Course #8: Jesus Who ?

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“Jesus Who ?”
A Course Of Study From
Blueprint For Revival Bible
Institutes International
©2013 Belleview, FL 34421 USA

BLUEPRINT FOR REVIVAL BIBLE INSTITUTE

BASIC BIBLE STUDY GUIDE

Dr. Ed J MacWilliams

 

 

COURSE: JESUS WHO ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

“WHO IS JESUS ?”

PART ONE:  We Need To Know Him Better

 

 

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE A MORE COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING OF JESUS.

 2 Timothy 1:13  Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

 

1. IT IS A NATURAL PROGRESSION FOR THE TRUE CHRISTIAN TO DESIRE MORE KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE PERSON WE LOVE,  BUT, DON’T ALL CHRISTIANS KNOW WHO JESUS IS ?  Yes, to varying degrees.  Our study is designed to upgrade our knowledge of Him, and bring us to realize to a greater degree the amazing characteristics of the Person we call Savior and Lord.  It is also designed for the teaching Pastor and Evangelist to help others grow in their knowledge of the Lord.

 

2.  IT IS THE DESIRE OF GOD TO BRING A GREATER REVELATION OF THE LORD.  Ephesians 1:17  That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him:

 

3. IT HELPS GRACE TO MULTIPLYGRACE AND PEACE IS MULTIPLIED BY INCREASING OUR KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.    2 Peter 1:2  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

 

4. IT IS AN ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT KNOWLEDGE FOR THE LAST DAYS.  THE ANTICHRIST WILL COME, ALLEGING THAT HE, NOT JESUS, IS THE TRUE MESSIAH.  THIS DOCTRINAL FALSEHOOD IS ALREADY BEGINNING, AND THE CHURCH NEEDS TO BE PREPARED THROUGH FACTS FROM THE BIBLE.  2 Thessalonians 2:3-4   “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;   Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”

 

 

WHO IS THE JESUS OF THE BIBLE ?

WHY EVEN ASK ?

In these Last Days, there will be a horrible attack upon the knowledge of Jesus (of the Bible) to make room for the new and more widely accepted view that someone else (the Antichrist) can meet the requirement more favorably.  In the evolution toward that false doctrine, many heretical ideas are being proposed.  For an example, someone was writing about the “non-violent Jesus.”  He spoke of Jesus as the helpless Lamb.  Of course, that is not true.  But, it is one of the false concepts being floated on today’s ocean of heresies.  Other newer doctrines allege that Jesus was homosexual, and still others claim that He was married to Mary Magdalene, and produced earthly children.  Still others claim that the Jesus of the Bible was a completely manufactured story created by the disciples so they could rule people through churches.

 

Many theories and some cults have been formed as a result of such non-Biblical information.   Most cults have completely different views of who Jesus is than what the Bible teaches and what Bible-believing Christians throughout history have known.  Some others have attempted to understand the Lord by studying only a limited number of Scriptures, leaving their views open to their own private interpretations and expectations.

 

 

From the beginning of this study, let me emphasize that there are many things which are known about the Lord, but there are countless other things that are unknown about Him.  For anyone to say that they have a full and total understanding of the Persona and Nature of the Lord Jesus would simply show how ignorant they are of Who He really is.

 

Anyone whose life began and ended would have a limited amount of information that could possibly be written about them.  The information would be gigantic, for certain, but even if every word they ever spoke and every deed that they ever did was written down, it could be done.  The following Scripture could be true only if Jesus had a pre-existence and lived forever, and was actually doing far more than His earthly ministry suggests.

 

John 21:25  And 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. Amen.

 

 

JESUS CAN BE PERSONALLY KNOWN.

The Bible is clear that whether a Believer is new or mature, he can know the Lord Jesus.  1 John 2:13-14  I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.  I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

 

But, just as in physical life, a baby knows his father to a limited degree, and then as the child matures, he understands more about his father; in similar manner, the young Christian knows Jesus when he trusts Him as Savior and is born-again, but as he grows spiritually, he gets to know more and more about the Lord.

 

WHAT MUST BE BELIEVED ABOUT JESUS IN ORDER FOR A PERSON TO BE READY FOR SALVATION ?

(Salvation comes, not merely through an intellectual understanding of these facts, but by applying those facts to the heart which reaches out to God in faith).  What essential facts exist which a person coming to Christ should believe ?   Some of these things may not even be conscious thoughts when a person comes to Christ, but they are certainly issues which the mind and heart deals with prior to that time.

 

 

1. BELIEVE THAT HE WANTS OUR FAITH, AND BELIEVE THAT HE WILL REWARD IT.  

Hebrews 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

2. BELIEVE THAT HE WANTS US TO REPENT OF OUR SINS.

Matthew 4:17  From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

3. BELIEVE THAT HE IS THE SON OF GOD.

John 20:31  But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.    1 John 5:5  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?   Acts 8:37  And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

4.  BELIEVE THAT HE IS THE MESSIAH, “The Anointed One.”

1 John 5:1  Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth Him that begat loveth Him also that is begotten of Him.   The word “Christ” is the Greek word which means, “Messiah.”   What does “Messiah” mean ?  This sets Jesus apart from any others who claimed to be Deliverers.

 

FROM THESE SCRIPTURES, THE BIBLE INFORMS US THAT THERE ARE SOME THINGS ABOUT JESUS WHICH WE SHOULD KNOW AND ACT UPON.

 

 THE ROLE OF JESUS AS THE MESSIAH

MESSIAH= OLD TESTAMENT  

As described in:
Daniel 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

Strong’s #04899 חישׁמ mashiyach maw-shee’- akh
from 04886, Greek 3323 Μεσσιας; n m; {See TWOT on 1255 @@ “1255c”}
1) Anointed One
1a) the Messiah, Messianic prince
1b) the Everlasting King of Israel

MESSIAH= NEW TESTAMENT

Strong’s #5547 Χριστος Christos khris-tos’
from 5548; TDNT-9:493,1322; {See TDNT 850} adj
Christ =” anointed One,” “Messiah.”
1) Christ, the Messiah
2) The Anointed One

5. BELIEVE THAT HE WAS SENT FROM THE FATHER.

John 12:44  Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on Me, believeth not on Me, but on Him that sent Me.

 

 

WHAT WILL HELP ME UNDERSTAND THE SCRIPTURES WHICH DEAL WITH THE NATURE OF GOD ?

 

1. UNDERSTAND THAT THE ALMIGHTY HAS THREE PARTS TO HIMSELF, JUST AS WE ARE COMPOSED OF THREE PARTS (body, soul, and spirit).  WE ARE STILL ONE PERSON, AND GOD IS ONE PERSON, REGARDLESS OF THE NUMBER OF PARTS THAT EITHER WE OR GOD ARE MADE OF.

 

2. UNDERSTAND THAT MOST OF THE TIMES WHEN THE BIBLE USES THE WORD “GOD” IN THE NEW TESTMENT ESPECIALLY, IT REFERS TO THE FATHER (i.e., THE SOUL, THE DECISION-MAKING INTELLIGENCE) OF THE ALMIGHTY.   Ephesians 1:17  That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him:

 

3. UNDERSTAND THAT JESUS IS THE PHYSICAL MANIFESTATION OF THE ALMIGHTY, AND HE APPEARS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT AS WELL  AS THE NEW TESTAMENT.  HE IS KNOWN IN THE HEBREW LANGUAGE BY HIS NAME, JEHOVAH.  THE HEBREW WORD JEHOVAH HAS BEEN TRANSLATED TO THE ENGLISH WORD “LORD” (all capital letters) to avoid vain repetition or possible misuse of that Divine Name when Scriptures were read or studied.  An example of this being done is found in Genesis 2:4  These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.

 

4. THE ALMIGHTY MUST HAVE A PHYSICAL PART TO HIMSELF (JEHOVAH, OR JESUS), BECAUSE WE ARE PARTLY PHYSICAL, AND WERE “CREATED IN HIS IMAGE.”

 

 

 

PART 2:  DO OTHER RELIGIONS BELIEVE IN JESUS ?

If you ask believers of other gods whether they believe in Jesus, you may be surprised to find many of them saying that they do.  However, when you provide them the Biblical description of Jesus, you will find that they quickly retreat to a position of, “I do not believe in THAT Jesus !”

 

Basically, it is impossible for post-Christian religions to ignore the historical fact that Jesus existed.  However, when the Biblical accounts of Jesus might interfere from the newer religion’s goals, or morality, they change their description of Jesus into someone who would embrace their religion’s way of thinking.

 

Even cults which claim that they are “Christian” often have a very different perspective of who Jesus really is.  In almost every case, their false ideas come from their founders and cult prophets who have accepted “another gospel,” (2 Corinthians 11:4, Galatians 1:6), drug-induced “wisdom,” supposed angelic appearances, or visions and dreams which formed their religion’s view of Jesus.  Obviously, they are not to be believed.

 

 

WHAT ISLAM BELIEVES ABOUT JESUS

Islam was formed around 600 years after the resurrection of our Lord, and long after much of the world became acquainted with the Jesus of the Bible. To counter the major inroads which true Christianity was making, Mohammed had to bring Jesus into the picture of his new religion. In Islam, Jesus is known as Isa and is one of God’s highest-ranked and most-beloved prophets, specifically sent to guide the Children of Israel.

***CONTRARY TO THIS ARE THE MANY PASSAGES WHICH SAY THAT JESUS WILL COME TO BRING SALVATION AND GUIDE THE GENTILES.

Isaiah 11:10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
Isaiah 42:6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
Isaiah 49:6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

Unlike Christian writings, the Qur’an does not describe Jesus as the son of God, but as one of five major human messengers (out of many prophets) sent by God throughout history to guide mankind. It also states that Jesus’ message to mankind was originally very similar to that of the other Islamic prophets, from Adam to Muhammad, but that it was subsequently distorted by early Christians. Jesus is said to have lived a life of piety and generosity, and abstained from eating flesh of swine (or of any animals, according to some Muslim authors, even some who were not vegetarians themselves). In the Muslim tradition, Jesus did not drink alcohol.

Muslims also believe that Jesus received a Gospel from God, called the Injeel and corresponding to the Christian New Testament. However, Muslims hold that the New Testament has been changed over time (as they also believe of the Old Testament) and does not accurately represent God’s original message to mankind.

 

CONTRARY TO THIS IS EVIDENCE FROM ARCHEOLOGY THAT THE TRUE BIBLE HAS NOT CHANGED.

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

IS GOD ABLE TO COMMUNICATE, OR NOT ? CAN HE PRESERVE HIS WORD, OR NOT ?

Jeremiah 32:27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

However, the Qur’an and New Testament overlap in other aspects of Jesus’ life; both Muslims and orthodox Christians believe that Jesus was miraculously born without a human biological father by the will of God, and that his mother, Mary (Maryam in Arabic), is among the most saintly, pious, chaste and virtuous women ever. The Qur’an also specifies that Jesus was able to perform miracles—though only by the will of God—including being able to raise the dead, restore sight to the blind and cure lepers. One miracle attributed to Jesus in the Qur’an, but not in the New Testament, is his being able to speak at only a few days old, to defend his mother from accusations of adultery. The Qur’an also says that Jesus was a ‘word’ from God, since he was predicted to come in the Old Testament.

Most Muslims believe that he was neither killed nor crucified, but that God made it appear so to his enemies. The Qur’an narrates that God made it appear so that Jesus was crucified to his enemies but he was not, and lived. According to Islam, Jesus ascended bodily to heaven and is alive. Some Muslim scholars maintain that Jesus was indeed put up on the cross, but did not die on it; rather, he revived and then ascended bodily to heaven. Others say that it was actually Judas Iscariot who was mistakenly crucified by the Romans. Regardless, Muslims believe that Jesus is alive in heaven and will return to the world in the flesh to defeat the Antichrist, once the world has become filled with sin, deception and injustice, and then live out the rest of his natural life.

There are many cults that claim to be fully “Christian” and in line with what the Bible teaches about Jesus. Sadly, they miss the Biblical description by a wide margin. This is most often due to their depending upon non-Biblical sources as the authorities.

 

 

WHAT “JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES” BELIEVE ABOUT JESUS

JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES CLAIM that Jesus was a sinless man, but was completely distinct from God. Their New World Translation of the Bible always notes Jesus as “a god” (one of many) rather than accepting the actual Greek words which indicate that He was The God.

This is typical of the many changes which the Jehovah’s Witnesses make in their version of the Bible, called the New World Translation. The New World Translation is unique in one thing – it is the first intentional, systematic effort at producing a complete version of the Bible that is edited and revised for the specific purpose of agreeing with a group’s doctrine. The Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Society realized that their beliefs contradicted Scripture. So, rather than conforming their beliefs to Scripture, they altered Scripture to agree with their beliefs. The “New World Bible Translation Committee” went through the Bible and changed any Scripture that did not agree with Jehovah’s Witness theology. This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that, as new editions of the New World Translation were published, additional changes were made to the biblical text. As biblical Christians continued to point out Scriptures that clearly argue for the deity of Christ (for example), the Watchtower Society would publish new editions of the New World Translation with those Scriptures changed. Here are some of the more prominent examples of intentional revisions.

The New World Translation renders the Greek term word staurós (“cross”) as “torture stake” because Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe that Jesus was crucified on a cross. The New World Translation does not translate the Greek words sheol, hades, gehenna, and tartarus as “hell” because Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in hell. The NWT gives the translation “presence” instead of “coming” for the Greek word parousia because Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Christ has already returned in the early 1900s. In Colossians 1:16, the NWT inserts the word “other” despite its being completely absent from the original Greek text. It does this to give the view that “all other things” were created by Christ, instead of what the text says, “all things were created by Christ.” This is to go along with their belief that Christ is a created being, which they believe because they deny that God has three parts.

Before His earthly ministry, they believe that He was created as Michael, the archangel, a spirit being. He only took on the role of the physical Messiah when He was baptized. His power is secondary to God, and they believe that He “…was and always will be beneath Jehovah.”

Statements such as that reveal their doctrine that Jesus is not Jehovah, and thus a created being.

The deity of Christ is the central point of the Scriptures. It clearly teaches that Christ is God. The teachings of the Jehovah’s Witness’ concerning Jesus Christ clearly contradict the teachings of the Bible. Passages such as Philippians 2:5-11 tell us that Jesus Christ, who existed as God, took the bodily form of a humble servant so that He could die on the cross in our place. “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (kurios), to the glory of God the Father.”

 

This is what THEY believe:

Jehovah is the personal name of God, the Creator of the universe. The name appears 7,000 times in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). “Jehovah” is the English form of the Hebrew YHWH and means “He Causes to Become,” referring to God’s ability to take on whatever role he deems necessary to carry out his purposes. Jehovah first created his Son Jesus in heaven. Jesus then helped Jehovah to create the rest of the universe over billions of years–both the spiritual (angels) and the material (galaxies and planetary life). Jehovah the Father has always existed, but Jesus the Son had a beginning and is subordinate to God. Jesus is the Christ, or Messiah, who came to Earth, born fully human of a virgin, and died for mankind’s sins. He was resurrected back to heaven and now sits at Jehovah’s right hand. Holy Spirit is an impersonal force used by God.  Witnesses reject the Trinity doctrine (God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost) as an unscriptural idea drawn from Babylonian and Platonic concepts. Because the Witnesses do not believe that Jesus is God, some theologians do not consider the Witnesses to be Christians.

 

The following are false arguments presented by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Notice how they ignore context and Biblical grammar when making their arguments.   (These are arguments and comments from Islamic writers, and therefore do not always show the proper respect for the Lord Jesus as evidenced by their failure to capitalize references to Him).

 

“Did Jesus say he was Almighty God or equal to Almighty God? No, he said quite the opposite. Review John 17:3, and John 20:17 for starters.

1. Common sense tells us that Jesus didn’t pray to himself, but he prayed to his heavenly father, almighty God Jehovah. This was the same Almighty God that all Israelites/Jews prayed to.
2. Common sense as well as Bible prophecy tells us that for Jesus to have truly died for our sins, he would have had to be lifeless or actually dead for a time (3 days) for this to be true. If he didn’t really die, then what sense do the scriptures make that speak of his dying for all mankind’s sins? So, if he indeed actually died, who resurrected him? It would have had to be Almighty God, the Father Jehovah.
3. In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus instructed his disciples how to pray. He told them to pray to the Father – never did he indicate that we should pray to him or to his mother or anyone else. He did say, however, to pray to the Father in his name – because it is by means of him (Jesus) that corrupt humans have any approach to Almighty God.

4. If Jesus were Almighty God, why would he say he couldn’t do anything of his own accord? Read John 5:19, John 14:28 and John 10:36. In Matthew 4:10, Jesus quoted a scripture in Deuteronomy 6:13 which clearly indicates WHO is to be worshiped as Almighty God.

5. Why would Colossians 1:15-17 refer to Jesus Christ as the, “beginning of all creation” if he was the Almighty Creator?“

 

 

WHAT DO ATHEISTS BELIEVE ABOUT JESUS ?

There is no central organized place from which atheism sprouts….unless you could say, “Hell” is it. So, following are comments made by atheists concerning their believes. They seem to be very similar, with only a few exceptions.

The following is what atheists say about Jesus:

“I think he was an intelligent man with some wonderful ideas and an admirable character.”

“Not *everything* he said was good advice.”

“I believe that Jesus was a real person. He was a wise Rabbi and spiritual teacher and his teachings, along with those of Confucius and the Buddha are well worth following.
I do not believe the “Christ” part, Jesus was clearly not the “Messiah” the Jews were expecting and also always said that we were to worship ONLY the “Father”. I do not believe he was “divine”.”

“I do not think that Jesus was the son of a supernatural god. I think the requiring of blood sacrifice for forgiveness is not really forgiveness. Jesus sacrificing himself for us is barbaric/evil/insane when you consider that supposedly he/God required the blood sacrifice in the first place and would not issue forgiveness without.”

“I think Jesus was most likely was a religious leader in the ancient world who was given up by Hebrew priests because he threatened the status quo. They made it sound as if he was planning an uprising against the Roman State.”

“I believe he is most likely a fictional character. If there really was a person around whom these legends grew up, he probably bore almost no resemblance to the stories in the Bible.”

 

 

WHAT JUDAISM BELIEVES ABOUT JESUS

 

Judaism rejects the idea of Jesus being God, or a person of a Trinity, or a mediator to God.

 

Some forms of Judaism, such as Chabad, believe that God is made of two substances, best described as the heart or soul, and the Spirit.  They strongly object to any notion that God could reveal Himself physically.  This concept was formalized by Maimomedes, (also called “Rambam”), a significant Jewish sage.  Using his own logic, he was certain that God could not have a physical presence.  While many of Rambam’s theological points are valid, many appear to contradict the actual statements and teachings of the Tanach (sometimes spelled Tanakh).

 

Wikipedia states that:

Judaism also holds that Jesus is not the Messiah, arguing that he had not fulfilled the Messianic prophecies in the Tanakh nor embodied the personal qualifications of the Messiah. According to Jewish tradition, there were no more prophets after Malachi, who lived centuries before Jesus and delivered his prophesies about 420 BC/BCE.

 

Future doctrinal decisions were made, not by an interpretation of Scriptures, but by Rabbis and sages who made their own conclusions. Very often, modern arguments against Jesus come from Jewish theologians who argue from the emotional idea that Jesus is somehow responsible for all the troubles which Jews have suffered throughout history. Often, their arguments are filled with hatred and anger based upon that premise.

 

An example of this is found in the Jews for Judaism approach.  According to an article on their website, they conclude that Jesus was insane. They base this upon A New Testament account in Mark 3:20-21 (quoting from the New Testament, which they contend is fraudulent, anyway).   “And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.  And when His friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on Him: for they said, He is beside Himself.”  They also quote from Mark 3:33-35 where Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see Him and they claim that He was hostile toward their attempt to see Him.  Their conclusion:

“. . . There could be but one reason. His family, mother brothers, and sisters, believed him to be mentally ill and had not come simply to see him, but had come to seize him.”

http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/knowledge/does_mark_3_21_say_jesus_kinsmen_said_he_was_mentally_ill_/

 

In their vicious hatred of Jesus, this organization even lies on that website about the actual Scripture, perhaps hoping that no one would look the Scripture up and find how they had deliberately perverted the truth in order to promote their hatred.  They say that Jesus’ kinsmen (mother, brothers, sisters) came to take Him away because He was insane.  That is NOT what the Scripture says.

Did his friends think that Jesus had “gone off the deep end” ?  The Bible indicates that they did.  However, just because someone has an opinion of you does not make that opinion fact, as the Jews for Judaism site wants us to believe.  What if people were expected to believe every opinion which people had about each of us ?  We would contend that it does not make it true.  The same applies in this case.  The illogical, dishonest, and twisted contentions of Jews for Judaism regarding the life of Jesus reflect an emotional hatred that deadens their sense of reason.

If these haters of Jesus had only read the Scriptures honestly and completely, they would have found Jesus’ Mother and brethren in the Upper Room as dedicated Believers, waiting for the Holy Spirit to fill them.  Acts 1:13-14  “And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.  These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren.”

Thankfully, the opinions which the Jews of Judaism organization holds are those held by a dwindling minority of Jews.  Many more Jews today openly discuss the value of faith in Jesus, and whether Jesus is the Messiah, or not.   This is something that would have been unheard of 25 years ago.

 

JUDAISM WHICH WAS NOT TRULY ANXIOUS FOR THE MESSIAH REJECTS JESUS.

In Judaism, the Talmud is a collection of writings of Jewish rabbis which contain their opinions on many different topics.  Though not considered as sacred as the Hebrew Bible (called the “Tanakh”) from which we get much of our Old Testament, the Talmud is the basis for Jewish law and behavior.

From Wikipedia:

The Talmud Bavli consists of documents compiled over the period of Late Antiquity (3rd to 5th centuries).[10] During this time the most important of the Jewish centres in Mesopotamia, later known as Iraq, were NehardeaNisibis,Mahoza (just to the south of what is now Baghdad), Pumbeditha (near present-day Fallujah), and the Sura Academy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talmud#Talmud_Bavli_.28Babylonian_Talmud.29

 

Also from Wikipedia:

 The Babylonian Talmud include stories of Yeshu יֵשׁוּ; the vast majority of contemporary historians disregard these as sources on the historical Jesus.[21]Contemporary Talmud scholars view these as comments on the relationship between Judaism and Christians or other sectarians, rather than comments on the historical Jesus.[22][23]

The Mishneh Torah, an authoritative work of Jewish law, states in Hilkhot Melakhim 11:10–12 that Jesus is a “stumbling block” who makes “the majority of the world err to serve a divinity besides God”.

Even Jesus the Nazarene who imagined that he would be Messiah and was killed by the court, was already prophesied by Daniel. So that it was said, “And the members of the outlaws of your nation would be carried to make a (prophetic) vision stand. And they stumbled.”[Dan. 11:14] Because, is there a greater stumbling-block than this one? So that all of the prophets spoke that the Messiah redeems Israel, and saves them, and gathers their banished ones, and strengthens their commandments. And this one caused (nations) to destroy Israel by sword, and to scatter their remnant, and to humiliate them, and to exchange the Torah, and to make the majority of the world err to serve a divinity besides God. However, the thoughts of the Creator of the world — there is no force in a human to attain them because our ways are not God’s ways, and our thoughts not God’s thoughts. And all these things of Jesus the Nazarene, and of (Muhammad) the Ishmaelite who stood after him — there is no (purpose) but to straighten out the way for the King Messiah, and to restore all the world to serve God together. So that it is said, “Because then I will turn toward the nations (giving them) a clear lip, to call all of them in the name of God and to serve God (shoulder to shoulder as) one shoulder.”[Zeph. 3:9] Look how all the world already becomes full of the things of the Messiah, and the things of the Torah, and the things of the commandments! And these things spread among the far islands and among the many nations uncircumcised of heart.[24]

According to Conservative Judaism, Jews who believe Jesus is the Messiah have “crossed the line out of the Jewish community”.[25] Reform Judaism, the modern progressive movement, states “For us in the Jewish community anyone who claims that Jesus is their savior is no longer a Jew and is an apostate“.[26]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_perspectives_on_Jesus#Judaism

 

***Notations regarding the Jewish view of Jesus.  The Jewish people have long had battles with genuine faith.  God left the entire generation of Jews who left Egypt to die in the wilderness because they would not follow faith according to His Word (with the exception of Caleb and Joshua).  Instead, they followed their own teachers (rabbi’s) who led them astray.  This occurs many times throughout their history, and has resulted in their captivity and Diaspora [Diaspora = “the scattering of Jews throughout the world”] as well as many other judgments from God.  Today, many Jews are trapped in the traditions which have brought the anger of the Lord down upon them many times.

 

 

JEWS ANXIOUS FOR THE MESSIAH OFTEN LEAVE OPEN THE DOOR TO CONSIDERING THE CLAIMS OF JESUS.

Today, many Orthodox Jews are following in the paths of their fathers, and listening to rabbi’s and sages rather than the Word of God.  They have made up “principles” and concepts which go directly against what the Bible teaches.

 

However, there is a move among many younger Orthodox Jews today to cast aside their previous teachings, and to study the Scriptures on the basis of its own authority.  As a result, many are beginning to see the light which God reveals about Himself in the Word.

 Revelation 7:3  Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

Revelation 7:4  And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

 

 

 

WHAT MORMONS BELIEVE ABOUT JESUS

MORMONS.

The following excerpts are taken from an address to the Harvard Divinity School in March 2001 by Robert L. Millet, former dean of religious education at Brigham Young University. It is offered on Newsroom as a resource.
Latter-day Saints believe that the simplest reading of the New Testament text produces the simplest conclusion — that the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are separate and distinct personages, that They are one in purpose. We feel that the sheer preponderance of references in the Bible would lead an uninformed reader to the understanding that God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are separate beings. That is, one must look to the third- and fourth-century Christian church, not to the New Testament itself, to make a strong case for the Trinity.

What Do Mormons Believe About Christ?
· We believe Jesus is the Son of God, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh (John 3:16). We accept the prophetic declarations in the Old Testament that refer directly and powerfully to the coming of the Messiah, the Savior of all humankind. We believe that Jesus of Nazareth was and is the fulfillment of those prophecies.
· We believe the accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the New Testament to be historical and truthful. For us the Jesus of history is indeed the Christ of faith. While we do not believe the Bible to be inerrant, complete or the final word of God, we accept the essential details of the Gospels and more particularly the divine witness of those men who walked and talked with Him or were mentored by His chosen apostles.
· We believe that He was born of a virgin, Mary, in Bethlehem of Judea in what has come to be known as the meridian of time, the central point in salvation history. From His mother, Mary, Jesus inherited mortality, the capacity to feel the frustrations and ills of this world, including the capacity to die. We believe that Jesus was fully human in that He was subject to sickness, to pain and to temptation.
·
We believe Jesus is the Son of God the Father and as such inherited powers of godhood and divinity from His Father, including immortality, the capacity to live forever. While He walked the dusty road of Palestine as a man, He possessed the powers of a God and ministered as one having authority, including power over the elements and even power over life and death.

http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/what-mormons-believe-about-jesus-christ

 

In an interview of Former Mormon, Beth Johnston, of Idaho, says this about her former church’s views.

 “Mormons do not believe in the Trinity as we understand it. They believe that God and Jesus were separate physical people” who dwelled on the earth, Johnston said. God was Jesus’ father, and both men died.”

http://www.christianpost.com/news/what-do-mormons-believe-ex-mormon-speaks-out-part-two-58494/

In a look at comparing the beliefs of Mormonism to those of Biblical Christianity, this is what Sandra Tanner has found.

In order to understand the LDS doctrine regarding Lucifer one must also understand its doctrine of man. The LDS Church teaches that everyone, Jesus and Lucifer included, had a pre-mortal existence where we were born as spirit children of God and his wife. In the LDS teaching manual Gospel Principles we read:

“God is not only our ruler and creator; he is also our Heavenly Father. . . . Every person who was ever born on earth was our spirit brother or sister in heaven. The first spirit born to our heavenly parents was Jesus Christ (see D&C 93:21), so he is literally our elder brother (see Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 26). Because we are the spiritual children of our heavenly parents, we have inherited the potential to develop their divine qualities. (Gospel Principles, 1997, p. 11 [link])”

However, prior to this spirit birth each of us had eternally existed as an “intelligence.” Angels, devils, mortals and gods are regarded as the same species but in different stages of advancement or judgment. In one of Joseph Smith’s revelations we read, “Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be” (Doctrine and Covenants 93:29). According to another of Smith’s revelations, God told Abraham:

“I dwell in the midst of them all . . . for I rule in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath, in all wisdom and prudence, over all the intelligences thine eyes have seen from the beginning; I came down in the beginning in the midst of all the intelligences thou hast seen.

Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones. (Abraham 3:21-22Pearl of Great Price)”

According to LDS doctrine, the two oldest sons of God were Jesus and Lucifer. Lucifer convinced one-third of his brothers and sisters to join him in rebellion and were expelled from Heaven (see Gospel Principles, chapter 3 [link]). The other two-thirds became the humans born on our earth. This doctrine is mainly drawn from Joseph Smith’s revelations in the Book of Abraham and the Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price

. . .

This doctrine was further explained in the June 1986 LDS magazine Ensign. The question was asked “How can Jesus and Lucifer be spirit brothers when their characters and purposes are so utterly opposed?” Jess L. Christensen, Institute of Religion director at Utah State University, Logan, Utah, responded:

“On first hearing, the doctrine that Lucifer and our Lord, Jesus Christ, are brothers may seem surprising to some — especially to those unacquainted with latter-day revelations. But both the scriptures and the prophets affirm that Jesus Christ and Lucifer are indeed offspring of our Heavenly Father and, therefore, spirit brothers. Jesus Christ was with the Father from the beginning. Lucifer, too, was an angel who was in authority in the presence of God, a son of the morning. (See Isa. 14:12D&C 76:25-27.) Both Jesus and Lucifer were strong leaders with great knowledge and influence. But as the Firstborn of the Father, Jesus was Lucifer’s older brother. (See Col. 1:15D&C 93:21.)”

http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/ldsteachingonlucifer.htm

 

 

WHAT CHRISTIAN SCIENCE BELIEVES ABOUT JESUS

Christian Scientists do believe that Jesus stands alone in His mission and purpose as the promised Messiah. Christian Science teaches that Jesus embodied the divinity of God but that He Himself was not Deity—in keeping with Jesus’ own words that He was not the Father, and that God, the Father, alone should be worshiped.

Belief in Deity
God is incorporeal Spirit–creative Principle, supreme, omnipotent Father-Mother, omnipresent, omniscient–the only intelligence and all that actually exists. God is Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, and Love. “God is All-in-all.”

Incarnations
We are all sons/daughters of God, though not at the level of understanding of Christ Jesus. Jesus was a divine Exemplar, and Christ is the divine idea of “sonship”–the Master. Jesus showed the way (the “wayshower”) for all to realize Truth, which is God.

 

 

 

WHAT SCIENTOLOGY BELIEVES ABOUT JESUS

Scientology believes that Jesus was a very wise man, of the same caliber as Moses. He understood that people needed to express love. So, He established a pattern for handing on the message of caring for others, called the Gospel.

“. . . these people (figures of major religions) handed on a torch of wisdom, of information, generation to generation. It was handed along geographical routes and one of those geographical routes was the Middle East. And one of the people who handed it on was a man named Moses. And again it was handed on to a man named Christ. And he handed it on and even the Arab nations benefited from this through their own prophet, Muhammad.

“And these men I consider great spiritual leaders, because they gave to Man, on down through the years, the hope that life could go on, that there was a spiritual side to existence, that the business of barter and gain was not all there was to life.”

 http://www.scientology.org/faq/scientology-beliefs/religious-figures-of-the-past.html

 

 

 

 

PART 3:   WHAT END TIMES PEOPLE

WILL BELIEVE ABOUT JESUS

 

***US Congressman Rob Portman last week decided to change his views on gay marriage.  He had long held that his convictions stood against homosexual marriage.  Now, he says that has changed because his son decided that he is gay and wants to marry another gay.  This reversal of standards was based on his son’s decision to be openly gay.  Today, few people stand on anything except their emotions.  They side with their family, even though they know they are wrong.

 

We need a solid standard, that no matter who violates God’s Word, family member, loved one, relative, or whoever–we will stand up for what is right regardless.  Many people in these Last Days claiming to be Christians, have accepted doctrines which are entirely non-Biblical on the basis that other family members are opposed to Scripture.   Rather than taking a stand upon the unchanging Word of God, they submit to pressures and influences from the world.

 

This is often true of a person’s concept of Jesus.

 

In order for the Antichrist to come on the world scene and convince people that he is the Messiah and God in flesh, there must be a radical change in the way most supposed Christians think of Jesus.

 

THE BIBLE DESCRIBES WHAT PEOPLE WILL THINK OF JESUS IN THE LAST DAYS.  THEY WILL SEE JESUS AS THEIR ENEMY.

The time for salvation is over, and they will cling to their excuses and lies. now, only judgment remains for most people on earth.

Isaiah 63:10 But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore He was turned to be their enemy, and He fought against them.

Revelation 6:13 -17 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.   And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;  And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

By the time the Sixth Seal Occurs, in the Tribulation, we understand that radical doctrinal changes have occurred, yet some Biblical truths remain.

 

***IMPORTANT–We believe that the True Church of Jesus Christ, the Bride, will have already been resurrected and brought into Heaven before this time.  Left behind will be many churches which carry on their activities as usual, with countless people drifting in their beliefs closer and closer to the doctrines of Antichrist.  

 

 

These are things people will believe about Jesus:

  • They believe that Jesus brings wrath upon the people of the earth. (“Hide us from the face of Him…”)
  • They believe that He is on the Throne of God. (“…Him that sitteth on the Throne…”).
  • They believe that He is the Lamb of God. (“…wrath of the Lamb…”).
  • They believe that the prophecies about His wrath coming to pass upon sinners is accurate.   (“…the day of His wrath…”).
  • They believe His power cannot be resisted. (…”who shall be able to stand ?”).

***In other words, they see Him as modern theologians picture Satan. People are being conditioned to think that the true God would never hurt them, never judge them, never bring any condemnation on the world. Since the events require an explanation which is supernatural, they will find it easier to blame Jesus for the bad things happening. (When things go wrong, how many people already get angry at Jesus and blame Him ? Many). The stage is now set.

 

 

THE ANTICHRIST WILL ATTEMPT TO REPLACE BIBLICAL TEACHINGS ABOUT JESUS WITH A RELIGION THAT MAKES IT APPEAR THAT THE ANTICHRIST IS THE TRUE MESSIAH.

 

HE WILL USE THE DEDICATION OF THE TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM AND HIS OFFERING OF A PIG ON THE ALTAR AS EVIDENCE THAT HE IS THE TRUE GOD (SUPPOSEDLY “PROVEN” BY THE FACT THAT ONLY GOD COULD GET AWAY WITH SUCH A VIOLATION OF BIBLICAL LAW).

 

Daniel 11:31  And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.

Daniel 12:11  And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

Mark 13:14  But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:

 

THE ANTICHRIST WILL EXALT HIMSELF.

 2 Thessalonians 2:4  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Daniel 11:36-37  And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.  Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.

 

 

 

WHAT THIS TELLS US ABOUT THE NEW THEOLOGY IS THIS:

 

  1. THE ANTICHRIST IS NOT SUBMISSIVE TO ANY HIGHER BEING […that he knows of.  of course, he is submissive to his father, Satan]  (doing his will).
  2. HE WILL PUT DOWN ALL OTHER GODS (and, in particular, Jesus).
  3. HE WILL BE VERY OUTSPOKEN AGAINST THE GOD OF GODS (so, will come against His Word, the Bible).
  4. HE WILL REMOVE HIMSELF FROM THE GOD OF HIS FATHERS, AT LEAST IN HIS BEHAVIOR.  (“…neither shall he regard the God of his fathers…”).  [The term, “God of his fathers” is a common reference to Jewish ancestry.  In other words, the Antichrist will have a definite  Jewish lineage.  This is obvious to the Jewish people and religious leaders who would never allow a non-Jew to enter the Temple as a worshipper much less make an offering as the Antichrist attempts to do].
  5. HE WILL MAGNIFY HIMSELF ABOVE ALL OTHERS.  (and this would require lowering the stature of Jesus in his doctrine).

 

Revelation 13:4-8  And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?  And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.  And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.  And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

 

 

THE ANTICHRIST WILL BE APPLAUDED BY MOST PEOPLE, WHO APPROVE OF HIS WORLDLY STANDARDS WHICH CONTRADICT GOD’S WAYS.

Revelation 13:8  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

 

 

HE WILL CONDEMN THE MORALITY AND STANDARDS WHICH JESUS REAFFIRMED.

THUS HE MUST PICTURE JESUS AS A HATER, A BIGOT, A LIAR, A DECEIVER, A FRAUD, AN UNCARING AND UNLOVING PERSON.  HE WILL REJECT WHAT JESUS SAID.  A NEW FORM OF MORALITY WILL ACCOMPANY THE ANTICHRIST WHICH WAS NEVER ALLOWED BY JESUS.   This provides for strong measures against certain crimes, while being permissive and corrupting the commands of God as they relate to behavior.

Daniel 7:25  And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

 

AT THE PRESENT TIME, MANKIND HAS MADE CERTAIN ACTS WHICH THE BIBLE CONDEMNS AS ACCEPTABLE AND EVEN DESIREABLE ?

  • HOMOSEXUALITY.
  • ABORTION.
  • COVETING.
  • DECEPTION FOR (what they consider to be) “A GOOD CAUSE.”
  • FAILURE TO HONOR FATHER AND MOTHER.
  • MURDER (of those who disagree with them).

 

GOD WILL SEND A DELUSION WHICH LEADS THE SINNERS OF THE WORLD TO BELIEVE THAT THE CHANGE ANTICHRIST BRINGS WILL BE BENEFICIAL.

CONSEQUENTLY, THEY APPRECIATE THE ANTICHRIST SO MUCH, THEY BELIEVE WHAT HE SAYS, AND THEY WORSHIP THE GROUND HE WALKS UPON.

2 Thessalonians 2:11-12  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

 

This is exactly what occurred in Noah’s generation, when the world was destroyed by the flood from God’s judgment.

Genesis 6:12  And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

 

 

WOULD GOD HIMSELF DELIBERATELY HELP THESE PEOPLE TO GO IN THE WRONG DIRECTION ? 

 

This seems inconceivable to many people.  How could a loving God cause greater delusion upon the people that He created ?  Yet, from Scripture we understand that God did this on several occasion.

 

THE EXAMPLE OF PHARAOH OF EGYPT.  When Pharaoh hardened his own heart against the will of God on several occasions when he had opportunity to decide to do right, God came along and helped him with that hardness.  It would appear that God will sometimes help a person in going away from Him once they have made the decision to do so.

 

PHARAOH HARDENED HIS OWN WILL AGAINST GOD TO BEGIN WITH, 

Exodus 8:15  But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said. 

Exodus 8:32  And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.

Exodus 9:34  And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants.

WHEN IT BECAME CLEAR THAT THIS WRONG DIRECTION IS THE PATH PHAROAH CHOSE, GOD ADDED TO HIS HARDNESS OF HEART. 

Exodus 10:1  And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him:

 

 

THE EXAMPLE OF ISRAEL.

 

ISRAEL CHOSE TO HARDEN THEIR HEARTS AGAINST THE WORDS OF GOD. 

Jeremiah 7:26  Yet they hearkened not unto Me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.

Jeremiah 19:15  Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear My words.

 

ONCE IT BECAME CLEAR THAT BY THEIR OWN WILL THEY WANTED TO BE BLIND AND HARDENED AGAINST GOD, GOD HARDENED THEM EVEN FURTHER.

John 12:40  He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

 

 

 

PART 4:  THE BIBLE REVEALS THE

PHYSICAL MESSIAH AND CREATOR

 

 

WHY WOULD PEOPLE EVER ACCEPT THE WRITINGS OF MEN WHO WERE NOT PRESENT WHEN JESUS WALKED ON THE EARTH OVER THE TESTIMONIES OF EYEWITNESSES, SUCH AS THE APOSTLES IN SCRIPTURE ?  SHOULD WE VALUE THE OPINION OF MEN WHO SIN OVER THE DIVINELY PRESERVED WORD OF GOD ?   OF COURSE NOT.

 

TODAY, THERE ARE MANY “EXPERTS” WHO HAVE DECIDED TO JUDGE EVENTS WHICH OCCURED 2000 YEARS AGO, YET THEY CANNOT ACCURATELY RECONSTRUCT EVENTS WHICH TOOK PLACE 100 YEARS AGO.   MODERN TIMES PREACHERS, BOOK-WRITERS, SAGES, THEOLOGIANS, ARCHEOLOGISTS, AND EVEN RABBI’S HAVE NO MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE LIFE AND CLAIMS OF JESUS THAN WE DO.  BUT, OUR CLAIMS ARE BASED UPON THE ETERNAL GOD-BREATHED REVELATION OF JESUS–THE BIBLE.

 

 

IF WE ARE WISE, WE WILL BASE OUR BELIEF UPON SOMETHING OF SUBSTANCE–THE BIBLE. 

Hebrews 11:1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

 

RELIGION CAN BE FROM MEN OR FROM GOD.  

GOD IS NOT AGAINST TRUE RELIGION.  TODAY, MANY PROFESSING CHRISTIANS CLAIM THAT THEY HATE RELIGION.

James 1:26-27  If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

FACT:   GOD DOES NOT CONDEMN RELIGION.  HE CONDEMNS FALSE RELIGION.

 

FALSE VERSUS TRUE RELIGION: 

Man has made up stories about giants, dragons, monsters, and a host of other creatures for us to read about in literature.  But, while there might have been some substance to an initial report about these things, over many years, they have been changed and changed many times.  The descriptions of them today would not even be recognizable to the people who lived when some minor episode actually took place.  But, this is what man’s imagination does very effectively.  He makes up things and exaggerates to the best of his flawed intellect.  That is why it is such a blessing to have the testimony of eye-witnesses, and a book about Jesus which was written by the breath of Almighty God.  We know that those things are Truth and not flawed by man’s desire to exaggerate stories.

 

 

WELL-INTENDED, BUT FALSE RELIGION. 

Let us consider the concept which some people have that Jesus is one of three gods attributed to a Trinity.  They refer to Him as one of the “persons” of the God-head, giving a false impression that there are three individuals united in some way that compose a basic concept of God.  The Bible tells us that God is One Person.  There are not three gods.  Only One.  And, the descriptions of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are manifestations of the same One Almighty God, not three different people attached mysteriously to each other.   (See the graphic illustration of God and mankind having three parts). 

 

Perhaps one of the more difficult aspects of understanding this concept is the idea that God very often reveals one manifestation of Himself more than another in certain areas of Scripture.  For an example, He may emphasize His Spirit in one place, leading those who have not studied details to think that His Spirit is one God and there remains two others.

 

Another difficult thing for mere human beings to comprehend is how the same Person can relate to each part of Himself.  If we understood everything about God, we would certainly have jumped from human to Divine intelligence.   We can only hope to understand a small portion of the greatness of Almighty God.  He is obviously able to separate Himself into three clearly distinguishable parts.  We humans would have a difficult time doing that, although in some aspects, we do it without realizing it.

 

There are many writers with an axe to grind against the New Testament who have falsely assumed that all Christians believe in the three-god Trinity concept.  The very foundation of their argument is flawed, so the ideas which they build against the claims of Jesus are also flawed.

 

There is no mention of any “Trinity” with three separate gods in the Bible.  Not all Christians believe in this doctrine.  This term came into being through the Roman Catholic Church, and its efforts to instruct pagans who often had multiple gods.  It was assumed that was easier for them to understand a multi-god entity.  In the Bible, however, the ONE true God is referred to by many names, and the total being of God is referred to on several occasions as the “Godhead” not as multiple people.

 

 

1. THE WORD “GOD” IN THE NEW TESTAMENT IS USED MOST TIMES WHEN REFERRING TO THE FATHER, OR THE VERY SOUL OF THE ALMIGHTY.

  Ephesians 1:17  That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him:  

In this sample Scripture as well as most others, we see that the term “God” refers to the Father.

