The Greatest Story Ever Told- When God Became Man
The Gospel of John is unique from all the other gospels. By inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the apostle John the Beloved revealed the DIVINITY AND HUMANITY OF JESUS CHRIST. This paper is Part 1 of 4 Parts, a chapter by chapter summary of the 21 chapters in the Gospel of John. The first chapter of the Gospel of John gives us a clear picture of who God is and His origin. 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 His Word is very important to Him, and to us. 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 is the WORD OF GOD MADE FLESH Jn1:14, Re19:13.
The Gospel of John Chapter 1 gives us 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!
Apocalyptic Events in the Endtimes
The word Apocalyptic is an adjective that describes the terrible things that are found in the Bible, as in the book of Revelation. The Greek word for Revelation is the noun Apocalypse. The word Apocalyptic is used to describe events that are very terrible, evil, horrible, destructive, cataclysmic, widespread, unprecedented, and inexplicable. The Hebrew word Armageddon is the place of the final great war Re16:16. Armageddon is also used by many writers to describe a meltdown or collapse! Both words, Apocalyptic and Armageddon, are now being used more frequently in the media to describe unusual and cataclysmic world events.
For example, Japan in 2011, suffered an Apocalyptic earthquake, tsunami, and a nuclear Armageddon. America now has an Apocalyptic debt and is facing a financial Armageddon. The PIIGS countries in Europe– Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greek and Spain, are also facing financial Armageddon. In summer 2010, Russia had an Apocalyptic wildfire, Pakistan, an Apocalyptic flood for nearly 30 days and N. Australia, an Apocalyptic rainfall of 30 to 50 inches. In January 2011 both Australia and Brazil suffered Apocalyptic mudslides. For the past winters and very recently, Japan, Europe, Russia, and the US have experienced extreme Apocalyptic winter storms.
In February a very heavy blizzard blasted the northeast US. The Weather Central dubbed this snowstorm of historic proportion, Winter Storm NEMO, which is OMEN spelt backwards. Why are terrible, strange, and seemingly Apocalyptic things happening today? Is God responsible for these Apocalyptic storms and Apocalyptic natural disasters happening today? The only definitive and reliable answers come from the Word of God, the Holy Bible! What is happening in the world today was foretold thousands of years ago!
The study of eschatology is the study of the end times or the end of things. Jesus and the prophets spoke often of the end times. Jesus warned in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, and in the book of Revelation what would happen in the end. We are nearing the time of their fulfillment! From the Bible chronologically, the time of the first man Adam till today is about 6000 years. After that, God will establish His kingdom on earth with the 1000-year reign of Jesus Christ. God’s 6000 year plan for mankind, and man’s government is coming to an end because our world is filled with greed, wickedness, corruption, and immorality. Jesus and the prophets prophesied of God’s judgment to come. Jeremiah wrote ‘.. at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation’ Je10:10.
Jesus Christ- the Apocalyptic Power of the Universe
Jesus said ‘..All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth’ Mt28:18. Jesus upholds ‘.. all things by the Word of his Power’ Heb1:3. Thus, Jesus is all-powerful. He can declare or stop something from happening, by just speaking the Word, as in the Genesis 1 creation account, and then in calming the stormy sea Mk4:39. Jesus knew of the violent earthquake that occurred off Japan, and had the power to mitigate it, but He didn’t. The Apocalyptic 9.0 earthquake that struck Japan just 2 years ago is an example of God’s divine judgment and wrath. In an instant, millions of lives were affected in Japan. God is in total control even though many don’t acknowledge this or fear Him. But the main point here is, why is God so angry? He10:31 declares ‘It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God’; He12:29 ‘.. our God is a consuming fire’. Jesus said ‘Heaven and earth Shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away’ Mt24:35. Why is God so angry, wrathful, and desiring to destroy the earth? God is angry because man is very sinful, irredeemable, has rejected Him, and even dares to defy Him!
God’s Past Record of Apocalyptic Destruction
About 1500 years after Adam and Eve were created and the earth became populated, God sent an unprecedented Apocalyptic flood to destroy all mankind, except for Noah and his family. Ge6:5-6 state ‘..GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.. it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart’. Around 1900BC, God also destroyed two cities, namely Sodom and Gomorrah ‘..because their sin was very grievous’ Ge18:20. Their sin was widespread homosexuality, or more precisely Sodomy. God rained down brimstone and fire from heaven that destroyed the cities and everyone, except for Lot and his two daughters. God also smote ‘all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast’ Ex12:12.
