Married and Unmarried pastors

Question: “Can an unmarried man be a deacon or elder?”

Answer: The passages referring to the qualifications for an elder or deacon in the church are 1 Timothy 3:12 “A bishop (elder) then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach”; 1 Timothy 3:12 “Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well”; and Titus 1:6-7 “. . . appoint elders in every city as I commanded you—if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination…” These three passages have been interpreted by some to indicate an elder or deacon must be a married man.

The issue is not the elder’s or deacon’s marital status, but his moral and sexual purity. This qualification heads the lists, because it is in this area that leaders are most prone to fail. Some take the qualification for deacons “a deacon must be the husband of but one wife…” in 1 Timothy 3:12 as meaning that for a man to be a deacon, he must be married. That is not the meaning of “husband of one wife.” In the Greek, the phrase “husband of one wife” literally reads “one-woman man.” For a man to be considered for a position of church leadership, and he is married, he must be committed to his wife. This qualification is speaking of fidelity in marriage and sexual purity. It is not a requirement of marriage. If it were, a man would have to be married and also have children, because the second half of 1 Timothy 3:12 states, “…and must manage his children and his household well.” We should understand this qualification as: If a man is married, he must be faithful to his wife. If a man has children, he must manage them well.

Some think this requirement excludes single men from church leadership. But if that were Paul’s intent, he would have disqualified himself (1 Cor. 7:8). A “one-woman man” is one totally devoted to his wife, maintaining singular devotion, affection and sexual purity in both thought and deed. To violate this is to forfeit blamelessness and no longer be “above reproach” (Titus 1:6,7). Being single is praised by the Apostle Paul as enabling more faithful service to the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). Why would Paul restrict men from church leadership positions when he believes “…an unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs – how he can please the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:32)? In the first nine verses of this chapter, Paul establishes that both marriage and singleness are good and right before the Lord. An elder or deacon may be either married or single, as long as he meets the qualifications of godliness outlined in 1 Timothy and Titus.

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IS Masturbation a sin ?

Question: “Masturbation – is it a sin according to the Bible?”

Answer: The Bible never explicitly mentions masturbation or states whether or not masturbation is a sin. The Scripture most frequently pointed to in regards to masturbation is the story of Onan in Genesis 38:9-10. Some interpret this passage as saying that “spilling your seed” on the ground is a sin. However, that is not precisely what the passage is saying. God condemned Onan not for “spilling his seed” but because Onan refused to fulfill his duty to provide an heir for his brother. The passage is not about masturbation, but rather about fulfilling a family duty. A second passage sometimes used as evidence for masturbation’s being a sin is Matthew 5:27-30. Jesus speaks against having lustful thoughts and then says, “If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.” While there are parallels between this passage and masturbation, it is unlikely that masturbation was what Jesus was alluding to.

While the Bible nowhere explicitly states that masturbation is a sin, there is no question as to whether the actions that lead to masturbation are sinful. Masturbation is nearly always the result of lustful thoughts, sexual stimulation, and/or pornographic images. It is these problems that need to be dealt with. If the sins of lust, immoral thoughts, and pornography are forsaken and overcome, masturbation will become a non-issue. Many people struggle with guilty feelings concerning masturbation, when in reality, the things that led to the act are far more worthy of repentance.

There are some biblical principles that can be applied to the issue of masturbation. Ephesians 5:3 declares, “Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity.” It is hard to see how masturbating can pass that particular test. The Bible teaches us, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). If you cannot give God glory for something, you should not do it. If a person is not fully convinced that an activity is pleasing to God, then it is a sin: “Everything that does not come from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). Further, we need to remember that our bodies have been redeemed and belong to God. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This great truth should have a real bearing on what we do with our bodies. In light of these principles, the conclusion that masturbation is a sin is biblical. Clearly, masturbation is not glorifying to God; it does not avoid the appearance of immorality, nor does it pass the test of God’s having ownership over our bodies.

I AM statements of JESUS CHRIST

      

 

The I AM statements of Jesus

Who do you say Jesus is? Jesus asked this same question to his disciples about what others thought of him and then asked what they thought of him.

Jn.5:37: “And the Father himself, who sent me, has borne witness of me. You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. ‘Jesus gives the source of his commission, which is from the Father personally. It is the Fathers voice and form they have not seen, yet Christ has.

Christ who is called the exact image of the invisible Father is the voice that the people heard. He then says that they search the Scriptures in them you think you have eternal life but they testify of me.”(v.39) The Son is said to be the eternal life with the Father. Are we to believe the Scriptures testify of only a human being and not God himself? In the end of the discourse Jesus says in vs.46-47 “If you believed Moses you would believe Me; for he wrote about me. But if you don’t believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

When did Moses write of him? Deut.18:15-19: “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, “according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’ “And the LORD said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. ‘I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. ‘And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.” Jesus claims to be the prophet Moses spoke of that should listen to. Notice that it says they did not want to hear the voice of the Lord anymore or see his glory in Horeb. Then God says he will put his words in a future prophets mouth if they do not listen to his words, God will require it of him.” This very thing Jesus said of himself in Jn.8:24 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am (He), you will die in your sins.”