 

 

2. ON FEWER OCCASIONS, THE USE OF THE WORD “GOD” REFERS TO THE ENTIRE BEING OF THE ALMIGHTY.

 

 JESUS USED THE WORD “GOD” TO DESCRIBE THE FATHER, AND USES THE WORD “GOD” INTERCHANGEABLY WITH “THE FATHER.”. 

John 13:3  Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He was come from God, and went to God;

Here Jesus used the word “Father” with the word “God” interchangeably, or meaning the same thing.

 

JESUS MADE IT CLEAR THAT HE WAS THE PHYSICAL MANIFESTATION OF THE FATHER. 

John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.

John 14:8-11  Philip saith unto Him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works.  Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.

 

JESUS DECLARED THAT HE CAME OUT FROM GOD. 

John 16:27  For the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved Me, and have believed that I came out from God.

DOES THE BIBLE SAY THAT THIS WAS THE FATHER ?   YES !

1 John 4:14  And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

 THE BIBLE MAKES IT CLEAR THAT THE TERM “GOD” REFERS TO THE FATHER.

1 Corinthians 8:6  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him.

1 Corinthians 15:24  Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

2 Corinthians 1:3  Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

Galatians 1:1  Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead;)

Galatians 1:3  Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,

 

JESUS IS NOTED AS BEING A REVELATION OF THE GODHEAD. 

  (“Godhead,” is actually  “being God in every way”)

Romans 1:20  For the invisible things of Him  [Jesus] from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  

Colossians 2:9  For in Him  [Jesus]  dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

 

 

 

THE BIBLE SAYS THAT JESUS IS THE ONE WHO CREATED THE PHYSICAL WORLD  YET, THE BIBLE SAYS THAT GOD CREATED THE WORLD.

If Jesus is not God in physical form, Isn’t this a contradiction ?  Of course.  But, the contradiction dissolves when we understand that Jesus was God in physical flesh.

 

THE OLD TESTAMENT SAYS IT.  It describes God as the One Who created the heavens and the earth.

Isaiah 42:5  Thus saith God the LORD  [HEBREW=YAHWEH”] , He that created the heavens, and stretched them out; He that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; He that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:

 

THE NEW TESTAMENT SAYS IT. 

Mark 10:6  But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.  

Mark 13:19  For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.

 

 

THE BIBLE IDENTIFIES WHO THAT GOD IS.

Colossians 1:14-19  In whom we have redemption through His blood [obviously speaking of Jesus], even the forgiveness of sins:  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:  For by Him  [context says that the word “Him” refers to Jesus]  were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him:  And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.  And He is the head of the body, the church: [again, this can only be speaking of Jesus]  Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence.  For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell;

So, according to this Scripture, Jesus was the One Who created the heavens and the earth, etc., and it clearly states in other passages that the Creator is God.  Therefore, since the Bible says that Jesus was the Creator, He is God.

 

THE OLD TESTAMENT PROVIDES POWERFUL EVIDENCE THAT JESUS CREATED PHYSICAL WORLDS.

Understanding the nature of God–that is, that He has  three parts within the same Person, helps to explain the Hebrew language use of “Elohim” [a plural word, translated “God”} in Genesis 1:26.  

Genesis 1:26  And God said, Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

 

It is significant that God revealed to us that He has more than one part by using a plural word to describe Himself.  He did not want it left to theologians, sages, and guru’s to come up with ideas about who He is.  He reveals Himself in His Own way.   Through the Word of God.

 

 

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IMPORTANT NOTE:  The word LORD in the Old Testament is almost always an English language translation of the Hebrew word, “JEHOVAH.”  The English translators used the word LORD instead of a literal translation because they were afraid that due to the numerous times JEHOVAH appears in the O.T., it would be “vain repetition” (Exodus 20:7, Matthew 6:7), of God’s Name to use it so many times.   Whether we agree with this logic, or not, it was the way it was done.  (The English translators used all capital letters to differentiate God’s Name from “lord,” which is a simple term of respect and authority).  This usage is exclusively in the Old Testament where the translation comes from the Hebrew, and does not apply to New Testament translations.

 

Now, we find that when it comes to physical appearances, creation of everything, and many other areas, that the word LORD appears.  We clearly understand from Scripture that it was Jesus who created and appeared physically to O.T. people.  Therefore, when the Name LORD is translated in the O.T., we understand that it refers to Jesus.  In other words, JEHOVAH is the Name by which He revealed Himself in the Old Testament Scriptures.

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THE PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES OF MAN (MADE IN HIS IMAGE) REVEAL THAT GOD MUST HAVE A PHYSICAL ASPECT, AS WELL.

The plural use of the word Elohim in Genesis 1:26 speaks of making man in “Our likeness.”  We see this mentioned as a complete man, but having three parts, in the image of God

1 Thessalonians 5:23  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

***Since man not only has a spiritual nature, but a physical nature, too; we understand that since man was made in God’s image, God Himself must have these attributes, as well.  Since we were created in His image, where else would the physical nature of man come from ?  There was no other Creator, and man was not capable to making Himself physical.

 

We see God making man physical because God Himself has a physical part.  WHEN HE CREATED ADAM, HE MADE ADAM WITH A PHYSICAL PART.

Genesis 2:7  And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

WHEN HE MADE EVE, HE MADE HER WITH A PHYSICAL PART.

Genesis 2:22  And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

 

 

WHEN THE BIBLE SPEAKS OF “GOD” IN MOST CASES, IT IS REFERRING TO THE FATHER, NOT THE ENTIRE GODHEAD.

1 Corinthians 8:6  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom are all things, and we by Him.

 

 

IS JESUS IDENTIFIED AS PART OF GOD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT ?

Isaiah 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

 

IS JESUS IDENTIFIED AS GOD IN THE NEW TESTAMENT ?

John 1:1-3  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.

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

                     

 

DID JESUS CLAIM TO BE KNOWN BY OLD TESTAMENT REVELATIONS ?  

HE WAS KNOWN TO ABRAHAM AT THE TIME ISAAC WAS OFFERED. 

John  8:54-58  Jesus answered, If I honour Myself, My honour is nothing: it is My Father that honoureth Me; of whom ye say, that He is your God:  Yet ye have not known Him; but I know Him: and if I should say, I know Him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know Him, and keep His saying.  Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.  Then said the Jews unto Him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast Thou seen Abraham?  Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

 

DID JESUS CLAIM TO BE THE “I AM” OF THE OLD TESTAMENT ?

Exodus 3:14  And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

 

 

IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, THE LORD (YAHWEH) CLAIMS TO BE FIRST AND LAST.

Isaiah 44:6  Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and His redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside Me there is no God.
Isaiah 48:1213  Hearken unto Me, O Jacob and Israel, My called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.

 

WHO CLAIMED TO BE THE FIRST AND LAST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT ? 

Jesus did.

Revelation 1:17– And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
Revelation 2:8—  And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
Revelation 22:13   I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

 

 

 

PART 5: HOW CAN GOD BE ALMIGHTY,

YET COME TO EARTH AS JESUS ?

 

DAVID SAYS THAT THE LORD (YAHWEH) IS GOD ALONE.

Psalm 86:6  Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.  In the day of my trouble I will call upon Thee: for Thou wilt answer me.  Among the gods there is none like unto Thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto Thy works.  All nations whom Thou hast made shall come and worship before Thee, O Lord; and shall glorify Thy name.  For Thou art great, and doest wondrous things: Thou art God alone.

 

 

JESUS–AS GOD IN FLESH–COULD ONLY HAVE BEEN “BORN” BY A MIRACLE OF THE ALMIGHTY.

The miracle of the Virgin birth presents a dilemma to many not familiar with Scriptures.  Others struggle with the simple logic that God is Almighty.  If you were to ask a group of people if it was possible for Almighty God to make Himself appear as a 300 mile high giant, they would have no problem acknowledging that God could do it.  If you were to ask the same people if God could make Himself appear as a 300 foot high giant, again, they would answer in the affirmative.

 

Then, asking a group of people if God could–with His unlimited power–make Himself five inches small, most would admit that God could do that.  Yet, when confronted with God making Himself so small that He entered the womb of a virgin, they sometimes halt with doubts.  The reality is that God is Almighty and can do anything, and by His Holy Spirit, He entered into the womb of a Virgin, named Mary.

Luke 1:35  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

 

Among properly educated and faithful Christians throughout the history of the Church, there has never been doubt that there is only One God, and that He is composed of three parts, just as humans who were made in His Image are.  Since He is the Almighty, He is able to do far more with Himself than human beings.

 

 

GOD’S POWER IS SHOWN BY THE VERY PRESENCE OF JESUS WALKING ON EARTH PHYSICALLY.

We can expect capabilities within God to far exceed those in mankind.  For an example, He is able to separate various parts of Himself, and still function.  One example of this is when God the Father (the soul of the Almighty) separated from the Body, Jesus as He completed His payment for our sins on the Cross.

Mark 15:34  And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me? 

The Father, incapable to receiving sin, had to depart from His physical presence because Jesus had to receive the sins of the world into His own body.

1 Peter 2:24  Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by Whose stripes ye were healed.

 

Another unique ability is seen when He sent His Holy Spirit into men.

Acts 4:31  And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

Neither the physical portion nor the soul of the Almighty were brought into them…but His Spirit was.

 

These are a couple of the unique capabilities that show how much superior God is to any of us.  Some capabilities which critics mention to try and discredit the idea that God is One and that  “..in Him (Jesus) dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily”–Colossians 2:9) is the fact that Jesus claims not to know certain things.

 

 

JESUS SHOWS HIS ABILITY TO REMEMBER OR FORGET….WHICH IS ONLY A DIVINE CHARACTERISTIC WHEN TAKEN IN THESE CONTEXTS.

On one hand, He understood what people were thinking without them saying a word.

Matthew 12:25  And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:

 

On the other hand, He claims not to know the time of His return.

Mark 13:32  But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

This is simply a much more powerful ability which God has to put certain things out of His mind, while retaining what He chooses.

 

The Almighty can choose to forget things, and put them away from Himself.  For us, this is an incredible blessing !

Psalms 103:12  As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.

For a human being to totally eliminate something from their memory is difficult, but some people are–by their own choice–able to forget certain things which they choose to forget.  How much more capable is Almighty God to do this !

 

 

 

DOES GOD CLAIM TO BE KING OVER A PHYSICAL NATION, AS WELL AS SPIRITUAL LEADER OR KING ?    WHO IS THE KING OF THE JEWS ?   DOES THE BIBLE APPOINT THAT TITLE TO JESUS ?  

    –HE CONFIRMS THIS HIMSELF. 

Isaiah 44:6-8–  Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and His redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside Me there is no God.  And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for Me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.  Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside Me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

    –THE WISE MEN KNEW IT. 

Matthew 2:2-3Saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him.  When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

–PILATE UNDERSTOOD IT.

Luke 23:3–3  And Pilate asked Him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And He answered him and said, Thou sayest it.

(“Thou sayest it,”  literally means, “You have said it.”)

 

 

WHO IS THE ROCK OF ISRAEL IN THE O.T. ?  

The Rock of Israel is a term describing the physical appearance of God as He led from the front, and protected from behind, the Children of Israel out of Egypt and through the wilderness.  The people could see Him, as He manifested Himself physically as a cloud and as a pillar of fire.

Exodus 13:21  And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:

 

 

WHO DOES THE O.T. SAY THIS WAS ?

Deuteronomy 32:4   He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.

2 Samuel 22:32—   For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God?

Isaiah 17:10–Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips:

Obviously, the Old Testament considers that the “Rock” is God.

 

 

THE NEW TESTAMENT CONFIRMS THAT THE “ROCK IS JESUS.”

 1 Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

 1 Peter 2:4-8   To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,  And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

NOTE:  In the Old Testament, God is called the “Rock.”

The God of salvation is considered to be the “Rock.”

The New Testament helps us understand more clearly that Jesus was the fulfilment of that role, as the true Rock, and is therefore considered to be God.

  

DOES THE N.T. EVER SPEAK OF JESUS DIRECTLY AS GOD ?

 

THOMAS RECOGNIZED THAT JESUS WAS TRULY GOD IN FLESH AFTER HIS RESURRECTION.  WHEN SEEING JESUS AFTER HIS RESURRECTION, HE SAID, “My Lord and my GodJohn 20:20.  Jesus does not correct him, obviously acknowledging that what he said was true.

 

THE SAVIOR IS CONSIDERED “GOD.”   Titus 2:13 encourages us to wait for the coming of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ (see also   2 Peter 1:1) .

 

THE “SON” IS CONSIDERED TO BE GOD.  In Hebrews 1:6  the Father declares of Jesus, “But unto the Son He saith, ’Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom.’” The Father refers to Jesus as “O God” indicating that Jesus is indeed God.

 

THE APOSTLE PAUL CALLS JESUS OUR “GREAT GOD AND SAVIOR”–Titus 2:13, and even says that Jesus existed in the “form of God” prior to His incarnation 

 

GOD THE FATHER SAYS OF JESUS, “…Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever” Hebrews 1:8. 

 

JESUS IS DIRECTLY CALLED THE CREATOR IN  John 1:3–3  All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.  and Colossians 1:16-17For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him:  And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.

 

HE SAYS OF HIMSELF THAT HE IS THE ALMIGHTY.    Revelation 1:8–  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

 

 

 

GOD REVEALED HIMSELF PHYSICALLY IN THE O.T.

Keeping in mind that only the physical part of God can be seen, we have several manifestations which ARE physical in the O.T.   These are often revealed by the use of the word, “LORD,” or “angel (messenger) of the LORD.”

 

ADAM, WALKING WITH THE LORD IN THE GARDEN.

Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

 

GOD ATE PHYSICAL FOOD WHEN VISITING ABRAHAM.

 Genesis 18:1-8  And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;  And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,  And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in Thy sight, pass not away, I pray Thee, from Thy servant:  Let a little water, I pray You, be fetched, and wash Your feet, and rest Yourselves under the tree:  And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort Ye Your hearts; after that Ye shall pass on: for therefore are Ye come to Your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.  And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.  And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it.  And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

 

ABRAHAM, AT THE OFFERING OF ISAAC.

Genesis 22:14  And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.

 John 8:56  Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it, and was glad.

 

GOD, APPEARING TO MOSES IN THE TABERNACLE.

FACE TO FACE.

Exodus 33:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

Numbers 14:14 And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that Thou LORD art among this people, that Thou LORD art seen face to face, and that Thy cloud standeth over them, and that Thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night.

Deuteronomy 5:4 The LORD talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire,

Deuteronomy 34:10 And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,

 

TO MOSES, AS THE GLORY PASSED BY, THE PHYSICAL HAND OF GOD WAS OVER MOSES’ EYES. 

Exodus 33:18-23  And he said, I beseech Thee, shew me Thy glory.  And He said, I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.  And He said, Thou canst not see My face: for there shall no man see Me, and live.  And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by Me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:  And it shall come to pass, while My glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with My hand while I pass by:  And I will take away Mine hand, and thou shalt see My back parts: but My face shall not be seen.

 

When this unique and amazing opportunity was granted to Moses, we see from the Bibliocal account the three distinct parts of God in one event.  The Glory (Shekinah) is present, cloaking the soul, the Father.  The Divine Hand is that of the Lord Jesus, protecting Moses’ eyes from the unmatchable holiness and glory of God.

 

GOD, PHYSICALLY WRESTLING WITH JACOB.

Genesis 32:24-30  And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.  And when He saw that He prevailed not against him, He touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as He wrestled with him.  And He said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me.  And He said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.  And He said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.  And Jacob asked Him, and said, Tell me, I pray Thee, Thy name. And He said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after My name? And He blessed him there.  And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

 

GOD PHYSICALLY APPEARED TO MANOAH TO ANNOUNCE THE COMING OF SAMSON. 

Judges 13:22  And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.

 

 

 

 

PART 6:

JESUS – THE ONLY SAVIOR

 

 

WHAT JESUS DID ACTUALLY REVEALS WHO HE IS

 

THE CHALLENGE FROM JESUS.   

John 14:11 Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.  

If a person refused to believe what Jesus said about Himself, Jesus offers the opportunity to understand Who He is by examining what He did and what He doesFollowing are some acts which our Lord Jesus did that are recorded in Scripture.. 

 

HE FORGAVE SINS.  ONLY GOD CAN FORGIVE SINS.

JESUS DID THAT CONSTANTLY.

Luke 5:21  And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?

Luke 5:20  And when He saw their faith, He said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.

Luke 5:23  Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?

Luke 7:47  Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

Luke 7:48  And He said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.

 

Another Gospel account:

Mark 2:4-7  And when they could not come nigh unto Him for the press, they uncovered the roof where He was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.  When Jesus saw their faith, He said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.  But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,  Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?

 

HE IS THE ONLY ONE WHO COULD AND DID PAY FOR OUR SINS.

Romans 3:25  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

1 John 2:2  And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 4:10  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

 

HE ALONE CAN COME BEFORE THE ALMIGHTY AS OUR INTERCESSOR AND MEDIATOR.

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;    

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.

 

HE IS THE ONLY ONE  WHO CAN DEFEND YOU BEFORE THE FATHER.  

1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate {“DEFENSE ATTORNEY”}  with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.

 

HE IS THE HIGH PRIEST WHO IS ACTUALLY ABLE TO FORGIVE, NOT JUST COVER SIN.

MELCHISEDEK. 

Hebrews 7:22-27  By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.  And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:  But this man, because He continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.  Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.  For such an high priest became us, Who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;  Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for His own sins, and then for the people’s: for this He did once, when He offered up Himself.

 

Hebrews 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

HE RAISED THE DEAD.   GOD ALONE CAN RESTORE LIFE THAT HAD FULLY ENDED ON EARTH.

  • LAZARUS OF BETHANY.   John 11:43  And when He thus had spoken, He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
  • A WIDOW’S ONLY SON.  Luke 7:12-15  Now when He came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.  And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.  And He came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And He said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.  And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And He delivered him to his mother.
  •  A SYNAGOGUE LEADER’S DAUGHTER WHO DIED.  Luke 8:49-55  While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master.  But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.  And when He came into the house, He suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden.  And all wept, and bewailed her: but He said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.  And they laughed Him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.  And He put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise.  And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and He commanded to give her meat.

 

HE GAVE COMMANDMENTS FOR LIFE.   ONLY GOD MAY GIVE COMMANDS AS THEY RELATE TO THE VERY LIFE OF PEOPLE.   

John 13:34  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

John 15:12  This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

Acts 10:42  And He commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is He which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

Acts 13:47  For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.

HE OFFERED HIMSELF AS THE ANTICIPATED AND COMPLETE SACRIFICE NEEDED FOR SALVATION.

Jesus was the Lamb of God, Who took our place in punishment.  While a ram was caught in the thicket behind him, Abraham was very aware that only a “lamb” would be an acceptable sacrifice.  Isaac, too, noted this.

Genesis 22:7-8  And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?   And Abraham said, My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

What Abraham saw, and rejoiced over, was NOT the ram caught in the thicket behind him, but what he saw when he lifted up his eyes and caught the vision of the future–the Lamb of God–God’s Only Son–being sacrificed for us.  Both he and Isaac were expecting a Lamb.  Abraham was blessed to see the true Lamb.

Genesis 22:14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.

 

The requirement of a lamb sacrificed providing life for the Israelites in Egypt when the angel of death came is another reference to the role of Jesus.

Exodus 12:3  Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:

 

JOHN THE BAPTIST DESCRIBED JESUS AS THE LAMB OF GOD.  

John 1:29  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.  

John 1:36  And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

 

HE REVEALED HIS SUPER-HUMAN CHARACTER THROUGHOUT HIS MINISTRY.  

As God in Flesh, He could have looked at sinful humanity, and decided to start all over again, destroying His creation once more.  Instead, He kept His creation, and redeemed it !

Revelation 5:9  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

 

HE ALONE WAS THE LIBERATOR FOR THOSE IN CHAINS OF SIN.  HE SET THOSE WHO WERE CAPTURED BY SIN FREE FROM THEIR BONDAGE.  NO ONE ELSE HAD DONE THIS, OR COULD DO IT.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

 

  • LEGION. Mark 5:15 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
  •  WOMAN CAUGHT IN ADULTERY.  John 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
  •  WOMAN AT THE WELL.   John 4:28-29  The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,  Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?

 

HE IS THE ONLY ONE WHOSE DEATH MEANT SOMETHING FOR ALL SINNERS.

HE DIED FOR US, DESPITE KNOWING WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE WE REALLY WERE. 

Romans 5:7-8  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 

Many people sorrow over their own loss. They cry when material things are taken away. They cry when they lose their health. They cry when they lose respect from someone. They cry when someone else is no longer there.

 

A Christian woman got news one day that her sister had cancer and wept for days. She couldn’t stand the thought of losing her sister. Yet, she did not even think about what her sister was going through until someone mentioned about the type of cancer she had. Why ? Her own feelings were most important to her. Jesus set aside His own feelings–feelings of hurt over the failure of the disciples to remain faithful, and feelings of incredible pain and suffering.

 

HE IS THE ONLY SAVIOR.

–HE IS THE ONLY SAVIOR.

Acts 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

 John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.

(The Greek definite article “the” appears.  This was specified by the Holy Spirit so that it is clearly not just “a way” or “one of several ways” but “the only” way.)

 

 

HE IS THE ONLY ROAD TO HEAVEN.

Matthew 7:13-14  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.

 

Many people think they can find their own way into Heaven.  But, the Bible states that they will never be let in.  They MUST receive forgiveness and new life from Christ Jesus first.  Their own ways cannot provide this.

Matthew 7:21-23  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.

 

 

HE IS THE ONLY ONE WHO KNEW ALL OF HISTORY BEFORE IT HAPPENED. ONLY GOD WOULD KNOW THAT.   The fact of Him knowing all things before they happen would demand that we realize He is God.

Olivet Discourse.  Prophecies about Peter, Pentecost, etc.

 

 

HE ALONE KNEW THAT JUDAS WOULD BETRAY HIM.  The disciples, who spent far more time with Judas had no clue

John 13:18-19  I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with Me hath lifted up his heel against Me. Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am He.

 

 

HE ALONE TOLD OF THE ROMAN DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM ALMOST 40 YEARS BEFORE IT HAPPENED.

Matthew 24:1-2  And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and His disciples came to Him for to shew Him the buildings of the temple.  And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

 

 

HE ALONE TOLD OF THE END TIMES, OVER 2000 YEARS BEFORE THEY HAPPENED.

Matthew 24:3-5  And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?   And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.  For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

 

 

NO ONE BUT JESUS KNEW THESE THINGS, AND THEY REQUIRED DIVINE INTELLIGENCE TO KNOW THEM BEFORE THEY HAPPENED.

 

HE AROSE FROM THE DEAD, AS HE PREDICTED, PROVING HIS POWER OVER ALL THINGS.  He did not need a prophet or other person to help Him do this.  We also should note that He planned it to occur at a specific time which He previously announced.  What mere man could have done this ?  None. 

 

Acts 2:24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that He should be holden of it.

Acts 3:15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.

Acts 13:33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that He hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee.

Acts 17:31 Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead.

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Colossians 2:12 Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead.

  

***NOTE:  in this section of the study, I have deliberately left off the many real and powerful miracles which Jesus did.  The reason is that the devil is a great imitator, and tries to do similar things.  To those without spiritual discernment it may actually appear that the devil (or, in the future, the false prophet) will do great miracles.   So, I left these off, and focused upon things which the devil would have a most difficult time trying to imitate and deceive regarding them. 

 Exodus 7:11-12  Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.  For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.

 2 Timothy 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

 

These evil people even copied some of the larger plagues which God brought upon Egypt.

The spirits of antichrist and the False Prophet will do miracles…which will prove to some that the Antichrist is the true Messiah.  But, those who discern rightly will see the error of using those miracles as a basis for proving it.

 Revelation 13:14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

 Revelation 16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

 

 

“Jesus Who ?”
A Course Of Study From Blueprint For Revival Bible Institutes International
©2013 Belleview, FL 34421 USA

Course #7: The Adventure Of Faith: Starting A New Church

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“The Adventure Of Faith:
Starting A New Church”
A Course Of Study From
Blueprint For Revival Bible
Institutes International
©2008 Belleview, FL 34421 USA

BLUEPRINT FOR REVIVAL BIBLE INSTITUTE

BASIC BIBLE STUDY GUIDE

Dr. Ed J MacWilliams

 

 

COURSE: The Adventure Of Faith: Starting A New Church

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE ADVENTURE OF FAITH:

Starting A New Church

 

 

Starting a new church can be an adventure in faith.  However, when it is done in a non-Biblical way, it can become one of the most discouraging efforts you will ever put forth.

 

 

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU START.  IT MIGHT NOT BE A CHURCH !

Many well-intended people have launched out into towns, cities, and villages to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to start a new work for Him.  Some assumed that the gathering together of God’s newly born children would form a church.  To their horror, they later found that the gathering had developed into a vicious group of people who appointed themselves as judges of morality over the community.

 

So, what could new believers end up organizing ?  Even though what they had formed is called a church, it is far from the Biblical definition and purpose of a true church.  In some cases, they have come together and worked together as a social agency, feeding the poor, clothing those who have little clothing, and providing other services for those who need them.

 

There have been new Christians who gathered together to form a group that would appeal to their own pleasures.  They sing songs that make them feel good (rather than worship which praises God), pray for blessings to benefit them (rather than asking for things which they could use to bring people to Jesus), and set out to seek miracles to take them out of troubles (rather than asking the Lord to help them grow closer to Him through the miracles).  While elements of that may be found in true churches, when people get together for that primary purpose, they have left behind the true purpose of the church, and have become a selfish group of people seeking their own glory rather than a group of humble Believers seeking to glorify God.

 

Just because people gather together to worship does not mean that such a gathering is a church, either.  In recent times, religious groups using the name of Christ have come together with people whose god is not our God.  They have joined together in what they called “worship,” the singing of praises, the celebration of the existence of God, etc.  Yet, they could not be considered a church.  Why not ?  They did not have the structure, the purpose, and the authority by which a true local church comes into existence.

 

The creations of God – which are NOT born-again, nor have knowledge of salvation – they can praise God.  But, their proclamation of the glory of God does not make them a church, either.

 

Psalm 19: 1-3  “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork.  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.  There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.”

 

Praise and worship services do not in themselves validate the existence of a church.  There are other criteria – which must be Biblical – that we use to determine if we are setting out to establish a true church that fulfills the will of God.

 

 

 

WHAT IS A CHURCH ?

 

There are precautions which a pastor must take in establishing a new work that would help prevent the new mission from becoming a failure.  He must first have in his own mind a clear Biblical understanding of what a true local church is.  If the Biblical teaching is not clear in his mind, it will be difficult for the church to get off to an effective start, and stay growing in the right direction.

 

Theories are plentiful.  In fact, it is relatively simple to attract a group of people interested in getting healed, getting rich, or becoming prosperous materially.  And, in many towns and cities, such gatherings are incorrectly called ‘churches.’  Many pastors, however, are satisfied to call such self-centered gatherings “churches” when they are not.

 

As faithful men and women of God, we must be dedicated to whatever God tells us in His Word.  Our understanding of what makes a local church must come from God’s Word.  Perhaps the most popular today is the view of Dr. C. I. Scofield, the man to whom many attribute the definition of the church as “…where two or three are gathered together in My Name…”

 

Let’s examine this argument briefly.  Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”  Scofield wants to say it must be two or three people in order for the Lord to be present with them as a recognizable church.  There is nothing in the context of this Scripture to suggest that the Holy Spirit is even attempting to define the Church.  In fact, if you are alone, standing in the middle of a wilderness, where no one else can be seen for many miles, if you are saved, isn’t the Lord present with you then ?  If He is present with one Believer, is He not present with two…or three ?  Yes, of course, He is.   While one, two, or three Believers have the presence of the Lord Jesus with them in the Person of the Holy Spirit, that does not make that event a church.  The verse Scofield quotes was evidently stated by the Holy Spirit to show that in the presence of two or three Believers, more can be done for the Lord than otherwise.  THAT is what is shown in the context.

 

Others contend that a church must have an association with a formally organized church.  Still others argue that the church must contain people with certain offices through whom the Spirit of God can work.  And a few even believe that a body of Believers is only to be considered a church when it fulfills all the legal requirements of the state.

 

As with all issues of faith, the Bible must be the final authority.  There are a number of Scriptures which relate to Believers meeting together.  However, the Bible does not state in clear words that those meetings were those of a literal local church.  Even Dr. Scofield’s views cannot be supported by any specific words of the Bible.  Therefore, we have to make a judgment based upon the words which the Holy Spirit used to describe the local church, and the teachings of Jesus which relate to it.

 

 

DEFINITION OF THE GREEK WORD, ‘CHURCH’

This is the Greek Lexicon definition of the word which is translated “church.”

 

(Strong’s Concordance Number) 1577    ekklesia, ek-klay-see’-ah

from a compound of 1537 and a derivative of 2564; TDNT-3:501,394; n f

 

AV-church 115, assembly 3; 118

 

1) a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place, an assembly

1a) an assembly of the people convened at the public place of the council for the purpose of deliberating

1b) the assembly of the Israelites

1c) any gathering or throng of men assembled by chance, tumultuously

1d) in a Christian sense

1d1) an assembly of Christians gathered for worship in a religious meeting

1d2) a company of Christians, or of those who, hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, observe their own religious rites, hold their own religious meetings, and manage their own affairs, according to regulations prescribed for the body for order’s sake

1d3) those who anywhere, in a city, village, constitute such a company and are united into one body

1d4) the whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth

1d5) the assembly of faithful Christians already dead and received into heaven

 

 

THE BODY OF CHRIST (on Earth) IS THE CHURCH.

It is clear from the following Scripture, that the Body, the Church, has many members in it.

 

Ephesians 4: 11-16  “And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

 

However, in that passage, the Lord is telling us about the Body of Christ, the Church, which is composed of EVERY Believer from every land from every time period.  This is NOT the local church which the Holy Spirit may use you to begin, but the entire Body of saved people worldwide.

 

Recognizing the local church is not always as easy as some people want to believe that it is.  If you were to find a human arm on the side of the road, would you say that you found the body ?  No.  You would have found part of the body.  If you traveled farther, and you found a body consisting of a connected head, chest, torso, legs, and one arm, you might say that you found a body.  Why ?  The more recognizable parts you find, the more you can relate it to the entire person.   In like manner, when you find a local church, the more functioning parts you find there, the more recognizable it becomes as the Bride of Christ.  When only a very small part is found, it is difficult for people to see the character of the entire body.   That does not mean that it is not a church, but it is not as easily recognizable.  It certainly, to some degree, represents the Body of Christ, thus the Bride.

 

The local church is that group of Believers who have come together to fulfill the commission which Jesus gave to the Church.  Numbers are unimportant so far as establishing the reality of a church.  The issue is whether the presence of those people fully represents The Body, the Bride of Christ.

 

 

THE CHURCH IS LIKE A NEW BABY

A beginning for a local church is very much like the birth of a child.  When it is conceived, not all the strengths, the personality, or the features of the child are known.  As the tiny human grows inside the womb, doctors can detect various parts of the child growing at various stages of development through a Sonogram machine image.  Each month, the child takes on new parts of development, and, as each mother knows, the child’s personality begins to develop, as well.  She can tell about that personality because she knows certain things that bother him and certain times of the day that he does not want to be interrupted.  The child will sometimes kick inside the womb of his mother as an expression of his likes and dislikes.

 

The new local church develops in a similar manner.  The offices of the church develop as the church grows.  The personality of the local church is seen only after many months of working together and growing through the nourishment of the Word of God.  So, just as an incompletely formed baby inside the womb is still a baby, a new church in the developmental stages is still a church, even if all the parts are not in place yet.

 

There are some basic analogies which Jesus used which can help us.  He frequently referred to new Christians as babies, and compared the new spiritual life of a Believer to the physical growth of a person.   So, perhaps we can find a stronger definition of the church in Holy Spirit’s analogy of the Church to “the Body of Christ.”

 

1 Corinthians 12:12-27   “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  For the body is not one member, but many.  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him.  And if they were all one member, where were the body?  But now are they many members, yet but one body.  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.  Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:  And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.  For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:  That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.  And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.   Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”

 

From this Scripture we find that a person who is saved holds some place in the “Body,” the Church.  What is the presence of the Church on earth ?  EACH person who is truly saved is a part of that Body, and their presence on the earth is the local, earthly presence of the Body, the Church.  However, does an arm, or an eye, or a hair shaft make a complete representation of a body ?  Of course not ?  In order for a body to be recognized, it takes more than that.

 

********************************

SPIRITUALLY PRPEARING FOR WHAT IS AHEAD

1. NOT ALL OFFICES ARE REQUIRED AT THE BEGINNING OF A NEW CHURCH

Here are some thoughts to consider.  The local (Jerusalem) church existed BEFORE deacons were chosen.  At that time, the church had workers and pastors (who happened to be Apostles).  That appears to be the only official positions mentioned in the Bible.  So, we know that God recognized it as a church with those few positions.

 Acts 2:47  “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”

Acts 5:11  “And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.”

Deacons were not chosen until several years after the Church at Jerusalem was formed.   Note that Acts Chapter Six occurs as much as three years after Pentecost.  Acts 6:3.  “Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.”

 

Not all the offices of the Church were in operation at the time when the Holy Spirit first brought together that gathering of Believers, ‘the church,’ at Pentecost.  We may conclude that for Believers today, a young organizing group of Believers may well be a church, even though they do not have all the offices which a mature church will have.

 

2. PUTTING TOGETHER ALL THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A BIBLICAL LOCALCHURCH

A true local church of the Lord Jesus will have these characteristics.

–It will have the purposes established by Jesus.

–It will have His Word as its authority.

–It will have the organization which Jesus intended.

–It has His glory in mind in all that it does.

These four issues are vital to recognizing and establishing a true local church.

 

A. IT WILL HAVE THE PURPOSES ESTABLISHED BY JESUS.

Matthew 28: 19-20  “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

 

This command from our Lord instructs us in the purposes of the Church.  First, they are to go out and reach the world with the Gospel, bringing people to know Jesus Christ as the only Savior and Lord.  Secondly, it shows us that the Church is called to teach what God expects to those who have responded to the Gospel.

 

To simplify this, we have two commands noted here.  The first is Evangelism.  The second is Edification.  These are the purposes of the Church.

 

There will be a focus on proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

A Church which is not doing the Divinely appointed purposes for the Church is not a church of Jesus Christ.  In some locations today, some churches have even made “surviving as a church” its’ purpose.

 

The church will not promote any other news.  It is not an agency of the community for community announcements, not is it a mouthpiece for the government.  It must never lower itself to be an instrument of sectarianism, promoting a denomination.  Instead, it must accurately preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ as explained in the Bible.

 

There will be a serious effort to help Believers to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. 

The Church has a calling to fulfill a strong edification ministry.  Once the baby is born, it is shameful to let it lay in a bed without providing food for it.  As pastors of a new church, you have children—the new converts.  It is essential that they be fed spiritually from the Word of God.  This is a responsibility you have from the very start of your mission.  Each new convert must be nourished so they can grow in their knowledge of the Lord Jesus and His will for their lives.

 

1 Peter 2:2  “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”

2 Peter 3:18  “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

2 Corinthians 12:19 “ Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.”

Ephesians 4:12 “ For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”

 

What distinguishes a true Biblical church from heretical cult meetings (that are still called “churches” by most people) ?  One of the vast differences between most churches and cults is that Biblical churches have a link to the traditional Biblical standards and teachings which have always been a part of the Body of Christ.   Cults are most often a mixture of traditional Christian values and “new  revelations.”  They accept some of the Christian fundamentals, but add their own recent doctrines which they often consider to be more important.

 

 

B. IT WILL HAVE GOD’S WORD, THE BIBLE, AS ITS AUTHORITY.

 

There is loud criticism among unbelievers about the local church.  They point to the false prophecies, the leaders who go astray, and the members of churches who do not reveal Christ in their actions.  Because of them, they say they cannot believe what the church teaches.   At the very least, what the Church is called to proclaim is made rather confusing to them.  The unbeliever condemns the church, and says it cannot be of God.  Even some within the church have made similar accusations.

 

However, the Church was established by Jesus Himself.  Jesus did nothing wrong, and in everything He did, the purity and holiness of His Person was revealed.  It was with His own Blood that the redeemed were purchased so that they might become an assembly of forgiven people, the Church.  Acts 20:28  “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood.”

 

There is no church of Rome, nor any denomination, which created the power of Pentecost.  There was no entity of man which gave the Church instructions and guidance for operating.  No one but Almighty God has the right or authority to tell the Church what she must do.  His instructions are recorded in the Bible.

 

  •   1). GOD THE FATHER APPOINTED JESUS TO BE HEAD OF THE CHURCH.  The local church is simply a part of that universal Body, so Jesus must be Head over all.  Ephesians 1:22  “And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church,”

 

  •   2). THE CHURCH IS TOLD TO BE IN SUBMISSION TO JESUS IN EVERYTHING.  That means that no part of the church is independent from the authority of Christ.   Ephesians 5:23-24  “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the saviour of the body.  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

 

  •   3). GOD GAVE COMMANDMENTS TO THE CHURCH.  1 Corinthians 14:37  “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.”

 

  •   4). THE CHURCH MUST PREACH THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, AND NONE OTHER.  Galatians 1:9  “As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

 

  •   5). GOD GAVE INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE CHURCH WHICH MUST BE FOLLOWED.  These instructions were written for the local church.  2 Thessalonians 3:14  “And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.”

 

  •   6). FAILURE TO FOLLOW THE COMMANDS OF GOD FOR THE CHURCH RESULT IN CHAOTIC CONDITIONS.  1 Timothy 6: 3-5  “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;  He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,  Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”

 

  •   7). GOD ESTABLISHED THE STRUCTURE AND HIERARCHY FOR THE CHURCH.

1 Corinthians 12:28  “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”

 

It is clear from Scripture that each local church must abide by the teachings of God’s Word as the final authority in everything that the church does.

 

 

C. IT WILL HAVE THE STRUCTURE WHICH JESUS INTENDED.

Even though that early church structure may not be as mature as the ones in Corinth or Ephesus, whatever structure exists must be Biblical.  That means that there are no man-made offices of the church.  It also means that the church is striving to fulfill the Biblical offices as it grows.

 

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MAN-MADE OFFICES AND BIBLICAL OFFICES

Within any church are positions which carry titles that we do not find in the Bible.  For an example, we do not see a Sunday School teacher, a Nursery worker, a church greeter, etc., mentioned by name.  However, many of these works are covered under the “gift of helps.”  The Sunday School teacher is helping the Pastor who is called to teach the church the Word of God.  The Nursery worker would fit into the same category.  A Church Greeter, a person who welcomes those who enter the church, could be considered a “Helper,” as well.

 

The dangerous situation which some churches have placed upon themselves is when they agree to create new positions which do not fulfill a Biblical roll.  Whether this role is called by a Biblical name, or not, if it does not comply with what the Bible says, it can lead to many problems in the long run.

 

For an example, the office of deacon is Biblical.  However, in some churches, deacons are given the authority to control all aspects of the church, including how long and what things the pastor is allowed to speak upon.  That type of authority for a deacon is not Biblical.  Therefore, even though that church may call these people “deacons,” they are NOT Biblical deacons.  They are positions which man has designed and defined.

 

In another situation, the church voted to create a board of “Presbyters.”  These men were given the authority over the entire church, and actually set down a schedule of what the pastor would be allowed to speak and when he would do it.  They assumed to take all authority within the church, and the pastor had to come to them for approval before he did anything in the name of the Lord.  This is a man-made position, as well.

 

A Board of Elders is commonplace in many churches.  In fact, it is Biblical for a church to recognize those who are spiritually mature and have a close relationship with the Lord by giving them a greater authority within the church than the less mature members.  However, in some churches, this position has been given to immature people, and even to those whose salvation is questionable.  As a result, the Elders became a body of dictators rather than a group of helpful spiritual leaders.  Since immature, or unsaved people having any authority in the church is not according to Scriptures, this position—no matter what the church called it—is not Biblical.

 

In some cultures, there is the position of Church Mother.  This position often is accompanied by several of the Church Mother’s friends who essentially do all the counseling and decision-making within the church.  This, too, is unbiblical.

 

Biblical offices in the Bible are also given definitions as to their authority within the local church.  It is that guidance which provides the young church a proper and effective way to become what God wants it to be.  Sadly, there are some churches where man-made positions became so powerful that the Biblical offices were eliminated.  Thus, that church would cease being a Biblical local church.

 

It is important that everyone in the new local church understands the Biblical roles to be fulfilled.  It is best to use the Biblical terms and not change them, since terms different from what your flock sees in the Bible can become confusing.

 

 

D. THE NEW CHURCH WILL BE DOING THE THINGS WHICH JESUS COMMANDED.

 

All gatherings which call themselves churches call Jesus “Lord.”  But, Jesus said, in Luke 6:46,  “And why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”  In other words, if Jesus is truly the Lord, the gathering will be obedient to His Word.

 

What if you found a building with a large sign outside that said, “Restaurant.”  What would you expect to find inside ?  If you walked in and found that it was manufacturing sunglasses but not serving food, it certainly should not be truly considered a restaurant.

 

If you walked several miles to exchange some currency to a building that said it was a bank, but you found that it only dispensed milk and soft drinks, you would make the observation that regardless of what the sign said, it was not truly a bank.

 

What if you walked into a building which advertised itself to be a church, but inside you heard music very similar to that which you might hear at a rock concert.  Then, as you take your seat, you hear various people stand up and tell how God gave them money, houses, cars, and riches.  The preacher begins to preach about how it is a shame to be poor.  He tells the people that they must have faith that God wants them all to have great riches.  As you look around, you see the pained face of a woman whose husband has committed adultery.  You see the drug addict you met downtown who is now looking for a better life.  You notice some young people who are carefully paying attention to the preacher, because they need direction for their lives.  But, what is being done in this building ?  Is it bringing people to repent of their sins, and to put their faith in God for His salvation through Jesus Christ ?  No.  And, such behavior in churches, although common, shows that the advertised name “church” is not true.  It fails in all aspects of what God planned for the church.

 

There are many places which call themselves churches, and even place signs on their property that say, “church,” which are not truly churches.  What they do in those places does not meet the criteria which the Bible has established for a church. It is important for the man of God to know how to avoid starting an organization which at some point would be an embarrassment to the Lord Jesus, the Head of the Church.  There are things which are mandated by God for the Church to fulfill, and they cannot be overlooked or ignored when getting started, or at any phase of church development.

 

A church will produce the fruits, or actions, which God says must exist.

 

There will be ‘agape’ love.  Jesus said to unbelievers, in John 13:35,  “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.”  It isn’t easy to love someone with a deep Christ-like love when you know their faults.  And, the more you get to know a person, the more you get to know their weaknesses, and sins, and it becomes more difficult to love them.  Yet, God’s people will actually express love one to another with a Godly love, agape love.

 

The fact that Jesus said that all men would know this reveals that this love cannot be merely good feelings about the other person.  It must be expressed so that people on the outside of the church are able to see that love expressed powerfully.

 

 

 

HOW DID THE EARLY CHURCH BEGIN NEW CHURCHES ?

 

THE CHURCH AT JERUSALEM.

For several years following Pentecost, the only local church was at Jerusalem.  It is clear that for the first couple years of the existence of the church, despite growing by many thousands each year, it was not following the plans of God in regard to world-wide evangelism.  In fact, the Bible records no evangelism outside of Jerusalem.  There was no effort to establish churches in other cities.  Instead, the new Christians (and the Apostles) were quite settled on the idea that if someone wanted knowledge of the truth, they knew where to find it—in Jerusalem.

 

It was only following the campaign of persecution against the Christians at Jerusalem, instigated by a young man by the name of Saul (later to be a new Believer who changed his name to Paul), that the Gospel started to be proclaimed in other parts of the earth.

 

Acts 8:1  “And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.”

 

 

 

THE NEXT PHASE OF CHURCH BUILDING.

 

Our Lord intended that all people of every nation should hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.  This was not an implied desire, but a strong command for the Church to fulfill.

 

If people are not willing to obey God simply because He commands it, the Lord has a way to providing “incentives and motivations” to do His will.  For an example, God had forewarned the Caananites and Hivites, to leave the land they took over after Jacob and his family moved to Israel.  They refused, and dug in more deeply, establishing cities, farms, and military forts.

