The Warfare Prayer – Engaging the Battle – Deliverance Prayer through Warfare

The Warfare Prayer - Engaging the Battle - Deliverance Prayer through Warfare

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the victor’s crown, the life God has promised to those who love him.” – James 1:12

Engaging in the Battle

We need tools in spiritual warfare as well. It has been the underlying purpose of this book to provide practical, usable information and insight into the waging of a winning warfare.

The world, the flesh, and the devil will be continuously defeated if we use the weapons of our warfare. The Lord has provided all the tools we need. The Lord Jesus Christ has provided all of our victory. He used the same tools He has provided us in winning the battle. His victory is our victory.

It remains our responsibility to use these weapons so graciously provided in His grace. Every time you use them you’ll thank God for the tools of victory He has provided. Just as I think with fond remembrance of the man who gave me the tool box when I use my carpenter’s tools, so your heart will reach out in an ever deepening gratitude to your Lord.

In previous chapters, importance of doctrinal truth and doctrinal praying was intended to be lifted high. Doctrine, God’s unchanging truth, is mighty in defeating our enemies. This truth must get deep into our souls. This can only come about as we gain understanding of the Holy Word of God and then use that Word aggressively in our lives.

With the permission and approval of Dr. Victor Matthews, professor of theology at the Grand Rapids Baptist Bible College and Seminary, I include here some very fine helps in keeping doctrinal truth in the forefront of your warfare.

“The Daily Affirmation of Faith” was written by Dr. Matthews to provide a concise, clear statement of the truth of the Word of God as it applies to our victory. I commend this affirmation for daily reading aloud on the part of those who are experiencing intense warfare. It will do much to build spiritual foundation into your soul. It will keep the ground of your victory aggressively in action against your enemies. Study the texts of Scripture for your own enlightenment and edification.

The Daily Affirmation of Faith

“Today I deliberately choose to submit myself fully to God as He has made Himself known to me through the Holy Scripture which I honestly accept as the only inspired, infallible, authoritative standard for all life and practice. In this day I will not judge God, His work, myself, or others on the basis of feelings or circumstances.

  1. I recognize by faith that the triune God is worthy of all honor, praise, and worship as the Creator, Sustainer, and End of all things. I confess that God, as my Creator, made me for Himself. In this day I therefore choose to live for Him (Rev 5:9,10; Is 43:1,7,21; Rev 4:11).

  2. I recognize by faith that God loved me and chose me in Jesus Christ before time began (Eph 1:1-7).

  3. I recognize by faith that God has proven His love to me in sending His Son to die in my place, in whom every provision has already been made for my past, present, and future needs through His representative work, and that I have been quickened, raised, seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenlies, and anointed with the Holy Spirit (Ro 5:6-11; 8:28; Phil 1:6; 4:6,7,13,19; Eph 1:3; 2:5,6; Ac 2:1-4,33).

  4. I recognize by faith that God has accepted me, since I have received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior (Jn 1:12; Eph 1:6); that He has forgiven me (Eph 1:7); adopted me into His family, assuming every responsibility for me (Jn 17:11,17; Eph 1:5; Phil 1:6); given me eternal life (Jn 3:36; I Jn 5:9-13); applied the perfect righteousness of Christ to me so that I am now justified (Ro 5:1; 8:3,4; 10:4); made me complete in Christ (Col 2:10); and offers Himself to me as my daily sufficiency through prayer and the decisions of faith (I Co 1:30; Col 1:27; Gal 2:20; Jn 14:13,14; Mt 21:22; Ro 6:1-19; Heb 4:1-3,11).

  5. I recognize by faith that the Holy Spirit has baptized me into the Body of Christ (I Co 12:13); sealed me (Eph 1:13,14); anointed me for life and service (Ac 1:8; Jn 7:37-39); seeks to lead me into a deeper walk with Jesus Christ (Jn 14:16-18; 15:26,27; 16:13-15; Ro 8:11-16); and to fill my life with Himself (Eph 5:18).

  6. I recognize by faith that only God can deal with sin and only God can produce holiness of life. I confess that in my salvation my part was only to receive Him and that He dealt with my sin and saved me. Now I confess that in order to live a holy life, I can only surrender to His will and receive Him as my sanctification; trusting Him to do whatever may be necessary in my life, without and within, so I may be enabled to live today in purity, freedom, rest and power for His glory (Jn 1:12; I Co 1:30; II Co 9:8; Gal 2:20; Heb 4:9; I Jn 5:4; Jude 24).

Having confessed that God is worthy of all praise, that the Scriptures are the only authoritative standard, that only God can deal with sin and produce holiness of life, I again recognize my total dependence upon Him and submission to Him. I accept the truth that praying in faith is absolutely necessary for the realization of the will and grace of God in my daily life.

Recognizing that faith is a total response to God by which the daily provisions the Lord has furnished in Himself are appropriated, I therefore make the following decisions of faith:

  1. For this day (Heb 3:6,13,15; 4:7) I make the decision of faith to surrender wholly to the authority of God as He has revealed Himself in the Scripture to obey Him. I confess my sin, face the sinful reality of my old nature, and deliberately choose to walk in the light, in step with Christ, throughout the hours of this day (Ro 6:16-20; Phil 2:12,13; I Jn 1:7,9).

  2. For this day I make the decision of faith to surrender wholly to the authority of God as revealed in the Scripture–to believe Him. I accept only His Word as final authority. I now believe that since I have confessed my sin He has forgiven and cleansed me (I Jn 1:9). I accept at full value His Word of promise to be my sufficiency and rest, and will conduct myself accordingly (Ex 33:1; I Co 1:30; II Co 9:8; Phil 4:19).

  3. For this day I make the decision of faith to recognize that God has made every provision so that I may fulfill His will and calling. Therefore, I will not make any excuse for my sin and failure (I Th 5:24).

  4. For this day I make the decision of faith deliberately to receive from God that provision which He has made for me. I renounce all self-effort to live the Christian life and to perform God’s service; renounce all sinful praying which asks God to change circumstances and people so that I may be more spiritual; renounce all drawing back from the work of the Holy Spirit within and the call of God without; and renounce all nonbiblical motives, goals, and activities which serve my sinful pride.

— I now sincerely receive Jesus Christ as my sanctification, particularly as my cleansing from the old nature, and ask the Holy Spirit to apply to me the work of Christ accomplished for me in the crucifixion. In cooperation with and dependence upon Him, I obey the command to “put off the old man” (Ro 6:1-14; I Co 1:30; Gal 6:14; Eph 4:22).

— I now sincerely receive Jesus Christ as my sanctification, particularly as my enablement moment by moment to live above sin, and ask the Holy Spirit to apply to me the work of the resurrection so that I may walk in newness of life. I confess that only God can deal with my sin and only God can produce holiness and the fruit of the Spirit in my life. In cooperation with and dependence upon Him, I obey the command to “put on the new man” (Ro 6:1-4; Eph 4:24).

— I now sincerely receive Jesus Christ as my deliverance from Satan and take my position with Him in the heavenlies, asking the Holy Spirit to apply to me the work of the ascension. In His Name I submit myself to God and stand against all of Satan’s influence and subtlety. In cooperation with and dependence upon God, I obey the command to “resist the devil” (Eph 1:20- 23; 2:5; 4:27; 6:10-18; Col 1:13; Ja 4:7; I Pe 3:22; 5:89).

— I now sincerely receive the Holy Spirit as my anointing for every aspect of life and service for today. I fully open my life to Him to fill me afresh in obedience to the command to “be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Eph 5:18; Jn 7:37-39; 14:16,17; 15:26,27; 16:7-15; Ac 1:8).

“Having made this confession and these decisions of faith, I now receive God’s promised rest for this day (Heb 4:1-13). Therefore, I relax in the trust of faith, knowing that in the moment of temptation, trial, or need, the Lord Himself will be there as my strength and sufficiency (I Co 10:13).”

The Warfare Prayer

Another doctrinal tool that has proved of great benefit to me and to many others is the “Warfare Prayer” composed by Dr. Matthews. As a theologian, his unique and thorough way of including sound doctrine in this prayer is most helpful. I would urge anyone facing obvious spiritual warfare to use this prayer daily. It is good to read it aloud as a prayer unto the Lord. Eventually one will be able to incorporate the doctrinal truths expressed into his own prayer life without reading it.

The devil hates this prayer. Usually before working with anyone who has deep demonic affliction, I will request that we read this prayer in unison. Many times the oppressed one can read only with great difficulty. Sometimes sight problems, voice problems, or mind confusion become so intense that the afflicted person can continue only with great effort.

It is the truth of God that Satan cannot resist, and he vigorously fights it being applied against him. Those serious about warfare should daily use a prayer of this type along with other prayer examples shared in this book.


THE WARFARE PRAYER

Heavenly Father, I bow in worship and praise before You. I cover myself with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ as my protection during this time of prayer. I surrender myself completely and unreservedly in every area of my life to Yourself. I do take a stand against all the workings of Satan that would hinder me in this time of prayer, and I address myself only to the true and living God and refuse any involvement of Satan in my prayer.

[Satan, I command you, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to leave my presence with all your demons, and I bring the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ between us.]

Heavenly Father, I worship You, and I give You praise. I recognize that You are worthy to receive all glory and honor and praise. I renew my allegiance to You and pray that the blessed Holy Spirit would enable me in this time of prayer.

I am thankful, heavenly Father, that You have loved me from past eternity, that You sent the Lord Jesus Christ into the world to die as my substitute that I would be redeemed. I am thankful that the Lord Jesus Christ came as my representative, and that through Him You have completely forgiven me; You have given me eternal life; You have given me the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ so I am now justified. I am thankful that in Him You have made me complete, and that You have offered Yourself to me to be my daily help and strength.

Heavenly Father, come and open my eyes that I might see how great You are and how complete Your provision is for this new day. I do, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, take my place with Christ in the heavenlies with all principalities and powers (powers of darkness and wicked spirits) under my feet.

I am thankful that the victory the Lord Jesus Christ won for me on the cross and in His resurrection has been given to me and that I am seated with the Lord Jesus Christ in the heavenlies; therefore, I declare that all principalities and powers and all wicked spirits are subject to me in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I am thankful for the armor You have provided, and I put on the girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the sandals of peace, the helmet of salvation. I lift up the shield of faith against all the fiery darts of the enemy, and take in my hand the sword of the spirit, the Word of God, and use Your Word against all the forces of evil in my life; and I put on this armor and live and pray in complete dependence upon You, blessed Holy Spirit.

I am grateful, heavenly Father, that the Lord Jesus Christ spoiled all principalities and powers and made a show of them openly and triumphed over them in Himself. I claim all that victory for my life today. I reject out of my life all the insinuations, the accusations, and the temptations of Satan.

I affirm that the Word of God is true, and I choose to live today in the light of God’s Word. I choose, heavenly Father, to live in obedience to You and in fellowship with Yourself. Open my eyes and show me the areas of my life that would not please You. Work in my life that there be no ground to give Satan a foothold against me.

Show me any area of weakness. Show me any area of my life that I must deal with so that I would please You. I do in every way today stand for You and the ministry of the Holy Spirit in my life.

By faith and in dependence upon You, I put off the old man and stand into all the victory of the crucifixion where the Lord Jesus Christ provided cleansing from the old nature. I put on the new man and stand into all the victory of the resurrection and the provision He has made for me there to live above sin.

Therefore, in this day, I put off the old nature with its selfishness, and I put on the new nature with its love. I put off the old nature with its fear and I put on the new nature with its courage. I put off the old nature with its weakness and I put on the new nature with its strength. I put off today the old nature with all its deceitful lusts and I put on the new nature with all its righteousness and purity.

I do in every way stand into the victory of the ascension and the glorification of the Son of God where all principalities and powers were made subject to Him, and I claim my place in Christ victorious with Him over all the enemies of my soul. Blessed Holy Spirit, I pray that You would fill me. Come into my life, break down every idol and cast out every foe.

I am thankful, heavenly Father, for the expression of Your will for my daily life as You have shown me in Your Word. I therefore claim all the will of God for today.

I am thankful that You have blessed me with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. I am thankful that You have begotten me unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. I am thankful that You have made a provision so that today I can live filled with the Spirit of God with love and joy and self-control in my life. And I recognize that this is Your will for me, and I therefore reject and resist all the endeavors of Satan and of his demons to rob me of the will of God.

I refuse in this day to believe my feelings, and I hold up the shield of faith against all the accusations and against all the insinuations that Satan would put in my mind. I claim the fullness of the will of God for today.

I do, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, completely surrender myself to You, heavenly Father, as a living sacrifice. I choose not to be conformed to this world. I choose to be transformed by the renewing of my mind, and I pray that You would show me Your will and enable me to walk in all the fullness of the will of God today.

I am thankful, heavenly Father, that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, to the casting down of imaginations and every high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God, and to bring every thought into obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore in my own life today I tear down the strongholds of Satan, and I smash the plans of Satan that have been formed against me. I tear down the strongholds of Satan against my mind, and I surrender my mind to You, blessed Holy Spirit.

I affirm, heavenly Father, that You have not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. I break and smash the strongholds of Satan formed against my emotions today, and I give my emotions to You. I smash the strongholds of Satan formed against my will today, and I give my will to You, and choose to make the right decisions of faith. I smash the strongholds of Satan formed against my body today, and I give my body to You, recognizing that I am Your temple; and I rejoice in Your mercy and Your goodness.

Heavenly Father, I pray that now through this day You would quicken me; show me the way that Satan is hindering and tempting and lying and counterfeiting and distorting the truth in my life. Enable me to be the kind of person that would please You. Enable me to be aggressive in prayer. Enable me to be aggressive mentally and to think Your thoughts after You, and to give You Your rightful place in my life.

Again, I now cover myself with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and pray that You, blessed Holy Spirit, would bring all the work of the crucifixion, all the work of the resurrection, all the work of the glorification, and all the work of Pentecost into my life today. I surrender myself to You.

I refuse to be discouraged. You are the God of all hope. You have proven Your power by resurrecting Jesus Christ from the dead, and I claim in every way Your victory over all satanic forces active in my life, and I reject these forces; and I pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ with thanksgiving. Amen.

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Archaeologists unearth 2000-year-old Hebrew Jerusalem inscription

Archaeologists unearth 2000-year-old Hebrew Jerusalem inscription

The earliest written inscription of the word Jerusalem written in Hebrew on a 2,000 year old column drum was unveiled on Tuesday at a press conference at The Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

The limestone column drum that dates back to the Second Temple period, was discovered 10 months ago on an excavation site near the International Convention Center in Jerusalem.

The words: “Hanania son of Dudolos from Jerusalem” was etched on the column which was part of a building that stood in a Jewish potters village near the entrance of the Jerusalem some 2,000 years ago.

Prior to this discovery, the city’s name was written as Yerushalem or Shalem in Hebrew, this inscription was the first time the city was written as Yerushalayim in Hebrew characters.

The word Jerusalem was found on silver coins dating before the time of this column, but they were written in Aramaic.

Details of who Hanania was and why he etched his name and Jerusalem on the column are yet to be uncovered, however what can be confirmed is that he was Jewish and that he was connected to artisanship. Mevorach also noted that Dudolos was not his father and was more of an homage to the mythical Greek artist, Dudolos and shows how the Jews of that time were influenced by Greek culture under Alexander the Great.

It is also unclear whether this was a dedication for a public building or if Hanania was he showing his connection to his craft. These are questions that will help guide further excavations in this site.

Danit Levy, the head of this excavation explained the significance of this site: “This is the largest ancient pottery production site in the region of Jerusalem and in the latter part of the Second Temple period, particularly during Herod’s reign, the production was focused on manufacturing cooking vessels.”

The location was based on its proximity to the relatively heavily populated city of Jerusalem and to raw materials such as stone, water and wood, all used by artisans at that production site.

 

The Jerusalem Post News 09.10.2018

 

 

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Bible Prophecy – NASA’s Attempt to Redirect Mammoth Asteroid Headed for Earth Has End-of-Days Implications

NASA's Attempt to Redirect Mammoth Asteroid Headed for Earth Has End-of-Days Implications

“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh; there shall step forth a star out of Yakov, and a scepter shall rise out of Yisrael, and shall smite through the corners of Moab, and break down all the sons of Seth.” Numbers 24:17 (The Israel Bible™)

A colossal asteroid named Apophis is predicted to pass disturbingly close to Earth before 2030, an ominous astral event which Jewish mystical sources describe as having grave implications for the End of Days.

Rabbi Yosef Berger (Courtesy David’s Tomb)

On April 13, 2029, the Apophis asteroid, portentously named for the ancient Egyptian god of darkness and destruction, will pass within 18,600 miles of Earth, uncomfortably close by space distance standards. At 350 meters across, a mass of 20 million metric tons, and travelling 28,000 miles per hour, Apophis poses a formidable risk to the planet.

Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, notes that all this concern about celestial activity is described in Jewish sources as accompanying the Messiah.

I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh; there shall step forth a star out of Yakov, and a scepter shall rise out of Yisrael, and shall smite through the corners of Moab, and break down all the sons of Seth. Numbers 24:17

“This Biblical reference to a star that will accompany the Messiah was expanded in Maimonides and the Zohar to include many other astrological phenomenon described in great detail,” Rabbi Berger told Breaking Israel News.

Rabbi Berger explained that astrological events pose a specific End-of-Days challenge for all of mankind.

“The Tower of Babel was built as a challenge to God when the flood of Noah’s generation was still fresh in the people’s minds,” the rabbi said. “It was an attempt to prove that God, via nature, did not rule over man. These events also will lead men to try to prove that they are above nature and God, and that they rule themselves.”

If Apophis hits Earth, it could create an explosion equal to 880 million tons of TNT, creating a crater about 1.25 miles across and almost 1,700 feet deep. Such an impact would be devastating. Though scientists believe there is little chance Apophis will hit earth on this pass, they expect the near-miss to disrupt the asteroid’s orbit, making its next pass in 2036 unpredictable.

In response to the growing threat of the pending asteroid hit, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced last Friday that they will launch a probe to alter the trajectory of a small asteroid as it approaches Earth as a first attempt at planetary defense. The project is named the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), scheduled to take place in October, 2022 coinciding with two smaller asteroids that are predicted to make a close pass to Earth.

“DART would be NASA’s first mission to demonstrate what’s known as the kinetic impactor technique — striking the asteroid to shift its orbit — to defend against a potential future asteroid impact,” said Lindley Johnson, NASA’s planetary defense officer in Washington, in the press release announcing the project.

The hope is that with the amount of time between the DART test and the looming danger of Apophis, NASA will find a way to circumvent the asteroid to protect Earth from tremendous carnage.

Despite NASA’s determination to thwart the pending threat, Rabbi Berger noted the role scientific uncertainty will play in the End of Days.

“In the days after Messiah, it will become undeniably clear to all that God is in total control of everything,” Rabbi Berger said. “Science is a necessary tool, but any attempt to deny the ultimate authority that stands behind nature is not only a denial of God, but it is mistaken and destined to fail.”

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Bible Prophecy – Water Flowing From Temple Mount: A Messianic Precursor?

A Jerusalem resident familiar with the Kotel was surprised to find water flowing from the stones in a decidedly pre-Messianic manner. Though the source was mundane, it is cause for retrospection into what the signs preceding Messiah will look like when they actually do appear. Josh Wander, a resident of the Mount of Olives, frequently prays at the Kotel (the Western Wall). One of his favorite spots is the indoor section to the north of the outdoor plaza. When he went to pray at the holy site on Tuesday, he was surprised to see water flowing in rivulets from between the stones. “I have seen water dripping before but this was clearly more than condensation from the cold stones,“ Wander told Breaking Israel News. Tuesday was the 17th of the Hebrew month of Tammuz, a fast day commemorating the day the Roman forces breached the walls of Jerusalem after a long siege in 69 CE. It begins the three week period of austerity leading up to the Ninth of Av, memorializing the destruction of the Jewish Temples. “Perhaps the walls were crying for the destruction of the Temple,“ conjectured Wander. Water flowing from the Temple Mount is one of the precursors to the Messiah described by the prophet Joel. …and a fountain shall come forth of the house of Hashem and shall water the valley of Shittim. Joel 4:18 The watery sign is so significant that it is repeated by the Prophet Ezekiel, who described it in detail. And he brought me back unto the door of the house; and behold waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward for the forefront of the house looked toward the east; and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house on the south of the altar. Ezekiel 47:1 Wander could not verify the source of the water, whether it was Divine or mundane, but he speculated that since the Messiah has not been announced, the phenomenon was most probably due to leaky plumbing from the Arab Quarter houses that sit above the indoor area. If his theory is correct, this will not be the first time that leaky pipes have led to Messianic false-alarms. In 2015, a burst pipe near Wilson’s Arch, close to where Wander discovered flowing water, led to similar Messianic speculation. A few years previous to that incident, a similar situation near the Border Police Station at the Western Wall caused by clogged pipes in the bathroom, prompted the same reaction.

And he brought me back unto the door of the house; and behold waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward for the forefront of the house looked toward the east; and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house on the south of the altar. Ezekiel 47:1 (The Israel Bible™)

A Jerusalem resident familiar with the Kotel was surprised to find water flowing from the stones in a decidedly pre-Messianic manner. Though the source was mundane, it is cause for retrospection into what the signs preceding Messiah will look like when they actually do appear.

Josh Wander, a resident of the Mount of Olives, frequently prays at the Kotel (the Western Wall). One of his favorite spots is the indoor section to the north of the outdoor plaza. When he went to pray at the holy site on Tuesday, he was surprised to see water flowing in rivulets from between the stones.

“I have seen water dripping before but this was clearly more than condensation from the cold stones,“ Wander told Breaking Israel News.

 

Tuesday was the 17th of the Hebrew month of Tammuz, a fast day commemorating the day the Roman forces breached the walls of Jerusalem after a long siege in 69 CE. It begins the three week period of austerity leading up to the Ninth of Av, memorializing the destruction of the Jewish Temples.

Perhaps the walls were crying for the destruction of the Temple, conjectured Wander.

Water flowing from the Temple Mount is one of the precursors to the Messiah described by the prophet Joel.

…and a fountain shall come forth of the house of Hashem and shall water the valley of Shittim. Joel 4:18

The watery sign is so significant that it is repeated by the Prophet Ezekiel, who described it in detail.

And he brought me back unto the door of the house; and behold waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward for the forefront of the house looked toward the east; and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house on the south of the altar. Ezekiel 47:1

Wander could not verify the source of the water, whether it was Divine or mundane, but he speculated that since the Messiah has not been announced, the phenomenon was most probably due to leaky plumbing from the Arab Quarter houses that sit above the indoor area.

 

If his theory is correct, this will not be the first time that leaky pipes have led to Messianic false-alarms. In 2015, a burst pipe near Wilson’s Arch, close to where Wander discovered flowing water, led to similar Messianic speculation.

 

A few years previous to that incident, a similar situation near the Border Police Station at the Western Wall caused by clogged pipes in the bathroom, prompted the same reaction.

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Prayers to Pray – Bible study – Bible Prayers – Pray These Powerful Decrees Over Your Unsaved Loved Ones

Pray These Powerful Decrees Over Your Unsaved Loved Ones

One of the most profound truths presented in Scripture is that Jesus Christ is a groom. His bride is the church. This is very good news as it suggests that the degree of intimacy, dedication, care and commitment Jesus offers His followers is that of a faithful husband to His beloved wife.

Although some passages display this marital imagery explicitly, like Ephesians 5:31-32 and Revelation 21:2-3, in other verses it often goes unnoticed. Here are six such examples:

  • “[The Magi] saw the young Child with Mary, His mother … they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Matt. 2:11).
  • “I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom” (Matt. 26:29).
  • “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, you may be also” (John 14:3).
  • “Concerning that day and hour no one knows … but My Father only” (Matt. 24:36).
  • “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10).
  • “Fill the water pots with water … Now draw some out, and take it to the master of the feast” (John 2:7-8).

Betrothal During Biblical Times

To see how these verses might relate to marriage, we have to understand how couples got betrothed during biblical times.

As I outline in my book In Love: The Larger Story of Sex and Marriage, a young Jewish man would propose betrothal by offering a young woman a cup of wine. He would say, “This cup represents a covenant in blood,” and she would accept the offer by taking a sip. They would not drink from that same cup again until their wedding night. At this point, the groom would typically give the bride a betrothal gift, perhaps in the form of a ring.

The two would then depart and not see each other for up to a year. He would return to his father’s homestead and build a room, or huppah, that would become the residence for the new couple. The father had to approve the completion of the huppah before the wedding took place. Thus, during this time, whenever he was asked about his exact wedding day, the young man would respond, “Only my father knows.”

When the room was ready, the groom and his family and friends would travel to the young woman’s house to claim her as his bride. The groom typically would dress in the same manner as a priest, wearing a seamless tunic that was sprinkled with frankincense and myrrh and, if he could afford it, a gold crown upon his head.

Once back at the groom’s father’s house, the couple would once again sip from that same cup of wine, and they would consummate the marriage. Wedding guests, if dressed appropriately, were invited to take part in a seven-day celebration, culminating in a grand feast. The groom was responsible for providing his guests with food and wine during this time.

Several New Testament passages refer explicitly to this betrothal tradition. For example, the parable of the 10 virgins describes the bridesmaids who watch for the arrival of the groom as he comes to claim his bride (Matt. 25:1-13) and Matthew 22:11-12 mentions the necessity of wedding guests to wear the appropriate clothes.

Reading in a New Light

With this Jewish betrothal tradition in mind, we can perhaps also read the six verses mentioned above in a new light.

  • Upon Jesus’ birth, wise men bring Him gold, frankincense and myrrh, which are items that would have been worn by a Jewish groom on his wedding day.
  • During the Last Supper, Jesus offers his disciples a cup of wine, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood” (1 Cor. 11:25b). He tells them He will not drink again from that same cup until He does so with them in His Father’s kingdom (Matt. 26:29).
  • Jesus then declares that He is about to depart from them; He is returning to His Father’s house, which has “many dwelling places,” where He will “prepare a place for you” (John 14:2-3).
  • When His disciples ask Jesus when his second coming will take place, he responds, “No one knows … but my Father only” (Matt. 24:36b). This is the response a groom would give when asked about the timing of his wedding day.
  • Also like a new groom, Jesus gives His bride a betrothal gift, although His gift comes in the form of living water. He approaches a woman at Jacob’s well—which, in ancient Israel, was a common setting for finding a bride as Jacob himself did with Rachel—and talks to her about husbands. He then offers this Samaritan woman “living water” as “the gift of God,” indicating that God wants to betroth not only Jews but also Gentiles (John 4:6-26).
  • At the wedding in Cana, when Jesus tells a servant to take water He’d turned into wine to the master of the feast, He exercises the role of a groom, who was responsible for providing the guests wine (John 2:1-11).