John 6:51:”I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever;”

John 8:23: And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I AM from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.

John 8:12: Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I AM the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

John 10:9: “I AM the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”

John 10:11: “I AM the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

John 10:36: “do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

John 11:25: Jesus said to her, “I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

John 14:6: Jesus said to him, “I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 15:1: “I AM the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.

John 19:2: Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘He said, “I am the King of the Jews.”‘”

Acts 7:32: Stephen speaking of Moses’ encounter at the burning bush  “saying, ‘I am the God of your fathers– the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses trembled and dared not look.”

Acts 9:5: And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

The I Am In the Old Testament was whatever man needed. He became, he was his all in all. Jesus in the New Testament uses all the examples to show who He is. He is everything to man and the only way to God.

The most important of all the statements is in  John 8:24 after he tells them I am not of this world.
“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am [He], you will die in your sins.” ( he is not in the original). He is communicating to them he is the same I AM that Moses met at the burning bush which commissioned him. Thank you !

UNDERSTAND CLEAN AND UNCLEAN

Dietary Laws and Uncleanness
In this study, we will examine what the Bible says about being “clean” and “unclean,” but we must explain that these terms are not talking about sanitation or the kind of dirt that can be washed away by soap and water. Rather, it was a matter of being religiously acceptable. Unclean people, for example, were not allowed to eat animals that had been sacrificed in the temple (Leviticus 7:19-21). High priests had to take special precautions to remain “clean” and able to perform their duties (Leviticus 21:10-12).

1. What was a common source of uncleanness? Leviticus 15:2-3, 16-24. Did the uncleanness spread to everything and everyone it touched? Verses 4-12.

2. How long were women considered unclean after giving birth? Leviticus 12:1-8. Did Jesus’ parents keep this law? Luke 2:22-24.

3. How long would a person be unclean after touching a corpse? Numbers 19:11-13. Was it permissible to be near a corpse but not touch it? Verses 14-15. Could such an unclean person participate in the Passover? Numbers 9:6.

4. How was a person to be cleansed or become acceptable again? Numbers 19:12, 17-19. What was the penalty for failing to do this? Verses 13, 20. How was the special water made? Verses 2-9, 17-18. Did this sprinkling cleanse the people on the outside, or the inside? Hebrews 9:13.

5. Was Jesus careful to avoid ritual uncleanness? Matthew 8:2-3; 9:20; Luke 7:12-14. Did he encourage others to observe purification rules? Matthew 8:4. What did he say about the importance of uncleanness? Matthew 15:11. What did the religious leaders think of Jesus’ attitude? Verse 12.

The Pharisees were very careful about maintaining religious purity, but Jesus did not seem particularly concerned about it. He felt free to touch people and things that were unclean. According to the rules of the old covenant, this would have made Jesus unclean, too. But instead of becoming contaminated by the uncleanness, Jesus cleansed the person of the problem.

Jesus did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). It was not a sin to touch a dead person or to have a discharge of bodily fluids. These rules of cleanness were for ritual purity, not moral guidance.

6. What rules did God give regarding clean and unclean animals? Leviticus 11:1-43; Deuteronomy 14:1-20. Why did God give the Israelites these rules? Leviticus 11:44-45; 20:24-25; Deuteronomy 14:2, 21. Did these laws apply to gentiles? Verse 21.

God is holy (which means separate), and he set his people apart from other nations. He told them to make a distinction between animals, and by this to be distinct from other nations. In this way, the nation of Israel symbolized holiness. Just as they were set apart from other nations, God was set apart from humanity. The Israelites’ holiness rules pictured God’s holiness.

Some people say that the rules were given for health reasons, but there is no biblical evidence for that, and scientific studies have not proven it. There is no evidence, for example, that beef is better for our health than camel meat, or that fish-eating ducks are better than fish-eating herons. The Old Testament does not tell us why it permits grasshoppers but not ants, or why it permits honey but not honeybees. The claim about health is not a biblical claim, and it cannot be taught as doctrine.

7. Was the distinction between clean and unclean animals known long before Abraham? Genesis 7:1-9. Was Noah allowed to eat clean animals, or was he permitted to eat any kind of animal? Genesis 9:2-4.

The concept of clean and unclean was a religious distinction, with no claims about health. God permitted people to eat animals that were not permissible for sacrifice. Noah was allowed to eat any kind of animal, any kind of bird and any kind of fish. This is the way Jews have traditionally understood this instruction to Noah.

