home v10, but Mary remained and wept before the tomb. She peered in and saw two angels in white sitting where the body should have laid v12. When asked, she told them why she was crying, ‘Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him’ v13. Then Mary saw a man standing and thought he was the gardener, but it was Jesus v14,15. (Jesus could change his looks and often was unrecogniz- able. See Jn21:4 and Mk16:12: ‘he appeared in another form’).
But when Jesus spoke, Mary recognized his voice and said ‘Rabboni’, meaning Master. Then Jesus said ‘TOUCH ME NOT; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God’ v17. Jesus told Mary not to touch him because He had not yet presented His resurrected body to the Father.
Later that Sunday evening when the disciples assembled together behind locked doors for fear of the Jews, Jesus miraculously appeared before them in their midst saying, ‘Peace be unto you’ v19. Jesus with His glorified body was able to pass through the walls. He then showed the disciples his wounds. ‘Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord’ v20. Jesus then said again ‘Peace be unto you: AS MY FATHER HATH SENT ME, EVEN SO SEND I YOU’ v22. This is the Great Commission also found in the other Gospels Mt28:19,20, Mk16:15,16, Lk24:47.
Thomas, not being present with them, was skeptical when the disciples said they saw Jesus. He said ‘Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe’ v25. Eight days later, though the door was locked, Jesus again appeared in the midst of the disciples and told doubting Thomas ‘REACH HITHER THY FINGER, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing’ v27. Thomas exclaimed ‘My Lord and my God’ v28. JESUS IS GOD!
Jesus then said to Thomas ‘because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed’ v29. Blessed are all of us who have not seen Him, and yet believe! Here we see that first Jesus told Mary not to touch Him v17, but then later told Thomas to do so v27, meaning He had ascended into heaven and had returned, and now could be touched!
Jesus Ascension Into Heaven
The Bible states that Jesus ascended bodily into heaven not just once, but twice. The 2nd incident is found in Ac1:9-11. It states ‘And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven’. Thus, Jesus ascended into heaven the 2nd time, and will one day likewise return back to earth. (One day with glorified bodies like Jesus 1Co15:49-53, we will do the same; go to heaven in the Rapture Jn14:3, and come back to earth with Jesus Jude14.)
John Chapter 21- The 2nd Part of the Great Commission. Jesus to Peter… ‘Feed My Sheep’
After all the related events in Jerusalem, Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, James, and John, and two other disciples returned to their fishing livelihood about 50 miles away in the Sea of Tiberias in Galilee. They fished all night but caught nothing v3. By morning as they were returning, they saw a man standing on shore, ‘but.. knew not it was Jesus’ v4. ‘This is now the 3rd time Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead’ v14. Also Jn20:19,24.
When Jesus asked if they had caught anything they answered him ‘No’! He then said ‘Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find.. they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes’ v5,6. The net was full with 153 great fishes, but did not break v11. This is the 2nd account of Jesus blessing his disciples with a ‘great multitude of fishes’ Lk5:5,6. This is also the last time recorded that the disciples went back fishing, for they then became ‘fishers of men’ Mt4:19.
In this chapter, though Jesus asked the disciples if they had any food v5, He had already prepared breakfast for them on shore with fish laid on a open fire, and bread v9. While they were still somewhat unsure that it was Jesus, He invited them to dine v12,13. After they had eaten, Jesus asked Simon Peter three times ‘lovest thou me more than these’. Peter being grieved responded three times ‘Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee’ v15. This is related to Peter earlier denying Jesus three times then the cock crew Jn18:27. Each time Jesus told Peter to ‘Feed My Sheep’ v15,16,17.
(In the Greek language, there are different kinds of love.. eros/sensual love, phileo/brotherly love, and agape/godly love.) Peter was asked if he loved Jesus with an agape love- above friendship. Each time Peter answered phileo love. Then Jesus told Peter ‘Follow Me’ v19. Peter’s phileo love for Jesus would later change into agape love when he received the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost Ac2:4. Peter later died serving Jesus v19. (We also receive God’s agape love and power when we are baptized with the Holy Ghost Ac1:5,8. The apostle Paul wrote ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but (the Spirit) of Power, and of (agape) Love, and of a sound mind’ 2Ti1:7.)
John Chapter 21 ends with John making a hyperbolic remark regarding many other things that Jesus did but were not possible to write them all down stating, ‘I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen’ v25.
The Gospel of John- When Divinity Became Humanity, When God Became Man
We have concluded all 21 chapters of the Gospel of John. Most importantly is that we learned that JESUS IS GOD; how God revealed Himself through the life of Jesus Christ, unveiling His plan for our lives by becoming like one of us in order to save us. Through Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden, his sinful nature passed on to all of us and all mankind fell under sin. Ro5:8 states ‘..God commendeth his (agape) love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us’. Ro5:12 also states ‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned’. Everyone today is under a death penalty and will perish in hell forever separated from God, except they be BORN AGAIN Jn3:3,5, by believing and receiving Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour Jn3:16.
God revealed Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ 2000 years ago when He came down to earth and paid the price for our sins by dying on the cross for us. Jesus revealed Himself as God by what He said and by the many miracles He did– changing water into wine, feeding the multitudes by multiplying the food, healing the sick, the lame, and the blind, walking on water and transporting Himself supernaturally, forgiving sins Jn8:11, raising dead Lazarus Jn11:43, and then paramountly, raising Himself from the dead Jn21:14, a feat no man has ever been able to do!
Over 20 times in the Gospel of John, it was said that we need to believe in or on Jesus Christ to be saved, and over 40 times Jesus said He was sent by God or spoke on behalf of God e.g. Jn3:17, Jn4:34, Jn12:49, Jn16:25. Jesus said ‘Before Abraham was, I AM’ Jn8:58; ‘making himself equal with God’ Jn5:18. Jesus said ‘I and my Father are one’ Jn10:30. In Jn14:1, Jesus said ‘Ye believe in God, believe also in Me’. Jesus said ‘If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also..’ Jn14:7, and ‘he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father’ Jn14:9. JESUS IS GOD!
The Gospel of John reveals that Jesus is ‘THE GREAT I AM’ . In John’s Gospel, 10 times Jesus declared that He was the ‘I AM’ Jn8:58, which refers to God Himself. When God spoke to Moses from the burning bush He said ‘I AM THAT I AM’ Ex3:14! Jesus said ‘I AM the Bread of Life’ Jn6:35; ‘I AM the Light of the World’ Jn8:12; ‘before Abraham was, I AM’ Jn8:58; ‘I AM the Door’ Jn10:9, ‘I AM the Good Shepherd’ Jn10:11, Ps23:1; ‘I AM the Son of God’ Jn10:36; ‘I AM the Resurrection and the Life’ Jn11:25; ‘I AM the Way, and the Truth, and the Life’ Jn14:6; ‘I AM in the Father, and the Father in Me’ Jn14:11; and ‘I AM the True Vine’ Jn15:1. JESUS IS GOD, ‘THE GREAT I AM’.
In John’s Gospel, John progressively revealed and declared Jesus’ divinity, that JESUS IS GOD. John began with ‘In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word (Jesus) was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him (Jesus); and without him (Jesus) was not any thing made that was made. In him (Jesus) was life; and the life was the light of men’ Jn1:1-4, ‘And the Word (Jesus) was made flesh, and dwelt among us’ Jn1:14. While Jesus said worship belonged only to God Mt4:10,Jn4:23, Jesus allowed the blind man whom He had healed, and others to worship Him Jn9:38, Mt28:9, Mt14:33! Jesus said to know Him is to know the Father. To see Jesus is to see the Father Jn14:7. Jesus said ‘Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake’ Jn14:11.
In conclusion, God came to earth in the person Jesus. This is ‘WHEN DIVINITY BECAME HUMANITY, WHEN GOD BECAME MAN’. After His death and resurrection, before He returned to heaven, Jesus said to his disciples ‘ALL POWER IS GIVEN UNTO ME IN HEAVEN AND IN EARTH’ Mt28:18. Thus, JESUS IS GOD ALMIGHTY, and now we know who God is. THANK YOU JESUS FOR COMING TO SAVE US! PRAISE GOD! AMEN!