These are just a few examples. Does God really do evil? Is45:7 states ‘I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and CREATE EVIL: I the LORD do all these things’. Incidentally, America is fast becoming the United States of Sodom and Gomorrah as many states and even churches are opting toward same-sex marriages! On June 26, 2013 the US Supreme Court overturned the Defense of the Marriage Act (DOMA) which Congress defined marriage as only between a man and a woman in 1996, and legalized Same-Sex Marriages; much like the Supreme Court in 2003 declared all sodomy laws to be unconstitutional, thus legalizing Sodomy throughout America! Isaiah the Prophet wrote ‘Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!’ Is5:20. In the date June 26, 2013, one can see the devil’s number 666 written in it Re13:18: June the sixth month, 6 found in 26, and 2013 adding up to another 6= 666.
Jesus Christ- the Author of the Apocalypse, the Book of Revelation
The book of the Apocalypse is steep in metaphors and symbolism because when John the Apostle then transcribed what Jesus told him, John did not know how to describe things such as modern warfare, nuclear explosions, radiation, electronic communications, computers, cars, airplanes, helicopters, etc. But one thing is certain, Revelation is a book of judgment, of death and destruction, and of the end of the world, as we now know it! There are the ‘four horsemen of the Apocalypse’ bringing war, famine, death, destruction, and hell to the earth Re6. A great multitude of believers, left behind after the Rapture from ‘all nations and kindreds, and people, and tongues’, will be slain in the coming Great Tribulation Re7:9,14. It will last for 1260 days, 42 months, or 3 ½ years during the reign of the AntiChrist and the False Prophet Re13:5,11.
There will be Apocalyptic and cataclysmic events occurring over large parts of the earth; a 3rd of the trees and grass will be on fire, and the 3rd part of the sea will be bloody, living creatures died, ships destroyed Re8:7,8. The 3rd part of the waters became poisonous and ‘many men died of the waters’ v10,11. Even the sun, moon, and the stars will be affected such that ‘a 3rd part of them was darkened’ v12. Re8:10 speaks of a ‘nuclear bomb’, a star called ‘Wormwood’ falling, causing widespread nuclear radiation, nuclear contamination, and death. If that was not enough, Re8:13 tells of three more terrible ‘Woes’ coming afterwards to the inhabitants of the earth. The book of the Apocalypse truly describes the end of the world!
God’s Warning- A Call to Repentance and to Return to God
When Jesus Christ first came on the scene in Judea, he preached ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: REPENT ye, and believe the gospel’ Mk1:14. What is repentance or to repent? It is to turn from our wrong and sinful ways, immoral or evil ways, etc., and return to God. It is to reconsider our ways and to reverse our course of action,ask for forgiveness, and to turn to God! 2Co7:10 tells ‘For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation.. but the sorrow of the world worketh death’. Jesus said ‘.. except ye REPENT, ye shall all likewise perish’ Lk13:3. Only true repentance will save us from our sins. It is not just a matter of being sorry for being caught, but being truly sorry for doing wrong and to cease from it. 1Jn1:9 states ‘If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’. Since we are all sinners, God is ever ready to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all of them, providing we repent! But Tomorrow may be too late!
God’s Great Plan For the Endtimes- Apocalyptic Shaking, Judgment, and Destruction
The Bible states that everything that can be shaken will be shaken; ‘..that those things that cannot be shaken may remain’ Heb12: 27. God said ‘.. Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations’ Hag2:6,7; ‘I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger’ Is13:13. Peter wrote ‘But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up’ 2Pe3:10.