 

Exodus 23:28  “And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.”

 

So, the Lord “encouraged them” to make a decision to leave by sending huge amounts of hornets to afflict them.  This did not violate their ability to go against the will of God.  They could have stayed their and died from stings from the hornets. It was their choice to make.  If the stayed, they could die a painful death.  If they left, they could live.  What God sent was simply “an incentive and motivation” to move on, making room for the returning Children of Israel.

 

A similar situation was presented to the Church at Jerusalem, which was clearly instructed to carry the Gospel into all the world.

 

Acts 1:8  “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 in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

 

and

 

Matthew 28: 19-20  “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

 

The Church could have decided to remain in Jerusalem and reap the results of disobedience, which would have been severe persecution for many of them.  In fact, many that did remain were executed or jailed.  However, for the most part, the church decided to go into all the world, as it was initially commanded.

 

Acts 8: 4-5   “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.  Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.”

 

The Holy Spirit preserved for us the important factor of preaching the Gospel as being the first effort in a ‘new’ region.  It was because of the preaching that the next step, the working of miracles, was accomplished.  Philip did not come advertising that he would do magic tricks with signs and wonders.  His focus and message was to tell the people about Jesus Christ.

 

His preaching was simple.  Tell the people about Jesus.  Let them come under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and respond in faith to the urging of the Lord.

 

Later, the Gospel was presented to only the Jews at Antioch.  Acts 11:19  “Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.”

 

Once again, with an emphasis upon the Word of God, and we see people being saved.  Acts 11:20-21  “And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.   And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.”

 

Following their salvation experience, we find Barnabas getting these new converts anchored deeply into a dependence upon the Lord.  Acts 11:23  “Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.”  This process of nourishing the new babes in Christ in the Word of God continued under the teachings of the Apostle Paul for about a year.  Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”  It was during this time period that the gathering of new converts became widely known in the community, and those disciples (literally – “learners”) were first called Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:26).  At some point during this time – and we are not informed in Scripture which specific time it was – the gathering became a true local church, fulfilling the requirements which Jesus established for the church.

 

We can see this same pattern of Evangelism, Teaching New Converts, Doing the Work of the Church repeated many times throughout the Book of Acts.  For another example,   Acts 8:5  “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.”

This began another body of Believers, this time a new local church in Samaria.

 

 

 

 THE EXAMPLE OF PAUL

Paul did not go into a region with the goal of building churches.  Instead, his goal – as well as others obedient to the Faith – was to bring people to Jesus Christ, and that fact in itself would build churches.  When people are saved, they will gather together to worship, and this will lead to more evangelism, edification, worship, and service, all ingredients of a true local church.

 

Most typical of the Apostle Paul is the act of trying to reach the Jewish people first whenever he entered a new area.  Acts 9:20  “And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.”

 

He would then break away from the synagogue, and begin instructing the new converts and seekers in another place.  Once they were anchored sufficiently, he would leave the new local church in the care of a trained, proven man of God.

 

We are told that the elder pastors were often given the duty of checking on the churches and making certain that they were still abiding in the Truth, and were fulfilling their God-given objectives.  Biblically, these men might be called “Bishops” since they were to ensure the spiritual vitality of many churches.   Acts 14:22  “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God”.   Acts 15:41  “And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.”

 

The New Testament pattern is simple and effective.  Evangelism first.  Then anchor the new converts in the Lord Jesus.  Then, get them busy doing the Lord’s work.  It is constantly repeated throughout the New Testament.

 

 

 

WHAT GOES INTO A NEW CHURCH

The following discussion is about starting a church with new Christians and perhaps a few more mature ones. It is basically giving some uncomplicated ideas for you to use in making sure that the church is following the correct Biblical pattern toward spiritual maturity and usefulness to the Lord Jesus.

 

 

 

WHAT ARE THE BASIC INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO START A NEW CHURCH ?

 

There are extreme views on the concept of starting a church.  Some men will not move very far from their comfortable beds unless they have guarantees from a religious organization for significant financial support.  They claim that this is realistic and that the Lord would not want them putting their families and their own health in jeopardy of any kind.  It seems strange, then, that they read the following passages of Scripture, and do not understand the level of faith which Jesus expected from His followers.

 

Matthew 8: 19-22  “And a certain scribe came, and said unto Him, Master, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest.  And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.  And another of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.  But Jesus said unto him, Follow Me; and let the dead bury their dead.”

 

Luke 18: 29-30  “And He said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake,  Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.”

 

Mark 6: 7-9  “And He called unto Him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;  And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:  But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.”

 

For others, true men and women of God, there is no issue other than to obey the Lord.  They know that He will supply their needs, as He promised (Philippians 4:19).  While they genuinely may be apprehensive with the lack of knowing how God will do this, they move ahead by the simple faith knowing that He will.

 

 

YOU NEED A VISION, THAT IS ‘A CALLING,  FROM THE LORD.

The Believer who aspires to establish a new church should understand that his desire must come from the Lord, or else it is not valid.  There have been people who have tried to please their elders, and thought that starting a church would help them gain acceptance or notice.  Some have attempted to start a new work because they could not see any other area of service where they would be accepted by their own local church. Still other started new churches because of some disagreement they had with their previous congregation or church leadership.  However, without a vision from the Lord, none of those reasons is justifiable in themselves.

 

YOU NEED A BURDEN THAT COMES FROM GOD.

People can get visions, or clear directions, from the Lord, but still not be moved in their hearts to accomplish the work.  Jonah had instructions from the Lord to go and preach in Nineveh.   His heart was not in it, however, and he sought to escape his responsibilities.  Whether you run from your duty, or put your whole being behind it, God wants us to obey.  Yet, the greatest work that is done is accomplished by those who allow the vision of the Lord to saturate their hearts and become a true “burden from the Lord.”

 

Although we refer to these activities as “starting a new church,” the most important effort is that of bringing people to know Jesus Christ as their own Savior and Lord.  The issue most vital is a commitment to soul-winning.  A person who goes out with the intent to create churches, and does not have soul-winning as his primary goal will not succeed in that which is important to the Lord.

 

 

YOU NEED A COMMITMENT TO THE SAVIOR TO FULFILL YOUR ASSIGNMENT.

 

This is a hard thing.  Starting a new work can be frustrating and difficult.  It is easy to stop at some point and cast aside the burden and the vision, assuming that some other task, easier to perform awaits us.  When we begin, we must be faithful to the end of our mission.  Revelation 2:26  “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:”

 

 

YOU NEED HELPERS 

PRAYER PARTNERS.  Some people at your home church will pray for your work.  They should pray specifically that souls will come under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, and be led to repent of their sins and trust Jesus as Savior.

 

MINISTRY HELPERS.

A CORE TEACHER.  Once you have preached the Gospel, and people have come to the Lord Jesus by faith, you need to get them strong in the Lord.  This sometimes requires the help of another person who is knowledgeable in the Scriptures, and can share the truth with them, anchoring them in the Word of God.  While this is something that you could often do yourself, it is sometimes better that you spend the time following up others who are in the neighborhood while a different teacher takes the new converts under wing, and teaches them the basics of our faith.

 

The Core Teacher, whether yourself or someone else, should lay the foundation of Biblical faith for the new converts immediately after their salvation experience.  When this person is not the pastor, the pastor should choose someone he personally knows is called of God to teach, is knowledgeable about the Scriptures, and has a sincere love for souls.

 

 

A LOCAL ADVISOR.  This person would help you understand the community, the people, local customs, and perhaps even differences in the local dialect.  Many times an outsider coming into a new location will make mistakes which result in alienating people rather than helping them get closer to the Lord.  A Believer who is willing to share information about the community can be helpful in avoiding this.  This is not a position within the local church, but it is a blessing of “helps” to you, as pastor.  This individual has no authority within the church unless he or she reveals other gifts which conform to Biblical definitions.

 

Especially when you go into an area with which you are not familiar, it is difficult to be certain that a local advisor is completely honest, and will not exaggerate, or say things about people with a prejudice.  However, through the discernment of the Holy Spirit, you need someone who can give you a better understanding of the place and people to who you will be ministering in the days ahead.

 

 

DEACONS.  By definition, ‘a deacon’ is a person who helps, or assists.  According to the Scripture, the deacons were called to help in the material needs of the church.  When feasible, people who have the burden to help others materially should be authorized by you to assist the members of the church with their needs first.  Then, reach into the community to make an impact for Jesus by showing our love for the Lost.

 

OBSERVE who it is that reaches out to help others.  Do not be fooled by those who talk about helping.  There are many, who have sincere and good intentions who never get around to doing what the Lord wants them to do.  Only consider people with good testimonies who have been active in helping others, and do so out of a genuine compassion.

 

 

TEACHERS.  Some people have the ability to teach facts, but others have the ability to communicate.  The Communicators are the greatest teachers.

 

Let’s look at an example.  A mother tells her 10 year old son that he must help his little brother and sister to get ready for church.  She communicates very simply with both love and authority, and the son responds by getting his siblings prepared.

 

Another mother, who is strictly a teacher, (and not an effective communicator) sits her son down at a table, and begins to explain why a younger child needs help.  She tells her son the difference in learning capabilities which children of various ages have, and how he must carefully treat each of them as individual human beings. She spends time analyzing the differences between the two children, and how he must be careful not to hurt the feelings of the younger child by being too bossy.  Her son is totally bored, and anxious to leave the table.  Her conversation shut down his mind shortly after she started.  While she was attempting to teach him things that were true, she failed to communicate.  Some very few 10 year old boys might respond to an approach like hers, but most will be completely turned off by the detailed information she was giving.  Her teaching information would have been appropriate for an 18 year old child, not a 10 year old boy.

 

As leaders of the Flock of God, we must distinguish between the two, so we know to select the teacher who best communicates.  Most teachers can get Bible information together, develop a teaching plan, encourage the children to learn Scripture, and teach them great truths.  But, all of those things might be above or below the student’s ability to understand and put what is being taught into daily living.  You should look at how people communicate with others, particularly how they communicate with those of the age level for which you are seeking a teacher.

 

The communicator/teacher is one who understands what the student needs in order to be effective for the Lord.

 

OBSERVE HOW THEY INTERACT WITH PEOPLE OF THE SAME AGE YOU ARE CONSIDERING THEM TO TEACH.

  • NOTICE IF THEY SPEAK TO THE STUDENT WITH CARE, CONCERN, OR LOVE, AND IN A GODLY MANNER.
  • NOTICE IF THEY ACTUALLY COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY, OR IF THEY JUST WANT THE ATTENTION OF THE POTENTIAL STUDENTS ?
  • NOTICE IF THEY ACCOMPLISH WHATEVER THEY SET OUT TO DO THROUGH THEIR COMMUNICATION.

 

By observing these traits, you will discover whether you are looking at merely a teacher, or you have a teacher who is a good communicator.

 

 

ELDERS

While the beginning of many churches will not see an elder, with the exception of the Pastor, some people within the church will grow exceptionally fast in their knowledge and commitment to the Lord, and will show evidence over a longer period of time that they are faithful and useful to the Savior.  These people will later become your elders.

 

Elders, like deacons, are not “made” by a vote of the church.  Any voting by the church on the matter of “Who are our Elders ?” or, “Who are our deacons ?” merely recognizes the work that these people are already doing.  The church should not have to vote on someone before those people begin helping others (as in the case of deacons).  Nor should those who are spiritually mature have to be voted in as “Elders” before they start counseling, guiding, and serving the Lord within the church.  If they see their calling to be from God, they will be obedient to Him whether there is recognition by the local church, or not.

 

While a vote by the church recognizes these people to be qualified, they prove their qualifications by serving the Lord even before the first vote is cast.  In some cases, specific types of ministry may be implemented only after a vote of the church recognizes who these people are; but, for the majority of cases, these people will already be doing the work.  Being a deacon or an elder is a calling of God, not a certificate from the church.

 

 

HANDLING THE MONEY.

Money is one of the most sensitive issues within the local church.  The misuse of money by a pastor will result in both shame upon the pastor and the church’s reputation within the community.

 

However, in starting a new church, it is difficult to place the responsibility of caring for the Lord’s money into the hands of people that you hardly know.  You have an important matter of prayer here.  Should you allow the people to elect a Treasurer, or should you handle the money yourself ?

 

Even if out of necessity, at the beginning of the church, you must handle the money, try to find honest and capable people to do it for you as quickly as possible.  The high road is for the pastor not to know who gives what amounts.  This frees him from being partial when he preaches.  Certainly a man of God will make every conscious effort to convey whatever God gives to him in a message to his flock.  However, the temptation to avoid mention or water down conviction which might apply to a major giver could be a sub-conscious decision.

 

Sometimes a preacher will not preach the whole truth because he fears that to offend a major contributor might result in a stoppage of his contributions, and thus jeopardize his work in that area.  This temptation is removed if someone else keeps the money and the pastor is unaware of who gives what amount.  The pastor must always put loyalty to the Lord ahead of anything else.

 

By allowing another person who is completely trustworthy to handle the money, the pastor not only avoids temptation to change his preaching, but he also avoids the potential for false accusations that he is handling the money in a dishonest manner.

 

 

BUSINESS MEETINGS

While democracy is a very popular concept in the political world, it is not endorsed by the Bible, and it certainly does not often work for the glory of God in the local church..  If you leave all the business of the church to be voted upon by the entire church, it will ruin your work.  God called various people to do certain things within the local church, and He gave them authority.  They did not have to have their activities approved by the congregation first.  God called them, and God gave the mission.

 

The Pastor is called to lead the flock.  The flock was never designed to lead the shepherd.

 

Consider what business is necessary with the local church.  Few things require the attention of the entire membership.  There are times when a pastor must set a goal before the church, and the church should vote upon whether or not to seek that goal.  But, the usual and normal expenses of the church should be paid without the entire church becoming burdened with an unnecessary meeting.

 

Many business meetings devolve into opportunities for certain people to be critical of someone in leadership.  At other times, these meetings result in an open split between brethren over issues that should not have even been brought up.

 

In one notable case, a church business meeting was called to discuss the church’s Fellowship Sunday.  As a part of the food being brought, one person suggested that instead of having beans, which had been brought in previous years, that the church should have peas, instead.  This split the church down the middle, and members took sides on an issue which could have been easily decided by the pastor without a business meeting.  He simply could have asked the congregation to bring both peas and beans to the fellowship.  Instead, this church, which wanted everything to be discussed and voted upon lost members and reputation in the community.  Similar things happen all the time.

 

Beware of efforts to involve the congregation in matters where they will be diverted from their Divinely appointed purpose to bring fruit – more souls – to the Lord.  Therefore, it is suggested that business meetings be limited to times when major issues that require the consent of the entire church would be discussed.

 

 

HOW TO GO ABOUT REACHING POTENTIAL MEMBERS FOR YOUR NEW CHURCH.

Evangelism is the key.  This is effort that goes into a community, presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  In the Bible, Paul often went into a synagogue to teach and point people to the Scriptures that presented Jesus Christ as the Messiah.  In most communities this is impossible because there is no synagogue, and the preacher would not have been welcomed into it in the first place, so preachers must preach the Gospel in any way they can.

 

 

CRUSADES.

The most effective method for most communities is utilizing the open-air Gospel Meeting.  It is alternatively called, a crusade, evangelistic meeting, Gospel meeting, etc.  For the sake of common understanding, we will refer to this effort as “the crusade.”

 

It is highly advisable that this initial effort should not be attempted by one individual alone.  It is usually better to request the help of others to assist in this effort.

 

Have prayer-backing. 

Make sure that your sending church, or other cooperating churches know what mission the Lord has laid on your heart.  Ask them to pray about specific issues that would lead to the success of your mission.  Get a commitment from people that they will pray during a specific time for the Lord to bless.

 

Obtain a good location for the crusade to be held.

Make sure that if there are other Bible-believing pastors in the area, that they understand you have no intention of taking away from their churches or efforts.   In some cases, you may ask other churches to join with you in trying to reach people for the Lord.  This is not always possible, nor advisable, however.  Pray about whether it is something that the Lord wants done.

 

Prepare each meeting with prayerful, serious counselors. 

As a part of each evangelistic meeting, an invitation should be given to all who would give their lives to Jesus Christ by faith.  Counselors should be ready with pens and notepaper to record the name and address of every person who responds.  They must instruct each person, answering their questions about salvation.  If they have no questions, the counselor should still go through the Scriptures which tell why they needed to make the decision to receive Jesus as Savior, and then they should pray with the person, confirming that God is faithful to do what He said.  You should personally train any counselors, if there are to be any other than yourself.  You should know that they are truly born-again people who desire to see others come to the Savior.

 

Teach them to stay on target.  Some people will ask a lot of questions about the Bible that they will understand later.  The purpose of the invitation is to pull in the net and not discuss theology with those in it.  Your list of names and addresses should not be given to any churches in the area, or you will find that those with false doctrines or those who have failed in their commitment to the goals of the church will begin to steal away the seed of the Word.

 

Make certain that you have the capability to follow through with each new convert immediately that week.

 

 

The crusade location.

It should be near or in the midst of a highly populated area.  Don’t expect people to go out of their way by very much to hear you preach.  If you are planning on speaking to large numbers of people, you probably will need an amplification system.  If you don’t already have one, it will have to be rented.  It is best to check it out prior to the time of the crusades.  Many preachers have been frustrated and defeated on the first night of their crusade because the promises of some business to deliver a working sound system did not materialize.

 

 

Equipment.

If you are holding the crusade at night, you may need to have a lighting system.  If it is not automatically supplied with the rental of the location, you will have to rent one in addition to everything else.  Make sure that the lights are not focused in such a way that it hurts the eyes of the people attending.  There should be sufficient lighting to see the platform, and areas to enter the location.

 

In many cases, a platform will have to be built.  Be sure that it is stable, and at the right height.  Sometimes preachers have built platforms that are so high, they tend to make the people who attend feel like they are not a part of the event.  Also, the platform should not be located at the place where many people will be entering the crusade.

 

 

Advertise.

Order or make advertisements sufficiently in advance of the time you plan to have the meetings.  Your advertisements should typically be seen about two weeks before the crusade.

 

When possible, banners which are spread from one side of a busy street to another should be used.  Posters may be printed and placed in public areas where permitted by law.  They should be simple, and yet give all necessary information.  They should include the name of the event, the date(s), and the place where the crusade will be held.  If the advertisement is large enough, it may include the name of the preacher, but this is not necessary in most cases.  DO NOT advertise anything which is not completely truthful.  For an example, a poster that reads, “All will be healed,” can be deceptive.

 

The Spirit-filled American evangelist (preached during the mid 1800’s), Charles G. Finney, refused to allow advertising that stated “Revival.”  He insisted that true revival depended upon whether people would be in obedience to the Lord by faith, or not.  And he argued that since he did not know how each person would respond to the calling of the Lord, he would not be a party to false advertising.  God blessed this truthfulness, and even though most of his crusades were NOT advertised as “revivals,” the Lord blessed him, and most ended up being great revivals which are remembered to this day.

 

 

Present the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Present the Gospel personally to various people throughout the village, town, or city, prior to that meeting time.  This will allow you to get a better ‘feel’ for the community, and actually bring some people to the Lord.  If you are accompanied by other workers, have them go throughout the community, sharing the Gospel on a one-to-one basis, as well.

 

Where it is possible to obtain Gospel tracts and it is an advantage to use them, bring them along with you and distribute them as you walk through the area.

 

 

Provide Bible studies for the new converts.

When the crusade is held, and people come to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, it is important to immediately begin a process of getting them rooted into the Word of God.  Counselors should not just take their names and addresses, but should pray with them, and show them from the Bible why their decision was life-changing.

 

They should immediately be enrolled in a free Bible study program which you organize.  Depending upon the local situation, it may be held in their homes or in another building where many can come at the same time.  Ask them if there are others in their family or even neighbors who would want to learn about the Bible.  (Often, family members want to receive the Lord after they find out that someone else in the family made that decision).

 

Set down a specific time for someone to come and hold the study (usually within the first week after a decision for Christ is made).  The Bible study should be extremely simple, covering the basics of salvation, and giving more information about the Lord Jesus and His plan for their lives.  It should go on for a period of at least 7 sessions, and preferably more than that.  Even though you may have finished the course with a new convert, DO NOT leave off some form of Bible study with him.  Make sure that EVERY WEEK, some form of Bible study is being provided.  This is truly important.  We would not consider quitting the feeding of our infants just because we had already fed them for a week previously.  These new converts are spiritual babies, and they need a steady and faithful supply of nourishment from the Bible.

 

When many converts have been instructed in the basic fundamentals of the Word, efforts should be made to bring them together at one location to worship the Lord as one.  So, a location must be chosen which would be convenient for all concerned.  At this point, you may chose musicians, song leaders, etc., to make the worship go more smoothly.

 

There are situations where a pastor can become discouraged when he sees that only a handful of people are interested in coming to the Bible studies.  An analysis of your work should follow.

 

1. Are the “new converts” truly saved ?  Most people who respond to an invitation to receive Jesus as Savior are not truly giving their heart’s faith at that time.  So, the next day, or the day after, they may not be interested in the things of God.  However, the true new-born babe will cry to food, just as a newborn human child will do.  So, ask yourself if these “new converts” have truly been converted.

 

Do not be discouraged when each of those who respond at an invitation fail to show signs of being saved.  In your follow-up, you will find that some of those who responded to the invitation had questions the next day, and it is then that they truly give their lives to the Lord.  However, some will continue on, thinking that they are saved, even though they have only given a portion of their faith to Jesus, while holding onto some traditional or self-exalting hope.  So long as they come under the sound of God’s Word, there is a very good opportunity for them to fall under conviction, repent, and get saved.

 

 

2. Is there opposition within their homes or neighborhoods which make it very difficult for them to come to a Bible study ?  If that may be a problem, you should be seeking the Lord’s wisdom on the matter.  Most certainly, you should enlist the prayerful support of other Christians outside the area.  There may be demonic influences at work, which would require binding or casting out, as well.

 

In some cases where a new convert is living in a home with people hostile to the Gospel, the pastor brought the Bible study to them, in their homes, and through the love and caring that was shown, the pastor was able to lead the rest of the family to Christ.

 

 

3. Is it time to renew evangelistic work ?   Effective evangelism takes longer in some places that in others.  While it should be an on-going effort by the new church, the pastor, while trying to establish the new church, may find it difficult to spend many weeks in evangelism-only efforts.

 

However, in more difficult communities, this may be necessary, and the Lord will provide the strength and support you need to continue on in this first-step toward the new church.

 

 

Direct the new converts to begin effective service and worship.

Instruct the new converts into the why’s, how’s, and purpose of worship.  Many people automatically assume that worship is designed to make them feel good.  They must be instructed from the Bible, that worship must be given to please the Lord primarily.

 

 

Organize the church.

At some point where the new converts have been brought together, know one another, and are growing spiritually, you will want to discuss with them about organizing into an official church.  In some countries an organized churched should have some outside affiliation to establish the fact that it is not just a solitary group making up its’ own doctrines and procedures.  Where this is a good thing to do, it is advisable to make sure, however, that you do not come under the control of some organization whose doctrines differ from yours, or an organization which desires to eventually drain God’s money from your local church and use it for their own unscriptural purposes.

 

The God-given purposes of the church should be clearly noted, and set before the congregation.  Their first act of business should be to decide upon a statement of Faith, clearly stating what they believe, and the Scriptures which confirm those things to be true.

 

 

The next thing is to agree upon how the new church will go about operating.

This is usually contained in a Church Charter, Church Covenant, or Church Constitution.  It is important for the congregation to consciously determine that the way they will operate is Biblical, and not according to traditions, or man’s laws.

 

 

“The Adventure Of Faith:  Starting A New Church”
A Course Of Study From Blueprint For Revival Bible Institutes International
©2008 Belleview, FL 34421 USA

Course #6: The Role Of The Pastor In The Local Church

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THE ROLE OF THE PASTOR IN THE LOCAL CHURCH
A Course Of Study From
Blueprint For Revival Bible
Institutes International
©2008 Belleview, FL 34421 USA

BLUEPRINT FOR REVIVAL BIBLE INSTITUTE

BASIC BIBLE STUDY GUIDE

Dr. Ed J MacWilliams

 

 

COURSE:  THE ROLE OF THE PASTOR IN THE LOCAL CHURCH

 

 

 

 

THE ROLE OF THE PASTOR AND HIS FAMILY

IN THE LOCAL CHURCH

 

PRINCIPLES OF STUDY

1. THE FAILURE TO UNDERSTAND THE ROLE OF THE PASTOR AND HIS FAMILY FROM A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE LEAVES IT UP TO THE WORLD AND RELIGIOUS “EXPERTS” TO DEFINE WHAT THE CHURCH SHOULD EXPECT.  GOD ALONE SHOULD BE THE ONE WHO SETS THE STANDARDS, SINCE HE CREATED THE CHURCH, AND HE ALONE WILL JUDGE US ALL AT THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST.

 

2. THE FAILURE TO UNDERSTAND THE CORRECT BIBLICAL ROLE OF A PASTOR AND HIS FAMILY WILL CAUSE THE CONGREGATION AND COMMUNITY TO HAVE EXPECTATIONS THAT ARE TOO HIGH OR TOO LOW.  MANY PASTORS HAVE BROUGHT DOOM OR WEAKNESS UPON THEIR MINISTRIES BECAUSE THEY ALLOWED STANDARDS TO BE ESTABLISHED FOR THEIR CONDUCT, WORK, AND FOR THEIR FAMILIES WHICH WERE NOT BIBLICAL.

 

3. THE FAILURE TO UNDERSTAND THE ROLE OF A PASTOR AND HIS FAMILY FROM THE BIBLE’S TEACHING WILL OPEN THE DOOR TO THOSE WHO WANT TO HAVE NON-BIBLICAL INPUT.  ANY NON-BIBLICAL STANDARD FOR A PASTOR CAN PROVE TO BE COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE TO THE WORK OF GOD, NO MATTER HOW SINCERELY IT COMES ABOUT.

 

 

THE NEED FOR PRIVACY

There are many different situations in which pastors and their families could find themselves once they arrive at the pastor’s new community.   Every church presents a new and challenging opportunity to reveal the power of God through your life and through your family.  When starting out, some pastors have characterized their lives and their families as living in a fishbowl.  Everyone, it seemed, was watching each move and action they made.

 

Some congregations have been taught that the pastor should have no privacy and no life outside the church’s watchful eye.  They allege that if he has nothing to hide, he should not be concerned that his congregation is watching his every step.  But, as with all other issues of church life, it is the pastor who is called of God to teach his congregation what is correct.  In one case, a neighbor of the pastor was assigned by the deacons to report to them about any loud noise, shouting, crying, or arguments which appeared to come from the pastor’s house.   The deacons did not know that their newly appointed spy was going deaf, and that the reports he turned in of periodic shouting and crying were actually the noises made by the pastor’s roosters.   It is difficult to have even part of your life that is not observed and critiqued by members of the congregation.  A pastor must demand this necessity, anyway.  A pastor’s personal battles, his bringing before God of sinful acts by members of his congregation, his presenting of weaknesses both of himself and those in the congregation, and many other areas of importance should be private matters, not to be shared with the congregation when they happen.

Even Jesus desired time for privacy in prayer.  Matthew 14:23  “And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, He was there alone.

 

There were other times that He would take a disciple aside and privately scolded him, or instructed him how to improve.  There are times for public and there are times for private rebuttal, instruction, and personal guidance.

 

 

THE NEED TO DEAL WITH FAMILY ISSUES WITHOUT THE CONGREGATION’S INVOLVEMENT

The pastor, like others in the congregation, should have a confident degree of privacy in his life.  He should be able to have his own Bible study time, his personal worship time, and his private prayer time uninterrupted and held sacred.   He should not permit his discussions, disagreements, or discipline within the family to become a public matter.

 

In fact, in raising his family, if some matters become known outside the pastor’s home, they could end up hurting both him and those he is trying to help.  There have been many cases where pastors failed to provide consistent discipline for their children because they knew that others would know about it and talk negatively about any aspect of chastening they would do.

 

A good pastor will not only reject the temptation to withhold loving, Godly discipline, but he will teach his congregation the importance of using it themselves.  The Bible makes it clear that loving discipline—just as God disciplines us–is needed for all those who are growing up.

 

Proverbs 13:24  “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Proverbs 22:15  “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

Proverbs 23:13  “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.”

Proverbs 23:14  “Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.”

Hebrews 12:6  “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.”

Hebrews 12:7  “If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?”

Revelation 3:19  “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”

 

One key to Godly discipline is the need to be consistent.  If a child knows that he has a 50% chance of NOT being disciplined because his pastor-father is afraid that it will be heard or known, many children will take that gamble, and will do the wrong thing.  Human nature—that nature to sin—will almost always push a child toward taking a chance at committing the sin if he feels he can do it without consequences.  This sometimes leads some pastors—who are more concerned about their reputation for gentleness and kindness—to avoid Biblical discipline completely.

 

It is not unusual for a pastor’s children to recognize that certain people in the congregation (who do not understand or agree with Biblical discipline) will sympathize with them if it becomes known that they have been chastened.  The Pastor, unwilling to have his members think badly about him, will sometimes reduce his discipline, or stop it all together.

 

The pastor may be tempted to defer any discipline except in the most serious situations, leaving almost all of the children’s lesser problems without Godly chastening teaching.  In some cases, he will only discipline his children when he has been angered sufficiently.  This is known as “The Pressure Pot Syndrome.”  A parent will at first quietly hold within them the many instances in which their children disobey them.  Then, when the pot (their emotions) cannot contain any more disobedience, it bursts open with anger and rage.

 

In those times, the pastor reacting through accumulated anger rather than in Godly love for the child, fails to teach the child a consistent pattern of right and wrong.  In fact, he sets the example for violent behavior based upon bottled-up feelings.   If the pastor will be consistent in discipline, he will find that those times of angry outbursts can be controlled and avoided.

 

Sadly, in many countries, many pastor’s children are known to be among the most undisciplined and disappointing children in the church.  This is a result of a pastor who is more concerned about what his congregations thinks than he is in doing what God instructs him to do.

 

 

PASTORS AND THEIR WIVES

But, even more devastating is how some pastors refuse to provide proper resolution of problems with their wives for fear of what the congregation will think.  It is natural for people to raise their voices when trying to make a point.  When husbands and wives have differences of opinion, they sometimes get louder than their usual conversational tones.  Fearing that a congregation will know that their “perfect and ideal” marriage may require some improvements, some pastors will run from their husbandly responsibilities, and not correct or teach their wives what is right.  He should, even before their marriage, teach her the proper way to resolve any differences between them.  Failure to do this can result in a greatly hindered work which God wanted to do.

 

Proverbs 25:24  “It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.

 

Since each congregation is different, a Godly helpmeet who happens to be a pastor’s wife, will find herself unable to prepare for every situation, trial, and temptation in advance.  Probably the best she can do to prepare herself is by being as prayerful (especially in the listening aspect) as possible, and being as submissive to the Holy Spirit as she can be.  But, there are always surprises which require guidance and direction from her husband.  After all, she is supposed to be his “help-meet.”

 

 

This is when there are times that disagreements about the way to move ahead sometimes meet with a differences of opinion.  Sometimes those disagreements can become quite vocal.  It is better that they be discussed in quietness, but that is not always the case, and sometimes the congregation becomes aware of these differences.  Of course, most times, the pastor’s wife will end up submitting to her husband’s decision.  However, much damage can be done if the congregation only knows that there are differences.

 

Isaiah 32:17  “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

 

The Bible tells us that the wife is to be in submission to her husband, as the Church (the Bride) is to be in submission to Christ.  Ephesians 5:24  “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

 

The Pastor and his wife should be the closest example of the ideal marriage which the congregation will see.  If the pastor only teaches the Truth, but does not live it, his flock will not take his teachings seriously.  Therefore, his ability to teach his wife how to work together with him in achieving the purposes of the Lord is important to others.  If he is known as a loud, argumentative, and brutal husband, he will not gain the cooperation of the wives in the congregation who need to help their husbands.  So, his privacy in dealing with his own wife is important to the work of God within the local church.

 

 

 

MARRYING THE RIGHT PERSON

 

Some men are called by God after they have already married and some have even had children by the time they have come to pastor their first church.  Others received this calling from God before they married.

We cannot possibly discuss all the special requirements which apply to each situation.  However, let us examine the two major ones: Those relating to pastors called after they were married, and those related to pastors before they got married.

 

 

MARRIED BEFORE HIS CALL TO PREACH

First, let us examine the conditions for the man who is already married (sometimes with children) at the time he is called to be a pastor.   Perhaps the man was not saved when he got married.  Perhaps he was not dedicated to the Lord as he should have been.  Yet, the amazing plan of God was to call him to salvation and to preach the Gospel after he had already married a wife.  For some, that marriage would be an excuse to reject God’s calling, as in this passage.

 

Luke 14:20  “And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

 

Obviously, his wife did not marry him with the idea that he would one day become a preacher.  In many cases, if she had known that he would one day become a pastor, she would not have married him in the first place.  There are also situations where the husband who was called to preach is married to a woman who is not even saved.

 

While she may tolerate her husband’s activities for the Lord, and even appear to be happy with his commitments, she has no heart for them until she truly receives the Lord Jesus.  She cannot support him in prayer because she does not know the Divine Intercessor, nor can she be a true helpmeet to assist him in the work of God because she does not have the Holy Spirit in her.  At best, she can be a companion, a keeper of the home, a mother to his children, and possibly a supplemental income provider.  But, she cannot fulfill his needs in regard to the Lord’s work.  This establishes a primary goal of the preacher to bring his wife to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  It will certainly be a necessity before he becomes an effective pastor, although he may still preach while she is moving toward her new birth experience.

 

2 Corinthians 6: 14-16  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

 

The wife of a pastor can either be his greatest earthly asset, or one of his most powerful adversaries.  Therefore, the preacher should endeavor with all his prayers and efforts, to bring her to a genuine salvation experience.  It is essential that the preacher recognize that his wife may want to ‘say’ that she is saved in order to please him.  She may desire to give a profession of faith simply to stop him from continually presenting her need for Christ.  The man of God must be very discerning about false measures which she may attempt, and this is difficult because he will desire to have her saved so much, he will be tempted to take any profession (sincere or insincere) to be real.

 

There are occasions where a church will call a man to be its pastor, not knowing that his wife is not truly born-again.  They will make the assumption that if the husband is truly a man of God, that his wife will be at least saved and sympathetic toward the work of God.  Since the man will not announce to the church that his wife is not a Christian, he will carry the burden of her lack of salvation by himself.  This is a lonely and difficult task.  During that time, he must keep his wife away from important ministries (she can’t do them without the Holy Spirit, anyway) and influential situations, and focus a great deal of his prayer emphasis upon her need for salvation.  Of all the people at his new location who need to be saved, his wife’s salvation is most important.

 

It is still that genuine work of the Holy Spirit that changes a person’s life and gives them new, eternal life.  Without the work of the Holy Spirit through his wife, she cannot assist him properly, and will ultimately provide many heartaches and discouragements.  Since his congregation will most likely think of her as a spiritual person capable of helping out the work, the pastor will have a difficult task keeping her from providing influence to the people.

 

A man who is called by God to preach must consider the price of obedience, and set his heart so much in love and commitment to Christ that the behavior and attacks from his wife do not take him away from the path which God has chosen for him.  He must overcome his own frustrations and his own disappointment, and faithfully be the Lord’s instrument in guiding the flock of God.

There is also a distinct possibility that his wife, either from her own decision, or because of pressures from others (family, friends), will deliver an ultimatum to her husband.  It simply says, “Abandon your call from God, or you will lose me.”  This has occurred in numerous cases.  A man of God must place his highest loyalty to the God Who saved him.  To back away or even defer his call, would be turning his back on Jesus.

 Matthew 10: 36-38  “And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.  He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

 Luke 18: 29-30  “And He said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake,  Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

 

Some men have made the mistake of divorcing their wives because they refused to be saved in the time period set by the man.  According to God, it is wrong for the man of God to divorce his wife if she is not saved, so long as she still desires to live with him.

 

1 Corinthians 7:12  “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

 

 

 

CALLED TO PREACH FIRST, THEN MARRIED

Secondly, let us discuss the conditions for the man who is not married when he is called by God to preach, and is therefore able to choose his wife and make decisions regarding his living conditions before becoming a pastor.

 

 

BE SURE YOU MARRY A SAVED WOMAN

This God-called, obedient man will wisely choose a woman for his wife who is saved, Godly, and committed to the service of the Lord.  This man’s path will usually be much easier than the former man.   The Bible warns against being unequally yoked together with an unbelieving wife.

2 Corinthians 6:14  “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”

The case of a God-called man choosing a worldly, or lost woman to be his wife will usually bring an end to his effectiveness for the Lord, and possible end his ministry.   By doing so, we will have brought an enemy of Christ into his home.  Although she may say that she sympathizes with his work, and will actually try to become active in some ways in forms of church work, the unsaved woman is still a major distraction and hindrance to the work of the Holy Spirit.  How can she be a “helpmeet” to the man of God when to help HIM, such work requires the work of the Holy Spirit ?  A lost woman does not have the Holy Spirit.  How can there be spiritual communion between the man of God and a woman still in the bondage to Satan ?  Their communion may be intellectual and physical, but it does not complete the true union of two people, which is in soul, spirit, and body.

 

But, not every Christian woman who is dedicated to the Lord will be a good pastor’s wife.  Just because the woman is a soul-winner, has many good spiritual qualities, and knows the Bible, those things alone do not qualify her to be a pastor’s wife.  She should recognize a special called to help YOU.  She should see this as a calling from God, and be able to freely discuss with you ways in which she can help you in your calling.

 

 

OBSERVE THE FRUITS

 Matthew 7:20  “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

He must give serious attention to the spiritual condition of his wife before and after the marriage.  Before getting married, he must be assured by her works that she is truly committed to Jesus Christ by faith.  The fruits of the Spirit of God should be manifested clearly.   Many God-called men have married lost women because they lusted after them so much, they re-defined the definition of “fruits” to justify the marriage.

 

The God-called man should not be satisfied with the mere fact that she attends church and can talk about the Bible with familiarity.  The devil can do both.  He must not conclude that because she was raised in a Christian home, and knows the “Christian” vocabulary, that her heart is fully committed to Christ.  Those things are not true fruits.  Anyone can do them.  He must be certain to see her faithfulness to the Lord under times of pressure, and note her Christian commitment even in the most difficult of times.  He should observe whether she is satisfied with just being known as a professing Christian, of whether she has a God-given burden for souls that actively reaches out and helps others.  This must be done before a marriage is even considered.

 

The God-called man will be used by God to develop the spiritual interests and gifts of his wife.  If she is incapable of seeking the Lord on her own, he will find her worthless when the time comes that he is discouraged and she must be an encourager to him.  So, helping her to learn how to depend on the Lord, how to hear from the Lord, and knowing what God expects of her are all things which not only benefit her, but will bless God and her husband.

 

There is a built-in combination stumbling block/blessing that goes along with the position of ‘pastor’s wife.’  It is the automatic respect and expectation which people in a congregation have for her.  In some churches, she is treated as a queen.  She is the role model for all the younger girls and other women.  Especially when she first comes to a church with her husband, all eyes are upon her, and will copy what she does, how she dresses, and will listen carefully to what she says.

 

However, the down-side to this is that once they are married, his wife will become a target for attack by the devil just as much as he will be, and sometimes, even more so.  The devil knows that, as the weaker vessel, the pastor’s wife is often more vulnerable to temptations and can greatly influence her husband to say and do things that would hurt the Lord’s work.

 1 Peter 3:7  “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

 

It is imperative that the Pastor spends time with her, checking up on her spiritual condition, and helping her to keep growing in the Lord.  While many pastors place a significant amount of their time into some ‘special person’ in the congregation that they would like to see grow in Christ, investing time to care of the spiritual needs of his wife can be far more profitable in the long run.

 

He should also clearly show her ways in which she can help him achieve what the Lord wants done.  Don’t expect the pastor’s wife to know all the areas where she can assist him without being told.  Some, she will know intuitively, while others, she will hear from the Lord directly, but there will always be a few things which would be helpful to the pastor in accomplishing his tasks for Christ of which she must be informed.

 

 

 

THE PASTOR’S FAMILY

 

1. THE PASTOR’S FAMILY

*SOME CHURCHES PLACE A VERY HIGH EMPHASIS ON THE TESTIMONY AND WITNESS OF THE PASTOR’S FAMILY, WHILE OTHER CHURCHES DO NOT.  Whether they have high expectations, or low ones, God has expectations of you and your family which set you before your flock as examples of the Believing family. 

 

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT IT ?  THE BIBLE TIES THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY OF THE PASTOR TO THE OVERALL TESTIMONY OF HIS WORK.  WHAT HIS FAMILY DOES, OR DOES NOT DO, WILL HAVE A LARGE IMPACT ON HIS EFFECTIVENESS IN THE CHURCH AND IN THE COMMUNITY.

 

This testimony does not begin and end with you.  Much of your own testimony can be destroyed by a child that is left to himself and goes into the ways of the world. 

 

A. GOD ESTABLISHES AN IDEAL FOR THE BELIEVER—THE PASTOR’S FAMILY SHOULD BE AN EXAMPLE OF THAT IDEAL.

  • THE IDEAL: GOD’S INTENDED BLESSINGS ON THE FAMILIES OF THOSE WHO SEEK HIM—SONS, DAUGHTERS, AND OLD MEN ARE ALL PART OF THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.  Acts 2:17  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

 

Philip’s daughters are an example of what a Godly home produces.  Acts 21: 8-9  “And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.  And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.  That is not to suggest that all children in a Godly home will be prophets, but that they will be following the Lord and utilizing their talents and gifts for the glory of God.

  • THE PASTOR’S FAMILY SHOULD BE AN EXAMPLE OF BIBLICAL RELATIONSHIPS.  1 Timothy 3:4-5  One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;  (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)”   Ephesians 5:22  “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” 

 

If the pastor himself is not seen clearly as the spiritual leader in the home, others will have a hard time trying to fulfill this God-given requirement in their homes.  Ephesians 5:23  “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church: and he is the saviour of the body.

 

 

B. THE FAMILY OF THE PASTOR MUST BE AN EFFECTIVE MODEL FOR THE OTHER FAMILIES WITHIN THE CHURCH.

  • THE PASTOR MUST BE WILLING TO WORK AT A SECULAR JOB IF NECESSARY AT LEAST FOR A TEMPORARY TIME TO ACCOMPLISH GOD’S MISSION OF MINISTRY.   1 Timothy 5:8  But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

 

Paul made tents to supply the physical needs when necessary.  Acts 18:3  “And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.  1 Corinthians 4:12  “And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:  1 Thessalonians 2:9  For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.

 

  • THE PASTOR’S WIFE MUST LEARN THE IMPORTANCE OF KEEPING CONFIDENCES.  1 Timothy 5:13  And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

 

  • THE PASTORS WIFE MUST GUIDE THE HOUSE, AND NOT GIVE THE ENEMY OPPORTUNITY TO DEFAME HER CHARACTER.  1 Timothy 5:14  I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

 

  • THE PASTOR’S FAMILY CAN BE A BLESSING OR A BAD EXAMPLE.   BOTH NOAH AND LOT HAD CHILDREN.  NOAH AND LOT WERE PROTOTYPES OF BELIEVERS LIVING IN THE DAYS BEFORE JUDGMENT.  (Luke 17:26-28).  THEY BOTH HAD DISTINCTIVELY DIFFERENT FAMILIES.  THE ATTITUDE WHICH EACH MAN HAD REGARDING THEIR WIVES AND CHILDREN MOLDED AND SHAPED THEIR FUTURE.

 

  • NOAH’S CHILDREN OBEYED HIM AND HELPED HIM IN THE WORK OF GOD. THERE IS NO RECORD OF THEM BEING REBELLIOUS AT THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THEIR FATHER.   Hebrews 11:7  By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

 

  • LOT’S CHILDREN WERE A GRIEVANCE TO HIM, AND THEY SOUGHT THE WAYS OF THE WORLD RATHER THAN THE WAYS OF GOD.  THEY WERE DISOBEDIENT AND REBELLIOUS AGAINST THE THINGS OF GOD.  Genesis 19:16  And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.   Genesis 19:30  “And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.   Genesis 19:36  “Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.

