Thursday, April 30, 2015

John 3:1-21 comments; you must be born again

1 ¶  There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2  The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 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. 7  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. 9  Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 10  Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 11  Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 12  If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? 13  And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Jesus gives a Jewish leader named Nicodemus a lesson in New Testament theology. The first point Jesus makes has confounded those who chose to be willfully ignorant or had poor reading comprehension skills for two thousand years.

A human being must be reborn spiritually in order to enter God’s kingdom. The contrast here is between the spirit and the flesh. Nicodemus’ reply in verse 4 to Jesus’ statement in verse 3 shows that the discussion will revolve around being born in the flesh versus being born in the Spirit. “Born of water,” in verse 5 clearly means then, in context, being physically born from the womb and has nothing to do with baptism, which is not mentioned in these verses at all. You are not born again by being baptized although this heresy has been of old.

Jesus goes on to promise that whomever believes in Him, which is what being born again revolves around, will have eternal life, although from other passages in the Bible we learn that this eternal life will not be in the decaying flesh you currently walk around in but in a new body, a resurrection body that cannot die (Job 19:25-27; Isaiah 26:19; Romans 8:23; 1Corinthians 15:35-52 as examples).

God, the Creator, loved the people of the earth, the world (Revelation 3:10), at the Cross, and gave Himself for them so that if anyone believed in Him and received Him they received life everlasting. The son of a king was received with the same power and authority of the king himself. The Son of God is the Word, the visible image of the invisible God, walking on earth in human flesh.

Colossians 1:15a  Who is the image of the invisible God…

Hebrews 1:3  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

 It is a brilliant way of describing what God has done and has not been explained and developed by theologians nearly enough although many have taken the concept of the Son of God and made it into polytheistic idolatry, as if there were three Gods, which the Bible does not say.

If you believe in His name you are not condemned but if you do not believe you are lost.

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

God has shown a light on this dark world, ruled by Satan, and you preferred darkness. Why? Because what you are doing is evil. Men hate the light because the light shines on their wicked works and exposes them.

The person who seeks the truth will come to Christ and that work is God’s work as was shown by the first chapter of this gospel and many other verses. It sort of makes you wonder if some of the horrible things done by those claiming to be God’s people don’t reveal that they are just fooling themselves and are worshipping a god that is simply a reflection of themselves and have not submitted to the Christ of the Bible.

Christ came the first time to save the world, not to judge it.

John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

The second time He will come in judgment.

2Thessalonians 1:7  And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Verse 18 underscores that the only time that God appeared on earth in human skin was in the form of Jesus of Nazareth. All other claimants to being the Son of God, whether they be Alexander the Great or Augustus Caesar, were frauds. Jesus is the, “only begotten Son of God.”

Monday, April 27, 2015

John 2:23-25 comments: shallow Christianity

    23 ¶  Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. 24  But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25  And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

The Jews in Jerusalem who began to believe on Jesus at that time did so because of miracles they saw. It is natural for the human being to be drawn to unnatural events to confirm an emotional but shallow belief. In conservative, evangelical Christianity we have a great many “Super Bowl Christians” who live from one emotional high to another without any spiritual power on their lives in between. They must have the revival meeting where passions are high, manipulated by a good speaker, like the Greek Sophist of old, and then as their passion wanes they seek another meeting to get recharged. They have little connection with Christ through His words when they are alone or with their family. As there is no real fruit of the Spirit shining in them when they are not at church they often do not keep their children in the faith as the signs of hypocrisy and paranoia drive them away as soon as they are old enough to think for themselves.

Verses 24 and 25 show us that Jesus put no trust in these new converts because He knew how people are. The shallow conversion based on something that caught someone’s attention like a laser pointer dancing on the wall attracts a cat doesn’t have much meaning. This is why the vast majority of people who recite the 1-2-3 repeat after me prayer for salvation during a fundamentalist church invitation are never seen again. Their conversion experience, if there really was one, was based on something, an emotional reaction, which just doesn’t last. Jesus knew these people who had heard Him preach and seen Him do miracles would evaporate like the morning mist or even turn on Him given the right motivation.

