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Doctrine of Death – Part 1

Okay, I think I am back on task now. I have been sharing studies on Biblical Doctrine, taught by our Preacher Carroll at our church. The next doctrine in the series is the Doctrine of Death. I will bet not many are aware of this doctrine, but it is taught in God’s Word and it is very important in helping us understand God and His Word, and the story of creation.

I. What is Death?

A. Death is the departure of the spirit from the body in humans and animals. Ecclesiastes 3:21 “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?” I used to think that my beloved pets went to Heaven when they died; as children need to believe, I guess. I even read a some of a book once, that said it was based on the Bible, that tried to prove that our pets go to Paradise when they die, but I learned that it was just a lot of verses taken out of context to try and prove the author’s point. Although there will be animals in Heaven, they will not be our departed pets.

James 2:26 “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

When the little maid came back to life, her spirit came back into her: “And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.” (Luke 8:53-55)

The Death of Jesus

When Stephen was stoned to death, he gave up his spirit: “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Acts 7:59)

The phrase “gave up the ghost” is found 19 times in Scripture. The word “ghost” comes from the same word that is translated “spirit.” Notice both words were alike in Luke 23:46: “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.”

B. Death is also the departure of the soul from a human. There are two invisible beings inside of us: a spirit and a soul. When Jesus died on the Cross, His spirit went to Heaven (Luke 23:46), and His soul went into hell “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.” (Acts 2:27, 31) The spirit and soul are distinctly different and both leave the body at death: 1 Kings 17:21-22, ” And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again. And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.” Animals do not have souls, only humans do. Animals have spirits.

II. Why is there Death?

A. God promised that man would die if disobedient to His commandment, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)

Illuminated parchment, Spain, circa AD 950-955...

Illuminated parchment, Spain, circa AD 950-955, depicting the Fall of Man, cause of original sin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

B. Man disobeyed the law of God and sinned, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” (Genesis 3:6) “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4)

C. Death came by that sin, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Romans 5:12) Man became corrupt because of Adam’s willing disobedience. That corrupted nature has been passed on down to all of us. We have become not only sinners by nature (birth), but also sinners by choice. Not just Adam, but all like him have chosen to sin. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23) “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20)

And the wages of sin is death: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22)

Not only did death come to mankind by Adam’s sin, but the whole creation came under the curse of sin. This is why plants and animals get old, sick, and die. “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:17-19) “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaleth in pain together until now.” (Romans 8:22)

Because death came by sin, the believer in the Lord must reject the theory of evolution or the gap theory. These teach that man, plants, and animals evolved after millions of years of life, death, and changes. The Bible teaches that death came after man sinned, not before.

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2013 in God's Truth

 

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6 Important Principles America has Forsaken!

The following 6 Principles are what helped to make America Great, but over the past several decades, they seem to have gone by the wayside for too many of our fellow citizens who have become complacent. I will share these 6 principles and a Godly commentary by Dr. Robert E. Bliss of  “OLD PATHS” Baptist Ministries below as a way to remind us and to hopefully wake us up.

White House

Psalm 33:12 “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.”

For well over 200 years, America was a blessed nation. However, the leaders of our nation for the past several generations have decided to leave our roots and return to the decadence that our forefathers fled from in old Europe. The self-indulgence that we are investing in today will lead us to destruction, and there seems to be no one on the scene who will try to lead us back to God. The religious leaders of today are just about as corrupt as our politicians. God warned Israel many times and in many ways that if they rejected Him and His word, they would fall. I believe that those warnings are applicable to any nation. Here in Psalm 33, the Psalmist is warning Israel as a nation, and in a positive way, that they musk keep God as their LORD. Who is this God that the writer of Psalm 33 is describing?

1. He is the giver of the word of God – Note vss. 4, 9, 11

2. He is the Creator of the entire universe – Note vss. 6, 7, 9, 15

3. He is the Saviour of mankind – Note vss. 19-22

4. He is the Protector of His people – Note vss. 19-22

Yes, this God that we have described is:                        The LORD

What does that mean? Mr. Strong says that this word comes from the Hebrew word Yahovah yeh-ho-vaw’ (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God:—Jehovah, the Lord.