Each of these verses can bear multiple layers of meaning. Noting their connection with the Jewish betrothal tradition helps illumine the intimate, covenantal relationship Jesus has formed with His people. By understanding this ancient process of entering marriage, we can see with fresh eyes the kind of commitment and care that Christ offers to us. In short, the larger story of Scripture can be read as a love story with marital form.

“Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev 19:9b).

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Prophetic Word 2017 – Prophecy – Bible Prophecy . Judgment, Wrath and Deceiving Spirits: You Won’t Hear Too Many Prophecies Like This Today

Bible Prophecy - Prophetic Word - Judgment, Wrath and Deceiving Spirits: You Won't Hear Too Many Prophecies Like This Today

NOTE: This prophetic word was spoken by Prophet Stanley Frodsham who was a personal friend of Smith Wigglesworth, a traveling companion and author of one of the books about him. It was given in Chicago in 1965, five years before he died. This is only an excerpt of the entire prophecy.

Great Judgments

“With great judgments will I plead with the population of this country. Great darkness is coming upon the countries that have heard My gospel but no longer walk in it. My wrath shall come upon them. The darkness shall be so great and the anguish so sore that men shall cry out for death and shall not find it. There shall be a lingering death, famine and great catastrophes.

My wrath shall be manifested against all ungodliness. It shall come with great intensity. You have known my love but have not experienced My wrath or My severity. My judgments are literal and not a thing to be passed over lightly. Realize the severity of My judgments and My intense anger against the sin in My household. My judgments shall begin in My house, for I will cleanse My house that it be not a partaker of My wrath against the iniquities of the cities. Before I visit the nations in judgment; I will begin at My house. When I do cause My wrath to come upon the cities of the world, My people shall be separate. I desire a people without spot or wrinkle, and such will be preserved by Me in the time of My wrath, which will be coming upon all iniquity and unrighteousness.

I am going to prepare you for the coming days by a hard path that will cause many to cry out continually unto Me. For when the going is easy, men do not seek Me but rejoice in a temporary blessing. And when that blessing is removed, they so often turn this way and that way but do not come to Me. I am showing you these things in order that you may seek Me continually and with great diligence. As you seek Me, I will open up truths to you that you have not seen before, and these very truths will be such that will enable you to stand in these last days. As you are persecuted, reviled and rejected by your brethren, then you will turn unto Me with all your heart and seek Me for that spiritual life that you need so that when the tribulation comes, you will have that which will enable you to stand for many will be tossed to and fro. Men’s hearts shall fail them because of trouble on every hand. These days shall be very terrible, the likes of which have never been seen before.

Coming Glory and Deceiving Spirits

When I visit My people in mighty revival power, it is to prepare them for the darkness ahead. With the glory shall come great darkness, for the glory is to prepare My people for the darkness. I will enable My people to go through the darkness because of the visitation of My Spirit. Take heed to yourselves lest you be puffed up and think that you have arrived. Many shall be puffed up as in the olden days, for then, many received My message but they did not continue in it. Did I anoint Jehu? Yet the things that I desired were not accomplished in his life. Listen to the messengers, but do not hold men’s persons in admiration or adulation. For many whom I shall anoint mightily with signs and miracles shall become lifted up and shall fall by the wayside. I do not do this willingly, for I have made provision that they might stand. I call many into this ministry and equip them, but remember that many shall fall. They shall be like bright lights, and the people shall delight in them. But they shall be taken over by deceiving spirits and shall lead many of My people astray. Hearken diligently concerning these things, for in the last days shall come seducing spirits. They shall turn many of My anointed ones away; many shall fall through diverse lusts and because of sin abounding.

But if you will seek Me diligently, I will put My Spirit within you so that, when one shall turn to the right hand or to the left hand, you shall not turn with them, but instead you will keep your eyes fixed wholly on your Lord. The coming days are going to be most dangerous, difficult and dark for there shall be a mighty outpouring of My Spirit in judgment upon many cities, and many shall be destroyed. My people must be diligently warned concerning the days ahead. Many shall turn after seducing spirits, and already many are seducing My people. It is those who do righteousness that are righteous. Many cover their sins by great theological words. But I warn you of seducing spirits who instruct my people in an evil way.

Many of these I will anoint that they in turn may purify and sift My people, for I will have a holy people. When I come I shall not find faith upon the earth but in a few, for when the time of testing comes, many will depart from their Lord.

Many shall come with seducing spirits and hold out lustful enticements. You will find that after I have visited My people again, the way will become narrower, and fewer shall walk therein. Be not deceived, the ways of righteousness are My ways. For though Satan come as an angel of light, hearken not to him; for those who perform miracles and speak not righteousness are not of Me. I warn you with great intensity that I am going to judge My house and have a church without spot or wrinkle when I come. I desire to open your eyes and give you spiritual understanding, that you may not be deceived, but may walk with uprightness of heart before Me, loving righteousness and hating every evil way. Look unto Me, and I will make you to perceive with the eyes of the Spirit the things that lurk in darkness that are not visible to the human eye. Let Me lead you in this way that you may perceive the powers of darkness and battle against them. It is not a battle against flesh and blood, for if you battle in that way, you accomplish nothing. But if you let Me take over and battle against the powers of darkness, then they are defeated, and then liberation is brought to My people.”

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Ethiopian Bible is oldest and most complete on earth

Ethiopian Bible is oldest

World’s first illustrated Christian Bible discovered at Ethiopian monastery

The world’s earliest illustrated Christian book has been saved by a British charity which located it at a remote Ethiopian monastery.

The incredible Garima Gospels are named after a monk who arrived in the African country in the fifth century and is said to have copied them out in just one day.

Beautifully illustrated, the colours are still vivid and thanks to the Ethiopian Heritage Fund have been conserved.

Abba Garima arrived from Constantinople in 494 AD and legend has it that he was able to copy the Gospels in a day because God delayed the sun from setting.

The incredible relic has been kept ever since in the Garima Monastery near Adwa in the north of the country, which is in the Tigray region at 7,000 feet.

Experts believe it is also the earliest example of book binding still attached to the original pages.

The survival of the Gospels is incredible considering the country has been under Muslim invasion, Italian invasion and a fire in the 1930s destroyed the monastery’s church.

They were written on goat skin in the early Ethiopian language of Ge’ez.

There are two volumes which date from the same time, but the second is written in a different hand from the first. Both contain illustrations and the four Gospels.

Though the texts had been mentioned by the occasional traveller since the 1950s, it had been thought they dated from the 11th century at the earliest.

Carbon dating, however, gives a date between 330 and 650 – which tantalisingly overlaps the date Abba Garima arrived in the country.

So the first volume could be in his hand – even if he didn’t complete the task in a day as the oral tradition states.

The charity Ethiopian Heritage Fund that was set up to help preserve the treasures in the country has made the stunning discovery.

It was also allowed incredibly rare access to the texts so experts could conserve them on site.

 

It is now hoped the Gospels will be put in a museum at the monastery where visitors will be able to view them.

Blair Priday from the Ethiopian Heritage Fund said: “Ethiopia has been overlooked as a source of these fantastic things.

“Many of these old Christian relics can only be reached by hiking and climbing to remote monasteries as roads are limited in these mountainous regions.

“All the work on the texts was done in situ and everything is reversible, so if in future they can be taken away for further conservation we won’t have hindered that.

“The pages had been crudely stitched together in a restoration in the 1960s and some of the pages wouldn’t even turn. And they were falling to pieces.

“The Garima Gospels have been kept high and dry which has helped preserve them all these years and they are kept in the dark so the colours look fresh.

“This was the most astounding of all our projects and the Patriarch, the head of the Ethiopian Church, had to give his permission.

“Most of the experts did the work for nothing.

“We are currently undertaking other restoration programmes on wall paintings and religious texts.

“We believe that preserving Ethiopia’s cultural heritage will help to increase visitor revenue and understanding of the extraordinary history of this country.”

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Your Mind – Mind of Christ

Mind of Christ

The Bible sees the mind as that place of contemplation, judgment, and intention.  Our minds allow us to be rational, to weigh evidence, to make decisions about right and wrong, options, etc.  Our minds allow us to worship, praise God, pray, love, repent, and trust.  In this we are made in God’s image with the mental capacities not shared by any animal on the planet.

How many thoughts pass through our minds every day?  It must be thousands.  We constantly think and contemplate.  If we multiply this by the number of years we live, then we undoubtedly produce millions and millions of thoughts.  Furthermore, if we realize that we are to give account to God for all our words, then we are quickly sobered.  Jesus said, “For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it should come to light,” (Mark 4:22).  All we can do is humbly lay ourselves before God and be grateful for God’s grace to us.  Because of Christ’s sacrifice He will not remember our sins either of deed or of thought (Heb. 10:17).  Thank you Lord and may you be praised for your kindness.

Knowing that we are cleansed in Christ, we can then set our minds on godly things.  “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.  For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God,” (Col. 3:2-3).  Notice what Paul says.  He says that because we have died with Christ (trusted in Christ and been counted in Him on the cross), that we are to set our minds on the things above, not the things on earth.  Paul is not saying we can’t think about our mortgage, food prices, family, etc.  He is stating that our minds need to be focused on God, on living the Word, on presenting Christ to the lost, on God’s glory, etc.  We are not our own.  We belong to the one who has purchased us with His blood, (Acts 20:28) and indwelt by God Himself (John 14:23).  Our minds are to be taken into the service of godliness.  Our thoughts are to be holy.

Again, praise be to God for His grace to us in revealing to us what the focus of our minds is to be: “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things,” (Phil. 4:8).  Within the confines of our daily lives, are we guiding our thoughts to dwell on what is pure, lovely, good, excellent, and worthy of praise?

The more you read God’s word and the more you humble yourself in prayer, the more you are able to set your minds on the things that are above. You cannot be godly in your mind apart from the strength of God’s presence.  This is why you must seek God and be close to Him in fellowship (1 Cor. 1:9).  In His presence, your mind is changed and your heart is moved.  As Moses’ face shined with the glory of God after leaving His Almighty presence, so too will your mind shine with the glory of God as you spend time in devotion to the Lord.  Let your mind dwell on God’s mercy, goodness, love, kindness, grace, provision, and faithfulness. Memorize scriptures that deal with God’s holiness and purity.  Wash yourself with the Word.  Spend time in prayer with God and seek His will and guidance.  He desires to be with you (Ex. 25:8).

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect,” (Rom. 12:2).

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Bible Study on Gospel of John, Chapter 1 – John 1:1–51 – The World – Jesus Christ – Beginning of Creation – John the Baptist – Regeneration

THE WORD

  1. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    1. Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
    2. The word “word” was familiar to the Greeks who understood it to be the rational principle that governed the universe. The Jews understood the word to mean God.1  Therefore John was seeking to establish that the word which was God and was in the beginning is that governing principle.
    3. The word is eternal.  The Word is divine.  The word is personal.
      1. John 8:58, “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.””
    4. God created through his word is Genesis 1:3 demonstrates, “Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.”
    5. Jehovah’s Witnesses render this as “and the Word was a God”
      1. This is problematic because it implies polytheism.
  2. He was in the beginning with God.
    1. This hints at the Trinity due to the word being God and yet with God.  At the very least this is a plurality within the Godhead
    2. Notice the distinguishing between the “He” and “with God”.  Yet, John 1:1 already said the “Word was God.” To be God and with God implies a separation from God, yet also a sharing of the same nature of God, as John 1:1 says “the Word with God and the Word was God.”
  3. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
    1. John the apostle is telling us that the Word, which later became flesh, (John 1:14) is the source of all creation. Notice “through him.”  This shows the work of God through the Word.  Yet, the “Word was God.”
    2. Some might say that God used the pre-incarnate Christ as the conduit through whom creation was made. Often this comment is offered in an attempt to deny the deity of Christ.  Yet, that cannot work in light of the following verses.
      1. Isaiah 44:24, “Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, “I, the LORD, am the maker of all things, stretching out the heavens by Myself And spreading out the earth all alone,”
        1. The LORD (YHWH) is the sole creator of all things.  If this is the case, and the Word is the means by which God created, then it could not be said that YHWH created all things alone.  But, since YHWH created all things alone, and the Word was God, then we can see the harmony in these verses.
      2. Colossians 1:15–17, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
        1. Firstborn does not mean first created. Firstborn is a transferable title, a title of pre-eminence and does not necessitate being a created thing when applied to Jesus.
          1. Gen. 41:51-52, “And Joseph called the name of the first-born Manasseh: For, said he, God has made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house. And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
          2. Jer. 31:9, “…for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is My firstborn.”
        2. The Jehovah’s Witness New World translation inserts the word “other” four times in this text.  
          1. NWT, “because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him. 17Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exists.”
        3. There are two Greek words for the word “other”, allos which means another of the same kind and heteros which means another of a different kind. Paul could have used either word. However, he chose to use neither one. Therefore, the New World translation is incorrect and its attempt to deny the deity of Christ is wrong.
  4. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
    1. The first appearance of the word “life” is in this verse.  The word “life” occurs 47 times in 39 verses in the New American Standard Bible
    2. Life:  Jesus, as the creator, provides physical life as well as spiritual life.
      1. John 10:27–28, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”
    3. The first occurrence of the word “light” is in this verse. The word “light” occurs 23 times in 16 verses in the new American Standard Bible.
    4. Light: Jesus is the light. Notice the similarity with Genesis 1:3, “Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.”
      1. There are many verses in the gospel of John that speak of Jesus as being the light.
        1. John 3:19, “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.”
        2. John 8:12, “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.””
        3. John 12:35, “So Jesus said to them, “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes.”
        4. John 12:46, “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.”
  5. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
    1. The allusion to Genesis is obvious. 
      1. Genesis 1:4, “God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.”
    2. In this verse of John 1:5, light and darkness are symbols of good and evil.
    3. The word for “comprehend” is katelaben, from katalambano.  It means to “apprehend, attain, obtain, find, lay hold of, seize.”2  It is used figuratively here of “seizing the mind”, comprehending, understanding.
    4. Related Verses
      1. John 3:19–21, “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.””
      2. Acts 26:15–18, “And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 ‘But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; 17 rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, 18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’”

JOHN THE BAPTIST

  1. There came a man sent from God, whose name was John.
    1. Old Testament Prophecy of John the Baptist
      1. Malachi 3:1, “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts.”
    2. The word “sent” is from the Greek apostello, to send, from which we get apostle.
    3. Jesus spoke of John the Baptist
      1. Matt. 11:7-11, “As these men were going away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 “But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ palaces! 9 “But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one who is more than a prophet. 10 “This is the one about whom it is written, ‘BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU, WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY BEFORE YOU.’ 11 “Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
    4. Biography of John the Baptist
      1. He was born in the hill country of Judah (Luke 1:39)
      2. He was the son of Zechariah a priest (Luke 1:5)
      3. His parents were godly and obey the commands of God (Luke 1:6)
      4. His birth was prophesied by the angel of the Lord (Luke 1:8-13)
      5. His name was assigned by the angel (John 1:13)
      6. He would be great in God’s eyes, would not drink any alcohol, and would be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb (Luke 1:15)
      7. He was related to Jesus (Luke 1:36)
      8. He lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance (Luke 1:80)
      9. He preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3)
      10. He bore witness of Jesus (Mark 1:7-8)
      11. He baptized Jesus (Matthew 3:14-17)
      12. He reprimanded Herod who imprisoned him (Luke 3:19-20; Matthew 14:3-5)
      13. He was beheaded by Herod (Mark 6:27)
      14. His body was laid in the tomb (Mark 6:29)
    5. John the Baptist as Elijah
      1. He is Elijah, Matthew 11:13–14, “For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 “And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come.”
      2. He is not Elijah, John 1:19–21, “This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.””
      3. Spirit of Elijah, “It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS BACK TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
      4. John the Baptist wore a garment of camel’s hair, Matthew 3:4, “Now John himself had a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.”
      5. Elijah 2 Kings 1:8, “They answered him, “He was a hairy man with a leather girdle bound about his loins.” And he said, “It is Elijah the Tishbite.””
        1. “This was the description not of his person, as in the case of Esau, but of his dress, which consisted either of unwrought sheep or goatskins (Heb. 11:37), or of camel’s haircloth—the coarser manufacture of this material like our rough haircloth.”3
        2. John the Baptist’s father was Zechariah who was a temple worker and may have had access to artifacts from ancient times.
  2. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him.
  3. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.
    1. The function of John the Baptist was to bear witness of the light, being Jesus. John was sent from God (v. 6).
    2. The word “testify” occurs 33 times in the gospel of John.
    3. Testifying/bearing witness of Christ
      1. Jesus bears witness of Himself, (John 8:18; 14:6)
      2. Jesus’ works bear witness of Himself, (John 5:36; 10:25)
      3. The Father bears witness of Jesus, (John 5:37; 8:18; 1 John 5:9)
      4. The Holy Spirit bears witness of Jesus, (John 15:26)
      5. The multitudes bear witness of Jesus, (John 12:17)
      6. The Prophets bear witness of Jesus, (Acts 10:43)
      7. The Scriptures bear witness of Jesus, (John 5:39)
  4. There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.
    1. Light
      1. 1 John 1:5, “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.”
      2. John 8:12, “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.””
      3. John 9:5, “While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”
      4. John 12:46, “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.”
      5. Matthew 5:14, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”
    2. World
      1. The word “world” here refers to the physical realm into which Jesus had entered via his incarnation and humiliation.
        1. Philippians 2:5–8, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
      2. The word “world” is used in different ways in the New Testament. It can mean…
        1. The earth
          1. John 17:5, “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”
        2. A limited and/or known area
          1. 1 Peter 5:9, “But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.”
        3. People of all kinds
          1. John 3:17, “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”
        4. Possessions, power, influence
          1. Luke 9:25, “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?”
    3. “Enlightens every man”
      1. What is meant by “enlightens every man”?
      2. Does in mean every individual who has ever lived, was then living, or will live?  If so, how is this done?  Via the Bible?  Preaching?  Is it I statement about the general idea of the gospel message going forth?
      3. What exactly is the enlightening? Does it mean that Jesus is making himself known to everyone all over the world?  Or, does it mean that in the process of evangelism he enlightens every man about the truth of sin and salvation and the necessity of trusting in him and his sacrifice?
      4. Could it be a conscience that is provided to every individual?
      5. Does “everyman” mean it in a literal sense or in a general sense to all types of people all over the world?
      6. Debate on the answers of the questions continues within the Christian church.
  5. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
    1. Jesus was born in Bethlehem. He was born into the world and yet the world  was made by him.
    2. To not know who Jesus is, is to not know his divinity, his Majesty, his work, his love, his purpose.
  6. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.
    1. Jesus came to the Jews but the Jews, as a whole, rejected him.
    2. Matthew 10:5–6, “These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; 6 but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
    3. Matthew 15:24, “But He answered and said, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.'”
    4. Old Testament Verses as background about the Messiah
      1. Genesis 12:3, “And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.””

 REGENERATION 

  1. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,
    1. Receiving [lambano] Christ is an action performed by the believer.  It is enabled by God’s regenerative work in us.
      1. The unbeliever cannot receive Christ of his own, sinful free will which is what the following verse 12 tells us.
    2. Receiving Christ means that we become the children of God.
      1. “in John’s Gospel believers are referred to as God’s children and never as “God’s sons.”4
      2. Children of God
        1. Romans 8:14, “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”
        2. 2 Corinthians 6:17–18, “Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you. 18 “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty.”
        3. Galatians 3:26, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”
        4. Galatians 4:6, “Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!””
        5. 2 Peter 1:4, “For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”
        6. 1 John 3:1, “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.”
    3. Believe in his name
      1. This means to trust in Christ, to put hope and faith in him.  It does not mean simple intellectual acknowledgment (ascentia).  It means faithful trust (fiducia).
  2. who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
    1. not of blood – not of human origin
    2. not of the will of the flesh – not of carnal desires
    3. not of the will of man – human effort and desire
      1. It is man who is deceitful (Jer. 17:9), full of evil (Mark 7:21-23), loves darkness rather than light (John 3:19), and cannot come to God on his own (John 6:44), does not seek for God (Rom. 3:10-12), is helpless and ungodly (Rom. 5:6), is a slave of sin (Rom. 6:20; John 8:34), cannot receive spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14), is dead in his sins (Eph. 2:1), is by nature a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3), and is at enmity with God (Eph. 2:15).
      2. It is God who appoints people to believe (Acts 13:48), grants the act of believing (Phi1:29), works faith in the believer (John 6:28-29), grants us repentance (2 Tim. 2:24-25), causes us to be born again (1 Pet. 1:3), grants that we come to Jesus (John 6:65), and predestines us to salvation (Rom. 8:29-30).
    4. Regeneration precedes faith
      1. Since the unbeliever is in a precarious position and since it is God who must intervene, how then does regeneration and faith work?  here is an illustration using a light bulb.
        1. In a light bulb whenever electricity is present, light is also present. However, light is not the cause of electricity. Electricity is the cause of the light. Though they occur simultaneously, we would say that the electricity is logically prior to the light since it is the cause of the light. Likewise, in our salvation, regeneration is the logically prior condition that brings the result of belief. 

INCARNATION OF THE WORD

  1. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
    1. Jesus is the Word made flesh, he is God in flesh.
      1. Colossians 2:9, “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,”
    2. Dwelt among us
      1. The word in Greek for “dwelt” is from the Greek σκηνόω, skēnóō.  It means to tent, to encamp.
      2. Exodus 25:8, “Let them construct a sanctuary for Me [God], that I may dwell among them.”
      3. God desires to dwell among his people. God walked with Adam and Eve in the garden. When they sinned he went looking for them.
        1. 1 Corinthians 1:9, “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
    3. Only begotten
      1. The Greek word for “only begotten” is μονογενής, monogenas.  It means both only begotten and unique.
    4. From the Father
      1. Jesus was sent by God the Father.
      2. Jesus says “sent me” in Reference to God the Father 33 times in the Gospel of John, in the NASB.
        1. John 6:39, “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.”
        2. John 6:44, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.”
        3. John 8:42, “Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.”
    5. Full of grace and truth
      1. The term “full of grace” occurs only two times in the New Testament, here in John 1:14 and in Acts 6:8.
        1. Acts 6:8, “And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people.”
        2. Stephen was “full of the spirit and of wisdom” (Acts 6:3).
        3. But only is Jesus is said to be “full of grace and truth”.  Stephen was “full of grace”.
      2. This is important in light of the Roman Catholic doctrine that Mary was full of grace. The Roman Catholics reference Luke 1:28 which says, “And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”
        1. “favored one” is the single Greek word kexaritomena and means highly favored, make accepted, make graceful, etc. It does not mean “full of grace” which is “plaras karitos” (plaras = full and karitos = Grace) in the Greek.
      3. V. 17 also speaks of grace and truth in reference to Jesus.
  2. John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ ”
    1. Again, John the Baptist is mentioned which signifies the importance of his testimony concerning Jesus.
    2. John the Baptist’s ‘crying out’ signifies his proclamation, his prophetic activity regarding Jesus.
      1. Malachi 3:1, “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts.”
    3. John the apostle makes it clear that Jesus was of a higher position than John the Baptist and the reason is because Jesus existed before John.
      1. This is reminiscent of primogeniture the teaching that the firstborn has priority and authority.
      2. Jesus is called the firstborn of creation:  Colossians 1:15, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.”
      3. See Also, John 8:58, “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.””
  3. For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
    1. Who is the “all” who have received the fullness?  Obviously, it cannot mean those who reject him.
      1. The “all” probably refers to only those who have received Christ (v. 12).
    2. Grace upon Grace:  the term is not clear. It could mean blessing upon blessing.
  4. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.
    1. Moses was the individual through whom God’s Law was revealed.
    2. Grace and truth are realized only through Jesus.  The phrase only occurs here and in verse 14.
      1. John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
  5. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
    1. We know that God is seen in the Old Testament in many places (Genesis 17:1; 18:1; Exodus 6:2-3; 24:9-11; Numbers 12:6-8), so what we make of this phrase no one has seen God at any time?
    2. Contextually, John 1:1 speaks of the word in relationship to God. In verse 14 after the word becomes flesh, in the Gospel of John, each reference to “God” is in reference to the Father.
    3. This is consistent with the words of Christ in John 6:46, “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father.”

JOHN THE BAPTIST’S TESTIMONY

  1. This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
    1. Priests and Levites:  They were sent by the Jews, the members of the Sanhedrin.
      1. The Sanhedrin was the “Supreme judicial council of Judaism with 71 members, located in Jerusalem. It figures prominently in the passion narrative of the Gospels during Jesus’ trial and appears again in Acts as the judicial court which investigates and persecutes the growing Christian church.”5
      2. The Priests were in charge of Temple worship in Jerusalem.
      3. The Levites were also priests, but were from the tribe of Levi, and were subordinate to the priests. There were various cities that were set aside for their use (Numbers 35:1-8; Joshua 21:1-45; 1 Chron. 6:54-81) and they were involved in the care and transportation of of the tabernacle.
        1. Levites were divided into three families: Kohath, Gershon, and Merari (Num. 4:1-49).
      4. Neither the priests and the Levites owned land. They received their support through their priestly duties in the temple and in religious education.
  2. And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”
    1. The Jews had been awaiting the Christ, the Messiah, and John made it clear that he was not the one they were expecting.
    2. John the Baptist was the messenger sent by God (Malachi 3:1), to bear witness of Jesus, not himself.
  3. They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.”
    1. If John the Baptist was not the Messiah, then  was he Elijah or the Prophet?
      1. Elijah
        1. Malachi 4:5–6, “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. 6 “He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.””
      2. The Prophet
        1. Deuteronomy 18:15, “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.”
  4. Then they said to him, “Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?”
    1. He denied himself.  So they wanted to know who he was.
  5. He said, “I am A VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”
    1. John claims to be the prophetic fulfillment of Isaiah 40:3, “A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the LORD [YHWH] in the wilderness. Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.”
    2. Notice that the Hebrew says YHWH and says he is preparing the way for God.
  6. Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.
    1. Pharisees were the dominate religious group in Israel from around 100 B.C.
    2. “Traditional” View The “traditional” view of the Pharisees has been that they were a Jewish sect or party whose members voluntarily took upon themselves a strict regimen of laws pertaining to purity, sabbath observance, prayer, and tithing.”6
    3. Luke 18:9-14, “And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 ‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13 “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14 “I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
  7. They asked him, and said to him, “Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
    1. They wanted to know why he was gathering disciples through baptism. 
  8. John answered them saying, “I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know.
    1. They wanted to know why he was gathering disciples through baptism.
  9. “It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”
    1. Jesus comes after John because John is supposed to prepare the way for Jesus.
    2. Slaves untied the shoes of their masters.
    3. Feet were dirty and sandals covered dirty feet.
  10. These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
    1. They exact site of Bethany is no longer known. It was east of the Jordan, not the same Bethany that is near Jerusalem.