For some people in Japan, the end of the world was on 11 Mar 2011 around 2:30 pm. In a split-second, a horrible triple disaster began. The ground opened up in the ocean 45 miles east of Japan causing the 5th highest ever recorded earthquake of 9.0, which in turn caused a tsunami in some places of over 100 feet that destroyed many eastern coastal towns in Japan, with strong surges of seawater going as far as 6 miles inland. A part of the seaside town of Sendai, nearest the quake, was a heap of rubble in a massive pile of debris. The earthquake ruptured the nuclear power plants in Fukushima and caused an Apocalyptic meltdown, and the widespread of cancerous radiation. Many places within a 20 miles radius were contaminated, and may be 85 times worse than the nuclear meltdown in Chernobyl, Russia in 1986. What happened in Japan was absolutely horrible- nearly 20,000 killed or missing; over 150,000 still displaced from their homes, buildings, cars, boats crushed like paper toys in an Apocalyptic tsunami– the costliest natural disaster ever recorded in the world exceeding $235 billion.
The Twin Disastrous Earthquakes of Christchurch, New Zealand- Sep 2010 and Feb 2011
The apostle Peter wrote ‘For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?’ 1Pe4:17,18. Was it a coincidence that in a town named Christchurch, two very damaging earthquakes occurred five months apart? Is God speaking to the churches today? A strong 7.1 earthquake struck on Sep 3, 2010. Because miraculously no one was killed despite the extensive damage, Andrew Strom, a New Zealand preacher of righteousness, attempted to organize a ‘praise and worship rally’ to publicly thank God for sparing them. Strom had the support of the Christchurch City Council and the Christian radio station, but ran into opposition when the main networking Christians leaders, a number of prominent pastors and Christian worship bands in Christchurch, told him to count them out. They did not see the need for any public acknowledgement of thanks to God, though the secular press and politicians had called it a miracle that no one died.
Strom also spoke to the Dean of the Anglican Christchurch Cathedral who told him he could not use the adjacent city square for a worship event. Months later on Feb 21, 2011, a 2nd earthquake of 6.3 occurred. It killed nearly 200 people and left the city in even greater ruins. The iconic Anglican Christchurch Cathedral, unscathed in the 1st quake, laid in ruins with its high steeple fallen over and the church building severely damaged. Now why would God do such a thing as devastate his own church?
Consequences in Dividing God’s Covenant Land- Israel
If contrary to the Bible, America seeks to divide Israel by imposing ‘a peace treaty’ on her with her Arab neighbors, God will also divide America! This is God’s law of reciprocity- ‘Be not deceived; whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap’ Ga6:7. Over a dozen Apocalyptic events have been documented by two Christian authors, John McTernan and Bill Koenig, whenever America took significant adverse action against Israel, or supported those that sought to destroy her. In his book, ‘Eye to Eye– Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel’, Bill Koenig stated that whenever the US applied major pressure on Israel to divide her land, a major catastrophe occurred within days to our shores. For over 20 years now, each time a US president forced Israel to divide the covenant land that God gave to Israel through Abraham, God visited America with an Apocalyptic disaster, such as a strong hurricane or storm, extensive flooding, a great earthquake, or severe tornadoes.
The 1991 ‘Perfect Storm’ that battered Pres. Bush Sr. summer home in Kennebunkport, ME, the 1994 Northridge Earthquake near Los Angeles, the 2004 Hurricane Andrew in Florida, and 2005 Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and the 2011 violent tornadoes in Joplin, MO, are some examples of this causal disaster relationship between Israel and America. Pres. Bush Sr. was the 1st US President to call for a ‘land for peace agreement’, and Bush Jr., the 1st to call for a ‘Palestinian State’; both contrary to the Bible and a curse to America! God told Abraham, ‘..I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee.. in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed’ Gen12: 3.
A curse will come to any nation who seeks to divide Israel! Superstorm Sandy- the Angry Fury of God’s Wrath Superstorm Sandy, a hybrid Apocalyptic winter storm which ravaged the NE, US, just 5 months ago in late Oct 2012 is a good example of God’s disdain for those who oppose Israel’s bid for survival. In order to stop Iran’s development of their nuclear weapons, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought America’s political support in drawing a ‘harder red line’ against Iran, to halt further nuclear development! Pres. Obama not only refused to do so, but also snubbed Netanyahu who wanted to meet with him on 27 Sep 2012 while visiting the nearby UN in New York City. To further exacerbate the issue, Obama authorized $1.5 billion financial aid to Egypt, whose new president had threatened to march on, calling for ‘a million martyrs’ to attack Jerusalem.