Yes, any nation who does make the Almighty, Creator, Saviour, Protector, Giver, God of the Universe their LORD will be blessed. I don’t think the world has ever seen a nation totally embrace those precepts about our Great God Almighty. Israel and the USA have come the closest to embracing those principles and certainly there have been many, many individuals within those nations who did and have embraced those principles, and as a result, God’s blessings have been realized on them and in extension, their countries. One man (I think it was David Barton) who wrote about the principles that made America great listed several, and I would like to bring some of those to your attention today, and show you how they are based upon the word of God.

What are 6 of those principles that many believe made America great and blessed?

1. The Principle of Dependence upon God – John 15:5 “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” Psalm 127:1 “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” John 3:27 “John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.” 2 Corinthians 3:5 “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;”

2. The Principle of a God-Centered Education – Deuteronomy 4:1-10 “Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. Your eyes have seen what the LORD did because of Baalpeor: for all the men that followed Baalpeor, the LORD thy God hath destroyed them from among you. But ye that did cleave unto the LORD your God are alive every one of you this day. Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons; Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.”

Ephesians 6:4 “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Proverbs 19:27 “Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.”

3. The Principle of the Sanctity or Value of human life – Psalm 127:3 “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” Ezekiel 16:20-21 “Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, That thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them?”

4. The Principle of the Traditional Family – Genesis 2:21-25 “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

Ephesians 5:28-33 “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”

5. The Principle of Common Decency – Romans 12:17 “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.”

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

Matthew 5 – “The Sermon on the Mount” “And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 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. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”

Matthew 7:12 “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

6. The Principle of Working for a Living – 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12 “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.”

Do you see how the devil has attacked and virtually destroyed every one of these principles?

 

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2013 in God's Truth

 

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Theology – The Doctrine of God-Part 4

IV. The Names of God – Here are some of the major names of God found in the Bible:

God in the Clouds

God in the Clouds (Photo credit: Jeff Pang)

A. JehovahMeaning, “The Self-Existent One” “And God [Jehovah] said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” (Exodus 3:14) God exists by Himself. He does not need His creation to satisfy Himself. This holy name of Jehovah was not uttered by Jews. They would bathe their bodies and change their clothes before they would write this name on Holy Script. The word “Jehovah” is used four times in the King James Bible (“And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.” Exodus 6:3; “That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.” Psalm 83:18; “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2; and “Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:” Isaiah 26:4).

B. Adonai – Meaning, “My Lord and my Master.” “Ye call me Master and Lord [Adonai]: and ye say well; for so I am.” John 13:13)

C. Elohim – Meaning, “The strong One” or “the One to be feared.” “In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

D. El-Shaddai – Meaning, “The All-sufficient One.” “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord [El-Shaddai] appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” (Genesis 17:1) This is the One who can satisfy all. Beside God, man needs nothing to fulfill him.

E. El-ElyonMeaning, “the Most High God.” “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God [El-Elyon]: I will sit upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” (Isaiah 14:13-14)

F. Theos – Meaning, “God.” “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God [Theos], which he hath purchased with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28)

G. Kurious – Meaning, “Lord.” “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God [Kurious].” (John 20:28)

Christ in Gethsemane (Christus in Gethsemane),...

Christ in Gethsemane (Christus in Gethsemane), oil painting by Heinrich Ferdinand Hofmann (Heinrich Hofmann). The original is at the Riverside Church (Riverside Church, New York City). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

H. Pater – Meaning, “Father.” “And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father [Pater] which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.” (Luke 11:2)

I. Emmanuel – Meaning, “God with us.” “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)

Other Hebrew Names of God:

El – The Strong One

Elah – The Adorable One

El-Roi – The Lord that sees me

El-Elohe-Israel – The God of Jacob

El-Olam – God of Eternity

Jah – The Independent One

Jehovah-Elohim – The Majestic, Omnipotent God

Jehovah-Hoseenu – The Lord our Maker

Jehovah-Jireh – The Lord will provide

Jehovah-Rophi – The Lord our Physician

Jehovah-Nissi – The Lord our Banner

Jehovah-M’Kaddesh – The Lord doth sanctify

Jehovah-Eloheenu – Lour our God

Jehovah-Eloheka – Lord thy God

Jehovah-Elohay – Lord my God

Jehovah-Shalom – The Lord our Peace

Jehovah-Tsebaoth – The Lord of Hosts

Jehovah-Rohi – The Lord my Shepherd

Jehovah-Tsidkenu – The Lord our Righteousness

Jehovah-Makkeh – The Lord that smites

Jehovah-Gmolah – The God of recompense

Jehovah-Shammah – The Lord is There

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2013 in Eschatology

 