THE LAMB OF GOD

  1. The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
    1. A lamb was the animal of sacrifice.
      1. Exodus 12:3–7, “Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household. 4 ‘Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb. 5 ‘Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 ‘You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight. 7 ‘Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.”
      2. Numbers 28:11, “Then at the beginning of each of your months you shall present a burnt offering to the LORD: two bulls and one ram, seven male lambs one year old without defect.”
      3. “Every use of “lamb” in the New Testament is figurative: twenty-eight times with reference to Christ (twenty-four in Revelation; Gk. arníon), twice for followers of Christ, and once in the description of the beast out of the earth (Rev. 13:11).”7
    2. Sin of the world is all nations, not just the Jews.
      1. Matthew 10:5–6, “These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; 6 but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
      2. Matthew 15:24, “But He answered and said, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.'”
    3. Jesus was crucified at Passover, the time of the sacrifice of the Passover lambs.
      1. John 19:14–15, “Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold, your King!” 15 So they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.””
  2. “This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ 
    1. This is a repeat of v. 15 which says, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ “
    2. John is speaking of Jesus’ pre-existence.
      1. The angel Gabriel (Luke 1:26) was sent to Mary revealing that John the Baptist was already in the womb of her relative for six months.
        1. Luke 1:36, “And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month.”
    3. Scripture about Jesus’ pre-existence
      1. Micah 5:2, “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.””
      2. John 8:58, “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.'”
      3. John 17:5, “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”
      4. Colossians 1:17, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
    4. Order of existence, physical before spiritual
      1. 1 Corinthians 15:45–47, “So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. 47 The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.”
        1. Adam the man, became a living soul. It is not Adam the pre-existing spirit became a living soul.
        2. v. 46, the natural is first, then the spiritual.
  3. “I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.”
    1. Baptism is a form of public identification.
    2. Either sprinkling or immersion
  4. John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him.”
    1. Matthew 3:16–17, “After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, 17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.””
    2. Jesus is a priest after the order of Melchizedek
      1. Hebrews 4:14, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.”
      2. Hebrews 6:20, “where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
    3. To be consecrated as a priest, Jesus had to be:
      1. 30 years of age
        1. Numbers 4:1-3, “Then the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 2 ‘Take a census of the descendants of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, by their families, by their fathers’ households, 3 from thirty years and upward, even to fifty years old, all who enter the service to do the work in the tent of meeting.'”
        2. Luke 3:21-23, “Now it came about when all the people were baptized, that Jesus also was baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.” 23 And when He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being supposedly the son of Joseph, the son of Eli . . . “
      2. Washed with water
        1. Exodus 29:1, 4, “This is what you are to do to consecrate them, so they may serve me as priests: Take a young bull and two rams without defect” … 4 “Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the doorway of the tent of meeting, and wash them with water.”
        2. Numbers 8:7, “And thus you shall do to them, for their cleansing: sprinkle purifying water on them, and let them use a razor over their whole body, and wash their clothes, and they shall be clean.”
      3. Anointed with oil (represents the anointing of the Holy Spirit)
        1. Exodus 29:7, “Then you shall take the anointing oil, and pour it on his head and anoint him.”
        2. Matt. 3:16, “And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him.”
        3. 1 John 2:20, 27, “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know … 27 And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.”
      4. Verbal blessing
        1. Exodus 39:43, “And Moses examined all the work and behold, they had done it (regarding the tabernacle); just as the Lord had commanded, this they had done. So, Moses blessed them.”
        2. Number 6:22-27, “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them: 24 The Lord bless you, and keep you; 25 The Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; 26 The Lord lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace.’ 27 “So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them.”
        3. Matthew 3:17, “and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.’”
  5. “I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’
    1. God spoke to John the Baptist
    2. No definite article in the Greek here at “baptizes in the Holy Spirit.”  This is the only location where this construct occurs in the Greek.
  6. “I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”
    1. The phrase, “Son of God,” is a title of Jesus. It implies His deity (John 5:18) because the title is one of equality with God. In the Old Testament it was figuratively applied to Israel (Exo. 4:22). In the New Testament it is applied to Christ (Luke 1:35). It has many facets, for example: It shows that He is to be honored equally with the Father (John 5:22-23). That He is to be worshipped (Matt. 2:2, 11, 14:33, John 9:35-38, Heb. 1:6), called God (John 20:28, Col. 2:9, Heb. 1:8), prayed to (Acts 7:55-60, 1 Cor. 1:1-2).
      1. Exodus 4:22, “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Israel is My son, My firstborn.”
      2. John 5:18, “For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.”
      3. John 5:22–23, “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”
      4. Luke 1:35, “The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.”

THE FIRST DISCIPLES

  1. Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples,
    1. We do not know exactly where he was, but from earlier verses the implication is that he was in Bethany, on the east side of the Jordan River (v. 28).
  2. and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”
    1. see comment in verse 29 on “the Lamb of God”
  3. The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
    1. Two disciples heard John the Baptist speak about Jesus and so they followed Jesus.
    2. Regarding “two disciples”. 
      1. Matthew 18:16, “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED.”
      2. The two disciples that followed him were Andrew who was Peter’s brother, and another unnamed disciple, v. 40.
  4. And Jesus turned and saw them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are You staying?”
    1. “Rabbi” means a doctor, a teacher, and a master. It is a title of honor that means that the person is qualified to speak on Jewish law.   It is used of Jesus in John 1:38, 49; 3:2; 4:31; 6:25; 9:2; 11:8.
    2. Rabbi is used of Jesus here as is also the word “teacher” and other verses in John’s Gospel:  John 11:28; 13:13-14; 20:16.
  5. He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” So, they came and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.
    1. The 10th hour is equivalent to 4 PM.  John is using the Roman system of measuring the day from the rising of the sun which normally occurred around 6 AM.
    2. Was John using the Jewish system of reckoning time or the Roman one?  the measurement of the day in Roman reckoning began at midnight which would make the 10th hour be equivalent to 10 AM. But if it is the Jewish system which began at 6 AM and this would make it 4 PM. If that is the case, then the events of verse 41 and 42 probably occurred the next day since a 4 PM time reference would imply that the two disciples spent the night with Jesus.
    3. An aspect of discipleship in Christianity is spending time with Jesus.
  6. One of the two who heard John speak and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.
    1. The way “Simon Peter is introduced here implies that he was already well known.
  7. He found first his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which translated means Christ).
    1.  The word “Messiah” means the anointed one and is a Hebrew term.
    2. The word “Christ” also means anointed one and is a Greek term.
    3. It appears that the first one to witness of Jesus in this context is Andrew (v. 40).
  8. He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).
    1. In this act of discipleship, Peter is brought to Jesus.  Jesus should be the focus of who we are to follow as Christians.
    2. Jesus changes Simon’s name to Cephas which is translated as Peter.
    3. The “John” spoken of here would be someone other than John the Baptist.
    4. “Cephas” means ‘rock’. The word appears several times in the New Testament.
      1. 1 Corinthians 1:12, “Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.””
      2. 1 Corinthians 9:5, “Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?”
      3. 1 Corinthians 15:5, “and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.”
      4. Galatians 2:9, “and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.”
    5. To change someone’s name implies authority But, is also representative of purpose.
      1. Abram was changed to Abraham by God (Genesis 17:5).
        1. Abram = father of many.  Abraham = father of a multitude.
      2. Sarai was changed to Sarah by God (Genesis 17:15).
        1. Sarai = Princess.  Sarah = Noblewoman
      3. Hoshea was changed to Joshua by Moses (Numbers 13:16).
        1. Hoshea = Salvation.  Joshua = Jehovah is Salvation.
      4. Gideon was changed to Jerubbaal by the men of Ophrah (Judges 6:32).
        1. Gideon = Hewer.   Jerubbaal = Let baal contend
      5. Daniel was “assigned the name” Belteshazzar by Ashpenaz, a commander (Daniel 1:7).
        1. Daniel = God is my judge.  Belteshazzar = Lord of the straitened’s treasure
      6. etc.

PHILIP AND NATHANAEL

  1. The next day He purposed to go into Galilee, and He found Philip. And Jesus said to him, “Follow Me.”
    1. Philip
      1. Philip was the first disciple called by Jesus and he became one of the 12 an apostle.
        1. Matthew 10:3, “Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;”
        2. It is not clear whether not he was a disciple of John the Baptist first.
      2. Philip “…appears fifth in every listing of the apostles (Mt. 10:3; Mk. 3:18; Lk. 6:14; Acts 1:13).”8
    2. Follow Jesus
      1. Matthew 4:18–19, “Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.””
      2. Matthew 8:22, “But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.””
      3. Matthew 9:9, “As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector’s booth; and He said to him, “Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him.”
      4. Matthew 16:24, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”
      5. John 8:12, “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.””
      6. John 10:27–28, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”
  2. Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter.
    1. Bethsaida was a small fishing village on the North Shore of the Sea of Galilee. This is also the hometown of Andrew and Peter.
    2. Later in the Gospel of John some men approach Philip as the person through whom they could meet Jesus.
      1. John 12:21, “these then came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and began to ask him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.””
  3. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
    1. Nathanael means “God gives”.  He was from Cana (John 21:2).
    2. Nathanael is not listed as one of the 12 disciples though some say he might be Bartholomew (Mark 3:18).
    3. “Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” is a designation of identification. In Jewish culture to identify a person the place where he grew up or was born was used as well as to say he was “the son of”.
    4. “son of Joseph” does not contradict the issue of the virgin birth. It designates the legal adoption Joseph of Jesus.
  4. Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
    1. There have been assertions made lately that Nazareth did not exist at the time of Jesus and that this proves the unreliability of the Gospels. But, this has been debunked by present scholarship. Nevertheless, Nazareth was a small village, not an important geographical or economic place.
    2. The phrase “can any good thing come out of Nazareth” may have been a local proverb. Perhaps it is because the town was out-of-the-way and rather insignificant.
    3. This is often the way of God to use the lowly.
  5. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!”
    1. “Israelite indeed” probably refers to being a true Israelite and is a positive comment my Jesus.
    2. Jesus is saying that Nathaniel submit of integrity and honesty.
  6. Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
    1. “under the fig tree” is using the Old Testament and designates rest and safety.
      1. Micah 4:4, “Each of them will sit under his vine and under his fig tree, with no one to make them afraid, for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.”
      2. Zechariah 3:9–10, “For behold, the stone that I have set before Joshua; on one stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave an inscription on it,’ declares the LORD of hosts, ‘and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. 10 ‘In that day,’ declares the LORD of hosts, ‘every one of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and under his fig tree.'”
    2. The figtree is sometimes used as a representation of Israel along with the implication that Israel should be bearing fruit. When Jesus cursed the fig tree because it had no fruit, some commentators think this is a prophetic reference to the judgment upon Israel for its failure to recognize the Messiah and promote him.
      1. Mark 11:20–24, “As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. 21 Being reminded, Peter said to Him, “Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.” 22 And Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God. 23 “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. 24 “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.”
  7. Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.”
    1. The implication is that there was some sort of supernatural involvement on the part of Christ. We do not know for sure, but possibly Jesus simply knew that Nathaniel had been reclining under a fig tree some distance away perhaps earlier in the day.
    2. Nathaniel was most probably alluding to the Old Testament passage Jesus being the king of Israel.
      1. Psalm 2:6–7, “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.” 7 “I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.”
  8. Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these.”
    1. Jesus said that Nathaniel will have greater reason to believe in him than simply Jesus saying he saw him under a fig tree. Obviously, Jesus knew he would be performing miracles for all to see and that Nathaniel would have greater opportunity to witness them and, ultimately, to proclaim the name of Christ.
  9. And He said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.””
    1. “Truly, Truly, I say to you” occurs 25 times in the Gospel of John.  John 1:51; 3:3, 5, 11; 5:19, 24–25; 6:26, 32, 47, 53; 8:34, 51, 58; 10:1, 7; 12:24; 13:16, 20–21, 38; 14:12; 16:20, 23; 21:18.
    2. “Truly truly” only occurs in the Gospel of John and not in Synoptics.
    3. Ascending and descending
      1. This is an allusion to Genesis 28:12 but here Jacob’s ladder is replaced with “the Son of Man”.
      2. Genesis 28:12, “He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.”
    4. Son of Man
      1. Son of Man designates the humanity of Christ but is accompanied by various attestations of the majesty and authority of Christ which goes beyond the mere fact of being human.
        1. Matthew 12:8, “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
        2. Matthew 13:36–38, “Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” 37 And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, 38 and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;”
        3. Matthew 16:13–16, “Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.””
        4. Mark 2:10–11, “But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, 11 “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.””
        5. Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.””
        6. Luke 9:44, “Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.””
        7. Acts 7:56, “and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.””
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Sample Prayer Requests for Conversational Prayer

Here are 15 topics you may wish to include in your prayer time. These are suggestions, and we encourage you to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as you seek God together.

    1. That God would lead and direct your prayer time.
    1. That you would be able to experience His presence during your prayer time.
    1. That God would anoint your life for His purposes.
    1. That His presence would move greatly in your church services and touch lives.
    1. That He would protect and direct your children’s (and grandchildren’s) lives.
    1. That there would be unity in the church (yours and the church at large). “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).
    1. That unsaved loved ones and friends would come to know the Lord, that their eyes would be opened to see the truth. “Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized” (Acts 9:18).
    1. That He would give you a heart for His ways and discernment to see His direction. “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:6).
    1. That He would be your strength and your wisdom. “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song” (Psalm 28:7).
    1. That He would give you opportunities to share His Gospel with others.
    1. That He would show you where you should be ministering in your local church.
    1. That He would allow you to be a blessing to those around you. “And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested” (1 Chronicles 4:10).
    1. That He would mould your character into His likeness. “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29).
    1. That your heart would break over the things that break His heart.
    1. That He would teach you how to pray and intercede for those situations that break His heart.

“One of the most subtle burdens God ever puts on us as saints is this burden of discernment concerning other souls. He reveals things in order that we may take the burden of these souls before Him and form the mind of Christ about them. It is not that we bring God into touch with our minds, but that we rouse ourselves until God is able to convey His mind to us about the one for whom we intercede.” Oswald Chambers – Prayer: A Holy Occupation.

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God’s Word Declared and Preached with Fire

God’s Word Declared

“What I have spoken does not come from myself; no, what I was to say, what I had to speak, was commanded by the Father who sent me,
and I know that his commands mean eternal life.
And therefore what the Father has told me is what I speak.”
Jn.12:48-50

_____________

When given the option, the Jews clung to the Bible and rejected the Gospel. So that Christians would not do the same, the Apostles rescinded the Torah, releasing us from every rule in the Old Testament. (Acts 15: 5-29).

They did this so that we would understand that Jesus was greater than the Bible. Seemingly a paradox, this truth is so fundamental to our understanding of God that it should be headlined in the largest print.

We say that the Bible is the word of God, and it is. But, as the Apostles have borne witness, not all the words in this sacred book share the same divinity or authority. Jesus Christ is greater by far than the Old Testament which predicted Him.

Most of the Bible is made up of words inspired by God, not His own personal Testimony. There is an enormous difference between the two, because one has power to save us from death and the other does not.

The fundamental difference separating Jesus Christ from the rest of scripture is the supreme authority of Christ’s Gospel. The words He spoke come directly from the mouth of God (Jn.12:48-50).

Jesus is God’s voice on earth. His words come straight from the throne of heaven. Jesus in fact, is God — a fact proved by the Trinity. This revelation is unique. Nothing like it has ever happened in the history of religion.

The Gospel He preached not only tells us in clear detail what God expects of us, it is the key that opens the door to the hidden secrets that lie buried behind every mysterious word written in the Bible.

Without His words (without the Gospel of Christ) scripture would lead nowhere. It would remain divinely and impenetrably sealed — it’s buried truths hidden in God’s concealed language.

The Bible was sealed in divine metaphore. The Torah’s didactic statements all had deeper meanings — meanings that revolved not around themselves, but around the divine righteousness of the Gospel Jesus was sent to preach. “I want mercy, not sacrifice.”

His revelation of scripture’s symbolism put Jesus in direct conflict with those who held that the teachings of the Old Testament were absolute and needed to be accepted literally and followed exactly as they were written.

Because obsession with these rules was so pervasive and so compelling (even among early Christians), reforming the ritual of the Old Testament became one of the earliest priorities of God.

When the Apostles gathered in Jerusalem to decide this matter, there was much disagreement among them as to how much of the Torah should be retained and how much discarded.

Moved by the Holy Spirit, Peter stood up before the assembly and argued, “God, who can read everyone’s heart, showed his approval of the pagans by giving them the same Holy Spirit he gave to us. It would only provoke God’s anger now, if we were to impose on them the very burden of the Law that neither we nor our ancestors were strong enough to support. Remember, we believe that we are saved in the same way as they are: through the grace of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 15:8-11).

This statement silenced the discord.

In one of the most momentous decisions in the history of the Christian Church, the Jerusalem assembly then decreed: “It has been decided by the Holy Spirit and by ourselves not to saddle you with any burden beyond these essentials: you are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from fornication. Avoid these, and you will do what is right.” (Acts 15:29).

With this decree, the Apostles in Jerusalem severed the Church from its bondage to the rules of the Torah so that Christians could live their lives in the mercy and justice of Jesus without having to struggle with the voluminous decrees of the Law of Moses.

When this meeting ended, only the template of the Torah and the symbolism it advertised remained in place. The Laws and rituals of the Old Testament were all discarded. These were replaced almost entirely by the commandments of the Gospel and the directives of a ‘new’ Testament which had begun to be penned around the letters of Paul.

Despite authorizing this freedom, Jesus predicted that obsession with the Law would continue long after he was gone. “Beware of men…” (Mt.10:17). The ministers, he said, would keep trying to promote their own traditions despite everything He warned about.

This we have seen for ourselves. There has been no end to the stream of religious potentates and prophets who have tried to tie us back in one way or another to the old rules and regulations of the Mosaic Law.

The importance of what happened that day in Jerusalem cannot be overstated. The religious freedom of the entire Christian Church occurred instantly the moment those council directives were approved. Who has power ever to overturn their decree?

The entire Apostolic body was there. All the elders of the Church were in attendance, the great and the small. In addition to Christ’s original twelve Apostles, Paul, Silas and Barnabus were present as well.

Of the council members, those who were of the Pharisitic party and had converted to Jesus, argued that the Laws of Moses should be incorporated into the rules of Christian doctrine.

There was a long discussion on the matter (Acts 15:6-7). When all the members of the gathered assembly had presented their views on the subject, and after Peter had made his own statement, James, the head of the Jerusalem church arose and said:

“My brothers, listen to me. Simeon has described how God first arranged to enlist a people for his name out of the pagans. This is entirely in harmony with the words of the prophets…I rule then, that instead of making things more difficult for the pagans who turn to God, we send them a letter telling them merely to abstain from anything polluted by idols, from fornication, and from the meat of strangled animals…” (Acts 15:13-20).

This directive immediately separated the Christian Church for all time from the rules and regulations of the Old Testament, and the body of believers who made this decree were so prestigious that no one could ever come later and overrule their decision.

While they kept intact the framework of the Law — all the prophecies and symbolism– the laws and traditions themselves were instantly erased. The freedom that resulted allowed the Church to build itself only in the directives of Christ.

While many of the commandments Jesus gave were pre-announced in the Old Testament through prophecy, they lay there among the myriad directions of a ritualistic Law, and so they remained undiscovered.

Because their eyes had been blinded by the elaborate rituals set up by the priests of Moses, no one knew what God really wanted in the way of worship.

The lords of the flock who had been chosen to lead the people of Israel to God, had led them away from the Ten Commandments — God’s own personal word — and toward solar pillars and animal sacrifices instead.

These leaders scoffed at the idea of loving enemies and fixed, instead, on a worldly morality which taught a harsh philosophy of revenge — an ‘eye for an eye’ and a ‘tooth for a tooth’ — in which forgiveness was seen as weakness, and the pursuit of money one of the highest virtues.

They taught a morality that ‘worked’ in this wicked world, and which therefore seemed right. But they were wrong. And so, according to Jesus, were parts of their sacred scrolls. These had been contaminated, said scripture, by ‘wormwood’.

Satan’s corruption, Jesus explained, had reached even into the Bible itself; bringing into it errors which He had to correct throughout His Gospel.

“You have learnt how it was said
(in the Bible)to our ancestors : You must not kill; and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court. But I say this to you: anyone who is angry with his brother will answer for it before the court; if a man hurls an insult at his brother, he will answer for it before the Sanhedrin; and if a man says to his brother, ‘You Fool!’ he will answer for it in hell fire…” (Mt.5:21:22-48).

“It has been said (by the Torah of Moses) ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a writ of dismissal.’ But I say this to you…

“Again, you have learnt how it was said to our ancestors (in the Book of the Law): ‘You must not break your oath…’ But I say this to you…”

“You have learnt how it was said (in the Bible): ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth’ But I say this to you…

“You have learnt how it was said: ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say this to you…” (Mt.5:21:22-48).

Over and over again, Jesus altered the teachings of the Hebrew Old Testament. The Torah was not a book that could be taken literally. It was a book with flaws so serious that it thwarted all chance for eternal life.

Without the corrections and instruction of Jesus Christ, the bread offered in the name of Moses was useless as far as heavenly life was concerned. Of those who ate it, almost all died. (Jn.6:32-49).

Despite the fact that it had been built on divine inspiration, it only served to blind those who read it outside the instruction of the Gospel.

“Now I will give them wormwood for their food, and poisoned water to drink, since from the prophets of Jerusalem godlessness has spread throughout the land.” (Jer.23:15).

A bible with errors in it, though unthinkable to the scribes and priests of Jerusalem was foreseen by the prophets of ancient Israel. Jeremiah had predicted it over 2500 years ago: “How dare you say: ‘We are wise, and we possess the Law of God’ But look how it has been falsified by the lying pen of the scribes!” (Jer.8:8).

Because it is a blemished book, the Old Testament has no power of redemption. That is why the Book of Hebrews tells us that in the end, it will disappear entirely. (Heb.8:13).

The template of Moses has specified that redemption requires perfection. Since scripture assures us that God considered Jesus a perfect unblemished lamb, his words carry the same flawless nature.

His single purpose in coming to the earth was to give us God’s own words, infallible and pure from heaven.

If He came from the earth, his words would be blemished. “…Man cannot redeem himself or pay his ransom to God…it is beyond him.” (Ps.49:7-8).

But since He came down from heaven, His words carry heaven’s faultless perfection. “The word was made flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14).

We have already seen that salvation comes not from the Torah, but from Jesus Christ. Only the words which Jesus came down from heaven to say — the words revealed to us by the Holy Spirit in the Gospel — have the kind of power necessary to carry us alive through the fire into God’s heavenly kingdom.

This is why Jesus said that it is not the Bible that saves us, but only the words that He spoke. “You study the scriptures thinking that in them you have eternal life; now these same scriptures testify to me, and yet you refuse to come to me for life!” (Jn.5:39-40).

There is something in the Bible which is greater than the Bible.

“In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.”
(Jn. 1:1).

Because God is word, the Gospel of Jesus — the truth of heaven — is an essential aspect of the Godhead itself and is therefore identical with God.

The opening words of John’s Gospel show that there is no way to separate the Gospel from the Godhead. It is synonymous with the Holy Spirit. This is verified by the fact that scripture reveals the Gospel and the Temple to be one and the same.

John saw in his vision that Jesus was himself both ‘Word’ and ‘Temple’. (Jn.1:1, Rv.21:22).

Correlating the design of God’s temple with the blueprint of the Gospel, Ezekiel said that the design of this temple was to be given to us, not just in words, but in writing as well — a writing that God expected us to put into practice:

“Son of man, describe this temple to the House of Israel to shame them out of their filthy practices. Let them draw up the plan, and, if they are ashamed of their behavior, show them the design and plan of the temple, its exits, and entrances, its shape, how all of it is arranged, the entire design and all its principles. ”

“Give them all this in writing so that they can see and take note of its design and the way it is all arranged and carry it out.” (Ez.43:10-12).

Ezekiel was not speaking on his own. Nor was he speaking about the Bible in general. The Spirit of God empowered Ezekiel to speak in the person of the ‘son of man’ — a designation signifying that he was previewing in Old Testament times, the coming of Jesus Christ.

In order to rebuild ourselves in Christ’s image — to rebuild the Temple — we must rebuild ourselves in the image of His word — we must remake ourselves according to the Gospel He preached.

The blueprint for rebuilding the ruins of Jerusalem, then, is the Word that Jesus taught. (Jn.12:47-50). The temple Ezekiel describes is God, and the blueprint for its design is the Gospel — the word in which all creation has its genesis.

A ‘Word’ that was written down just as Ezekiel foresaw.

“Now go and inscribe this on a tablet, write it in a book, that it may serve in the time to come as a witness forever.” (Is.30:8).

The voice we hear in this book is the voice of Jesus Christ. It is the same voice that spoke to Moses from the midst of the fire at Sinai. (Dt. 4:12). And it is the same voice that we can hear whenever we pick up the Gospel and read it’s words:

“The deaf that day will hear the words of a book and, after shadow and darkness, the eyes of the blind will see.” (Is.29:18). The eyes of the blind see and the ears of the deaf hear because they can read, and in that reading hear the words of God’s voice.

“You heard the sound of words but saw no shape, there was only a voice. And God revealed his covenant to you and commanded you to observe it…” (Dt.4:12-13).

These words were obviously meant for us, because, just as Moses declared, we see no shape or form either. None of us know what He really looked like. But the voice is there so clear that we are able to walk the earth with Him and listen to Him preach whenever we open the book and read what He said.

The Gospel that the Holy Spirit has placed in our scriptures is Divinity itself, and we must build our lives according to its holy design.

When we do, we create in heaven a spiritual structure — a holy Jerusalem built, not with bricks and stones, but with repentance and conversion into the righteousness of God’s holy Word.

Because it is the very substance of our salvation, Satan has launched an all-out assault on the Gospel’s credibility. And he has spread the seeds of this spiritual doubt deep into the framework of the Church.

This attack is why it is essential that we understand clearly the divine nature of the Gospel Jesus preached. It was for this purpose that God wrapped His word in the symbolism of bread.

Divine food was a central theme in the sacrificial rituals of Hebrew worship. It was to promote the image of Christ as divine food that the earliest liturgy of the Christian Church revolved around the meal of communion. Jesus commanded this liturgy and demanded its perpetuation. He did this to sustain for all time the image of a spiritual food that imparted eternal life.

Some see God’s meal as the bread of communion. Others see it as the Bible.

Yet the Gospel Jesus preached is greater than both.

Neither the Eucharist nor the Bible can, of themselves, produce everlasting life. Only the Gospel, when internalized into action, can produce the eternal life Jesus offered to the world.(John 8:51). It was to perpetuate this fact that Jesus initiated the communion meal. Symbolically, it united bread and word. The spiritual food of heaven is God’s word.

“My teaching is not from myself: it comes from the One who sent me; and if anyone is prepared to do his will, he will know whether my teaching is from God or whether my doctrine is my own.” (John 7:16-17).