WHEN DIVINITY BECAME HUMANITY, WHEN GOD BECAME MAN
John’s Gospel Part 3 continues the revelation that JESUS IS GOD; how in Chapter 11, JESUS declared ‘I am the RESURRECTION, and THE LIFE: he that BELIEVETH IN ME, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and BELIEVETH IN ME shall never die. Believest thou this?‘ v25,26. Jesus then raised Lazarus after he was dead for 4 days. Here Jesus showed He has the power over LIFE AND DEATH, something only God, and no man has. Not only did Jesus raise dead Lazarus, but He also promised then TO RAISE US UP ONE DAY IN THE RAPTURE, and He challenged us to believe in Him!
John Chapter 12- Passion Week Before Jesus’ Crucifixion
Jesus caused a great commotion after He raised Lazarus from the dead. Six days before the Passover, Jesus went back to Bethany to visit Lazarus and his sisters. While Martha served supper, Mary took a pound of very expensive and strong smelling perfume that filled the house with its odor, to anoint Jesus’ feet, wiping it with her own hair. Judas Iscariot, one of the 12 disciples, complained and said, it could have been sold and the money given to the poor, not that he really cared. Jesus said ‘the poor always ye have with you, but me ye have not me always’ v8. In truth, Judas, the keeper of the purse v6, wanted the money for himself. Mary worshipped Jesus by anointing him with the ointment for his soon burial. Many Jews came not only to see Jesus, but to see Lazarus whom He raised from the dead v9. But the chief priests sought to kill Lazarus v10 for ‘many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus’ v11.
The following day on Palm Sunday, the beginning of Passion Week, Jesus triumphantly entered Jerusalem on an ass v14. Many took palm branches to hail him for the miracle of raising dead Lazarus, shouting ‘Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord’ v13. This is a fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy Zec9:9 about Jesus. The Pharisees were greatly troubled because ‘the world is gone after him’ v19. Jews from Greece who came to celebrate the feast of the Passover also wanted to see Jesus.
Jesus told his disciples ‘The hour is come, that the Son of man should be GLORIFIED.. Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour’ v23-26. (JESUS CHRIST was GLORIFIED by God upon His crucifixion and death for our sins v32 below).
Jesus lamented about his forthcoming death and asked the Father to ‘GLORIFY thy name’ v28, meaning his own name. Then many heard a thundering voice from heaven saying ‘I have both GLORIFIED IT and will GLORIFY IT AGAIN’ v28. Jesus said ‘Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the PRINCE OF THIS WORLD be cast out. AND I, IF I BE LIFTED UP FROM THE EARTH, WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO ME’ v31,32.
The Jews who came to anoint Jesus king were very puzzled because Jesus was now speaking of his soon death by crucifixion v33. They were not looking for a suffering Messiah which spoke of Jesus in Isaiah 53. While many of the chief rulers believed on Jesus, they were afraid of the Pharisees, fearing expulsion from the synagogue v42. Jesus said ‘He that BELIEVETH ON ME, believeth not on me, but on HIM THAT SENT ME. And he that SEETH ME SEETH HIM THAT SENT ME’ v44,45. He said ‘I came not to judge the world, but to save the world’ v47. He that sees Jesus sees the Father. He that rejects Jesus rejects the Father v48. JESUS IS GOD!
John Chapter 13- The Last Supper; Foot Washing By Jesus
This is the scene of the Last Supper during the final week of Jesus’ ministry before the feast of the Passover, and his crucifixion. ‘And supper being ended, the devil put into Judas Iscariot’s heart to betray Jesus’ v2. Jesus proceeded to wash his disciples’ feet. Impetuous Peter said ‘Thou shalt never wash my feet’. Jesus said ‘If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me’ v8. Peter then said ‘Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head’ v9. Jesus was teaching his disciples to serve others, not as ‘a master but as a servant’ v16. Jesus being saddened, began to speak of his betrayal by one of them v21, while the disciples wondered who among themselves v22. Shortly after, Satan entered into Judas as Jesus gave him the sop (a piece of bread soaked in liquid) to eat v26,27. King David prophesied 2000 years before of Judas: ‘He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me’ Ps41:9, and of Judas losing his place among the 12 apostles Ps109:8.
At the Last Supper, the apostle John leaning on Jesus’ bosom described himself as the disciple ‘whom Jesus loved’ v23; also Jn20:12,21:7,20. Jesus then spoke of His Glorification ‘Now is the SON OF MAN GLORIFIED, and God is GLORIFIED in him’ v31, and of his leaving his disciples and that they could not follow him v33. Jesus gave them a NEW COMMANDMENT ‘That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another’ v34. The scene turned very somber as the disciples sensed Jesus’ forthcoming death. Peter then told Jesus that he would lay down his life for him, but Jesus told him ‘The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice’ v38.
John Chapter 14- Jesus Relationship with the Father; the Promise of the Holy Spirit
Jesus continued his discourse with his disciples. He told them ‘Let not your heart be troubled: YE BELIEVE IN GOD, BELIEVE ALSO IN ME. In my father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I GO TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU AND IF I GO AND PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU, I WILL COME AGAIN, and RECEIVE YOU UNTO MYSELF; THAT WHERE I AM, THERE YE MAY BE ALSO.. I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE: NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER, BUT BY ME’ v1-6. Again Jesus declared His divinity, that He is God, ‘YE BELIEVE IN GOD, BELIEVE ALSO IN ME’ – a very remarkable statement by such a young man. Jesus said He is leaving to prepare a place for us, and He will return to take us back to heaven signifying the coming RAPTURE OF THE SAINTS ONE day.
Jesus declared there is no other way, truth, and life to God the Father than by Him. Jesus declared His relationship with the Father: ‘If you have KNOWN ME, you should have KNOWN MY FATHER also: and henceforth, YOU KNOW THE HIM, and HAVE SEEN HIM’ v7. KNOW JESUS, KNOW THE FATHER; SEE JESUS, SEE THE FATHER; believe that JESUS is in the Father and believe the Father is in JESUS v10.
Jesus then stated ‘He that BELIEVETH ON ME, the works I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And WHATSOEVER YE SHALL ASK IN MY NAME, THAT WILL I DO, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything IN MY NAME, I WILL DO IT’ v12-14. Here we are given permission to pray and use the name of JESUS regarding His works, and He will do it! Jesus promised that we will do greater works when we believe on Him; when we receive POWER through the BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY GHOST, as on the day of Pentecost Ac1:5,8,2:4.
Jesus promised to send another Comforter, THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, to abide with us FOREVER v16. Jesus will come to us in the person of the Holy Spirit, who will dwell with us and be in us v17,18. If we love Jesus and keep His commandments, we shall be loved of the Father, Jesus will love us and manifest Himself to us v21. The Holy Spirit, also known as the Holy Ghost, ‘shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you’ v26.
Today the Holy Spirit is the representative of Jesus Christ and the power of God to accomplish His plan and purpose on earth. Jesus said ‘But ye shall receive POWER, AFTER THAT THE HOLY GHOST IS COME UPON YOU: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem.. and unto the uttermost part of the earth’ Ac1:8. The Holy Spirit will empower us to witness Jesus to the world by signs and wonders. Jesus said ‘Behold, I give unto you POWER to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you’ Lk10:19. Also see Mk16:15-19, Ro15:19.
John Chapter 15- Jesus the True Vine; God the Pruner
This chapter continues at the scene of the Last Supper in the large upper room prior to Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus continued to teach His disciples using the analogy of the main vine and its many branches. What Jesus instructed here applies to all His disciples and us today. Jesus said ‘I am the VINE, ye are the branches’ v5, and ‘my Father is the husbandman (the PRUNER)’ v1. Every branch that is not productive, thePRUNER cast them away and they are burned v6. The PRUNER purges every branch that is productive, so it will bring forth more fruit.
But in order to bear fruit, we need to ABIDE IN JESUS, ‘..for without me, ye can do nothing’ v5. God wants us to abide in Jesus, so we would be productive and bear much fruit; ‘Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples’ v8. Jesus said ‘IF YE ABIDE IN ME, AND MY WORDS ABIDE IN YOU, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you’ v7. Jesus said if we follow Him and obey His words, we can ask anything, and He would grant it to us. This is a very important principle. But the only way we can know Jesus and His words is to study the Bible.
Jesus gave us a NEW COMMANDMENT ‘That ye love one another, as I have loved you’ v12, just as in Jn13:34. We are to love others with a greater love; that which Jesus had for us. Greater love is defined as ‘a man lay down his life for his friends’ v13, which Jesus did for us. Jesus said ‘Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I HAVE CHOSEN YOU, and ORDAINED YOU, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you’ v14-16.