 

 

C. THE PASTOR’S FAMILY IS ALWAYS A TARGET OF THE ENEMY.

A pastor has to teach his family about the armor of God and what to expect early on.  They must be equipped to handle the deliberate discouragements and attacks.  Ephesians 6:16  “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”

 

  • WHO DOESN’T CARE ABOUT FINDING OUT THE RIGHT WAY TO DO THINGS ?   THOSE WHO ARE REBELLIOUS AGAINST THE BIBLICAL WAY OF DOING THEM.  Sometimes by seeing the attitudes and prejudice against them by certain people in a congregation, a pastor’s children—and even wife—can turn against the people of God, assuming that most church people are like that and it isn’t worth putting up with.  Many drop out of church completely.  The cause—people who do not understand—or refuse to accept—what the Bible teaches about a pastor’s family.
  •  SOME WILL TRY TO OPENLY SUBVERT THE PASTOR’S HOUSE BY TRYING TO GET THE PEOPLE IN THE HOUSEHOLD TO FALL.
  • SOME WILL MAKE UP STORIES ABOUT THOSE IN THE PASTOR’S HOUSEHOLD.
  • SOME WILL TRY SUBTLE WAYS TO SAY THAT THOSE IN THE PASTOR’S HOUSEHOLD ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO SERVE.
  • SOME ARE JEALOUS OF A FOCUSED FAMILY.  SO THEY ALLEGE THAT THE PASTOR’S FAMILY SHOULDN’T ALL BE DOING THINGS IN THE CHURCH.  BUT—AS SOON AS THE PASTOR’S FAMILY STOPS DOING WHAT THEY ARE CALLED TO DO, AND OTHERS WHO ARE NOT CALLED TRY TO DO THEM, THE CHURCHFALLS.

 

*CASE IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA, USA, AREA.  PASTOR’S FAMILY WAS UNDER ATTACK BY ONE FAMILY IN THE CHURCH THAT RAILED AND MADE UP RUMORS ABOUT THEM AND GOT A LOT OF PEOPLE ONTO THEIR SIDE BY TELLING THEM THAT EVERYTHING WAS BEING RUN BY THE PREACHER’S FAMILY (WHICH WAS NOT TRUE, BUT THEY MADE IT APPEAR THAT WAY).  WHEN THE PASTOR’S FAMILY LEFT, THE MINISTRIES WHICH THE PASTOR’S FAMILY WERE INVOLVED WITH WERE LEFT TO PEOPLE WHO WERE NOT CALLED TO THEM—EVEN THOUGH THEY THOUGHT THEY COULD DO A BETTER JOB—AND THE MINISTRIES, ONE BY ONE, FAILED.  SOON PEOPLE LEFT THE CHURCH TOTALLY DISCOURAGED, AND THE CHURCH WAS ABOUT TO FOLD UP COMPLETELY.

 

 

D. A PASTOR’S FAMILY MUST STAND TRUE TO ITS CALLING FROM GOD.

IT IS TRUE THAT THEY MIGHT NOT BE A TALENTED AS SOMEONE ELSE.  BUT, IT IS THE CALLING OF GOD THAT MAKES THINGS THE WAY THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE.

 

**CONSIDER THIS ILLUSTRATION.  IN ONE CHURCH, THEY HAD A VERY YOUNG BUS DIRECTOR (WHO WAS 18 AT THE TIME) WHO WAS TRULY CALLED OF GOD, AND AN OUTSTANDING JOB OF BRINGING IN THE KIDS.  THE CHURCH HAD A FLEET OF BUSES, AND EACH WEEK WAS BRINGING IN ABOUT 800 KIDS.  THE BUS DIRECTOR JUST HAPPENED TO BE THE PASTOR’S SON.  WELL, SOME PEOPLE DIDN’T LIKE THAT FACT, SO THEY BEGAN TO DROP SUBTLE HINTS TO PEOPLE—YOU KNOW, INVITE THEM OVER FOR DINNER, OR TALK TO THEM PRIVATELY, AND SUGGESTED THAT THERE WAS SOMEONE MORE QUALIFIED TO TAKE HIS PLACE.   In fact, one of the church members was an administrator with the city school district, and his area of authority dealt with the buses.  So, after making it clear that the pastor’s son wasn’t as qualified as this man, they thoroughly discouraged the pastor’s son, and he quit.  The other member took over.  However, he tried to implement all the policies and programs which applied to the city school buses.  With 6 months, most of the bus drivers had quit, and he was bringing in an average of only just over 100 students each week.  WAS HE MORE QUALIFIED ?  IN MAN’S EYES, YES.  IN GOD’S EYES, NO.

 

1 Corinthians 1:26  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:  THE CALLING OF GOD HAS LITTLE TO DO WITH “WHO IS BETTER.”  IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH HOW GOD WANTS THINGS DONE, THROUGH A  YIELDEDNESS TO HIS HOLY SPIRIT AND WORD.

 

PHILIP, THE EVANGELIST, AND DEACON—Acts 21:9  And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.

THE HOUSEHOLD OF STEPHANAS—1 Corinthians 16:15  I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)”

 

***THE CONCLUSION IS THAT A PASTORS FAMILY, IDEALLY SHOULD BE OBEDIENT TO THE LORD AND THEIR FATHER WHILE LIVING IN THAT HOUSE, AND SHOULD BE EXAMPLES OF GODLY BEHAVIOR BEFORE ALL.   IF THEY HAVE BEEN RAISED AND TAUGHT EFFECTIVELY, THEY WILL HAVE GREATER KNOWLEDGE AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH FAITH, AND SHOULD HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO LEAD OTHERS IN THE RIGHT WAY.

 

 

 

2. THE PASTOR’S CHILDREN

This would include all children who are under his roof.  Those no longer living under his roof are no longer under his authority as the head of that house, although they may seek his guidance and direction voluntarily.  The Bible deals with children still under his authority.  When they leave home—as we would pray all our children would do—they will follow what they have been taught.  But, the issue relevant to the Bible is what is done while they are still in the house.

 

A. THEY SHOULD BE AN EXAMPLE TO ALL OTHER CHILDREN OF OBEDIENCE TO PARENTS AND YIELDEDNESS TO GOD.   

THIS DOES NOT GIVE THEM SPECIAL PRIVILEGES TO BREAK RULES OR TO ACT IN WAYS THAT OTHERS SHOULD NOT.   (This should apply to ALL Christian families).

1 Timothy 3:4  One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;” 

Ephesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

1 Timothy 4:12  Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

 

B. THEY SHOULD HAVE THE ADVANTAGES WHICH ALLOW THEM TO BE SPIRITUALLY MATURE SOONER THAN OTHERS. 

Acts 2:17  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

 

C. THEY SHOULD HAVE A RESPECT FOR, AND DEPENDENCE UPON THE WORD OF GOD. 

THEY SHOULD KNOW HOW TO CARE FOR THEIR BIBLES, KEEP THEM READY FOR USE, AND REGULARLY USE THEM.

2 Timothy 3:15  And that from a child thou hast known the Holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  (NOTE ‘HOLY’)

 

D. THEY WILL SEE THE NEED FOR KEEPING IT CLOSE TO THEM.  NOT MAN’S IDEAS, BUT GOD’S WORD.

Amos 8:11-12  “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:  And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

 

  E. THEY SHOULD NOT BE HINDERED FROM SERVICE TO GOD SIMPLY BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE DON’T LIKE THE IDEA OF TOO MANY PEOPLE FROM A FAMILY BEING INVOLVED IN MINISTRY. 

  —WOULDN’T GOD WANT EVERYONE IN EACH CHRISTIAN’S FAMILY TO BE SERVING HIM ?

 

*IT’S ALL IN THE WAY SOME PEOPLE LOOK AT THINGS.  BIBLICALLY, A CHRISTIAN HOUSEHOLD SHOULD HAVE ALL SAVED PEOPLE IN IT WORKING FOR THE LORD.  BUT CRITICS AND THOSE WHO ARE REBELLIOUS AGAINST THE RIGHT WAYS TAUGHT IN THE BIBLE FAIL TO SEE THAT THE TROUBLE LIES IN THE FAMILIES OF THOSE WHOSE SAVED MEMBERS ARE NOT WORKING FOR THE LORD !

 

 

 

3. THE PASTOR’S WIFE

A. IF ANY IN THE CHURCH SHOULD BE ABLE TO TEACH THE YOUNGER WOMAN, IT SHOULD BE THE PASTOR’S WIFE.

Titus 2:4That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

 

  • IS SHE SEEN AS A SERVANT OF THE LORD ?  THEN SHE SHOULD BE TEACHING IN THE CONTEXT WHICH GOD AUTHORIZES:  AT HOME, AND AMONG THOSE WHO ARE NOT MEN.  2 Timothy 2:24  “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

 

  • SHE SHOULD BE AN EXAMPLE OF THE CHRISTIAN HOUSEHOLD ADMINISTRATOR.  1 Timothy 5:14  I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

 

  • SHE SHOULD BE A HELP-MEET TO HER HUSBAND’S MINISTRY.  THIS INVOLVES HELPING IN WHATEVER WAY SHE CAN ASSIST HER HUSBAND FULFILL HIS CALLING.  Genesis 2:18  “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

 

  • SHE IS NOT TO BE A SOCIALLY ACTIVE GOSSIP.  THE BIBLE SPEAKS OF THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN AS A KEEPER AT HOME—HER HOME—NOT SOMEONE ELSE’S   Titus 2:5  “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

 

  • SHE SHOULD ACTIVELY TEACH THE CHILDREN HOW TO BEHAVE IN CHURCH.   HOW TO TREAT THE WORD OF GOD.  HAVE THEIR BIBLES WITH THEM.  IF THEY DON’T HAVE A PERSONAL FAITH—KNOWING WHERE SCRIPTURE IS—THEY WILL SAY THAT THEIR FAITH IS THEIR PARENT’S FAITH, AND NOT THEIR OWN LATER ON.

 

  • SHE SHOULD TEACH HER CHILDREN RESPECT FOR THE HOUSE OF GOD.  EVEN OTHERS SHOULD BE TEACHING THEIR CHILDREN THIS.  ESPECIALLY CHILDREN OF CHURCH-MEMBERS SHOULD BE EXAMPLES TO NEW KIDS.  WHEN CHURCH MEMBERS WHO ARE PARENTS REFUSE TO HOLD THEIR CHILDREN TO THE HIGHEST IDEALS, THEY WILL ONLY ATTRACT THE LOWER TYPE OF BEHAVIOR FROM NEW KIDS.  THEN THEY WILL COMPLAIN ABOUT IT BEING SOMEONE ELSE’S FAULT.

 

  • SHE SHOULD TEACH HER CHILDREN TO RESPECT THEIR ELDERS.

 

  • SHE SHOULD LEARN FROM HER HUSBAND.  1 Peter 3:7  “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.  “ACCORDING TO KNOWLEDGE…”  i.e., ACCORDING TO WHAT YOU KNOW FROM THE BIBLE.  THAT IS THE BASIS FOR A HUSBAND DEALING WITH HIS WIFE.  ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE.

 WHAT THE WEAKER VESSEL PASSAGE REALLY MEANS.

1 Corinthians 14:35  “And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”    WHY ?

1 Timothy 2:12  “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence For Adam was first formed, then Eve.  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.  Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.”

 

  • COMMON GROUND SHOULD EXIST.  IF NOT THERE BEFORE MARRIAGE, PEOPLE MUST WORK TOGETHER TO GET IT THERE AFTERWARD.  It is not unusual for people to get married, and one person gets saved before the other.  In some cases, one person gets active serving God before the other, even when they were already saved.  The closest one to the Lord has a duty to help the other realize their purpose and goal.
    • COMMON LOVE FOR THE LORD JESUS2 Corinthians 6:14  “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
    • COMMON FAITH.  Minor issues should not develop into major ones.
    • COMMON COMMITMENT ON PURPOSE.  Each should discover the other person’s gifts and abilities, and encourage them to use them in the way God established.  Many women have in addition to their purpose in being a helpmeet to their husbands, a special gift of “helps.”  This should not be limited to within the four walls of the church, but also in homes.  1 Corinthians 12:28  “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
    • COMMON COMMUNICATION AND AGREEMENT.
      • REGARDING GOD’S ROLE IN EACH LIFE PERSONALLY.
      • REGARDING GOD’S WILL IN REGARD TO THE FAMILY:
        • GOD’S WILL FOR EACH OF THEM, EVEN ON MINOR THINGS..
        • THE ROLE OF THE IMMEDIATE FAMILY AND IN-LAWS.

 

  • SHE SHOULD HAVE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS.
    • OF HER HUSBAND.  **Even though she thinks he is a knight in shining armor BEFORE they married, she soon finds that she needs glasses, because that wasn’t armor at all, but mere aluminum foil.
    • OF THE CHURCH AND OTHER CHRISTIANS.  Few things will disappoint you and discourage you like imagining that other Christians are without sin.  We must be focusing our lives on the Lord, and we will never be discouraged.  BUT THIS REQUIRES A CONSCIOUS EFFORT.  Psalms 62:5  “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.
    • DON’T BE A DREAMER.  GOD DOES NOT DEMAND THINGS OF YOU THAT YOU DON’T HAVE.  SO, DON’T BE LAMENTING THE THINGS YOU THINK YOU SHOULD HAVE, BUT DON’T.  2 Corinthians 8:12  “For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.

 

  • SHE SHOULD NOT STRIVE FOR ACCEPTANCE IN THE WRONG PLACES.  **American educator and comedian, Dr. Bill Cosby said, “I don’t know the formula of success.  But I know the formula for failure is to try to be accepted by everyone.”  SHE SHOULD SEEK TO BE ACCEPTED ONLY BY A FEW, NOT ALL:
    • SHE SHOULD STRIVE TO CONSTANTLY BE ACCEPTED OF THE LORD IN HIS FELLOWSHIP.  2 Corinthians 5:9  “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him.
    • SHE SHOULD CONSTANTLY STRIVE TO BE ACCEPTED BY HER HUSBAND.  Titus 2:4-5  “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,  To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

 

 

 

4.  THE PASTOR

A. HIS DECISIONS MUST BE BATHED IN PRAYER.  THIS IS A MAJOR PORTION OF HIS MINISTRY.

Acts 6:4  But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word.”

 

B. HIS DECISIONS SHOULD COME AS HE SEES THE CALLING OF GOD, AND WHAT IS BEST FOR THE LORD’S WORK

NOT NECESSARILY WHAT IS THE MOST POPULAR THING TO DO.  HIS DECISIONS FOR PEOPLE IN MINISTRY SHOULD BE WITNESSED BY OTHERS WHO ARE MATURE CHRISTIANS, BUT MIGHT NOT GET THE AGREEMENT OF EVERYONE IN THE CHURCH.  (NOT EVERYONE IN THE CHURCH HAS MATURED TO THE POINT WHERE THEY CAN SEE THE POTENTIALS AND USEFULNESS AND VISION FROM GOD).  EVEN MATURE CHRISTIANS CAN DISAGREE FROM TIME TO TIME.  BOTTOM LINE IS THAT THE PASTOR HIMSELF IS THE ONE WHO HAS TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF DECISIONS AND NOT OTHERS.

 

C. HIS DECISIONS SHOULD BE RESPECTED, SINCE HE IS THE ONE WHO MUST GIVE ACCOUNT FOR THEM BEFORE GOD. 

IF SOMEONE ELSE MAKES THE DECISIONS, HOW CAN HE BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE ?

Hebrews 13:17  “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

 

D. HIS AUTHORITY SHOULD BE RECOGNIZED FROM A BIBLICAL STANDPOINT, NOT JUST BECAUSE HE SAYS SO.

Titus 2:15  “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

 

E. HE SHOULD BE ABLE TO ACT UPON WHAT GOD TELLS HIM TO DO, AND NOT BE HINDERED BY THOSE WHO HAVE SELFISH INTERESTS AT HEART. 

HE SHOULD HAVE LIBERTY TO PRESENT, TEACH, AND ENFORCE THE WORD.

1 Timothy 5:20  “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.”

2 Timothy 4:2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Titus 1:13  This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

Titus 2:15  These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

1 Thessalonians 5:12  And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;   [ADMONISH=“WARN, EXHORT”]

 

F. THE PASTOR MUST REWARD FAITHFULNESS BY GIVING THE FAITHFUL MORE OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE GOD.  HE SHOULD NOT REWARD THOSE WHO MERELY CLAIM THEY CAN DO THINGS BETTER.

2 Timothy 2:2  And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

 

 

THE ROLE OF THE PASTOR IN THE LOCAL CHURCH
A Course Of Study From Blueprint For Revival Bible Institutes International
©2008 Belleview, FL 34421 USA

Course # 5 – Organizing The Church

BP logo blk 2

“Organizing The Church”
A Course Of Study From
Blueprint For Revival Bible
Institutes International
©2008 Belleview, FL 34421 USA

BLUEPRINT FOR REVIVAL BIBLE INSTITUTE

BASIC BIBLE STUDY GUIDE

Dr. Ed J MacWilliams

  

COURSE: ORGANIZING THE CHURCH

 

 

ORGANIZING THE CHURCH

 

 

ORGANIZING A CHURCH THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN FUNCTIONING.

Many churches have already established rules and regulations by which they are governed.  When a new preacher comes to a church, he should become familiar with these things, even if he feels that they are contrary to Scripture.  Many times these rules and regulations are more cultural or traditional than written documents.

 

It is wise for a new preacher to help his congregation grow in their dependence on the Bible before changing these rules.  (A church that is close to the Lord will not have major problems changing anything which is against His will).  The exception is where the church has already decided that those rules are not what they want.  In such a case, the pastor should begin teaching them what the Word of God says about the operation of the church, so they can see that Jesus provided everything necessary for the effective working of His Church.

 

Moving a church from a dependence upon man-made traditions is not something which is accomplished after two or three sermons.  It is a long-term process of spiritual growth that brings the Believer into the correct dependence upon God’s Word.  A pastor called to such a church should fully expect resistance and sometimes very strong opposition to any change.

 

 

The unwritten rules.  When accepting a church which has been operating for a long time, but says they have no written rules, a new pastor should be aware of one simple fact.  There ARE rules in that church.  Most of the time, they may be simple guidelines such as, when anything goes wrong, Brother So-and-So will decide what to do.  You will have a very difficult time trying to help that church unless you uncover what those unwritten rules are.  Offending even the unwritten rules can undermine your effectiveness quickly and severely.

 

A suggestion is to quickly determine who actually is running the church.  You might assume that as the Pastor, you have been called to lead the church.  However, in many cases, there is already a ruling group or person, and you just haven’t discovered it, yet.  If you attempt to use your God-given authority, you may be surprised to find that others have already claimed to have that authority for themselves.

 

Theoretically, the church will likely say that the Lord runs it.  But, in reality, most of the time, there is a handful of people, sometimes even just one person, who actually makes decisions, and leads the others to take his or her side in most matters.

 

When you discover that there is no Church Constitution, no written guidelines, you should bring together those who have leadership roles in the church, and sit down with them and pray.  Ask them how things are operated.  Give them hypothetical situations, and ask them how they would have handled such situations in the past.  This will give you an idea of what some of the unwritten rules are, and who has made the decisions previously.

 

The next issue is to ask them what they expect from you.  This will usually tell you the rules under which they expect you to operate.  In many cases, they want to have most of the authority, and you are given a position as merely a hireling, called to preach and teach, but not to have much authority outside of actual service times.  You need to understand what they expect of you.  Of course, you are first of all obligated to the Lord.  No matter what the church has been doing in the past, and no matter how much you appreciate them calling you to serve at that church, it is God who called you to preach, and your first obligation is to be faithful to Him.  Do not confuse your appreciation to the church that allows you to serve there with your commitment to God which is above all.

 

 

 

The first issue a pastor should face is an issue of loyalty.  The powerful American evangelist of the 1800’s, Charles G. Finney, started off his lectures to his pastoral students at Oberlin College with a warning.  He told them that if they were not prepared to lose every material thing, every relationship with other people that they counted precious, and every bit of security in their position; and unless they were willing to be driven out of town and made a laughingstock before the world, they were not fit to become pastors.  Their commitment and loyalty must above all be to the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Loyalty is something which you must sort out in your own heart and for your relationship with the Lord.  Is your highest calling and greatest loyalty to the Lord Jesus Who saved you ?  If He called you, and you remain loyal to His calling, the Church will never be able to make you compromise on the truth or do things that are against the Word of God.  If your loyalty is first of all to the Lord, you will be willing to risk being thrown out of your church and being discredited by your religious affiliation, if you are called to make the choice over where your highest loyalty exists.

 

Among many others in early Church leadership, Apostle Paul had to make such difficult decisions many times in his ministry.  One was dealing with the church of Galatia.  Galatians 1:10  “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.”  Paul risked their financial support, their endorsements, and their approval by standing against the false doctrine which had taken over their church after he left them in the care of others.

 

The usual sources of pressure upon a Pastor to be more loyal to them than to the Lord are pressures from denomination headquarters, a committee or board at the church (such as Board of Deacons, or Board of Elders), wealthy people within the church, or sometimes, even the pastor’s own relatives.

 

A great temptation which the devil throws at pastors is that of financial loss if the pastor chooses to put God first, and not to compromise what he knows is right.  Once again, we can see through the Biblical account of Paul the Apostle that those temptations can be overcome, and God will bless the person with an even greater ministry when they put their loyalty to Jesus first.

 

Consider the Apostle Paul’s options immediately after he got saved.  Saul (later changed to Paul) was a Pharisee.  He was employed by the Pharisees to hunt down Believers and persecute them.  He was loyal to the religious rulers for a number of reasons.  Let’s look at what we know for certain first.

 

Paul was employed by people who didn’t want to hear about Jesus, and they didn’t want others to hear, either.  But, obviously, Paul had agreed to follow their desires.  It was either a written or verbal contract with the Jews.  When he got saved, he was still under contract with them, and the disciples, knowing this, were afraid of him.  Acts 9:26  “And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.”   They fully understood that even some Believers might compromise their faith in order to fulfill a contract, or agreement.

 

I have known pastors who found out that their churches or denominations were wrong about certain Biblical issues.  But they were afraid to be disobedient to those who provided them some funds, and followed the unscriptural views of someone else because they insisted that God would want them to honor their previous commitments.  Their loyalty was more toward man’s organization than toward God.

The other dilemma which some pastors bring up is that they have families, and if they are thrown out of their church, they would no longer have an income (they theorize), and therefore would fail God in providing for their families.  They often anticipate that they will not be able to provide for their family if they remove themselves from a wrongly made commitment to an organization.

 

The Apostle Paul also faced family pressures.  The following details are not specifically laid out in Scripture, but are only implied.  (Therefore, you are not to take them to be as absolute as Scriptures which are more clear).  We know the power that the Apostle Paul had.  Many theologians suggest that he was a member of the Sanhedrin, the religious ruling body of Jews in Israel.  The fact that he was the authority at the stoning of Stephen indicates an official position with the ruling Sanhedrin, since no other Jewish agency had the authority to prescribe a death sentence.  (“…and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.”  Acts 7:58).  However, it is written law of the Sanhedrin that a member must be married.  Therefore, if Paul was indeed a member of the Sanhedrin, Paul was a married man at one time.

 

We know that after his conversion to Christ, he stated that he no longer was married.

1 Corinthians 7:8  “I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.”  We do not have any record of what happened to his wife, if he was, indeed, married earlier.  But, we can say with some assurance that whoever he married must have been very influential.  The Sanhedrin was a tight, close organization, and did not welcome “foreign” Jews into their ruling body.  The Bible tells us that Paul was NOT a native is Israel, but was from Tarsus.  Acts 21:39  “But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people.”

 

For Saul to have been received into the ruling Sanhedrin, he would need very powerful “connections.”  In other words, if he married a daughter of one of the leaders of the Sanhedrin, it would explain how he rose to such authority at such a young age, and was able to overcome the stigma of being “an outsider” from Tarsus.

 

Now, let us visit Paul immediately after his conversion on the Damascus Road.  Not only is his financial security jeopardized, but he must also deal with his own family, who must have been among the top rulers among the Jews.  How sympathetic would Saul’s wife be to Saul’s new found faith in the Messiah Jesus ?  Evidently, Saul spent long periods of time away from his wife tracking down the Christians.  He and his wife were probably not extremely close in their marriage if such a separation was the usual occurrence in their marriage, and it seems to have been.

 

So, would there have been some pressure or absolute rejection coming from his wife at the idea of Paul turning to Jesus as the Messiah ?

Paul could have rationalized the entire thing away, as some pastors do.  He could have considered that he would always be a Jew, and that in order to keep a good income continuing, he could simply go through the motions of trying to find Christians, but then secretly find ways to get them released.  He could have hidden his experience with Jesus and his enlightenment about the Scriptures from his employers so he could keep his job until something else came along.

 

Some pastors might compromise and suggest that they should fulfill their contract, or agreement with their employer, knowing that such an agreement would place their loyalty to the church or denomination above the loyalty they should have for God.  Keep in mind that there is no obligation that you make which God recognizes that says you should continue to do wrong.

 

For an example, suppose that a pastor was foolishly naive one night, and agreed to allow an unrepentant harlot to stay in his home with himself and his wife.  Perhaps he had hoped that his kindness would bring her to Christ.  The next day, he might easily understand that such an agreement would cause his testimony to be hurt, and the name of Christ to be shamed.  Some pastors would justify keeping her in the house on the basis that he had made an agreement with her, and that if he failed to fulfill that agreement, he would be breaking his word, thereby failing God.  All such reasoning is false.

 

Those are considerations which are actually “temptations” to do wrong.  And, we see from the Biblical account, that although tempted in many ways, Paul’s loss of financial support, loss of family (his wife), and his failure to keep the contract with the Sanhedrin and Pharisees, did not keep him from putting loyalty to Christ first.

 

Although it might have been that many of his family members disowned him, and counted him as dead, Paul was still in contact with other members of his family, and at least one was sympathetic toward Paul’s ministry, as we see in this Scripture.  Acts 23:16  “And when Paul’s sister’s son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul.”  The reality is that it is improbable that ANY of his family would have been saved if it was not for the fact that Paul took a stand for the Lord Jesus, and put loyalty to Him above loyalty to others.   Are there rewards for loyalty to Christ ?  Of course.   If Paul wasn’t known as a Godly man, living for Jesus, I doubt that his nephew would have been sent to help him.   At least one person was influenced for the Lord !

 

So, not only does love, reason, and the principle of faithfulness teach us that we should always put our commitment to God first, but the Bible gives examples which are strong and compelling.

 

 

Courage and patience to make the right changes.  Sometimes moving too quickly to make change will be misunderstood by your congregation.  They are familiar with the way things have been done, and efforts to take things down a different path usually make people feel insecure and often attacked.  If you move too quickly, your acceptance as a member of their fellowship will be thrown aside, and they will sometimes interpret your efforts as those of an outsider trying to push some foreign concept upon their church.

 

Seek wisdom from the Lord to know how quickly changes should be made.  Many times things in the past history of a church were done incorrectly because there was a lack of teaching, or incorrect teaching.  This opens the door for you to deal with any issues of procedure from the pulpit.

 

 

Essential teachings must come first.  One thing is essential for Biblical change, and that is that your congregation must believe and commit to the idea that the Bible is the absolute authority for them personally, and for the church as a whole.  Without this, they are merely a religious organization without a true anointing from God.  Once they are committed to this fact, you can begin dealing—from the Bible—on issues which need to be corrected.

One example of how NOT to deal with changes comes from a pastor in the US state of Georgia.  He was called to pastor a church where the deacons had absolute authority.  They told the pastor what he could preach, and how long he could preach it.  They ran everything in the church.  The pastor decided that for his first few messages, he would ignore the authority of the deacons and teach about the Biblical role of deacons, something which the church did not follow.  He taught them very well from the Bible, and made all his points clear and accurate.  However, he was fired shortly after his third message.  He had failed to FIRST get the church established on the foundation that the Bible was the absolute authority.  So, he was sent away with the words, “This is the way we have always done things.”  If he had been wiser and more patient, he would likely have accomplished a good work for the Lord there.

 

 

Involve your people in the changes with love and understanding.  Although some congregations have been following incorrect teachings for a long time, the Holy Spirit is able to change their thinking from the inside.  Philippians 2:13  “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”  One thing they should be able to do is to pray.  You should ask them to pray fervently for you to make the choices which God directs.  Through this they become involved in the process.

 

As their new pastor, it is your responsibility to guide them into the Truth of God’s Word.  Your calling is a gift from God.  Ephesians 4:11  “And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;”  The term “Pastors and Teachers” is one office.  A pastor is supposed to be a teacher.  If he cannot teach when he preaches, he is merely a bag of hot air.  Thus, a major part of your work is to instruct your congregation in the Word of God.

 

While we will not use this course to detail a recommended pastoral program, it is important to recognize a couple factors in your early teaching to a young church.  First of all, they must constantly be reminded about the importance and value of God’s Word.  Secondly, they must see a practical value to it.  Thirdly, you must not tire of repeating these teachings, perhaps explaining them, or “wrapping them” differently on occasion, but presenting the same truths over and over again until you are certain that your people are standing solidly on the Word of God.

 

Once they have accepted that the Bible is the authority for all matters of faith and practice, they will have accepted a fundamental truth enabling them to move ahead into Biblical changes.  They are then ready to participate in the changes, and take joy in the fact that they are obeying God rather than man’s concepts.

 

One thing which encourages Believers to become more yielded to the Holy Spirit is for a pastor to point out their individual gifts to them.  When you look at some people, those gifts will be very visible.  But, for others, it might even appear outwardly that they have no gifts at all.  Regardless, the pastor should seek to encourage his flock to know the gift, or gifts, by which they can serve the Lord.

 

You will find that service gifts will quickly be known.  The man who is constantly trying to help others, and aiding those with less than himself may be a good candidate for a deacon later on.  A woman who spends time teaching her own children well may be a good potential Sunday School teacher.  The person who follows you around, looking for ways to assist you in everyday activities may have the gift of helps, and could be expressing a God-given gift already.  Once this is made known to the people, they usually tend to depend more heavily upon the Lord to help them express the gift even more.

 

 

ORGANIZING A CHURCH THAT IS NEW

 

1. START THE NEW CHURCH WITH PASTOR-LED BIBLE STUDIES.

Churches take shape as they grow.  At the very beginning, with fewer people, the organizational needs of the new church are not very great.  They do not require the presence of all the offices and callings mentioned in the Bible.  Pastors that try to make a small church fit the profile and organization of a larger church are asking for more problems than they will be able to handle.

 

Each new church has unique people.  They have unique problems to overcome, and they require a plan specifically designed by the Holy Spirit to achieve all that God wants them to do.  But, at the very first, they need to grow in their knowledge of the Lord, and know what His will is for them.

 

In the early organization of the church, the pastor should make the decisions regarding who will fulfill which positions.  There are good reasons for this.

 

1). The Pastor is called to lead the church as the God-ordained shepherd, and your leadership should be expressed from the start.  If you attempt to develop the church on a “volunteer-only,” or a completely democratic basis, you will find that people who are completely unqualified to do a particular job will volunteer, and end up bringing disgrace, or at the least, not doing the job for the Lord as He wanted it done.  You should use this opportunity to get to know your people and to establish the fact that you not only now, but in the future, must rely upon the Lord to guide you in your decisions regarding the church.

 

One of the very important things you will do as you start a new church is to disciple your people.  Get to know each one personally, especially in regard to the following issues:

  • How dedicated are they to the Lord ?  Can they be swayed by relatives or friends to abandon their present path of commitment to the Lord ?
  • What interests do they have which can be used by the Holy Spirit to assist in the work of the church ?  Look for their past training, their natural abilities, and their willingness to learn new things.  Remember, you will be the primary instrument that the Holy Spirit will be teaching them through.
  • What type of leadership abilities do they possess ?  Are they leaders, or have influence only in their immediate family ?  Or, do they exercise leadership beyond that ?
  • What type of Bible knowledge do they have ?  Potential Sunday School teachers need to grow in their knowledge of the Lord before starting to teach.  Often, in a new church, the pastor must gather everyone into one class, and teach them himself until he is certain that some are ready to begin teaching on their own.

 

One technique for training new and inexperienced Sunday School teachers is for all of them to gather together for an hour or more each week under the teaching ministry of the pastor.  They will all learn the same Bible story which will be taught the following Sunday.  In these classes, the pastor will give each teacher ideas for communicating the truth of the lesson on a level which their group of students would understand.  This should be a more open class, permitting discussion and the presentation of various ideas on how to get the Truth across to each age level.

 

 

2). Most new churches begin with more new converts than with mature, strong Christians.  This means that the spiritual perception and understanding is likely to be lacking for most of the new members.  To give them the impression that they are fully capable to determining how they ought to serve can be risky.  Some may have the discernment to know, but for most, this knowledge is something that only comes through growth, and that takes time.

 

 

A word of caution.  When you have several new Christians ready to become involved in a new work for the Lord with you, but you also have one or more older Christians, don’t make the assumption that simply because someone has been saved for a long time that they are spiritually ready to accept God’s plan and do it responsibly.  Many pastors of new churches have been discouraged and even defeated by putting more confidence in an older Christian than he or she deserved.  Approach the delegation of authority and the assignment of various tasks very prayerfully.

 

 

3). If you are truly called to be a pastor, you should have God-given gifts of discerning.  These will enable you to determine who is more qualified to do specific tasks and carry out certain Biblical offices.  Through observation, prayer, and sometimes fasting, it will become obvious who the Lord wants in various positions.

 

 

Don’t be too quick to give everyone an official position, or to try and create a Board of Elders when you have only new converts.  The Bible warned about appointing people who are too young in the Lord to be able to handle certain responsibilities maturely.  In 1 Timothy 3:6-8, we are told that there are specific requirements which must be met—not only for a higher office, such as a bishop—but also for that of deacon, as well.

 

6  Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

7  Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

8  Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

 

 

2. DEVELOP OUTREACH MINISTRIES.

WHO SHOULD BE INVOLVED.   Once your people have a strong confidence in the Word of God, and have a strong foundation in the Truth, you can begin to use some of the obviously called-of-God people in an official capacity.  (They should be using their God-given gifts of ministry already as a part of their daily walk with the Lord without having to be told or authorized by the church).   It is important that anyone involved in any official position within the Church must have a good testimony, and must not be active in any openly known sinful practice.  The testimony of the Lord, and the establishment of the testimony of the new church depends upon a clean testimony of the individuals who are involved in ministry.

 

This may sound like an obvious precaution, but it needs to be mentioned, anyway.  Some new pastors, desiring to see their new work develop very quickly will take shortcuts, by-passing the testimony issue, and will put unqualified people into positions because they feel they have no one else to do the work, and they want it done immediately.  They forget the promise of the Word in Philippians 4:19,  “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  If we truly NEED a person to do a work at a particular time, God will supply that person.  Don’t move ahead of God, and try to fill a position with someone whose bad testimony will result in undoing all the work you have already put into the mission.

 

Some new pastors have given positions to people because the person was rich, was well-known in the community, or had a position of influence in the town.  We must remember that it is the Holy Spirit Who ministers effectively, and if any person is not an effective vessel which the Holy Spirit can use, he holds the potential of doing harm to the work of God.  In His wisdom, God has made the salvation experience equal to all people.  All of us are born again as little babes in Christ.  The rich man, the man of political power, the educated man, the poor man, are all given birth by the Spirit of God, and all begin the Christian life as little babies.  There is no advantage to anyone because of their previous worldly status.  Romans 2: 11-12  “For there is no respect of persons with God.  For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;”   Therefore, it is wrong for a pastor to promote anyone to a position within a church because of their position in the world.

There is obviously a difference between “doing something for the Lord,” and “official positions.”  Your people should be encouraged from the very first Bible study to be doing something for the Lord.  This will allow you to see who works out of a love for the Lord and requires no pushing, and which ones sit back and do nothing because they are not yielded to the Spirit.  But, “doing something for the Lord” is immediate and everyone should be involved.  However, having a position of ministry requires various safeguards and conditions.

Make sure that the criteria you use for selecting people for outreach ministries are Biblical.  Those people must be of “good report,” they must have shown evidence of a truly changed life, and they should already be doing things for the Lord without you having to tell them every detail.  The love for the Lord that inspires people to serve God can be seen in the love they will express in trying to help others.

 

By encouraging people to listen to the Lord, and follow His concern for souls, you will find that the Christians who are serious about their relationship with the Lord will be using their God-given gifts without anyone’s approval or sanction.  For an example, a new Christian man may find himself burdened to help another Christian who has need of food, or help to repair his home.  The man who is following the Lord will reach out and help the brother in need.  This heart-concern very often reveals someone who is called to be later recognized as a deacon.  Anther example is a woman who has recently been saved.  She has several children, and she encourages them to bring the neighborhood children to their house, and she teaches them some Bible stories which she herself had recently learned.  This desire to share the Word of God with children could be evidence that she has a God-given gift to teach children.

 

It is important to see that Christians who are submissive to the Holy Spirit will use their gifts without the church giving official approval to them.  This was the case when the early church had to select deacons.  They wanted to choose men who were already being faithful to God, and had an established testimony of good works already.  Acts 6:3  “Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.”

 

 

A. SOUL-WINNING MINISTRIES.  (EVANGELISM).

  • JOB-RELATED BIBLE STUDIES.  Some members, or friends of members, may desire to have a Bible study held in their place of work.  It may be a hospital, a military base, a police station, a firehouse, or a place of business.  The Bible studies may be taught by the pastor or anyone in the church who is strongly anchored in the Truth.
  • HOUSE TO HOUSE EVANGELISM.  Teams of two may go from house to house, telling people about the Lord Jesus, and the new church.  Their own personal testimonies should be given so that those they visit cannot push away their efforts as merely “church visits.”  Teach your people what they should say, and how they should visit.  Most importantly, they should know how to lead a person to Christ when they visit.
  • PERSONAL WITNESSING.  Teach your people to share their own testimonies of how the Lord has saved them, and what He has done for them.  Even if a Christian has little Bible knowledge, he knows one thing.  He knows how he got saved.  The youngest babe in Christ is able to share with someone else how they came to know the forgiveness and new life in Jesus Christ.  You should emphasize to your people that if they knew how THEY got saved, they also know how to tell someone else how to get saved.  Everyone who is truly saved gets there by the same obedience of faith.
  • ENCOURAGE them to invite their families, their neighbors, and the friends they work with to the new church.  Have special evangelistic-style services where guests are recognized and led to Christ.
  • CRUSADES.  A new pastor, trying to organize a new church, you can often receive help from local Bible Institutes or churches outside the area.  Crusades can bring the attention of many people who otherwise might not even know anything about the Lord’s work in that area.
  • GOSPEL TRACT EVANGELISM.  When Gospel tracts are available, they can be used effectively in public areas, markets, streets, and even door to door.   Gospel tracts can be designed and made at a low cost for evangelistic work to a specific group of people.
  • OTHER MINISTRIES.  Visiting people in prisons, holding Bible studies in homes nearby, having Children’s Bible Clubs in homes, holding special youth activities (including Bible studies) at public parks, etc., are just some of the wonderful ways to reach the community for Christ.

 

 

B. HELPING & TEACHING MINISTRIES.   (EDIFICATION).

  • SUNDAY SCHOOL OR BIBLE STUDY MINISTRIES.  A teacher should have a proven love for students the age level they will be teaching.  He or she must be familiar with the material that needs to be taught, and be capable of communicating in a manner which the students can easily understand.

 Obviously, any teacher—of any age students—should have a very real and close relationship with the Lord.  They are, actually, pastors of a congregation (their students).  They must be able to lead.

 

  • DEACONS, FOR HELPING OTHERS.

The role of deacons has been distorted by some denominations.  The Biblical account of the first deacons tells us that they were chosen to do the material work to help the widows in the church.  These are people chosen, not to rule in the church, and not to rule over the pastor, but to serve the material needs within the church under the guidance and direction of the Pastor.

 

Acts 6: 1-4  And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.  Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.  Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.  But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

 

The Apostles established a principle regarding deacons, that they must be people with established (and good) testimonies (i.e., “honest report”).  That requires that they should have been saved long enough to have a testimony (report) among the lost.  Acts 6:3  “Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.”  On the basis of experience in many churches, it is recommended that no one be ordained as a deacon unless they have been saved for least one year, preferably longer.

 

Important.  A person can be doing the work of a deacon—if they feel called to do it—without receiving the official position or title from the church for a period of time.  Often, it is good for a pastor to observe if someone really does a work for the Lord Jesus because he knows he is called to do it, or just because he was given a title by the church.  If a Christian will not do what he is called to do without an official title or recognition by the Church, he is probably not called of God to do it.  He obviously is doing something because of recognition rather than a heart commitment.  Therefore, a delay in ordaining people to be deacons or elders can be a valuable tool in discerning who is truly called of God, and who is not.

 

You must always insure that at all stages of church development, both purposes of the Church, (Evangelism, and Edification), will be operating.  However, the Church must grow in her relationship with Christ in order for these purposes to be carried out effectively.  This requires that the church grow in knowledge of God and His Word.  This is beneficial in so many ways.

 

Obviously, this steadily increasing knowledge of God is something that He wants for His people.  2 Corinthians 2:14  “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge by us in every place.”

 

You must guard the testimony of the Lord.  His testimony is seen, not only through you, but through your people.  If you allow people with a poor testimony to have positions in the new church, it will destroy the reputation of the church even before it has a chance to begin working properly.

 

The light of the Lord was designed to shine in our hearts, and give knowledge of the glory of God !  2 Corinthians 4:6  “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

 

 

YOU MUST TEACH YOUR PEOPLE THE TRUE ESSENCE OF WORSHIP.

Worship is not merely done with the voice.  Nor is it limited to submission of our thoughts and our presence.

 

Worship comes from the spirit.  (The spirit of man is where his emotions are).  Our services must reveal to God that our emotions, as well as our knowledge, are submissive to Him.

John 4:23-24  “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.  God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

 

While emotions are definitely involved, true worship requires obedience of every sort.  The new Christian, from the first meeting of the church, should understand that the giving of an offering is part of worship.  Those who say they have nothing should be taught to go and find something, just as Jesus told Peter to find the coin in a fish’s mouth.  They should be taught the Biblical principle that God wants 10% back of all that they have (tithing).  It may not be popular, but if you lovingly and accurately present this truth from the Bible, you will find out who in your little flock is willing to accept what God says, and who will rebel.

 

 

 

ENCOURAGE YOUR PEOPLE TO GATHER REWARDS FROM GOD, NOT FROM MEN.

Many pastors believe that by openly rewarding their people each time they do something good for the Lord, that they are helping them to grow.  This is generally not true.  To the contrary, when you train a person to expect rewards now, they will not be focusing on their later rewards in Heaven.

 

It is a good thing to privately encourage them when they use their abilities and gifts which God gave them.  But, such acknowledgement should be privately done.  If they become accustomed to having all their activities publicly acknowledged, they will find it very easy to do things more for the attention of others than for the pleasing of God.

 Matthew 6:2-4  “Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:  That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.”

Matthew 6: 19-21  “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Matthew 23:5  “But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,”

 

While the immediate result of public praise will most often be that more work will be accomplished, it is almost always damaging to the Lord’s work in the long term.  Are your people doing things so they will receive praise, appreciation from men, and acknowledgment ?  The works of the Church should be those works which God works through us.  This working of the Holy Spirit is hindered when a person is more submissive to his own desire for earthly recognition than he is to simply please the Lord.

 

 

WARN YOUR FLOCK OF DANGERS.

This is the duty of a shepherd.  It is required by the Owner of the sheep that the shepherd protects them from harm.  The responsibilities of the pastor in this regard are huge.

 

Warn against the dangers of loving material things.

1 John 2: 15-16  “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. “

Matthew 6:24  “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

 

Beware of human weakness when it comes to material possessions.  The Prosperity Gospel is a deadly and self-exalting movement which has taken control of many churches where pastors assumed that it could not do so.  While it claims it does not take away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it clearly established another god, another desire, another goal in life.  This is a second master, and the Lord will not be a part of it.  If you allow this doctrine to enter your church, you will grieve the work of the Holy Spirit away.