Because of America’s disrespect and lack of support of Israel, and our giving aid to her enemies, America again had incurred the wrath of God. Thus, God created an Apocalyptic storm- Superstorm Sandy, to chasten and humble America! Sandy was one of the most costly storms to strike the US, with damages amounting over $100 billion, and with many lives totally displaced and hurting!
There is a major fault line in America’s heartland, which cuts through 4 states AR, MO, TN, KY, 20 times larger than the San Andreas Fault in CA. From Dec 1811 to Feb 1812, the New Madrid Fault, experienced very strong series of earthquakes, estimated between 7.5 to 8.0 magnitude. They were so violent that church bells as far as Boston rang, and chimneys in Maine toppled! It caused the great Mississippi River to flow backwards and flooded great areas of land! There have been 7 prophetic warnings of a terrible New Madrid Fault Earthquake to occur soon. The message here is that God may also divide America into two, if America betrays Israel and side with her enemies, or force Israel to give up her land!
In one of the warnings in 2008, Pastor John Kilpatrick, had a nightmare in which he woke up shaking and his teeth clattering, when he saw America literally split into two. Kilpatrick was given 2 place names, INDIANOLA and EUROPA, which after some researching, found these two old towns to lie right on the NEW MADRID FAULT LINE! Whether this or another APOCALYPTIC EVENT will occur remains to be seen, but time is running out on America for her pernicious deeds against Israel! Ps121:2 tells ‘Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep’. Zech2:8 states ‘for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye’. God Almighty will fight for the tiny nation of Israel, the apple of His eye, in the final battle of Armageddon of the endtimes described in Zech12:2,3 and Zech14:1-3! Maranatha- the Lord Jesus Christ cometh! 3/20/13 UPDATE- Latest White House’s View on Jerusalem http://www.wnd.com/2013/03/white-house-map-of-israel-erases-jerusalem-biblical-territories/
(Author’s note May 2, 2015: This paper was written in March 2013, over two years ago. Since then there have been many other Apocalyptic events occurring throughout the world. One event was Super Typhoon Haiyan devastating Central Philippines in Nov. 2013. Now after 4 years April 2015, California is experiencing an Apocalyptic drought, where the entire state has only about a year’s supply of water left. Gov. Jerry Brown has mandated a 25% cut-back on water consumption under severe monetary fines.
The Big question is ‘where will the 38 million people in California move to when they run out of water?’ Another Big question is ‘What will happen when the next Big Earthquake strike California, as many scientists have warned that it will occur very soon?’ Also, just a few days ago, an Apocalyptic 7.8 Earthquake struck Kathmandu, Nepal, with dead numbering over 6,000. This was the first strong earthquake in those parts in 80 years. FINALLY ‘WHERE CAN ONE FLEE THE WRATH OF GOD?’ Ro1:18.)
The Greatest Person That Ever Lived
In this world, many people have come and gone! Whether they be rich or poor, strong or weak, famous or ordinary, everyone will eventually die! But Jesus who was raised from the dead, is alive and lives forevermore Re1:18. Truly, Jesus is the most important and greatest person that ever lived. However, more importantly is what will each of us do with this Jesus- accept Him or reject Him as our personal Saviour. Here are more details about the life and ministry of Jesus Christ:
The Ministry of Jesus Christ
Jesus came to earth to proclaim the kingdom of God, to tell people to repent, and to believe the Gospel Mk1:14,15. He came to do God’s will and to finish His work Jn4:34. God sent Jesus so that by believing in Him, we would not perish in hell but have everlasting life Jn3:16. Jesus came to save us from our sins Mt1:21. Unlike any person who ever lived, Jesus also had supernatural powers. He did many miracles, healed and delivered many people who had evil spirits Mk1:32,34; multiplied the food and fed the multitudes Mt14:21,15:38. He walked on water Jn6:19, and calmed the stormy sea Mk4:39. He even raised the dead Lk8:55, Jn11:44. Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of his day Mt23:13-16, inciting them to eventually kill him. Amazingly Jesus had also foretold of his own death and resurrection to his disciples ‘..how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders.. chief priests and scribes.. be killed, and be raised again the third day’ Mt16:21. Being dead for three days, Jesus was resurrected back to life again Mt28:6. Many years later on the island of Patmos, Jesus appeared to the apostle John saying ‘I am he that liveth, and was dead.. behold, I am alive for evermore.. and have the keys of hell and of death’ Re1:18.