“He who comes from heaven bears witness to the things he has seen and heard, even if his testimony is not accepted…since he whom God has sent speaks God’s own words…” (John 3:31-34). “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” (John 6:63).

“For what I have spoken does not come from myself; no, what I was to say, what I had to speak, was commanded by the Father who sent me, and I know that his commands mean eternal life.” (John 12:49-50).

Despite Christ’s forceful words to the contrary, many Christians today preach a faith independent of the Gospel’s commands.

Others claim that the church wrote the Gospel. They see an instrument formed by inspiration rather than a document containing God’s own commandments. It is in this line of thought that a spurious group called the ‘Jesus Seminar’ recently argued that Jesus actually spoke almost nothing the Gospel teaches.

These views only serve to denigrate the Gospel and to muddy the waters which Jesus made clear.

God could not depend on inspiration to get the job done correctly, so He eliminated the middlemen. Paul proved this when he said that even Christian inspiration could see into the world of God only dimly. Much of it, too, he predicted, would be proved wrong when Christ returns in his glory:

“If there are gifts of prophecy, the time will come when they must fail; or the gift of languages, it will not continue forever; and knowledge — for this, too, the time will come when it must fail. For knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect; but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will disappear.” (1 Cor.13:8-10).

Paul’s words prove that there is nothing in the Bible that is perfect except the words Jesus spoke. And that is the way it should be. Christ overpowers all things. All philosophies, all visions, all temples, all religions, and even all scripture.

In bringing to the world heaven’s perfect word, Jesus changed forever the way mankind worships God. Out went the inspirations of the past and in came the Testimony of God, sent from heaven and brought down to the earth by the One who was with God from the beginning.

Revealing that heavenly morality has little to do with the philosophies of men no matter how inspired or holy their words may appear to be, Jesus defined a new set of ground-rules for faith. One in which all ministers, all religions, all theologies, and even scripture itself, must take a back seat.

“Trust no more in man…” (Is. 2:22). “Do not put your trust in men in power, or in any mortal man — he cannot save, he yields his breath and goes back to the earth he came from…” (Ps.146:3-4).

“Alas for you scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You who are like whitewashed tombs tht look handsome on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of corruption. In the same way you appear to people from the outside like good honest men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Mat.23:27-28).

“The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore do what they tell you and listen to what they say; but do not be guided by what they do: since they do not practise what they preach…everything they do is done to attract attention…long tassels and robes…taking the place of honor at banquets…the front seats in the synagogues…being greeted obsequiously in the market squares and having people call them Rabbi.” (Mat.23:1-7).

With declarations like this, scripture testified both to the fallibility of the ministers and to the perfection of Christ. “It was neither messenger nor angel but his Presence that saved them.” (Is.63:9).

Jesus was more than a mortal man. He was God on earth in person. (Jn.14:9).

This is why the words of Jesus are different. “The fact is brothers, and I want you to realize this, the Good News I preached is not a human message that I was given by men, it is something I learnt only through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Gal.1:11-12).

There are thousands of human philosophies on earth, many of which seem quite inspired, but all of these are just opinions that have come swirling up from the dust.

They have no power to create a world or end a world, or to impart life or to tell us the truth about heaven — because God gave only one man on earth that power — the One who came down from heaven specifically for that purpose.

“He who is born of the earth is earthly himself and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven bears witness to the things he has seen and heard, even if his testimony is not accepted…since he whom God has sent speaks God’s own words…” (Jn.3:31-34).

“I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never thirst.” (Jn.6:35).

The bread of Moses was not a bread of life. It did not come from heaven. “I tell you most solemnly, it was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven, it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven, the true bread; for the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” (Jn.6:26-27).

By referring to the Torah — the first five books of the Bible which Moses had authored — as bread, Jesus proved that in God’s eyes, religious teaching is spiritual food. Because it did not come from heaven, the food of Moses in scripture had no lasting value because it had no power over death.

“Do not work for food that cannot last, but work for food that endures to eternal life, the kind of food the Son of Man is offering you, for on him the Father, God himself, has set his seal.” (Jn. 6:27).

Jesus defined the bread that lasts forever: “I have food to eat that you do not know about…my food is to do the will of the one who sent me, and to complete his work.” (Jn.4:32).

That same food will give us eternal life as well. “I tell you most solemnly, whoever keeps my word will never see death.” (Jn.8:51).

 

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What You Need to Know About Israel’s Prophetic Role in End-Times Chronology

There is God-ordained order to Bible prophecy. Although we don’t know the precise timing of all prophetic events, we can know the general schedule and why things are happening. Some people avoid studying prophecy because they think it is too frightening or difficult to understand. However, God gave us the Bible so we can read and understand what will happen in the future.

The following chronology will be helpful in showing the order in which prophetic events will occur. Parts of it are flexible. (For example, the Ezekiel 38 invasion of Israel could occur before or after the rapture. Even before the rapture, we could see preliminary signs pointing to future events.)

With this chronology, we get a picture of God’s prophetic agenda in the last days. A precise timeline is difficult, but we can get a fairly clear idea of the main events yet to come. Notice that the first six events have already happened, and we are experiencing the seventh and eighth now:

1. God promised 490 years of His prophetic dealings with Israel and the Jewish people (Dan. 9:24).

2. God promised the Messiah would come 483 years after the command to rebuild Jerusalem (Dan. 9:25–26).

3. The command to rebuild Jerusalem was issued by King Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:7–8).

4. Exactly 483 years later, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a colt of a donkey, allowing public worship of Him as Messiah for the first time. Jesus was executed, rose from the dead and sent the Holy Spirit upon His disciples.

5. The world entered the church age, the mystery parenthetical age (Matt. 16:16).

6. Israel was regathered when Jews migrated from the nations to their ancient land. For the end-time prophecies to be fulfilled, Israel had to be a nation again. That happened May 14, 1948. The last days have begun! (See Is. 66:8; Jer. 31:8; Ezek. 20:34.)

7. Preliminary signs pointing to the coming final shabua intensify (Luke 21:11, 25, 28).

8. Apostasy, deception, false prophets, lawlessness and hypocrisy accelerate (Matt. 24:4, 23–26; 2 Thess. 2:3; 2 Tim. 4:3)

9. Terrorist groups are dealt a severe blow, probably by Israeli defense forces (Ps. 83).

10. A serious crisis unfolds in southwestern Iran (Jer. 49).

11. Damascus, Syria, is destroyed (Isa. 17).

12. Israel is invaded by Russia and Islamic allies, but God performs miracles on Israel’s behalf (Ezek. 38–39). Bible commentators differ on the timing. It may happen before or after the rapture.

13. The bride of Christ, the church, is caught away. Nobody except the Father knows when this event will happen. It is typically referred to as the rapture (1 Cor. 15:51–55; 1 Thess. 4:13–18). This could happen without any advance notice and may happen before numbers 9–12 in this chronology.

14. The church is in heaven (Rev. 4:1 -19:14).

15. There is a resurgence of the Roman Empire (Dan. 2:41–43; 7:24; Rev. 12:3; 13:1; 17:3).

16. The United States dramatically weakens as a new multi-region federation in Europe mounts after a time of European chaos (Dan. 7:7; Rev. 17:3, 7, 12).

17. The meteoric rise of a popular and magnetic but satanic world leader occurs (2 Thess. 2:7–12; 1 John 2:18).

18. A peace treaty (covenant) is established, signed and confirmed between Israel, Muslim nations, and other nations (Dan. 9:27).

19. The first half of time known as The Tribulation (the final shabua) begins (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21).

20. The Jewish temple is erected in Jerusalem (Rev. 11:1–2).

21. A total of 144,000 Jewish converts emerge as impressive evangelists for Jesus Christ (Rev. 7:4–8; 14:1).

22. Judgments on Earth begin to intensify (Rev. 6–19).

23. World religions accelerate into apostasy, blending into a “harlot” religion (Rev. 17:1).

24. Anti-Semitism reaches a peak beyond anything in the past. During Hitler’s genocidal rampage, one out of every three Jews perished. Under the antichrist system, two out of every three will die (Dan. 7:21; Jer. 30:7; Dan. 9:27; Ezek. 22:19–21; Zech. 13:8–9).

25. The Antichrist and his public relations man (a powerful and global religious leader) introduce a new economic society involving a “mark” on the right hand or forehead rather than cash (Rev. 13:16–18).

26. The Antichrist moves his image into the Temple and claims to be God. His religious promoter is “allowed to give breath to the image.” From this exact point, there will be 42 months until Christ’s visible return (2 Thess. 2:4; Rev. 13:13–15).

27. Two supernatural prophets arise in Jerusalem (Rev. 11:3–12).

28. The second half of The Tribulation begins with increased disasters, calamities and judgments pouring out rapidly. Death camps are established for those who disagree with The Antichrist (Rev. 13–19). Based on today’s population, approximately 3.7 billion will die from war, hunger, persecution, epidemics and geophysical changes during the final 42 months.

29. The battles at Armageddon take place (Joel 3:1–3, 9–16; Zech.14:1–4, 12; Rev. 16:12–16; 19:11–21).

30. Christ returns and is visible to the world. This is the Second Coming (Zech. 14:3, 5, 12; Rev. 19:11-16, 19).

31. The nations are judged by Christ. The Antichrist and his false prophet/promoter are thrown into the lake of fire, along with all who took their mark of loyalty (Jer. 23:5; Matt. 25:31-32; Rev.19–20)

32. Satan is bound for 1000 years (Rev. 20:1–3).

33. The millennial kingdom is established on Earth for precisely 1000 years, with Jesus Himself ruling from Jerusalem (Is. 2:2–4; 11:6–9; 65:20–22; Zech. 8:22–23; Rev. 20:4–6).

34. Satan is loosed for a final short season after the thousand years to test those humans not resurrected and their descendants who remained on the earth after Christ returned. A final rebellion will ensue (Rev. 20:7–10).

35. The second resurrection (for the damned) takes place after the thousand years, when those in Hades (hell’s holding place) reunite with their bodies and are raised to attend the great white throne judgment. All Christ-rejecters will be declared guilty and banished forever (Rev. 20:11–15).

36. A new heaven and new earth with new Jerusalem as the capital city are established forever (Rev. 21:1–27).

Dr. Dave Williams served for over 30 years as pastor of Mount Hope Church in Lansing, Michigan, with over 500 outreach ministries around the world. During his tenure, Mount Hope Church gave over $40,000,000 to world and local missions. His leadership training course, The Art of Pacesetting Leadership, is credited with catapulting one church from 226 to over 4,000. Another church went from 8 to over 1,000. His all-time best-selling book, The New Life: The Start of Something Wonderful, is a practical, step-by-step guide to help new believers become established in their Christian walk and has sold over 2.5 million copies. On May 2, 2017, Charisma House will release his latest book, Hope in the Last Days. Dave now focuses on helping young ministers whenever he has an opportunity.

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91st Psalm Protection Prayer – Protection Prayers

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20 Dangerously Powerful Bible Prayers

Here are 20 powerful prayers that these believers in the Bible prayed to summon the power of God!

20 Dangerously Powerful Bible Prayers

When these believers in the Bible prayed, God’s power showed up. Check out these 20 Dangeroulsy Powerful Bible Prayers…

Prayer of Jabez

“Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” – 1 Chronicles 4:10

Mary’s Prayer

“My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden; for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He that is mighty has done to me great things; holy is His name.” – Luke 1:46 – 49

Jesus’s Prayer

“Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I know that you always hear me.”  – John 11:42

Tax Collector’s Prayer

“God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Luke 18:13

David’s Prayer

“To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust, let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies triumph over me.” – Psalm 25:1-2

Hannah’s Prayer

“ My heart rejoices in the Lord; my horn is exalted in the Lord…No one is holy like the Lord, for there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God”. -1 Samuel 2:1-2

Samson’s Prayer

“O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me…” – Judges 16:28

The Apostle Paul’s Prayer

“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.” – Ephesians 3:14-16

Abraham’s Servant’s Prayer

“O Lord, God of my master Abraham, if you have decided to, make my journey successful…” – Genesis 24:42

Habakkuk’s Prayer

“O Lord, revive Thy work in the midst of the years, In the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy.” – Habakkuk 3:2

The Leper’s Prayer

“Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” – Matthew 8:2

Nehemiah’s Prayer

“I beseech Thee, O Lord God of heaven the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant and loving-kindness for who love Him and keep His commandments, let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer of your servant…” Nehemiah 1:4-11

Jonah’s Prayer

“I called out of my distress to the Lord, and He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice.” –Jonah 2:1-9

Thief at the Cross

“Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” – Luke 23:42

Asa’s Prayer

“Lord there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help us our God, for we trust in You and in Your name…” – 2 Chronicles 14:11

Jeremiah’s Prayer

“Although our iniquities testify against us, O Lord, act for Thy name’s sake! –Jeremiah 14:7

Solomon’s Prayer

“Give your servant an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil…” – 1 Kings 3:9

Jesus’s Submission

“Father, if You are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but Yours be done.” – Luke 22:42

Stephen’s Prayer of Forgiveness

“Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” – Acts 7:60

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King James Version (KJV) – What You Need to Know About the King James Version Bible

History of the New King James Version:

In 1975, Thomas Nelson Publishers commissioned 130 of the most esteemed Bible scholars, church leaders, and lay Christians to produce an entirely new, modern translation of Scripture. The work on the New King James Version (NKJV) took seven years to complete. The New Testament was published in 1979 and the complete version in 1982.

Purpose of the New King James Version:

Their goal was to retain the purity and stylistic beauty of the original King James Version while incorporating a modern, more up-to-date language.

Quality of Translation:

Using a literal method of translation, those who worked on the project held to an uncompromising faithfulness to the original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic texts, as they employed the most recent research in linguistics, textual studies, and archaeology.

Copyright Information:

The text of the New King James Version (NKJV) may be quoted or reprinted without prior written permission, but must meet certain qualifications:

  1. Up to and including 1,000 verses may be quoted in printed form as long as the verses quoted amount to less than 50% of a complete book of the Bible and make up less than 50% of the total work in which they are quoted;
    2. All NKJV quotations must conform accurately to the NKJV text. Any use of the NKJV text must include a proper acknowledgment as follows:

“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.

All rights reserved.”

However, when quotations from the NKJV text are used in church bulletins, orders of service, Sunday School lessons, church newsletters and similar works in the course of religious instruction or services at a place of worship or other religious assembly, the following notice may be used at the end of each quotation: “NKJV.”

 

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Does God Answer Our Prayers? How to pray? What does it take for God to answer prayers?

Have you ever known someone who really trusts God? When I was an atheist, I had a good friend who prayed often. She would tell me every week about something she was trusting God to take care of. And every week I would see God do something unusual to answer her prayer. Do you know how difficult it is for an atheist to observe this week after week? After a while, “coincidence” begins to sound like a very weak argument.

So why would God answer my friend’s prayers? The biggest reason is that she had a relationship with God. She wanted to follow God. And she actually listened to what he said. In her mind, God had the right to direct her in life, and she welcomed him doing just that! When she prayed for things, it was a natural part of her relationship with God. She felt very comfortable coming to God with her needs, her concerns, and whatever issues were current in her life. Furthermore, she was convinced, from what she read in the Bible, that God wanted her to rely on him like that.

She pretty much exhibited what this statement from the Bible says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”1 “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer…”2

So, Why Doesn’t God Answer Everyone’s Prayers?

It may be because they don’t have a relationship with God. They may know that God exists, and they might even worship God from time to time. But those who never seem to have their prayers answered probably don’t have a relationship with him. Further, they have never received from God complete forgiveness for their sin. What does that have to do with it you ask? Here is an explanation. “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God. Your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.”3

It’s pretty natural to feel that separation from God. When people begin to ask God for something, what usually takes place? They begin with, “God, I really need your help with this problem…” And then there’s a pause, followed by a restart… “I realize that I’m not a perfect person, that I actually have no right to ask you for this…” There’s an awareness of personal sin and failure. And the person knows that it’s not just them; that God is aware of it too. There’s a feeling of, “Who am I kidding?” What they may not know is how they can receive God’s forgiveness for all their sin. They might not know that they can come into a relationship with God so that God will hear them. This is the foundation for God answering your prayer.

How to Pray: The Foundation

You must first begin a relationship with God. Here’s why. Imagine that a guy named Mike asks the president of Princeton University to co-sign a car loan for him. If Mike doesn’t personally know the president of Princeton, that car loan is not going to happen. Yet, if the daughter of this president asked her dad to co-sign a car loan for her, it would be no problem. Relationship matters.

With God, when the person is actually a child of God, when the person belongs to God, he knows them and hears their prayers. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me…my sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.”4

When it comes to God then, do you really know him and does he know you? Do you have a relationship with him that warrants God answering your prayers? Or is God pretty distant, pretty much just a concept in your life? If God is distant, or you’re not sure that you know God.

Will God Definitely Answer Your Prayer?

For those who do know him and rely on him, Jesus seems to be wildly generous in his offer: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.”5 To “remain” in him and have his words remain in them means they conduct their lives aware of him, relying on him, listening to what he says. Then they’re able to ask him whatever they want. Here is another qualifier: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of him.”6 God answers our prayers according to his will (and according to his wisdom, his love for us, his holiness, etc.).

Where we trip up is assuming we know God’s will, because a certain thing makes sense to us! We assume that there is only one right “answer” to a specific prayer, assuming certainly THAT would be God’s will. And this is where it gets tough. We live within the limits of time and limits of knowledge. We have only limited information about a situation and the implications of future action on that situation. God’s understanding is unlimited. How an event plays out in the course of life or history is only something he knows. And he may have purposes far beyond what we could even imagine. So, God is not going to do something simply because we determine that it must be his will.

What Does It Take? What is God Inclined to Do?

Pages and pages could be filled about God’s intentions toward us. The entire Bible is a description of the kind of relationship God wants us to experience with him and the kind of life he wants to give us. Here are just a few examples:

“…the Lord longs to be gracious to you. He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for [trust] him!”7 Did you catch that? Like someone rising out of his chair to come to your help, “He rises to show you compassion.” “As for God, his way is perfect…He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.”8 “The Lord delights in those who fear [reverence] him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.”9

However, God’s greatest display of his love and commitment to you is this: Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends,”10 which is what Jesus did for us. And so, “If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else?”11

What about “Unanswered” Prayer?

Certainly people get sick, even die; financial problems are real, and all sorts of very difficult situations can come up. What then?

God tells us to give our concerns to him. Even as the situation remains dismal, “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.”12 The circumstances may look out of control, but they aren’t. When the whole world seems to be falling apart, God can keep us together. This is when a person can be very grateful that they know God. “The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”13 God may provide solutions, resolutions to the problem WAY beyond what you imagined possible. Probably any Christian could list examples like this in their own lives. But if the circumstances do not improve, God can still give us his peace in the midst of it. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”14

It is at this point (when circumstances are still tough) that God asks us to continue to trust him — to “walk by faith, not by sight” the Bible says. But it’s not blind faith. It is based on the very character of God. A car traveling on the Golden Gate Bridge is fully supported by the integrity of the bridge. It doesn’t matter what the driver may be feeling, or thinking about, or discussing with someone in the passenger seat. What gets the car safely to the other side is the integrity of the bridge, which the driver was willing to trust.

In the same way, God asks us to trust his integrity, his character…his compassion, love, wisdom, righteousness on our behalf. He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”15 “Trust in him at all times, O people. Pour out your heart before him. God is a refuge for us.”16

In Summary…How to Pray

God has offered to answer the prayers of his children (those who have received him into their lives and seek to follow him). He asks us to take any concerns to him in prayer and he will act upon it according to his will. As we deal with difficulties we are to cast our cares on him and receive from him a peace that defies the circumstances. The basis for our hope and faith is the character of God himself. The better we know him, the more apt we are to trust him.

Bible Scripture References

(1) 1 John 5:14 (2) 1 Peter 3:12 (3) Isaiah 59:1,2 (4) John 10:14,27-28 (5) John 15:7 (6) 1 John 5:14,15 (7) Isaiah 30:18 (8) Psalms 18:30 (9) Psalms 147:11 (10) John 15:13 (11) Romans 8:32 (12) 1 Peter 5:7 (13) Philippians 4:5-7 (14) John 14:27 (15) Jeremiah 31:3 (rsv) (16) Psalms 62:8

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Jesus Is Willing To Heal You – Healing Prayer Healing Scriptures from Bible

Jesus Is Willing To Heal You

“Everyone tried to touch him, because healing power went out from him, and he healed everyone.” (Luke 6:19)

God wants you well. Disease is not his will for you.There’s a story in Mark 1:40-42 of a very sick man who came to Jesus. He said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can heal me.” The man doesn’t doubt Christ’s capacity to fix his body; he does, however, doubt his willingness. Jesus reassures him. He heals him and then affirms: “I am willing.” Jesus wants you to know that He has both the capacity and the desire to heal you. Here is a sequence of Scripture promises and prayers of faith to guide you in your journey to healing.

“God has healthy intentions.”

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Lord, while your intent is goodness, there is harm in the world and there is sickness in my body. Your promise is to give me a hopeful future. I receive your good plan for my life, a plan of health and hope. Firmly fix me in your presence. Develop holiness in my soul as I wait for you to act on my behalf. My heart belongs to you.

“Jesus made it possible.”

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

Father, you have provided access to your power through Jesus who in His death took my disease on himself and gave me his perfect wholeness. That is the basis of my prayer.  You are a gracious God who takes great care of His children. I am blessed to be a part of your family. I am grateful for this infathomable gift. And I receive it now in Jesus’ Name.

“Audacious asking.”

 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it! (John 14:13,14)

Okay, I’m simply asking: Lord, heal me! Father Your Word assures us that we may come boldly before the Throne of Grace to ask what we may. Righteous King, as Your child I trust that my condition is in Your hands. You are trustworthy and worthy of all praise. Help to endeavor to love with all my heart as I await my deliverance.

“What’s my part in my healing.”

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you.” (James 1:5)

Father, I ask for wisdom to know and faithfully execute my part in my healing. Show me if I need to make adjustments in my life to strengthen my body to fight this invader. Give wisdom to my health care providers. Thank you that you use many means including modern technologies and medications. Work with these natural means to provide me with supernatural healing.

“The caveat to the promise.”

“But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against.” Mark 11:25

Jesus, Your promises are audacious: that I can ask, and I will receive. But there is a condition. In order to receive your gracious gift of healing, I must extend grace to others. So I take time now to consider anyone I need to forgive. “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.” I do not have time or energy to fight human battles. I leave these to you, and together we will win this fight of faith against sickness.

“This medicine has healthy side effects.”

“My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.” (Proverbs 4:20-22 NLT)

Lord, I am willing to take any medicine that will aid in my healing, especially the nutrition of your Word. You used words to create the world. I will borrow your words, declare them, and you will recreate my body. Revitalize my flesh Oh Lord with the perfect healing that comes from the Kingdom of Heaven. Help me live with a heart that truly practices praising, adoring, and loving you incessantly with infinite affection. Your love for me will never fail.

“Talk to yourself.”

“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.” (Psalm 103:1-3 NIV)

As David talked to his body, commanding his entire being to praise the Lord, so do I. I command every cell in my body to worship the living God. Like David, I boldly choose to be mindful of the benefits that you offer me. Among them is healing. Diseased cells, you cannot worship because you are rebellious, existing contrary to God’s intent. Therefore, you must go by the edict of the living God. Immune system, you are part of my inmost being, so rise up and restore my physical body to God’s design.

“Quantum reality.”

“I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24)

God, Your view of time is different than mine. Part of faith is knowing this and trusting that what you say is done, is, in fact, done, even before I’ve experienced it. I believe that I have received – past tense – all that you have promised, and I hold on to this, irrespective of my own experience, time-frame, or present reality. Father, forgive me when I don’t trust you as I should, perfect in me a resilient faith.

“It aint’ over yet.”

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” (Psalm 139:14-16 NIV)

Lord, I do love you, and I receive the benefits: a long, disease-free, satisfying life! Lord, there are many things we have yet to accomplish, many people that need my love and influence, and many joys to experience with you. The thief – sickness – will not steal, kill, or destroy that purpose. Even when the stress of the fight wears on me, I will remain in Your overwhelming peace.

“My body is not my body.”

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

God, you created my body as a perfect environment for your Spirit to thrive and work your purposes through me. My body is not intended as a habitat for disease. Whatever I have to do, whatever medical profesionals have to do, whatever you need to do to change the chemistry of my body to make it healthy again, let it be!

 

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7 Things That The Bible Scholars Never Told You About Matthew 24

On this episode of Rightly Dividing, we look at the 7 hidden things contained in Matthew 24 that no one ever told you about the Second Advent and the end of the world. Brace yourself, #7 is a doozy.

Join us as we apply Paul’s command found in 2 Timothy 2:15 to ‘rightly divide’ our Bible and put everything in it’s proper perspective and place.

“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?” Matthew 24:3 (KJV)

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN LIVE when the show starts Sunday night at 9:00PM EST!

WHAT IS THE SIGN OF THY COMING? In the 24th chapter of the book of Matthew, we see Jesus on the Mount of Olives and doing a Q&A with his disciples on His Second Coming and the end of the world. But hidden in these passages are nuggets of prophetical information so powerful that we are shocked that the vast majority of biblical scholarship has failed to unearth them.

Our Top 5 Reasons Why Matthew 24 Cannot Be Talking About The Rapture Of The Church

Jesus starts the chapter off by saying that the Temple will be torn down to the ground and destroyed. And then rebuilt again.

“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?” Matthew 24:3 (KJV)

In the 24th chapter of Matthew, the apostles come together to ask Jesus about His return, which we know to be the Day of the Lord, and the end of the world. Jesus, as it turns out, has plenty to say on this subject and uses no parables. He tells them plainly what will happen in the time of the end. Many Christians, who love to apply the entire New Testament to the Church alone, read this chapter and try to make this about the Rapture of the Church. But that will not work, Matthew 24 is not about the Church which didn’t even exist on the day that they asked Jesus these questions.

Matthew 23 ends with Jesus talking about His Second Coming, and Matthew 24 continues this exact same theme so we have harmony with the context. In our earlier article on the Rapture of the Church, we explained the difference between the Rapture and the Revelation. If you have not yet read that article, please do so before proceeding with this teaching on Matthew 24.

“For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Matthew 23:39 (KJV)

Jesus has something very important for the apostles to understand, and He begins to speak prophetically. He is giving a prophecy, not of the time in which they were living (though you can draw some parallels), but of a time far into the future. The time of Jacob’s Trouble that Jeremiah spoke about:

“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” Jeremiah 30:7 (KJV)

Jacob’s name was changed to Israel, as in the nation of Israel. Jacob’s trouble has no application to the Church which would be formed later in Acts 2. Jacob’s trouble is about the Jewish people and the nation of Israel as they go through the time that Jesus Himself refers to as “great tribulation” that would have no equal in human history. Worse than the Russian pogroms, worse than the slaughter in South Africa, even worse than Hitler’s Holocaust in Nazi Germany. So with that, let’s look at our top reasons why Matthew 24 is not talking about the Rapture of the Church.
#1: The time period that Jesus talks about is not the dispensation of the Age of Grace of the Church.

