So its Christmas whats the big Deal

There is More feature

geg-150-150By Rev. Gary Green 4cminews.com 24 Dec 2018

Well What is CHRISTMAS

Secular sources offers this Definition

Christmasˈkrɪsməs/ noun
1. the annual Christian festival celebrating Christ’s birth, held on 25 December in the Western Church.
synonyms: Xmas, Noel; Burra Din; informal: Chrimbo, Chrissie; archaic: Yule, Yuletide

Wikipedia says

Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed most commonly on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.

Dummies.com says

You probably know that Christmas is celebrated on December 25. In the Western World, families distribute gifts that Santa Claus left under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning. Many attend church services on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, and later gather for Christmas dinner with extended family.
 

Christmas is the observance of Jesus’ humble birth to a virgin in a stable in Bethlehem. The holiday also celebrates the events surrounding his birth, such as an angel’s appearance to shepherds, telling them to visit the newborn king.
 

Although the Church doesn’t consider it the most important Christian holiday, Christmas is certainly the most popular, at least in terms of cultural and social significance.

What did the Apostles of the new testament Say about “This Jesus & His Birth”

Firstly we can look to the Apostle Johns letters in particular 1 John Chapter 3 the things we know about this letter is that we are certain about the intended readers based on the content of the letter itself is that (i) they were Christians, (ii) they appear to have been well-known to the author (and he to them), and (ii) they were facing a threat from false teaching, a threat which was both serious and which appears to have arisen from within their Christian community.1) 1 John 2:18-19  ie. The first epistle indicates that the readers were confronted with the error of Gnosticism2)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism. And  the locale in which Johns letters were written leads scholars to conclude that the best and earliest evidence points to Ephesus. The Book of 1 John was likely written between A.D. 85-95.

The Apostle John leads in with this Statement found in 1 John 1 vs.1 – vs.4 which is a core foundation he builds upon

1 John 1 (ESV)

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

In the epistle 1 John chapter 3 we find the Apostle John states a foundational doctrinal truth which is core to Christianity and directly clarifies why the Birth of Jesus on Earth.

1 John 3 (ESV)

1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

 ESV vs.5 and (TLB) vs.5

you know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. or as the TLB puts it

And you know that he became a man so that he could take away our sins, and that there is no sin in him

 ESV vs.8

… The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

The Apostle John is writing from Ephesus to the believers and states clearly the purpose for the Birth Life and Death of Jesus the Christ Gods only Son.

This was no ordinary event; this was no random event of chance! No it had specific purpose and intent formed in the heart of God the Creator of Heaven and Earth which could only be achieved by His only Son Jesus the Christ.

In today’s vernacular; the most Historic Earth Changer, Heavens Shattering, SIN Destroying Event which not even Lucifer himself understood, was all formed in the heart of God with the Son before the foundations of this world had became a reality.

This intervention this visitation by God and His Son was aimed at one thing and one thing only and the Apostles and Prophets declared it!

“To Destroy the Power, The Dominion and Control of Mans State of SIN; that came through the fall of Adam.

From that day Adam fell all flesh was born in SIN; Born under Domination, Born with a SIN Debt he could never pay; Born with a SIN Nature he in himself could never Dominate but rather would be dominated by.

What could be describe as “Mans Dilemma” which could only be resolved by God. A SOLUTION that ONLY GOD could provide which was through his Only Son Jesus who by the way of the Cross obtained and offer to men.

The Birth of Jesus

Is about SIN and God’s answer to the “Dilemma” Mankind could never resolve

Gnosticism states Matter ie (Flesh) is Evil and Spirit is Good therefore God did not come as a man in flesh and die a physical death. Thereby voiding the shedding of blood for forgiveness of sins which is the payment God made for Mans redemption of his SIN Debt to God. The Apostle John refutes this and say’s “Jesus was Born physically as a child in Flesh and was Gods Son”.  We could say… Gods reasons for coming to earth in human fleshly form of man wasn’t because of a whim or fancy to mingle with men, no it was motivated by a love for mankind and compassion and kindness not found in the hearts of men naturally.