For us in this time of grace, between Christ’s resurrection and His return to call out His church from the earth, we have Christ in written form, the Bible. The Bible is the principal way that God speaks to His people. You can’t trust your conscience as that can be seared (1Timothy 4:2). Much of the time when someone says that God has laid something on their heart it is really what they want and they use God as a justification. Often again, someone says that God spoke to them when there never was any conversation except between their reason and their emotions. We know nothing unless what we feel or believe has been laid on our heart lines up with a literal application of Scripture. I say literal because any other application can be very subjective and twisted by your own will, rejecting God’s call.

If you do not permit God to speak to you every day by His words in His Bible, not merely as a book of counsel or a religious version of Emily Post’s book of Etiquette where you get your instructions for behavior, but the God who created you actually speaking to your heart and changing your life, then you are in grave danger as a Christian. You will be drawn to emotional sermon/speeches that make you cry or make you angry, or political affiliations that confirm your prejudices and bigotry, and away from the sure word of prophecy in God’s Book. Christianity is not a political religion. Satan is the god of this world’s governments, education, sports, and other entertainment. Christianity is not a shot of caffeine where occasionally you need a pick-me-up to get you through the day. Christianity is a workman’s religion where each and every day you pick up your Bible and have a conversation with your Creator through prayer, you speaking to Him, and plain and simple Bible reading, where He speaks to you. Then, at regular intervals, preferably weekly at least, you gather together with other believers to worship (not impress, not seek to be indoctrinated or brainwashed) as the body of Christ, the church.

Then, as you submit to God’s sovereignty and authority in your life and the fruit or proof of the Spirit’s indwelling of you comes out of your every interaction with the world, God draws people to Him through you and you draw people to Him through His word. It’s not rocket science and it’s not easily manipulated by a demagogue or a charlatan if your eyes and mind are in the Bible every day to a great extent letting the Word speak to you through His words.

Joshua gave great instructions to the Israelites with a promise to them of great success if they heeded his advice. Although the promises to them were somewhat different than the promises to us with regard to temporal success on this earth the principle is the same.

Joshua 1:8  This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Christ knows what is in the heart of man. Let His words be in your heart (Psalm 119:11).

John 12:48  He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

John 17:17  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Do not be a shallow Christian. Don’t wade in God’s word. Swim in it. Take it in deeply every day. Let it be your food and your air and the medium in which you live and walk. Let God change your life and your life’s circumstances by speaking to you through it.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

John 2:12-22 comments: Christ foretells of His resurrection

12 ¶  After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days. 13  And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, 14  And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: 15  And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; 16  And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. 17  And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. 18  Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? 19  Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 20  Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21  But he spake of the temple of his body. 22  When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

Jesus, his mother, brothers, and disciples all go to Capernaum. From there Jesus went to observe the Passover at Jerusalem. The phrase, “at hand,” in verse 13, means that it was an event to happen soon. Notice in the following verse how Isaac’s death is coming soon;

Genesis 27:41  And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.

“At hand,” can also be near. “Nigh,” meaning near, is often used before the phrase for emphasis;

John 19:42  There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

What follows is a controversial episode in this gospel. It appears, from a literal reading of all four gospels, that there would have been two times when Jesus ran money changers out of the temple, in the beginning and at the end of His ministry.

Here, He says;

16  And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.

In Matthew 21 He said, alluding to Isaiah 56:7 and Jeremiah 7:11;

13  And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

He does the same in Mark 11:17 and Luke 19:46 which makes these instances somewhat different from John’s gospel. The key here is how you view the Bible. If you view it from the point of view of what it says about itself, being, “given by inspiration of God,” then there really is no problem with this passage.

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

Job 32:8  But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.

2Peter 3:15  And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

In fact, some heavy-hitters in the history of Bible commentary also saw that there must have been two separate events where Jesus caused an uproar in the temple with this type of action. Both Augustine and Chrysostom are both reported to have agreed on this.

Modernists of all persuasions will declare one of two things; the liberal will say it is a mistake on John’s part and proof the Bible is unreliable while the fundamentalist will say it is a mistake but doesn’t matter as it doesn’t change the message. Both of these parties received their talking points from German theology and so-called Higher Criticism of the 18 and 1900’s through heretics like David Strauss, Albert Schweitzer, and Hermann Reimarus.