 

Warn against any other entity which would place itself as the highest priority in the lives of your sheep.  In some cultures, parents have come to idolize their children, giving them anything they desire.  In others, wives or husbands have been made lesser gods.  In other cultures a certain type of employment or social status has become an idol which the sheep desire more than the blessed fellowship with the Lord.

 

We have the example of the faith which Moses exercised when he rejected the status, power, and wealth of Pharaoh in order to follow the Living God.  Hebrews 11: 24-26  “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;  Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;  Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.”

 

Although the sheep will not prosper spiritually when they are constantly warned of danger, from time to time a loving pastor will find it necessary to clearly warn of dangerous movements, dangerous people, and dangerous ideas.  It is a responsibility which the Bible makes obvious in both Old and New Testaments.

 

Ezekiel, as well as pastors today, are made watchmen who must warn the sheep of dangers.   Ezekiel 33:8-9  “When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.  Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.”

 

Paul did not fail to warn of dangers which would be in the future for the Church at Ephesus.  Acts 20:31  “Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.”

 

Paul made certain that the Church at Corinth was warned of dangers which come from failing to follow God’s Word.  1 Corinthians 4:14  “I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.”

 

Paul notes that overseers (pastors) had admonished the Church at Thessalonica.

1 Thessalonians 5:12  “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;”

 

Warnings should be given to those who do not follow the rules of God.  1 Thessalonians 5:14  “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.”

 

The pastor will rebuke in a loving, caring manner those who sin.  1 Timothy 5:20  “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.”    2 Timothy 4:2  “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”   Titus 1:13  “This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;”   Titus 2:15  “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”

 

 

FELLOWSHIP AND AFFILIATIONS.

While keeping a door open for witnessing and restoration to those who hold false beliefs, the pastor should not be fellowshipping with those whose fundamental doctrines are contrary to what the Bible teaches.  Of course, there will be minor disagreements which everyone has with another person.  They should not be the cause of splits and schisms.  However, when a church, a pastor, or an organization does not agree to the foundation stones of our faith, they are not to be fellowshipped with.

 

 

What should we consider to be fellowship ?   The Greek word which is translated “fellowship” in the following verse of Scripture literally means, “(Strong’s #4790, sugkoinoneo, or soong-koy-no-neh’-o)   “…to become a partaker together with others, or to have fellowship with a thing.”

 

Ephesians 5:11  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

 

Some people have tried to wrest their own version of this from the Biblical word.  They make it appear that even speaking to those who disagree on fundamental points is sin.  The sin is actually becoming a partaker with them, not just communicating with them.

 

However, partaking with them does include being a participant in their activities, their meetings, and supporting their organization.  That is strictly forbidden by God.

 

What are these fundamental beliefs which are the criteria for breaking fellowship ?  The following is the list which takes into account those parts of our faith upon which all other are built upon.

 

  • God is one Person, manifesting Himself in three ways.  (The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit).
  • God breathed the Bible Himself, and it is not the work of men.  In the original languages, it is infallible and pure.
  • Our faith must be built upon God’s Word alone, and not man’s viewpoints.
  • Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, came to the earth for the purpose of being the Lamb of God.  He was sinless, and shed His Blood on the Cross for our sins.
  • Salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ, in His payment for our sins, and not by any works that we have done or could do.
  • Salvation includes the forgiveness of our sins, eternal life, the giving by God of His Holy Spirit to the Believer, and many other promises contained in God’s Word.
  • The life of the Christian should be guided by the Word of God and the direction of the Holy Spirit.  The Christian is instructed to live a Godly, Christ-centered life.

 

If an individual, organization, or church does not hold these essential Biblical truths, it is clear that we should not fellowship, or participate, with them.  However, that does not mean that we should cease praying for them, or working to bring them to the Truth.  The absence of fellowship simply means that we will not participate in the activities, associate our good name with them, support them, or provide encouragement for their unbiblical ideas and works.

 

A simple example of this was the fact that Jesus spoke with the Pharisees.  He answered many of their questions.  However, He never participated in any function which promoted the Pharisees, nor would He lend His Name to their false teachings.  He exposed their false doctrines and their hypocritical ways, warning the people not to follow them.  He did, however, keep an open channel of communication with them, trying to teach them the right ways.

 

Leaders in the Church are required to warn those who are not following the Biblical paths.  1 Thessalonians 5:14  “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.”

 

Just as the prophets of the Old Testament were made watchmen, so too are the pastors of the Church era.  Ezekiel 33:7  “So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me.”

 

 

 

The Apostle Paul set the example, by warning the church at Ephesus of the dangers coming from wolves that were ready to pounce upon the sheep as soon as he left.  Acts 20:31  “Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.”

 

 

KEEP FEEDING THE FLOCK OF GOD.

Your work is primarily that of a pastor-teacher.  Teaching will involve a large portion of your work.  This spiritual feeding of the sheep is required to keep them healthy, growing, and useful to the Lord.  Without proper nourishment, they will be subject to worldly diseases and things which make them so unattractive, that the Lost will not be interested in their invitation to know Jesus.

 

Philippians 1:9  And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

 

1 Peter 5:2  Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

 

Matthew 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

 

LEADERSHIP IN THE CHURCH SHOULD BE PRAYING THAT GOD WILL GIVE HIS PEOPLE KNOWLEDGE.  PAUL SETS THE EXAMPLE OF DOING THIS.

Ephesians 1:17  That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him:

 

 

 

 

REVIEW OF A MAJOR INSTRUCTION ABOUT THE CHURCH: EPHESIANS 4:11-16.

 

 GOD GAVE THE PREACHERS, ETC. TO THE CHURCH.

Pastors and teachers are not people who are chosen by men.  They should never be positions filled by those who simply like the role and status of a pastor-teacher.  They are to be God-called men, given to the Church; and then, if they have yielded themselves to the Spirit of God, they are recognized by the Church to be God-given Pastors-Teachers.

 

Official Ordination is not the calling of a man to become a preacher, but the response of the Church.  It is the people of God recognizing that the man has already been called by God to do this work.  It is an official recognition of what God has already done.  Ordination does not make a man a pastor, or preacher any more than giving a pig a high school diploma would make the pig smart.

In the Bible we find a principle that God does the calling, and the Church merely recognizes what God has done.  It applies not only to pastors, but other offices, as well.  Ephesians 4: 11  “And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;”

 

 

THE PURPOSE OF THEIR WORK IS:

Ephesians 4:12  “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”

 Maturing the Believer is a duty of the pastor.  Through the teaching of God’s Word and his prayers for the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives, the flock of God should constantly be growing in their spiritual lives.

 

 

THE GOAL WITHIN THE CHURCH IS:

Ephesians 4:13  “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:”

 

The unity of faith and the growing knowledge of the Lord Jesus is an important factor in determining the worth of a church.  If a pastor seeks to develop His people’s personal walk with the Lord, he must teach them more and more about Him.  That is difficult unless the pastor himself has a close and growing relationship with Jesus.

 

GOD’S WORK THROUGH THEM WILL RESULT IN:

Ephesians 4:14-16  “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

 

The God-called man will evaluate his success, not by values and standards of the world, but by the goals which God established.  Those goals are clear.  The church will mature spiritually, and the people will be able to withstand attacks of false doctrines, deceptions, and seductions to sin.  If a pastor’s flock cannot withstand those things, they have not been fed or taught well.  That is criteria God uses to judge a church.  Amazingly, most denominations and pastors have adopted a non-Biblical standard by which they judge a pastor’s success.  It is based upon how much money he brings in every week, what his weekly attendance is, and how large a building he was able to build.  None of those things are even suggested in God’s standard.

 

The Pastor-Teacher will not be truly successful in God’s eyes unless he abides by the standards and procedures established by God.  There are many books, manuals, and instructions taught regarding the setting up of churches.  However, pastors will one day give an accounting for his efforts, and if they do not comply with the Word of God, those efforts will have been in vain and will be burned up.

 

 

THE ROLE OF PASTOR-TEACHER IN ORGANIZING THE CHURCH

The Biblical office of Pastor-teacher has the responsibility for teaching the congregation what God says.  So, he should be God’s messenger to bring the teachings of God’s Word to the congregation.

 

 

BEWARE OF ORGANIZING TOO MUCH TOO QUICKLY.

Many pastors have destroyed the spiritual growth of their churches by trying to set up a big organization in a small church.  A small church does not require 12 deacons or 7 elders.  In fact, it was the Church at Jerusalem, with an estimated 33,000 members, that had those officers.

 

 

MAKE CERTAIN THAT THE PERSON FOR THE OFFICE IS SPIRITUALLY QUALIFIED.

It is better to have no deacons than to have a deacon who is not doing what God wants.  A deacon should be doing the work of a deacon even before the Church officially recognizes him as such.

 

Some new churches, composed of all new converts, have tried to elect people to the office of Elder.  However, the very word “elder” tells us that this office can be filled only by a person who is mature in Christ.  The reality is that many new churches will have to be led by the Pastor, who will do the work of deacon and elder, because there is no one qualified to do it at the beginning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Organizing The Church”
A Course Of Study From Blueprint For Revival Bible Institutes International
©2008 Belleview, FL 34421 USA

Course #4 – Sin

BP logo blk 2

“Sin”
A Course Of Study From
Blueprint For Revival Bible
Institutes International
©2009 Belleview, FL 34421 USA

BLUEPRINT FOR REVIVAL BIBLE INSTITUTE

BASIC BIBLE STUDY GUIDE

Dr. Ed J MacWilliams

  

COURSE: SIN 

 

INTRODUCTION

There is great importance to studying the subject of sin.  Our sin is the crucial act which separates us from our Maker.  We must not only have the knowledge of what offends God, but, we must be able to teach others how NOT to offend the loving Savior.

 

Over the past thirty years, there has been a dramatic shift in the topics being  preached in churches and public places.  A person could go back those three decades, and find that the majority of messages brought to the average church relied heavily upon the Bible’s teaching on the subject of sin.  In these Last Days, most preachers have abandoned the course of John the Baptist, Moses, Enoch, the Old Testament prophets, and Jesus Himself, and have left off the importance of dealing with sin.  Let this condemnation never be truthfully spoken about you.

 

God has standards of purity which He insists must be present for anyone who approaches Him.   Psalm 24:3-4  “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in His holy place?  He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.”

 

Sometimes sin is ignored, and then forgotten by mortal human beings.  At other times, it can be like a burning coal of fire on our skin, and it hurts.  In these last days before the return of our Lord, the devil has gone to great lengths in an effort to have sin redefined so that what is good appears to be evil, and what is evil appears to be good.

 

Much of this redefinition has come through the modern churches and people who claim to be “Christian theologians.”  Their advent has been predicted, and they love to redefine words which the Lord meant to bring about conviction and ultimately repentance.  2 Timothy 4:3  “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;

 

We are now living in the final stages of a “judgment generation.”  The characteristics of such a generation were well-known in the Bible.  Isaiah 5:20  “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 !”  This generation redefines important words so that the new definitions excuse their sins.  For an example, the word “sin” has either been dropped from the world’s vocabulary, or it is redefined to mean much less than God intended.

 

If it was not for the committing of sin, there would have been no need for our Lord Jesus Christ to suffer as the Lamb of God, and shed His Blood for us.  The consequences of sin are both now and for eternity.  They cannot be minimized.

 

The purpose of this Bible course is for our own understanding first of all.  If the dedicated child of God does not know what offends God and what the results will be, then how can he expect others to comprehend ?

 

We are involved in a warfare, where sin and its’ consequences are the deadly arrows which can tear apart our lives.  We must be willing to search our own hearts, as David did, and follow up on that effort by asking God to search our hearts, lest there be something that we overlooked.   (Psalms 139:23  “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts”).

 

It is only then that we can become vessels unto honor that may be filled with the Spirit of God and power.  No revival has ever occurred without the people searching their own hearts for the things which had offended Almighty God, and then repenting from them.  No great work of God was done without the human vessels being cleansed and purified so they could be filled with the Spirit.

 

A man does not take a dirty pot and fill it with clean water if he has an honorable task for that water to do.  If he wants to drink it or wash himself with it, the water must come from a pot that has been cleansed.  My prayer for each of you studying this course is that your understanding of the things which offend God will increase.  It must then follow that we will be even more thankful to our Savior and Lord Jesus, for His grace and mercy, for we have all sinned—perhaps more than we thought—and come short of His standards.  Once cleansed by His Blood and His precious promises to forgive and make new, we can move ahead to serve our Lord with the power of His strength.

 

Dr. Ed J MacWilliams

 

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SECTION ONE:  WHAT IS SIN ?

 

1. BIBLICAL DEFINITIONS

We MUST understand what this word means.  The world has cleverly crafted their evil ways, and justified themselves in their own eyes by re-defining the word “sin.”  The world and the devil want sin to appear as a perfectly acceptable part of everyone’s life, and such a common occurrence that there is no need to turn from it.

 

In the Hebrew writings of the Old Testament, the word for sin (hajx chatta’ah khat-taw-aw’ or tajx chatta’th khat-tawth’) has little colorful background information.  It was simply known as ‘doing wrong.’ 

 

The New testament, however, uses the Greek word for ‘sin,’ hamartia, (amartia), ham-ar-tee’-ah, a word used when an archer misses his target.  Indeed, whenever we sin, we miss the target of righteousness which God has set before us.  This Biblical understanding is so important that without it, we have only deception from the world upon which to determine right and wrong.

 

Even things that appear to be “good,” can be sin.  For an example, if a Christian is told by the Spirit to visit a specific friend and bring that friend to Christ, but the Christian decides to go out and pass out Gospel tracts on the street instead, the Christian would be sinning by not obeying precisely what God said to do.  Certainly, giving out the Gospel News of Jesus Christ on the streets is a wonderful thing…a “good thing.”  But, it becomes sin when the Christian had already been commanded to visit a friend and lead him to Christ.  James 4:17  “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

 

A young child was told to pick up his toys and put them away.  He looks into the face of his father and says, “I don’t want to do that, but I will wash the dishes instead.”  Although washing the dishes would be a good thing, he is in rebellion for not doing what the father told him to do.

 

There are always “good things” that we can be doing.  But, those “good things” can become sin if they are substitutes for God’s clear command to do something which is God’s perfect will.

 

2. SIN IS AN ACT AGAINST GOD

But, the most significant understanding of “sin” comes from how God uses that word  throughout the Bible.  Sin is always shown as an offense against God.  Even if the sin was done against a man, God is affected.  Throughout the Bible we see clear references to this.  When people were persecuting the children of Israel, note the way in which God is affected.  Isaiah 63:9  In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old.

 

When David sinned and committed adultery with Bathsheba, and then had her husband Uriah killed, most people would assume that the only sins were those against those people.  However, David understands that every sin is a sin against God Himself.  Psalms 51:4  “Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight: that Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest.

 

When Joseph was tempted by Potiphar’s wife to commit adultery with her, he refused, noting Who he would really be sinning against.  Genesis 39:9  “There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”  Most people would incorrectly assume that if he had gone ahead and given in to the temptation, that he would have committed a sin only against the woman’s husband.  However, Joseph makes it clear that the sin would have been against God.

 

Jeremiah understood the extent of the sins of the children of Israel.  Although the included acts against orphans and widows, and unfair business practices, and a variety of other criminal behaviors, all their actions were against God Himself.  Jeremiah 3:25  “We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.

 

From these original-language definitions and usages, we understand that sin is any act of disobedience against God, and a failure to act according to His perfect standards. 

 

The Bible reveals various characteristics of sin which we must know.

 

3. SIN IS A REPROACH TO ANY PEOPLE.

Although we see God’s Ten Commandments being given to Israel, God’s laws of righteousness applied to all nations.  Therefore, to deviate from them in the slightest is to commit a sin against God.  (We will examine the laws given to Gentile nations later in this study).     Proverbs 14:34  “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

 

4. SIN IS AN INHERITED PROBLEM

Until the 1800’s, many Bible-believers understood that the weakness to sin in specific areas was something passed down from one generation to another.  If a father was known to be a chronic liar, the children also carried the weakness to do the same.  If a father was a violent, angry person, the children would usually find themselves caught up in violence and anger, as well.  If the father was an alcoholic, it is likely that most of the children would follow in his steps.  They referred to this phenomena as “bad blood” being passed from one generation to another.

 

With recent scientific discoveries, it is now known that the weakness to do specific sins is carried down from generation to generation in the DNA (human chromosomes).  .  From Adam, we have all received the DNA to sin.  Romans 5:12  “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:

 

5. THE WEAKNESS TO DO SPECIFIC SINS CAN BE CARRIED (KJV word, “visiting”) FROM ONE GENERATION TO ANOTHER

Numbers 14:18  “The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

 

All generations and all people have sinned.  But, the weakness to do a specific category of sins is carried by the DNA, as well.  That does not make the person sin, but it provides a weakness which is inherited by every child born (with the exception of Jesus, whose Father is pure and has no sin).

 

6. SIN IS THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW.

If it was not for the Law of God, we would not know sin.  Romans 7:7  What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet1 John 3:4  “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.  In almost every case, when the Bible uses the word “law,” it is referring to the law of God.  From before the Creation, God established laws.  Without such laws, the earth would literally fall apart.  Laws of physics and laws of other areas of science were established by God and the things which were created were designed to be in submission to those laws in order to function properly.  Colossians 1:16  “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him:” 

 

God knows that both individual lives and the society as a whole would fall apart if His Law is not followed.  His law was given to Adam.  All mankind was aware of it through the God-given conscience.  It was reiterated to Noah.  It was confirmed by many before Moses.  However, with the appearance of Moses, we have the written law, which some falsely believe to be the only law of God.  In fact, if there had been no law previously, God would have been unrighteous to condemn the world at Noah’s time with the Flood that took them all to Hell.  So, there had to be a worldwide knowledge of the Laws of God even then.

 

7. SIN IS A CARRIER TO DEATH

A. SIN RESULTS IN A TERRIBLE CONSEQUENCE.  Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  The wages of sin are both now and later.  It is a most horrible sentence.  Guilt, shame, and condemnation begin immediately for many people.  Later, there is the judgment from God which throws the sentence of eternal death upon the sinner.

 

 

  B. SINNERS ARE THE SERVANTS OF SINJohn 8:34  “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.  In fact, we all became the servants of sin with the very first sin that we committed.

 

Even a baby can sin.  Parents know that their infant has a different cry for different conditions.  There is a cry of food, a cry for needing to be changed, and a cry of pain.  Many parents will remember a time when their little one screams a most horrible cry of pain.  The parent came rushing to the baby’s side, and found the child smiling because the false alarm had successfully deceived the parent into coming.  That, essentially, is a lie.  Even babies without a language vocabulary can use what they have to deceive and lie.  They become servants of sin at an early age.

 

Romans 6:16-17  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?  But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

 

 

C. BY THE LAW (OF GOD) COMES THE KNOWLEDGE OF SIN.  Romans 3:20  “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

 

The Law of God is brought to us in two basic ways.

1. It is brought to us through our hearts, or conscience.  God has written His Laws there, so all are without excuse.  Romans 2:15  “Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)”

 

It is brought to us through God’s written or spoken Word.  Exodus 32:15  “And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written.    Moses both read and taught those things which were on the tablets of stone.  The prophets of God also taught and preached the things which God revealed to them about the sins of the people.  The very things which they preached are recorded for us in the Bible, the written Word.

 

 

D. SIN IS MADE STRONG BECAUSE OF THE LAW1 Corinthians 15:56  “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.  When a person KNOWS what he is doing is wrong, it intensifies the punishment of the crime.  Those who sin KNOWINGLY are far more guilty than those who do so without knowledge.  Luke 12:48  “But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

 

 

E. THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST FREES US FROM SIN.  Despite the fact that sin is so powerful, the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is even MORE powerful !  Through Him, we not only have the forgiveness of sin, the payment for the eternal consequences of sin, but also, we have been given power over sin from the time we are saved through the work of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 8:2  “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

 

8. WHY IS THE SUBJECT OF SIN SO IMPORTANT ?

  A. IT IS AN EMPHASIS THAT GOD MAKES.  When God makes an emphasis, we would do well to pay special attention !

  • IT AFFECTS MAN’S RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
  • IT WAS AN EMPHASIS IN THE PREACHING OF JESUS.    The entire issue of repentance is nonsense unless some sin had been committed, and needed to be turned from.  If there was no sin, there would be no need for repenting.  Repenting is a constant theme of the prophets of God and of Jesus Himself.      Matthew 4:17  “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.   Luke 13:3  “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.   Revelation 3:19  “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
  • IT WAS AN EMPHASIS OF GOD-CALLED PREACHERS AND TEACHERS.  Mark 6:12  “And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

Acts 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 3:19  Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

 

  B. IT IS VITAL TO OUR KNOWLEDGE

WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING IT, WE MISS THE REASON FOR MANY OF GOD’S ACTIONS.  The Bible records many instances where God responds to sin, both to individuals and to entire groups or nations of people.

 

 

  C. IT HAS TERRIBLE CONSEQUENCES

  • IT PUTS GOD’S ORDER AND HIS RIGHTEOUS PATH IN DISARRAY.
  • IT THEREFORE NEGATIVELY AFFECTS THE PEOPLE AND OTHER SUBJECTS OF GOD’S CREATION.

The entire creation of God was affected by Adam’s sin.  Romans 8:20-22  “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,  Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

 

 

 

 

harsh walls

 

SECTION TWO:

WHAT DOES SIN DO ? 

 

PART 1

This section has been previously taught under the title, “Harsh Walls.”  The reason for that title is that sin becomes a wall, or a barrier, which separates man from God.  Each sin tragically places distance between man and the Lord.   Most times throughout this study, the teaching will deal with how sin relates to the Believer, not the Lost person.

 

 

AS BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIANS, WE ACKNOWLEDGE THE PAYMENT OF THE BLOOD OF JESUS FOR OUR SINS.  YET, WE OFTEN FAIL TO UNDERSTAND HOW OUR SINS AFFECT OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM, AND THE RESPONSES THAT WE GET FROM HIM.

 

1. SIN BRINGS CONVICTION, CHASTENING, AND JUDGMENT FROM GOD.

  A. MANY TIMES PEOPLE WHO ARE CHASTENED FOR THEIR SINS THINK THEIR RESULTING CONSEQUENCES ARE MATTER OF CIRCUMSTANCES OR COINCIDENCE.  It has become popular for many preachers to say that God would never bring hardships or judgment against people who sin.  Diseases that are transmitted through wrongful relationships are said to be coincidences rather than judgment.  Whenever God speaks through natural systems, such as cyclones, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, fires, epidemics, etc., it is almost always blamed on phenomenon which dismisses God as being involved in any way.

 

The truth is that God brought serious consequences to Adam and Eve because of their sin.  Cain was judged, as well.  How can the world ignore the Great Flood during Noah’s time that came because of God’s anger ?  Can a preacher ignore the many times God brought judgment against the children of Israel because of their lack of faith and disobedience ?  Were the instant deaths of Ananias and Sapphira coincidences ?  As we know, the Bible is filled with factual reports of God revealing His displeasure at sin.  To say that He does nothing about sin today not only ignores a multitude of current newspaper headlines, but also the soon-coming events recorded in the Book of the Revelation.

 

  B. THE FIRST THING A BELIEVER MUST DO IS TO EXAMINE HIMSELF TO KNOW IF A PAINFUL OR TRAGIC SITUATION IS CHASTENING, OR JUST A PART OF LIFE ON A SIN-SICK PLANET.  Before participating in the Lord’s Supper, we are told to examine ourselves.  This requires honesty and humility.  If we find some fault in us, we must repent of it.    1 Corinthians 11:28  “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

In the usual course of serving God, we must check our own  lives thoroughly to make sure that we are in the will of God, and our personal sin leaves no stain which would tarnish our testimony before the Lost.     2 Corinthians 13:5  “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

 

 

  C. SECOND, THE BELIEVER SHOULD ASK GOD TO HELP HIM FIND ANY SIN IN HIS LIFE WHICH HE MAY NOT HAVE NOTICED.

Psalms 26:2  Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.

1 Corinthians 11:28  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

2 Corinthians 13:5  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

 

D. WE MUST ACKNOWLEDGE AND RELY UPON THE FINISHED WORK OF JESUS CHRIST. 

  • JESUS DIED TO PROVIDE SALVATION FOR US.  THE WALLS OF SIN HAD TO BE TORN DOWN, AND JESUS WAS THE ONLY ONE WHO COULD DO IT.

1 Corinthians 15:3  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

Galatians 1:4  Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

Hebrews 1:3  Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

1 Peter 2:24  Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by Whose stripes ye were healed.

1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 2:2  And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 3:5  And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin.

1 John 4:10  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Revelation 1:5  And from Jesus Christ, Who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood,

 

2.  ALL SIN RESULTS IN A DEATH VERDICT

“The wages of sin is death.”  ALL sins result in death.  However, not all sins are considered to be of the same degree of offense to God.  In the United States, for an example, each of the following crimes could receive the death penalty.

1. TREASON

2. MURDER

3. RAPE OR KIDNAPPING (IN SOME STATES AND COUNTRIES)

    ARE EACH DIFFERENT TYPES OF CRIME ?  IS ONE CRIME WORSE THAN ANOTHER ?  YES.  BUT THEY ALL RESULT IN A DEATH PENALTY.

 

 

THINGS TO ASK YOURSELF

  • ARE THERE SOME SINS THAT GOD COUNTS TO BE MORE SERIOUS THAN OTHERS ?
  • HOW COULD WE TELL THAT SOMETHING BOTHERED THE LORD WORSE THAN SOMETHING ELSE ?
  • WOULD WE UNDERSTAND THIS IMMEDIATELY ?
  • DOES GOD’S GRACE AND MERCY SOMETIMES MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO TELL IF A SIN IS COUNTED MORE SERIOUSLY BY THE LORD ?
  • IF YOU WERE TO COMMIT A MURDER, HOW WOULD YOU KNOW THAT IT WAS COUNTED SERIOUSLY BY THE LORD ?
  • DID THOSE WHO RAN THE GAS CHAMBERS IN AUSCHWITZ KNOW IMMEDIATELY HOW SERIOUS THEIR CRIMES WERE ?  WHY, OR WHY NOT ?   *(Auschwitz was a Concentration Camp where millions of Jews were killed by their Nazi captors during World War 2).

 

 

3. THERE ARE SINS WHICH ARE DESCRIBED IN THE BIBLE THAT HAVE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF RESPONSES FROM GOD.

  A. SINS WHICH ARE NOTED AS BRINGING THE ANGER OF GOD.   (THE GENERAL WORD, ‘ANGER,’ CAN INCLUDE WRATH.  IT IS A GENERAL TERM.  HOWEVER, IT IS USUALLY USED TO DESIGNATE A LIGHTER RESPONSE).    Judges 2:20  “And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and He said, Because that this people hath transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto My voice;”

  • For breaking His commands.  Judges 3:8  Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and He sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years.”
  • For breaking His commands.  Judges 10:7  “And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and He sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon.
  • For not preparing to do His will adequately.  2 Samuel 6:7  And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.

 

DAVID WAS OFFERED THREE PUNISHMENTS.  RARELY DOES THIS HAPPEN.  IF GOD SPOKE IN HIS WRATH, DAVID WOULD NOT HAVE HAD ANY CHOICE.  2 Samuel 24:11-14  “For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying,  Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.  So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to Him that sent me.  And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for His mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.

 

 

 

  B. THERE ARE SINS WHICH ARE NOTED AS BRINGING THE WRATH OF GODPsalms 2:12  “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.

Psalms 78:38  But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned He His anger away, and did not stir up all His wrath.

Revelation 6:17  For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

2 Chronicles 30:8  Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD, and enter into His sanctuary, which He hath sanctified for ever: and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of His wrath may turn away from you.

Psalms 21:9  Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of Thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in His wrath, and the fire shall devour them.

Jeremiah 10:10  But the LORD is the true God, He is the living God, and an everlasting king: at His wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide His indignation.

 

 

  C. THERE ARE SINS WHICH THE BIBLE DESCRIBES AS REQUIRING DIFFERENT PUNISHMENTS OR SACRIFICES

 

IMPORTANT:  THE CONSTANT REQUIREMENT:  BLOOD IS ALWAYS REQUIRED AS A COVERING FOR SIN.  Leviticus 5:6  And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.  THIS WAS TRUE FROM THE TIME OF ADAM, WHEN GOD SHED THE BLOOD OF ANIMALS TO COVER ADAM AND EVE’S NAKENESS WITH COATS OF SKINS.  Genesis 3:21  “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

 

  • SINS OF IGNORANCE REQUIRE THE SAME PAYMENT AS SINS WHICH ARE DELIBERATE.  BOTH REQUIRE A SIN OFFERING.  HOWEVER, WHEN SOMETHING IS DONE IN IGNORANCE, IT IS CONSIDERED A TRESPASS, OR GUILT OFFERING.  Leviticus 5:18-19  “And he shall bring a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his ignorance wherein he erred and wist it not, and it shall be forgiven him.  It is a trespass offering: he hath certainly trespassed against the LORD.  (Also Lev. 7:7)
  •  SINS OF IGNORANCE BRING LESS SEVERE JUDGMENT FROM GOD, EVEN THOUGH THEY RESULT IN THE SAME ULTIMATE PENALTYLuke 12:47-48  “And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.  But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.    Acts 17:30  “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
  •  THOSE WHO HAVE GREATER KNOWLEDGE SUFFER A MORE SEVERE PUNISHMENTExodus 30:21  “So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations.  Luke 12:47-48 also applies in this case.

  D. THERE ARE SINS WHICH OBVIOUSLY DISCREDIT OR HURT THE NAME OF THE LORD

IF A PERSON—KNOWN TO BE A BELIEVER—DOES THINGS WHICH ARE KNOWN BY THE PUBLIC TO BE THINGS WHICH GOD CONDEMNS, HE BRINGS DISCREDIT AND SHAME TO THE NAME OF GOD.

 

    —ADAM’S SIN—DID IT HURT OTHERS ? 

ADAM’S SIN HURT US BY INHERITANCE.  Adam’s sin came down to all mankind as an inheritance.  Romans 5:17  “For if by one man‘s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ.)”

ADAM’S SIN HURT US BECAUSE HE IS AN EXAMPLE, AS THE FIRST MAN.  Some people today use the fact that Adam sinned as an excuse for their own behavior.  They claim that they had no choice, and therefore could not resist the temptation to sin.  This is an invalid claim because all men are given a choice.  Adam set an example of sinning that countless people have used to excuse their own failures.

ADAM’S SIN HURT US BECAUSE HE WAS THE IDEAL UNDER THE BEST CONDITIONS.  Until he sinned, Adam’s living condition was perfect.  God said that all things were “good.”  Under this ideal setting, with a perfect wife, a perfect environment, and no peer pressure, Adam still chose to sin.  It is this fact that is a subtle underlying excuse which people rely upon when they commit sin.  They say, “If God made man so weak that he couldn’t resist sin, God wasn’t very righteous.”  This accusation is often made directly or indirectly against the Lord.

 

OPEN, KNOWN, SINS BRING DISCREDIT TO THE NAME OF THE LORD GOD.

Leviticus 19:12  And ye shall not swear by My Name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of Thy God: I am the LORD.

Isaiah 48:11  For Mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should My Name be polluted? and I will not give My glory unto another.

Ezekiel 20:9  But I wrought for My Name‘s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.

Ezekiel 20:14  But I wrought for My Name‘s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out.

Ezekiel 20:22  Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand, and wrought for My Name‘s sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth.

Ezekiel 20:44  And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for My Name‘s sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

 

**GOD IS CONCERNED ABOUT HIS NAME BEFORE THE HEATHEN !

 

  E. SOME PEOPLE RECEIVE CHASTENING AND JUDGMENT NOW, ALTHOUGH MORE CONSEQUENCES WILL FOLLOW THESE INITIAL RESULTS

  • THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES TO THE LOST   Psalms 107:17  “Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.
  • THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES TO THE SAVED.  1 Timothy 5:24  “Some men‘s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.

 

 

ARE ALL PUNISHMENTS EQUAL IN THEIR SEVERITY ?

 

THE SEVERITY OF PUNISHMENT FOR SIN DEPENDS UPON THE KNOWLEDGE THAT A PERSON HAS OF WHAT IS SINFUL AS WELL AS THE DEGREE OF SERIOUSNESS WHICH GOD SEES IN IT.

 

IF A PERSON COMES WALKING ACROSS YOUR LAWN AND STEPS ON SOME NEW PLANTS YOU PUT IN, WOULD REACT MORE UPSET IF:

  • A. YOU HAD NO SIGNS OR INDICATIONS THAT THE NEW PLANTS WERE JUST WEEDS.
  • B. YOU HAD NO TRESPASSING SIGNS UP, AND YOUR NEW PLANTS WERE SURROUNDED BY BRIGHTLY COLORED TAPE ?

 

Luke 12:47-48  And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.  But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

 

James 4:17  Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

 

 

SECTION TWO:

PART 2 — IDENTIFYING THE LAWS

** (KEEP IN MIND THAT THE WAGES OF ANY SIN IS DEATH). 

 

1. WHICH MAJOR LAWS OF GOD IDENTIFY BASIC CATEGORIES OF SIN ?

  A. TEN COMMANDMENTS.  The Ten Commandments were given to Israel so that they might have a more righteous and holy society, closer to God than any other nation.  While containing basic laws that apply to all civilizations, the Ten Commandments were specifically given to Israel for Israel’s manifestation as a “peculiar people.” God responds to breaking of these laws in various ways.   The writer of Lamentations speaks from personal experience.   Lamentations 3:1  “I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of His wrath.

 

  B. NOAHIDE LAWS.  These are laws which were given, most at the time of Noah, to the entire world.  Just as Israel needed to be reminded of the laws which had once been written on their hearts, the Gentiles also needed to be reminded of the Laws of God which applied to them.  The Noahide Laws were codified by the Orthodox Jews, and were to be given to the Gentiles who dwelled in the land of Israel, or those they came in contact with elsewhere.  They officially have seven laws, but there are many commandments which God gave that apply to Gentile Believers which are not a strict part of this code.

 

Genesis 9:1-17, Regarding the keeping of ceremonial laws, the Apostles battled with this, and sought the Lord’s guidance.  What they came up with applies only to the ceremonial laws, not all laws in general.  They acknowledged that the major parts of the Noahide Laws apply to Gentile Believers:  Acts 15:28-29  “For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;  That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

 

It is repeated in Acts 21:25  “As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

 

 

THERE HAD TO BE LAWS FROM GOD GIVEN TO ADAM AND TO ALL MANKIND. 

“In the beginning…” states not only the start of new creations, but the implementation of new laws and regulations which would govern the world as we know it.  Obviously, for God’s new world to function properly, there would be laws of physics and “laws of nature” that must be put into action.  So far as we know, at the beginning, these were not written down so that man could read them.  In addition, there were spiritual laws, such as “the wages of sin is death” that would apply to man’s relationship with God.  These, too, defied a written summary, but were later included in Scripture.  All laws, however, were written in the records of Heaven, and were placed into the conscience of men.

Laws which govern man’s relationship with God and with other men were not written or codified until thousands of years after the Creation.   It is reasonable to ask that since we have no tablets of stone or written records of such laws, how do we know they existed ?

Before the Ten Commandments, men had a very clear concept of right and wrong.  Where did they get it ?  If they didn’t know what God commanded them, God would have been unjust in destroying the old world by a flood.  They knew that it was wrong to murder, for an example, as evidenced in the case of Cain killing Abel.  Also worth noting is the fact that Cain and Abel knew the type of sacrifice that God wanted.  Where did this knowledge come from ?

There is some evidence that after a few hundred years of man’s existence, that at least some of these laws were written down.  We know from what remains of Enoch’s writing—from before the Flood—that God had clearly established laws and principles by which men were to live.

The Ten Commandments are the most familiar of all the laws.  But, they were predated by other laws given to people long before the Jewish people were called out to be the special people of God.

These laws are loosely referred to as the Noahide, or Noachide Laws.  They are called that because they all existed prior to the time of Noah, although they had to be re-iterated to Noah and others after the Flood.

 

THE JUDGMENT OF THE GREAT FLOOD IN NOAH’S DAY                               

WITHOUT KNOWN LAWS, FOR GOD TO SAY THAT MANKIND WAS WICKED WOULD NOT BE A FAIR AND RIGHTEOUS ASSESSMENT.  (And, we know that God is completely righteous).  Therefore, there had to be laws of God which were known to men.

Genesis 6:5 –7 And 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.  And it repented the LORD that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart.  And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth Me that I have made them.

SINCE WE CAN SAFELY ASSUME THAT GOD HAS LAWS PRIOR TO THE TIME OF NOAH, AND THAT THE JEWISH PEOPLE HAD NOT YET BEEN CALLED OUT OR CREATED, THERE ARE LAWS FOR NON-JEWS WHICH ARE JUST AS BINDING UPON GENTILES AS THE LAWS OF MOSES ARE UPON THE JEWS.

 

The following notations regarding the Noahide Laws were made by Hebrew theologians, and contain translations by those theologians).  A Christian student might have difficulty seeing some of the laws which a Jewish theologian sees imbedded within the Scriptures shown.  The reason that I quote these remarks is that Jewish theologians often understand the subtleties of the Hebrew language better than those not familiar with the Hebrew language and culture, and know that laws can be contained in Hebrew expressions which are not always easily seen when a verse is translated into another language.

 

 

1. The following verse is a reference to the prohibition against murder. HaShem [The Lord] explicitly commands Noach:

Genesis (Hebrew=Bereshit) 9:6- “If one sheds the blood of the man (HaAdam), by man shall his own blood be shed.”

 

Of course, this law had predated Noah.  It is clear from God’s response to Cain, that the law was already known.  Punishment only comes as a result of an existing and known  law being broken.  Genesis 4:10-13  “And He said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto Me from the ground.  And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;  When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.  And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.”

 

 

 

2. The following is an implicit reference to the prohibition against theft. It shows that permission is needed to take something that is not explicitly yours.

THE LAW OF THEFT WAS LAID OUT PLAINLY FOR ADAM AND EVE.

THEY WERE GIVEN ALL HERBS AND FRUIT TREES, EXCEPT FOR ONE.    Genesis 1:29  “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.  Genesis 2:16-17  “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, 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.

ADAM AND EVE TOOK SOMETHING THAT WAS NOT GIVEN TO THEM.  THIS IS THEFT.  Genesis 3:11  “And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

Leviticus (Hebrew=Vayikra) 19:11 “You shall not steal; you shall not deal deceitfully or falsely with one another.

 

3. The below verse refers to sexual misconduct or adultery, as the prophet says,

Jeremiah (Hebrew-Yeremyahu) 3:1 “Saying” (laymor), “if a man divorces his wife…”

 

SEXUAL RELATIONS OUTSIDE OF THE PLANS OF GOD ARE PROHIBITED.  SEXUAL RELATIONS BETWEEN DEMON-POSSESSED MEN AND WOMEN WAS WRONG.  THE CONSEQUENCES WERE THE MUTATIONS OF ‘THE IMAGE OF GOD’ WHICH WERE SEEN AS GIANTS.

 

Genesis 6:4  There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”

 

Additionally, sexual misconduct includes the laws of Niddah.* Having sex with a woman who is Niddah is forbidden:

Leviticus (Hebrew=Vayikra) 18:19 “Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness.”

*(The Law of Niddah, is the Jewish law dealing with the separation of husband and wife during the woman’s menstrual period).

 

4. The following verse implies that there are things which may not be eaten (the limbs of a live animal and meat with the blood still in it):

This was one of the laws given directly to Noah.

Genesis (Hebrew=Bereshit) 9:4 “You must not, however, eat flesh with its life-blood in it.”

 

It may have been that this was one of the laws which  had been erased from the consciences of the people in Noah’s time, and needed to be reiterated, like the law against murder.

 

5. The following verse is a reference to the prohibition against idolatry; for it says in:

PUTTING ANYONE OR ANYTHING (INCLUDING SELF) BEFORE GOD IS THE SIN OF IDOLATRY.  THIS  WAS CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD BY ADAM AND EVE.  THEY WERE PUNISHED FOR DISOBEYING THIS COMMANDMENT, AS WELL AS THE OTHER CONCERNING THEFT.   Genesis 3:17  “And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

 

Exodus (Hebrew=Shemot) 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.”

 

6. The following verse implies the prohibition against blasphemy.

Leviticus (Hebrew=Vayikra) 24:16 “He who blasphemes the name of HaShem shall die.”

Deuteronomy 5:11  Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.”

 

 

7. The need to establish laws of justice in a society are clearly understood from:

Genesis (Hebrew-Bereshit) 18:19 “For I have known him so he will command (Yitzaveh) his children after him to keep the way of HaShem and righteousness and justice.”

 

The laws of men must acknowledge the laws of God.  Man must establish clearly understood practical applications from God’s law, and enforce them.  An example is given here to Noah:  Genesis 9:5  And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man‘s brother will I require the life of man.

 

It is clear that God had written His laws on the hearts of the people, whether Jew or Gentile.  Both groups had let that writing disappear, so they needed something visible.  Romans 2:14-15  “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:  Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)”   To the Jews, God gave the Ten Commandments and other more specific laws, and to the Gentiles, he gave a less restrictive code of laws, called the Noahide Laws.

 

 

 

SECTION TWO:

PART 3

1. SIN INTERFERES WITH THE DESIRE OF GOD TO HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH THE BELIEVER.

ALL SIN BREAKS FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD.  WE HAVE FELLOWSHIP THROUGH PRAYER.  OUR PRAYERS ARE NOT GETTING THROUGH TO GOD  WHEN WE SIN.  Psalms 66:18  “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

THIS INCLUDES SINS WHICH ARE NOT SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED BY NAME,

AND ONLY BY PRINCIPLE.  (OFTEN THEY ARE SINS OF OMISSION, SUCH AS THE FOLLOWING SINS)—

  • FAILURE TO FOCUS.  PERMITTING DISTRACTIONS
  • FAILING TO PUT THE LORD FIRST.  PUTTING OTHER ACTIVITIES AHEAD OF TIME WITH THE LORD
  • FAILURE TO CARRY OUT GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS, WHETHER WE UNDERSTAND THEM, OR NOT.

 

EXAMPLE: KING SAUL WAS STRIPPED OF HIS PRIVILEGE TO HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD BECAUSE OF HIS SIN.   King Saul was judged severely for his sin.  God removed His Holy Spirit from him.  1 Samuel 16:14-15  “But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.  And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.    1 Chronicles 10:13  So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it; 1 Samuel 15:22  “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

EXAMPLE: DAVID WHEN HE NUMBERED THE PEOPLE.  NOT ONE OF THE COMMANDMENTS, OR EVEN A LEVITICAL LAW WAS BROKEN.  (REMEMBER, HOWEVER, THAT SIN CAN BE ANYTHING WHICH IS IN DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WILL).  The judgments which God brought upon David made it appear that God had left him.    2 Samuel 24:10  “And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of Thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.

EXAMPLE: WHEN DAVID HAD SINNED BY HIS ADULTERY WITH BATHSHEBA AND THE INDIRECT MURDER OF HER HUSBAND, URIAH.    Clearly, David was afraid that what God had done to King Saul, in taking away the Holy Spirit, might happen to him, too.  Psalms 51:11  “Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.

 

Although for the Believer AFTER the Day of Pentecost  [Hebrews 13:5, John 14:16], the Holy Spirit will not be taken away, the above examples reveal that God does not want to dwell with those who deliberately sin.

 

  • GOD PUSHES PEOPLE ASIDE BECAUSE OF IDOLATRY.  1 Kings 21:26  “And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.

This sin can be hidden to most people’s eyes through the deceptive use of deceiving language.  Eventually, people find out, and it becomes a “common-knowledge sin.”    Ezekiel 20:39  “As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto Me: but pollute ye My holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols.

  • GOD WANTS TO SEPARATE HIMSELF FROM THOSE WHO WANT TO DETHRONE HIM.  (PUTTING SOMEONE ELSE AHEAD OF THE LORD. THIS IS IDOLATRY, ALSO).   1 Samuel 12:19  “And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for Thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.
  • GOD WANTS TO PERMANENTLY DISTANCE HIMSELF FROM PEOPLE WHO CHOSE UNBELIEF RATHER THAN FAITH IN HIM.  Psalms 106:23  “Therefore He said that He would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before Him in the breach, to turn away His wrath, lest He should destroy them.