Jewish rabbis said that gentiles were righteous if they observed laws that went back to their ancestor Noah — and avoiding unclean meat was not part of the requirements. The rabbis listed seven rules that go back to the time of Noah:

not to worship idols,
not to blaspheme God’s name,
to establish courts of justice,
not to kill,
not to commit adultery,
not to steal and
not to eat meat that had been cut from a living animal (Talmud, Sanhedrin 56; see the article “Laws, Noachian,” in The Jewish Encyclopedia or the Encyclopaedia Judaica).
The Talmud also mentions that the Israelite patriarchs were allowed to eat unclean meat (Hullin 7:6). These sections of the Talmud acknowledge that Genesis does not forbid the eating of unclean meat. The prohibition was one of the laws that were added 430 years after Abraham, as part of the law of Moses, given to Israelites only. Gentiles did not need to observe these restrictions unless they wanted to become proselytes and come under the covenant made at Sinai.

When the early church decided that gentiles did not need to become proselytes (Acts 15), this would have been one of the laws they understood to be part of “the law of Moses.” When Paul said that Jesus abolished the laws that separated Jews and gentiles (Ephesians 2:15), the distinction between clean and unclean meats would have been included.

Both Jews and gentiles knew that Jews kept dietary rules that gentiles did not; meats were one of the primary customs that separated them. Therefore, when the early church allowed people to live like gentiles (1 Corinthians 9:21; Galatians 2:14), they were saying, in effect, that they could eat the foods that gentiles normally ate. The Levitical instructions about clean and unclean were rules for ritual and ceremony, not for defining sin and morality.

8. Did Paul consider certain types of food unclean? Romans 14:14, 20.

Paul’s letter to the Romans deals extensively with Jewish and gentile concerns. In chapter 16, he greets many people with Jewish names and many with gentile names. The Roman church was composed of both Jews and gentiles, and there seems to have been some tension between them, and Paul addressed this carefully.

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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™  Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. http://www.zondervan.com

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This article was written by Michael Morrison in 1997 and updated in 2014. Copyright by the author. All rights reserved. If you’d like to learn more about the Bible, check out Grace Communion Seminary. It’s accredited, affordable, and all online. http://www.gcs.edu.
In chapter 14, Paul addresses the matter of vegetarianism, but his comments go further than that. When he says “no food is unclean in itself” and “all food is clean,” the meaning is clear. Since the Roman church included both Jews and gentiles, questions would naturally arise as to whether it was necessary for Christians to keep the old covenant rules. Paul clearly answers that question, but he also urges people to be cautious about this sensitive matter. He did not require Jews to change their customs.

In review, we see that Noah was permitted to eat any kind of meat he wanted. Paul also permitted people to eat any kind of meat they wanted. The dietary restrictions in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 were (just like other rules about ritual cleanness) given just to ancient Israel as part of the old covenant. When the old covenant came to an end when Jesus was crucified, the authority for these rules expired. The new covenant does not tell us to look to the law of Moses for either clothing styles or dietary guidance. Instead, the new covenant clearly tells us that all foods may be considered clean.

TRINITY

Introduction to the Trinity of God, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost!
(Ver 1.2)  Today is a basic Bible lesson about the trinity of God or we could also say the revealed triune nature of God.   I generally do not teach Bible Basics, but I realize that not everyone knows everything and there are new Christians coming into God’s family every day that need to learn the basics.  So I will occasionally teach on basic Bible concepts that everyone should become intimately familiar with.  By building a strong foundation on the Word of God, you are better able to defend your faith to others who may raise questions to why you have chosen to believe the Bible.  Plus if you do not know anything the Bible says you are not able to share with others to help them enter into the truth.  So today I want to introduce another basic foundational Bible concept.  How can one God be viewed three different ways?  It is really not too difficult to understand these three personalities of God, if you research them in your Bible.  They are easily seen, frequently named and only ignored by the people who do not want to accept them.  God is called first and foremost a spirit (John 4:24).  Therefore every other minifestation of God must originate from His Spirit.  You see one manifestation of God is just a title for the Spirit of God.  God the Father is just His title or a name for the Spirit of God who procreates and has children.  God is the Father of all spiritual beings (Heb 12:9).  If you have a spirit (and you do), it came from God’s Spirit.  This designation delates the responsibility of spirits to the Father God.  Then there is God the Son.  This manifestation of God occurred when the Spirit of God came upon Mary the virgin and she conceived a male child named Jesus (Luke 1:35).   The body of Jesus came about as a union of the Seed of the Spirit of God and the egg in Mary’s womb.  The combination of these two produced a child that was not God, but yet had the Spirit of God in Him.  It is really rather confusing, if you get technical about it.  You see the Bible says that No Man has ever seen God (1 Jn 4:12).  But, we know many men and women saw Jesus Christ when He was here on earth.  But, they technically all just saw the body that contained the Spirit of God and they never actually saw God.  The plot thickens however, because Jesus did say “when you have seen me, you have seen the Father” (Jn 14:7).  So Jesus did not separate Himself from the Father at any time.  Jesus repeatedly said that He and His Father were One (Jn 10:30).  So when Jesus walked the face of the earth and spoke to the people, whatever He said was God speaking, because Jesus was God in the flesh.  Or we could also say the Spirit of God was in the flesh of Jesus.   I think I will begin this lesson by establishing Bible verses that clearly declares that there is only one true God who created everything.