A similar lack of reading comprehension is found in any study of the popularly named, “Sermon on the Mount.” The modernist will say that there are two accounts of the same sermon, one found in Matthew 5 and one found in Luke 6, even though they are two completely different sermons given at different times under different conditions. They have a similar ring to them so the modernist who lacks basic reading comprehension skills is unable to distinguish between the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain.

Verse 17 is a reference to Psalm 69:9.

The Jews, in keeping with what was said before about Israel being born in signs and wonders, required some kind of visible proof that Christ had the authority to do what He did. Christ replied with a reference to His body which the Jews misunderstood and then misused the misunderstanding maliciously.

Matthew 26:61  And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.

Jesus did not say His body was “like” the temple which would have been a figure of speech called a simile or that His body was the temple which would have been a metaphor. He used a figure of speech which E.W. Bullinger called in his voluminous Figures of Speech Used in the Bible a hypocatastasis, where Christ’s body represented the temple. (5)

It can be said, in the Bible, that the struggles, failings, and triumphs of Israel represent each Christian’s life which is a microcosm of the road Israel took, always remembering that in the end God never abandoned His people regardless of how backslidden they were. But, they caused themselves immense tribulation by disobedience as we do. It can also be said that the kingdom of Israel’s history is a microcosm of the world at large and we can see the failings and corruption of all human government within the framework of Israel’s history.

The physical temple that was part of this reference was built under King Herod’s, the Roman puppet ruler, command. As his crowning effort to try to placate and please the Jews he erected a magnificent temple for them which was, “so transcendently beautiful that Josephus [the most significant Jewish historian of the first century] seems tireless in describing its splendors, and even Titus [the Roman general and future emperor who destroyed it], out of regard for its magnificence, was anxious to spare it when the city fell in 70 A.D.” (6)

The figure of speech was explained in verse 21 and yet neither the Jews nor His disciples believed this until His disciples did, after His Resurrection.

(5) E.W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech Used in the Bible: Explained and Illustrated (London: Grapho Press, 1898), 746.

(6) Merrill F. Unger, Archaeology and the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 1962), 61.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

John 2:1-11 comments: the beginning of miracles

1 ¶  And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 2  And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. 3  And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. 4  Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. 5  His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. 6  And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. 7  Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. 8  And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. 9  When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, 10  And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. 11  This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

Jesus’ first reported miracle in the gospel of John is turning water into wine at a marriage celebration in Cana, in Galilee. See it spelled with a K in Joshua 19:28. Christ started performing miracles far from the hubbub of Jerusalem in an obscure place, thereby, as Matthew Henry pointed out, not seeking the approval of men, celebrity status. His miracles are for the common folk, not performed in a palace or place of government. Jesus probably knew these people personally as His mother was also present. As this first miracle is at a wedding we can see the importance Christ places on marriage and a hint of what it will represent.

Three days is a very important period of time, prophetically, in the Bible as any study of that phrase will show. However, such a reflection upon the significance of three days is beyond the scope of this study. We can think of the three days between Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection and the promise of the marriage of Christ and His bride, the church, spoken of by Paul (2Corinthians 11:2) and by John in Revelation (Revelation 19). Jesus presents, at first, no intention of performing a miracle but one is requested of Him by his mother, who has probably seen all sorts of amazing things in her time on earth with Him. His mother gives a timeless order that reverberates throughout history, even though it is ignored more than acted upon.

Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.”

Jesus’ mother ignored His protestation that it was not the time yet for Him to reveal His glory and Jesus did not refuse to perform a miracle publicly, the nature of which Mary may have seen quite often privately. He responds with the somewhat harsh, “Woman, what have I to do with thee,” but that is the beginning and end of any rebuke. Jesus did not refuse to perform the miracle. There is a lesson here in the example set by God in the flesh of a commandment given to the Jews by Moses and to we Christians by Paul.

Exodus 20:12  Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Ephesians 6:2  Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3  That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

As opposed to just making it happen, Jesus required the servants to prepare the scene with large pots full of water. This certainly made what was about to happen more remarkable as no one could accuse Him of any sort of sleight of hand and underscores how God uses men to fulfill His plans, even if only in part.

Also, notice that Jesus offers the best things last. Worldly philosophies promise benefits in life; health, wealth, pleasure, and status, but nothing after that. Christ offers the best thing at the end, the best wine, so to speak, in a life forever with God.