 

As we have seen from Scripture, God does not like to be around sin of any kind.  However, while the Believer may consciously attempt to avoid known sins which offend God, there are also some lesser known sins which can creep up and attack the Believer, and thus remove him from fellowship with the Lord.

 

 

2. SINS OF TOLERATING TEMPTATIONS CAN REMOVE A BELIEVER FROM FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD.

    THERE ARE SINS WHICH PLACE THE BELIEVER’S WEAKNESSES IN A POSITION OF GREAT TEMPTATION.  THE ACT OF PLACING ONE’S SELF INTO THE PATH OF TEMPTATION, KNOWING THAT WE WOULD LIKELY GIVE INTO THE TEMPTATION COULD BE CONSIDERED A SIN IN ITSELF.  Romans 13:14  “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.  Deliberately placing one’s self in a situation where the temptation would be extremely difficult to resist could be considered sin because it makes “provision for the flesh.”

 

What is a temptation to one person may not be a temptation to another.  For some people, it would be sin to have a television hooked up to network programming so that it could get all kinds of programming from outside the home.  Why ?  The Believer has a weakness which would be exploited by the presence of that programming.  However, another Believer has complete control over his use of the TV, and so, he can easily turn programs off which another Believer would not be able to turn off.

 

For some Believers, going to the beach would be a sin.  Why ?  In many countries, the skimpy bathing suits of some women on the beach would play upon his weakness, and he would sin by lusting.  Another Believer who does not have that same weakness problem could go to the beach, and such attire would not affect him at all.

 

Some might object to the action of going deliberately into a difficult to resist temptation, saying that Jesus deliberately went into the wilderness, knowing that He would be tempted.  The answer to this object is that Jesus KNEW that He would not be deceived nor cave into the temptation.  It was NOT a situation where He was unsure of the outcome.

 

 

3. SIN MAKES US EVALUATE OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.

  Because of sin, we notice the specific instruments which God energized to report sin to us—the conscience, the person’s spirit, the Holy Spirit, etc..  Unless we have become incredibly insensitive, we therefore begin to ask why we feel the guilt or conviction as we do.

Sometimes, we find that although someone else is able to do a particular activity and not be convicted that it is wrong, if we were to do the same thing, it would bring strong conviction and guilt.

 

IS IT RIGHT THAT SOMETHING MAY BE A SIN TO ONE PERSON, BUT NOT A SIN TO ANOTHER ?

Consider the Nazarite of the Old Testament.  It would have been a sin to him if he cut his hair.  (Remember Samson ?  Judges 16:17  “That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.)  Yet, it would not have been a sin if someone who was NOT a Nazarite cut their hair.  It would be a sin for a Jew not to observe the seventh day as the Sabbath.  After all, that was a command given to the Jewish people.  But, for others, they may freely choose which day they would hold as their day of rest.  Why ?  God had determined to put a different standard upon the Jewish people, and make them His “peculiar people.”  (Deut. 14:2)

 

For some people, it would be a sin to sit down at the table where there were several sweet cakes—more than everyone could eat, knowing that the host would say, “Eat as much as you want.”  Why ?  They knew they had a weakness toward overeating, and would most certainly cave into that weakness.  Another person, without such a weakness could sit down at that table however, and push away the sweet cake without even tasting it.  To the person to whom God warned that they had a problem, to come to such a place would be sin.  But, to another, it would not.  This is true with “All You Can Eat” restaurants.  It is a sin for some people with a specific weakness toward gluttony to enter into the doors, while it is not a sin for others who do not have this weakness.

 

 

4. SIN MAKES THE CHRISTIAN BREAK FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD.

CHRISTIANS SHOULD NOT WANT TO LOSE FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD.  So, when it happens, it is something that needs to be corrected very quickly.  It can affect your testimony—and affect how others think about the Lord.  How long does it take to lose your testimony ?  Not long.  Depending upon the sin, it is entirely possible to bring yourself into a condition where you quit caring about souls, quit being concerned about the Church, and have no strength within yourself to make things better.  So, we must rapidly come to the throne of grace when we see areas of our lives which have pulled us away from the Lord.  He alone is able to help us.

 

This section of study on sin is meant to expose the many reasons why we should race as quickly as possible back to the Lord whenever we stray. 

 

  A. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LOSE FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD ?

  • YOU MISS THE FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD JESUS.  DAVID LOST IT WHEN HE SINNED, AND CRIED OUT TO THE LORD BECAUSE OF THE AGONY HE WAS SUFFERING.  Psalms 31:22  “For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before Thine eyes: nevertheless Thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto Thee.   Clearly, when he sought the Lord, the Lord responded to His child.

WHEN DAVID LOST HIS FELLOWSHIP BECAUSE OF CONVICTION, ALTHOUGH GOD HEARD HIS DISTRESS, HE REFUSED FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM UNTIL HE REPENTED.    Psalm 38:1-8  “A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance. O LORD, rebuke me not in Thy wrath: neither chasten me in Thy hot displeasure.  For Thine arrows stick fast in me, and Thy hand presseth me sore.  There is no soundness in my flesh because of Thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.  For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.  My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.  I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.  I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.

 

  • YOU STILL RECEIVE WARNINGS FROM GOD.  YOU MIGHT NOT HEAR THEM, BUT HE TRIES TO CALL YOU BACK.  Matthew 18:12  “How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?   Although the parable was given to show that Jesus searches out the Lost, it contains a principle concerning the love of God which also applies to wayward children of His.

 IT IS THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TO CONVICT MEN OF SIN.  ESPECIALLY IF YOU ATTEND A BIBLE-PREACHING CHURCH, YOU WILL FIND THAT THE WORD OF GOD WILL BRING CONVICTION, AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD APPLIES IT.

 THERE HAVE BEEN SOME CASES WHERE A CHRISTIAN HAS BEEN WARNED IN DREAMS OR VISIONS OF BAD THINGS THAT WOULD HAPPEN IF HE DID NOT REPENT AND GET RIGHT WITH GOD.

 

  • JESUS CONTINUES TO KNOCK.  THIS WILL NOT LAST FOREVER, HOWEVER.  GOD GIVES A LIMITED TIME BECAUSE AFTER A CERTAIN TIME HAS LAPSED HE WILL USE MORE SEVERE METHODS OF GETTING YOUR ATTENTION.  Revelation 3:20  “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.

 ANY SIN WILL EFFECT THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE BELIEVER WITH THE LORD.    (INCLUDING SINS OF OMISSION).  IN O.T. TIMES, GOD WOULD WITHDRAW HIS SPIRIT BECAUSE OF SIN.  WHILE THIS NO LONGER HAPPENS TO THE BELIEVER, A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT CAN BE SERIOUSLY EFFECTED.

 

 

  B. WHAT DO GOD’S WARNINGS TELL US ?   In Ephesians 4, we have a section of Scripture where the warnings are outlines and made plain. 

 

EPHESIANS 4:29-32.

WARNING TO STAY AWAY FROM OVERT SIN:  Ephesians 4:29  “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

RESULTS OF NOT HEEDING THE WARNINGS:  30  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

31  “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

WARNING TO STAY AWAY FROM SINS OF OMISSION.  32  “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

IT EFFECTS OUR COMMUNICATION WITH THE LORD.  IF WE SIN, THE SIN ITSELF BECOMES AN IMPAREMENT TO US HEARING FROM GOD.

THE SIN ITSELF BECOMES A REASON FOR GOD NOT TO WANT FELLOWSHIP WITH US.  Psalms 66:18  If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

 

***It might be like having a pet sheep.  You love the animal.  You spend time with it, watch over it, you provide for it.  But, if it has just been wallowing around in the pig’s slop, and then wants to rub up against you and get close to you, you will move away.

 

 

 

  C. SIN RESULTS IN A CHRISTIAN NOT BEING ABLE TO SERVE GOD AS EFFECTIVELY

 

THESE THINGS HAPPEN WHEN WE DON’T RESPOND TO THE WARNINGS FROM THE LORD—

  • THERE WILL BE A LACK OF POWER.  YOU NEED GOD’S POWER TO EFFECTIVELY SERVE GOD.  WILL THE HOLY SPIRIT BE LISTENED TO AS MUCH, OR BE WILLING TO PROVIDE ADDED STRENGTH WHEN HE IS BEING OFFENDED AND GRIEVED ?  NO.
  • THERE WILL BE A LACK OF CONFIDENCE ON THE PART OF THE BELIEVER.  WE KNOW WHEN WE ARE CLOSER TO THE LORD.  THE LACK OF KNOWING THAT WE ARE CLOSE TO HIM PROVIDES AN UNCERTAINTY AND INSECURITY IN THE BELIEVER.  SATAN USES THIS LACK OF FAITH (“CONFIDENCE, CERTAINTY”) TO PUT THE BELIEVER INTO A SITUATION WHERE HE IS OPERATING ON SOMETHING OTHER THAN FAITH.  GOD ONLY REWARDS FAITH.  (Hebrews 11:6  “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.)  What can the Christian do without Jesus ?  Nothing.  John 15:5  “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.”

What can the Christian do without faith ?  We cannot please God.  Hebrews 11:6  “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

 

 

D. WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO OUR HEARTS IF WE CONTINUE WITHOUT FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD ?

  • THE HEART GETS HARDER WITH EACH PASSING DAY.  WILL THE CHRISTIAN RESPOND AS QUICKLY TO GOD IF HE HAS GONE THROUGH A LONG TIME OF AVOIDING REPENTANCE ?  (WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF HARDENING OF THE HEART ?)  Hebrews 3:13  “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
  • WE FAIL TO UNDERSTAND THE THINGS THAT THE LORD WANTS TO TEACH US.  Mark 6:52  “For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.

Mark 8:17  And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?

 

E. WHAT SERIOUS THINGS CAN HAPPEN TO A  BELIEVER IF HE CONTINUES ON TO IGNORE THE RESPONSES OF GOD AGAINST OUR SIN ? 

  • THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF PHYSICAL CHASTENING (JUDGMENT).  1 Timothy 5:24  “Some men‘s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.
  • THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY THAT YOUR MINISTRY COULD END.  WHY DID JONAH’S MINISTRY END ?  HE HAD BAD ATTITUDE, AND COULD NO LONGER RESPOND TO THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE WAY THAT GOD SHOULD BE APPROACHED.    HIS CALLING WAS STILL INTACT, BUT JONAH’S RESPONSE WAS NOT WITH THE RIGHT HEART.  FOLLOWING JONAH’S BITTER AND CONTRARY DISCUSSION WITH THE LORD, HE WAS NEVER HEARD FROM AS A PROPHET AGAIN.   Jonah 4:10-11  Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:  And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?”

 

 

 

SECTION THREE:

HOW DO OUR SINS AFFECT OTHERS ?

 

1. WHO DOES SIN ACTUALLY AFFECT ?

**Some people think that their sins only affect themselves.  The truth is, EVERY sin affects others.  Even if the sin affects one human being on earth, it does affect God, too.  The fact that it affects God should be a MOST SERIOUS CONCERN.  We don’t want to hurt Him, after all He has done for us !

 

2. MOST SINS, SUCH AS THOSE CONTAINED IN THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AND THE NOAHIDE LAWS ARE ALREADY KNOWN SINS TO THE REST OF THE WORLD.

THIS TYPE OF KNOWN, OBVIOUS SIN USUALLY IMPACTS THOSE WHO OBSERVE YOU BECAUSE IT IS ALMOST ALWAYS SEEN AS SIN BY THOSE AROUND YOU.  (OBVIOUS, OVERT, KNOWN SINS ARE SOMETIMES CONSIDERED TO BE, “COMMON-KNOWLEDGE SINS”).  IT IS DIFFICULT OR IMPOSSIBLE TO HIDE THIS TYPE OF SIN FROM OTHERS.

 

EXAMPLE:

  • STEALING FROM ONE PERSON USUALLY DOES NOT IMMEDIATELY IMPACT THE LIVES OF ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS.  BUT, IT CAN MAKE ALL THE OTHERS HAVE A FEAR OF BEING THE NEXT VICTIM OF THEFT.
  • IF YOU BEAR FALSE WITNESS IT CAN IMPACT THE FEELINGS AND ATTITUDES OF MANY PEOPLE AS SOON AS THEY HEAR YOUR FALSE STATEMENT.
  • IF YOU WANT TO SEE ALL THE LATEST FASHIONS, WINDOW-SHOP, AND SPEND A LOT OF TIME LOOKING AT RETAIL MAGAZINES, YOU WILL SET AN EXAMPLE FOR OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE WEAK, AND CAN FALL INTO COVETING, TOO.

 

3. SIN WILL AFFECT OUR ATTITUDE WHICH, IN TURN, AFFECTS THE PEOPLE AROUND US

The sin may not be an overt sin, such as one easily recognizable by even the Lost.  It may be a sin which is a sin of omission, or a failure to commit something to the Lord.  For an example, there was a Christian woman who, at a certain time each month, would become very irritable and short-tempered.  She would lack understanding, and misinterpret the actions of others, and respond by shouting at them, or saying unkind things to them.  This occurred month after month.

 

Her pastor told her that this was linked to a physical event, her period, and that some women become this way.  However, he added, this can and must be overcome by the power of the Lord.  The woman had already been healed of a major disease many years before when she prayed and allowed the Lord to work.  So, he reminded her of this, and told her that the same God Who was able to heal the disease was able to help her gain control over her emotions, and be a better testimony during that time of the month.  She then committed this bad attitude to the Lord, and He helped her overcome it immediately.

 

To the surprise of many people around her, the cheerful and Christ-like attitude which she showed during the rest of the month then began to work even during times around her period.

 

However, her former lack of commitment—something which she felt was “natural” and would not affect her testimony—was a serious threat to others coming to Christ.  Consider the fact the when people do not know what mood you will be in, or whether you will lash out at them, or if you will misinterpret what they are saying—those are things which turn people away from all the glorious words you have to say about the Lord.

 

The sin may also be a sin of not committing certain traits which we had from youth to the Lord.  For an example, Robert was raised in a home where the parents settled all issues by fighting.  They, at the every least, would argue loudly.  When Robert became a Christian, he stopped doing many of the bad habits which some lost people have.  He stopped using profanity, he quit using alcoholic drinks, and he became very generous with his money, giving to the church and to the poor in the Name of Jesus.

 

However, his loud and often angry mannerism in working out differences between people remained.  Most lost people looked at this as just his personality, and ignored his outbursts of temper as well as anything he had to say at quieter times about his faith in Christ.  Robert’s failure to commit this aspect of his personality to the Lord hindered his effectiveness for the Lord Jesus many years.  Finally, he came to the realization the Spirit of God had been convicting him for a long time about this, and he repented of this sin, and became a much more powerful witness for the Lord.  But, his bad attitude—a personality trait—had to be surrendered to the Lord before he was able to move forward in his effectiveness.

 

4. CONVICTION THAT DOES NOT BEAR FRUIT WILL AFFECT OTHERS 

Can fighting against the work of the Spirit of God affect our behavior ?  Yes !      Romans 8:7  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”

A. DISOBEDIENCE TO THE LORD RESULTS IN A BREECH OF FELLOWSHIP THAT IS MANIFEST TO OTHERS.  OFTEN, A PERSON WILL BECOME MORE IRRITABLE AND ANGRY WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT IS CONVICTING HIM.  THIS IS TRUE OF BOTH CHRISTIANS AND NON-CHRISTIANS.

B. OUR ATTITUDE AFFECTS OUR WILLINGNESS TO REPENT FROM SIN.  BUT, WILL SIN AFFECT YOUR OWN ATTITUDE ?  IF SO, DOESN’T OUR SIN AFFECT OTHER PEOPLE  ?

The following things are based upon the fact that the Holy Spirit will convict God’s people over their sins.   John 16:8  “And when He” [i.e., the Holy Spirit] “is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

C. OUR ATTITUDE AFFECTS OUR WILLINGNESS TO OBEY GOD.  It is difficult to avoid seeing the part that attitude played in this parable which Jesus told.  Matthew 21:28-30  “But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.  He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.  And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.”

 

5. GUILT CAN BE AN OBSERVABLE CHARACTERISTIC WHICH RESULTS FROM SIN.

GUILT CAN BE MANIFEST IN MANY WAYS.

  • BY INCREASED CRITICISM OF OTHERS TO MAKE YOURSELF FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOUR OWN SIN.
  • BY MAKING YOU MORE MOODY.
  • BY MAKING YOU LESS SENSITIVE TO OTHERS BECAUSE OF THE HARDNESS YOU HAVE BEGUN TO DEVELOP.  HARDNESS TO THE LORD ALWAYS ENDS UP IN HARDNESS TOWARD OTHERS.

 

 

  A. SIN IS MANIFEST BY OUR WALK WITH THE LORD.

THE LOSS OF FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD WILL AFFECT YOU.  Psalms 22:1  “To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me? why art Thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

  • BY THE ACTION OF CONVICTION FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT.
    • YOU WILL EITHER RESPOND TO IT, AND REPENT, OR
    • YOU WILL BECOME MORE EDGY, IRRITABLE, AND HOSTILE.
  • BY REVEALING THAT YOU HAVE LESS INTEREST IN THE THINGS OF GOD.
    • YOU WILL BEGIN TO MAKE EXCUSES FOR NOT COMING TO HEAR THE WORD.
      • SICKNESSES, WHEN USED AS AN EXCUSE WILL OFTEN SEEM MUCH WORSE AND MORE FREQUENT.
    • YOU WILL HAVE LESS TIME FOR THE THINGS OF GOD.  BECAUSE WORLDLY AND SELF-CENTERED  INTERESTS FILL UP MORE OF YOUR TIME.

 

  B. SIN IS MANIFEST IN OUR LACK OF VICTORIES OVER OTHER TEMPTATIONS AND TRIALS.

  • LOSS OF FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD NATURALLY RESULTS IN THE LOSS OF POWER FROM ON HIGH.  HOW IS THAT SEEN ?
    • MORE FRUSTRATION IN TRYING TO DO THINGS RIGHT, BUT FAILING TO DO SO.
    • OLD SINS WHICH WERE ONCE CONQUERED MAY REAPPEAR.

  C. IF YOU SIN AGAINST SOMEONE ELSE, WHAT ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO DO WHEN YOU WANT TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT ?    Luke 17:3  Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.  ACTUALLY, IF YOU SIN, YOU SHOULDN’T WAIT TILL REBUKED.  YOU SHOULD REPENT TO THE PERSON YOU HAVE HARMED, AND SEEK FORGIVENESS IMMEDIATELY.

 

  D. SIN WANTS YOU TO LEAVE IT ALONE, OR FORGET ABOUT IT 

JESUS WANTED PEOPLE TO DO THEIR BEST TO MAKE AMENDS.  Luke 19:8-9  “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.  And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.

 

  E. WE ARE INSTRUCTED TO BRING EVIDENCE OF REPENTANCEActs 26:20  “But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and 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.

 

***************

IS IT WISE TO CONFRONT EVERY PERSON YOU HAVE EVER SINNED AGAINST ?  There are times when if you went to someone with a matter where you had sinned against that person, but the person did not know it, and was not concerned about it, the matter might better be left alone.  It is not required to announce specific sins to everyone you have sinned against, especially if they didn’t even know it.

 

***Example:  A large family was gathering for a Thanksgiving meal.  Members of several families were there who had not seen each other in many years.  Brother James had recently gotten himself right with the Lord, and went around apologizing to people he had sinned against.  One of those acts of apology went something like this.  “Cousin Jane, I am so sorry, because I sinned against you.  I am guilty of gossip.  I told my wife about the affair you were having with your next-door neighbor, and it was just none of my business.  I am truly sorry.”  Needless to say, this developed into a major problem with her husband who was seated next to her and knew nothing about the incident.

 

IMAGINE WHAT THE WORLD WOULD THINK OF US, IF THEY KNEW ALL OUR SINS !  There would be many things that we would confess as sin which the hardened, insensitive world would not even view as sin.  They could not even see the seriousness of it.  Yet, when the Holy Spirit reveals our sins to us, they become significant, and we must repent of them before God.

***************

6. THERE ARE SINS WHICH SOME PEOPLE ASSUME WOULD NOT AFFECT ANYONE BUT THEMSELVES.

  • EXAMPLES:  ADDICTIONS TO STREET DRUGS, PRESCRIPTIONS DRUGS, ALCOHOL, DRUNKENNESS, COMPUTER OR VIDEO GAMES, PORNOGRAPHY, FOOD, SMOKING, DAYDREAMING, LAZINESS, EXCUSE-MAKING, LYING, COVETING, ETC.

 

  • FAILURE TO CONSULT THE LORD IN MATTERS.  EXAMPLE:  NOT SEEKING GOD’S WILL IN HEALING.  YOU COULD GO TO A LOT OF DOCTORS THAT WILL KILL YOU.  WOULD THAT AFFECT OTHERS ?  OR IN FINANCES:  WOULD SOME JOBS MAKE YOU SO TIRED THAT YOU HAVE NO TIME FOR YOUR MARRIAGE OR FAMILY ?

 

WHO DO THEY AFFECT ?  GOD, YOURSELF, OTHERS YOU COME IN CONTACT WITH, ESPECIALLY THE LOST.  HOWEVER, PEOPLE OFTEN TRY TO DEFEND THEIR BAD BEHAVIOR BY SAYING, “THIS DOESN’T HURT ANYONE BUT ME.”  THIS IS A DEVILISH LIE.

 

 

SECTION THREE:

PART 2—WHY DO OUR SINS AFFECT OTHERS ?

 

1. SIN AFFECTS OTHER PEOPLE BECAUSE WE ALL INFLUENCE AND LEAD SOMEONE, SOMETIMES MANY PEOPLE.

IF WE SIN, WE INFLUENCE THEM IN THE WRONG WAY.  Matthew 5:13  “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

2. OUR SINS AFFECT OTHERS BECAUSE, WE ARE THE LORD’S GAZINGSTOCK, AND PEOPLE ARE SUPPOSED TO LOOK TO US AND OBSERVE IN US A SUPERIOR WAY OF LIFE.

Matthew 5:16  “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.   Hebrews 10:33  “Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.

 

*(The old “Do as I say, not as I do” refrain does not teach people the right principle, so we had better be living what we are telling the world).  When we stop witnessing and start trying to hide or justify our sin, the people around us will catch on before long.

3. OUR SINS AFFECT OTHERS BECAUSE OUR ACTIONS AFFECT THE LORD AND HIS CLOSENESS TO US.

WHEN WE ARE NOT RIGHT WITH THE LORD, THIS CAN BE SEEN IN THE WAY WE BEHAVE.

 

4. OUR SINS AFFECT OTHERS BECAUSE WE SOMETIMES DO LITERAL HARM TO THE WELFARE OF OTHERS BY SINNING.

 

The following is a list of some of the more commonly practiced sins of the Last Days among people who say that they are Christians.

 

  •   A. DRUGS.  STREET DRUGS.   DEPEND ON OTHER PEOPLE’S RESOURCES TO PAY FOR AND SUPPLY THE DRUGS.  THIS USUALLY RESULTS IN VIOLENT ABUSE OF THE PEOPLE, AND/OR THEFT OF THEIR PROPERTY.
  •   B. DRUGS, PRESCRIPTION DRUGS.  IN MANY COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD, ABUSE OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS HAS BECOME EPIDEMIC.  PAINKILLERS AND PSYCHOTROPIC DRUGS ARE PRESCRIBED FOR CASES WHERE THEY SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN, AND SOME CAN BECOME JUST AS ADDICTIVE AS ANY STREET DRUG.   ALTHOUGH SOME MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS HAVE ATTEMPTED TO HALT THIS EPIDEMIC, THE DEMAND FROM PATIENTS IS OFTEN TOO MUCH TO DEAL WITH, SO THE DOCTOR PRESCRIBES THEM, ANYWAY.

 

THESE DRUGS AFFECT THE BEHAVIOR AND ATTITUDE OF THE PERSON TAKING THEM.  THEY USUALLY AFFECT THEM WITH A LACK OF CLEAR THINKING, A MENTAL SLUGGISHNESS, OR EVEN CONFUSION.  FOR THE CHRISTIAN, THIS CAN AFFECT HIS OWN HOUSEHOLD AS WELL AS ALL THOSE WITH WHOM HE COMES IN CONTACT.

 

  •   C. ALCOHOL, DRUNKENNESS.  THE BIBLE HAS NOTHING BUT DEROGATORY THINGS TO SAY ABOUT DRUNKENNESS.  THE MISUSE OF ALCOHOL AFFECTS MANY PEOPLE, EVEN IF YOU DRINK, STAY BY YOURSELF, AND SLEEP IT OFF LATER.  IT COSTS YOUR FAMILY MONEY FOR YOU TO DRINK.  IT COSTS THEM QUALITY TIME WITH A PERSON THEY CARE ABOUT BECAUSE YOU ARE ONLY THINKING ABOUT YOURSELF.  IT COSTS THE JOB, BECAUSE YOU CAN’T PERFORM AS WELL WHILE DRINKING OR GETTING OVER A HANG-OVER.  IT MAY EVEN COST THE LIVES OF INNOCENT VICTIMS IF YOU DRIVE WHILE DRINKING.  IT DOESN’T JUST AFFECT YOU.

 

  •    D. COMPUTER OR VIDEO GAMES.  THIS ACTIVITY OFTEN TAKES A PERSON AWAY FROM NORMAL INTERACTION WITH FAMILY.  AFTER A PERIOD OF TIME, IT CAUSES THE PLAYER TO LOSE TOUCH WITH REAL-LIFE SITUATIONS, AND INSTEAD RESPOND TO PROBLEMS WITH A VIRTUAL FANTASY APPROACH.
  •   E. PORNOGRAPHY.  WHETHER BY COMPUTER OR OTHER GRAPHIC MEDIA, LIKE MAGAZINES, PORNOGRAPHY IS A VISUAL STIMULANT WHICH BRINGS THE OBSERVER INTO A FALSE WORLD.  THIS IMPACTS MARRIAGES BY BECOMING A SUBSTITUTE FOR GENUINE AND LEGITIMATE PHYSICAL RELATIONSHIPS.  IT HURTS THE MARRIAGE PARTNER BY SHORTCHANGING THEM OF A RELATIONSHIP IN ITS FULLEST TO WHICH THEY ARE ENTITLED.

 

  •   F. FOOD.  THE ADDICTION OF FOOD AND CONSUMING LARGE QUANTITIES OF IT IS JUST AS MUCH OF AN ADDICTION AS DRINKING OR DRUGS CAN BE.  IT NOT ONLY DESTROYS THE ADDICT’S PHYSICAL CONDITION—WHICH, IN THE CASE OF THE CHRISTIAN, IS THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT—BUT IT ALSO HARMS THE PEOPLE AROUND THE ADDICT.  A PERSON WHO IS A FOOD ADDICT IS A HIGH-MAINTENANCE PERSON, WITH REPAIRS ON HOUSEHOLD ITEMS, CLOTHING, AND EVEN THE HOUSE ITSELF BEING MUCH MORE THAN FOR A PERSON OF NORMAL WEIGHT.  WHEN THERE IS A LIMITED INCOME, THE COST TO PAY FOR THIS ADDICTION TAKES AWAY FROM OTHER NECESSITIES AND ACTIVITIES, AND THEREFORE AFFECTS EVERYONE IN THE FAMILY.   1 Corinthians 6:19  “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

 

  •    G. SMOKING.  WHEN ADDICTED TO TOBACCO, THE RESULT CAN BE PHYSICAL ILLNESS OR DISEASE, A CHRONIC COUGH, AND A SMELL RELATED TO THE TOBACCO.  IT AFFECTS OTHERS AS “SECOND-HAND SMOKE” WHICH ALSO RESULTS IN PHYSICAL PROBLEMS FOR THEM WHEN CONSUMED IN SUFFICIENT QUANTITIES.  1 Corinthians 3:17  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.    1 Corinthians 6:19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

 

  •    H. DAYDREAMINGJude 1:8  “Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.   EVERYONE DOES THIS EVERY NOW AND THEN.  BUT, IT BECOMES AN ADDICTION TO SOME PEOPLE WHO DON’T WANT TO FACE THEIR OWN REALITY, OR THEY HAVE FALLEN INTO A HABIT OF DAYDREAMING AT CERTAIN TIMES.  IT ROBS PEOPLE OF REAL FELLOWSHIP BY THE TIME IT CONSUMES.  IT CAN ALSO BRING ABOUT VIVID DREAMS THAT ALMOST SEEM REAL, AND ARE OFTEN REAL ENOUGH TO CONVINCE THE DAYDREAMER THAT THEY ARE REALITY.  THIS CAN CAUSE OTHER PEOPLE TO BE FALSELY ACCUSED, OR FALSELY LOVED, BASED UPON THE DREAM.   FOR THE CHRISTIAN, THIS INABILITY TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN DAYDREAMS AND REALITY WILL HINDER EFFECTIVE WITNESSING.

 

  •    I. LAZINESS.  THE BIBLE PREDICTS THE RESULTS OF A PERSON WHO IS SLOTHFUL.   THIS AFFECTS THE FAMILY OF THE SLOTHFUL PERSON, ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE THE BREADWINNERS.    Proverbs 19:15  “Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.   LAZINESS RESULTS IN THINGS NOT BEING MAINTAINED PROPERLY.  THEREFORE, THEY HAVE A  SHORTER LIFE-SPAN.  THIS AFFECTS THE REST OF THE FAMILY.

Ecclesiastes 10:18  By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.

  •   J. EXCUSE-MAKING.  Adam and Eve, gave excuses after their sin.  Was this act of excuse-making MORE sin ?  Yes.  It was placing the blame for their own decisions on another.  Genesis 3:13  “And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.  Then, of course, Adam blames Eve for his sin, too.

Those who claim to follow the Lord but actually don’t, often make excuses as to why they don’t.  Luke 14:18  “And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto Him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray Thee have me excused.

 

  •   K. COVETINGExodus 20:17  “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

 

WHERE DOES COVETING LEAD ?  A WELL KNOWN EXAMPLE OF WHAT HAPPENS TO A PERSON WHO BECOMES CAUGHT UP IN THE WEB OF COVETOUSNESS IS LOT’S WIFE.  WHEN SHE WAS PULLED FROM HER HOME BY THE HAND OF THE ANGEL, AND WARNED NOT TO LOOK BACK, HER ADDICTION TO MATERIAL THINGS WAS SO GREAT THAT SHE GAVE IN TO ONE LAST LONGING LOOK AT HER POSSESSIONS BEFORE THEY WERE ENGULFED IN FIRE AND BRIMSTONE.  Genesis 19:26  “But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

 

COVETING QUICKLY BECOMES A LIFE-STYLE.  IT BRINGS THE PERPETRATOR INTO A SLAVERY OF HAVING TO HAVE WHAT EVERYONE ELSE HAS.  IT CAN TAKE HOURS EACH WEEK FROM MINISTRY SO THAT THE PERSON CAN COVET THINGS IN RETAIL SALES CATALOGUES.  IT CAN WASTE PRECIOUS TIME WHICH WOULD BE DEVOTED TO SERVING GOD, STUDYING HIS WORD, AND HAVING FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM BY FREQUENT AND UNNECESSARY TRIPS TO STORES.

 

EVEN WHEN PEOPLE DESIRE THINGS SO THAT THEY MAY ISOLATE THEMSELVES FROM “THE SINFUL WORLD,” IF THEY COVET THE MATERIAL THINGS NEEDED TO DO THAT, THEY FAIL SPIRITUALLY.  Habakkuk 2:9  “Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil!”

 

 

5. HOW DO SINS EFFECT THE BELIEVER ?

  • HOW DO THEY EFFECT THE BELIEVER WHO HAS BECOME INSENSITIVE TO THE HOLY SPIRIT ?   CAN THE FOLLOWING HAPPEN TO A SAVED PERSON ?    Ephesians 4:19  “Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
  • HOW DO THEY AFFECT THE BELIEVER WHO IS TRYING TO WALK IN THE WAYS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS ?

 

6. MANY SINS DISCREDIT OR HURT THE NAME OF THE LORD.

  *(COMMON-KNOWLEDGE SINS)  This can include ANY sin which is known commonly to others.  It may include the following:

  • BAD LANGUAGE
  • SMOKING
  • DRINKING
  • BAD ATTITUDE
  • CONSTANT NEGATIVENESS.
  • COMPLAINING
  • DISRESPECT.  2 Chronicles 36:16  “But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy.
  • JEALOUSY
  • SEXUAL DEVIANCE
  • ENVY
  • PRIDE
  • CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR

 

7. HOW SINS ARE DESCRIBED IN THE BIBLE.  ARE THEY ALL THE SAME ?

A. SINS BRINGING THE WRATH OF GOD.

Ephesians 5:4-6  Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.  For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

B. SINS WHICH GOD SAYS HE HATES.

Deuteronomy 16:22  Neither shalt thou set thee up any image; which the LORD thy God hateth.

C. THINGS HE HATES WHICH ARE ALSO AN ABOMINATION TO HIM.

Proverbs 6:16-19  These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him:  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,  An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,  A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

D. THE BIBLE IDENTIFIES SOME SINS AS THINGS WHICH ARE ABOMINATIONS TO GOD.  (This places a stronger distain for those sins than for others).

THE IDOL AND THE VALUABLE THINGS OF AN IDOL.

Deuteronomy 7:25  “The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God.

E. GIVING GOD LESS THAN YOUR BEST IS AN ABOMINATION TO HIM.

Deuteronomy 17:1  “Thou shalt not sacrifice unto the LORD thy God any bullock, or sheep, wherein is blemish, or any evilfavouredness: for that is an abomination unto the LORD thy God.

F. HOMOSEXUALITY IS AN ABOMINATION.

Leviticus 20:13  “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

G. WICKED PEOPLE TRYING TO BRIBE GOD THROUGH THEIR GIFTS.

Proverbs 15:8  “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is His delight.

H. THE WAY OF THE WICKED IS AN ABOMINATION.

Proverbs 15:9  “The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but He loveth him that followeth after righteousness.

I. THE THOUGHTS OF THE WICKED ARE AN ABOMINATION.

Proverbs 15:26  “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.

J. A PRIDEFUL HEART IS AN ABOMINATION.

Proverbs 16:5  “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.

K. HAVING TWO OR MORE SETS OF STANDARDS IS AN ABOMINATION TO GOD.

Proverbs 20:23  “Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good.

 

THE FACT IS, THE BIBLE DOES NOT REFER TO ALL SINS AS GETTING THE SAME REACTION FROM GOD.  THE SCRIPTURES ARE CLEAR THAT SOME THINGS DEMAND GOD’S WRATH WHILE OTHERS ARE LESS LIKELY TO BRING IT IMMEDIATELY.

 

CONSIDER THE ACTIONS OF A PARENT.  SHOULD A CHILD WHO DOES NOT EAT ALL HIS DINNER GET THE SAME DEGREE OF PUNISHMENT AS THE CHILD THAT SMOKES SOME ILLEGAL STREET DRUGS AND TRIED TO GET THE OTHER CHILDREN IN THE HOUSE TO DO THE SAME ?  SHOULD SOMEONE WHO SEXUALLY MOLESTS A CHILD RECEIVE THE SAME DEGREE OF PUNISHMENT AS A PERSON WHO DID NOT PAY HIS HOSPITAL BILL ?

 

 

SECTION THREE:

PART 3 – THE REMEDY FOR SIN

 

SIN CAUSES PAIN TO GOD.  BUT, IT ALSO CAUSES PAIN AND SUFFERING TO THOSE WHO PRACTICE IT.  That pain may be mental, emotional, spiritual, or physical.  Many people in the Bible that Jesus healed had suffered physically because of their sin.

THE MAN WHO COULD NOT WALK SUFFERED PHYSICAL ILLNESS BECAUSE OF HIS SIN.    John 5:14  “Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

 

WE SHALL FIRST EXAMINE SINS WHICH CHRISTIANS COMMIT.  THEIR SINS HAVE ALREADY BEEN FORGIVEN BY THE LORD.

 

ONE OF THE CONSEQUENCES TO THE SIN MAY BE A BROKEN FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD.

 

 

1. WHAT NEW BEHAVIOR DOES GOD EXPECT FROM THOSE WHOSE SINS ARE FORGIVEN ?

A. REPENT OF THE SIN.  Acts 17:30  “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

 

B. ASK FOR FORGIVENESS.  (We are taught to ask for it in “The Lord’s Prayer).  Luke 11:4  “And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

 

C. BELIEVE YOU ARE FORGIVEN.  Without faith, it is impossible to please God.  Hebrews 11:6  “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

 

D. ASK FOR HELP TO OVERCOME THE SIN COMPLETELY.  Psalms 51:10  “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

 

HOW MANY OF THESE THINGS HAVE WE REALLY TRIED TO “MAKE RIGHT” WITH THE PEOPLE WE HAVE SINNED AGAINST ?

DO WE JUST TRY TO MAKE IT RIGHT WITH GOD ?

DO WE COMPLETE THE REPENTING PROCESS BY GETTING IT RIGHT WITH EVERYONE INVOLVED ?

 

 

2. THE NEED FOR PURITY IN ORDER TO FULFILL GOD’S WORK PROPERLY

A. ISAIAH COULD NOT BE SENT UNTIL HE HAD HIS SIN DEALT WITH PROPERLY.  Isaiah 6:5  “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

 

B. THE PRIESTS WILL HAVE TO BE PURIFIED FROM SIN BEFORE BEING ABLE TO MAKE OFFERINGS DURING THE MILLENNIUM.  Malachi 3:3  And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

 

C. THE JEWISH LEADERS WERE REQUIRED TO SHOW WORKS REVEALING A DEPARTURE FROM SIN IN ORDER TO EFFECTIVELY SERVE GOD.  Matthew 3:7-9  “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:  And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

 

D. BELIEVERS MUST BE PURIFIED BY CHRIST IN ORDER FOR US TO BE A TRULY PECULIAR PEOPLE.  Titus 2:14  “Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

 

 

SECTION FOUR:

WHY IS SIN TREATED SO SERIOUSLY BY GOD ?

 

1. THERE ARE EXCELLENT REASONS WHY GOD TREATS SIN SO SERIOUSLY.

 

  • IT HURTS HIM.
  • IT HURTS OTHERS.
  • IT HURTS YOU.
  • IT NEGATIVELY AFFECTS THE WORLD AROUND YOU.
  • IT AFFECTS THE FUTURE OF EVERY ONE WHO COMMITS SIN (HELL IS REAL).

 

2. FUTURE PUNISHMENT IS PART OF THE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES TO SIN.

 

  A. HELL IS A REAL PART OF AN UNFORGIVEN SINNER’S FUTURE.

Matthew 5:22  But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”

Matthew 5:29  And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”

Matthew 10:28  And 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.

 

  B. THE LOCATION OF HELL SHOULD INVOKE GENUINE FEAR TO THOSE WHO DESERVE TO GO THERE.

Hell is always considered “down.”  When a person goes there, the Bible speaks of them ‘descending.’  If this is true from any part of the Earth, we can see how Hell would have to be in the very center of the Earth.  This agrees with early Hebrew commentaries which locate Hell as being a place in the center of the earth (which also had a compartment which was not for torment, called “Paradise.”

 Ephesians 4:9  (Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

2 Peter 2:4  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;

 

 

3. WHAT BIBLICAL EVIDENCE DO WE HAVE THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY GO TO HELL ?

 

A. OLD TESTAMENT.  Psalms 16:10  “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Psalms 139:8  If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold,  Thou art there.

 

B. NEW TESTAMENT.  Matthew 10:28  “And 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.

Luke 16:23  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  *This is one of the clearest evidences of people being in Hell.  The other is in Isaiah, where people in Hell see the devil being thrown down with them.  In both cases, there are unquestionably people in Hell.

The idea that some have that “a loving God would not send anyone to Hell,” simply is not backed up by the evidence.  It is merely wishful thinking on their part.

Acts 2:27  Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Acts 2:31  He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in hell, neither His flesh did see corruption.

 

IN TWO OF THESE ACCOUNTS, JESUS WAS TEACHING ABOUT IT.  WHAT BETTER SOURCE OF TRUTH COULD WE HAVE THAN JESUS HIMSELF ?  NOT ONLY WAS HE TEACHING ABOUT, BUT HE WENT INTO THE CENTER PARTS OF THE EARTH, AND PREACHED TO THOSE IN HELL.  HIS TRUTHFULNESS, HIS FIRST-HAND KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE REVEALS THAT PEOPLE DO GO TO HELL, AND SUFFER.

 

4. IS HELL REALLY A PLACE OF ACTUAL FIRE ?

A. JESUS SAID IT WAS A PLACE OF FIRE.  WHAT MORE EVIDENCE DO WE NEED ?

Matthew 5:22  But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Matthew 18:9  And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

 

B. FURTHER EVIDENCE COMES FROM A MAN WHO WAS IN THE FLAME.  Luke 16:24  “And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

 

 

5. THE NATURE OF HELL

A. IT WAS MADE FOR SATAN AND HIS ANGELS.  Matthew 25:41  “Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

 

B. IT CONTAINS THE SOULS AND SPIRITS OF PEOPLE, AND WILL BE A PLACE WHERE SATAN IS TORMENTED, AS WELL.    Isaiah 14:12-15  “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.  Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

 

C. IT IS A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE WILL SUFFER FOR ETERNITY.   Mark 9:43  “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

 

Matthew 25:46  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

2 Thessalonians 1:8-9  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:   Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power;

Jude 1:7  Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

 

D. FIRE AND BRIMSTONE IS A PART OF THE ETERNAL PUNISHMENT OF THE LOST.  Revelation 14:10  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:

Revelation 20:10  And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Revelation 21:8  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: which is the second death.

 

6. IS THE LAKE OF FIRE DIFFERENT THAN HELL ?

In many respects, yes.  The Lake of Fire was specifically designated for the eternal torment for the devil and his angels.  However, it is opened up to all those who rejected Jesus and followed the deceptions of Satan, rejecting God’s forgiveness.  This event of going from Hell to the Lake of Fire occurs after the Thousand Year Millennium.

 

At the White Throne Judgment, Hell is cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:14  “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death”).  The two places are then forever merged.  Up until that time, only the soul and spirit of an individual were in Hell.  But, after the individuals are raised, they are given bodies, and will be tormented in the Lake of Fire.

 

A. Many have tried to reason away the reality of the experiences which some people had by going to Hell.  Some who have been brought back through modern medical methods have reported their experiences of going to Hell.  The most popular explanation for the modern Hell encounters was “oxygen deprivation.”  Some doctors have said they believed that when the brain is deprived of oxygen for a period of time, that it begins to hallucinate, and consequently will usually feel pain and agony, and thus the “encounters in Hell.”

 

Evidence that this explanation is wrong comes through science itself.  MANY attempts have been made to re-create oxygen deprivation conditions.  In NO CASE have any of those experiencing it come back with tales of experiencing Hell.  The experience of “tasting” Hell has motivated each person who had it to seek the Lord for Salvation.  The testimonies abound.  Those who have forgotten their experience, through either deliberate  memory deletion, or traumatic amnesia cannot be expected to respond in the same way.

 

B. THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH, BUT GOD’S GIFT IS ETERNAL LIFE

Our sins, while hurtful to God, others, and ourselves, have been paid for by the Blood of Jesus Christ.  He alone was capable to providing the payment necessary for our sins as the ordained Lamb of God.  1 Peter 1:18-20  “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:  Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

 

However, we are told that we must repent of our sins, and receive the Lord Jesus in order for His payment of Blood to be applied to us.

Luke 13:3  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

 

Acts 3:19  Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

 

Mark 1:15  And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

 

John 1:12  But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name:

 

John 20:31  But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His Name.

 

It is only through the Blood of the Lamb of God, and faith from the heart which brings a person into a forgiven state.  In such a state, a person’s sins are washed away, and they can look forward to a never-ending life with the Lord Jesus and an eternal home of bliss.    Jesus called this being “born again.”

 

Sin—the horrible rebellion against the will of God—brought us into a state of enmity against God.  But, through faith in Jesus Christ, we become the children of the Savior and recipients of everlasting life !  Amen !