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

This is a classic verse written in the Law of Moses.  God declares that He is One Lord!  The children of Israel widely accepted this verse and believe in this One Lord!  However, when He visited them personally in the flesh, they put Him to death on a cross.  Why didn’t they recognize their God?  That is an obviously good question to consider.  It seems the Nation of Israel is still stumbling over the same things as they did back then.  I have talked to Jews and they hate Christians and put them down as a false religion.  Little do they know they are the one in the false religion now.

Mar 12:29  And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one  Lord:

Jesus, who was God in the flesh did not contradict the Old Testament law, but further confirmed that there was only one Lord God.  Many times people have a tendency to limit what God can do and put God in their religious box.  God can do some very radically different things other than what you can think of with your simple natural mind.  In fact God has already done some very radical things that we are just now discovering in the Bible.  But, these people in Jesus’ day did not recognize their God, because they did not expect Him to be standing in front of them in this form.  I guess they had read about God in the burning bush, or in the cloud on top of the mountain meeting with Moses and they think that this is the way God always talks to men.  So heaven forbid if God does something so new or radically different to come in person in the flesh and stand before them and speak!  That just doesn’t make any sense, does it?  Of course the Jews were not privy to all of the facts either.  They did not know that the angel Gabriel had visited Mary and said that she a virgin, would conceive a child by the Spirit of God.  They were not privileged to know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the city of David and the prophesied birth place of the Messiah.  The Jews only knew that Jesus was a man from Samaria and a city of Nazareth.  They understood how, He had grown up like every other child in the region and nothing appeared to be different or unique about him.  They assumed Jesus was just like the other children in the family of Joseph and Mary and no different than His brothers or His sisters.  The Jews made wrong assumptions and never attempted to find out the truth by asking relevant questions.  They were deceived by Satan and they killed the God of their salvation.  Thank God, they did because we now are saved because of it.  Obviously, God knew how they would react and what they would do, since He purposely chose this specific time in human history to be born into the world.

Mar 12:32  And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:

Here is a verse of scripture that confirms what the Jews believed.  They knew that the Bible said there was only One True God!  This scribe declares that there are no other true gods except Him.  But, yet he was talking to him personally and never saw it either.  That to me is a very sad story.

Jas 2:19  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

The devils and Satan know there is one God!   They are extremely fearful of Him.  In fact they are doing everything they can legally do to try to keep the plan of God from coming to pass.   It is funny how many men and women in the world are so passive toward God.  They could care less if there is a God, they are consumed with their own agendas.  People’s priorities sure need to change, don’t you think?

Mal 2:10  Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?

Here is an interesting verse of scripture.  It tells us that there is one true Father God.  Then it also says there is only One True God who created us!  The Bible is a very complex book and tells us many things that are difficult to wrap our minds around.  The trinity of God is one of these concepts that is difficult to fully grasp.  How can one God be manifested in various ways using different names and titles?  You see this verse calls God the One Father, but yet Jesus in John 8, in talking to the Jews said “ye are of your father the devil”.  So obviously Jesus did not see them as his true spiritual brothers.  Jesus clearly said that He had a different spiritual Father than they did.  This partly demonstrates an ongoing problem of many religions in the world today.  The Jews thought that God was their father, but Jesus declared something that was completely different than what they thought.  So they were wrong and Jesus was right.  Many people today want to be all inclusive and say every religion is just another path to the same god.  But, they are also wrong.

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

You see the Bible declares something very different than what people think.  That is why Christians are many times accused of being narrow minded.  Those who see the truth, know that there are not many paths that lead to God.  For example, this verse in 1 Timothy declares the opposite.  God says there is only one path way to God and that is through the man Christ Jesus.  The Messiah Jesus was God in the flesh!  God came to the earth personally to accomplish everything that He needed to accomplish and He did it personally to insure that it was done correctly.  The term “mediator” is an interesting Greek word so let’s look up the definition and see what it reveals:

From G3319; a go between, that is, (simply) an internunciator, or (by implication) a reconciler (intercessor): – mediator.

The word “internunciator” carries a meaning of someone who speaks on the behalf of someone else.  “Inter” can mean between and “nunciator” is someone who speaks.  So Jesus became the one in between man and God who is authorized to speak to each party legally.   So a “mediator” is someone who is also a go between the two parties often times in a legal battle.  Both of these titles fit the situation the human race was in.  We needed someone to plead our case for us, because we did not have a legitimate case without this help.  God provided Himself an intercessor, a spokesman for the human race when we had no chance of salvation.  Because God became a man, every man and woman now has a chance to talk with God personally.  Humans were incapable of saving themselves and we were in dire straits without a hope of any future.  God provided the way out of our dilemma, before we ever understood what a dilemma we were in.   