We have a calling on our lives to serve God, and to be fruitful. We were chosen out of this world to serve Jesus, and thus the world will hate us v19. Because Jesus came into the world to reveal sin, the world no longer can hide its sin, and therefore it hated Jesus v22-24. Jesus said of ‘the Comforter to come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of Me’ v26; promising to send the Holy Spirit (the baptism of the Holy Ghost Ac1:5,8,2:4,11:16).
John Chapter 16- The Work of the Holy Spirit; the Comforter; the Spirit of Truth
Still in the upper room, Jesus spoke of the suffering and hardship, even death to come for those serving Him. He continued His discourse from the previous chapters on the ministry of the Holy Spirit, which all His disciples should soon receive. Jesus told them unless He left, He could not send the Comforter to them v7. The job of the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, the Holy Ghost, or the Holy Spirit is to convince or convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they BELIEVE NOT ON JESUS v9; of righteousness, because ‘I go to my Father, and ye see me no more’ v10; of judgment, because Satan, ‘the prince of this world is judged’ v11. Jesus said ‘Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify Me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you’ v13,14.
The Holy Spirit’s job is to ‘glorify Jesus’. Jesus said all things that the Father has belongs to Him. The Holy Spirit will take of Jesus, and show it unto us v15. Here we see the relationship of the Godhead- the Father, the Jesus, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father sent Jesus to earth to die for our sins, and by His death and resurrection, Jesus could then send the Holy Spirit to empower us to serve Him and to finish His work. By the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, Jesus would now then be with and in us v16. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus Christ Php1:19, and also the proxy of Jesus Christ on earth. As the Father is God, so is Jesus God, and the Holy Spirit God. There is only ONE GOD revealed in three personalities. The Godhead is indeed a mystery of God.. WHEN DIVINITY BECAME HUMANITY, WHEN GOD BECAME MAN!
Jesus continued to speak of His forthcoming passion, of His dying, coming back alive, leaving us, but returning to us in the Person of the Holy Spirit. He said though they would sorrow now, they would be rejoice again, and so would we v16-22. Jesus reiterated His promise to us ‘Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he (Jesus) will give it you.. ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full’ v23,24, 26. Jesus said He came out from God, came forth from the Father into the world, and will return to the Father v27,28. Jesus said when he goes to the cross, his disciples will be scattered; only the Father will remain with me v32. ‘These things I have spoke to you, that in me ye might have peace. In this world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world’ v33.
John Chapter 17- Jesus Prayer to the Father; Nine Prayer Requests of Jesus
Jesus left the upper room for the garden of Gethsemane to pray alone. In his prayer, we learn of the glory and relationship Jesus had with the Father before the world was; the work He was sent to do and His relationship with us, whom the Father had given to Jesus v1-5. We learn what God had planned for us before the world began. We also learn what Jesus had prayed for: Himself, His disciples and all those that should believe on Him through His word v20. Knowing Jesus prayer requests to the Father are very important because all of His prayers will be answered, and they reveal what God has in mind for us in the eternity to come. Here are the 9 prayers requests of Jesus before He was crucified:
1. That He would be GLORIFIED AGAIN with the same GLORY He had with the Father before the world was v1-5.
2. That WE MAY BE ONE, as He and the Father are One v11,21,22,23.
3. That WE MIGHT HAVE HIS JOY FULFILLED IN US v13.
4. That WE WOULD BE KEPT FROM THE EVIL V15.
5. That WE WOULD BE SANCTIFIED BY HIS WORD, ‘THY WORD IS TRUTH’ v17.
6. That THE SAME GLORY THAT JESUS HAD WITH THE FATHER v5, HE HAS GIVEN US v22. Also Ro8:17, 2Co3:18, Heb2:10.
7. That WE MAY BE MADE PERFECT IN ONE AND THAT THE WORLD WOULD KNOW THAT THE FATHER LOVED BOTH HE AND US v23.
8. That WE WOULD ONE DAY BE WITH JESUS ‘WHERE I AM.. that they may behold his glory..’ v24. See Jn12:26,14:3 ‘where I am- the Rapture’.
9. That THE SAME LOVE THE FATHER HAD FOR JESUS MAY ALSO BE IN US, AND HE IN US v26. Also Jn13:34,15:12.
John Chapter 17- The Glory Jesus Wants to Give Us
What is the Glory that Jesus had with the Father that He wants to give to us? How did Jesus Glorify the Father? Heb1:2 declares Jesus is ‘the brightness of GOD’S GLORY and the express image of God’s Person’. Php2:6-9 state Jesus ‘being in the FORM OF GOD.. was EQUAL WITH GOD, but took upon him the form of a servant and was made in likeness of men.. He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Jesus, and given him a name which is above every name’.
Jesus glorified God by going to the cross, giving His life for our sins, being obedient unto death, and having the faith to be resurrected. Jesus asked the Father to return to Him the Glory He once shared with Him before the world was Jn17:5. What is important here is that the same Glory Jesus had with the Father He gave to us v22- to those that are one with Him; for those that have His joy fulfilled in them; for those that are kept from evil v15, and sanctified by His Word v17! Jesus prayed that we may be made perfect in one; that the world may know that the Father had sent and loved Him; that we would be with Him ‘where I am; that they may behold my Glory’ v24, signifying the coming Rapture.
Six times Jesus referred to those ‘THOU HAST GIVEN ME’ v6,9,11,12,24,18:9. Five times Jesus prayed that WE MAY BE ONE WITH HIM AND THE FATHER v11,21,21,22,23. Jesus was specifically praying for us. Ro8:17 states ‘if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also Glorified Together’. When we study this prayer of Jesus, we must believe what Jesus wants us to have, and that one day we will be Glorified Together With Him forever! What is the Glory that Jesus had with the Father that He wants to give to us? Jesus wants to share all of His Glory He has with us!
The Gospel of John Part 4 Chapters 18 through 21 will continue shortly. Please tune in again and thank you for reading!
WHEN DIVINITY BECAME HUMANITY, WHEN GOD BECAME MAN
The Gospel of John is the revelation of Jesus Christ as the SON OF GOD- who He is, what He did, and what He told us to do. This is Part 2 of the Gospel of John emphasizing WHEN DIVINITY BECAME HUMANITY, WHEN GOD BECAME MAN. In the Gospel of John alone, there are over 20 verses in which Jesus and others said to ‘BELIEVE IN HIM OR BELIEVE ON HIM’. Here Jesus, a young man in his thirties, had the temerity and audacity to tell every one in the world that we must BELIEVE IN OR ON HIM so we will not perish in hell and everlasting damnation, but have EVERLASTING LIFE. The simple reason why is because Jesus is telling us the truth; that ONLY HE AS GOD can save us and give us eternal life. JESUS is EMMANUEL- GOD WITH US, Mt1:23, who ‘died for our sins’ Ro5:8.
Apart from Jesus, there is no salvation of our souls and eternal life Jn3:15. Jesus said ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,that whosoever BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD not perish, but have everlasting life’ Jn3:16, referring to himself. John the Baptist added ‘He that BELIEVETH ON THE SON hath everlasting life: and he that BELIEVETH NOT THE SON SHALL not see life; but the WRATH OF GOD abideth on him‘ Jn3:36. Jesus told his disciples ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, BELIEVE ALSO IN ME’ Jn14:1. When the apostle dubbed ‘doubting Thomas’ saw the resurrected Jesus alive after His crucifixion, he exclaimed ‘My Lord AND MY GOD’ Jn20:28. That JESUS IS GOD is indisputable by his many miracles, deeds, and sayings. We now continue with the Gospel of John Part 2- WHEN DIVINITY BECAME HUMANITY.
John Chapter 6- Jesus, the Bread of Life
Chapter 6 begins with Jesus back in his home country Galilee. While in the mountain plains, a great multitude of over 5000 men, besides women and children v10, followed Him after seeing the miracles he did on them who were sick and diseased v2. Here we see how Jesus miraculously multiplied a boy’s lunch of 5 barley loaves and 2 small fishes to feed the hungry multitudes. After they all had eaten, there were 12 baskets of fragments left over v10-13, Mt14:21. This was the 4th miracle in the Gospel of John (Mt15:38 states another 4000 were later fed in another incident).