The Resurrected Jesus Christ- More Than a Human
When reading the Bible carefully, we learn that Jesus had other superhuman qualities. When Jesus was resurrected from the dead, He now had a glorified body. His visage and body was no longer badly beaten and grotesque, except for the nail prints on His hands and a hole in his side Jn20:27! He could morph his looks such that his disciples could not recognize Him at first. The first time was at the empty burial tomb when Mary Magdalene was looking for his body, only to be talking to Jesus whom she thought was the gardener. She then recognized his voice Jn20:15-16. Another time was when Jesus translated himself nearly an 8 miles distance from Jerusalem to join two disciples as they were walking on the road to Emmaus Lk24:15. At first they did not recognize Jesus because his looks were changed, but later did; their eyes were opened. He then quickly vanished from their sight Lk24:31. Jesus was able to enter in a room on two occasions though the doors were shut as the disciples were shuttered in fear of the Jews Jn20:19,26. He literally walked or passed through the walls. Also, Jesus had no more blood in Him, as his precious blood was spilt on the earth when a soldier pierced his side and it gushed out Jn19:34. Lev17:11 states ‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Thus the blood of Jesus is still here on earth, and is very important for the forgiveness and cleansing of our sins He9:27, 1Jn1:7. It is also important to overcome the devil. Re12:11 states ‘..they overcame (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb..’.
A little known Bible fact is that after His resurrection, Jesus ascended to heaven TWICE! Jesus told Mary Magdalene ‘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’ Jn20:17. This was the 1st time Jesus went to heaven and came back. Then eight days later, Jesus told Thomas ‘Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side..’ Jn20:27. After His resurrection, Jesus remained on earth for 40 more days, teaching of things pertaining to the kingdom of God Ac1:3 and was even seen by over 500 people at once 1Co15:6. Jesus finally ascended into heaven the 2nd time Ac1:11, and sat on the right hand of God Mk16:19. He then sent the Holy Spirit to abide in us Jn14:16, to teach us of all things Jn14:26, guide us into all truth, to shew us things to come Jn16:13, and to empower us to witness Him in all the world Ac1:8.
The Revelation of the Divinity of Jesus Christ
Here are some descriptions of the divinity of Jesus Christ by His apostles, who referred to JESUS as God Himself. Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory and the express image of God’s person He1:3, by whom also he made the worlds He1:2. Jesus Christ, who being in a form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God. God also hath highly exalted Jesus, and given him a name which is above every name.. Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father Php2:6,9,10. Jesus is the image of the invisible God Co1:15. Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh 1Ti3:16. Jesus is the Lord of Glory 1Co2:8. Jesus Christ is the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God 1Ti1:17. In Jesus Christ, the whole family in heaven and earth is named Ep3:15. In Jesus dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily Co2:9. For it pleased the Father that in Jesus should all fullness dwell Co1:19. Jesus Christ is the highest name there ever will be Php2:9. Jesus Christ is the blessed and only Potentate 1Ti6:15; the KING OF Kings, and LORD OF Lords Re19:16. Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the first begotten of the dead and the prince of the kings of the earth. Jesus is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending Re1:8, the first and the last Re1:11. Jesus is Faithful and True Re19:11. Jesus is the Word made flesh Jn1:14, the Word of God Re19:13. In all things, Jesus should have the preeminence Co1:18. Jesus is the great I Am Jn8:58. Of Jesus’ kingdom, there will be no end Lk1:33. Thomas said unto Jesus, ‘My Lord and My God‘ Jn20:28. As we meditate on these scriptures, we can then really begin to appreciate who Jesus Christ is- God Almighty!