You cannot be narrow minded when you read the Bible, if you are you will not be able to accept some of the radical concepts that God introduces you to.   God is One God, but comes to us in different ways.  The Bible says that No Man has ever seen God, but that doesn’t mean we cannot know Him.  God being a Spirit, makes it difficult for natural men and women to grasp all of the hidden qualities of His personalities.   What we must do is become open to what God wants to do and realize that whatever He does will probably be different than anything we could have imagined.  Learn the lesson of the Jews who did not recognize their God when He chose to walk in their presence in the flesh.  You see the Bible says God is not a Man!  But, that does not mean that God cannot become a man if He chooses to do so.  Jesus Christ is a body that contains the Spirit of God, but I do not believe that this body limits God in His spiritual form to only the body of Jesus.  In fact the Bible clearly tells us that every Believer who has accepted Jesus as their Lord now has the Spirit of God living on the inside of them.  So obviously God is bigger than the body of Jesus Christ alone.  Part of God is in me right now!  If you are a believer, then part of the Spirit of God is also in you!  Because the Jews put limits upon God and would not let Him out of their box, they were unable to see Him clearly.  Do not be guilty of putting God in your box and miss Him either!

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

There are so many verses that declare and name God as being One!  This verse speaks of two parts of the trinity as both being this One God.  God the Father, is the father.  But, Jesus Christ, the Son of God is also this same One Lord!  This One Lord Jesus Christ created all things.  So you cannot separate the two manifestations of God and say they are two different Gods, they are just two personalities of the same One True God.

1Jn 5:7  For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

This is one of the greatest scriptures in the Bible directly naming all “three” members of the trinity and calling them all One!   However, the Son of God is called the Word of God and that is a revelation that you need to get a hold of.   In John the 1st chapter, God tells us that God and the Word are one in the same.  Then in verse 14, God tells us that the “Word became flesh and dwelt among us”.  So we can now begin to understand how God could become a man in the flesh and still be God Almighty.  I guess I should address the fact that this verse is widely reported to be false because it is not found in every manuscript.  However, this is the ploy of Satan to attempt to delete these words to cause doubts in the minds of people.  You see you can find this basic information in several other verses in the Bible and therefore I am confident in their truth.  Check in John 5:37  and see God the Father being a witness of God the Son.  Read about Jesus being called the Word of God in Revelation 19:13.  Look at 1 John 4:14 where it speaks of God the Father and God the Son.  Look at John 15:26 where Jesus the Son of God describes the Spirit of God coming forth from the Father God to “testify” of the truth of Jesus.  A witness is always someone who testifies so again we see the trinity in very revealed self-evident terms.  There are many verses in the Bible like this but I’m not going to do all of your Bible study for you, so you go and search and find them.

So this has just been a simple introduction to the subject of the trinity of God.  I concentrated mostly on scriptures that declare that God is One True God.  But, I also introduced you to that fact that God can do things differently if He wants to.   It is interesting that God always worked in the Old Testament through a mediator, a go between.  Either Moses, or another prophet would go to God and get the message that He wanted them to hear.  God used this principle of a go between for hundreds of years.  But, when God became the “go between” in the form of Jesus Christ, they wanted nothing to do with him.  God did something the same way that He had always done it, but implemented it in a different way and they automatically rejected Him because He was so different than what they thought.  Jesus Christ became the Moses of His day on earth and God’s own people refused to listen to Him.  I guess being “narrow minded” applies to many people in the world.  Everyone thinks they know what they need to know and when God does something different, we like to criticize it and brand it as a false teaching.  What the Jews should have done was to search the scriptures and find out what God was going to do and then verify if what Jesus said went along with it.  Instead of thinking they knew what was right and what was wrong, they should have been open to the truth.  We as Christians also need to search our Bibles and see what God is going to do and remain open to Him potentially doing something that we did not expect Him to do.

Finally, the Bible says that Satan will do everything that he can to deny the deity of Christ.  The antichrist we are told in 1 John 2:22 will deny that Jesus is the Christ.  It goes on to say that this antichrist will deny the existence of both the Father and the Son.  There is a major reason for this denial, which I cannot get into today in this lesson.  If it were not important God would not have warned you about this.  It is clear to me that Satan will do everything in his power to deny the trinity of God and will cause many people to fall into deception to believe this lie that there is not a trinity.  You need to understand that this is why it is important to know and study this subject so that even you will not be deceived when this occurs.

by Calvin from Jesus Christ followers. thank you.