Jesus immediately disappeared alone into a mountain for the people wanted to make him a king v15. The disciples then left to cross the Sea of Galilee on a boat toward Capernaum not knowing where Jesus went. Night came and the sea rose along with a great wind. They had rowed for about 3 to 4 miles when they saw ‘Jesus walking on the stormy sea.. and they were afraid’, but Jesus assured them v19,20. They willingly received Him in the ship, and presto, the ship landed v21. The next day the people crossed the sea looking for Jesus saw him with his disciples. They asked Jesus how did he cross over since he did not embark earlier with his disciples v22-25. Jesus supernaturally transported Himself over the windy storm and walking on water!
In chapter 6 Jesus warned the people: ‘Ye seek Me, NOT because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perish- eth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you.. This is the work of God, that ye BELIEVE ON HIM whom He hath sent’ v26-29. Jesus declared ‘I am the BREAD OF LIFE: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that BELIEVETH ON ME SHALL NEVER THIRST’ v35, just as he told the Samaritan woman Jn5:14. Jesus stated ‘He that BELIEVETH ON ME HATH EVERLASTING LIFE’ v47, as in Jn 3:16.
Jesus used the analogy that while bread is necessary for life, we need to partake of his flesh and his blood that He will give for the life of the world v51. Jesus said ‘..Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life..’ v53-54.
Here Jesus was NOT telling them to literally eat his flesh and blood, but to spiritually partake of Him, by believing in the sacrifice He will make for us– his own flesh and blood. Jesus said ‘It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the WORDS that I speak unto you, THEY ARE SPIRIT, AND THEY ARE LIFE’ v63. Jesus meant that only by BELIEVING HIS WORDS CAN WE GET EVERLASTING LIFE. BELIEVING IN JESUS means TO OBEY HIS WORDS, what He told us to do. While in the wilderness, Jesus told the devil ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of God’ Mt4:4.
Notice the 666 (Re13:18), the AntiChrist number in Jn6:66– ‘From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him’. They did not believe in Jesus anymore, and thus lost eternal life v54. In John chapter 6, Jesus repeatedly said he that believeth on him ‘I will raise him up on the last day’ v39,40,44,54. Here Jesus introduced the promise of a bodily Resurrection or the Rapture for His believers, also found in Jn11:25,26,14:3, 1Th4:16,17.
In chapter 6, we see two incidents of DIVINITY IN HUMANITY- Jesus having powers over nature and the physical laws by multiplying food, and then walking on water; no other man could except for Peter who took only a few steps Mt14:29. To change water into wine, heal the nobleman’s son and the lame man, and multiply food is something only God can do, as only God can create, perform miracles, and do supernatural acts. Thus, JESUS IS GOD- WHEN DIVINITY BECAME HUMANITY! We will see more examples of DIVINITY IN HUMANITY as we continue studying the Gospel of John!
John Chapter 7- Jesus Returns to Jerusalem Teaching in the Temple
There is only one Jewish temple, the one in Jerusalem. It was first built by King Solomon about 1000 BC, restored by Ezra and Nehemiah after the Babylonian Captivity about 530 BC, and finally reconstruct- ed and enlarged by King Herod the Great, from about 50 to 4 BC, 46 years in the making Jn2:20. The temple was the center of the Jewish religious life and the headquarters of Judaism, their religion dating back to Moses’ days about 1500 BC.
Jesus is back in Galilee with his unbelieving younger half-brothers (4 of them. SeeMt13:55), who was jealous of him because of his growing fame. They asked Jesus if he will return to Jerusalem to perform his works before his disciples in Judaea v1-6. This was the time of the feast of tabernacles. Jesus told his brothers to go ahead. He would not yet go v8, but ‘abode still in Galilee’ v9. But a few days later Jesus left secretly and was found teaching in the temple.
Jesus proclaimed that HE WAS SENT BY GOD (note: only in John’s Gospel is this revealed, over 40x, e.g. Jn7:16,28,29) and that HE SPOKE ON BEHALF OF GOD. The Jews again sought to kill him v1,19,25 saying that Jesus had a devil v20, and because He earlier healed the lame man Jn5:16 on the sabbath day v23. Here we see that Jesus was very controversial, some believing on Him and others, jealously attacking him v12,20,26,31,40-43. Jesus created great trouble for the chief priests and Pharisees- the reigning religious Jews, causing great dissension among them v45-53.
Regarding ‘LIVING WATER’ (as with the Samaritan woman at the well Jn4:10), at the temple Jesus shouted loudly, ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that BELIEVETH ON ME, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of LIVING WATER. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the HOLY GHOST was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet GLORIFIED)’ v37-39. The LIVING WATER which Jesus would give to us is the BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY GHOST Ac1:5, earlier spoken by John the Baptist Jn1:33.
(Note: JESUS was GLORIFIED when He presented Himself to God the Father in heaven after His Resurrection from the dead Jn20:17. Then on the day of Pentecost, Jesus sent the Holy Ghost (Spirit) to his disciples Ac2:4. Later John chapters 14,15,16 will reveal the importance of the BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT in our lives- to teach, lead, guide us, show us things to come, help us, protect us, and to empower us!)
John Chapter 8- Woman Taken in Adultery. Jesus, the Light Of The World, The Great I Am
Early in the morning, as Jesus was teaching in the temple, the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman taken in the act of adultery v1-3. According to the Mosaic Law, they said she should be stoned, to see what Jesus would say. Jesus pretending he did not hear them, stooped down and with his finger wrote something on the ground, as if scribbling down their sins v6. After pressing him, Jesus said ‘He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her’ v8. Their consciences were pricked such that one by one they left, beginning with their leaders, leaving Jesus alone with the woman v9. As no man was left to condemn her, Jesus said ‘Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more’ v11. This is the 2nd time in the Gospel of John that Jesus forgave someone of their sin (Jn5:14); something only God can do Mk2:7!
Jesus declared ‘I am the LIGHT OF THE WORLD’ v12. Jesus contended that He came down from heaven Jn6:38 and was sent by God the Father v16,18,26,29,42. Here Jesus defined who his disciples are ‘if ye CONTINUE IN MY WORD, then ye are my disciples indeed’ v31; ‘Ye shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH shall make you free’ v32, and ‘If the SON herefore makes you FREE, ye shall be FREE ndeed’ v36. Jesus debated with the people who said they were Abraham’s seed but they did not do the works of Abraham v39; but were of the devil- a murderer and the father of lies v44. Jesus said that He knows the Father v55 and that ‘before Abraham was I AM’ v58. This is the same ‘I AM THAT I AM’ that God spoke to Moses from the burning bush regarding who He is Ex3:14. The people tried to stone Jesus but He supernaturally disappeared and escaped from their midst and passed by them v59.
John Chapter 9- The Healing of the Man Born Blind
Jesus’ disciples asked why a man they had passed was born blind. Was it because of his sin or his parents? Jesus said neither, ‘but that THE WORKS OF GOD SHOULD BE MADE MANIFEST IN HIM’ v1-3. Here is a case of ‘divine appointment’ that Jesus would come across this beggar blind man to prove that He had the power of God to heal. Jesus spat on the ground, made a clay of spittle, anointed the man’s eyes with the clay and then told him to wash his eyes in the nearby pool of Siloam v6,7. He instantly received his sight for the first time. His neighbors recognized the once blind man, and asked him how he was able to see v10. He told them Jesus gave him his sight by anointing his eyes v11. They brought this man to the Pharisees for questioning on how this miracle was wrought. There was a division among themselves; some said Jesus was not of God because He healed on the sabbath day. Others said ‘How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles’ v16.
The Pharisees then asked his parents who gave a somewhat sarcastic answer; ‘We know that this is our son, and he was born blind: But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself’ v21. The people were afraid of the Pharisees because anyone who confessed that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue v22. So the Pharisees moved on to question the man that was once blind.
This chapter almost reads like a comedy, how the once blind man answered when the Pharisees accused Jesus of being a sinner: ‘Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see’ v25; ‘The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners.. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind’ v30-32.
The Pharisees were offended, accused the once blind man of being a sinner, and cast him out v34. Later, Jesus privately asked the man ‘Dost thou BELIEVE ON THE SON OF GOD?’ v35. The man asked ‘Who is He, Lord, that I might BELIEVE ON HIM? v36. JESUS SAID IT WAS HE v37. The man said ‘LORD, I BELIEVE. AND HE WORSHIPPED HIM’ v38. JESUS IS GOD, as worship belongs only to God Mt4:10. Jesus said ‘For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind’ v39. Like the Pharisees then, many religious leaders today are in this 2nd group; they see but are blind to the truth. In this chapter, the once blind man not only received his sight, but also got saved!