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Theology – The Doctrine of God-Part 3

III. His Moral Attributes – Attributes are characteristics revealed in personal interaction with mankind. Some of God’s moral attributes include:

A. Holiness – Holiness means “to be totally separated from sin and evil.” It is the perfection of God whereby He abhors that which is evil and demands purity. Because of God’s holiness, a sinful individual has no right to come into God’s presence. For this reason, God turned His back on His own Son when Jesus “became sin for us.” God is a Holy God – 1 Peter 1:16 “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” This is His greatest attribute. All other attributes of God are subject to His holiness. It is this holiness that is announced perpetually and eternally in Heaven: “And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” (Isaiah 6:3) “And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” (Revelation 4:8)

B. Justice – God is a just God. He exists eternally as a Judge who will mete out judgment. A Judge must condemn the guilty or let the innocent go free. As a Judge, God is remunerative (rewarding) and retributive (chastening). Since God cannot act contrary to His laws, our crimes must be punished. A person must suffer for his own sin or accept God’s plan of redemption.

God is the one who has been wronged by sin, therefore He is the only one who can determine how restitution is made. God has determined that restitution be made by the shedding of innocent blood. Only Christ’s blood is innocent, so Christ died for our sins and shed His blood to satisfy the Judge of all the universe. A person who believes on God’s Son, Jesus, Christ, as their personal Saviour is then pardoned and justified from all of their sins as the Judge considers the payment to have been paid in full by His Son Jesus Christ. “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” (Acts 13:39)

C. Righteousness – The attribute that causes God to always do right. “That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25) This wonderful attribute of God guarantees that He will always keep His promises. It would be wrong for Him to not keep His word. This is why the believer gains so much assurance by holding to the promises of God – God is righteous and will keep His Word. “O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.” (Daniel 9:16) Because He is a righteous God, it is impossible for Him to do wrong or to lie.

D. Love – The world uses the word “love” so flippantly that many believers have a very shallow view of Biblical love. Love is concern for the welfare of another even above one’s own welfare. The world’s idea of love is usually lust or, at best, selfishness. Lust is getting. Love is giving. Lust cannot wait to get. Love cannot wait to give.

As believers, we are commanded to love other believers, our enemies, and our Lord. We are to show our love for God by keeping His commandments and for others by sacrificing our lives for them. This is the type of love that was showed to us by God. “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16) “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.” (1 John 4:16)

E. Mercy – Mercy is God’s compassion in not giving the sinner what he deserves. “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.” (Micah 7:18) “Mercy” comes from a Hebrew word that is the same root as the word for a mother’s womb. It is caring for someone who is completely helpless. God cares for helpless people by His moral attribute of mercy.

F. Grace – Grace is the unmerited goodness and love of God for those who have forfeited it. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” (Ephesians 2:8) Whereas mercy is God not giving us what we deserve, grace is God giving us what we do not deserve. Grace is when God gives us His enablement and power to become what we ought to be, to go where we ought to go, and to do what we ought to do. Grace is God giving us all of His resources at every experience we have. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

G. Truth – God is a God of truth. He hates every lie. “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19) “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:17) “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:” (Hebrews 6:18)

These are just some of God’s moral attributes that He has revealed to us through His Word.

He's got the whole world ................

He’s got the whole world ……………. (Photo credit: ClaraDon)

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2013 in Eschatology

 

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Theology – The Doctrine of God Part-2

II.The Natural Attributes of GodAttributes are the qualities or characteristics of a person or thing. Let us look at God’s natural attributes.

3rd quarter of 16th century

A. Transcendent – God is transcendent to both time and place. By this we mean He is above His creation. “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite one.” (Isaiah 57:15) Today, many ‘Christians‘ tend to bring God down to their level, when it would be more benefit to keep Him high and lifted up as He deserves.

“And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” (John 3:13) Jesus was in both places at the same time! Wow! Now that is deep!

B. ImmanenceImmanence means that God is within His creation. (Again see Isaiah 57:15) and “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:6) God is not only above and all around His creation, He is in His creation, especially dwelling within them who are believers in His Son. Therefore, nothing can be hidden from Him.