Jesus Declared His Own Divinity- the 10 ‘I Am’s in the Book of John
The gospel of John lists 10 I AM’s Jesus used to describe himself. It is the same term ‘I AM’ that God used when He revealed Himself to Moses in the burning bush. In Ex3:14 ‘..God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM.. Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you’. The Jews regarded the term ‘I AM’ as sacred, referring to God himself. Jesus told the multitude, before Abraham was, I AM Jn8:58. This infuriated the Jews, who took up stones to cast at Him, but Jesus passed through their midst. In Jn6:35, Jesus said I am the bread of life; in Jn9:5 I am the light of the world; in Jn10:9, I am the door; in Jn10:11, I am the good shepherd; in Jn10:36, I am the Son of God; in Jn11:25, I am the resurrection, and the life; in Jn14:6, I am the way, the truth, and the life; in Jn15:1, I am the true vine, and in Jn19:21, I am King of the Jews. All of these ‘I Am’s revealed Jesus’ divinity, and His power to bring forth blessings, spiritual growth, salvation and eternal life. Jesus is the Word of God. John wrote ‘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. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made’ Jn1:1-3. Then ‘the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us’ Jn1:14. Without Jesus, nothing was made that was made Jn1:3. Without Jesus, we can do nothing Jn15:5. Without Jesus, we would not know the way to God, the Father Jn14:6. Jesus said ‘ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he..’ Jn8:24. Jesus is the great I Am, the almighty God who came to earth as a man to die for our sins Jn3:16. Jesus said ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away..’ Mt24:35, and ‘All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth’ Mt28:18.
In summary, Jesus had all the attributes of a man, but also that of God, being Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent, all-powerful, all- knowing, and everywhere at one time! What anyone does with Jesus will be of utmost importance in their lives- now and for eternity. There is a heaven to gain, and a hell to shun, and only Jesus can save us from our sins Mt1:21. ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved..’ Ac16:31. Believe not in Him, and thou ‘shall be damned’ Mk16:16. It is as simple as that! Thank God for sending Jesus and thank Jesus that He came, to pay for our sins by dying on the cross to give us eternal life! Truly Jesus Christ is the greatest Person that ever lived!
If you have not received Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour yet, or you want to recommit your life to Him, just say this short sinner’s prayer and ask Jesus to save your soul:
DEAR JESUS, I AM A LOST SINNER AND WANT TO BE SAVED. FORGIVE ME OF ALL MY SINS. COME INTO MY HEART RIGHT NOW AND CLEANSE ME IN YOUR PRECIOUS BLOOD. I ACCEPT YOU AS MY LORD AND SAVIOUR. THANK YOU JESUS FOR DYING ON THE CROSS FOR MY SINS, AND THANK YOU FOR SAVING MY SOUL! Amen!
The Greatest Person That Ever Lived
Since the creation of the first man Adam 1Co15:45, throughout the historical annals of mankind over a 6000-year period, there has never been a more nobler person than Jesus Christ that ever lived- in humility, service, love, and compassion toward all humanity; in dignity, wisdom, majesty, power and authority. Jesus is the Savior of our souls, the Miracle Maker, the Great Physician, the Prince of Peace, the KING OF KINGS, and the LORD OF LORDS, the LIGHT of the WORLD, etc. One day soon, everyone will know Jesus Christ either as Lord and Saviour, or as the Great Judge. There are many books written of Him. The apostle John once hyperbolized ‘..there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written’ Jn21:25. There are also many beautiful songs of worship and praises of Jesus sung throughout the world. One such song is ‘Down from His Glory’ composed by William E. Booth-Clibborn in 1921. It magnificently epitomized the humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ in a very articulate and succinct way. It is sung to the tune of O Sole Mio-My Sunshine. A beautiful rendition of the song can be heard at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmZnXQt_Ato&feature=related
Truly of the billions of people that ever graced this earth, Jesus Christ is the greatest person that ever lived! These are the words to that beautiful song:
♫ Down from His Glory, Ever living story, My God and Savior came, and Jesus was His name, Born in a manger, To His own, a stranger, A Man of sorrows, fears and agony.
What condescension, Bringing us redemption, That in the still of night, Not one faint hope in sight. God, gracious, tender, Laid aside His splendour, Stooping to woo, to win, To save my soul!
Without reluctance, Flesh and blood His substance, He took the form of man, Revealed the hidden plan. Oh glorious myst’ry, Sacrifice of Calv’ry, and now I know Thou wert the great “I Am”.