 

 

“Sin”
A Course Of Study From Blueprint For Revival Bible Institutes International
©2009 Belleview, FL 34421 USA

Course # 3 – Fundamentals Of The Faith

BP logo blk 2

FUNDAMENTALS OF THE FAITH”

A Course Of Study From

Blueprint For Revival Bible
Institutes International
©2008 Belleview, FL 34421 USA

 

 

BLUEPRINT FOR REVIVAL BIBLE INSTITUTE

BASIC BIBLE STUDY GUIDE

Dr. Ed J MacWilliams

  

COURSE: FUNDAMENTALS OF THE FAITH:

The Basics

 .

.

.

KNOW WHO GOD IS.

 Who Is God?

God is One Person, revealing Himself through three different manifestations.  Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.   These manifestations have commonly been referred to as the Trinity.  God is not three separate persons, as some have suggested, but One Person only.

All three parts of God have always existed.  In Genesis 1: 26-27, it says,

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.”

There are some important facts to understand about this verse.

1. First of all, God ordained that this book of the Bible, as well as the entire Old Testament, should be written in the Hebrew language.

2. The word which is translated as “God,” is the Hebrew word, “Elohim”. This is a plural word, implying that God had more than one part to Himself.  You should also note the word “us” when God said, “Let us make…”

3.  When Elohim made man, He made him in God’s own image.  Consider this:  If man had only one part, this verse is saying that God would be like that.  If man had two parts, this verse is saying that God would be like that.  If man had ten parts, this verse is saying that God would be like that, because man was made in His image and likeness.  So, how many parts does man have ?  That will tell us the number of parts of God.

We are actually told in Scripture how many parts man has:

1 Thessalonians 5:23  “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

This verse clearly states that the whole man has three parts: a body, soul, and spirit.  God, therefore, has those parts, because man was created in His image.

The Father is the Soul part of God.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit part of God.

Jesus is the Body part of God.

 

JESUS AS “THE ONLY-BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER” REFERS TO GOD’S  PHYSICAL BEING.

“The Only-begotten” is a term used in the Bible to describe the manifestation of God physically.  Although His Spirit dwells within Believers, there is only One true physical manifestation of God Himself.  Therefore a very unique phrase, “only-begotten,” is used to describe this revelation of Himself.

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

John 1:18  “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.”

John 3:16  “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.”

John 3:18  “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.”

1 John 4:9  “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.”

The words “only-begotten” come from the Greek word, “monogenes” (Strongs Concordance # 3439).  It literally means, “unique, exclusive, one of a kind.”  Although we all become the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ, Jesus was the only true complete manifestation of the Godhead.

 

EACH OF US HAVE ONLY ONE BODY.

THE ONLY-BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD  (JESUS)  IS THAT ONE BODY WHICH IS A PHYSICAL MANIFESTATION OF GOD.

 

Colossians 2:9  For in Him [Jesus] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”    The word ‘Godhead’ is unique.  It means ‘the complete Person, composed of several parts.’

John 14:10  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me….?”     Jesus claimed to embody the Father as well as other Scriptures which showed that in Him was the Spirit of God, as well.  With the appearance of Jesus on Earth, we have the revelation of God in as much as mortal man can see at this time.

 

When Philip questioned how he might know God the Father, Jesus gave this reply:

John 14:9  “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”

 When Thomas was confronted with the resurrected Christ, he openly acknowledged Him as both Lord and God.

John 20:28  “And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God.”

 

THE SPIRIT OF GOD REVEALS THE MOST PRECIOUS ATTITUDES AND EMOTIONS OF THE ALMIGHTY GOD.

The Spirit of God cannot be seen.  He manifests Himself through physical objects, however, just to show mankind what He is doing.  When Jesus was baptized, the Spirit of God revealed Himself in the form of a dove.

Matthew 3:16  “And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him:”

When the Disciples were gathered in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost, the Spirit of God revealed Himself as a rushing wind, and in the form of cloven tongues of fire.

Acts 2: 2-4  “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.   And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

In most occasions where the Holy Spirit is working, He cannot be seen with the human eye.  His works, however, are made obvious through the people who yield themselves to Him.

Jesus explained to the disciples that the Holy Spirit which was with them at the time would later be in them.  This wonderful event occurred on the day of Pentecost when the Spirit of God filled all who were Believers in the Upper Room.

John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

In today’s world, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell with every Believer from the time they are saved.

 

In the Old Testament times, the relationship between God’s Holy Spirit and Believers was different than it was in the New Testament.

1. Not all Believers in Old Testament times had the Holy Spirit.

2. Not all Believers living during Old Testament times had the Holy Spirit inside them.  Some experienced what the Bible said where, the Holy Spirit “came upon him.”

3. During Old Testament times the Holy Spirit did not promise to stay inside them, or upon them throughout their lives.  King Saul is a good example of that.  God took His Spirit away from him because he disobeyed the command of God.  King David, when he had sinned, after seeing what happened to King Saul, pleaded with God, “…take not thy Holy Spirit from me.”  (Psalm 51:11).

 

WHAT DOES THE HOLY SPRIIT DO ?

These are several of the many important things He does.

The Spirit of God bears witness of Jesus.

John 15:26  “But when the Comforter is 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:”

The Spirit of God teaches us.

 John 16:13  “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.”

 
1 John 2:27  “But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.

This does not mean that Believers should not listen to Godly teaching.  But, it does mean that Godly teachings come through men and are of the Spirit of God.  The words and teachings must not be of men…that is, not of men’s ideas and men’s wisdom, but instead they should be from the Spirit of God.

God has called men to be His instruments to teach and encourage the Church.  Just as He used the Apostles in this way, He also uses people today to speak through them.

The Holy Spirit seals us.

Ephesians 1:13  “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,”

Ephesians 4:30  “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” 

He makes it impossible for the devil to snatch us fro the hands of the Lord.

The sealing by the Holy Spirit is very similar—although on a spiritual level—to what people do when they seal up a can of beans.  It is designed to keep the product inside, and not allow anyone else to get it except the person who purchases the can of beans.

John 10:29  “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”

The Holy Spirit Empowers us.  He gives us the strength we need to accomplish God’s purpose through us.

Romans 15:13  “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

The Spirit of God comforts us.  Many times in a Believer’s life, they have people around them, even loving, caring people, but people who do not understand the full need for comfort that we have.  The precious Holy Spirit of God is the presence of the Lord to comfort us.

John 14:16  “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever;”  

 John 14:26  “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

 

GOD IS OUR CREATOR, AND RULER OF THE UNIVERSE.

Genesis 1:1  “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

The entire universe was created by God.  He alone has the power to make something out of absolutely nothing.  Before He created things, there was nothing.

It was the physical part of God, Jesus, Who created the physical universe.

Colossians 1:16  “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him:”

Genesis 1:21  “And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”

Genesis 1:27  “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.”

Ephesians 3:9  “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, Who created all things by Jesus Christ:”

 

GOD IS A COMPASSIONATE, CARING KING.

John 3:16  “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.”

Ephesians 5:25  “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it;”

Psalms 146:8  “The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous:”

John 14:21  “He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.”

 

GOD WANTS TO BE KNOWN BY THOSE HE MADE IN HIS IMAGE.

A. PEOPLE THINK GOD IS NON-JUDGMENTAL.  “HE WON’T HURT US.  HE LOVES US TOO MUCH,” THEY SAY.

**There is a false teaching today that says that love doesn’t punish.  Yet we know that if a parent loves their child, they will punish the child in order to teach the child the proper and safe way of behavior.  God is the perfect Parent.  If we fail to listen to His Word and His instruction, He will punish, or chasten, us so that we will do the right and safe thing.

The disobedience by Adam, the first man of God’s creation, changed his entire life.

Genesis 3:23  Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.”   God forgave Adam for his sin, but God also left him with a lesson which he never would be able to forget.

B. THERE WERE THINGS WHICH JESUS DID THAT SHOWED HE STOOD UP FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.  GOD ALWAYS SHOWS HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS THROUGH THE THINGS THAT HE DOES.

Mark 11:15  And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;”

C. GOD DEALS WITH EACH PERSONAL INDIVIDUALLY.  Sometimes, God will allow the devil to have his way if we disobey God’s will.

1 Samuel 16:14  “But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.”

GOD IS GREATER THAN WHAT WE ARE ABLE TO IMAGINE.

A. THE PRESENCE OF GOD REVEALS A POWERFUL EVIDENCE OF HIS GREATNESS.  His presence is able to melt the hardest heart, and make the weakest person strong.  No psychiatrist or doctor can do that.  No medication can.  He is able to do what doctors cannot do.  He is able to make something from nothing.  His very presence exposes people to powerful evidences of His nature.

Exodus 9:28  Intreat the LORD (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer.”

People come under conviction.  People are comforted.  People are made to think about their future and about sins in their lives.

B. GOD’S COMMUNICATION WITH MAN REVEALS HIS GREATNESS.

His Voice is full of majesty.  Voices in this world are filled with deceit and corruption.

Psalms 29:4  The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.”

Job 37:5  God thundereth marvellously with His voice; great things doeth He, which we cannot comprehend.”

C. JUST OBSERVING WHAT GOD DOES WITH HIS CREATION SHOWS HIS GREATNESS.  He defies the wisdom of men.   His works are beyond our ability to fully understand.

Psalms 105:5  Remember His marvellous works that He hath done; His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth;”

Isaiah 55:9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

They are beyond the intelligence of man.

Ezekiel 1:19-20  “And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.”

GOD IS HOLY AND HAS EVERY RIGHT TO DEMAND THINGS FROM US.

A. HIS JUDGMENTS ARE ALL RIGHTEOUS.  They are holy.  He will end ministries if people don’t repent and separate themselves from sin.  He warns the Church, in

Revelation 2:20  Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

The Church was required by God to follow His standards, and not compromise with the world.

B. GETTING SAVED IS NOT OPTIONAL.  IT IS A COMMAND.

Matthew 4:17  “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

John 3:7  “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Isaiah 2:21  “To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth.

 

The Names of God

Revealed in the Old Testament

In The Old Testament, a tradition was established which gave a name to each child which revealed the character of the child.  Sometimes the name was given as a result of something related to the birth of the child, as in the case of Jacob.

Genesis 25:26  “And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.”

The name “Jacob” literally means, “sneaky thief,” and relates to the fact that while being born, he tried to pull his brother back and steal his position as ‘first-born.’

Hebrew names generally had actual meanings which described at least one of the individual’s characteristics.  This is also true as the Bible reveals the character of God.  He is shown to have many names, each describing an attribute of Himself.

 

EL:  God (“mighty, strong, prominent”) used 250 times in the OT See Gen. 7:1, 28:3, 35:11; Nu. 23:22; Josh. 3:10; 2 Sam. 22:31, 32; Neh. 1:5, 9:32; Isa. 9:6; Ezek. 10:5. Elohim is the more common plural form of El.

ELOHIM:  God (a plural noun, more than two, used with singular verbs); Elohim occurs 2,570 times in the OT, 32 times in Gen. 1. God as Creator, Preserver, Transcendent, Mighty and Strong. Eccl., Dan. Jonah use Elohim almost exclusively. See Gen. 17:7, 6:18, 9:15, 50:24; I Kings 8:23; Jer. 31:33; Isa. 40:1.

EL SHADDAI:    God Almighty or “God All Sufficient.” 48 times in the OT, 31 times in Job. First used in Gen. 17:1, 2. (Gen. 31:29, 49:24, 25; Prov. 3:27; Micah 2:1; Isa. 60:15, 16, 66:10-13; Ruth 1:20, 21) In Rev. 16:7, “Lord God the Almighty.” The Septuagint (which is the early Greek language translation of the Old Testament) uses the Greek word, “ikanos,” meaning “all-sufficient” or “self-sufficient.” The idols of the heathen are called “sheddim.”

ADONAI:  Sometimes translated as “Lord” in our English Bibles  (All lower case letters except for the Capital ‘L’ in English translations).   (Adonai is plural, the sing. is “adon”). It is translated as “Master” or “Lord,” 300 times in the OT, but is always plural when referring to God.   When it appears as a singular noun the reference is to a human lord. Used 215 times to refer to men. First use of Adonai, Gen. 15:2. (Ex. 4:10; Judges 6:15; 2 Sam. 7:18-20; Ps. 8, 114:7, 135:5, 141:8, 109:21-28). Heavy use in Isaiah (Adonai Jehovah). 200 times by Ezekiel. Ten times in Dan. 9.

JEHOVAH:  LORD in our English Bibles (all capitals). Yahweh is the covenant name of God. Occurs 6823 times in the OT First use Gen. 2:4 (Jehovah Elohim=LORD God)). From the verb “to be”, havah, similar to chavah (to live), “The Self-Existent One,” “I AM WHO I AM” or ‘I WILL BE WHO I WILL BE” as revealed to Moses at the burning bush, Ex.3. The name of God, too sacred to be uttered, abbreviated ( . . . . ) or written “YHWH” without vowel points. (Dan. 9:14; Ps. 11:7; Lev. 19:2; Hab. 1:12). Note Deut. 6:4, 5 known to Jews as the Sh’ma uses both Jehovah and Elohim to indicate one God with a plurality of persons.

JEHOVAH-JIREH:   “The Lord will Provide.” Gen. 22:14. From “jireh” (“to see” or “to provide,” or to “foresee” as a prophet.) God always provides for our needs adequately when the times come.

JEHOVAH-RAPHE:      “The Lord Who Heals” Ex. 15:22-26. From “rophe” (“to heal”); implies spiritual, emotional as well as physical healing. (Jer. 30:17, 3:22; Isa. 61:1) God heals the body, soul, and spirit; all levels of man’s being.

JEHOVAH-NISSI:     “The Lord Our Banner.” Ex. 17:15. God on the battlefield, from word which means “to glisten,” “to lift up,” See Psalm 4:6.

JEHOVAH-M’KADDESH:      “The Lord Who Sanctifies” Lev. 20:8. “To make whole, set apart for holiness.”

JEHOVAH-SHALOM:     “The Lord Our Peace” Judges 6:24. “Shalom” translated “peace” 170 times means “whole,” “finished,” “fulfilled,” “perfected.” Related to “well, and “welfare.” Deut. 27:6; Dan. 5:26; I Kings 9:25 8:61; Gen. 15:16; Ex. 21:34, 22:5, 6; Lev. 7:11-21.

SHEPHERD:  Psa. 23, 79:13, 95:7, 80:1, 100:3; Gen. 49:24; Isa. 40:11.  God is the Great Shepherd of the sheep.  He leads His people to blessings and righteousness.

JUDGE:  Psa. 7:8, 96:13.  God will judge the world and all mankind.  The most notable time will be the White Throne judgment mentioned in Revelation, Chapter 19:11, etc.

JEHOVAH ELOHIM:     “LORD God” Gen. 2:4; Judges 5:3; Isa. 17:6; Zeph. 2:9; Psa. 59:5, etc.

JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU      “The Lord Our Righteousness” Jer. 23:5, 6, 33:16. From “tsidek” (straight, stiff, balanced – as on scales – full weight, justice, right, righteous, declared innocent.) God our Righteousness.

JEHOVAH-ROHI:     “The Lord Our Shepherd” Psa. 23, from “ro’eh” (to pasture).

JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH:        “The Lord is There” (Ezek. 48:35).

JEHOVAH-SABAOTH:      “The Lord of Hosts” The commander of the angelic host and the armies of God. Isa. 1:24; Psa. 46:7, 11; 2 Kings 3:9-12; Jer. 11:20 (NT: Rom. 9:29; James 5:4, Rev. 19: 11-16).

EL ELYON:       ‘Most High” (from “to go up”) Deut. 26:19, 32:8; Psa. 18:13; Gen. 14:18; Nu. 24:16; Psa. 78:35, 7:17, 18:13, 97:9, 56:2, 78:56, 18:13; Dan. 7:25, 27; Isa. 14:14.

ABHIR:  ‘Mighty One’, (“to be strong”) Gen. 49:24; Deut. 10:17; Psa. 132:2, 5; Isa. 1:24, 49:26, 60:1.

BRANCH:  (tsemach), The Branch: Zech. 3:8, 6:12; Isa. 4:2; Jer. 23:5, 33:15.

KADOSH:  “Holy One” Psa. 71:22; Isa. 40:25, 43:3, 48:17. Isaiah uses the expression “the Holy One of Israel” 29 times.

SHAPHAT:  “Judge” Gen. 18:25

EL ROI:       “God of Seeing” Hagar in Gen. 16:13. The God Who opens our eyes.

KANNA:  “Jealous” (zealous). Ex. 20:5, 34:14; Deut. 5:9; Isa. 9:7; Zech. 1:14, 8:2.

PALET:  “Deliverer” Psa. 18:2.

YESHUA:  (Yeshua) “Savior” (“he will save”). Isa. 43:3. Jesus is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew “Joshua.” The latter is a contraction of Je-Hoshua. (The NT Greek word “Christ”, the anointed one, is equivalent to the Hebrew “Moschiah,” or Messiah).

GAOL:  “Redeemer” (One who buys back by paying a price). Job 19:25; For example, the antitype corresponding to Boaz the Kinsman-Redeemer in the Book of Ruth.

MAGEN:  “Shield” Psa. 3:3, 18:30.

STONE:  Gen. 49:24

EYALUTH:  “Strength” Psa. 22:19.

TSADDIQ:  “Righteous One” Psa. 7:9.

EL-OLAM:       “Everlasting God” (God of everlasting time) Gen. 21:33; Psa. 90:1-3, 93:2; Isa. 26:4.

EL-BERITH:      “God of the Covenant” Used of Baal in Judges 9:46. Probably used originally to refer to the God of Israel.

EL-GIBHOR:      “Mighty God” (Isa. 9:6)

ZUR:  “Our Rock” Deut. 32:18; Isa. 30:29.

Malachi calls Messiah “The Sun of Righteousness” (Malachi 4:2).

Isaiah calls Messiah “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God (El Gibhor), Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6).

‘Attiq Yomin (Aramaic): “Ancient of Days,” Dan. 7:9, 13, 22.

MELEKH:  “King” Psa. 5:2, 29:10, 44:4, 47:6-8, 48:2, 68:24, 74:12, 95:3, 97:1, 99:4, 146:10; Isa. 5:1, 5, 41:21, 43:15, 44:6; 52:7, 52:10.

“The Angel of the Lord: ” Gen. 16:7ff, 21:17, 22:11, 15ff, 18:1-19:1, 24:7, 40, 31:11-13, 32:24-30; Ex. 3:6, 13:21, Ezek. 1:10-13. Seen in the Theophanies, or pre-incarnate appearances of the Son of God in the Old Testament (See I Cor. 10:3 New Testament.)

FATHER:  2 Sam. 7:14-15; Psa. 68:5; Isa. 63:16, 64:8; Mal. 1:6.

THE FIRST AND LAST: Isa. 44:6, 48:12.


New Testament Scriptures, (Greek):

KURIOS: (kurios) “Lord” Found some 600 times in the NT.
DESPOTES: (despotes) “Lord” 5 times: Lu. 2:29; Acts 4:24; 2 Pet. 2:1; Jude 4; Rev. 6:10.

THEOS: (yeos) “God” (equivalent to the Hebrew Elohim), 1,000 times in the NT. In the NT all the persons of the trinity are called “God” at one time or another.

I AM: Jesus upset his generation especially when He said, “Before Abraham was, I AM,” John 8:58. Note also his claim to be Jehovah in such phrases as “I AM the Light of the world,” “the bread of life,” living water,” “the Resurrection and the Life,” “the Way, Truth and the Life” in John’s Gospel. From the Hebrew OT verb “to be” signifying a Living, Intelligent, Personal Being.

THEOTES: “Godhead” Col. 2:9; Rom. 1:20.

HUPSISTOS: “Highest” Mt. 21:9.

SOTER: (soter) “Savior” Luke 1:4 7.

WORD: (logos) John 1:1

ALMIGHTY: (pantokrator) 2 Cor. 6:18, Revelation, 9t, e.g. 19:6.

JESUS: Derived from the Hebrew “Joshua” (Y’shua) or “Je-Hoshua” meaning JEHOVAH IS SALVATION.

 

 

 

The Trinity

Notes on the word, “Trinity”

In the doctrine of many Christian denominations, the word “Trinity” occurs.  This word is not in the Bible and was an attempt by early theologians to describe the nature of God.  To the early Christians, God was not a Trinity, as supposed by many cults today.  Instead, He was seen as One God who manifested Himself in three different ways.  This is the correct and most Biblical view.

However, to some people, the word “Trinity” means that God is actually three closely-linked but separate people.  Although those who hold this view claim to be Christians, this is a form of polytheism and is not justified by what the Bible teaches.

 

THE PHYSICAL PART OF GOD APPEARS THROUGHOUT THE OLD TESTAMENT

Even before Jesus was born to the Virgin Mary and walked among men for around 33 years, He was found in the Old Testament, as well.

THE PHYSICAL PART OF GOD WALKED IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN, BEFORE ADAM SINNED.

Genesis 3:8  “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

MOSES HAD JESUS’ HAND PLACED OVER HIS EYES TO PROTECT HIM FROM THE GLORY OF THE FATHER.

Exodus 33: 19-23  “And He said, I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.  And He said, Thou canst not see My face: for there shall no man see Me, and live.  And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by Me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:  And it shall come to pass, while My glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with My hand while I pass by.  And I will take away Mine hand, and thou shalt see My back parts: but My face shall not be seen.

ABRAHAM FED JESUS AND TWO ANGELS.

Genesis 18: 1-4  “And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;  And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,  And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in Thy sight, pass not away, I pray Thee, from Thy servant:  Let a little water, I pray You, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:

Genesis 18: 8  “And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

ABRAHAM SPOKE WITH JESUS ABOUT JUDGMENT ON SODOM AND GOMORRAH.

Genesis 18:20-22  “And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;    I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.   And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.”

JACOB WRESTLED WITH THE PHYSICAL PART OF GOD.

Genesis 32:24-25  “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a Man with him until the breaking of the day.  And when He saw that he prevailed not against him, He touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.

Genesis 32:30  “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

Jesus made it clearer to those who believed, what the nature of the Almighty God was like.  In the following Scriptures, He helps us to understand the One true God better.

Matthew 11:27  “All things are delivered unto Me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.

John 14: 6-7  “Jesus saith unto him, 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.”

John 14: 8-11  “Philip saith unto Him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works.  Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.

 

Because of Christ’s revelation of the Father, we know what the word, “Godhead,” means.

Romans 1:20  “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”  

Colossians 2:9  “For in Him [that is, ‘in Jesus’] “dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”

 

Some people object to the idea that Jesus is actually God in Flesh, even though the Bible says so.  They insist that because He prayed to the Father on several occasions, that this “proves” He was not God, but merely an anointed messenger, or a great prophet.  This is one of the arguments which Islam uses against Jesus.

Let us consider these Biblical passages which they use to argue against Jesus being God in flesh.

 

WHEN JESUS PRAYED IN GETHSEMENE.

Luke 22:42  “Saying, Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done.”

When a person speaks out loud, it is not unusual.  In fact, most people have spoken out loud, talking to themselves.  It is not an insane person who “talks to himself,” but the typical human being who wants his inner soul to hear what he is considering.  The fact that Jesus prayed does not mean that He was speaking with a far-off person completely unrelated to Himself.  In fact, His prayers were to the Father, that the Bible says, was within Him.

Mark 15:34  “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” 

When God the Father abandoned the Body of Jesus on the Cross, there was a separation of parts.  But, it was necessary for this to occur, since God the Father cannot stand the presence of sin, and when Jesus hung on the Cross, at the end of His time there, He took upon Himself the sins of the entire world.  This resulted in His statement, “…why hast Thou forsaken Me ?”

 

 Some Scriptures Revealing the Nature of Jesus

Revelation 1:7-8 Jesus was the Almighty.
Genesis 17:1 And the Almighty was God.

John 8:58 Jesus was the “I Am”
Exodus 3:14 and the “I Am” was God

Acts 3:14 Jesus was the “HOLY ONE”
Isaiah 43:15 and the “HOLY ONE” was God

John 8:24 Jesus is the “I Am He”
Isaiah 43:10 and the “I Am He” was God

Revelation 22:13 Jesus is the “First and the Last”
Isaiah 44:6 and the “First and the Last” was God

I Corinthians 10:4 Jesus was “The Rock”
Psalm 18:31 and “The Rock” was God

II Corinthians 11:2 Jesus was the “One HUSBAND”
Jeremiah 31:32 and the “One HUSBAND” was God

Matthew 23:8 Jesus was the “ONE MASTER”
Malachi 1:6 and the “ONE MASTER” was God

John 10:16 Jesus was the “ONE SHEPHERD”
Isaiah 40:11 and the “ONE SHEPHERD” was God

Acts 4:12 Jesus was the “ONE SAVIOR”
Isaiah 45:21 and the “ONE SAVIOR” was God

Luke 1:68 Jesus was the “ONE REDEEMER”
Isaiah 41:14 and the “ONE REDEEMER” was God

Revelation 19:16 Jesus was “LORD OF LORDS
1 Timothy 6:14 Jesus was “LORD OF LORDS
Deuteronomy 10:17 and the “LORD OF LORDS” was God

Philippians 2:10 Every knee must bow to Jesus
Isaiah 45:23 Every knee must bow to God

John 1: 3-10 Jesus was the “ONE CREATOR”
Isaiah 44:24 Jesus was the “ONE CREATOR”
Genesis 1:1 and the “ONE CREATOR” was God

John 1:49 Jesus was “KING OF ISRAEL”
Isaiah 44:6 and the “KING OF ISRAEL” was God

Deuteronomy 4:35 The Lord He is God, there is NONE else beside him

Deuteronomy 4:39 there is None Else

Deuteronomy 6:4 the Lord our God is ONE Lord

Deuteronomy 32:39 “I even I, am He and THERE IS NO GOD WITH ME”

1 Kings 8:60 The LORD is God – There is None Else

2 Kings 19:15 You ALONE are the only true God

Psalm 86:10 You are God, YOU ALONE

Isaiah 42:8  I am Jehovah, and to no one else shall I give My own glory

Isaiah 43:10,11  Before Me there was no God formed
NEITHER SHALL THERE BE AFTER ME. I, EVEN I AM THE LORD:
AND BESIDE ME THERE IS NO SAVIOR.

Isaiah 44:6 I AM THE FIRST, AND THE LAST: AND BESIDE ME THERE IS NO GOD

Isaiah 45:5 I am the Lord, and there is NONE ELSE, THERE IS NO GOD BESIDE ME

Isaiah 45:6 There is NONE beside Me. I am the Lord and there is NONE else.

Isaiah 45:15  You are a God, the God of Israel, a Savior.

Isaiah 45:22  Turn to me and be saved. For I am God, and there is no one else.

Isaiah 48:11 I will not give my glory unto another.
Isaiah 45:5

Isaiah 48:12 I am He, I am the First, I also am the Last. Revelation 1:8

Hosea 13:4 I am Jehovah your God, there was no God except Me, and there was no savior but I.

Joel 2:27 I am your God, and None Else

Zechariah 14:9 In that day shall there be ONE LORD AND HIS NAME ONE

Philippians 2:11 That Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father

Matthew 23:9 For one is your Father, the heavenly One

Mark 12:29 Jehovah our God is one Jehovah

 

 

KNOW WHAT HIS PURPOSES ARE.

The purposes of God are established in Scripture.  They are important issues which must not be left to man’s imagination or speculation.  If we fail to understand the purposes of God, our entire lives can be spent trying to accomplish the wrong things.

When the LORD God created the Heavens and the Earth, He did it perfectly.  Everything was good.  There was not one mistake or flaw found in this new world He made.  Perfection was His intent, and it was accomplished.  Everything He made worked together in harmony with everything else He made.  There was a unity and holiness in His plan.

The Bible tells us that,

“…God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas: and God saw that it was good.”  Genesis 1:10.

If God has initially intended for there to be even some minor thing wrong with His new world, He could have brought it about, but instead, His goal was perfection.

 

TO BRING ALL GOOD THINGS TOGETHER INTO ONE GLORIOUS UNION, UNDER HIMSELF.

Ephesians 1: 9-10   “Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself:   That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him:

 

It would not take much to realize that since this was God’s intention, that He will do what is necessary to bring this to pass once again.  God will not be defeated in His purposes.  Christians are encouraged to look forward to that day.

2 Peter 3:13  “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

 

BRING SINNERS TO REPENTANCE.

2 Peter 3:9  “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us–ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

 1 Timothy 2: 3-4  “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

 

TO RECONCILE REPENTANT SINNERS TO HIMSELF.

Ephesians 2:16  “And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:”

Colossians 1:20  “And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

 

TO MAKE KNOWN THE MYSTERY OF FELLOWSHIP WITH HIMSELF.

Ephesians 3: 9-11  “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, Who created all things by Jesus Christ:  To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,  According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:”

 

TO USE HIS BRIDE, THE CHURCH, IN REACHING SINNERS.

Mark 16:15 “And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Acts 1:8  “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 in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

Acts 20:24  “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God”.

Matthew 4:19  “And He saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

 

1. CREATED TO DO WHAT ?  **There are many animals of which we know little purpose for them.  Why did God create armadillo’s ?  Why flies ?  Why mosquitoes ?  Yet, the Bible tells us everything has a purpose, even if the creature isn’t conscious of what their purpose is.  So, how does the mosquito end up doing God’s will ?  Just by being itself.  But, with man, it’s different.  Ever since Adam sinned, man isn’t the way God created him.  He can’t think right, and his purposes seem to have been twisted.  So, God gave mankind the answers simply and clearly in His Word, the Bible.

 

A. NOT TO ADOPT THE WORLD’S VIEWS.   It’s interesting to hear people talk about a check the government is supposed to send to everyone to help the economy.  Where do you think the government, that is in debt over it’s head is going to get the money ?  They are going to print more of it.  Which makes the money you have worth even less.  The world’s thinking is crazy.

Luke 12:19-21  “And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.  But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?  So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

 

B. WE WERE CREATED TO REFLECT GOD, NOT OUR OWN SELVES.

  Ephesians 4:24  “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

 

C. CREATED TO DO GOOD WORKS.   WHAT ARE THESE GOOD WORKS ?

Ephesians 2:10  “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

 

 

2. GOD’S PURPOSE WILL NOT BE UNDONE.

A. WHATEVER GOD PLANS, IT WILL BE DONE.

Isaiah 14:26-27  This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations.  For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?

 

B. HE CREATED MAN TO REFLECT HIS OWN GLORY.  IF THE JEWISH PEOPLE REFUSED HIM, HE WOULD GO TO THE GENTILES.

Jeremiah 16:19-20  “O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto Thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.  Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods?

 

C. LETTING THE LIGHT OF CHRIST SHINE IN US.

Matthew 5:16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 

3. THE FUTURE OF GOD’S PLAN SHOULD MAKE US SUBMIT TO HIM IN FAITH.

A. GOD WILL CREATE A NEW HEAVENS AND A NEW EARTH.

Isaiah 65:17  “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

 

B. GOD WILL CREATE A CLEAN HEART IN THOSE THAT SEEK HIS HOLINESS.

Psalms 51:10  “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

 

 

KNOW WHY WE NEED TO BE SAVED

The whole concept of “being saved” has been under attack in recent years.  Many people now contend that a loving God will forgive everyone and bring everyone into Heaven, regardless of their faith or what they have done in their lives.  They suggest that God will push aside all things that we have done against Him and each other, and will freely give us all a pardon, even if we didn’t ask.

Actually, the term, “saved,” goes back to the Old Testament, where it dealt with deliverance from one’s enemies.

Psalms 18:3  “I will call upon the LORD, Who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

Taking this principle on a personal level, we find that being saved also applies to enemies other than armies of men who seek to kill us.  Through the power of Christ, we are saved from the power of the devil, from a fate so bad that words cannot properly describe it, and from death itself.

The other value of “being saved,” is that we are saved from the anger of Almighty God, Who will judge all men.

Romans 5:9  “Much more then, being now justified by His blood” [that is, the Blood of Jesus], “we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” [that is, through Jesus]

 

BECAUSE EVERY HUMAN BEING HAS INHERITED A SINFUL NATURE FROM ADAM TO THE PRESENT TIME.

Romans 5:12  “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:

The weakness to sin is carried genetically.  These tiny parts of DNA found in the human body are the character of the person.  They not only describe the physical attributes, but the mental ones, as well.  They were basically unknown until about 50 years ago, but since the invention of more powerful microscopes, DNA has become another confirmation of what God said in the Bible thousands of years before.

DNA molecules carry the characteristics—the strengths and weaknesses of the individual, and their composition that is inherited from the parents.  The Bible tells us that the weakness toward certain sins of the great-great-grandparents are carried to the children.

Numbers 14:18  “The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

For an example, it has been proven through DNA research conducted at the University of Florida,  Gainesville, and confirmed at other research facilities around the world that the weakness toward alcoholism is carried to three and four generations by DNA.  That does not mean that all children who are born to alcoholics will become alcoholics themselves, but it does mean that the weakness toward that sin will be especially present in them.  The sin comes from a personal choice to disobey God.  No one is forced to sin, either by others, or by DNA, or by the devil himself.  It is always a choice of the unregenerate heart.

 

WE NEED TO BE SAVED BECAUSE ADAM SINNED.

Romans 5: 17-19  “For if by one man’s offence” *[Adam’s sin]  “death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ.)  Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.  For as by one man’s disobedience” *[Adam’s sin]  “many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One” *[Jesus, Who never sinned] “shall many be made righteous.”

*Clarifying notation.

 

BECAUSE YOU PERSONALLY CHOSE TO SIN.  GOD has commanded all those He created as humans to obey Him.  When we do not obey, it is considered sin.   It places the responsibility for sinning clearly upon each of us.  We have the choice, to sin, or not.  When we choose to sin, the result is death.

Romans 6:12  “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

Romans 6:16  “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”

 

BECAUSE THERE IS NO HOPE WITHOUT A PAYMENT IN BLOOD.

The Bible is clear to tell us that God established a procedure, a law, for covering sin.  It cannot be done by any of man’s ideas, such as Adam and Eve tried when they use fig leaves.  Sin can be covered only through the shedding of innocent blood.

When Adam and Eve sinned, God provided a covering for them.  He gave them coats of skins.

Genesis 3:21  “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

But, in order for Him to make coats of skins, God first had to shed the blood of those animals in order to take their skins.

We find that this principle was understood by Adam’s sons, Cain and Abel.  Abel provided the sin offering required by God, for it was an offering that shed the blood of an animal.

Genesis 4:4  “And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:”

God was NOT pleased with the offering which Cain gave (vegetables), that did not shed blood.  This principle in clarified elsewhere in Scripture, as well.

Hebrews 9:22  “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

 

BECAUSE YOU DON’T WANT TO PAY FOR YOUR SINS YOURSELF.  The shedding of animal blood was only a temporary solution until the final judgment was completed.  At the judgment, man would have been found guilty of sin, and he would have to pay the consequences, death.

Romans 6:23  “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Hebrews 10:4  “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.  All that the blood of animals could did in ancient times was to COVER sins, as a temporary means of protection from the wrath of God, but they could not provide forgiveness.

Sooner or later, every man would have to give an account of himself before God, and be found condemned because of sin.  Hell is a place of torment, and all those in Hell will one day be transferred to an even more terrible place of torment, called the Lake of Fire.

Matthew 10:28  “And 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.”

Psalms 9:17  “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” 

Matthew 23:33  “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?”

Mark 9:43  “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: “ 

Matthew 25:41  “Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”

 Revelation 20:14  “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”

Revelation 20:15  “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

 

Although that sounds hopeless, the God Who created us and loves us made a way for us to have real and eternal forgiveness.

John 3:16  “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.

Every person having an earthly mother and father is in need of salvation.  There are no exceptions.  Because we have chosen to sin against God, His judgment against us is righteous and fair.  It is only through faith in Jesus Christ that the payment which God provided for sin can be applied to our lives.

 

 

BECAUSE JESUS IS THE ONLY ANSWER.

From the very beginning of mankind, Jesus was the only true answer that gave forgiveness.  Before the Cross, where Jesus shed His Blood for us, saved people looked ahead believing that God would provide a perfect Lamb for the sacrifice that would wash away our sins.  After the Cross, saved people looked back in faith to the time when Jesus walked on the face of the earth and went to the Cross, trusting in Jesus, the true Lamb of God.  Both Old Testament people and New Testament people were saved by faith in the Lamb of God.

The Holy Spirit taught through the Apostles, in

Acts 4:12  “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Jesus said of Himself, in

John 14:6  “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.

 

 

 

KNOW HOW WE ARE SAVED

We are not saved by trying to be good.  Even if we lived our lives without sin, except for one thing, we would be condemned to an eternity in Hell.  The Bible says, in Romans 6:23a,  “For the wages of sin is death…”  That Scripture does NOT say, “The wages of many sins….”  Instead it says “The wages of sin…”—singular, meaning, the wages of only one sin !

Some people picture Judgment Day before God as a time when God will weigh out our lives, and see if our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds.  They falsely reason that if our good deeds are more than our bad deeds, God will let us into Heaven.  The Bible strongly contradicts this.

This is how God looks at our “good deeds” before we come to know Jesus Christ as our Savior.

Psalms 14:3  “They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

Ecclesiastes 7:20  “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.”   

Isaiah 64:6  “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”

 

The fact is, God will not count anything we have done in our past that might appear to us or other humans as “good,” until we first come to Christ in repentance and faith.  Jesus pointed out God’s rule for accomplishing good things.

John 15:5  “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.”

 God established laws which govern how our sins would be covered or forgiven.  The Bible clearly states that the shedding of innocent blood is necessary for that covering.

 Hebrews 9:22  “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

The Bible points to Jesus as God’s chosen Lamb, the innocent, sinless sacrifice that was needed for our sins.  John the Baptist made his disciples aware that Jesus was God’s sacrificial Lamb.

John 1:29  “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Jesus, God’s sacrificial Lamb, gave Himself for OUR sins.

Ephesians 5:2  “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Jesus, God’s sacrifice, paid for our sins.

Hebrews 9:26  “For then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

We are made clean through the Blood which Jesus, God’s sacrifical Lamb, shed for us.

Revelation 7:14“And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

Revelation 7:17  “For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”

Revelation 12:11  “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

 

 

KNOW WHAT THAT SALVATION REQUIRES OF US

 

We are required to live in the new way.

Romans 6:4  “Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

We are required to serve Him.

Daniel 7:14  “And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”

1 Thessalonians 1:9  “For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;”

Hebrews 9:14  “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

The Apostles understood that they were servants of the Lord.

Titus 1:1  “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;

James 1:1  “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

Early Christians understood that they were supposed to be servants of the Lord.

Colossians  4:12  “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.   We are all supposed to be the servants of the Lord Jesus.

We cannot serve God and at the same time serve the gods or idols which we had before.

Matthew 6:24  “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

 

 

KNOW WHAT YOUR PURPOSES ARE.

The Bible tells us that we were created for one purpose.  It is not to please ourselves.  It is not to please others.  It is to please God.

Revelation 4:11  “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.

Some people have argued that if we please God first, we cannot be pleasing to others.  This is a false idea.  By seeking to please God, a Believer will end up with greater power from God to bless others.  If a wife wants to please her husband, she must first please God so she will have the greater blessing of love from God which will come through her and it will bless her husband.    

Ephesians 5:22  “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

If he wishes to please his employer, he must consciously seek to please God in what he is doing.  It is then that God will bless, and his employer will be more pleased than at other times.

Colossians 3:23  “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;”   

Ephesians 6:6  “Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;” 

Colossians 3:22  “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:” 

 

 

KNOW HOW HE COMMUNICATES WITH US

God loves us and desires to fellowship with us.

1 John 1:7  “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Obviously, if we do not do those things which are considered “light” we will not have that precious fellowship.   A major part of that communication is in fellowship, but it can also contain other purposes of communication.  It may include conviction over sin, Godly instruction, rebuke, and other things which are completely instigated by God Himself.

The way in which God speaks generally is confined to two major ways.  (There are others which we will discuss later, however).

 

He speaks to us through His written Word, the Bible.  In the Greek language, this is known as the “Logos”.  All the basic principles and information that we need to grow in our relationship with God are included within the Bible.  It shows us the way we are supposed to live.

Psalms 119:105  “NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

He speaks to us through His spoken Word, which comes by the Holy Spirit.  In the Greek language, this is known as the “Rhema”.   The Holy Spirit takes God’s Word and applies it personally to our daily walk with the Lord.

For an example, the Logos, or the WRITTEN WORD OF GOD said, in

Mark 16:15“…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

No one person can reach the entire world.  But, each person has a part to play in God’s plan.  It is the Holy Spirit that takes the INSTRUCTION, OR COMMAND of God, and applies to us individually.  When the Disciples wanted to reach the world, they wanted God to show them who was to do what, and who was to go where.  The Rhema, the Holy Spirit, said,

Acts 13:2  “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

The more we listen to the Lord, the more we will be able to recognize the Voice of the Holy Spirit.  Every Believer has already heard Him speaking, however.  He is the One Who convicted us of our sins.  He told us that we needed to be saved.

We heard His Voice, perhaps through a preacher or a friend that was trying to lead us to Christ.  But, we most certainly heard Him when He continued pleading with us to get saved, long after any physical voice stopped.   His Voice is often a quiet Voice, and requires that we seek to hear Him with all diligence.

1 Kings 19: 12-13  “And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.   And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?”

 It is a common error, and a dangerous one, to think that every voice we hear is from God.  In fact, evil spirits can also speak to people, tempting them to do evil.  It is important, then, to recognize that whenever we hear from God, His voice (Rhema) will never contradict His written Word (Logos, the Bible).  The Spirit of God will never oppose what is written, and will confirm God’s written word, and will apply it to the Believer’s life in a way that will bring honor and glory to the Lord Jesus.

There are some churches that have been caught up into false doctrines and failed prophecies because they could not distinguish between the voice of God and the voice of other spirits.  A true Believer in Jesus Christ will grow in his understanding and recognition of the voice of the Spirit.

God can speak to us through other methods of His choosing.  He may choose to speak to us through history.  Jesus used a then-current event, the collapse of the tower of Siloam, to teach the people who were around Him.

Luke 13:4  “Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?”

Jesus also used the past history of Sodom and Gomorrah as a teaching tool.

Matthew 10:15  “Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

Even if Jesus had not spoken those words to the people around Him, the events which happened in Sodom were an historic lesson of what God will do to an unrepentant, sinful society.

God can also use other things, as well.  He has used animals, as in the case of Balaam’s donkey.    He has used a great fish to teach Jonah not to rebel, but have faith.  He used a fish to bring a coin to Peter so he might pay his taxes.  God is able to use whatever is at His hand to teach and communicate with us.

In each of these methods of communication, God speaks things which verify and NEVER contradict His Word.

 

 

SUMMARY

 

These are a few of the basic doctrines and beliefs which will help you establish your relationship with God more securely.  As you grow in the Christ, you will learn many more wonderful and exciting truths about the God Who loves us so much that He sent His Only-Begotten Son, Jesus to die on the Cross for us.  These things are given so that our hearts and minds might be changed, and our lives will become more like the Lord Jesus.

There will always be things which we do not understand, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t comprehend everything at once.  As you grow in Christ, the Spirit of God will guide you into all Truth, and your understanding will be enlarged.  But, God expects you to accomplish things with the truths He teaches you.  They must not remain as dead facts.  Instead, they must be used to change your life, and they must be shared with others.

 

John 15:8  “Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.

 

“Fundamentals Of The Faith”
A Course Of Study From Blueprint For Revival Bible Institutes International
©2008 Belleview, FL 34421 USA

Course # 2 – Our Biblical Faith

BP logo blk 2

“Our Biblical Faith”
A Course Of Study From
Blueprint For Revival Bible
Institutes International
©2008 Belleview, FL 34421 USA

BLUEPRINT FOR REVIVAL BIBLE INSTITUTE

BASIC BIBLE STUDY GUIDE

Dr. Ed J MacWilliams

  

COURSE: BIBLE DOCTRINE: 

Part Two: Basic Bible Doctrine

 

Doctrine:Something taught as the principles or creed of a religion, faith, etc.; belief, dogma.

There are many individual doctrines in the Bible, but this course is designed to present the basic, most urgent doctrines which need to be communicated to our congregations and the community. We have not labored to make this a complete and thorough examination of the basic doctrines, but simply to present the facts so that the student may use them as a beginning of further studies. They are presented in a manner that should assist the pastor to help his church congregation to establish a Biblical Statement of Faith.