John Chapter 10- Jesus, the Good Shepherd and His Sheep
Our relationship with Jesus is likened to a shepherd and his sheep. Jesus began to teach ‘I AM THE DOOR OF THE SHEEP.. BY ME IF ANY MAN ENTER IN, HE SHALL BE SAVED..’ v7,9. He then declared ‘I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD: the GOOD SHEPHERD giveth his life for the sheep’ v11. This chapter is analogous to the classic Psalm 23 by David, a 1000 years before speaking of Jesus: ‘THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD; I shall not want (need for anything)’. Jesus is our GOOD SHEPHERD who takes good care of us. Jesus said ‘The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I AM COME THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE LIFE, AND THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE IT MORE ABUNDANTLY’ v10. Jesus contrasted his works to give us life and a more abundant life to that of the devil- to steal, kill and to destroy us.
Four times Jesus emphasized, as the GOOD SHEPHERD, He gives and lays down his life for his sheep v11,15,17,18; and He has the power to take it again v18, meaning that HE IS GOD. Here Jesus purposely stated that He will die to save us from our sins, and He will raise Himself again. Only JESUS AS GOD can do that!
Jesus continued to declared Himself to the Jews causing a division among them. Some said he had a devil v20, while others skeptically asked Jesus if He was the Christ v24. Jesus said ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: AND I GIVE UNTO THEM ETERNAL LIFE; AND THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand’ v27,28. Jesus said ‘I AND MY FATHER ARE ONE’ v30. For this saying, the Jews took up stones to stone him for blasphemy, for they said JESUS MADE HIMSELF GOD v33. They sought to take him, but again Jesus escaped out of their hands as in Jn8:59, into the countryside in Jordan on the opposite side of the river v39,40. Here we see again that Jesus has the ability to supernaturally disappear and escape when they tried to take him. Many recognized Jesus in Jordan and many believed on him v42.
John Chapter 11- The Raising of Dead Lazarus
In the middle of the Gospel of John chapter 11, is a sure account of DIVINITY OF JESUS CHRIST– JESUS’ ABILITY TO RAISE THE DEAD. Jesus had developed many friendships in the course of his ministry, like with Nicodemus and here with siblings Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. (As an aside, there are 6 Marys mentioned in the New Testament: Mary, his mother; Mary Magdalene, an ex-prostitute; Mary, the sister of Lazarus; three others, the mothers of James Jn19:25 and Mark Ac12:2, and a helper of the apostle Paul Ro16:6).
In the town of Bethany about two miles from Jerusalem v18, his friend Lazarus whom Jesus loved, was very sick. While Jesus was still in Jordan about 18 miles away, Lazarus’ sisters sent a messenger to summon Jesus to pray for him. Jesus did not rush back but delayed his return by two days and made an unusual comment ‘This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby’ v4. GOD USED THIS INCIDENT TO SHOW THE POWER OF JESUS OVER DEATH, IN ORDER TO GLORIFY JESUS.
From the time Jesus was notified of Lazarus’ illness till the time Jesus arrived, Lazarus had been dead for 4 days. Thomas then said ‘Let us also go that we may die with him’ v16 not referring to Lazarus, but to Jesus for the Jews sought to stone him v8. (Doubting Thomas is introduced here, for Thomas often made impulsive remarks Jn14:5,20:25.)
Jesus finally got to Bethany and learned that Lazarus was ‘lain in the grave four days already’ v17, and ‘he stinketh’ v39. (King David prophesied a 1000 years before, that JESUS WOULD NOT SEE CORRUPTION OR DECOMPOSE Ps16:10,Ac2:27). Unlike Lazarus, Jesus was raised from the dead on the 3rd day so Jesus did not experience decomposition! Jesus told Martha ‘I am the RESURRECTION, and the life: he that BELIEVETH IN ME, THOUGH HE WERE DEAD, YET SHALL HE LIVE: and WHOSOEVER LIVETH and BELIEVETH IN ME SHALL NEVER DIE. BELIEVEST THOU THIS?’ v25,26.
In this very important passage Jesus referred again to the future Rapture as in Jn6:39,40,44,54- ‘I WILL RAISE HIM UP ON THE LAST DAY’. This is also a parallel with what the apostle Paul later said ‘THE DEAD IN CHRIST SHALL RISE FIRST, then we which are ALIVE AND REMAIN SHALL BE CAUGHT UP TOGETHER WITH THEM IN THE CLOUDS TO MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR: AND SO SHALL WE EVER BE WITH THE LORD. WHEREFORE COMFORT ONE ANOTHER WITH THESE WORDS’ 1Th4:16-18.
After having the stone to the cave removed, Jesus with a loud voice commanded ‘Lazarus, come forth’. Lazarus came forth bound with grave clothes but was loosed of them v44. Never has any man ever given sight to the blind Jn9:32, and now raised the dead. Jesus did both because JESUS IS GOD- WHEN DIVINITY BECAME HUMANITY, WHEN GOD BECAME MAN. We also see the humanity of Jesus in the shortest verse in the entire Bible ‘Jesus wept’ v35, when he learned of Lazarus’ death.
Many Jews that came to Mary, saw what happened and believed on Jesus v45; others went their way to report to the Pharisees what things Jesus had done. The chief priests and Pharisees were perplexed and took council on what to do, for Jesus had done many miracles v47. They were afraid the people would follow Jesus and the ruling Romans ‘shall come and take away both our place and nation’ v48. Caiaphas, the high priest then, stepped in and prophesied ‘it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not’ v50. The Sanhedrin, the Jewish Council, sought to arrest and kill Jesus v53. We see here how the devil Jn10:10 had inspired Caiaphas and the Pharisees to destroy Jesus. But Jesus again escaped and departed with his disciples to a city in the wilderness called Ephraim and remained there for a while v54. Meanwhile, the chief priests and Pharisees gave instructions to find Jesus to arrest him v57.
The Gospel of John Part 3 Chapters 12 through 17 will continue shortly. Please tune in again and thank you for reading!
The Greatest Story Ever Told- When God Became Man
As we begin the New Year of 2015, it is prudent that we go back to the basics of the Gospel such as found in the Gospel of John. This paper is Part 1 of 4 Parts, a chapter by chapter summary of the 21 chapters in the Gospel of John. By revelation of the Holy Spirit, the apostle John the Beloved revealed the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ. The first chapter of the Gospel of John gives us a clear picture of who God is and His origin. In the Gospel of John, the Almighty and Eternal God introduced Himself to the world as the Word because He is the Word and wants to be known as the Word; that the Word of God is very important to Him. John tells us who God is, where He came from, why He came to earth, to whom He came for, and states that Jesus Christ was the Word of God made flesh Jn1:14, Re19:13.
The Gospel of John Chapter 1 gives an account of when divinity became humanity, when God became man. From this perspective, we can begin to appreciate the richness and greatness of our Lord Jesus Christ. Here is an interesting perspective: Of the four Gospels found in the New Testament of the Bible, John’s Gospel did not include the account of the coming Endtimes, like those found in Mt24, Mk13, and Lk21. Instead, God had John to record and reveal fully the end of the world to come that which Jesus prophesied would happen in the Book of Revelation.
The Genealogy of Jesus Christ- Who Jesus Is and Whom He Descended From
The four Gospels introduced Jesus very differently– telling us who he is, where he came from, and whom he descended from. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus was revealed as a Jew- the son of David, and of Abraham Mt1:1,2. In Mark, Jesus was described as the Son of God and a messenger Mk1:1,2. In Luke, Jesus was described as a son of man, a descendant of Adam Lk3:38, like all of us. In the Gospel of John, God introduced Himself as the Word, and that Jesus was ‘the Word made flesh and dwelt among us’ Jn1:14! So from the four Gospels, Jesus is revealed as a Jew, the Son of God, a man, and as the Word of God! We will be studying the Gospel of John in the light that JESUS IS GOD WHO CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN- WHEN DIVINITY BECAME HUMANITY, WHEN GOD BECAME MAN!