C. Eternal – God has no beginning nor ending. There is no past, present nor future with God. Only eternal present. He is not limited by time. “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” (Psalm 90:2)

D. Infinite – God has no limitation in space. All of His attributes are without limit. He cannot be limited, as seen in the following verses: “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?” (1 Kings 8:27)

“Great is our Lord and of great power: his understanding is infinite.” (Psalm 147:5)

“Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:24)

E. Immutable – God is unchangeable, invariable, and permanent. He is not capable of, nor susceptible to change. “For I am the Lord, I change not;” (Malachi 3:6)

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)

Sometimes, God changes in His judgments and decisions towards an individual or nation, based on their behavior – “And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” (Genesis 6:6) But God never changes in His character. For instance, God will always be holy. He will never become unholy for ANYONE.

F. Omniscient – God is all knowing. He knows the future as well as the past. He knows all things, whether actual or merely possible. He knows things immediately and spontaneously. He knows the thoughts of man better than man knows himself. “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” (Isaiah 46:10)

“Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.” (Psalm 147:5)

“Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” (Hebrews 4:13)

“O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.” (Psalm 139:1-4)

Omnicient-Omnipotent-Omnipresent....

G. Omnipresent – God is everywhere, present in the universe. “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm 139:7-10)

“Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:23-24)

H. Omnipotent – God is all powerful. He is able to do any thing He desires. “Then Job answered the Lord, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.” (Job 42:1-2)

“Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:” (Jeremiah 32:17)

“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” (Revelation 19:6)

He is called the Almighty God: “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” (Genesis 17:1)

He is also called the Lord God Almighty: “And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” (Revelation 4:8)

 

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2013 in Eschatology

 

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Theology – The Doctrine of God-Part 1

Introduction:

The word “theology” comes from 2 Greek words: “theos,” meaning “God,” and “logos,” meaning “word” or “doctrine.” Thus “theology” is the teaching, doctrine, or study of God.

In a broad sense, the word “theology” means the entire study of Bible doctrine, the study of the Creator and His creation. In a more narrow sense it refers to the study of the doctrine of God, His attributes and works. It is in the latter sense that we will study Theology: God, His nature, and His attributes.

English: Title page of The Holy Bible, King Ja...

English: Title page of The Holy Bible, King James version, 1772. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I. The Existence of God

A. It is assumed – “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) God never argues His existence. He expects us to accept the fact that He exists. He simply states His existence in His Word. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

B. Acknowledgments of God’s existence – It cannot be proven there is no God. To prove there is no God, one would have to go to every corner of the universe and look under every rock to show that He is not there. Man does not have the capability of doing this, and never will. We can believe there is a God because of :

1. The Word of God – “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the world of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” (Hebrews 1:1-3)

We must accept by faith that God has given us His Word. Without it we would not know how to be saved nor how to have fellowship with Him. Apart from God’s revelation, man drifts along on a meaningless existence without purpose or goals.

2. Intuition – It is natural for man to believe that there is a God. The abnormal mind is the only one that cannot accept the fact of God’s existence. “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” (Psalm 14:1a) William Evans once said, “All the evidence points to the conclusive fact that this universal faith in the existence of God is innate in man and comes from rational intuition.”

3. Tradition – It has been the common characteristic of peoples throughout history to believe there is a God and a life after death. History proves that man is a religious creature. After a detailed study of some of the remote tribes of Africa, David Livingstone concluded that all people have a conception of God which they have passed on from generation to generation.

It is not uncommon for missionaries to go to people who have never been reached by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to see those people worshiping a Supreme Being of some sort.

4. Reason – By looking all around us, it seems obvious that Someone with intelligence created, ordered, and organized this marvelous universe. Everything exists in perfect order. “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Romans 1:20)

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” (Psalm 19:1)

“For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.” (Hebrews 3:4)

Reason tells us that such perfect design demands a Designer. God has assisted man’s reason by showing Himself to man in His general revelation. God’s works are seen in nature.

English: Candlestick - Nature series - "P...

English: Candlestick – Nature series – “Pâte de Verre” – Daum – Nancy France (12cm) Français : Bougeoir – série Nature – “Pâte de Verre” – Daum – Nancy France (12cm) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5. Nature –  “And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” (Acts 14:15-17)

“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Psalm 8:3-4)

6. His Son – God revealed Himself to reasonable men by a special revelation. He came to this world in the form of a baby. “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (I Timothy 3:16)

The best ways God could show Himself to mankind are: 1. Show Himself, and 2. Write it down (the safest form of communication imaginable!). This is what the Lord has done. He has revealed Himself to this earth (as a human being in the form of Jesus Christ) and he has left man with a written record (the Bible).