WHO JESUS WAS

Understanding Who Jesus Is! Identifying the Hidden Diety of Jesus Christ?
(Ver 1.2)  This is Part 3 in a Bible Study series of unlocking the Myths of Jesus taught in the modern Church.  If you have not read all of the series you might like to start with “Part 1“.   My subject today is an introduction to a basic Bible truth of the deity of Christ.  Was Christ a man or was Christ God in the flesh?   I have recently had a few people ask me a question in implied terms that they did not understand who Jesus was.  Some look at Jesus as being only the Son of God and certainly He was this.  Some look at Jesus as being a Prophet of God and certainly He was this.  Still others look at Jesus as being the Son of Man and again He was this also.  However, the basis of salvation is hinged upon a much larger truth that states Jesus Christ was God coming to the earth personally in the flesh and dying for your sins.  That is what is important to know from studying the Bible.  The foundational basis of the entire New Testament is the Old Testament prophecies that state God will come to the earth in the flesh.  Jesus Himself when confronted by the religious leaders of His day spoke some very interesting and important words that affirm man’s ignorance:

Joh 5:39  Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

As you can clearly see Jesus Christ was telling the religious leaders that their books of the Law written by Moses contained words that identified Him.  Clearly this revelation took the religious leaders by surprise and they did not believe Jesus.  However, here was God in the flesh speaking to His people and telling them I have come and they wanted to kill Him because He claimed to be the Son of God making Himself equal to God according to John 5:18.   What does it mean to be equal with God?  Who was Jesus claiming to be?  Exactly what verses is Jesus referring to that testifies of God coming in the flesh?  This is the problem that the Jews did not understand that this information was in the Bible.  This information was not clearly presented in natural terms because it was hidden spiritual information and they could not comprehend it with their human minds.  I am going to show you a few of the hidden references to the fact that Jesus is prophesied to come in concealed terms starting with Genesis 1.  I have written on this fact before so I will not cover it in-depth, but I will just give you an overview of the concepts.  2 Peter 3:8 says that a day is as a 1000 years and 1000 years is even as a day to the Lord.   This is a basic clue to the fact that every day mentioned in Genesis 1 is a prophetic day of human history.  Since Adam was created, it has been approximately 6000 years and that would correspond to the 6 days of creation.  On Day 4 God establishes two great lights to rule the day and the night.  These great lights are the sun and the moon and the sun rules the day and the moon rules the night.  Using 2 Peter 3:8 we can multiply 1000 by 4 days and get a period of 4000 years when this was to occur.  What happened 4000 years after Adam?  Guess what, Jesus came into the earth and was born in a manger in Bethlehem.   Jesus is revealed to be the “Sun of Righteousness” in Malachi 4:2.  Jesus Himself claimed to be the “Light of the World” (John 9:5) and this was a clear reference to God who is Light (1 John 1:5) coming into the world on Day 4 of human history.  Therefore, Jesus was encoded within creation in the first chapter of Genesis to have an exact prophesied entrance into the world at the precise time that was written about by Moses many hundreds of years before it happened.  I have written about this in other Bible lessons in more detail so if you did not understand it, you should go and search my blogs and find these lessons and study them.  What I want you to see is a designed plan of God being revealed in hidden terms, but yet when discovered it is very profound and almost impossible to deny the deity of Christ.

Next, I want to give you another hidden prophesied statement found in the Bible that speaks of God coming to the earth in the flesh.  Again it is hidden, but yet you can find it if you dig deep enough for it.  This hidden prophecy comes in Genesis 5 and this chapter is widely ignored in the Bible, but yet it contains some very powerful evidence that you should see.  Genesis 5 contains a genealogy of the first 10 descendants from Adam, stating the generations from Adam to Noah.  Of course this is not all of the children of Adam and it does not include the vast majority of the descendants of Adam and Eve, but these are the selected people that God put in the Book for a reason.  It is important to note that all of these people are real individuals that actually lived on the earth.  God did not make up this information nor did He orchestrate it to force it to happen this way.  Yet when you see what I am about to show you, you will wonder how this is possible.  Let’s look at the list of these people who God gives in this chapter of Genesis and see what they say to us.  Did you know they were speaking to you?   If you understand how God writes the Bible, you already know that you will not find the information on the surface that you are looking for.  If you could do that you would have no further choice, but to believe in the God who wrote the book.  No, you have to dig deep and examine every word if you want to discover the hidden truths.  Jesus gave us a law from God that states “He who seeks finds”.  The opposite of that truth would be “He, who does not seek, does without”.   What I am going to do is give you a chart of each name found in the Genesis 5 genealogy and then list the definition of that Hebrew name from the Strong’s concordance.  Did you know that Hebrew names almost always have a meaning attached to them?  This is one way that God uses to hide information in the Bible for us to find.  Here are the 10 names:

Name

Hebrew Definition and Meaning

AdamMan
SethSubstituted
EnosMortal
CainanDwelling
MahalaeelPraise of God
JaredTo Descend 
EnochTo Initiate
MethuselahMan Sword
Lamech(Unknown)
NoahRest
These are the first 10 names in the Bible from Adam to Noah along with their Strong’s definitions.  All but one name has a known Hebrew meaning.  We know from reading in Luke 3 that these names are repeated as fathers of Jesus, who was the son of Mary.  I want to focus in on just the first 8 names in the genealogy of Adam and what they say to us using the Hebrew definitions of their names.  If you combine them and read the Hebrew definitions all together as a sentence you get a basic decree that says something like this:

Man substituted mortal dwelling, but the Praise of God will come down to initiate a man sword.