The disciples believed on Him, seeing this miracle. Israel was born in great signs and wonders.

Deuteronomy 26:8  And the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders:

The Jews required signs, something above and outside the natural events, to believe, while the Gentiles (Greeks) were more impressed with wisdom.

1Corinthians 1:22  For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

Later, Jesus will admonish Thomas for requiring visible proof of Christ’s resurrection rather than relying on faith in God’s words.

John 20:29  Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

“Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

Sunday, April 19, 2015

John 1:43-51 comments: Nathanael's declaration of faith

43 ¶  The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. 44  Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45  Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. 46  And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. 47  Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! 48  Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. 49  Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. 50  Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. 51  And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

Jesus adds Philip to His disciples. Philip acknowledges that Jesus is the one of whom was foretold in the Scriptures. It is interesting how Nathanael is willing to make that declaration based on Jesus’ seeing him before Nathanael came into his presence. Jesus sees us long before we see Him. Nathanael was an Israelite in whom was no guile in that Nathanael was honest and modest and not possessed of a wicked tongue (see Exodus 21:14; Psalm 34:13; and 55:11 for guile in context).

Nazareth is not mentioned as such in the Old Testament. It is today called the, “Arab capital of Israel,” as it has a large Arab population. (4) This kind of questioning will come up again in chapter 7 as people question Jesus’ origins. It is not unusual to be raised in a different place than where we were born as we are a highly mobile society, which they were not at that time. In Jesus’ earliest years, though, there was little doubt in King Herod’s mind. First, there was this prophecy from the Old Testament.

Micah 5:2  But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Here, Herod is disturbed by the implications of it.

Matthew 2:1 ¶  Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2  Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 3  When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4  And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 5  And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6  And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. 7  Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. 8  And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

Later in that chapter he will order all of the children who were two years old and under in Bethlehem killed, hoping to kill Christ.

Jesus is calling to Himself disciples. They are all Jews; beard-wearing, pork-abstaining, Sabbath-observing, Temple-going Jews. We need to keep this in mind as we look at prophetic imagery like the fig tree. God had likened the Hebrews He delivered from Egypt to fruit on a fig tree.

Hosea 9:10  I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.

Nathanael was a faithful Jew, an honest man called out by Christ, whom Christ foreknew before he came to Him. God sees who will come to Him even before they do. Nathanael was one of the, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.” (1Peter 1:2). It is also said that those that God foreknew would come to Him are predestinated to have something happen to them after they come.

Romans 8:29 ¶  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

This is the process that we who believe all go through. God saw clearly through time, from the beginning, who would come and be saved permanently, once and for all, and those people were predestinated to be, at some point, like Christ.

Ephesians 1:4  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8  Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

…sealed by the Holy Spirit with the promise of a physical resurrection of the body.

Romans 8:23  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

Now, anyone who knows very many Christians will affirm that 99.9% hardly reflect any inkling of that at this point in their lives. Paranoia, bigotry, fear, hatred, arrogance, and self-righteous and willful ignorance do not make us look as if we are becoming like the Christ of the Bible. As time goes by in this gospel we will learn more of what it means to be a Christian, in the process of becoming like Christ, and we will see how far off the mark the vast majority are so no one should act like they’ve arrived, so to speak.

Verse 51 links up with and explains Jacob’s vision from Christ’s perspective as God promises the land his people will inherit to him and speaks of the blessing the Jews will be to all the families of the earth in that Christ comes through them.

Genesis 28:10 ¶  And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. 11  And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. 12  And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 13  And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; 14  And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15  And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

Christ is the only link between man and God. He is the only way to Heaven. If you are really His, He has already saved you, and you are being molded by Him. Nathanael believed in simple faith and was blessed by Christ. But, we are all under construction, works in progress.

(4) Laurie King-Irani, “The Arab Capital of Israel,” Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 25, no. 3 (Spring, 1996), pp. 103-105. (accessed 4.15.2015).

Saturday, April 11, 2015

John 1:37-42 comments: Jesus, the Messiah

37 ¶  And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38  Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? 39  He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. 40  One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41  He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. 42  And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

Jesus confirms the reason that the two disciples of John are following Him by asking them who they are looking for. They called Him, Rabbi, which the translation is given as being, Master.