 

By no means do we suggest that other things taught in the Bible are unimportant. In fact, those other doctrines must be understood on the basis of these essential doctrines.

 

For an example, Jesus taught that the disciples could not understand the other parables unless they first understood the Parable of the Sower. He implied that all other parables related in some way to the heart of the Lord in bringing people to His salvation, and helping them to grow up in Him so they could produce more fruit for the glory of God. Mark 4:3-13.

 Mark 4:13 “And He said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?”

In the same way, unless we understand these certain basic doctrines, we cannot comprehend the other teachings of the Bible as fully as God wouldwant us to.

 

 

OUR FAITH

 

What we believe is what makes us what we are, and what we shall become. The Christian’s faith is essential to being a true Christian. A person is not born from the womb as a Christian, nor does he become a Christian by joining a religious organization, or by doing some religious act (such as joining the church, communion, or baptism). A Christian, unlike those in most other religions, becomes one by an act of personal faith in Jesus Christ. This cannot be accomplished by someone else on his or her behalf. It is a personal and unique experience between the Believer and Jesus Christ.

 

There is a set of beliefs which bring a person to the point where he or she is ready to repent of sin. It is a specific set of beliefs which brings the person to respond to the call of the Lord from the heart with faith. These beliefs come to us from God, and are contained in the Bible.

 

Biblical Faith is MORE than a belief system. It is also the practical and outward exercise of God’s Word that dwells in our hearts. Biblical faith is where the Word of God lives through us in everyday living experiences.

James 2:18-20 “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Our faith, which is solely based upon God’s Word, the Bible, is alive, and practical for everyday use. There is no other book ever written which has the power to reach the spirit and soul of men as the Bible can do. Not only can it reach them with Good News, but it also can help them to discern those things that are right or wrong.

*(The word “quick” in the following Scripture literally means, “alive”).

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

 

 

All these beliefs come to us from God’s Living Word, the Bible.

 

1. FAITH EMBARRASSES THE ENEMIES OF GOD.

A. IT DEFIES PHYSICAL LAWS. HEB. 11:29

IT DOES MIRACLES. HEB. 11:30

IT CONVINCES THE HEARTS OF OTHERS.

HEB. 11:31

B. IT BREAKS AWAY FROM THE “NORMAL” WAYS.

* GIVES US COURAGE TO DO WILL OF GOD.

HEB. 11:24,27

2. FAITH EXPRESSES ITSELF OUTWARDLY.

UNLIKELY ACTIONS. HEB. 11:8

STANDS UP, THOUGH SURROUNDED BY EVIL.

HEB. 11:8

3. FAITH MOVES US TO RECEIVE GOD’S BLESSINGS.

* ENOCH TRANSLATED. WHY ? FAITH. HEB. 11:5

 

 

 

OUR FAITH IN JESUS

 

THE ESSENTIAL DOCTRINES: WHO IS HE ?

HE IS THE ONLY-BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD.

This doctrine insists that Jesus was unique, and was a direct manifestation of God. The Greek word that was translated to “only-begotten” is ‘monogenes,’ which means, “unique, single of its kind, only one.” Jesus was the unique, one-of-a-kind expression of God toward us.

John 1:18  No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.”

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

John 3:16  “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.”

John 3:18  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.

1 John 4:9  In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.

THE WORD OF GOD CLEARLY STATES IT.  John 20:31  But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.

THE EARLY CHURCH BELIEVED IT.   Acts 9:20  And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.   2 Corinthians 1:19   For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in Him was yea.    Hebrews 4:14   Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.  1 John 5:5  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?   1 John 5:10  He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son.

The Bible uses a term, “the only-begotten Son” because Jesus was the unique and only physical manifestation of God. We find Him appearing in the Old Testament and especially the New Testament. God the Father, Who is spiritual in nature, manifested Himself in Flesh. John 1:14   And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

HE IS VIRGIN-BORN. (Thus, He was conceived by other than a human man). Isaiah 7:14  Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Matthew 1:23  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

If Joseph was the actual father of Jesus (which he was not, obviously), Jesus would have inherited a sin nature. Furthermore, He could not have been the fulfilment of Messianic prophecy, since He was to be both the Son and the Almighty God.   Isaiah 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.      *Note that even Scriptures conclude that He is the Son, while at the same time being “the mighty God,” and “the Everlasting Father.” This is a unique role which He alone fulfills.

If Joseph was His father, we could not have salvation, for a sinful man could not redeem us, nor would He be capable to fulfilling those prophecies made about Him.

HE IS GOD IN FLESH. When Philip desired Jesus to show the Father to him, Jesus made it clear that they had seen as much of the Father as they could see already by seeing Jesus Himself.   John 14: 8-9  Philip saith unto Him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

Other Scriptures clearly state that it is the glory of the Father and the fulness of God Himself dwelling within that physical Body Who was revealed as Jesus.   John 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.   Colossians 1:19  For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell;   Colossians 2:9  For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

To understand the nature of God, we must see how God reveals Himself from the very beginning of the Bible. God is a triune Being. (He is One God, but He has three basic parts: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit). We are told that He made mankind in His image. In fact, the Bible speaks of a plural Person stating this.   Genesis 1:26  And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Just as God has three parts, He made man with three corresponding parts, too. So, man has a soul, a spirit, and a body.  1 Thessalonians 5:23  “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. ”   Jesus was that physical, fleshly part of God, but was just as much a part of God as your own physical body is a part of you.

HE IS THE KING OF KINGS.   1 Timothy 6:15 Which in His times He shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;”

Revelation 17:14  “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.”

Revelation 19:16  “And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written,”

HE IS KNOWN BY VARIOUS OLD TESTAMENT IDENTITY NAMES. Isaiah 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

In the English King James Version of the Bible, the men who translated from the Hebrew to English refused to repeatedly print the Hebrew Name, Jehovah, for fear of using God’s Name in vain. Instead, where that name appears in the Hebrew, it most often is printed as LORD (capital letters only). You will find that Jehovah is the physical manifestation of God revealed in the Old Testament (thus, Jesus).

There are several places where this physical manifestation of God is noted. The first is the physical manifestation of God which walked with Adam in the Garden.  Genesis 3:8  And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.”

Later, He appears to Noah. Genesis 7:1  And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before Me in this generation.”   It took a physical Being (the LORD) to shut the door of the ark when they were safely inside. Genesis 7:16   And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.

Abraham not only spoke with the LORD, but actually prepared food, and fed Him physical food (along with the two angels who were present with Him). Genesis 18: 1-8  And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,  And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in Thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from Thy servant: Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:  And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.  And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.  And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it. And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

**Note that they ate physical food. A spirit cannot do this. Later, in the same Chapter, the LORD speaks with Abraham about the birth of Isaac, and the two discuss the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

What Jacob initially thought was an angel that he wrestled with, he soon came to realize wasn’t just an angel, but the LORD Himself. Genesis 32:30  And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”  These are a few of the Old Testament references which speak of the physical manifestation of God, or Jesus.

Jesus was not a created being, but actually was involved in the Creation, and manifested Himself to certain people of faith throughout time. Colossians 1: 14-16  In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him:

Jesus planned before the foundation of the world to be the Sacrificial Lamb of God. 1 Peter 1:20  Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

HE IS SINLESS AND WITHOUT FAULT

Hebrews 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” 1 John 3:5   And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin.

2 Corinthians 5:21   For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

1 Peter 2:22  Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth:

HE IS THE ONLY WAY OF SALVATION. THERE IS NO SALVATION WITHOUT JESUS.

Acts 4:12   Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”   John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”  The word “the” in the above Scripture is a definite article in the Greek language, indicating exclusivity. In other words, “…I am the only way, the only truth,” etc.).

HE IS OUR MEDIATOR AND INTERCESSOR BEFORE THE FATHER.

1 Timothy 2:5  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”

Hebrews 9:15   “And for this cause He is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”

Hebrews 12:24   “And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”

Hebrews 7:25 “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

 

 

HOW MUCH DO WE UNDERSTAND ABOUT HIS DIVINE CHARACTER ?

 

1. WHAT DID HE WEAR ? JOHN 19:23

2. WHAT DID HE EAT ? JOHN 21:12-14, LUKE 14:14-20,

MATT. 26:17, LUKE 24:41-43.

3. WHAT DID HE LOOK LIKE ? MARK 14:44. (Judas could not describe Him as being different, and because He looked like so many others, Judas had to identify Him by kissing Him).

4. WHAT WAS HIS GREAT DESIRE ? LUKE 19:8-10

5. WHAT WAS HIS APPROACH TO LIVING ?

A. HOUSING: HAD IT IN JOHN 1:37-39,

DIDN’T HAVE IT IN MATT. 8:19-20

B. TRANSPORATION: HE WALKED. @ 72 MILES FROM

NAZARETH TO JERUSALEM.

*(WHAT IS THE LONGEST DISTANCE YOU EVER WALKED ?)

C. PHYSICAL FITNESS. NOT A MEMBER OF ANY

HEALTH CLUB, NOR DID HE PARTICIPATE IN ANY PHYSICAL

EXERCISE TECHNIQUES OR MEDITATION TECHNIQUES ADVOCATED

BY SEVERAL RELIGIONS.

D. HANDLING BUSINESS: DELEGATED AUTHORITY.

JOHN 12:6, MATT. 26:19, MARK 13:34

6. TECHNIQUE HE USED IN TEACHING:

JESUS MOST OFTEN USED THE “TEACH-EXPERIENCE-ANALYZE”

TECHNIQUE. He would teach, then put His disciples under a life-experience

test, after which, He would explain to them where they fell short of His

expectations.

7. WHAT EMOTIONS DID HE EXPRESS ?

A. WOULD SING. MARK 14:24-26

B. WEPT (AT UNBELIEF): LUKE 19:41-44, JOHN 11:35

C. COULD BE LOUD: JOHN 11:43, MATT 27:46

D. COULD BE SILENT: MATT. 27:11-14

E. HAD SENSE OF HUMOR. PLAYED ON WORDS.

MATT. 16:18. (He used the Greek word for ‘Peter’ that literally meant,

pebble,” or, “little stone,” while using the Greek word for gigantic rock when

referring to Himself.

F. HE COULD REVEAL ANGER.

–AT UNBELIEF Mark 3:5 And when He had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, He saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

–AT DISBEDIENCE. John 2:15 And when He had made a scourge of small cords, He drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;

–AT JUDGMENT TIME. Revelation 11: 17-18 Saying, We give Thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because Thou hast taken to Thee Thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

 

OUR FAITH SHOULD BE CLEARLY STATED AND KNOWN

 

THE LOCAL CHURCH SHOULD HAVE AN ESTABLISHED STATEMENT OF WHAT THEY BELIEVE

 

1 Peter 3:15  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”

This is known as the CREED or STATEMENT OF FAITH. It should include the essential elements of what your church believes is taught in the Bible. The Pastor should guide the church into an understanding of everything contained within this document, and ask the church to vote their approval and agreement to the document.

The following is an example of a Statement of Faith.

 

We, the Members of ___________________________Church, hereby agree and verify that the following Statement presents an accurate and truthful view of what we believe the Bible teaches.

1. THAT THE BIBLE, CONSISTING OF SIXTY-SIX BOOKS OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS, IN THE ORIGINALS, IS THE INERRANT AND COMPLETE WORD OF GOD, AND IS OUR FINAL AUTHORITY IN MATTERS OF FAITH AND PRACTICE. 2 TIMOTHY 3:16-17, 2 PETER 1:20-21, JUDE 1:3

This statement establishes the source of authority for the Church. It clearly makes the Bible as the source for all issues within the Church. If any difficulties later arise within the church, they will be required to go back to the Bible to settle any differences or questions rather than depend upon human courts or man’s opinions. It also makes the Bible the authority which outweighs visions, dreams, sincere feelings, etc., which may contradict the teachings of the Bible.

The Bible is given by the breath of God, and simply written down my men. It is not mankind’s concepts or noble ideals. It is the Word of God, and is profitable in all areas of life. Almighty God has preserved His Word throughout all generations. 2 Timothy 3:16  All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (The word “inspiration” literally means, “breath,” so that this verse is saying that “…all Scripture is given by the breath of God…”)

Unlike all other books, God’s Word existed before the world was created. John 1:1   In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. God’s Word is recorded in Heaven.  Psalms 119:89 “LAMED. For ever, O LORD, Thy Word is settled in heaven.”

Even though many kings and rulers have attempted to outlaw, and even destroy the Bible from the face of the Earth, God has preserved it. Today, while some people still attempt to change God’s Word through paraphrases and false translations, we still have the Greek and Hebrew documents which allow us to see what is accurate and what is not.

2. THAT THERE IS ONE GOD, ETERNALLY EXISTING AND MANIFESTING HIMSELF AS THE FATHER, THE SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT. DEUTERONOMY 6:4, MATTHEW 28:19, LUKE 3:21,22.

This statement separates the Church from any other religious group or entity. God is One Person. He manifests Himself in three distinct ways, known as the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit.

3. THAT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD, WAS CONCEIVED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY, AND IS FULLY GOD AND FULLY MAN. LUKE 1:30-35, JOHN 1:18, JOHN 3:16, PHILIPPIANS 2:5-11.

The Divinity of Jesus is encapsulated in this statement. If Jesus had a human father He would not be truly God in Flesh. It is essential to the truth of His Divine nature, that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and that His earthly mother was a Virgin.

4. THAT MAN WAS CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD, THAT HE SINNED, AND THEREBY INCURRED NOT ONLY PHYSICAL DEATH, BUT ALSO SPIRITUAL DEATH; AND THAT, AS A CONSEQUENCE, ALL MANKIND IS DECLARED BY GOD TO BE TOTALLY DEPRAVED, HAVING INHERITED A SINFUL NATURE AND HAVING BECOME SINNERS IN THOUGHT, WORD, AND DEED. GENESIS 1:26-27, 2:16-17, ROM. 3:10-23, 6:23, 7:18, 11:32, GALATIANS 3:22

The reality that every human being needs forgiveness because each person has sinned is clearly stated in this paragraph. Without an understanding that we all are sinners, there would be no universal need for redemption, nor for Jesus to have suffered and died as the sacrificial Lamb of God for us.

Human beings, wicked sinners that we are through even one sin, begin sinning as infants. Even a baby who has no ability to speak a standard language like English, French, or German, will use what cries it has to deceive parents. A child who is not in need of emergency help will often scream as if it is, simply to gain the attention of a parent. Psalms 58:3 “The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.”

It is not a life of what the world calls “criminal behavior” that condemns a person to Hell. It is the result of even one sin. When Adam and Eve suffered the consequences of their rebellion, how many sins did they commit ? Only one. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

5. THAT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST DIED AS THE SUBSTITUTIONARY AND COMPLETE SACRIFICE FOR THE SINS OF THE WHOLE WORLD, AND THAT ONLY THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN HIM ARE SAVED, AND THIS ON THE GROUND OF HIS SHED BLOOD AND GRACE. ROM. 3:24-28, ROM.5:8-10, I TIM. 2:5-6, I JOHN 2:1-2.

This decree insists that the payment of Jesus’ Blood on the Cross was sufficient to pay for the sins of all who would receive Him by faith. It states that the only way a person can obtain forgiveness is through faith in Jesus Christ. This eliminates the idea that anyone can work hard enough, or live good enough to be saved on their own merits.

6. THAT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST LITERALLY WALKED ON THE FACE OF THIS EARTH, THAT HE WAS CRUCIFIED AND AROSE FROM THE DEAD IN THE SAME BODY, THOUGH GLORIFIED, IN WHICH HE WAS CRUCIFIED; THAT HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN, AND IS NOW EXALTED AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER AS HEAD OF THE CHURCH. JOHN 20:1-29, ACTS 1:9-11, EPH. 1:20-23, HEB. 1:3

The physical coming of the Lord Jesus is essential in establishing the fact that He rules over all parts of human existence: spirit, soul, and body. Several Scriptures affirm not only the physical appearances of the Lord Jesus prior to His birth, but also His physical Second Coming. This is such a crucial doctrine that God says those who do not accept the past, present and future physical existence of the Lord Jesus is anti-christ. 1 John 4:3 “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” 2 John 1:7 “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.” (The Greek word which is translated, “is come…” literally means, “has come, is now, and will come…”)

7. THAT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST WILL COME AGAIN PERSONALLY AND BODILY. HE WILL COME IN THE AIR TO RECEIVE THE CHURCH (HIS BRIDE) TO HIMSELF IN HEAVEN. THERE WILL BE A LITERAL FULFILLMENT OF THE HORRIBLE SEVEN YEAR TRIBULATION FORETOLD BY THE PROPHETS OF GOD. AT THE CLOSE OF THAT TRIBULATION, CHRIST WILL RETURN VISIBLY TO THE EARTH WITH HIS SAINTS TO INAUGURATE HIS MILLENIAL KINGDOM. ACTS 1:11. I THES. 4:13-18, I COR. 15:51-58, 2 PETER 3:1-13, REV. 19:11-16, 20:1-6.

The future physical return of the Lord is verified in several Scriptures, also. Among them is this promise. Zechariah 14:4 “And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.”

8. THAT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST ORDAINED TWO ORDINANCES TO BE OBSERVED BY HIS FOLLOWERS: BAPTISM, AND THE LORD’S SUPPER. THAT BAPTISM IS AN ACT OF OBEDIENCE, WHICH DOES NOT OF ITSELF SAVE ANYONE; AND THAT THE LORD’S SUPPER IS A MEMORIAL SERVICE DESIGNED TO BRING THE BELIEVER INTO DEEPER FELLOWSHIP WITH CHRIST, AND DOES NOT SAVE. I COR. 11:23-34, ACTS 2:38, ROM. 6:3-10.

Some sects within what is called “the Christian Church” believe that there are more ordinances than these. However, in the Bible, we are taught by the Lord to only observe these two. Obviously, there are many things which our Lord told us to do, and these are contained in Scripture. However, it takes a specific command for the entire church to continually do something as a rite, or ritual which makes an action an ordinance. These two things meet those criteria.

9. THAT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST COMPLETELY AND ETERNALLY SAVES AND SECURES EACH INDIVIDUAL WHO PLACES HIS TRUST IN JESUS CHRIST. NO MORTAL, NOR ANYONE, INCLUDING SATAN HIMSELF, CAN TAKE A BELIEVER’S SALVATION AWAY FROM HIM ONCE IT HAS BEEN GIVEN TO HIM BY GOD. JOHN 10:27-28, I PET. 1:5, ROM. 8:35-39

Within this statement is the assurance of our salvation. It acknowledges the only means to our salvation—through faith in Jesus Christ—and it notes our confidence in His ability to save eternally.

10. THAT THE GREAT COMMISSION WAS GIVEN TO THE CHURCH ALONG WITH VARIOUS MINISTRIES AND GIFTS. THAT IT BECOMES THE DUTY OF EVERY BELIEVER TO USE THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THEIR GOD-GIVEN TALENTS TO ACCOMPLISH THIS GREAT COMMISSION. THAT ‘THE GREAT COMMISSION’ IS THE PERSONAL DUTY, OBLIGATION, AND PURPOSE FOR EVERY BELIEVER IN THIS LIFE. JOHN 15:1-16, MATT. 28:18-20, ROM. 10:9-11, I COR. 12:1-31, EPHESIANS 4:7-17, MARK 13:34.

So far as the work of the Church is concerned, the Bible has clearly stated what the work of the Church should be. We live in a world where the devil will attempt to distract the Church from her Divinely appointed mission, and she must always base her actions and activities on the unchanging Word of God. The Church has a two-fold mission. She must preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to bring the lost to salvation in Christ, and secondly, she must build the Christian up in our never-changing faith.

A Statement of Faith is NOT designed to put into writing EVERYTHING that a Church believes, but it is valuable in that it established the basic essential code of beliefs for a local Christian church.

How a church conducts its’ business, and the organization of the local church should be explained in another document, called The Church Constitution.

 

“Our Biblical Faith”
A Course Of Study From Blueprint For Revival Bible Institutes International
©2008 Belleview, FL 34421 USA

Course # 1 – Our Authority: The Bible

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“Our Authority: The Bible”
A Course Of Study From
Blueprint For Revival Bible
Institutes International
©2008 Belleview, FL 34421 USA

BLUEPRINT FOR REVIVAL BIBLE INSTITUTE

BASIC BIBLE STUDY GUIDE

Dr. Ed J MacWilliams

 

 

COURSE: BIBLE DOCTRINE: 

Part One: The Bible

You are encouraged to study this Guide in detail, discuss the contents with your class and your instructor.  Review each section separately, and refer to every Scripture which is noted.  You should also add other Scriptures which your discussion or study will produce.

 

Some people, claiming to have “an education,” contend that the Bible is not truly the Word of God.  As is often the case, these “educated” people have limited their learning to only one source of education—that which comes from a sinful, Christ-denying world.  This intellectual dishonesty is clearly seen when a person of average understanding begins looking at the wealth of information about the Bible.  This is information available to everyone, but the Bible-denier is a person who has closed his eyes and heart to studying it.

 The Christian knows that the Bible is truly the God-breathed Word of the Lord and that it is essential to our understanding of God, salvation, the purpose of life, and so many other vital issues.  If the Bible was simply the best ideas and wisdom which men compiled from their own intellect, the Bible would not be not sufficient to be our authority in the Church and in our individual lives.

This is a crucial doctrine, which separates those who simply call themselves Christians from those who truly follow the will of God and are Christians in fact.

 

WE DEPEND UPON THE BIBLE FOR:

1. Information about the past, so we can know what to believe.

2. Information about the future so we can know what to do, and how to prepare.

3. Information about God, and how to please Him.

4. Information about ourselves, so we know our weaknesses and flaws, and commit ourselves to the Lord more completely.

5. Information that will motivate us to live for the Lord Jesus.

    (2 Cor. 5:8-11, 2 Peter 3: 10-14)

 

“NOW FAITH IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR, THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN.” —HEB. 11:1   The Bible helps to provide that “substance” which makes our faith.  Without the Bible, we would have only the leadings of men, which, as we know, can fall very short of the intentions of God.

 

These are the basic categories of evidence that the Bible is truly written by God.

1. MATHEMATIC EVIDENCE

2. PROPHETIC EVIDENCE

3. HISTORIC EVIDENCE

4. INTERNAL EVIDENCE

 

1. CONSIDER THE MATHEMATICAL EVIDENCE

There are clear facts that provide evidence that the Bible is truly the “God-written Book.”

The Bible was written in primarily two languages.  The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and the New Testament was written in Greek.  However, Both Testaments had a small amount of the Aramaic language; and the Old Testament was written over such a long period of time that several major language changes occurred in Hebrew during that time.  Nevertheless, God preserved His Word, and made it available to everyone throughout the world.

 

The Bible was written over a period of more than . . .

 1500 years, through

44 authors, with

44 different personalities, with

44 varied educational and cultural backgrounds,

from 30 different generations,

    writing this material in

6 different languages or dialects, and wrote

from 12 different countries, in

44 different sets of circumstances….

 

 

…yet, the writings which they put down became one unified Book, the Bible.  From Genesis to Revelation, we have a Book which came from God, and is given to us as a way by which we can come closer to Him and learn to do His will.

 

WHAT ARE THE CHANCES THAT human writers would never contradict one another, nor depart from the central theme of a book ?  Yet, when the Bible was compiled, they did not disagree in even the smallest detail with events which occurred.  In fact, they often complemented one another’s information by what they were told to put down in writing by God.  It is the fact that God gave the words which makes the difference between a humanly written book, and the Book written by God.

 

Here’s Some More Evidence:

Let’s conduct an experiment.  We will hypothetically take 44 people from around the world who can read and write.  We will bring them to the fine hotel, and isolate them each in a separate room.  They cannot communicate with one another, nor have any intermediate contact by way of phone or any other communication.

We will leave them with some paper and a pen, and instruct each one to write about God.

However, they must also predict the future (prophecy), and describe events as they are occurring today in their manuscripts (history).

What do you think the chances are that these 44 people…

(1). will agree on their descriptions and analysis of God,

(2). will give accurate information about current events,

(3). and will give precise, accurate details about what will occur one hundred years from now ?

 

The fact is, these 44 men would write amazingly different descriptions of God, and what He has done.  They will describe historical events from their own prejudices and viewpoints, so that they would contradict the writings of the others.  And, they would all attempt to tell the future, but would fail miserably.  But, keep in mind that we are giving these 44 people a better mathematical chance of accomplishing the assignment than existed for the actual penmen of the Bible.

It is humanly impossible to write anything even similar to the Bible without a sole Writer who was able to live throughout the entire time being spoken about, and Who also was able to see into the future, and know what would happen yin the future.

Because there was such a Writer (God), Who gave His Word (by the Holy Spirit) to men (the prophets and Apostles), we have our Bible today.  And, despite the efforts of many men to destroy the Bible, God has preserved it for all eternity.  It is nothing less than a miraculous Book.

 

2. CONSIDER THE PROPHETIC EVIDENCE

A powerful evidence that the Bible is truly from God is that it contains things which only God could foresee.  It would be impossible for man, even the smartest of men, to predict what the Bible does and expect each and every prophecy (hundreds of them are in the Bible) to come true.

It is important to remember that every prophecy of the Bible which is waiting to be fulfilled shall be fulfilled in the exact specific details which the Bible says would it occur.  Even the BEST of man’s prophecies contain SOME errors.  The Bible’s prophecies have contained NO errors or failures whatever.

Examples of Non-Messianic Prophecies

  • The Progression of Human Government (Daniel 2:37-42). Daniel foretold the governments in order of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.  No other prognosticators could come close to the accuracy which the Bible had in foretelling what would occur.
  • The Birth and Rule of Cyrus, King of Persia (Isaiah 44:28-45:1). Since Isaiah lived between about 740 and 690 BC (2 Kings 25-21) and Cyrus did not make his proclamation for Israel to return from exile until about 536 (Ezra 1), there would have been no human way for him to know what Cyrus would be named or what Cyrus would do.   With hundreds of years between the prophecy and its’ fulfillment, it would have been impossible for man to know what would occur, and especially that his name would be called Cyrus.
  • Israel Would Be Returned to The Promised Land Again.  (Isaiah 11:11-12). The first time was under Nehemiah and Ezra, prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The second time was in March, 1948. No other culture in history has been restored, after such a long time frame and the continual attempts to destroy the Jewish people.
  • The Sealing Shut of the Golden Gate (Ezekiel 44:2-3). The Golden Gate is the eastern gate of Jerusalem, through which Christ made his triumphal entry on Palm Sunday before the crucifixion (Matthew 21). Ezekiel predicted its closing and in 1543 Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent closed the gate and walled it up, not knowing he was fulfilling prophecy. It remains sealed to this day exactly as the Bible predicted, waiting to be re-opened when the Lord Jesus Christ returns.
  • The Destruction of Tyre (Ezekiel 26:3-14). The prophecy was partly fulfilled when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the city and left it in ruins. Most of the citizens then fled to the remaining part of the town, located on the island which adjoined the mainland city of Tyre.  However, when Alexander the Great later attacked the seemingly impregnable Island of Tyre by taking the stones, dust, and timber from the ruined mainland city to build a causeway to the remaining part on the Island, resulting in such erosion, that the island itself was swallowed up by the Sea, thus completing the prophecy.  It is now underwater, and cannot be rebuilt, thus proving the prophecy to be true.
  • The Rejuvenation of the Desert in Israel.   (Ezekiel 36:33-35). Since before the turn of the twentieth century, Israel has been irrigated and Israel’s agriculture is flourishing.  Today, Israel is the world’s third largest exported of certain kinds of citrus fruits.
  • Destruction of Jerusalem, especially the Temple. (Mark 13:1-2). Fulfilled literally when the Romans completely destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple buildings in 70 AD.

 

The Old Testament Prophesied that Jesus Would Be The Messiah. 

(Consider the clear logic of this argument).

 

If over 300 O.T. prophecies are true, Jesus is the Savior, and Messiah….

If He is the Savior and Messiah, then His Word cannot lie, and He is also God in Flesh (Isaiah 9:6,7)….

If He was God in Flesh, He could not lie in later writings (Heb. 6:18)….

If He could not lie, He was truthful when He said His Word was truth.  (John 17:17)

Therefore, we can depend upon what He tells us in His Word.

 

The evidence is solid and strong.  Either people will ignore all the evidence, or they must accept the fact that the Bible is God-given, and not the work of man.

 

How Did Jesus Confirm the Bible to be God’s Word ?

He quoted from almost every book of the Old Testament, as if those quotes were authoritative.

He used O.T. prophecies in His own preaching, especially in the Olivet Discourse (Mark 13, Matt. 24, etc.)

 

Here’s Some More Prophetic Evidence:

There are over 300 O.T. prophecies concerning the Messiah, all of which were fulfilled by Jesus Christ.

Peter Stoner (from Science Speaks Ministries) says that if you took just 8 of these prophecies, the odds of a person coincidentally fulfilling all eight of these would be one in 10 to the 17th power.  That is essentially mathematically an impossible thing to occur.

 

Let’s look at another experiment to see how impossible it would be for someone—other than the real Messiah—to fulfill these prophecies:

Consider this imaginary test.  Cover the entire state of Texas with silver coins to a depth of two feet.  Mark just one of these silver coins before you do.   Chose one person to assist this effort.  Blindfold him.  Then, tell him to find that same marked silver coin that is located somewhere in the state of Texas.  He must do it on the first try, and with a blindfold on.

That is the mathematical possibility of having all the prophecies of the Bible being predicted by a mere man.  It is simply an impossible feat.

What are the chances of him succeeding in getting the marked silver coin on the first try ?  About the same chances that Jesus is NOT the Messiah !  Bible prophecy therefore reveals the true Savior, and much, much more.

 

Examples of Messianic Prophecies

Topic Old Testament New Testament
Messiah to be the seed of the Woman Gen. 3:15 Luke 2:5-7, Gal. 4:4
Messiah to be the seed of Abraham Gen. 12:2-3, 18:18 Mat.1:1-2, Luke 3:34, Acts 3:25, Gal.3:16
Messiah to be of the tribe of Judah Gen. 49:10 Mat. 1:1-2, Luke 3:33
Messiah to be of the seed of David 2 Sam. 7:16, Ps. 132:11, Jer. 23:5, 33:15 Mat. 1:6, 22:42-45, Luke 1:31-33, Acts 2:29-30, Rom. 1:3
Messiah to be born to a virgin Is. 7:14 Mat. 1:18-25, Luke 1:26-38
Messiah to be born in Bethlehem Micah 5:2 Mat. 2:1-6, Luke 2:4-6
Tribute paid to Messiah by great kings Ps. 72:10-11 Mat. 2:1-11
Messiah to be heralded by a messenger Is. 40:3. Mal. 3:1 Mat. 3:1-3
Messiah to be the Son of God Ps. 2:2,7 Mat. 3:17, Luke 1:32-33
Messiah to be anointed by the Holy Spirit Is. 11:2 Mat. 3:16-17
Galilee to be the first area of Messiah’s ministry Is. 9:1-7 Mat. 4:12-16
Messiah to be meek and mild Is. 40:11, 42:2-3, 53:7 Mat. 12:18-20, 26:62-68
Messiah to minister to the Gentiles Is. 42:1, 49:6-8 Mat. 12:21, Luke 2:28-32
Messiah will perform miracles Is. 35:5-6 Mat. 9:35, 11:3-6, John 9:6-7
Messiah to be a prophet like Moses Deut. 18: 15-19 Mat. 21:11, 24:1-35, John 1:45, 6:14, Acts 3:20-23
Messiah to enter the Temple with authority Mal. 3:1-2 Mat. 21:12
Messiah will enter Jerusalem on a donkey Zech. 9:9-10 Mat. 21:1-11
Messiah to be betrayed by a friend Ps. 41:9 John 13:18-21
Messiah to be forsaken Zech. 13:7 Mat. 26:31, 56
Messiah will be smitten Is. 50:6 Mat. 26:67, 27:26,30
Messiah to experience crucifixion (long before crucifixion was invented) Ps. 22:15-17 Mat. 27:34-50, John 19:28-30
Messiah will be pierced Zech. 12:10 John 19:34-37
Details of Messiah’s suffering and death and resulting salvation Ps. 69:21, Is. 53:2-12, Mat. 26-27, Mark 15-16, Luke 22-23, John 18-19
Messiah’s death in 33 AD, can be precisely determined because we know the date of the command to rebuild the Temple. Dan. 9:24-26 33 AD is the widely accepted historical date of the crucifixion
Casting of lots for His garments Ps. 22:18 John 19:23-24
Messiah to be raised from the dead Ps. 16:10 Acts 2:25-31, 13:32-37, 17:2-3
Messiah’s resurrection Job 19:25, Ps. 16:10 Acts 2:30-31, 13:32-35, 17:2-3, 1 Cor. 15:20-22
Messiah to ascend to heaven Ps. 68:18 Luke 24:51, Acts 1:9, Eph. 4:8-13
Messiah to be at the right hand of God Ps. 110:1 Mat. 26:64, Mark 14:62, Rom. 8:34, Heb. 1:3
Messiah, the stone which the builders rejected, to become the head cornerstone Ps. 118:22-23, Is. 8:14-15, 28:16 Mat. 21:42-43, Acts 4:11, Rom. 9:32-33, Eph. 2:20, 1 Pet. 2:6-8

MAJOR PROPHETIC EVIDENCE

SIGNIFICANT JUDGMENTS

The Flood: Prophesied by Noah, Confirmed by Geological Science—II Peter 2:5

Jude 14-16 (Enoch 1:2-9, a non-canonical book)

Last Days Judgment:: Tribulation—Matthew 24:21

Tyre: Prophesied Destruction Confirmed by Modern Archeology

Ninevah: Nahum’s Prophecies of Its’ Destruction.

Daniel’s Prophecies regarding downfall of Babylonian Empire.

Daniel’s Prophecies of the Image with Ten Toes.

Resurrections of the Roman Empire. Dan. 2:36-45, Rev. 17

Letters to Church-Ages: Fit historic descriptions.  Rev. 2-3

Character Changes for the Last Days:  II Timothy 3:1-9

Return of the Jews To Israel In Last Days:  Ezekiel 37:1-14, 38:16, Jeremiah 32:37

Abrahamic Covenant–Gen. 12:1-3—Proven to be true over time.

Davidic Covenant–II Sam. 7:8-9 (I Chron. 17:7-15)—Includes establishment of everlasting kingdom.  (Future, but we can see it developing)

God will give His Son the Nations for Inheritance—Psalm 1

                (Future, but we can see the failure of man to govern himself will lead

                  to the government under Jesus).

Messiah will reign over all the earth—Psalm 72  (Future)

Judgment on the Earth: The Tribulation—Matthew 24:21, Revelation 6:16.

 

 

MORE EXAMPLES OF SPECIFIC PROPHECIES IN THE BIBLE:

 

THE DESTRUCTION OF TYRE  (Accomplished in stages, with exact fulfillment of Bible prophecy for each stage of destruction).

1. Nebuchadnezzar will destroy main Tyre.  Ezek. 26:8

Nebuchadnezzar sieged city for 13 years (583-573 BC).  In 538 BC, Tyre surrendered to him, but first moved entire city to island directly offshore.  Nebuchadnezzar leveled the mainland city.

2. MANY nations will come against Tyre.  Ezek. 26:3

After the Battle of Issus (333 BC), Alexander the Great demanded the surrender of the island.  When Tyre refused, he built causeway 200 feet wide out of the debris from the old mainland city to the island.  In 332 BC, he destroyed the city.  It was later rebuilt.

—Antigonus (314 BC) destroyed the rebuilt city.  It was built again.

—Ptolomy of Philadelphia destroyed the rebuilt city.  It was built again.

—Moslems destroyed it again in 690 AD.

 

 

PRESENT CONDITIONS OF TYRE SHOW THE BIBLE IS TRUE:

3. Will be made as top of a rock.  Ezek. 26:4

(As a result of Alexander scraping the old city to the rock base it was built upon in order to get material for the causeway).

4. Fishermen to spread nets over her.  Ezek. 26:5

(As result of erosion resulting from Alexander’s causeway).

5. Her debris thrown into water.  Ezek. 26:12

(Done by Alexander’s armies making causeway).

6. Never to be rebuilt.  Ezek. 26:14

(It is under water, home only to fish).

7. Never to be “found” again.  Ezek. 26:21

(Only columns and stone arches remain.  City is gone).

 

 

MORE PROPHETIC EVIDENCE:

SAMARIA: REBEL CITY OF TEN TRIBES.

*(Samaria was known as a city where Jews and half-Jews lived.  Under the Mosaic Law, Jews were forbidden to marry outside their own people.  However, in Samaria, many Jews inter-married with the people of other nations and religions, thus bringing about the anger of God). 

HOSEA 13  (748-690 B.C.)    MICAH 1 (738-690 B.C.)

 

 

1. SAMARIA WOULD FALL VIOLENTLY (HOSEA 10:7-15)

–IT WAS TAKEN IN 722 B.C. BY SARGON

–IT WAS TAKEN IN 331 B.C. BY ALEXANDER THE GREAT

–IT WAS TAKEN IN 120 B.C. BY JOHN HYRCANUS

2. WOULD BECOME AS A HEAP IN THE FIELD (MICAH. 1:6)

3. VINEYARDS WILL BE PLANTED THERE.  (MICAH. 1:6)

4. STONES TO BE POURED DOWN INTO THE VALLEY (MICAH 1:6)

5. FOUNDATIONS “DISCOVERED.”  (MICAH 1:6)

THIS HAS BEEN VERIFIED BY SECULAR ACCOUNTS FROM

THE 1600’S TO THE PRESENT

————————————

CHANCES OF ALL 5 POINTS COMING TRUE:

1 IN 4 CHANCES FOR ITS’ TOTAL DESTRUCTION

1 IN 5 FOR LYING IN FIELDS RATHER THAN BEING REBUILT

1 IN 100 FOR IT BECOMING A GARDEN SPOT

1 IN 10 FOR STONES BEING ROLLED INTO VALLEY

1 IN 2 CHANCE OF FOUNDATION STONES BEING REMOVED.

= 1 IN 40,000 CHANCE OF THIS PROPHECY COMING TO PASS, OR 1 IN 4 X 104

(In other words, it would be a virtual impossibility for this prophecy to have come true.  Man would certainly not venture to prophesy such a thing since it was so unlikely.  Only the God Who knew what would happen could make such an accurate prediction of Samaria’s fate).

 

 

3. HISTORIC EVIDENCE THAT THE BIBLE IS GOD’S WORD.

Men have tried to disprove the Bible by stating that the people, places, and events mentioned in the Bible are lies.  However, within the last 50 years, amazing discoveries have been made which reveal the following people, places, or things that were used by Bible-deniers in their arguments against God’s Word.  As always, the Bible has been proven to be true each time !

 

DAVID’S REIGN. RECENT ARCHEOLOGICAL DISCOVERIES VALIDATE

          THE BIBLICAL CLAIMS.

HOME OF BALAAM:  ARCHEOLOGY HAS FOUND THE HOUSE WHERE HE

          TAUGHT OTHERS TO BE FALSE PROPHETS, AS WELL.

THE SIGNET RING/FINGERPRINT OF BARUCH, THE SECRETARY

          OF JEREMIAH.

ASAHIAH’S SIGNET

GOLD MINES OF OPHIR

SODOM & GOMORRAH—BURNT CITIES.

 

GEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE:

–THE FLOOD

–POSITIONS OF SKELETAL REMAINS

–GEOLOGICAL FEATURES: STRATA, SILT LAYERS

–DISCOVERY OF NOAH’S ARK ON MT. ARARAT

 

 

4. INTERNAL EVIDENCE

(This is evidence provided by what the Bible says about itself).

 

It claims to be the Word of God.

“Thus saith the LORD…” – 281 Times

“Thus saith the Lord…” – 134 Times

“God said…” – 46 Times

“The LORD spake…” – 143 Times

 

The Bible claims to “carried along” by God, not man.

2 Peter 1:20,21

“moved”=Greek word is fero=meaning, ”carried along”

 

The Bible claims to the breath of God.

2 Tim. 3:16

“inspiration”=from the GREEK word, theopneustos,  which is a combination of two Greek words, “theos” (meaning, ‘God’), and “pneus” (meaning, ‘breath’).  Thus, that Scripture says that all Scripture is by the “Breath of God.”

 

Also see Gen. 1:3,6, and Psalm 33:6

(God’s breath and Word are used interchangeably).

 

  

EVIDENCE FROM THE CONTENT:  A THEME OF THE BIBLE IS THAT MAN NEEDS SALVATION AND CANNOT GET IT WITHOUT GOD.

This is an unpopular idea.  Man likes to think highly of himself, and look at his accomplishments, not his failures.  Despite this theme, the Bible has been the biggest selling book and the most widely used religious material in the world.  It is a contradiction to what makes a book and a religion popular.  Therefore, there must be something greater behind it than merely man’s ideas.

 

 

THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT WE NEED TO REPENT OF OUR SINS.

THIS IS AN UNPOPULAR CONCEPT.  MAN WANTS TO BE PROUD OF HIMSELF.

MAN DOESN’T WANT TO BE DEPENDENT UPON A HIGHER AUTHORITY.

MAN DOESN’T LIKE THE IDEA THAT HE MUST DO SOMETHING TO GET FORGIVEN.

 

 

THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT WE NEED TO GET RIGHT WITH GOD.

An ESSENTIAL element in this process is REPENTANCE:

LUKE 24:46-47, HEB. 6:1-2

 

Note the following outline where extremely unpopular concepts regarding man’s own character are revealed by God. 

 

1. IT IS NOT WITHIN MAN TO “NATURALLY REPENT.”

  ROM. 3:10-20

—HE WILL MAKE EXCUSES.

—HE WILL ATTEMPT TO JUSTIFY HIS ACTIONS.

—HE WILL DENY DOING THE SIN.

2. IT IS THE ACT OF GOD THAT BRINGS REPENTANCE.

  A. GOD’S GIFT.  ACTS 11:18, ROMANS 2:4, II TIM. 2:25

  B. IT ISN’T WITHIN MAN NATURALLY.  HEB. 12:16,17

  C. GOD WANTS EVERYONE TO EXPERIENCE. IT.  II PET. 3:9

3. MAN MUST RESPOND TO GOD’S GIFT.

  A. THROUGH RIGHT KIND OF SORROW OVER SIN.

       II COR. 7:9-10

  B. THROUGH DIRECTING THAT SORROW BY ASKING

       FORGIVENESS.  MATT. 27:3  (JUDAS LEFT OUT PART).

  C. THROUGH A CHANGE IN ACTIONS.  MATT. 21:28-32

4. ONE PERSON’S UNWILLINGNESS TO REPENT AFFECTS HIS SOCIETY.

  *MATT. 11:20-21, REV. 9:20-21, 16:9, 16:11

 

Man’s desire to look good to himself and before others would naturally turn him away from the message of the Bible.  Yet, the fact that the Bible is sought after by those looking for the Truth, reveals a super-natural force (The Holy Spirit) behind the Word of God.

 

 

IMPORTANT

The evidence which we have examined is true and compelling.  A person might think that such overwhelming evidence would convince any logical person immediately that the Bible is the Word of Almighty God, and must be believed.  However, few people receive the evidence in a logical manner.

 

We must remember that because of sin, every part of us, including the ability to reason has decayed.  Therefore the lost person often is unable to understand or logically process the truth, as those who have been born-again can do.  In our efforts to reach those who do not know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, we must be faithful in our prayers, because without the working of the Holy Spirit in their lives, they will remain blinded to the Truth, no matter how logical it is.

Luke 8:10  And He said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

 

John 6:44  No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

 

The Truth is given to those who are willing to receive it.  The more they receive, the more God will give them.  We cannot expect lost people to understand the details of such an amazing work which God has done to provide us with salvation through Jesus Christ.  However, we ourselves are made stronger and are blessed by the truths which His Word reveals to us.

 

For most people, a completely logical argument concerning the evidence of Scripture will fall upon deaf ears and a stony heart.  They must first be prepared by the working of God’s Holy Spirit within them.  Pray and get others to pray for their hearts to be ready to receive the truth, and repent of their sins, receiving Jesus by faith.

 

“Our Authority: The Bible”
A Course Of Study From Blueprint For Revival Bible Institutes International
©2008 Belleview, FL 34421 USA