All through Matthew 24 are scriptural time clues that we, as Bible believers, need to be aware of. In Matthew 24:13, Jesus says that whoever are the people who are alive and going through this time period, they are saved by a combination of faith and works. There is no Christian in our dispensation of the Age of Grace that needs to “endure until the end” to be saved. We are saved according to Ephesians 2:8,9, and kept saved according to Ephesians 1:13,14. There is nothing in Paul’s teachings that tell us to “endure” for salvation. Paul taught and preached the doctrine of Eternal Security. But, obviously, the people living in the time of Matthew 24 are not saved that way. Hence, this will be our number one reason why Matthew 24 is not talking about the Church and it’s soon-coming Rapture.

“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:13 (KJV) – Tribulation Age
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9 (KJV) – Church Age
“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, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:13,14 (KJV) – Church Age

#2: The rebuilt Jewish Temple has no practical significance for the Church

Jesus starts the chapter off by saying that the Temple will be torn down to the ground and destroyed. This happened in AD 70. But interestingly, just a few verses later, He says that it’s back up and running again, and people are worshipping there. Not only that, Jesus says to “go and read the Prophet Daniel”, specifically Daniel 9:27, to see who else shows up at the rebuilt Temple in the end times. It’s the Devil himself! But guess what? Christians don’t have or need a “temple” because we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us. That’s the temple God has for Christians. So Matthew 24: 15 is our second reason why Jesus cannot be talking about the Church age.

“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” Matthew 24:15 (KJV) – Tribulation Age
“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?” 1 Corinthians 6:19 (KJV) – Church Age

#3: The Christian Church is not able to carry out the command to flee into the mountains

Right about the same time Jesus shows the apostles about the Abomination of Desolation, He then says that the believers living in this future time period will be instructed to “flee into the mountains” and get out of Judea, which is to say Israel. Just like in our previous reason, this one also has no practical application for any Christian in the Age of Grace. First of all, only a minute fraction of born again Christians live in Israel, rendering this command meaningless to us. But it is still a command, and as such must be carried out. But by whom? Well, how about by all the Jews which has been brought back to Israel during the false 7 Year Peace Treaty engineered by the Antichrist? Now in this context, we have perfect harmony. If all the Jews in the world were regathered as the Bible says they will be in the end times, then they will all be there in Judea and able to carry out this command. This is the only way this verse has any doctrinal meaning. The people living in this time period are told to flee, Christians are told to “wait” for His Son from Heaven who gets us out before the Wrath comes. Huge Difference. Where do the Jews flee to? Why, they flee to the red rock city of Selah, Petra!

“Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:” Matthew 24:16 (KJV) – Tribulation Age
“And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.” Jeremiah 29:14 (KJV) – Tribulation Age
“And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thessalonians 1:19 (KJV) – Church Age

#4: The Christian Church does not have a sabbath day, we have the Lord of the Sabbath Himself

Moving on down in the chapter, we arrive at Matthew 24: 20, where another huge time clue awaits us. With the previously-mentioned fleeing still in the context, Jesus then says to pray that when you turn to run, that it’s not on the Sabbath day, which is the last day of the week, Saturday. Again, Christians were never given the command to worship on the Jewish Sabbath day, because we have the Sabbath Himself, Jesus Christ. Not just the “shadow” which is represented on the sabbath. Paul says we can worship on any day we choose, but like the Apostles in Acts 20:7, we usually come together on a Sunday, the first day of the week, for obvious reasons.

“But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:” Matthew 24:20 (KJV) – Tribulation Age
“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” Colossians 2:16,17 (KJV) – Church Age
“And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” Acts 20:7 (KJV) – Church Age

#5: The Christian Church is not God’s “elect”, that refers to Israel and the Jewish people

Our last reason why Matthew 24 cannot be talking about the Rapture of the Church is as equally compelling as the previous 4 reasons. Jesus in verse 22 says that time of Jacob’s Trouble – the Great Tribulation – is so grievous that if He didn’t come and “cut it short” then not even the “elect” would be saved. His return to cut it short is what the Bible calls the Day of the Lord, turn to Revelation 19:14 to see where the Church is on that Day. God’s elect is not the Christian Church, according to the Bible the Jews and Israel are God’s elect. We started this teaching by talking about how many Christians just automatically broad-brush the entire New Testament with the “church stamp”.

“For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.” Isaiah 45:4 (KJV)
“And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.” Isaiah 65:9 (KJV) – Tribulation Age

God wrote the Bible dispensationally, and that’s how we are to read, understand and apply it.

The whole Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to us, from cover to cover. The overarching theme of which is the battle for the Kingdom, and the King for whom it has been prepared. Simply put, it’s all about Jesus Christ. to wit;

“Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.” Hebrews 10:7 (KJV)

God wrote the Bible dispensationally, and it must be read that way to to grasp it’s meaning. Many Christians are shocked when you tell them that Matthew, Mark and Luke were not written about or for the Christian Church from a doctrinal perspective. It was written to Jews waiting for a Kingdom on Earth, which was postponed, and to those who will be alive on Earth during the time of the Great Tribulation after the Rapture.

But that’s a lesson for another day, hope this helps!

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Revelation Unleashed: Unlocking The Mysteries Of The Bible’s Most Mysterious Book

On this episode of Rightly Dividing, join us as we drop some pins and create an easy to understand roadmap to the amazing, awesome, and very much knowable book of Revelation!

Join us as we apply Paul’s command found in 2 Timothy 2:15 to ‘rightly divide’ our Bible and put everything in it’s proper perspective and place.

“And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” Revelation 5:5 (KJV)

For centuries, the Catholic Church had locked up the Bible and kept it out of reach of the common man. As a result, when the Protestant Reformation ended the Dark Ages and removed the Bible from its Vatican shackles, it was a book that remained quite a mystery to most people. Out of all of its 66 books, the most misunderstood, most debated over and most feared book is, ironically and undoubtedly, the book of Revelation.

On this episode of Rightly Dividing, we apply Paul’s command to “rightly divide” to the book of Revelation, and in the process of doing so remove much of the mystery in the process. God didn’t write any part of the Bible to be out of reach of anyone who, by faith, wanted to plumb its depths and unlock its mysteries. Join us as we drop some pins and create an easy to understand roadmap to the amazing, awesome, and very much knowable book of Revelation!

In that day, God will be glorified in all the earth, and it will usher in 1,000 years of perfect peace and perfect rule on our earth.

“Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” Daniel 7:22 (KJV)

Just for fun, I decided to Google the phrase “greatest event in the Bible”, and got some interesting results. John MacArthur says that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest event in the Bible, and he makes a compelling case. For the Christian, this is certainly true. But the Bible deals with a whole lot more than just Christians and Christianity. The Catholics say, predictably, that the ‘annunciation of Mary‘ is the greatest event. (rolling my eyes). If you were Jewish, you might say the greatest event in the Bible was the giving of the Law to Moses, or maybe the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt at Passover. The Bible is a big Book with lots of big events.
Now if we could ask God what He viewed as the ‘greatest event in the Bible’, what do you think He would say?

For starters, since God wrote the Bible, we might want to look and see if there is a single event mentioned more times than any other. If God did have a ‘greatest event’ would it be possible to figure it out by the sheer number of times it was mentioned? As it turns out, there is a single event in the Bible mentioned more times, by more people, than any other event from cover to cover. Care to take a wild guess at what it might be?

“Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain.” Zechariah 8:3 (KJV)

The greatest event in the entire Bible is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. All through the Bible, in book after book, there is a Day and an event that happens on that Day so important that it is referred to as “in that day”112 times. The prophet Zechariah mentions the phrase 20 times, and is one of the most descriptive and informative books in the Bible on the Second Coming.

“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.” Zechariah 14:4 (KJV)

Christians look at Jesus on the cross, and His rising from the dead 3 days later, as the greatest event because that is where we “get in”. But look at it from God’s perspective, it was the day His only begotten Son was executed between common criminals. Why would that be God’s favorite day? But at the Second Coming, God’s Son will receive the Kingdom He rightly deserves, and will reign from Jerusalem as the King over the whole world. That’s the Day that interests God the most.

In that day, God will be glorified in all the earth, and it will usher in 1,000 years of perfect peace and perfect rule on our earth. The Devil will be bound in chains, and the curse will be removed from off the earth and all it’s inhabitants. The Lord Jesus Christ will rule with “a rod of iron” in perfect righteousness.

“For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies. For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many. For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.” Isaiah 66:12-16,22,23 (KJV)

For born again Christians, the Bible says that after we are taken out in the Rapture of the Church, we will return again with the Lord on white horses at the Battle of Armageddon that takes place at the Second Coming. It’s the greatest day in human history, and we get better than a ringside seat. We get to be part of it.

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelation 19:11-16 (KJV)

Now you know what the greatest day in the Bible is, and why God looks forward to it so much.

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Names of God – All the Names of God from the Bible

Names of God

The great purpose of man, especially the believer in Christ, is to glorify God. “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Essential to our ability to glorify God is the knowledge of God and knowing Him personally in view of that knowledge.

The word “glory” in the Greek New Testament is doxa which means an opinion, an estimation, or reputation in which one is held. It refers to that which should accrue to God as praise, thanksgiving, obedience, reverence, and service because of who God is and what God does (past, present, and future). In other words, giving glory to God is tied in with the knowledge of God (revelation of God), and knowing God personally (response to God).

The Lord Jesus said in John 17:3, “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” The many names in Scripture constitute additional revelation of God’s character, His works, and His relationship to us based on His character and works. The names which God chose for Himself and which are ascribed to Him in the Word of God are additional revelations of the who and what of God that we may know and relate to God.

Note David’s declarations about God’s name and word in Psalm 138:1-2. God’s name declares much about His person, but it is God’s Word that reveals God and His name.

We know what God is like, not only by His perfections and works, but also by His names. They tell us many things about God’s care and concern for his own. This is one of the fascinating studies of Scripture. The various circumstances which bring forth each of the names of God are important.1
The Significance of
the Names of God in Scripture

In our twentieth century Western culture, personal names are little more than labels to distinguish one person from another. Sometimes nicknames are chosen which tell something about a person, but even this is a poor reflection of the significance of names in the Bible.

Unfortunately, to many the names God or Lord convey little more than designations of a supreme being. It says little to them about God’s character, His ways, and what God means to each of us as human beings. But in Scripture, the names of God are like miniature portraits and promises. In Scripture, a person’s name identified them and stood for something specific. This is especially true of God. Naming carried special significance. It was a sign of authority and power. This is evident in the fact that God revealed His names to His people rather than allowing them to choose their names for Him. This is also seen in the fact that God often changed the names of His people: Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Jacob to Israel. Note also how this concept of authority and power is seen when Nebuchadnezzar changed the names of Daniel and his three friends.
The Name of God in General

There are a number of instances where no name of God is employed, but where simply the term “name” in reference to God is used as the point of focus:

(1) Abraham called on the name of the Lord (Gen. 12:8; 13:4).

(2) The Lord proclaimed His own name before Moses (Ex. 33:19; 34:5).

(3) Israel was warned against profaning the name of the Lord (Lev. 13:21; 22:2, 32).

(4) The name of the Lord was not to be taken in vain (Ex. 20:7; Deut. 5:11).

(5) The priests of Israel were to minister in the name of the Lord (Deut. 18:5; 21:5).

(6) The name of God is called “wonderful” in Judges 13:18.

(7) To call on the name of the Lord was to worship Him as God (Gen. 21:33; 26:25).

Consequently, from this we can conclude that such phrases as “the name of the LORD” or “the name of God” refer to God’s whole character. It was a summary statement embodying the entire person of God.2

When we turn to the New Testament we find the same. The name Jesus is used in a similar way to the name of God in the Old Testament:

(1) Salvation is through His name (John 1:12).

(2) Believers are to gather in His name (Matt. 18:20).

(3) Prayer is to be made in His name (John 14:13-14).

(4) The servant of the Lord who bears the name of Christ will be hated (Matt. 10:22).

(5) The book of Acts makes frequent mention of worship, service, and suffering in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:18; 5:28, 41; 10:43; 19:17).

(6) It is at the name of Jesus that every knee will one day bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:10-11).

So, just as the name of God in the Old Testament spoke of the holy character of God the Father, so the name of Jesus in the New Testament speaks of the holy character of God the Son.3
Overview of the
Names of God in Scripture

(1) Elohim: The plural form of EL, meaning “strong one.” It is used of false gods, but when used of the true God, it is a plural of majesty and intimates the trinity. It is especially used of God’s sovereignty, creative work, mighty work for Israel and in relation to His sovereignty (Isa. 54:5; Jer. 32:27; Gen. 1:1; Isa. 45:18; Deut. 5:23; 8:15; Ps. 68:7).

Compounds of El:

El Shaddai:“God Almighty.” The derivation is uncertain. Some think it stresses God’s loving supply and comfort; others His power as the Almighty one standing on a mountain and who corrects and chastens (Gen. 17:1; 28:3; 35:11; Ex. 6:1; Ps. 91:1, 2).
El Elyon: “The Most High God.” Stresses God’s strength, sovereignty, and supremacy (Gen. 14:19; Ps. 9:2; Dan. 7:18, 22, 25).
El Olam: “The Everlasting God.” Emphasizes God’s unchangeableness and is connected with His inexhaustibleness (Gen. 16:13).

(2) Yahweh (YHWH): Comes from a verb which means “to exist, be.” This, plus its usage, shows that this name stresses God as the independent and self-existent God of revelation and redemption (Gen. 4:3; Ex. 6:3 (cf. 3:14); 3:12).

Compounds of Yahweh: Strictly speaking, these compounds are designations or titles which reveal additional facts about God’s character.

Yahweh Jireh (Yireh): “The Lord will provide.” Stresses God’s provision for His people (Gen. 22:14).
Yahweh Nissi:“The Lord is my Banner.” Stresses that God is our rallying point and our means of victory; the one who fights for His people (Ex. 17:15).
Yahweh Shalom:“The Lord is Peace.” Points to the Lord as the means of our peace and rest (Jud. 6:24).
Yahweh Sabbaoth:“The Lord of Hosts.” A military figure portraying the Lord as the commander of the armies of heaven (1 Sam. 1:3; 17:45).
Yahweh Maccaddeshcem: “The Lord your Sanctifier.” Portrays the Lord as our means of sanctification or as the one who sets believers apart for His purposes (Ex. 31:13).
Yahweh Ro’i: “The Lord my Shepherd.” Portrays the Lord as the Shepherd who cares for His people as a shepherd cares for the sheep of his pasture (Ps. 23:1).
Yahweh Tsidkenu: “The Lord our Righteousness.” Portrays the Lord as the means of our righteousness (Jer. 23:6).
Yahweh Shammah: “The Lord is there.” Portrays the Lord’s personal presence in the millennial kingdom (Ezek. 48:35).
Yahweh Elohim Israel: “The Lord, the God of Israel.” Identifies Yahweh as the God of Israel in contrast to the false gods of the nations (Jud. 5:3.; Isa. 17:6).

(3) Adonai: Like Elohim, this too is a plural of majesty. The singular form means “master, owner.” Stresses man’s relationship to God as his master, authority, and provider (Gen. 18:2; 40:1; 1 Sam. 1:15; Ex. 21:1-6; Josh. 5:14).

(4) Theos: Greek word translated “God.” Primary name for God used in the New Testament. Its use teaches: (1) He is the only true God (Matt. 23:9; Rom. 3:30); (2) He is unique (1 Tim. 1:17; John 17:3; Rev. 15:4; 16:7); (3) He is transcendent (Acts 17:24; Heb. 3:4; Rev. 10:6); (4) He is the Savior (John 3:16; 1 Tim. 1:1; 2:3; 4:10). This name is used of Christ as God in John 1:1, 18; 20:28; 1 John 5:20; Tit. 2:13; Rom. 9:5; Heb. 1:8; 2 Pet. 1:1.

(5) Kurios: Greek word translated “Lord.” Stresses authority and supremacy. While it can mean sir (John 4:11), owner (Luke 19:33), master (Col. 3:22), or even refer to idols (1 Cor. 8:5) or husbands (1 Pet. 3:6), it is used mostly as the equivalent of Yahweh of the Old Testament. It too is used of Jesus Christ meaning (1) Rabbi or Sir (Matt. 8:6); (2) God or Deity (John 20:28; Acts 2:36; Rom. 10:9; Phil. 2:11).

(6) Despotes: Greek word translated “Master.” Carries the idea of ownership while kurios stressed supreme authority (Luke 2:29; Acts 4:24; Rev. 6:10; 2 Pet. 2:1; Jude 4).

(7) Father:A distinctive New Testament revelation is that through faith in Christ, God becomes our personal Father. Father is used of God in the Old Testament only 15 times while it is used of God 245 times in the New Testament. As a name of God, it stresses God’s loving care, provision, discipline, and the way we are to address God in prayer (Matt. 7:11; Jam. 1:17; Heb. 12:5-11; John 15:16; 16:23; Eph. 2:18; 3:15; 1 Thess. 3:11).

1 Robert Lightner, The God of the Bible, An Introduction to the Doctrine of God (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1973) page 107.

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666 – Revelation 13 and the “Mark of the Beast” “Beast from the sea” Bible Study

Revelation 13 and the “Mark of the Beast”

For centuries Christians have speculated about the meaning of the “mark of the beast” and the number 666, both of which are discussed in Revelation chapter 13. We are told that a symbolic beast with two horns, and who spoke like a dragon, “forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead” (13:16). What is this strange “mark”?

The Beast’s “Mark”

The Greek word used for “mark” is charagma. It was the technical term for the Roman imperial stamp that appeared on various documents. The charagma was a seal stamped with the name and date of the emperor and attached to commercial documents. Apparently, it also stood for the emperor’s head stamped on coins. Thus, the charagma represented the likeness or name of the emperor.
The charagma was also a type of brand. In Roman times, disobedient slaves were often branded with marks of ownership, much like cattle are today. Religious tattooing was also widespread. Soldiers had a custom of branding themselves with the name of a favorite general. Devotees of a god labeled themselves with tattoos to designate their loyal devotion.

However, we should be careful about looking for some ancient practice of “marking” and thinking that this is what will happen in the future. John was writing to real people in the first-century church, not some “end-time” church, and his message applied to them. Whatever the “mark” was, it conveyed something they could understand.

What point was John trying to get across when he was speaking of a “mark”? The mark is probably not meant to be something visible to the eye, as was the Nazi practice of tattooing numbers on concentration camp inmates. Nor should we assume it to be an identity card of some kind, like a Social Security or credit card.

More likely, the mark is a symbol. It is something that identifies who belongs to the beast – or to God. There is an Old Testament parallel in Ezekiel on which Revelation draws. John’s readers would have readily understood the point he was making. In vision, Ezekiel saw a man with a writing kit at his side. He heard the Lord say to the man, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it” (Ezekiel 9:4). Here are people who are “marked” for protection.
In like manner, Israel was “marked” by blood smeared on the doorposts of their homes. On the eve of the Exodus, the death angel swept through Egypt, killing the firstborn. He passed over any door marked with blood (Exodus 12:21-23). This mark was merely a symbol, as the angel would have been quite able to distinguish between an Israelite and Egyptian.
Earlier in Revelation we read of the 144,000 servants of God who were sealed on their foreheads with “the seal [sphragis] of the living God” (7:2). They were also to be protected from the plagues that would devastate the earth (7:3). Those not having the seal were afforded no protection (9:4).

The “mark of the beast” is a counterpart to the sealing of the faithful people of God. The beast will attempt to identify and protect his people (and destroy his enemies) even as God knows and protects those who are his people.

How does the beast know who are his own? Simple: they are all willing to worship him and his image. Their worship is the mark by which they are identified! Those who refuse to worship will be exposed by their refusal to perform the act of idolatrous obeisance. Their steadfast loyalty to God, however, will be the evidence that they carry the seal of God. The “mark” of the beast is not visible writing, just as the “seal” of God’s servants is not done in writing. It is the behavior of the person that indicates where the person’s allegiance is.
Of course, the refusal to worship the beast will bring serious personal and economic consequences for the people of God. That’s because, “No one could buy or sell unless he had the mark” (13:17). Those who do not worship the beast are not allowed to participate in the economic life of the community.

The false political and religious system wields tight economic control over those whom it dominates. No one is exempt from this harsh economic repression. Whether small, great, rich, poor, free, or slave – all must comply (3:16-17). Individuals who refuse to serve the beast are not allowed to carry out the smallest economic transactions. This has always been a favorite way by which governments and authorities shut out undesirables from the system. They don’t allow them to participate in the benefits of the economy in one way or another.
That means they cannot buy food, obtain shelter, clothing or receive medical help. This implies starvation, exposure and death for those who do not worship the beast.
“His number is 666”

Revelation now gives us its definition of the beast’s mark. It “is the name of the beast or the number of his name” (13:17). This number “is a man’s number,” and it is 666 (13:18). Most attempts at interpreting the number 666 begin with the fact that in ancient times letters were commonly used to stand for numbers. This meant every name was also a numerical sum obtained by adding up all its letters. A piece of graffiti from Pompeii is often used as an example of how letters stood for numbers. It reads, “I love the girl whose name is phi mu epsilon.”
Some ancient apocalyptic writings do precisely what Revelation 13:18 does. They refer to people, in one case a succession of ancient emperors, by mentioning the number of the first letter in each of their names (Sibylline Oracles 5:12-42).

There is much ancient precedent in ancient literature in referring to someone by the number of his name. It is not an eccentric oddity of Revelation, as we might imagine. The point is, John’s original readers knew to whom he referred or what he meant when he spoke of the number 666.
Those who feel “666” referred to an individual living in John’s lifetime most commonly opt for Nero Caesar as the solution to the puzzle. We must, however, be cautioned on one point. If Revelation had reference to Nero in the number “666” it could not have been thinking of him in a literal sense – but only as a prototype of the beast.
Nero had persecuted the church and used the Christians as a scapegoat. Thus, he could have been a symbol – a type – of the beast in any age. John’s audience, knowing of Nero and the myth surrounding him that he was still alive or would be resurrected, would have gotten the point. In the thought of biblical scholar M. Eugene Boring, John would have been saying of the beast, “Watch out! It’s going to be Nero all over again.”

Modern Christians may be making too much of John’s use of “666” precisely because we are so far removed from the time of his original audience. Whoever might be referred to here – if Nero or someone else – we must not assume that John was posing some riddle for his audience, the seven churches to which the book is written. If John was referring to a contemporary individual – even as a type – his audience would have known him. Thus, they would have known which letters made up his name, and their numerical equivalent. They did not need special insight to decipher the number. Yet, Revelation says, understanding the meaning of “666” “calls for wisdom” (13:18).

Wisdom to understand what, then? Why, the meaning of the name or number. In the words of M. Eugene Boring: “When Revelation was read forth in the worship of the Asian churches, the call for wisdom to calculate the number of the beast (13:18) was not a challenge to identify who the beast, the persecuting authority was – they knew that well enough already – but to recognize what it was, that it was in fact the beast empowered by Satan, not the cultural savior it claimed to be” (Revelation, p.162).
If John is referring to Nero or some other emperor, then he is a type of the beast. If he meant some local political (or religious official) of Asia, then his name is probably lost in antiquity.
Some commentators say that the number did not identify a particular individual at all. That is, the number itself had a meaning. “According to this view,” says Robert W. Wall, “The cryptographic 666 falls short of the number 777, which symbolizes divine perfection” (Revelation, p.174). The beast or Antichrist does not measure up to the perfection of Christ, though he claims to do so.
A statement of John lends credence to this idea. He says 666 “is man’s number” (13:18). Man, however, is fallen, sinful and incomplete. On the other hand, seven is the number of completeness – and would refer to God and his work. The seven days of creation in Genesis 1 is an example. If the meaning of “666” is in the number itself, then the point is simple: The beast is nothing more than human government under demonic control. In that sense, the “beast” has always been with us, and it can be seen at work throughout the ages.
A tattooed number, a computer chip under the skin, or something more subtle? It’s one of the most misinterpreted prophecies in all of the Bible – yet it is so important to correctly understand this subject. But in studying the mark of the beast, we must address some very sensitive issues, naming names and being specific. This is not a popular thing today, but we must be firm because God loves His people and He wants them to know the truth. This message is not ours, but Jesus’. And with eternal death facing those who receive the mark, it would be a crime to not help Him deliver this message. This lesson should probably be prefaced with a warning: “THE DEVIL DOES NOT WANT YOU TO READ AND COMPLETE THIS STUDY GUIDE.” Please read Revelation 13:1-8, 14:9-12, and 16-18, and pray for the Holy Spirit to grant you an honest and understanding heart before embarking on this study adventure.

An Urgent Reminder

We learned from Study Guide 2 that a terrible conflict is in progress between God and the devil. It has raged through the centuries since Lucifer, heaven’s most powerful angel, rebelled against God. With the angels who joined him, he attempted to overcome God and seize control of the universe. God and the loyal angels had no choice but to eject Lucifer and his angels from heaven. Lucifer, who became known as the devil and Satan, was infuriated. His determination to destroy God and control the universe has grown with every passing year. Amazingly, he has won the support of the vast majority of earth’s people in his rebellion. The Lord also asks for people’s loyalty and support, but He leaves all free to choose. Soon every person on earth will have aligned with either Satan or God. The final battle between Satan and God is just ahead, and it is described in the book of Revelation. This book points out that God has an emblem, or mark, which will identify His people. Satan also has an emblem, or mark, that will identify those who support him. As usual, Satan will work through an earthly power symbolized in Revelation by a beast to impose his mark. This Study Guide will reveal the beast’s mark, which every lost person of the end time will receive. Unless you know what his “mark” is, how will you avoid receiving it?

The papacy is the antichrist.

1. In order to know what the “mark” is, we must first identify the beast. How does the Bible describe the beast?
Answer: Revelation 13:1-8, 16-18 provides 11 identifying characteristics. They are listed below:

A. Rises from sea (verse 1).

B. Composite of the four beasts of Daniel chapter 7 (verse 2).

C. Dragon gives it power and authority (verse 2).

D. Receives a deadly wound (verse 3).

E. Deadly wound healed (verse 3).

F. Strong political power (verses 3, 7).

G. Strong religious power (verses 3, 8).

H. Guilty of blasphemy (verses 1, 5, 6).

I. Wars with and overcomes the saints (verse 7).

J. Rules for 42 months (verse 5).

K. Has mysterious number 666 (verse 18).

Do some of these points have a familiar ring? Certainly! We encountered many of them earlier when we studied about the Antichrist in Daniel chapter 7. The “beast” of Revelation 13 is simply another name for the “Antichrist,” which we learned from Daniel 7 is the papacy.