There are two meanings for Master given in the Bible. One is, of course, a person’s overlord, their sovereign in some aspect of their life. The other is as a teacher (compare Malachi 2:12 with 1Chronicles 25:8). A Rabbi is specifically a teacher, who in Jewish tradition would draw to himself disciples who would follow his teachings.

Here, Andrew, Peter’s brother, acknowledges and establishes that they see Jesus as the Jewish Messiah to come, called the Christ. This is fundamental to Christian belief and faith, that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, much looked and hoped for, and that He is the Saviour of the whole world of men and women, and the only Saviour. As Peter, just now introduced, would say later;

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

Modern versions, based on corrupt manuscripts and an agenda, change verse 42, as Jesus uses the Aramaic word for a stone, to erase the word, stone, or to make Peter a rock perhaps so that they can follow the Vatican lead by calling him the rock mentioned in the following verse;

Matthew 16:18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

…when the, “rock,” mentioned in Matthew 16:18 is Peter’s confession, that Jesus is the Christ, God in the flesh, that is the foundation rock upon which the church is built, for Jesus is the Rock. Referring to the rock in the wilderness that Moses smote, from which water flowed, Paul said;

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

Also see;

Deuteronomy 32:31  For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.

1Samuel 2:2  There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.

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

Psalm 18:31  For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?

Psalm 95:1  O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

Peter himself will later call Christians stones so you can see the contrast between the Rock and stones.

1Peter 2:5  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the Saviour of the world, the great Rabbi, the greatest teacher, and our Master. There is no other for a Bible-believing Christian because Jesus is God.

Friday, April 10, 2015

John 1:30-36 comments: the three parts of God

30  This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 31  And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 32  And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33  And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 34  And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. 35  Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; 36  And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

There is a combination here of eyewitness testimony and revelation from God. John acknowledges Jesus’ physical presence and admits that he has seen the Holy Spirit descend on Him* and that God Himself, which would be God the Father, told John that Jesus would baptize people with the Holy Ghost whereas John baptized with water. John’s baptism was symbolic while Jesus’ baptism would be of an effectual nature. John’s baptism signified the intentions of a Jew’s heart while Jesus’ baptism represented the transformation of His followers into new creatures. The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is our entrance into the body of Christ and water has nothing to do with it other than as an outward expression.  

2Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Galatians 6:15  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

*(“like a dove,” a simile, as no actual dove was present. Compare in type the actual dove that brought the olive leaf to Noah in Genesis 8, representing a regeneration, among other things.)

John then made this clear to two of his disciples who then followed Jesus. As I am not trying to write a harmonization of the gospels I have not included parallel events in the other Gospels. I believe this would interrupt the narrative unnecessarily and there are many good commentaries filling books about which events in one Gospel line up with which verses in others.

Here, we see signs of what the church supported by the Roman Empire called the Trinity, three persons in one; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. However, the Bible never uses the word Trinity. In the Bible, the Godhead is not three persons but one person, like human beings and the higher animals, with three distinct parts all connected by one will and purpose. I have explained this before in my commentaries and will do so briefly here.

First, to establish a fundamental principle;

Deuteronomy 6:4  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

Even though here the Psalmist speaks of God the Father referring to the Son.

Psalm 110:1  « A Psalm of David. » The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

God’s three parts are reflected in the three parts of a human being.

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

The body reference is how we move about in the world, how we know the world. The soul is the seat of self-identity and will, how we know ourselves as distinct from others. The spirit is how we know and are known by God. But, it is still one person.

(For the three parts existing in beasts see Numbers 31:28; Job 12:10; & Ecclesiastes 3:21)

The three parts, not three persons, of God are evidenced by;

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

2Corinthians 13:14  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

1John 5:7  For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8  And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. (Verse 7 is disputed by modern translators but is alluded to or quoted in every century of early Christianity, is found in the Old Latin, the Syriac, and in numerous early church lectionaries, and is referenced by Tatian in the middle of the second century. There is no serious doubt as to the validity of this verse.)

God the Father would be the soul of God, the seat of will and self-identity. The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of God, acting upon and moving in His creation. The Lord Jesus Christ is the body of God, the visible image of the invisible God.