The Two Beginnings in the Bible- the Very Beginning and the Near Beginning
John 1:1 states ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God’. The Bible mentions two beginnings. In the VERY BEGINNING as in Jn1:1, only the Word and God existed v1; before anything was and before the Word created everything v3, before the creation of the angels and man. Then in the NEAR BEGINNING Ge1:1, God created the heaven and earth, and then man. According to scientists, the universe is about 14 billion years and the earth, 4.5 billion years old. How long ago was the VERY BEGINNING, a quadrillion years or more ago? It is incomprehensible and astounding. No one knows because God was always there in the VERY BEGINNING. According to the Bible, Adam and Eve were created and placed on earth just 6000 years ago. Archaeological data, and historical records and timelines validate the fact that from Adam to us today, it has been only about 6000 years.
Jesus Christ- When Divinity Became Humanity, When God Became Man
Who is this man Jesus, whom we believe in and whom we worship? Jn1:1-3 tell in the VERY BEGINNING only the Word and God existed and that the Word was God. All things were made by the Word and without the Word was not anything made that was made. The Bible tells us that Jesus is the Word made flesh, and dwelt among us Jn1:14. The apostle Paul wrote ‘And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifested in the flesh’ 1Ti3:16. Jesus, the Word of God ,Re19:13 was with the Father in glory before the world began Jn17:5; Jesus is the image of the invisible God Co1:15; Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory and the express image of God’s person Heb1:3.
Jesus Christ is the Master of the Universe; the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending Re1:8. Jesus Christ ‘is before all things and by Him all things consist’ Co1:17; ‘all things were created by Him and for Him’ Co1:16; for His glory, honor and pleasure Re4:11. Jesus is equal with God Php2:9. Understanding the person of Jesus Christ helps to build our appreciation, love, and faith in Him. Da11:32 states ‘..the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits’. Everything that God is, is in Jesus Christ, who is God personified. We will now begin the chapter by chapter discussion of the Gospel of John.
Gospel of John Chapter 1- Jesus Christ is Introduced to the World
It is interesting to note the many descriptions of Jesus Christ in John Chapter 1. Here Jesus is described as; the Word, as God v1, the Creator God- ‘all things were made by Him’ v3, in Him was Life; and the Light of men v4, the true Light of every man that cometh into the world v9, a Jew v11, the Word made flesh v14, the only begotten of the Father v14, full of grace and truth v14,17, the only begotten Son v18, the declarer of the Father v18. Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world (Saviour) v29, the Son of God v34, the baptizer with the Holy Ghost v35, a Rabbi (Master) v38, the Messiah, the Christ (the Anointed) v41, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph v45, the king of Israel v49, and the Son of man v51. In just this first chapter alone, over 20 titles or descriptions were given of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is described as God and a man. God sent forth John the Baptist to bear witness of Jesus Christ, the Light, v7. John was ‘the voice crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord’ v23; Is40:3-5. John declared three times that Jesus ‘is preferred before me: for he was before me’ v15,27,30. He said ‘of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace’ v16.
God’s law and standards, the 10 Commandments Ex20:1-17, were given by Moses, but God’s ‘grace and truth came by Jesus Christ’ v17. From the days of Moses 1500 years before, the Jews were looking for the promised Prophet v21; a Deliverer like Moses for Israel Ac7:37, Ro11:26. Andrew, a disciple of John the Baptist, his brother Simon Peter, Philip, and Nathaniel all then became followers of Jesus Christ v40-49. This is how the Gospel of John chapter 1 began!
John Chapter 2- Jesus Begins His Ministry in Cana of Galilee
Jesus performed his 1st miracle at a marriage feast in Cana v11. Mary his mother, asked Jesus for help. Apparently, either the crowd was great or they were partying for many days, but they ran out of wine v3, a key ingredient for any good party. All the guests wanted more. They had already consumed 6 large waterpots containing about 25 gallons apiece, or roughly 150 gallons of wine (each waterpot held about 3 firkins equals to 25 gallons) v6. Many have speculated whether the wine contained alcohol or not. But the people came to party, and party they did! Jesus instructed the servants to fill the 6 pots to the brim with water, and then to present it to the governor of the feast. The governor was astonished and told the bridegroom that at any feast the good wine is first brought forth, then the junk stuff, ‘when men have well drunk’ v10. Jesus had turned the water into 150 gallons of excellent wine which tasted better than at first v10.
During his 3 years of ministry, Jesus went up yearly to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of the Passover, about 50 miles distance from Galilee- a three-day journey! Here we see the 1st of two accounts of Jesus driving the money changers out of the temple, once at the start of his ministry Jn2:13-17; the other, at ending of his ministry before his crucifixion Mt21:12. In both accounts, Jesus certainly did not endear himself to the religious leaders, who profited much by selling temple sacrifices. Jesus was quite violent when he ‘made a scourge of small cords and drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; he poured out the changers’ money and overthrew their tables’ v15. As a sign to the Jews, Jesus said ‘Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up’ v19, meaning ‘the temple of his body’ v21. This was the beginning of the hate relationship the religious Jews had with Jesus who later sought to kill him. Jesus was a great threat to the ruling religious Pharisees who were fearful to lose their wealth, power, and their place in Jerusalem and Judea Jn11:48.
John Chapter 3- The Born Again Experience Revealed
Jn3:16 is one of the most well-known verses in the Bible, but only a few people know who said these words, and to whom it was said: ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life’ . Was it John the writer, John the Baptist, or someone else? Was it spoken to the multitudes or just a few people? ANSWER- It was Jesus that spoke these words to Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews, and it was late at night v1,2. Jesus declared that He was the only begotten Son sent by God, and if we believe in Him, we would not perish, but have everlasting life v16.
Jesus said a man needs to be ‘BORN AGAIN’– not once naturally, but a 2nd time, spiritually and supernaturally by the Spirit, to see and enter into God’s kingdom v3-5, in heaven and on earth! Nicodemus did not understand Jesus then, because he did not know that Jesus was sent by God to die for our sins. All Nicodemus knew was Jesus was a teacher, did miracles, and that God was with him v2. After the crucifixion Nicodemus helped bury Jesus Jn19:39, and a few days later he understood what Jesus meant, when Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus often spoke in the 3rd person regarding himself: ‘He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the NAME of the only begotten Son of God’ v18.
The scene then switches in v23. The apostle John wrote again of the prophet John the Baptist’s connection with JESUS CHRIST, a continuation from John chapter 1, where John the Baptist bore witness of Jesus. John the Baptist made a very profound statement similar to what Jesus said in v18 above: ‘He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the WRATH OF GOD abideth on him’ v36. John said that an unbeliever is already a condemned person; has no salvation and everlasting life, and the wrath of God abides upon him!
WITHOUT JESUS CHRIST, NO ONE CAN BE SAVED! God’s anger and judgment would be upon us eternally and forever. Basically, we need to believe that JESUS CHRIST IS GOD who came to earth to save us from our sins. Jesus is ‘EMMANUEL.. GOD WITH US’ Mt1:21,23; when divinity became humanity, when God became man. John Chapter 3 is a key chapter in the Bible, for it explains the BORN AGAIN experience v3,5,7, the SALVATION message, and JESUS CHRIST is GOD the SAVIOUR of our eternal souls v16; also about the coming awesome WRATH OF GOD v36!
John Chapter 4- the Samaritan Woman At the Well
In leaving Judea for his home in Galilee, Jesus had to pass through Samaria. The Samaritans were the remnant of 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel that lived in the Northern Kingdom, while Judaea was the home of the two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, in the Southern Kingdom. The Jews considered the Samaritans as inferior and did not like to associate with them. They had a mixture of the Mosaic Law and idolatry. Jesus, weary from travel at noon, met a woman drawing water from Jacob’s well in Sychar v5. When he asked for a drink, she a Samaritan, replied how is it that he a Jew would associate with her? Jesus told her that if she knew ‘the gift of God’ v10, and who was asking her for water, she would instead ask HIM for the LIVING WATER that He had v10. Jesus said ‘..whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life’ v14.
Like with Nicodemus, Jesus told the Samaritan woman of the ‘BORN AGAIN experience’; that by partaking of the LIVING WATER that he had, she would not thirst again, but have everlasting life. What is this LIVING WATER that Jesus was talking about? Earlier Jesus told Nicodemus ‘Except a man be born of WATER and of the SPIRIT, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God’ Jn3:5. In order to enter into God’s kingdom, we need the LIVING WATER, which is the Word of God to sanctify and cleanse us Ep5:26, and also the HOLY SPIRIT. Jn7:37-39 tell us ‘..If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on Me.. out of his belly shall flow rivers of LIVING WATER. (But this spake he of the SPIRIT, which they that believe on Him should receive)’.