This statement is the fall of man and the basic plan of redemption of God in a nutshell.  Man failed, he sinned becoming a mortal resulting in him substituting the eternal for the temporary.   But, God comes down personally as a human man to initiate a dividing force to be the sword of the Almighty that brings to us salvation.  You may not understand what that means, but nonetheless it is very important.  There are some words of Jesus in the book of Matthew where Jesus tells us why He has come down here on the earth and He says this:

Mat 10:34  Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

Why would Jesus claim to bring a sword into the world and not peace?  This is a paradox when analyzed with other statements in the Bible.  Jesus is called the “Prince of Peace” (Isa 9:6) and yet Jesus says this is not why I have come.  What does a sword do?  I will do a teaching on this subject soon, so I will not explain it right now.  However, you can clearly see the reference to the sword that was prophesied in Genesis 5.  In Revelation 19:15, Jesus is described as having a sword that comes out of His mouth and this is not an accident or a coincidence.  This is the location of the sword that Jesus brought into the earth with Him.   You can clearly see by looking at the Genesis 5 name definitions a specific statement that shows us that God comes down and becomes a man with a sword.  This is just another example of a hidden reference to God becoming a man.

Next, I want to show you another example of God coming to the earth using a story found in Genesis 22 and again we will see a story with hidden meanings.  Here in this chapter of Genesis, Abraham is taking his only begotten son Isaac on a journey to a hill near the future city of Jerusalem.  Abraham is taking everything that he needs to make a sacrifice to be obedient to what God has instructed him to do.  On the way up the hill Abraham’s son Isaac asks his father a very specific and direct question:

Gen 22:7  And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?

Isaac brilliantly notices there is no animal to sacrifice and says “Father, where is the lamb?”   Obviously Isaac understood what they were doing and they must have done this before and he knew that you needed a lamb for a sacrifice.  UH OH?  That is a problem if you were the child.  It would appear that you were the sacrifice.  Isaac was not stupid.  I can personally hear it in his voice as he asks the question.   I’m sure that the words pierce his father’s heart since this is the promised son that he waited for to come and after many years he was born on the earth.  Does any of this sound familiar to you?  Do you see how Abraham is a type of God?  Do you see how Isaac is a type of Jesus the Son of God?  Here was Abraham’s response to his son’s difficult question:

Gen 22:8  And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

Wow, this is a faith statement if I have ever heard one.  Abraham tells his son Isaac that God will provide the sacrifice.  In fact what it says is that God is the sacrifice.  So they continue up the hill getting ready to make the sacrifice for God.  Abraham builds God an altar and is about to slay his son when an angel stops him and this is what happens next:

Gen 22:13  And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

It just so happens that there is a ram that is caught by his horns near where Abraham is, so Abraham goes and gets this animal and sacrifices it to God.   The implications to this story are far reaching.  Jesus is called the Lamb of God in the New Testament in John 1:29 and 36.  Jesus is also referred to as the Lamb in Revelation several times.  So Jesus is clearly the Son of God (1 John 5:20).  Who is always the father of a lamb?  In the natural world a ram is always the father of a lamb.  So symbolically speaking this story in Genesis is about God coming to the earth in the flesh to die for the sins of mankind.  There are many difficult and complex things to try to wrap your minds around in the Bible and this is certainly one of them.

You see the problem comes in when you think only naturally and you ignore spiritual truths.  The Bible tells us that God is one (Deu 6:4)!  Meaning there is only One True God.  But, now we have to make the transition that this one God who is a Spirit, can be the Father and the Son simultaneously.  That is the part of the Bible that starts getting people a little confused.  In the natural this is not possible, but in the spiritual realm, it is entirely possible.  When God becomes a man born in the world, he is equally human and divine at the same time.  This is just another example of how God does things that are purposefully confusing to us to accomplish a greater spiritual goal.  The trinity of God is a difficult subject to fully grasp.  I have tried to do a lesson on this subject so I will not repeat that information here.  If you do not understand the Triune nature of God you should go read “Understanding the Trinity of God”.   What I want to do now is to demonstrate some definite scripture verses that clearly show us that Jesus was God come to the earth in the flesh.

Isa 7:14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Here is a famous Christmas verse that is often read concerning a prophetic statement of the birth of Jesus Christ.  This verse clearly says that a virgin human female will conceive a son.  This right there informs us in implied terms that God is coming personally into the world.  It is impossible in the days of Jesus for a virgin girl to become pregnant.  That is just not how God created it to work, but yet God says this is what will happen.  Finally, this verse ends in the statement you will call his name “Immanuel”.  As I described to you earlier, Hebrew names almost always have a meaning behind them.  In other words people named their children based upon something important that was happening in their lives and this is the name that they were given.  We will see that this name Immanuel is no different, it represents something important that is happening in the life of God and it conveys a hidden message.  The Hebrew word transliterated as “Immanuel” consists of two root words that you can look up the definitions to.  The first word is H5973 and it means “is with us”.  The second Hebrew word is H410 and this is a name for God.  So the meaning of this name “Immanuel” is “God is with us”.   That is pretty self-evident to me that God is saying I will come down and be with you.  So Jesus Christ was the Son of God, but it is very apparent that He was also God in the flesh.