Hebrews 1:3  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Colossians 1:15  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

(Image is appearance, see Genesis 1:26)

And yet, all three are one.

John 10:30  I and my Father are one.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

John 1:29 comments: Behold the Lamb of God

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

Here we have John’s testimony, his record, his declaration of Jesus Christ. He is the sacrificial Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, all past, present, and future, by His offering of Himself on the Cross. This is a fundamental tenet of Christianity and without belief in or trust in that doctrine you are lost.

Christ is the propitiation for our sins, appeasing the wrath of God for mankind’s iniquity, by His offering of Himself.

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

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

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

He is the ransom for our souls, a ransom paid to God for our sins.

Exodus 30:12  When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them.

Hosea 13:14  I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.

Matthew20:28  Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

1Timothy 2:1 ¶  I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2  For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6  Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

Through Christ atonement is made for sin and man is reconciled to God as per Romans 5:11.

Christ is God in the flesh, the Lamb of God; a sacrifice for sin, the sacrifice for sin, and your sacrifice for sin.

Genesis 22:8  And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. (the prophetic import of this verse is underscored by the fact that it was actually a ram caught in a thicket that was provided for the immediate sacrifice in place of Isaac).

Exodus 12:3  Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: 4  And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. 5  Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:

Isaiah 52:13 through Isaiah 53:12 is one Old Testament view of the Christ to come.

Isaiah 53:5  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

There is no other way for mankind to be saved from the great gulf of unquenchable fire that awaits his or her soul. There is only the Lamb of God, and nothing else.

Note - It wasn’t until the twelfth century AD rabbi called Rashi that the Jews began to look at Isaiah 53 as referring to, not the Messiah to come, but to the nation of Israel, as the suffering servant. (3)

(3) Joel E. Rembaum, “The Development of a Jewish Exegetical Tradition regarding Isaiah 53,” The Harvard Theological Review,Vol. 75, No. 3 (Jul., 1982), 294.

Monday, April 6, 2015

John 1:19-28 comments: the interrogation of John the Baptist

19 ¶  And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? 20  And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. 21  And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. 22  Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? 23  He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. 24  And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. 25  And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? 26  John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; 27  He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. 28  These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Members of the Pharisee party were sent to question John the Baptist. The Pharisees were the ultra-religious party that did believe in the supernatural, in angels, and in the resurrection of the dead. Consider them the fundamentalists of Jesus’ day.  According to scholar, Merrill F. Unger, the name Pharisee means “separated.” Unger stated, “The chief characteristic of the Pharisee was his punctilious observance of the law, both oral and written,” as he referred to the writings of the Jewish general-turncoat, Josephus. He went on to say;

They devoted themselves to interpreting and teaching the law, that the nation might indeed be holy before God. Their watchwords were repentance, prayer, and charitable giving. They looked for the Messiah and the resurrection of the faithful at His advent. They had an admirable beginning…but gradually degenerated by Jesus’ day into proud and empty religionists, devoid of faith or spiritual life. (2)

Sound familiar? Nothing is new under the sun, as Solomon pointed out in Ecclesiastes 1:9.

Acts 23:8  For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.

The Pharisees, like modern fundamentalists, were filled with rules and regulations that went beyond the Bible’s clear teachings and were more concerned with the appearance of something rather than the spiritual reality of it.

Matthew 23:23  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

John the Baptist condemned both conservative and liberals in his preparation for the truth to come.

Matthew 3:7  But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

In verse 41 of this chapter and in 4:25 the Bible defines Christ as the expected Messiah to come.

John the Baptist did not claim to be the Messiah. And although he came in the spirit and power of Elijah the prophet as was foretold in Luke 1:17 and explained by Jesus Christ Himself in Matthew 17:10-13 he himself denied that he was Elijah, who was prophesied to come before the end of time, before the Great Tribulation which has not been defined yet.

Malachi 4:5  Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 6  And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

He also denied that he was that prophet that Moses spoke of in Deuteronomy 18. This is significant as Bible writers do not have to express a knowledge that their writing was given by inspiration of God for it to be so. A person can fulfill God’s will without even realizing that he is a tool for God just as Judas didn’t know that he was influenced or even possessed by Satan when he did his dirty work, a fact revealed later.