Man is without excuse. “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Romans 1:20)

 

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2013 in Eschatology

 

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Myths About God’s Angels

I am humbled to share that I have had the privilege to have seen an angel appear during a duet that a couple sang at our church’s Christmas celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ this past Christmas. At first I saw something out of the corner of my eye and when I turned to look full on, I saw a very large angel that reached from the ceiling of our large auditorium to the floor. I did not see glowing or hair or a face. I saw royal blue flowing robes and his hands held together like in prayer. I knew instantly that he was joining us in praising our Saviour. As soon as I turned my head back to the couple singing on stage, the next part of the song was by the male singing of the angels who told the shepherds of the birth of Jesus. I was called “favored one” by a friend, but that is not what I believe this was about. I believe that I am no more special than any other believer, but that God showed me something special that He knew I needed to see at that moment. Though I have caught glimpses out of the corner of my eye many times in the past, this is the first time I saw, what I call, a full-blown angel. My immediate response for quite some time was a very intense “thank you Lord” for sharing such a special honor with me, your humble servant.

There are many myths about angels that are spurious. They are based on traditions and not the Scriptures. Some would include, but are not limited to:

Myth #1 – There are female angels. Not one dot of Scripture ever refers to angels as feminine. They are always referred to in the masculine genders. Angels always appear as men. Example: Genesis 19:1-17:

1   And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;
2   And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.
3   And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.
4   But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:
5   And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
6   And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,
7   And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.
8   Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.
9   And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.
10   But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door.
11   And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
12   And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place:
13   For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.
14   And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.
15   And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.
16   And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.
17   And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

Revelation 21:17 “And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.”

Myth #2 – Angels have halo’s. The words “halo” or “halo’s” do not appear anywhere in Scriptures.

Myth #3 – Angels have long hair. It is a shame for a man to have long hair. 1 Corinthians 11:14 “Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?” Again, angels are male in gender. Corrupted devils are referred to in Scripture as locusts having long hair – Revelation 9:8-11 “And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.” On the subject of hair – 1 Corinthians 11:1-15:

1   Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
2   Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
3   But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
4   Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
5   But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
6   For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
7   For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
8   For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.
9   Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
10   For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
11   Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
12   For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
13   Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
14   Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
15   But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

Myth #4 – Angels play harps. (This one makes always me laugh. :-0) Harps on earth or in heaven are only played by humans in the Scriptures. Harps are mentioned 54 times in the Bible, never regarding angels.

Myth #5 – Angels have wings. Whereas seraphims and cherubims have wings, it never states that angels do. Twice, as we have seen, angels are said to fly. Seraphims are said to have 6 wings. Cherubims have 2 wings. Angels are never stated to have wings in the Scriptures.

Myth #6 – Angels float around on clouds. Only once is a particular angel said to be “clothed with a cloud…” in Revelation 10:1. Only Jesus is described to be “him that sat on the cloud…” in Revelation 14:15.

Myth #7 – Angels should be worshipped. Some have relegated Michael and Gabriel to sainthood. We have probably all heard of a “church” named St. Michael’s or St. Gabriel’s. This elevation is not scriptural. “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.” (Colossians 2:18) “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am they fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God…” (Revelation 19:10)

Myth #8 – There are little baby angels called cherubs. Cherubs are cherubims. They are synonymous in Scripture. Cherubims are a four-winged creature mentioned in 15 books in the Bible. They cover the mercy seat on the Ark of the Covenant in regards to Old Testament temple furniture.

Myth #9 – Angels sing. There is no basis for this in Scripture. We have seen that angels rejoice, praise, worship and bless God. It is not mentioned that they sing anywhere in Scripture. Satan was the only angel ever mentioned to have musical ability created in him in Ezekiel 28:13b.

Myth #10 – Every time a bell rings an angel earns his wings. I must say that “It’s a Wonderful Life” is one of my very favorite movies to watch and it is a tradition in our home on Christmas Eve. Though I know it is not Biblical, I like what it adds to the story. 🙂 Bells are only mentioned six times in Scripture. They refer only to a priest’s garments and horses.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2013 in Eschatology

 

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