To be saved, we must confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and with our heart believe that God raised him from the dead Ro10:9. To receive the HOLY SPIRIT for help, revelation, guidance, and understanding, we must ask God for Him. Jesus said ‘..how much more shall your heavenly Father give the HOLY SPIRIT to them that ask Him?’ Lk11:13.
The woman immediately asked Jesus for this LIVING WATER to drink so she would thirst no more. Jesus then told her to call her husband. When she said she had no husband, Jesus revealed that she had 5 husbands and the one she was living with was not her husband v15-18. She quickly changed the subject in order not to be further exposed and asked Jesus where should people worship, in this mountain in Samaria or in Jerusalem? Jesus said neither places; ‘God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth’ v24. Jesus then revealed to the woman that He is the Christ v25,26! The Samaritan woman was so impressed by Jesus giving her a ‘word of knowledge’ 1Co12:8, that she began to tell the town people that Jesus knew everything about her, and that JESUS IS THE CHRIST v28,29.
In v34-38, there was an interlude when Jesus spoke to his disciples about the importance and joy of missionary work- witnessing to others, telling them about Him and about eternal life. When told to eat, Jesus said ‘My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work’ v34, meaning God, the Father. Jesus then tarried with the Samaritans for 2 days, as they requested him to stay v40, and He told them the salvation message. As a result many Samaritans were saved, not only because of the woman, but also because of what Jesus told them v41. They accepted Jesus as ‘THE CHRIST, THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD’ v42.
This chapter concludes with an account of the healing of a nobleman’s son. The nobleman heard that Jesus had returned from Judaea to Cana, Galilee, so he came from about 25 miles away to ask Jesus to come down to Capernaum to heal his son. Jesus simply told him, ‘Go thy way, thy son liveth..’, and so it was v46-54. This was the 2nd miracle that Jesus did v54!
John Chapter 5- An Impotent Man Healed- Jesus Accused as a Sabbath Breaker
Here we see that Jesus is back in Jerusalem again to attend a Jewish feast v1. There was a great multitude of impaired people waiting by a pool for an angel to stir the water to be healed. The first one to enter in was to be healed v4. Jesus met a man who was lame for 38 years v5. Since the man had no one to carry him into the pool, Jesus performed his 3rd significant miracle in the Gospel of John and healed him v3-9. He told the lame man to ‘Rise, take up thy bed, and walk’ v8, and later ‘Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more lest a worse thing come unto thee’ v14. The religious Jews then confronted the once lame man, and Jesus for healing on the sabbath day. They sought to kill Jesus, not only because he healed on the sabbath day v16, but because Jesus said He was sent to do the works of God, his Father, and thereby ‘MAKING HIMSELF EQUAL WITH GOD’ v18.
Here and elsewhere in the Gospel of John, Jesus indirectly or directly declared that He is God, the Messiah, the Christ. He continued to declare the salvation message, that only He can give eternal life to them that believe on Him: ‘He that heareth MY WORD, and believeth on him that sent ME, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life’ v24. Jesus then spoke of a bodily resurrection to come– about the dead hearing the voice of the Son of God, referring to Himself v25. He said they will rise out of the grave and live again: ‘..they that have done good, unto the RESURRECTION OF LIFE; and they that have done evil, unto the RESURRECTION OF DAMNATION’ v29. Jesus said the works He did bare witness that the Father had sent Him; that He is from God v36,37. Jesus told the Jews ‘Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me’ v39. Jesus warned the Jews that the writings of Moses accused them of their sinfulness and unbelief, for they did not believe Moses who long ago spoke of Him v45-47.
The Gospel of John Part 2 Chapters 6 through 11 will continue shortly. Please tune in again and thank you for reading!
REPENTANCE– THE KEY TO ETERNAL LIFE
REPENTANCE is the key to eternal life. Without REPENTANCE towards God, there is no SALVATION. REPENTANCE is the key to the kingdom of God. When Jesus began his ministry, he declared that the kingdom of God was at hand and the need for REPENTANCE. Jesus said ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: REPENT ye, and BELIEVE THE GOSPEL’ Mk1:15. REPENTANCE is believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ regarding sin, forgiveness, and holiness. NO REPENTANCE, NO SALVATION, NO ETERNAL LIFE!
Jesus went everywhere in Judea telling people to REPENT of their sins Mt9:13. He said ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to REPENTANCE’ Lk5:32. Jesus said ‘.. EXCEPT ye REPENT, ye shall all likewise PERISH’ Lk13:3, and ‘.. EXCEPT a man be BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God’ Jn3:3. Thus, without REPENTANCE and being BORN AGAIN, one cannot be saved and go to heaven, but would PERISH in HELL! The apostle Paul said ‘For godly sorrow worketh REPENTANCE to SALVATION not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death’ 2Co7:10. REPENTANCE is the key to heaven and to eternal life!
What is Repentance? Why Repent?
REPENTANCE means to turn away from our sins, seek forgiveness from God, and accepting Jesus Christ as Saviour. The need for REPENTANCE began in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve gave in to the temptation of the Serpent to eat of the forbidden fruit, and fell into sin and corruption. The apostle Paul wrote ‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned’ Ro5:12. Sin and death were passed on to every man, woman, and child that subsequently came into this world. The Bible declared ‘For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God’ Ro3:23, and ‘.. the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’ Ro6:23.
Thus, there is a death penalty on every person born into this world that only faith in Jesus Christ can pardon. This death is not just physical death, but spiritual death where a person would spend eternity in hell and damnation. Only through REPENTANCE can one be forgiven of his sins and be restored unto God. Forgiveness was made possible by Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our sins Mt1:21. The apostle John wrote ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ 1Jn1:9. REPENTANCE is to seek God’s Forgiveness of our sins, and thus be cleansed from all unrighteousness.
John the Baptist- A Preacher of Repentance and the Precursor of Jesus Christ
John the Baptist, was a REPENTANCE preacher chosen by God to declare the coming of Jesus Christ. John was a coarse person clothed in ‘camel’s hair, and a leather girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey’ Mt3:4; ‘John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of REPENTANCE for the remission of sins’ Mk1:4. John’s tenure was very short, but his message was very powerful. John was ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness, PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD, make his paths straight.. all flesh shall see the SALVATION of God’ Is40:3,Lk3:3,6. ‘The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD, which taketh away the sin of the world’ Jn1:29. Jesus was the SACRIFICIAL LAMB to atone for all our sins so we can be reconciled to God!
Multitudes came out to see John the Baptist from ‘.. Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the PHARISEES and SADDUCEES come to his baptism, he said unto them, O GENERATION of VIPERS, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for REPENTANCE’ Mt3:5-8. Due to his outspokenness against sin, John literally ‘lost his head’ when King Herod ordered his execution because his unlawful wife Herodias requested John’s head on a platter Mt14:1-12. John said ‘He must increase, but I must decrease’ Jn3:30, which Jesus did upon John’s death. John the Baptist served as forerunner to Jesus Christ, who took the need for REPENTANCE and SALVATION message to all of us Jn3:16,17.
The PHARISEES and SADDUCEES, the religious leaders then, were pleased to see John killed as he was a great irritant and threat to their power over the people. They were not much different from today when ministers feel threatened by criticism for not preaching against sin and calling people to REPENTANCE. But the religious leaders then did not know that they would have to contend with someone else much greater and much more outspoken than John. Jesus began His ministry after his baptism by John when ‘.. the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased’ Lk3:23.
Jesus Came to Bring Salvation Through Repentance
Jesus, the Word of God, laid aside His heavenly splendor and took upon himself the form of a servant to die for our sins. As a man, he did not seek fame or fortune, but humbled himself even unto the death of the CROSS– a human sacrifice at Calvary to shed His blood for our sins Php2:5-8. His time on earth was short, only 33 years. His divine mission was to seek and save the lost Lk19:10 by calling us to REPENTANCE; that by believing in Him, we should not PERISH’ but have everlasting life Jn3:16. Jesus was motivated by love to save us. He was a loner, a man of sorrow, grief, and agony, who suffered a very brutal death. Though innocent, he was abused, despised, rejected, and crucified by the religious leaders and by his own people.