What John does is to quote Isaiah 40:3;

Isaiah 40:3 ¶  The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

(This brings to mind a problem with the Critical Text and modern Bible versions in Mark, chapter one, verse two. The New International Version (NIV) says that it is quoting Isaiah when it is actually quoting Malachi 3:1 next and then Isaiah 40:3.  The New American Standard Bible (NASB) and the Revised Standard Version (RSV) and others make the same, what I call, deliberate mistake, based on the authority of the two corrupt manuscripts; Codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus with a small number of Cursive manuscripts. The King James Version (KJV) just saying, “As it is written in the prophets,” is correct.

Another example of a deliberate error that should give one pause to consider the motives of the translators is in the New King James Version (NKJV) is in Matthew 11:3 when, the doctrine of the new age avatar espoused by Satanist, Alice Bailey, in the mid-twentieth century, the, “Coming One,” is introduced instead of the correct phrasing, “he that should come,” as the KJV states.)

John the Baptist has prepared the way for who he will introduce on the following day, the Lord Jesus Christ, God in human flesh, already standing among them but unknown by either the crowd or the elite. So, it is today. The mass of people on earth do not know Christ and the religious and civil elites certainly don’t know Him. They have shut their minds off from understanding the Christ of the Bible. In America He is either a member of the Republican Party toting an automatic rifle over His shoulder, a sidearm on His hip, and an NRA membership card sticking out of the pocket of his three piece suit or He is a member of the Democratic Party and is a simpering wimp who has no moral standards of any kind other than to accept as, “just as good,” any behavior people display. For both views and others not mentioned Christ is merely an image of their own prejudices, fears, opinions, bigotry, and ideologies, a reflection of themselves as they descend into an orgy of self-congratulation for being such good people, pulling their arms out of the socket as they attempt to pat themselves on the back.

(2) Merrill F. Unger, Archaeology and the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 1962), 45, 46.

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Gospel According to John 1:15-18 comments: grace and truth

15 ¶  John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. 16  And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17  For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 18  No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

John the Baptist’s public declaration is an acknowledgement that Christ existed before he did even though John was born in the flesh before Jesus was. This verse is filled with meaning in that Christ, as God, pre-existed all things, including John. Jesus said about John the Baptist;

Matthew 11:11  Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

John the Baptist was a greater man, a more important man in God’s eyes, than Hammurabi, Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, Hannibal, or Julius Caesar, and yet the least person in God’s kingdom is greater than John because that person has God’s Holy Spirit indwelling him.

Verse 16 is a declaration that we who have believed and are saved have received the abundance and completeness of Christ by receiving Him and the unearned and undeserved favor of God multiplied by itself. There is nothing more we need and nothing more to get. There are so many promises and expectations that flow from this fullness, this ultimate blessing of eternal life with God that it is impossible to understand and books can be written and have been written about the promises given to us who believe.

The grace and truth given by Christ is greater than the Law given to Moses. Moses and the prophets declared the sins of the people. Christ declared the grace of God. The direction and focus of the message changes completely with Christ and is the ultimate fulfillment of the covenant God made with Abraham, as Abram, without Abraham’s active participation, in Genesis 15. It is an act of God not resulting from mankind’s merit or intrinsic value. All Abraham had to do was to believe God.

Verse 18 is a very important verse in the Bible. The statement is made previously, in the Old Testament.

Exodus 33:20  And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

This is why humankind could only see the appearance in the form of an angel, of the Lord, before Christ, the, “angel of his presence.”

Isaiah 63:9  In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.

Judges 2:1  And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.

Which is how Moses was able to see Him face to face.

Exodus 33:11a  And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.

And regardless of Alexander the Great having himself declared the Son of God in Egypt and the emperor Augustus signing his documents as Deus Fide, the Son of God, the statement is made here that only one time in human history has God appeared in the flesh, when Christ came.

The only time God was begotten in human form, as the son of a woman, was Christ, the meaning of, “the only begotten Son.” The Son of God, uppercase S, is God in the flesh, coming in the power and authority of God the Father as a king’s son would represent his father and, it was expected, even more than an ambassador or court official, be respected as the king himself.  The only begotten Son is a very important doctrine of the Bible and must not be tampered with as its meaning is fundamental to understanding who Christ was.