Prophecies of Daniel and Revelation often cover the same ground as prior prophecies, but each time new features are added that help make the prophecies certain. So expect to learn some new things about the Antichrist from this Study Guide. Now let’s consider, one by one, the 11 points that describe the beast.

A. It would rise from the sea (Revelation 13:1).
The sea (or water) in prophecy refers to people, or a populated area (Revelation 17:15). So the beast, or Antichrist, would arise from amid the established nations of the then-known world. The papacy, as we all know, arose in western Europe, so it fits this point.
A Word of Explanation

In harmony with God’s command to honor all people (1 Peter 2:17), we pause here to recognize the papacy for her many good deeds and activities. Her hospitals, orphanages, care for the poor, homes for unwed mothers, and care for the aged are appreciated universally. She can honestly be lauded for many things. But, like all other organizations, she has also made mistakes. God pinpoints some of her errors in Revelation. The Lord, who blesses and comforts, must sometimes chasten and correct. Please ask His Spirit to speak to you as you study this crucial topic.

B. It would be a composite of the four beasts of Daniel chapter 7 (Revelation 13:2).
Study the comparison below to see how it all fits together:
Daniel chapter 7 Revelation chapter 13
Babylon Lion-like beast (vs. 4) “Mouth of a lion” (vs. 2)
Medo-Persia Bearlike beast (vs. 5) “Feet of a bear” (vs. 2)
Greece Leopard-like beast (vs. 6) “Like unto a leopard” (vs. 2)
Rome Ten-horned beast (vs. 7) “Having … ten horns” (vs. 1)

The four beasts of Daniel 7 are depicted as part of Antichrist, or the beast, because the papacy incorporated pagan beliefs and practices from all four empires. She clothed them in spiritual garb and spread them to the world as Christian teachings. Here is one of many supporting statements from history: “In a certain respect, she [the papacy] has copied her organization from that of the Roman Empire, has preserved and made fruitful the philosophical intuitions of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, borrowed from both Barbarians and the Byzantine Roman Empire, but always remains herself, thoroughly digesting all elements drawn from external sources.” 1 This point definitely fits the papacy.

C. The beast must receive its power, seat (capital), and authority from the dragon (Revelation 13:2).
To identify the dragon, we go to Revelation chapter 12, where God’s end-time church is pictured as a pure woman. In prophecy, a pure woman represents God’s true people or church (Jeremiah 6:2 Isaiah 51:16). (In Study Guide 23, we will present a detailed study of God’s end-time church of Revelation chapter 12. Study Guide 22 explains Revelation chapters 17 and 18, where fallen churches are symbolized by a fallen mother and her fallen daughters.) The pure woman is portrayed as pregnant and about to deliver. The dragon crouches nearby, hoping to “devour” the baby at birth. However, when the baby is born He evades the dragon, fulfills His mission, and then ascends to heaven. Obviously the baby is Jesus, whom Herod tried to destroy by killing all the babies in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16). So the dragon represents pagan Rome, of which Herod was a king. The power behind Herod’s plot was, of course, the devil (Revelation 12:7-9). Satan acts through various governments to accomplish his ugly work in this case, pagan Rome.

We will quote just two supportive references from history, though there are many: (1) “The Roman Church … pushed itself into the place of the Roman World-Empire, of which it is the actual continuation. …The Pope … is Caesar’s successor.” 2 (2) “The mighty Catholic Church was little more than the Roman Empire baptised. Rome was transformed as well as converted. The very capital of the old Empire became the capital of the Christian Empire. The office of Pontifex Maximus was continued in that of Pope.” 3 So this point also fits the papacy. She received her capital city and power from pagan Rome.

D. It would receive a deadly wound (Revelation 13:3).
The deadly wound was inflicted when Napoleon’s general, Alexander Berthier, entered Rome and took Pope Pius VI captive in February of 1798. Napoleon decreed that at the death of the pope, the papacy would be discontinued. The pope died in France in August of 1799. “Half Europe thought … that without the Pope the Papacy was dead.” 4 So this point also fits the papacy.

E. The deadly wound would be healed, and the entire world would give homage to the beast (Revelation 13:3).
Since its healing, the strength of the papacy has grown and increased until today she is one of the most powerful religio-political organizations and influence-centers in the world. Malachi Martin, consummate Vatican insider and intelligence expert, reveals the following in his best-selling book The Keys of This Blood 5 (page numbers in parentheses):

Study Bible


The Beast from the Sea

1Then I saw a beast with ten horns and seven heads rising out of the sea. There were ten royal crowns on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. 2The beast I saw was like a leopard, with the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave the beast his power and throne and great authority.…
Berean Study Bible · Download
Cross References
Daniel 7:3
“And four great beasts were coming up from the sea, different from one another.

Daniel 7:7
“After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.

Daniel 7:8
“While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts.

Daniel 11:36
“Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done.

Revelation 11:7
When the two witnesses have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the abyss will wage war with them, and will overpower and kill them.

Revelation 12:3
Then another sign appeared in heaven: a huge red dragon with seven heads, ten horns, and seven royal crowns on his heads.

Revelation 13:11
Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. This beast had two horns like a lamb, but spoke like a dragon.

Revelation 13:14
Because of the signs it was given to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived those who dwell on the earth, telling them to make an image to the beast that had been wounded by the sword and yet had lived.

Revelation 13:15
The second beast was permitted to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image would also speak and cause all who refused to worship it to be killed.

Revelation 15:2
And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, beside which stood those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name. They were holding harps from God,
Treasury of Scripture
And I stood on the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads the name of blasphemy.
upon.
Jeremiah 5:22 Fear you not me? said the LORD: will you not tremble at my presence…
and saw.
Revelation 11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that …
Revelation 17:8 The beast that you saw was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the …
Daniel 7:2,3 Daniel spoke and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, …
having. See on ch.
Revelation 12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red …
Revelation 17:3,7-12,16 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw …
Daniel 7:7,8,19,20,23,24 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, …
ten crowns.
Revelation 12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red …
name. or, names. blasphemy.
Revelation 13:5,6 And there was given to him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; …
Revelation 17:3,5 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw …
Daniel 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear …
Daniel 11:36 And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, …
2 Thessalonians 2:3,4 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, …

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Revelation – Revelation of John – Revelation Explained – Revelation Bible Scriptures

ATS Bible Dictionary
Revelation

An extraordinary and supernatural disclosure made by God, whether by dream, vision, ecstasy, or otherwise, of truths beyond man’s unaided power to discover. Paul, alluding to his visions and revelations, 2 1 Corinthians 12:1,7, speaks of them in the third person, out of modesty; and declares that he could not tell whether he was in the body or out of the body. Elsewhere he says that he had received his gospel by a particular revelation, Galatians 1:12.

For the BOOK OF REVELATION, see APOCALYPSE.
Easton’s Bible Dictionary
An uncovering, a bringing to light of that which had been previously wholly hidden or only obscurely seen. God has been pleased in various ways and at different times (Hebrews 1:1) to make a supernatural revelation of himself and his purposes and plans, which, under the guidance of his Spirit, has been committed to writing. (see WORD OF GOD.) The Scriptures are not merely the “record” of revelation; they are the revelation itself in a written form, in order to the accurate presevation and propagation of the truth.

Revelation and inspiration differ. Revelation is the supernatural communication of truth to the mind; inspiration (q.v.) secures to the teacher or writer infallibility in communicating that truth to others. It renders its subject the spokesman or prophet of God in such a sense that everything he asserts to be true, whether fact or doctrine or moral principle, is true, infallibly true.

Revelation, Book of

=The Apocalypse, the closing book and the only prophetical book of the New Testament canon. The author of this book was undoubtedly John the apostle. His name occurs four times in the book itself (1:1, 4, 9; 22:8), and there is every reason to conclude th

Revelation of Christ

The second advent of Christ. Three different Greek words are used by the apostles to express this, (1) apokalupsis (1 Corinthians 1;7; 2 Thessalonians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:7, 13); (2) parousia (Matthew 24:3, 27; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; James 5:7, 8); (3) epiphaneia (1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 1:10; 4:1-8; Titus 2:13). There existed among Christians a wide expectation, founded on Matthew 24:29, 30, 34, of the speedy return of Christ. (see MILLENNIUM.)
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) The disclosing or discovering what was previously unknown.

2. (n.) That which is revealed.

3. (n.) The act of revealing divine truth.

4. (n.) That which is revealed by God to man; esp., the Bible.

5. (n.) Specifically, the last book of the sacred canon, containing the prophecies of St. John; the Apocalypse.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
REVELATION

rev-e-la’-shun:

I. THE NATURE OF REVELATION

1. The Religion of the Bible the Only Supernatural Religion

2. General and Special Revelation

(1) Revelation in Eden

(2) Revelation among the Heathen

II. THE PROCESS OF REVELATION

1. Place of Revelation among the Redemptive Acts of God

2. Stages of Material Development

III. THE MODES OF REVELATION

1. The Several Modes of Revelation

2. Equal Supernaturalness of the Several Modes

3. The Prophet God’s Mouthpiece

4. Visionary Form of Prophecy

5. “Passivity” of Prophets

6. Revelation by Inspiration

7. Complete Revelation of God in Christ

IV. BIBLICAL TERMINOLOGY

1. The Ordinary Forms

2. “Word of Yahweh” and “Torah”

3. “The Scriptures”

LITERATURE

I. The Nature of Revelation.

1. The Religion of the Bible the Only Supernatural Religion:

The religion of the Bible is a frankly supernatural religion. By this is not meant merely that, according to it, all men, as creatures, live, move and have their being in God. It is meant that, according to it, God has intervened extraordinarily, in the course of the sinful world’s development, for the salvation of men otherwise lost. In Eden the Lord God had been present with sinless man in such a sense as to form a distinct element in his social environment (Genesis 3:8). This intimate association was broken up by the Fall. But God did not therefore withdraw Himself from concernment with men. Rather, He began at once a series of interventions in human history by means of which man might be rescued from his sin and, despite it, brought to the end destined for him. These interventions involved the segregation of a people for Himself, by whom God should be known, and whose distinction should be that God should be “nigh unto them” as He was not to other nations (Deuteronomy 4:7 Psalm 145:18). But this people was not permitted to imagine that it owed its segregation to anything in itself fitted to attract or determine the Divine preference; no consciousness was more poignant in Israel than that Yahweh had chosen it, not it Him, and that Yahweh’s choice of it rested solely on His gracious will. Nor was this people permitted to imagine that it was for its own sake alone that it had been singled out to be the sole recipient of the knowledge of Yahweh; it was made clear from the beginning that God’s mysteriously gracious dealing with it had as its ultimate end the blessing of the whole world (Genesis 12:2, 3; Genesis 17:4, 5, 6, 16; 18:18; 22:18; compare Romans 4:13), the bringing together again of the divided families of the earth under the glorious reign of Yahweh, and the reversal of the curse under which the whole world lay for its sin (Genesis 12:3). Meanwhile, however, Yahweh was known only in Israel. To Israel God showed His word and made known His statutes and judgments, and after this fashion He dealt with no other nation; and therefore none other knew His judgments (Psalm 147:19 f). Accordingly, when the hope of Israel (who was also the desire of all nations) came, His own lips unhesitatingly declared that the salvation He brought, though of universal application, was “from the Jews” (John 4:22). And the nations to which this salvation had not been made known are declared by the chief agent in its proclamation to them to be, meanwhile, “far off,” “having no hope” and “without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12), because they were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenant of the promise.

The religion of the Bible, thus announces itself, not as the product of men’s search after God, if haply they may feel after Him and find Him, but as the creation in men of the gracious God, forming a people for Himself, that they may show forth His praise. In other words, the religion of the Bible presents itself as distinctively a revealed religion. Or rather, to speak more exactly, it announces itself as the revealed religion, as the only revealed religion; and sets itself as such over against all other religions, which are represented as all products, in a sense in which it is not, of the art and device of man.

It is not, however, implied in this exclusive claim to revelation-which is made by the religion of the Bible in all the stages of its history-that the living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that in them is, has left Himself without witness among the peoples of the world (Acts 14:17). It is asserted indeed, that in the process of His redemptive work, God suffered for a season all the nations to walk in their own ways; but it is added that to none of them has He failed to do good, and to give from heaven rains and fruitful seasons, filling their hearts with food and gladness. And not only is He represented as thus constantly showing Himself in His providence not far from any one of them, thus wooing them to seek Him if haply they might feel after Him and find Him (Acts 17:27), but as from the foundation of the world openly manifesting Himself to them in the works of His hands, in which His everlasting power and divinity are clearly seen (Romans 1:20). That men at large have not retained Him in their knowledge, or served Him as they ought, is not due therefore to failure on His part to keep open the way to knowledge of Him, but to the darkening of their senseless hearts by sin and to the vanity of their sin-deflected reasonings (Romans 1:21), by means of which they have supplanted the truth of God by a lie and have come to worship and serve the creature rather than the ever-blessed Creator. It is, indeed, precisely because in their sin they have thus held down the truth in unrighteousness and have refused to have God in their knowledge (so it is intimated); and because, moreover, in their sin, the revelation God gives of Himself in His works of creation and providence no longer suffices for men’s needs, that God has intervened supernaturally in the course of history to form a people for Himself, through whom at length all the world should be blessed.

2. General and Special Revelation:

It is quite obvious that there are brought before us in these several representations two species or stages of revelation, which should be discriminated to avoid confusion. There is the revelation which God continuously makes to all men: by it His power and divinity are made known. And there is the revelation which He makes exclusively to His chosen people: through it His saving grace is made known. Both species or stages of revelation are insisted upon throughout the Scriptures. They are, for example, brought significantly together in such a declaration as we find in Psalm 19: “The heavens declare the glory of God…. their line is gone out through all the earth” (19:1, 4); “The law of Yahweh is perfect, restoring the soul” (19:7). The Psalmist takes his beginning here from the praise of the glory of God, the Creator of all that is, which has been written upon the very heavens, that none may fail to see it. From this he rises, however, quickly to the more full-throated praise of the mercy of Yahweh, the covenant God, who has visited His people with saving instruction. Upon this higher revelation there is finally based a prayer for salvation from sin, which ends in a great threefold acclamation, instinct with adoring gratitude: “O Yahweh, my rock, and my redeemer” (19:14). “The heavens,” comments Lord Bacon, “indeed tell of the glory of God, but not of His will according to which the poet prays to be pardoned and sanctified.” In so commenting, Lord Bacon touches the exact point of distinction between the two species or stages of revelation. The one is adapted to man as man; the other to man as sinner; and since man, on becoming sinner, has not ceased to be man, but has only acquired new needs requiring additional provisions to bring him to the end of his existence, so the revelation directed to man as sinner does not supersede that given to man as man, but supplements it with these new provisions for his attainment, in his new condition of blindness, helplessness and guilt induced by sin, of the end of his being.

These two species or stages of revelation have been commonly distinguished from one another by the distinctive names of natural and supernatural revelation, or general and special revelation, or natural and soteriological revelation. Each of these modes of discriminating them has its particular fitness and describes a real difference between the two in nature, reach or purpose. The one is communicated through the media of natural phenomena, occurring in the course of nature or of history; the other implies an intervention in the natural course of things and is not merely in source but in mode supernatural. The one is addressed generally to all intelligent creatures, and is therefore accessible to all men; the other is addressed to a special class of sinners, to whom God would make known His salvation. The one has in view to meet and supply the natural need of creatures for knowledge of their God; the other to rescue broken and deformed sinners from their sin and its consequences. But, though thus distinguished from one another, it is important that the two species or stages of revelation should not be set in opposition to one another, or the closeness of their mutual relations or the constancy of their interaction be obscured. They constitute together a unitary whole, and each is incomplete without the other. In its most general idea, revelation is rooted in creation and the relations with His intelligent creatures into which God has brought Himself by giving them being. Its object is to realize the end of man’s creation, to be attained only through knowledge of God and perfect and unbroken communion with Him. On the entrance of sin into the world, destroying this communion with God and obscuring the knowledge of Him derived from nature, another mode of revelation was necessitated, having also another content, adapted to the new relation to God and the new conditions of intellect, heart and will brought about by sin. It must not be supposed, however, that this new mode of revelation was an ex post facto expedient, introduced to meet an unforeseen contingency. The actual course of human development was in the nature of the case the expected and the intended course of human development, for which man was created; and revelation, therefore, in its double form was the divine purpose for man from the beginning, and constitutes a unitary provision for the realization of the end of his creation in the actual circumstances in which he exists. We may distinguish in this unitary revelation the two elements by the cooperation of which the effect is produced; but we should bear in mind that only by their cooperation is the effect produced. Without special revelation, general revelation would be for sinful men incomplete and ineffective, and could issue, as in point of fact it has issued wherever it alone has been accessible, only in leaving them without excuse (Romans 1:20). Without general revelation, special revelation would lack that basis in the fundamental knowledge of God as the mighty and wise, righteous and good maker and ruler of all things, apart from which the further revelation of this great God’s interventions in the world for the salvation of sinners could not be either intelligible, credible or operative.

(1) Revelation in Eden.

Only in Eden has general revelation been adequate to the needs of man. Not being a sinner, man in Eden had no need of that grace of God itself by which sinners are restored to communion with Him, or of the special revelation of this grace of God to sinners to enable them to live with God. And not being a sinner, man in Eden, as he contemplated the works of God, saw God in the unclouded mirror of his mind with a clarity of vision, and lived with Him in the untroubled depths of his heart with a trustful intimacy of association, inconceivable to sinners. Nevertheless, the revelation of God in Eden was not merely “natural.” Not only does the prohibition of the forbidden fruit involve a positive commandment (Genesis 2:16), but the whole history implies an immediacy of intercourse with God which cannot easily be set to the credit of the picturesque art of the narrative, or be fully accounted for by the vividness of the perception of God in His works proper to sinless creatures. The impression is strong that what is meant to be conveyed to us is that man dwelt with God in Eden, and enjoyed with Him immediate and not merely mediate communion. In that case, we may understand that if man had not fallen, he would have continued to enjoy immediate intercourse with God, and that the cessation of this immediate intercourse is due to sin. It is not then the supernaturalness of special revelation which is rooted in sin, but, if we may be allowed the expression, the specialness of supernatural revelation. Had man not fallen, heaven would have continued to lie about him through all his history, as it lay about his infancy; every man would have enjoyed direct vision of God and immediate speech with Him. Man having fallen, the cherubim and the flame of a sword, turning every way, keep the path; and God breaks His way in a round-about fashion into man’s darkened heart to reveal there His redemptive love. By slow steps and gradual stages He at once works out His saving purpose and molds the world for its reception, choosing a people for Himself and training it through long and weary ages, until at last when the fullness of time has come, He bares His arm and sends out the proclamation of His great salvation to all the earth.

(2) Revelation among the Heathen.

Certainly, from the gate of Eden onward, God’s general revelation ceased to be, in the strict sense, supernatural. It is, of course, not meant that God deserted His world and left it to fester in its iniquity. His providence still ruled over all, leading steadily onward to the goal for which man had been created, and of the attainment of which in God’s own good time and way the very continuance of men’s existence, under God’s providential government, was a pledge. And His Spirit still everywhere wrought upon the hearts of men, stirring up all their powers (though created in the image of God, marred and impaired by sin) to their best activities, and to such splendid effect in every department of human achievement as to command the admiration of all ages, and in the highest region of all, that of conduct, to call out from an apostle the encomium that though they had no law they did by nature (observe the word “nature”) the things of the law. All this, however, remains within the limits of Nature, that is to say, within the sphere of operation of divinely-directed and assisted second causes. It illustrates merely the heights to which the powers of man may attain under the guidance of providence and the influences of what we have learned to call God’s “common grace.” Nowhere, throughout the whole ethnic domain, are the conceptions of God and His ways put within the reach of man, through God’s revelation of Himself in the works of creation and providence, transcended; nowhere is the slightest knowledge betrayed of anything concerning God and His purposes, which could be known only by its being supernaturally told to men. Of the entire body of “saving truth,” for example, which is the burden of what we call “special revelation,” the whole heathen world remained in total ignorance. And even its hold on the general truths of religion, not being vitalized by supernatural enforcements, grew weak, and its knowledge of the very nature of God decayed, until it ran out to the dreadful issue which Paul sketches for us in that inspired philosophy of religion which he incorporates in the latter part of the first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans.

Behind even the ethnic development, there lay, of course, the supernatural intercourse of man with God which had obtained before the entrance of sin into the world, and the supernatural revelations at the gate of Eden (Genesis 3:8), and at the second origin of the human race, the Flood (Genesis 8:21, 22; Genesis 9:1-17). How long the tradition of this primitive revelation lingered in nooks and corners of the heathen world, conditioning and vitalizing the natural revelation of God always accessible, we have no means of estimating. Neither is it easy to measure the effect of God’s special revelation of Himself to His people upon men outside the bounds of, indeed, but coming into contact with, this chosen people, or sharing with them a common natural inheritance. Lot and Ishmael and Esau can scarcely have been wholly ignorant of the word of God which came to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob; nor could the Egyptians from whose hands God wrested His people with a mighty arm fail to learn something of Yahweh, any more than the mixed multitudes who witnessed the ministry of Christ could fail to infer something from His gracious walk and mighty works. It is natural to infer that no nation which was intimately associated with Israel’s life could remain entirely unaffected by Israel’s revelation. But whatever impressions were thus conveyed reached apparently individuals only: the heathen which surrounded Israel, even those most closely affiliated with Israel, remained heathen; they had no revelation. In the sporadic instances when God visited an alien with a supernatural communication-such as the dreams sent to Abimelech (Genesis 20) and to Pharaoh (Genesis 40; Genesis 41) and to Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:1) and to the soldier in the camp of Midian (Judges 7:13)-it was in the interests, not of the heathen world, but of the chosen people that they were sent; and these instances derive their significance wholly from this fact. There remain, no doubt, the mysterious figure of Melchizedek, perhaps also of Jethro, and the strange apparition of Balaam, who also, however, appear in the sacred narrative only in connection with the history of God’s dealings with His people and in their interest. Their unexplained appearance cannot in any event avail to modify the general fact that the life of the heathen peoples lay outside the supernatural revelation of God. The heathen were suffered to walk in their own ways (Acts 14:16).

II. The Process of Revelation.

Meanwhile, however, God had not forgotten them, but was preparing salvation for them also through the supernatural revelation of His grace that He was making to His people. According to the Biblical representation, in the midst of and working confluently with the revelation which He has always been giving of Himself on the plane of Nature, God was making also from the very fall of man a further revelation of Himself on the plane of grace. In contrast with His general, natural revelation, in which all men by virtue of their very nature as men share, this special, supernatural revelation was granted at first only to individuals, then progressively to a family, a tribe, a nation, a race, until, when the fullness of time was come, it was made the possession of the whole world. It may be difficult to obtain from Scripture a clear account of why God chose thus to give this revelation of His grace only progressively; or, to be more explicit, through the process of a historical development. Such is, however, the ordinary mode of the Divine working: it is so that God made the worlds, it is so that He creates the human race itself, the recipient of this revelation, it is so that He builds up His kingdom in the world and in the individual soul, which only gradually comes whether to the knowledge of God or to the fruition of His salvation. As to the fact, the Scriptures are explicit, tracing for us, or rather embodying in their own growth, the record of the steady advance of this gracious revelation through definite stages from its first faint beginnings to its glorious completion in Jesus Christ.

1. Place of Revelation among the Redemptive Acts of God:

So express is its relation to the development of the kingdom of God itself, or rather to that great series of divine operations which are directed to the building up of the kingdom of God in the world, that it is sometimes confounded with them or thought of as simply their reflection in the contemplating mind of man. Thus it is not infrequently said that revelation, meaning this special redemptive revelation, has been communicated in deeds, not in words; and it is occasionally elaborately argued that the sole manner in which God has revealed Himself as the Saviour of sinners is just by performing those mighty acts by which sinners are saved. This is not, however, the Biblical representation. Revelation is, of course, often made through the instrumentality of deeds; and the series of His great redemptive acts by which He saves the world constitutes the pre-eminent revelation of the grace of God-so far as these redemptive acts are open to observation and are perceived in their significance. But revelation, after all, is the correlate of understanding and has as its proximate end just the production of knowledge, though not, of course, knowledge for its own sake, but for the sake of salvation. The series of the redemptive acts of God, accordingly, can properly be designated “revelation” only when and so far as they are contemplated as adapted and designed to produce knowledge of God and His purpose and methods of grace. No bare series of unexplained acts can be thought, however, adapted to produce knowledge, especially if these acts be, as in this case, of a highly transcendental character. Nor can this particular series of acts be thought to have as its main design the production of knowledge; its main design is rather to save man. No doubt the production of knowledge of the divine grace is one of the means by which this main design of the redemptive acts of God is attained. But this only renders it the more necessary that the proximate result of producing knowledge should not fail; and it is doubtless for this reason that the series of redemptive acts of God has not been left to explain itself, but the explanatory word has been added to it. Revelation thus appears, however, not as the mere reflection of the redeeming acts of God in the minds of men, but as a factor in the redeeming work of God, a component part of the series of His redeeming acts, without which that series would be incomplete and so far inoperative for its main end. Thus, the Scriptures represent it, not confounding revelation with the series of the redemptive acts of God, but placing it among the redemptive acts of God and giving it a function as a substantive element in the operations by which the merciful God saves sinful men. It is therefore not made even a mere constant accompaniment of the redemptive acts of God, giving their explanation that they may be understood. It occupies a far more independent place among them than this, and as frequently precedes them to prepare their way as it accompanies or follows them to interpret their meaning. It is, in one word, itself a redemptive act of God and by no means the least important in the series of His redemptive acts.

This might, indeed, have been inferred from its very nature, and from the nature of the salvation which was being worked out by these redemptive acts of God. One of the most grievous of the effects of sin is the deformation of the image of God reflected in the human mind, and there can be no recovery from sin which does not bring with it the correction of this deformation and the reflection in the soul of man of the whole glory of the Lord God Almighty. Man is an intelligent being; his superiority over the brute is found, among other things, precisely in the direction of all his life by his intelligence; and his blessedness is rooted in the true knowledge of his God-for this is life eternal, that we should know the only true God and Him whom He has sent. Dealing with man as an intelligent being, God the Lord has saved him by means of a revelation, by which he has been brought into an evermore and more adequate knowledge of God, and been led ever more and more to do his part in working out his own salvation with fear and trembling as he perceived with ever more and more clearness how God is working it out for him through mighty deeds of grace.