Oh how I love Him, How I adore Him, My breath my sunshine, My all in all, The great Creator became my Savior, and all God’s fullness dwelleth in Him. ♫
When one meditates on these profound and powerful lyrics, a brief description of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, we can begin to appreciate that it was the Holy Spirit who inspired Booth-Clibborn, the grandson of the founder of the Salvation Army William Booth, to write this song. Jesus said ‘The Holy Spirit shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shew it unto you’ Jn14:26. The apostle John wrote ‘We love Him because He first loved us’ 1Jn4:19. The more we learn about Jesus and what He did for us, the more we will love Jesus Christ, the greatest person that ever lived, even as the refrain of the song goes ‘Oh how I love Him, How I adore Him’!
Jesus Christ- Both God and Man
That Jesus was both God and a man is an astounding fact that defies imagination. God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ to reveal Himself. Jn1:18 states ‘No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him’. Thus, to the extent that we know of God is only to the extent we know about Jesus! We know of God’s great love by what Jesus did for us through His life, death, and resurrection. We know of God’s hidden plan and inheritance for us to the extent that Jesus revealed them through his apostles and prophets. Jesus said ‘I and the Father are one’ Jn10:30. He said ‘..ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions.. I go to prepare place for you.. I will come again to receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.. if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him’ Jn14:1-7.
Jesus came to give Himself as a sacrifice for our sins, and also as an example for us to follow in order to gain God’s great reward and inheritance. By studying Jesus humanity and divinity, we can learn the great things that God has in store for us. We need to know more about Jesus Christ to learn of God’s hidden plan for our future, for certainly our time on earth is quite limited. The greatness of Jesus Christ can be found in who He is, why He came to earth, what He did for us, what His promises are to us, and how they will soon be coming to pass!
Jesus- the Man
The Bible tells us how Jesus, who is the Word of God, was manifest in the flesh 1Ti3:16, Jn1:14, Jn3:13, Php2:6,7. Jesus was sent by God to save the world Jn3:16. His name shall be called Emmanuel, God with us Mt1:23- God living among us. Jesus had a normal childhood and was in every aspect a man. Jesus was fathered by the Holy Ghost and born of the virgin Mary Mt1:20. Jesus’ birth was a very humble one. He was born in a stable, laid in a manger, a feed trough for domestic animals. He was raised as the eldest son of Joseph a carpenter and was likely a carpenter too, until he began his ministry at age thirty Lk3:23. Jesus also had four half-brothers and at least two half-sisters Mt13:55. Before Jesus was two years old, King Herod sought to kill Him. Joseph took Mary and the child Jesus and fled at night into Egypt Mt2:14, over 100 miles away. Shortly after Herod died they returned to settle in Nazareth, in Galilee Mt2:23. His first quoted words in the Bible at age 12 were ‘I must be about my Father’s business’ Lk2:49. Jesus increased in knowledge and stature and in favor with God and with man Lk2:52.
Jesus came in the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men Php2:7. Upon first seeing Jesus, John the Baptist exclaimed ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’ Jn1:29. At age 30 years when Jesus began his three-year ministry, he said ‘My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work’ Jn4:34. Jesus had passions like all of us- being tempted yet did not sin Heb4:15. He hungered and thirsted; he suffered, felt pain and agony, and also wept Jn11:35. He had strong emotions of love, friendship, and even disgust. He had a special love for the apostle John Jn20:2 and Mary Magdalene, whom He had cast out seven devils Mk16:9. He hated the phony religiosity of the scribes and Pharisees, rebuking them for their pride and hypocrisy Mt23. Jesus of Nazareth was a man approved of God among the Jews by miracles and wonders and signs which God did by Him Ac2:22. He humbled himself, and ‘became obedient unto the death, even the death of the cross’ Php2:8. Jesus became both the High Priest Heb5:10 and the sacrifice for our sins once and forever He10:12. Though Jesus did not travel more than a 50 miles radius in his ministry, his influence and power are known and felt worldwide today, over 2000 years and will be forever. There was no man ever like Jesus in power, but also in love and compassion for people. God came to earth as the man Jesus, who will soon return one day in the Rapture for those who love and obey Him. Jesus is our Blessed Hope, our great God and Saviour Ti2:13! Please return later for Part II which will reveal some very little known facts about the humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ, who this person Jesus really is, and how we can appreciate Him even more!