This is why Satan, the originator of questioning what God said in Genesis 3, has had this verse changed in some modern versions of the Bible to, “the only begotten God,” or, “the one and only Son.” The first perversion is the mental quackery of modern translators who favor two or three manuscripts over all of the others while the second is a denial of the importance of the fact that Jesus Christ was God’s only incarnation in history but that there were other sons of God, lowercase s, of which believers are a part. Without going into a long argument over manuscript evidence, “the only begotten Son,” is the correct reading and any other can be safely discarded. It is the Alexandrian line of manuscripts, the line most affected by the heresy of Gnosticism, that supports, “the only begotten God,” in perhaps three manuscripts, not the true line of Bible manuscripts, the Byzantine textual line that originated in Antioch, where Christians were first called such.

Jesus, a part of God, revealed, in Himself, the evidence of who God is and His ultimate intention in coming to earth as one of us.

John 14:9  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

1John 4:16  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Gospel According to John 1:14 comment; Jesus is God

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

John referred to this notably in another place that is worth examining.

1John 1:1 ¶  That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2  (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3  That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4  And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

This is a confirmation that God walked in the flesh on earth, that John saw Him, talked with Him, heard Him speak, and touched Him.

Christ said that if we receive Him that He and the Father will live in us today by the Spirit.

John 14:23  Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

They saw Christ, not only in His humanity but in His glory.

Mark 9:2  And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.

He was full of grace, God’s unmerited and unearned favor toward mankind, and truth, as God Himself speaking to man and woman as His companion, His brother, His sister, and His neighbor. It is important to note that grace is an attribute of the giver, not a consequence of the behavior of the receiver.

It is impossible to say you believe Christ if you do not believe the Bible. Jesus spoke in Hebrew and Aramaic, not Greek, so He was not quoting any mythological Septuagint version of the Bible, as some scholars insist. The Septuagint was a supposed complete version of the Hebrew Bible created miraculously in Egypt in the third century BC. However, the earliest complete copy of the Hebrew Bible in Greek extant today does not exist until the third century AD. The copies of individual books into Greek from Hebrew and a mythical letter of an Egyptian official are all that suggests to the unbelieving scholar that such a Greek version of the Hebrew Bible existed before Christ.

Matthew 5:18  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Jots and Tittles are markings of Hebrew writing.

Luke 11:51  From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.

This last verse is a reference of events in Genesis and Chronicles, the last book of the Hebrew Bible but certainly not the last book of any extant Septuagint version of the Old Testament like Codex Vaticanus or Codex Sinaiticus which incorporate aprocryphal books originally written in Greek, not Hebrew.

Jesus used Hebrew and Aramaic terms.

John 1:42  And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

John 9:7  And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

Mark 5:41  And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.

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

Paul spoke in Hebrew to the crowd and they obviously used Hebrew rather than Greek as their language between each other.

Acts 21:40  And when he had given him licence, Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying,

Having pointed these things out, the fact that we have Greek texts translating these Hebrew and Aramaic spoken words only means that the general world the early Christians lived in was predominantly a Greek speaking world for them. It does not transfer that Jesus and the apostles were quoting a Greek Old Testament or that the Jews in Jerusalem spoke mostly Greek.

I have said that to say this. In order to believe in Jesus you cannot call Him a liar. Jesus stated the following things about the Bible and history. Jesus did not speak of abiogenesis, the spontaneous generation of the modern atheistic evolutionist. He referred to God being the Creator not the gradual development of advanced life from a single-celled organism.

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

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

So, Jesus did not quote or refer to any mythological Septuagint nor did He allow for atheistic determinism as the origin of the created world. If you believe in either you are calling Him a liar. If He is a liar or mistaken or dissembling for the sake of the level of ignorance of His hearers then clearly you cannot trust Him with something as important as the salvation of your eternal soul from a burning eternity of agony without God.

If Jesus was the Word, and the Word was God, then the logical outcome from the verses in John we’ve read so far is that Jesus was God in the flesh. Without believing this you can hardly consider yourself anything but a philosophical Christian and would certainly be more comfortable reading a Rowling novel than what is being written here.

Jesus of Nazareth was the Word, God, made flesh.