2. Stages of Material Development:

This is not the place to trace, even in outline, from the material point of view, the development of God’s redemptive revelation from its first beginnings, in the promise given to Abraham-or rather in what has been called the Protevangelium at the gate of Eden-to its completion in the advent and work of Christ and the teaching of His apostles; a steadily advancing development, which, as it lies spread out to view in the pages of Scripture, takes to those who look at it from the consummation backward, the appearance of the shadow cast athwart preceding ages by the great figure of Christ. Even from the formal point of view, however, there has been pointed out a progressive advance in the method of revelation, consonant with its advance in content, or rather with the advancing stages of the building up of the kingdom of God, to subserve which is the whole object of revelation. Three distinct steps in revelation have been discriminated from this point of view. They are distinguished precisely by the increasing independence of revelation of the deeds constituting the series of the redemptive acts of God, in which, nevertheless, all revelation is a substantial element. Discriminations like this must not be taken too absolutely; and in the present instance the chronological sequence cannot be pressed. But, with much interlacing, three generally successive stages of revelation may be recognized, producing periods at least characteristically of what we may somewhat conventionally call theophany, prophecy and inspiration. What may be somewhat indefinitely marked off as the Patriarchal age is characteristically “the period of Outward Manifestations, and Symbols, and Theophanies”: during it “God spoke to men through their senses, in physical phenomena, as the burning bush, the cloudy pillar, or in sensuous forms, as men, angels, etc…… In the Prophetic age, on the contrary, the prevailing mode of revelation was by means of inward prophetic inspiration”: God spoke to men characteristically by the movements of the Holy Spirit in their hearts. “Prevailingly, at any rate from Samuel downwards, the supernatural revelation was a revelation in the hearts of the foremost thinkers of the people, or, as we call it, prophetic inspiration, without the aid of external sensuous symbols of God” (A.B. Davidson, Old Testament Prophecy, 1903, p. 148; compare pp. 12-14, 145;). This internal method of revelation reaches its culmination in the New Testament period, which is preeminently the age of the Spirit. What is especially characteristic of this age is revelation through the medium of the written word, what may be called apostolic as distinguished from prophetic inspiration. The revealing Spirit speaks through chosen men as His organs, but through these organs in such a fashion that the most intimate processes of their souls become the instruments by means of which He speaks His mind. Thus, at all events there are brought clearly before us three well-marked modes of revelation, which we may perhaps designate respectively, not with perfect discrimination, it is true, but not misleadingly,

(1) external manifestation,

(2) internal suggestion, and

(3) concursive operation.

III. The Modes of Revelation.

1. Modes of Revelation:

Theophany may be taken as the typical form of “external manifestation”; but by its side may be ranged all of those mighty works by which God makes Himself known, including express miracles, no doubt, but along with them every supernatural intervention in the affairs of men, by means of which a better understanding is communicated of what God is or what are His purposes of grace to a sinful race. Under “internal suggestion” may be subsumed all the characteristic phenomena of what is most properly spoken of as “prophecy”: visions and dreams, which, according to a fundamental passage (Numbers 12:6), constitute the typical forms of prophecy, and with them the whole “prophetic word,” which shares its essential characteristic with visions and dreams, since it comes not by the will of man but from God. By “concursive operation” may be meant that form of revelation illustrated in an inspired psalm or epistle or history, in which no human activity-not even the control of the will-is superseded, but the Holy Spirit works in, with and through them all in such a manner as to communicate to the product qualities distinctly superhuman. There is no age in the history of the religion of the Bible, from that of Moses to that of Christ and His apostles, in which all these modes of revelation do not find place. One or another may seem particularly characteristic of this age or of that; but they all occur in every age. And they occur side by side, broadly speaking, on the same level. No discrimination is drawn between them in point of worthiness as modes of revelation, and much less in point of purity in the revelations communicated through them. The circumstance that God spoke to Moses, not by dream or vision but mouth to mouth, is, indeed, adverted to (Numbers 12:8) as a proof of the peculiar favor shown to Moses and even of the superior dignity of Moses above other organs of revelation: God admitted him to an intimacy of intercourse which He did not accord to others. But though Moses was thus distinguished above all others in the dealings of God with him, no distinction is drawn between the revelations given through him and those given through other organs of revelation in point either of Divinity or of authority. And beyond this we have no Scriptural warrant to go on in contrasting one mode of revelation with another. Dreams may seem to us little fitted to serve as vehicles of divine communications. But there is no suggestion in Scripture that revelations through dreams stand on a lower plane than any others; and we should not fail to remember that the essential characteristics of revelations through dreams are shared by all forms of revelation in which (whether we should call them visions or not) the images or ideas which fill, or pass in procession through, the consciousness are determined by some other power than the recipient’s own will. It may seem natural to suppose that revelations rise in rank in proportion to the fullness of the engagement of the mental activity of the recipient in their reception. But we should bear in mind that the intellectual or spiritual quality of a revelation is not derived from the recipient but from its Divine Giver.

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REVELATION OF JOHN

I. TITLE AND GENERAL CHARACTER OF BOOK

1. Title

2. Uniqueness and Reality of Visions

II. CANONICITY AND AUTHORSHIP

1. Patristic Testimony

2. Testimony of Book Itself

3. Objections to Johannine Authorship-Relation to Fourth Gospel

III. DATE AND UNITY OF THE BOOK

1. Traditional Date under Domitian

2. The Nero-Theory

3. Composite Hypotheses-Babylonian Theory

IV. PLAN AND ANALYSIS OF THE BOOK

1. General Scope

2. Detailed Analysis

V. PRINCIPLES OF INTERPRETATION

1. General Scheme of Interpretation

2. The Newer Theories

3. The Book a True Prophecy

VI. THEOLOGY OF THE BOOK

LITERATURE

The last book of the New Testament. It professes to be the record of prophetic visions given by Jesus Christ to John, while the latter was a prisoner, “for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 1:9), in PATMOS (which see), a small rocky island in the Aegean, about 15 miles West of Ephesus. Its precursor in the Old Testament is the Book of Dnl, with the symbolic visions and mystical numbers of which it stands in close affinity. The peculiar form of the book, its relation to other “apocalyptic” writings, and to the Fourth Gospel, likewise attributed to John, the interpretation of its symbols, with disputed questions of its date, of worship, unity, relations to contemporary history, etc., have made it one of the most difficult books in the New Testament to explain satisfactorily.

I. Title and General Character of Book.

1. Title:

“Revelation” answers to apokalupsis, in Revelation 1:1. The oldest form of the title would seem to be simply, “Apocalypse of John,” the appended words “the divine” (theologos, i.e. “theologian”) not being older than the 4th century (compare the title given to Gregory of Nazianzus, “Gregory theologian”). The book belongs to the class of works commonly named “apocalyptic,” as containing visions and revelations of the future, frequently in symbolical form (e.g. the Book of Enoch, the Apocalypse of Bar, the Apocalypse of Ezra; see APOCALYPTIC LITERATURE), but it is doubtful if the word here bears this technical sense. The tendency at present is to group the New Testament Apocalypse with these others, and attribute to it the same kind of origin as theirs, namely, in the unbridled play of religious fantasy, clothing itself in unreal visional form.

2. Uniqueness and Reality of Visions:

But there is a wide distinction. These other works are pseudonymous-fictitious; on the face of them products of imagination; betraying that this is their origin in their crude, confused, unedifying character. The Apocalypse bears on it the name of its author-an apostle of Jesus Christ (see below); claims to rest on real visions; rings with the accent of sincerity; is orderly, serious, sublime, purposeful, in its conceptions; deals with the most solemn and momentous of themes. On the modern Nerotheory, to which most recent expositors give adherence, it is a farrago of baseless fantasies, no one of which came true. On its own claim it is a product of true prophecy (Revelation 1:3; Revelation 22:18 f), and has or will have sure fulfillment. Parallels here and there are sought between it and the Book of Enoch or the Apocalypse of Ezra. As a rule the resemblances arise from the fact that these works draw from the same store of the ideas and imagery of the Old Testament. It is there the key is chiefly to be sought to the symbolism of John. The Apocalypse is steeped in the thoughts, the images, even the language of the Old Testament (compare the illustrations in Lightfoot, Galatians, 361, where it is remarked: “The whole book is saturated with illustrations from the Old Testament. It speaks not the language of Paul, but of Isaiah and Ezekiel and Daniel”). These remarks will receive elucidation in what follows.

II. Canonicity and Authority.

1. Patristic Testimony:

The two questions of canonicity and authorship are closely connected. Eusebius states that opinion in his day was divided on the book, and he himself wavers between placing it among the disputed books or ranking it with the acknowledged (homologoumena). “Among these,” he says, “if such a view seem correct, we must place the Apocalypse of John” (Historia Ecclesiastica, III, 25). That it was rightly so placed appears from a survey of the evidence. The first to refer to the book expressly is Justin Martyr (circa 140 A.D.), who speaks of it as the work of “a certain man, whose name was John, one of the apostles of Christ” (Dial, 81). Irenaeus (circa 180 A.D.) repeatedly and decisively declares that the Apocalypse was written by John, a disciple of the Lord (Adv. Haer., iv.20, 11; 30, 4; v.26, 1; 35, 2, etc.), and comments on the number 666 (v.30, 1). In his case there can be no doubt that the apostle John is meant. Andreas of Cappadocia (5th century) in a Commentary on the Apocalypse states that Papias (circa 130 A.D.) bore witness to its credibility, and cites a comment by him on Revelation 12:7-9. The book is quoted in the Epistle on the martyrs of Vienne and Lyons (177 A.D.); had a commentary written on it by Melito of Sardis (circa 170 A.D.), one of the churches of the Apocalypse (Euseb., HE, IV, 26); was used by Theophilus of Antioch (circa 168 A.D.) and by Apollonius (circa 210 A.D.; HE, V, 25)-in these cases being cited as the Apocalypse of John. It is included as John’s in the Canon of Muratori (circa 200 A.D.). The Johannine authorship (apostolic) is abundantly attested by Tertullian (circa 200 A.D.; Adv. Mar., iii.14, 24, etc.); by Hippolytus (circa 240 A.D.), who wrote a work upon it; by Clement of Alexandria (circa 200 A.D.); by Origen (circa 230 A.D.), and other writers. Doubt about the authorship of the book is first heard of in the obscure sect of the Alogi (end of the 2nd century), who, with Caius, a Roman presbyter (circa 205 A.D.), attributed it to Cerinthus. More serious was the criticism of Dionysius of Alexandria (circa 250 A.D.), who, on internal grounds, held that the Fourth Gospel and the Apocalypse could not have come from the same pen (Euseb., HE, VII, 25). He granted, however, that it was the work of a holy and inspired man-another John. The result was that, while “in the Western church,” as Bousset grants, “the Apocalypse was accepted unanimously from the first” (EB, I, 193), a certain doubt attached to it for a time in sections of the Greek and Syrian churches. It is not found in the Peshitta, and a citation from it in Ephraim the Syrian (circa 373) seems not to be genuine. Cyril of Jerusalem (circa 386 A.D.) omits it from his list, and it is unmentioned by the Antiochian writers (Chrysostom, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret). The Canon attributed to the Council of Laodicea (circa 360 A.D.) does not name it, but it is doubtful whether this document is not of later date (compare Westcott; also Bousset, Die Offenb. Joh., 28). On the other hand, the book is acknowledged by Methodius, Pamphilus, Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa, Cyril Alex., Epiphanius, etc.

2. Testimony of Book Itself:

The testimony to the canonicity, and also to the Johannine authorship, of the Apocalypse is thus exceptionally strong. In full accordance with it is the claim of the book itself. It proclaims itself to be the work of John (Revelation 1:1, 4, 9; Revelation 22:8), who does not, indeed, name himself an apostle, yet, in his inspired character, position of authority in the Asian churches, and selection as the medium of these revelations, can hardly be thought of as other than the well-known John of the Gospels and of consentient church tradition. The alternative view, first suggested as a possibility by Eusebius, now largely favored by modern writers, is that the John intended is the “presbyter John” of a well-known passage cited by Eusebius from Papias (Historia Ecclesiastica, III, 39). Without entering into the intricate questions connected with this “presbyter John”-whether he was really a distinct person from the apostle (Zahn and others dispute it), or whether, if he was, he resided at Ephesus (see JOHN, GOSPEL OF)-it is enough here to say that the reason already given, viz: the importance and place of authority of the author of the Apocalypse in the Asian churches, and the emphatic testimony above cited connecting him with the apostle, forbid the attribution of the book to a writer wholly unknown to church tradition, save for this casual reference to him in Papias. Had the assumed presbyter really been the author, he could not have dropped so completely out of the knowledge of the church, and had his place taken all but immediately by the apostle.

3. Objections to Johannine Authorship-Relation to Fourth Gospel:

One cause of the hesitancy regarding the Apocalypse in early circles was dislike of its millenarianism; but the chief reason, set forth with much critical skill by Dionysius of Alexandria (Euseb., HE, VII, 25), was the undoubted contrast in character and style between this work and the Fourth Gospel, likewise claiming to be from the pen of John. Two works so diverse in character-the Gospel calm, spiritual, mystical, abounding in characteristic expressions as “life,” “light,” “love,” etc., written in idiomatic Greek; the Apocalypse abrupt, mysterious, material in its imagery, inexact and barbarous in its idioms, sometimes employing solecisms-could not, it was argued, proceed from the same author. Not much, beyond amplification of detail, has been added to the force of the arguments of Dionysius. There were three possibilities-either first, admitting the Johannine authorship of the Apocalypse, to assail the genuineness of the Gospel-this was the method of the school of Baur; or, second, accepting the Gospel, to seek a different author for the Apocalypse-John the presbyter, or another: thus not a few reverent scholars (Bleek, Neander, etc.); or, third, with most moderns, to deny the Johannine authorship of both Gospel and Apocalypse, with a leaning to the “presbyter” as the author of the latter (Harnack, Bousset, Moffatt, etc.). Singularly there has been of late in the advanced school itself a movement in the direction of recognizing that this difficulty of style is less formidable than it looks-that, in fact, beneath the surface difference, there is a strong body of resemblances pointing to a close relationship of Gospel and Apocalypse. This had long been argued by the older writers (Godet, Luthardt, Alford, Salmon, etc.), but it is now more freely acknowledged. As instances among many may be noted the use of the term “Logos” (Revelation 19:13), the image of the “Lamb,” figures like “water of life” words and phrases as “true,” “he that overcometh,” “keep the commandments,” etc. A striking coincidence is the form of quotation of Zechariah 12:10 in John 19:37 and Revelation 1:7. If the Greek in parts shows a certain abruptness and roughness, it is plainly evidenced by the use of the correct constructions in other passages that this is not due to want of knowledge of the language. “The very rules which he breaks in one place he observes in others” (Salmon). There are, besides, subtle affinities in the Greek usage of the two books, and some of the very irregularities complained of are found in the Gospel (for ample details consult Bousset, op. cit.; Godet, Commentary on John, I, 267-70, English translation; Alford, Greek Test., IV, 224-28; Salmon, Introduction to the New Testament, 233-43, 2nd edition; the last-named writer says: “I have produced instances enough to establish decisively that there is the closest possible affinity between the Revelation and the other Johannine books”). Great differences in character and style no doubt still remain. Some, to leave room for these, favor an early date for the Apocalypse (68-69 B.C.; on this below); the trend of opinion, however, now seems, as will be shown, to be moving back to the traditional date in the reign of Domitian, in which case the Gospel will be the earlier, and the Apocalypse the later work. This, likewise, seems to yield the better explanation. The tremendous experiences of Patmos, bursting through all ordinary and calmer states of consciousness, must have produced startling changes in thought and style of composition. The “rapt seer” will not speak and write like the selfcollected, calmly brooding evangelist.

III. Date and Unity of the Book.

1. Traditional Date under Domitian:

Eusebius, in summing up the tradition of the Church on this subject, assigns John’s exile to Patmos, and consequently the composition of the Apocalypse, to the latter part of the reign of Domitian (81-96 A.D.). Irenaeus (circa 180 A.D.) says of the book, “For it was seen, not a long time ago, but almost in our own generation, at the end of the reign of Domitian” (Adv. Haer., v.30, 3). This testimony is confirmed by Clement of Alexandria (who speaks of “the tyrant”), Origen, and later writers. Epiphanius (4th century), indeed, puts (Haer., li.12, 233) the exile to Patmos in the reign of Claudius (41-54 A.D.); but as, in the same sentence, he speaks of the apostle as 90 years of age, it is plain there is a strange blunder in the name of the emperor. The former date answers to the conditions of the book (decadence of the churches; widespread and severe persecution), and to the predilection of Domitian for this mode of banishment (compare Tacitus, History i0.2; Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, III, 18).

2. The Nero-Theory:

This, accordingly, may be regarded as the traditional date of composition of the Apocalypse, though good writers, influenced partly by the desire to give time for the later composition of the Gospel, have signified a preference for an earlier date (e.g. Westcott, Salmon). It is by no means to be assumed, however, that the Apocalypse is the earlier production. The tendency of recent criticism, it will be seen immediately, is to revert to the traditional date (Bousset, etc.); but for a decade or two, through the prevalence of what may be called the “Nero-theory” of the book, the pendulum swung strongly in favor of its composition shortly after the death of Nero, and before the destruction of Jerusalem (held to be shown to be still standing by Revelation 11), i.e. about 68-69 A.D. This date was even held to be demonstrated beyond all question. Reuss may be taken as an example. According to him (Christian Theology of the Apostolic Age, I, 369;, English translation), apart from the ridiculous preconceptions of theologians, the Apocalypse is “the most simple, most transparent book that prophet ever penned.” “There is no other apostolical writing the chronology of which can be more exactly fixed.” “It was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, under the emperor Galba-that is to say, in the second half of the year 68 of our era.” He proceeds to discuss “the irrefutable proofs” of this. The proof, in brief, is found in the beast (not introduced till Revelation 13) with seven heads, one of which has been mortally wounded, but is for the present healed (Revelation 13:3). “This is the Roman empire, with its first 7 emperors, one of whom is killed, but is to live again as Antichrist” (compare Revelation 17:10 ff). The key to the whole book is said to be given in Revelation 13:18, where the number of the beast is declared to be 666. Applying the method of numerical values (the Jewish Gematria), this number is found to correspond with the name “Nero Caesar” in Hebrew letters (omitting the yodh, the Hebrew letter “y”). Nero then is the 5th head that is to live again; an interpretation confirmed by rumors prevalent at that time that Nero was not really dead, but only hidden, and was soon to return to claim his throne. As if to make assurance doubly sure, it is found that by dropping the final “n” in “Neron,” the number becomes 616-a number which Irenaeus in his comments on the subject (v.30, 1) tells us was actually found in some ancient copies. The meaning therefore is thought to be clear. Writing under the emperor Galba, the 6th emperor (reckoning from Augustus), the author anticipates, after a short reign of a 7th emperor (Revelation 17:10), the return of the Antichrist Nero-an 8th, but of the 7, with whom is to come the end. Jerusalem is to be miraculously preserved (Revelation 11), but Rome is to perish. This is to happen within the space of 3 1/2 years. “The final catastrophe, which was to destroy the city and empire, was to take place in three years and a half….. The writer knows…. that Rome will in three years and a half perish finally, never to rise again.” It does not matter for this theory that not one of the things predicted happened-that every anticipation was falsified. Nero did not return; Jerusalem was not saved; Rome did not perish; 3 1/2 years did not see the end of all things. Yet the Christian-church, though the failure of every one of these predictions had been decisively demonstrated, received the book as of divine inspiration, apparently without the least idea that such things had been intended (see the form of theory in Renan, with a keen criticism in Salmon’s Introduction to the New Testament, lecture xiv).

3. Composite Hypotheses-Babylonian Theory:

What is to be said with reference to this “Nero-theory” belongs to subsequent sections: meanwhile it is to be observed that, while portions of theory are retained, significant changes have since taken place in the view entertained of the book as a whole, and with this of the date to be assigned to it. First, after 1882, came a flood of disintegrating hypotheses, based on the idea that the Apocalypse was not a unity, but was either a working up of one or more Jewish apocalypses by Christian hands, or at least incorporated fragments of such apocalypses (Uslter, Vischer, Weizsacker, Weyland, Pfieiderer, Spitta, etc.). Harnack lent his influential support to the form of this theory advocated by Vischer, and for a time the idea had vogue. Very soon, however, it fell into discredit through its own excesses (for details on the different views, see Bousset, or Moffatt’s Introduction to the New Testament, 489;), and through increasing appreciation of the internal evidence for the unity of the book. Gunkel, in his Schopfung und Chaos (1895), started another line of criticism in his derivation of the conceptions of the book, not from Jewish apocalypse, but from Babylonian mythology. He assailed with sharp criticism the “contemporary history” school of interpretation (the “Nero-theory” above), and declared its “bankruptcy.” The number of the beast, with him, found its solution, not in Nero, but in the Hebrew name for the primeval chaos. This theory, too, has failed in general acceptance, though elements in it are adopted by most recent interpreters. The modified view most in favor now is that the Apocalypse is, indeed, the work of a Christian writer of the end of the 1st century, but embodies certain sections borrowed from Jewish apocalypse (as Revelation 7:1-8, the 144,000; Revelation 11, measuring of the temple and the two witnesses; especially Revelation 12, the woman and red dragon-this, in turn, reminiscent of Babylonian mythology). These supposed Jewish sections are, however, without real support in anything that is known, and the symbolism admits as easily of a Christian interpretation as any other part of the book. We are left, therefore, as before, with the book as a unity, and the tide of opinion flows back to the age of Domitian as the time of its origin. Moffatt (connecting it mistakenly, as it seems to us, with Domitian’s emphasis on the imperial cult, but giving also other reasons) goes so far as to say that “any earlier date for the book is hardly possible” (Expository Greek Testament, V, 317). The list of authorities for the Domitianie date may be seen in Moffatt, Introduction, 508.

IV. Plan and Analysis of the Book.

1. General Scope:

The method of the book may thus be indicated. After an introduction, and letters to the seven churches (Revelation 1-3), the properly prophetic part of the book commences with a vision of heaven (Revelation 4; Revelation 5), following upon which are two series of visions of the future, parallel, it would appear, to each other-the first, the 7 seals, and under the 7th seal, the 7 trumpets (Revelation 6:1-11:19, with interludes in Revelation 7 and again in Revelation 10; Revelation 11:1-12:1); the second, the woman and her child (Revelation 12), the 2 beasts (Revelation 13), and, after new interludes (Revelation 14), the bowls and 7 last plagues (Revelation 15; Revelation 16). The expansion of the last judgments is given in separate pictures (the scarlet woman, doom of Babylon, Har-Magedon, Revelation 17-19); then come the closing scenes of the millennium, the last apostasy, resurrection and judgment (Revelation 20), followed by the new heavens and new earth, with the descending new Jerusalem (Revelation 21; Revelation 22). The theme of the book is the conflict of Christ and His church with anti-Christian powers (the devil, the beast, the false prophet, Revelation 16:13), and the ultimate and decisive defeat of the latter; its keynote is in the words, “Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20; compare Revelation 1:7); but it is to be noticed, as characteristic of the book, that while this “coming” is represented as, in manner, ever near, the end, as the crisis approaches, is again always postponed by a fresh development of events. Thus, under the 6th seal, the end seems reached (Revelation 6:12-17), but a pause ensues (Revelation 7), and on the opening of the seventh seal, a new series begins with the trumpets (Revelation 8:2). Similarly, at the sounding of the 6th trumpet, the end seems at hand (Revelation 9:12-21), but a new pause is introduced before the last sounding takes place (Revelation 11:15). Then is announced the final victory, but as yet only in summary. A new series of visions begins, opening into large perspectives, till, after fresh interludes, and the pouring out of 6 of the bowls of judgment, Har-Magedon itself is reached; but though, at the outpouring of the 7th bowl, it is proclaimed, “It is done” (Revelation 16:17), the end is again held over till these final judgments are shown in detail. At length, surely, in Revelation 19, with the appearance of the white horseman-“The Word of God” (19:13)-and the decisive overthrow of all his adversaries (19:18-21), the climax is touched; but just then, to our surprise, intervenes the announcement of the binding of Satan for 1,000 years, and the reign of Jesus and His saints upon the earth (the interpretation is not here discussed), followed by a fresh apostasy, and the general resurrection and judgment (Revelation 20). Precise time-measures evidently fail in dealing with a book so constructed: the 3 1/2 years of the Nero-interpreters sink into insignificance in its crowded panorama of events. The symbolic numbers that chiefly rule in the book are “seven,” the number of completeness (7 spirits, seals, trumpets, bowls, heads of beasts); “ten,” the number of worldly power (10 horns); “four,” the earthly number (4 living creatures, corners of earth, winds, etc.); 3 1/2 years-42 months-“time, and times, and half a time” (Revelation 12:14) = 1,260 days, the period, borrowed from Daniel (7:25; 12:7), of anti-Christian ascendancy.

2. Detailed Analysis:

The following is a more detailed analysis:

I. INTRODUCTION

1. Title and Address (Revelation 1:1-8)

2. Vision of Jesus and Message to the Seven Churches of the Province of Asia (Revelation 1:9-20)

3. The Letters to the Seven Churches (Revelation 2; Revelation 3)

(1) Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7)

(2) Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11)

(3) Pergamos (Revelation 2:12-17)

(4) Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29)

(5) Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6)

(6) Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13)

(7) Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22)

II. THE THINGS TO COME. FIRST SERIES OF VISIONS: THE SEALS AND TRUMPETS

1. The Vision of Heaven

(1) Adoration of the Creator (Revelation 4)

(2) The 7-Sealed Book; Adoration of God and the Lamb (Revelation 5)

2. Opening of Six Seals (Revelation 6)

(1) The White Horse (Revelation 6:1, 2)

(2) The Red Horse (Revelation 6:3, 4)

(3) The Black Horse (Revelation 6:5, 6)

(4) The Pale Horse (Revelation 6:7, 8)

(5) Souls under the Altar (Revelation 6:9-11)

(6) The Wrath of the Lamb (Revelation 6:12-17)

3. Interludes (Revelation 7)

(1) Sealing of 144,000 on Earth (Revelation 7:1-8)

(2) Triumphant Multitude in Heaven (Revelation 7:9-17)

4. Opening of Seventh Seal: under This Seven Trumpets, of Which Six Now Sounded (Revelation 8; Revelation 9)

(1) Hail and Fire on Earth (Revelation 8:7)

(2) Burning Mountain in Sea (Revelation 8:8, 9)

(3) Burning Star on Rivers and Fountains (Revelation 8:10, 11)

(4) One-third Sun, Moon, and Stars Darkened (Revelation 8:12). “Woe”-Trumpets (Revelation 8:13)

(5) The Fallen Star-Locusts (Revelation 9:1-11)

(6) Angels Loosed from Euphrates-the Horseman (Revelation 9:12-21)

5. Interludes-

(1) Angel with Little Book (Revelation 10)

(2) Measuring of Temple and Altar-the Two Witnesses (Revelation 11:1-13)

6. Seventh Trumpet Sounded-Final Victory (Revelation 11:14-19)

III. SECOND SERIES OF VISIONS: THE WOMAN AND THE RED DRAGON; THE TWO BEASTS; THE BOWLS AND LAST PLAGUES

1. The Woman and Child; the Red Dragon and His Persecutions (Revelation 12)

2. The Beast from the Sea, Seven-headed, Ten-horned (Revelation 13:1-10); the Two-horned Beast (Revelation 13:11-18)

3. Interludes (Revelation 14)

(1) The Lamb on Mt. Zion; the 144,000 (Revelation 14:1-5)

(2) The Angel with “an Eternal Gospel” (Revelation 14:6, 7)

(3) Second Angel-(Anticipatory) Proclamation of Fall of Babylon (Revelation 14:8)

(4) Third Angel-Doom of Worshippers of the Beast (Revelation 14:9-12)

(5) Blessedness of the Dead in the Lord (Revelation 14:13)

(6) The Son of Man and the Great Vintage (Revelation 14:14-20)

4. The Seven Last Plagues-the Angels and Their Bowls: the Preparation in heaven (Revelation 15)-the Outpouring (Revelation 16)

(1) On Earth (Revelation 16:2)

(2) On Sea (Revelation 16:3)

(3) On Rivers and Fountains (Revelation 16:4-7)

(4) On Sun (Revelation 16:8, 9)

(5) On Seat of Beast (Revelation 16:10, 11)

(6) On Euphrates-Har-Magedon (Revelation 16:12-16)

(7) In the Air-Victory and Fall of Babylon (Revelation 16:17-21)

IV. EXPANSION OF LAST JUDGMENTS (Revelation 17-19)

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God Light – Genesis of Light – Darkness Before Light – All the Blessings of the Light

Genesis of Light

G. D. Boardman.
Genesis 1:3-4
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.…
________________________________________

I. EXPLANATION OF THE PASSAGE.

1. “God said”: an anthropomorphism.