Regarding Jesus, Isaiah prophesied: ‘Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.. and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin..’ Is53:4-6,10. God laid upon Jesus all the sins of the world. Jesus came to bring us SALVATION. But only through REPENTANCE toward God can there be SALVATION through Jesus Christ.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ- All About Repentance
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about REPENTANCE and the turning to God. Jesus said ‘.. except ye REPENT, ye shall all likewise PERISH’ Lk13:3,5. Without REPENTANCE, everyone would PERISH. Many people know Jn3:16 which states ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not PERISH, but have everlasting life’. But few know who said this, and to whom it was spoken to. Here Jesus was speaking in the 3rd person of Himself to Nicodemus, a Pharisee ruler of the Jews, who came to Jesus at night Jn3:1,2. Jesus said ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved’ Jn3:17.
Jesus also warned ‘Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it’ Mt7:13,14. According to Jesus many will go down the broad road to damnation, but only a few will find the narrow way to be saved. Like today, people then did not want to hear anyone telling them of their sins or to stop sinning, and that they needed to REPENT or they would PERISH in HELL.
The Born Again Experience- Repentance Required
The need to be spiritually ‘BORN AGAIN’ in order to attain everlasting life was new to everyone including Nicodemus. Jesus said ‘Except a man be BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God.. Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God’ Jn3:3,5. Nicodemus asked Jesus ‘How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?’ Jn3:4. Jesus meant a person needs to be spiritually renewed by repenting of his sins, and thus be BORN AGAIN by the Word of God and by the Spirit of God. Paul wrote we are sanctified and cleansed ‘..with the washing of the water by the Word’ Ep5:26. Only by REPENTANCE can we be BORN AGAIN. It is the only way we will be able to see and enter into the kingdom of God, and to go to heaven. Jesus said ‘Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be BORN AGAIN’ Jn3:7. NO REPENTANCE, NO SALVATION, NO ETERNAL LIFE!
The Apostle Peter- A Preacher of Repentance
On the day of Pentecost, when 120 people were first baptized with the Holy Ghost Ac1:5, Peter gave a very anointed message before the multitudes regarding the recent past events of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. He said ‘Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it … Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same JESUS, whom ye have crucified, both LORD and CHRIST’ Ac2:22-24,36.
The people were pierced in their hearts and asked what they should do to be forgiven and to be saved. Peter replied ‘..REPENT, and be baptized every one of you in the name of JESUS CHRIST for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost’ Ac2:38. On that day, about 3000 people REPENTED, were baptized and saved, and became followers of Jesus Christ Ac2:41. The key here to SALVATION was REPENTANCE first.
Shortly after, when Peter and John went to the temple to pray, they met a man over 40 years old lame from birth who begged for alms daily Ac3:2,4:22. Peter said ‘Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of JESUS CHRIST of Nazareth rise up and walk’ Ac3:6. The man was healed instantly; he went ‘walking, and leaping, and praising God’ Ac3:8. The people marveled at this and Peter replied that it was not him, but the name of Jesus and through faith in His name that healed this man Ac3:12,16. Then Peter told them ‘REPENT ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out..’ Ac3:19. Peter later said ‘The Lord is not slack concerning his promise.. but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should PERISH, but that all should come to REPENTANCE’ 2Pe3:9. Here again, we see the importance of REPENTANCE towards God for the forgiveness of sins. Without REPENTANCE towards God, there is no SALVATION!
The Apostle Paul- Preaching the Cross of Jesus Christ and Repentance
While John the Baptist was chosen to announce the coming of Jesus Christ, God chose the apostle Paul to further the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST. Paul wrote ‘For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith.. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men..’ Ro1:16-18. He said ‘I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified’ 1Co2:2. Paul said ‘For godly sorrow worketh REPENTANCE to SALVATION not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death’ 2Co7:10; ‘For the preaching of the CROSS is to them that PERISH foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the POWER OF GOD’ 1Co1:18.
During his arrest by the Romans, Paul testified before King Agrippa saying ‘I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them ..throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should REPENT and turn to God, and do works meet for REPENTANCE’ Ac26:19,20. Paul was chosen by Jesus to preach REPENTANCE to the people: ‘To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me’ Ac26:18. REPENTANCE is a must for SALVATION, and preaching the CROSS is essential for REPENTANCE and ETERNAL LIFE. NO REPENTANCE, NO SALVATION, NO ETERNAL LIFE!
Today’s Churches- Soft on Sin and on Holiness, No Repentance, No Salvation
The churches’ first and last order of business should be to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Anything short of this is false, a deception, and a total failure. If one goes to church but loses his soul, the church has failed him, and he will PERISH in HELL. In church, we are supposed to learn about GOD, JESUS, and ETERNAL LIFE- how to be saved, and how we should live our lives! If the churches are not preaching REPENTANCE and HOLINESS, they miss the whole point about being a church.
In the book of Revelation, Jesus told the church of Ephesus ‘Remember therefore from whence thou art FALLEN, and REPENT, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou REPENT’ Re2:5. Even churches need to REPENT or they will be removed and have no part in God’s kingdom. Unfortunately, many pastors, ministers, and denominations today do not believe in the BORN AGAIN experience or the need to be BORN AGAIN. They themselves are NOT BORN AGAIN and NOT SAVED and will PERISH in HELL one day. They just don’t believe what Jesus said it takes to be SAVED: ‘Except a man be BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God’ Jn3:3. They don’t believe REPENTANCE and HOLINESS are necessary for SALVATION, and thus they don’t take heed to the words of Jesus. Without REPENTANCE towards God, there is no SALVATION!
Many apostate churches today are very soft on sin and on HOLINESS. They have the trappings of doing church- rituals and programs, entertainment, and a social gospel, but lack the POWER to bring anyone to conviction and a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote ‘Having a FORM of godliness, but denying the POWER thereof: from such turn away’ 2Ti3:5. They don’t talk much about sin, the need for REPENTANCE and for HOLINESS, and to live for God. They also don’t warn about about deception, false prophets, Satan, damnation, hell, salvation, the lateness of the hour, the wrath of God to come, the Great Tribulation, Bible prophecy, and what is happening in the world today and what Jesus said about the signs of His coming. They don’t talk about how to be ready for Jesus’ coming and to be ready for the Rapture.
Many churches don’t make altar calls for people to seek God for forgiveness of their sins and to accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour or to recommit their lives to the Him. This is the old-fashion Gospel, and not politically correct. They don’t want members to feel uncomfortable, threatened, or offended, because they may just not return. Church youths are especially ignorant of what is happening, and are not warned to refrain from youthful lusts and sexual sins. Paul said ‘Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart’ 2Ti2:22. Thus, many people go to church as unsaved sinners, and leave church still unsaved. So sadly, many people will not REPENT of their sins, will miss the Rapture and be Left Behind in a world that is literally falling apart, and may eventually end up in HELL.
The Call To Repentance- Repent Or Perish
Jesus said .. except ye REPENT, ye shall all likewise PERISH’ Lk13:3. PERISH is a very harsh word! What does it mean to PERISH, as also mentioned in Jn3:16? To PERISH is to be destroyed, to spend eternity in hell and in the lake of fire in suffering, torment, and torture. Jesus said ‘whosoever was not found written in the (Lamb’s) book of life was cast into the lake of fire’ Re20:15,21:27. While we are yet alive, this is our only opportunity to humble ourselves, to REPENT, to be forgiven of our sins, and to accept Jesus Christ as Saviour. Jesus said ‘For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?’ Mk8:36. The choice is yours to make. This is the Call To REPENTANCE! NO REPENTANCE, NO SALVATION, NO ETERNAL LIFE!
The Sinner’s Prayer of Repentance
It is not necessary for anyone to PERISH, but sadly, the Bible states many will PERISH in HELL Mt7:13. But if you believe that Jesus died for your sins and accept Him as your personal Saviour, YOU CAN BE SAVED and go to heaven one day to your eternal blessing. Here is a simple prayer of REPENTANCE to SALVATION which you can humbly pray to accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour, or to recommit your life to Him again:
I AM A LOST SINNER AND I REPENT OF MY SINS. I’M SORRY FOR MY SINS AND ASK FOR YOUR FORGIVENESS. I ASK THAT YOU COME INTO MY HEART RIGHT NOW AND CLEANSE ME IN YOUR PRECIOUS BLOOD. I ACCEPT YOU AS MY LORD AND MY SAVIOUR. THANK YOU FOR DYING ON THE CROSS FOR ME AND THANK YOU FOR SAVING MY SOUL!
IN JESUS NAME I PRAY, AMEN!
God bless you!