Let’s explore briefly some statements that Jesus made and see if He confirms what I am trying to teach you today.  I want to go to the fourteenth chapter of the book of John and listen to some words that Jesus is speaking to His disciples.  Pay very close attention to the words for they are important:

Joh 14:1  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

Here is Jesus again making Himself equal to God.  Jesus is using words that are indirect, but yet very revealing when He is telling His disciples if they believe in God they better believe in Him.  This is an indirect way of saying I am God.  Let’s continue reading down in the chapter and see what else Jesus says:

Joh 14:7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

Again we have some very difficult words to comprehend because of the indirect references being made.  Jesus is telling his disciples “I am the Father God”.  These are difficult words and the disciples could not gather their meanings with their natural minds.  Jesus was a man, like they were but Jesus is inferring He was God.  Look at the question that one of the disciples asks:

Joh 14:8  Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

Phillip is basically saying “we will be very happy if you take us and show us the Father”.  Clearly this disciple did not know who He was talking to.  This is a pattern still found in the world today.  There are clearly many Christians in the world who do not really know who Jesus was and here is Jesus answer to this request:

Joh 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?

If it is possible for Phillip to walk and talk with Jesus for three years and not recognize who He was, then it is still possible to read about Him and not understand this either.  Jesus told Phillip I have been with you a long time and still you do not see?   Why are you asking me, “Show us the Father”?  

Joh 14:10  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

If you do not understand the concepts behind “seeds” then you will probably miss what Jesus is saying in these words.  Jesus tells the disciples that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.  This is one of the basic laws of seeds given to us in Genesis 1.  You should probably go and read my Bible study series on “Understanding Seeds” so that you will better relate to what God is saying here.  The net results of these words spoken by Jesus, is saying to us, that He and the Father are One God and you cannot separate the Father from the Son.  Jesus was clearly saying that when you have seen the Son you have also seen the Father.  Let me end this lesson with one more example of what I have been trying to teach you today.  If you go to the first chapter of the book of John you will see a parallel N.T. scripture verse about the Genesis 1:1 creation.  In John 1:1 it is says this:

Joh 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

In the beginning was the Word and the “Word” is capitalized as a Name for God.   It continues to say that the Word was with God and then it ends with the confirmation that the Word was God.  So we have a perplexing puzzle of trying to figure out how the Word can be with God and still “be” God simultaneously.  It is just another mystery of God, but one that has been repeated already several times in this lesson.  How can the God of creation become a part of His creation?  How can the Father of Spirits become the Son?  How can a Spirit become human?  These are just a few of the many difficult questions found in the Bible.  But, we understand that the Bible says that which is impossible for man, is still possible for God (Mat 19:26).  This chapter actually gives us a clue to the reality of how this is all possible by another verse found later in the chapter:

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

Here we have God saying to you personally that He came in the flesh.  Remember what the Word was?  According to John 1:1 the Word was God.  So if God = Word and Word = God, by the law of mathematics you can substitute these two words interchangeably and still have the same results and meaning:

Joh 1:14  And God 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.

God the Word became flesh and bone and walked among us physically.  This is how a Spirit becomes flesh.  God speaks words and the words come to pass and manifest physically.  You can see this principle demonstrated in Genesis 1 where God creates our world using His words.  Did you know that you cannot separate anyone from their words?  The words that anyone speaks reveals to us their character, their nature, their internal deepest thoughts and these Words of God are what comes down to become flesh that humans can see and feel.  This is why Jesus could stop and look at His disciples and ask them “Have I been this long with you and you do not know who I am?”   Jesus revealed God physically in the earth for the first time.  Before, this appearing the men of Israel only had some words written on scrolls from God that were not understood.  But, when the Word walked and talked among them, they killed Him by hanging God’s Word on a tree.  This was Satan’s greatest mistake that he has ever made and it sealed his fate.  If you have never read my Bible lesson on the “Top Ten Reasons Jesus Came to the Earth” you should do that.  I do not give a lot of details, but I do introduce you to some of the reasons of why God became a man.

I hope that you have learned the importance of seeing who Jesus is.  I did not say who Jesus was, because He is still the same God today alive in heaven forever more that He was before.   There is only One True Living God who created everything that we see and this God became flesh and bone so that we could behold His glory personally.  God became a man and even though God is not a man as the Bible states, it does not keep God from becoming what He was not.  Only natural human reasoning limits what God can do and this never stops Him from doing it anyway.  So I pray that you learned who Jesus was and is still today and what the Bible says on this subject.  I know I did not cover every scripture that I could have in this lesson, but I think I gave you enough witnesses to the truth to get you to see them.   May God continue to Bless you as you study His Word!

If you would like to continue readin in the series about unlocking the myths of Christ please continue with “Part 4“.

by Calvin from Jesus Christ followers. thank you.