2. The God-said of Moses the God-word of John.

3. The first light chemical.

4. “And God saw the light, that it was good.” It is to light that the cloud, the sunset, the rainbow, the diamond, the violet, owe their exquisite hues. Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun (Ecclesiastes 11:7). Nay, more: Light is one of the essential conditions of all life itself — alike vegetal, animal, human, and, doubtless, angelic. Yes, there is a better curative than allopathy or homeopathy, hydropathy or aeropathy; it is heliopathy, or light of the sun. Physicians understand this, and so seek for their patients the sunny side of hospitals. And so they unconsciously confirm the holy saying, “To you that fear My name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings” (Malachi 4:2).

5. Evening: Morning. Observe the order of the words: It is not first morning, and then evening; it is first evening, then morning: “And there was evening, and there was morning, day one.”

II. MORAL MEANING OF THE STORY.

1. God is light (1 John 1:5). For aught I know, the apostle’s message is literally true. Remember that when we are talking of light we are moving in presence of a very subtile mystery. The origin and nature of light is still a profound problem. True, we talk learnedly and correctly about the laws of light; its laws of reflection, refraction, absorption, dispersion, polarization, etc. But these are only phenomena; they tell us nothing about the nature or origin of light itself. All we know of light is merely a knowledge of the mode and laws of its motion. We do not know the essence of light itself. One thing is certain: light is the nearest known, sensible approach to immateriality, being classed with its apparent kindred — heat, electricity, magnetism — among the imponderables. Indeed, the modern magnificent undulatory theory denies that light is material, and affirms that it is but a mode of motion. We are accustomed to say that there are but two things in the universe — spirit and matter — and that the chasm between these is infinite. Possibly this is one of those assumptions which, did we know more, we would affirm less. Possibly light is an instance of what the philosophers call tertium quid — a third something, intermediate between spirit and matter, ethereally bridging the measureless chasm. Possibly light is God’s natural expression, outflow, radiation, manifestation, vestment (Psalm 104:1, 2). Possibly, when the Creator moves in that finite world we call time, He leaves light as His personal vestige and train. His mantle ripples into light, is light itself. In view of this possibility, how natural as well as fitting that the ancient token of God’s personal presence among the Hebrews should have been the shechinah, or dazzling glory cloud.

2. And as God is light, so also are His children light. Expressly are they called Sons of Light (Luke 16:8). Expressly is He called Father of Lights (James 1:17). We know that light is latent in every form of matter; for, when sufficiently heated, it becomes incandescent — that is to say, self-luminous. What is flame but a mass of heated, visibly glowing gas? True, it doth not yet appear what we shall be (1 John 3:2). Nevertheless, I believe that light is latent within us all, and that by-and-by, at least in the case of God’s saintly children, it will stream forth; not that it will be evolved by the action of any heat or chemical force, but that, under the free, transcendent conditions of the heavenly estate, it will ray forth spontaneously.

3. Jesus Christ Himself, as Incarnate, is the shadow of God’s light. Infinite God, Deity as unconditioned and absolute, no man hath ever seen or can ever see, and live (Exodus 33:20). He dwelleth in light which no man can approach unto (1 Timothy 6:15), is light itself. “Dark with excess of light,” we poor finite beings cannot behold Him except through the softening intervention of some medium. Therefore the Son of God, brightness of His glory and express image of His person (Hebrews 1:3), radiance of His effulgence and character, or impress of His substance, became incarnate, that in the softer morning star and suffused dayspring of the Incarnation we might be able to look on the dazzling Father of Lights, and not be dazed into blindness.

4. Jesus Christ is not only the shadow or tempered image of God: in the very act of becoming that shadow Jesus Christ also became the Light of the World (John 8:12). Ah, how much the world needed His illumination!

5. As Jesus Christ is the Light of the World, so also is His Church. He, clear as the sun, she, fair as the moon, both together resplendent as an army with banners (Song of Solomon 6:10).In conclusion:

1. A word of cheer for the saint. Ye are sons of light. Recall now how much light means. It means all that is most bright and clean, and direct, and open, and unselfish, and spotless, and lovely, and healthful, and true, and Divine. How exceedingly great, then, your wealth! Oh, live worthily of your rich estate.

2. A word of entreaty to the sinner. Of what use is the most abounding light if we persist in keeping our eyes closed? As there is an eternal day for the sons of light, so there is an eternal night for the sons of darkness.

(G. D. Boardman.)

Darkness Before Light

J. Vaughan, M. A.
Genesis 1:3-4
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.…
________________________________________

And do you think, children, that you were first light and then became dark? or that you were first dark and then became light? Because when you were a baby boy or girl you did not know much; it was very dark: now I hope that the light of the Sun of Righteousness is upon you, that the evening has become the morning. The morning star has risen, I hope. It is light! light!

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

All the Blessings of the Light

J. B. C. Murphy, B. A.

Genesis 1:3-4
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.…
________________________________________

We, who worship “the Father of lights,” have reason every day that we live to thank God for life and health, for countless blessings. And not least among these may be reckoned the free gift of, and the many “blessings of the light.” For in many ways that we can tell off, at once, upon our fingers, and in very many more ways that we neither dream of nor think of, does light minister to our health, wealth, and comfort.

1. The very birds sing at daybreak their glad welcome to the dawn, and the rising sun. And we all know and feel how cheering is the power of light. In the sunlight rivers flash, and nature rejoices, and our hearts are light, and we take a bright view of things.

2. So, too, light comes to revive and restore us. Darkness is oppressive. In it we are apt to lose heart. We grow anxious, and full of fears. With the first glimmer of light in the distance, hope awakens, and we feel a load lifted off our minds.

3. Again, we have often felt the reassuring power of light. In the darkness, objects that are perfectly harmless take threatening shapes; the imagination distorts them, and our fancy creates dangers. Light shows us that we have been alarmed at shadows: quiets and reassures us.

4. Once again, the light comes to us, often, as nothing less than a deliverer. It reveals dangers hidden and unsuspected; the deadly reptile; the yawning precipice; the lurking foe.

5. And when, over and above all this, we remember that light is absolutely essential, not to health only, but to life in every form, animal and vegetable alike, we shall heartily echo the words of the wise king in Ecclesiastes: “Truly the light is sweet; and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun.”

(J. B. C. Murphy, B. A.)

Study Bible

The First Day: Light
…2The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.…
New American Standard Bible

Cross References

2 Corinthians 4:6

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Genesis 2:4

This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven.

Psalm 33:6
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host.

Psalm 33:9
For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.
Treasury of Scripture

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
God.

Psalm 33:6,9 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of …
Psalm 148:5 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.
Matthew 8:3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be …
John 11:43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

Let.
Job 36:30 Behold, he spreads his light on it, and covers the bottom of the sea.
Job 38:19 Where is the way where light dwells? and as for darkness, where is …
Psalm 97:11 Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.
Psalm 104:2 Who cover yourself with light as with a garment: who stretch out …
Psalm 118:27 God is the LORD, which has showed us light: bind the sacrifice with …
Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: …
Isaiah 60:19 The sun shall be no more your light by day; neither for brightness …
John 1:5,9 And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not…
John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, …
2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined …
Ephesians 5:8,14 For you were sometimes darkness, but now are you light in the Lord: …
1 Timothy 6:16 Who only has immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can …
1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare …
1 John 2:8 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in him …

Matthew Henry Commentary

1:3-5 God said, Let there be light; he willed it, and at once there was light. Oh, the power of the word of God! And in the new creation, the first thing that is wrought in the soul is light: the blessed Spirit works upon the will and affections by enlightening the understanding. Those who by sin were darkness, by grace become light in the Lord. Darkness would have been always upon fallen man, if the Son of God had not come and given us understanding, 1Jo 5:20. The light which God willed, he approved of. God divided the light from the darkness; for what fellowship has light with darkness? In heaven there is perfect light, and no darkness at all; in hell, utter darkness, and no gleam of light. The day and the night are the Lord’s; let us use both to his honour, by working for him every day, and resting in him every night, meditating in his law both day and night.

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What Does the Bible Really Teach? Who Is Jesus Christ?

What Does the Bible Really Teach? Who Is Jesus Christ?

What is Jesus’ special role?
Where did he come from?
What kind of person was he?

1, 2. (a) Why does knowing about someone famous not mean that you truly know him? (b) What confusion is there about Jesus?

THERE are many famous people in the world. Some are well-known in their own community, city, or country. Others are known worldwide. However, just knowing the name of someone famous does not mean that you truly know him. It does not mean that you know details about his background and what he is really like as a person.

2 People around the world have heard something about Jesus Christ, even though he lived on earth some 2,000 years ago. Yet, many are confused about who Jesus really was. Some say that he was merely a good man. Others claim that he was nothing more than a prophet. Still others believe that Jesus is God and should be worshipped. Should he?

3. Why is it important for you to know Jehovah God and Jesus Christ?

3 It is important for you to know the truth about Jesus. Why? Because the Bible says: “This means everlasting life, their coming to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3) Yes, really coming to know Jehovah God and Jesus Christ can lead to everlasting life on a paradise earth. (John 14:6) Furthermore, Jesus sets the best example of how to live and how to treat others. (John 13:34, 35) In the first chapter of this book, we discussed the truth about God. Now let us consider what the Bible really teaches about Jesus Christ.
THE PROMISED MESSIAH

4. What do the titles “Messiah” and “Christ” mean?

4 Long before Jesus was born, the Bible foretold the coming of the one whom God would send as the Messiah, or Christ. The titles “Messiah” (from a Hebrew word) and “Christ” (from a Greek word) both mean “Anointed One.” This promised One would be anointed, that is, appointed by God to a special position. In later chapters of this book, we will learn more about the Messiah’s important place in the fulfillment of God’s promises. We will also learn about the blessings that Jesus can bring us even now. Before Jesus was born, however, many no doubt wondered, ‘Who will prove to be the Messiah?’

5. Of what were the disciples of Jesus fully convinced regarding him?

5 In the first century C.E., the disciples of Jesus of Nazareth were fully convinced that he was the foretold Messiah. (John 1:41) One of the disciples, a man named Simon Peter, openly said to Jesus: “You are the Christ.” (Matthew 16:16) How, though, could those disciples be sure—and how can we be sure—that Jesus really is the promised Messiah?

6. Illustrate how Jehovah has helped faithful ones to identify the Messiah.

6 The prophets of God who lived before Jesus foretold many details about the Messiah. These details would help others to identify him. We might illustrate things this way: Suppose you were asked to go to a busy bus depot or a train station or an airport to pick up someone you had never met before. Would it not help if someone gave you a few details about him? Similarly, by means of the Bible prophets, Jehovah gave a rather detailed description of what the Messiah would do and what he would experience. The fulfillment of these many prophecies would help faithful ones to identify him clearly.

7. What are two of the prophecies that were fulfilled in connection with Jesus?

7 Consider just two examples. First, over 700 years in advance, the prophet Micah foretold that the promised One would be born in Bethlehem, a small town in the land of Judah. (Micah 5:2) Where was Jesus actually born? Why, in that very town! (Matthew 2:1, 3-9) Second, many centuries in advance, the prophecy recorded at Daniel 9:25 pointed to the very year when the Messiah was to appear—29 C.E. * The fulfillment of these and other prophecies proves that Jesus was the promised Messiah.
At Jesus’ baptism, God’s spirit descending like a dove to identify Jesus as the Messiah

At his baptism, Jesus became the Messiah, or Christ

8, 9. What proof that Jesus was the Messiah became clear at his baptism?

8 Further proof that Jesus was the Messiah became clear near the end of 29 C.E. That is the year when Jesus went to John the Baptizer to be baptized in the Jordan River. Jehovah had promised John a sign so that he could identify the Messiah. John saw that sign at Jesus’ baptism. The Bible says that this is what happened: “After being baptized, Jesus immediately came up from the water; and look! the heavens were opened up, and he saw God’s spirit descending like a dove and coming upon him. Look! Also, a voice from the heavens said: ‘This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.’” (Matthew 3:16, 17) After seeing and hearing what happened, John had no doubt that Jesus was sent by God. (John 1:32-34) At the moment when God’s spirit, or active force, was poured out upon him that day, Jesus became the Messiah, or Christ, the one appointed to be Leader and King.—Isaiah 55:4.

9 The fulfillment of Bible prophecy and Jehovah God’s own testimony plainly show that Jesus was the promised Messiah. But the Bible answers two other important questions about Jesus Christ: Where did he come from, and what kind of person was he?
WHERE DID JESUS COME FROM?

10. What does the Bible teach about Jesus’ existence before he came to earth?

10 The Bible teaches that Jesus lived in heaven before he came to earth. Micah prophesied that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem and also said that His origin was “from ancient times.” (Micah 5:2) On many occasions, Jesus himself said that he lived in heaven before being born as a human. (Read John 3:13; 6:38, 62; 17:4, 5) As a spirit creature in heaven, Jesus had a special relationship with Jehovah.

11. How does the Bible show that Jesus is Jehovah’s most precious Son?

11 Jesus is Jehovah’s most precious Son—and for good reason. He is called “the firstborn of all creation,” for he was God’s first creation. * (Colossians 1:15) There is something else that makes this Son special. He is the “only-begotten Son.” (John 3:16) This means that Jesus is the only one directly created by God. Jesus is also the only one whom God used when He created all other things. (Colossians 1:16) Then, too, Jesus is called “the Word.” (John 1:14) This tells us that he spoke for God, no doubt delivering messages and instructions to the Father’s other sons, both spirit and human.

12. How do we know that the firstborn Son is not equal to God?

12 Is the firstborn Son equal to God, as some believe? That is not what the Bible teaches. As we noted in the preceding paragraph, the Son was created. Obviously, then, he had a beginning, whereas Jehovah God has no beginning or end. (Psalm 90:2) The only-begotten Son never even considered trying to be equal to his Father. The Bible clearly teaches that the Father is greater than the Son. (Read John 14:28; 1 Corinthians 11:3) Jehovah alone is “God Almighty.” (Genesis 17:1) Therefore, he has no equal. *

13. What does the Bible mean when it refers to the Son as “the image of the invisible God”?

13 Jehovah and his firstborn Son enjoyed close association for billions of years—long before the starry heavens and the earth were created. How they must have loved each other! (John 3:35; 14:31) This dear Son was just like his Father. That is why the Bible refers to the Son as “the image of the invisible God.” (Colossians 1:15) Yes, even as a human son may closely resemble his father in various ways, this heavenly Son reflected his Father’s qualities and personality.

14. How did Jehovah’s only-begotten Son come to be born as a human?

14 Jehovah’s only-begotten Son willingly left heaven and came down to earth to live as a human. But you may wonder, ‘How was it possible for a spirit creature to be born as a human?’ To accomplish this, Jehovah performed a miracle. He transferred the life of his firstborn Son from heaven to the womb of a Jewish virgin named Mary. No human father was involved. Mary thus gave birth to a perfect son and named him Jesus.—Luke 1:30-35.
WHAT KIND OF PERSON WAS JESUS?
Jesus preaching to people in a home

15. Why can we say that through Jesus we come to know Jehovah better?

15 What Jesus said and did while on earth helps us to get to know him well. More than that, through Jesus we come to know Jehovah better. Why is this the case? Recall that this Son is a perfect reflection of his Father. That is why Jesus told one of his disciples: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father also.” (John 14:9) The four Bible books known as the Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—tell us much about the life, activity, and personal qualities of Jesus Christ.

16. What was Jesus’ primary message, and where did his teachings come from?

16 Jesus was well-known as “Teacher.” (John 1:38; 13:13) What did he teach? Primarily, his message was “the good news of the Kingdom”—that is, God’s Kingdom, the heavenly government that will rule over the entire earth and will bring endless blessings to obedient humans. (Matthew 4:23) Whose message was this? Jesus himself said: “What I teach is not mine, but belongs to him who sent me,” namely, Jehovah. (John 7:16) Jesus knew that his Father wants humans to hear about the good news of the Kingdom. In Chapter 8, we will learn more about God’s Kingdom and what it will accomplish.
Jesus preaching to a fisherman

17. Where did Jesus do his teaching, and why did he go to great lengths to teach others?

17 Where did Jesus do his teaching? Everywhere he found people—in the countryside as well as in cities, in villages, in marketplaces, and in their homes. Jesus did not expect people to come to him. He went to them. (Mark 6:56; Luke 19:5, 6) Why did Jesus go to such lengths and spend so much of his time preaching and teaching? Because doing so was God’s will for him. Jesus always did his Father’s will. (John 8:28, 29) But there was another reason why he preached. He felt compassion for the crowds of people who came out to see him. (Read Matthew 9:35, 36.) They were neglected by their religious leaders, who should have been teaching them the truth about God and his purposes. Jesus knew how much the people needed to hear the Kingdom message.

18. What qualities of Jesus do you find most appealing?

18 Jesus was a man of tender warmth and deep feelings. Others thus found him to be approachable and kind. Even children felt at ease with him. (Mark 10:13-16) Jesus was impartial. He hated corruption and injustice. (Matthew 21:12, 13) At a time when women received little respect and had few privileges, he treated them with dignity. (John 4:9, 27) Jesus was genuinely humble. On one occasion, he washed the feet of his apostles, a service usually performed by a lowly servant.
Jesus reaching out to touch and heal the sick

Jesus preached wherever he found people

19. What example shows that Jesus was sensitive to the needs of others?

19 Jesus was sensitive to the needs of others. This was especially evident when, under the power of God’s spirit, he performed miracles of healing. (Matthew 14:14) For example, a man with leprosy came to Jesus and said: “If you just want to, you can make me clean.” Jesus personally felt this man’s pain and suffering. Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched the man, saying: “I want to! Be made clean.” And the sick man was healed! (Mark 1:40-42) Can you imagine how that man must have felt?
FAITHFUL TO THE END

20, 21. How did Jesus set an example of loyal obedience to God?

20 Jesus set the finest example of loyal obedience to God. He remained faithful to his heavenly Father under all kinds of circumstances and despite all types of opposition and suffering. Jesus firmly and successfully resisted Satan’s temptations. (Matthew 4:1-11) At one time, some of Jesus’ own relatives did not put faith in him, even saying that he was “out of his mind.” (Mark 3:21) But Jesus did not let them influence him; he kept right on doing God’s work. Despite insults and abuse, Jesus maintained self-control, never trying to harm his opposers.—1 Peter 2:21-23.

21 Jesus remained faithful until death—a cruel and painful death at the hands of his enemies. (Read Philippians 2:8.) Consider what he endured on the last day of his life as a human. He was arrested, accused by false witnesses, convicted by corrupt judges, laughed at by mobs, and tortured by soldiers. Nailed to a stake, he took his last breath, crying out: “It has been accomplished!” (John 19:30) However, on the third day after Jesus died, his heavenly Father resurrected him back to spirit life. (1 Peter 3:18) A few weeks later, he returned to heaven. There, he “sat down at the right hand of God” and waited to receive kingly power.—Hebrews 10:12, 13.

22. What did Jesus accomplish by remaining faithful until death?

22 What did Jesus accomplish by remaining faithful until death? Jesus’ death actually opens to us the opportunity for eternal life on a paradise earth, in harmony with Jehovah’s original purpose. How Jesus’ death makes that possible will be discussed in the next chapter.

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Scriptures from the Bible about Salvation through Jesus

1. All men are sinners:

Rom.3:23 – For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God
Eccl.7:20 – Not a just man on earth, that…sinneth not
Isa.64:6 – All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags
Rom.3:10 – There is none righteous, no not one
Jam.2:10 – Whoever shall offend in one point (of law), guilty of all
1Jn.1:8 – If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves

2. Salvation by grace (undeserved mercy), not works:

Eph.2:8,9 – For by grace are ye saved through faith, not of yourselves…not of works
Mk.10:25-27 – Who can be saved? With men it is impossible
Rom.3:20a – By deeds of law shall no flesh be justified in His sight
Rom.11:6 – And if by grace, then is it no more of works
Gal.2:16 – Justified by the faith of Christ and not by works of the law
2Tim.1:9 – Saved us, not according to our works, but according to His grace
Tit.3:5 – Not by works of righteousness which we have done

3. Salvation only through Jesus:

Acts 4:12 – None other name…whereby we must be saved
1Tim.2:5 – One mediator between God and men…Christ Jesus
Jn.3:16 – God…gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should…have everlasting life
Jn.3:36b – He that believeth not the Son shall not see life
Jn.8:24 – If ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins
Jn.10:1 – He that entereth not by the door…but climbeth up some other way…is a thief and a robber
Jn.10:9 – I am the door: by Me if any man enter in…be saved
Jn.14:6 – I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me
1Cor.3:11 – For other foundation can no man lay than… Jesus Christ
1Jn.5:12 – He that hath not the Son of God hath not life

4. Believe on Jesus:

Jn.3:16 – Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life
Jn.11:25,26 – I am the resurrection and the life…whosoever believeth in Me shall never die
Acts 16:31 – Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved
Rom.10:9,10 – If thou shalt…believe in thine heart…thou shalt be saved
1Jn.5:1a – Whosoever believeth Jesus is the Christ is born of God

5. Receive Jesus:

Rev.3:20 – If any man…open the door, I will come in to him
Jn.1:12 – But as many as received Him…power to become sons
Gal.4:6 – God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your heart
Eph.3:17 – That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith

6. Eternal salvation:
A. You can never lose it, even if you make mistakes and fall:

Psa.37:24 – Though the fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand
Jn.3:36a – He that believeth on the Son…hath everlasting life
Jn.6:37 – Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out
Jn.10:28 – I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand
Rom.8:38,39 – I am persuaded that [nothing] shall be able to separate us from the love of God…in Christ Jesus
1Cor.3:11-15 – [If works are] wood, hay and stubble…shall be burned, yet he himself shall be saved
1Cor.5:5 – Destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved
Heb.13:5b – I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee
2Tim.2:13 – Though we believe not, yet He abideth faithful
1Jn.5:13 – Ye may know that ye have eternal life

B. But the Lord will chasten you for wrongdoing:

Psa.89:30-34 – If they break My statutes…I will visit with the rod…(but) My lovingkindness will I not utterly take away
Heb.12:5-8 – Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth
Rev.3:19 – As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten

7. Receiving Jesus guarantees eternal life in Heaven:

Rom.6:23b – The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ
Jn.11:26 – Whosoever…believeth in Me shall never die
Jn.14:2-3 – In My Father’s house are many mansions
1Pet.1:3,4 – Incorruptible inheritance reserved in Heaven for you
1Jn.5:11 – God hath given to us eternal life…in His Son
(See Rev.21:1-27 and 22:1-5 for a description of Heaven)

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The Scriptures from the bible about Salvation

Bible scriptures regarding to salvation:

Isaiah 9:6 – King James Version, 1978
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.

Isaiah 11:2 – King James Version, 1978
2. And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

Daniel 7:13-14 – AMP, 1987 Lockman
13. I saw in the night visions, and behold, [a] on the clouds of the heavens came One like a Son of man, and He came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. 14. And there was given Him [the Messiah] dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and His kingdom is one which shall not be destroyed.

Matt 16:16 – King James Version, 1978
16. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

John 1:1-5 – King James Version, 1978
1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2. The same was in the beginning with God. 3. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

John 1:12 – King James Version, 1978
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 3:5-6 – King James Version, 1978
5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

John 14:6 – King James Version, 1978
6. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 16:7-15 – Amplified Bible, 1987 Lockman
7. However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you].
8. And when He comes, He will convict and convince the world and bring demonstration to it about sin and about righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God) and about judgment:
9. About sin, because they do not believe in Me [trust in, rely on, and adhere to Me];
10. About righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God), because I go to My Father, and you will see Me no longer;
11. About judgment, because the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world [Satan] is judged and condemned and sentence already is passed upon him.
12. I have still many things to say to you, but you are not able to bear them or to take them upon you or to grasp them now.
13. But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future].
14. He will honor and glorify Me, because He will take of (receive, draw upon) what is Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you.
15. Everything that the Father has is Mine. That is what I meant when I said that He [the Spirit] will take the things that are Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you.

John 17:1-5 – KJV, 1978
1. These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2. As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 3. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 4. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. 5. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

Acts 16:31 – King James Version, 1978
31. And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

1 Cor 2:8 – King James Version, 1978

8. Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

1 Corinthians 14:1 – New King James Version, 1982
1. Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.

1 Corinthians 12:7-11 – New King James Version, 1982
7. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8. for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9. to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same[a] Spirit, 10. to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

Romans 12:5 – King James Version, 1978

5. So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

Romans 3:23 – King James Version, 1978
23. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Colossians 1:14 – King James Version, 1978

14. In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

1 Timothy 1:17 – King James Version, 1978

17. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 13:20-21 – King James Version, 1978
20. Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21. Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1 John 5:5-7 – King James Version, 1978

5. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 6. This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

Psalm 12:6 – King James Version, 1978

6. The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

Psalm 99:9 – King James Version, 1978
9. Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy.

Revelation 1:11 – King James Version, 1978
11. Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

Revelation 4:5 – King James Version, 1978
5. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Revelation 5:6 – King James Version, 1978

6. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Revelation 20:5-6 – King James Version, 1978
5. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
What Bible Says About
Itself:

2 Timothy 3:16 – King James Version, 1978

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

Psalm 19:7 – King James Version, 1978

7. The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

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