The writer of Hebrews in chapter 9 vs 28 say’s “Christ died only once”. So why did He die? and whats that got to do with Christmas?

Well!

What was the prime purpose of Jesus being born in the Flesh (100% man), 1 Jn 3:5 ESV. say’s He came “To Take Away our Sins” and in Hebrews chapter 9 vs 28 is say’s “so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many,… ” But it did not stop there! vs.28 continues to say “so Christ,… “will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him”.

Hebrews chapter 9 says Jesus is coming a second time and it has nothing to do with Sins!

One needs to ask Why?

I believe Jesus himself explained it clearly with his last words spoken on the cross! and has been recorded in the gospels for all mankind to know. “IT IS FINISHED”

What is finished?

The Sin Problem!

The Sin Problem was and is No Longer a problem as far as God is Concerned.

Gods Solution had now been fully completed and was now established forever for mankind,

Remember… “he appeared in order to take away sins…

Remember…”… The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

God’s Son Jesus is Coming a Second Time

And this time He comes to Earth for an entirely different purpose!

 “To Save Those Who Are Eagerly Waiting for Him’ (Hebrews 9 vs.28)

The question needs to be asked! “Now that sins have been dealt with! What is God through His son going to Save His People From?”

The books of Matthew3)Matthew 24:3-31, Thessalonians4)1 Thessalonians chapters 4-5 and 2 Thessalonians chapters 2-3 and Revelations  speaks about this time coming it is refereed to by many as the 70th Week of Daniel’s Prophecy.5)DANIEL 9:27

And according to the writer of the books Jesus is Coming to a time like nothing Mankind has ever seen before, a time where the Demonic world makes an open play for Domination and Satan attempts to once again declare himself as God and in Pride places himself on a throne in the 3rd Temple in Jerusalem declaring himself as God, demanding all to bow down and worship him and will require all to take a mark that signifies their submission and homage of him as God, this single act by mankind will immediately determine their eternal doom and Just condemnation by God.

This 70th week (a 7 year period) is marked with great tribulations to those who are God’s people, Jews and Christians alike come under intense persecution from Man on Man, Daniel says this period will last 3.5 years, which brings mankind to a tipping point where the Antichrist plays his hand for Domination and control, fooling even the elite with his guile.

What follows is something no one should ever want to see or endure in their right mind, it is the Wrath of God Poured Out on Mankind on Earth, Judgments so terrifying it should cause all who hear of its coming want to do whatever God says must be done to escape this.

This is what Jesus is coming back for! Its been called the “Rapture”, the “Departure”, the “Resurrection” of the Dead in Christ and the Living. The writer of the book of Hebrews clearly states Jesus second coming was and will be to “SAVE” His people waiting for Him.

Christmas is About:

The Power of SIN and the SIN Nature that has Dominated Mankind Since Adams Fall being Dealt with by God once and for all, it is also about a time yet to come where God Saves people from a time like no other where the full cup of God’s Wrath and Judgments a meted out on a defiant mankind.

Johns Gospel says it well. John Chapter 1 vs 29

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the Sins of the World” we should bare in mind that Jesus had not died on the cross at this point and the John the Baptist sees Jesus and makes this proclamation.

The Angels declared the purpose of the Birth of Jesus before He was even born. Apostle Matthew writes in chapter 1 vs 21 ” the Angel said to Joseph, son of David fear not take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit, She will bare a son and you shall call his name Jesus for he will save his people from their Sins”

Apostle Luke’s account of the shepherds in the field is illuminating vs.10 chapter 2. “The Angel said fear not behold I bring you Good News of great Joy that will be for all people, vs. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a saviour who is Christ “the anointed one” the Lord “God”

The Angels Declared the purpose of His Birth it was: “SALVATION FROM SIN AND JUDGMENTS”

Isaiah chapter 7 vs 14 says ” He shall be called Immanuel “God is with Us” we must remember this was recorded from Oral History in the book of Isaiah around 701-681 BC with that in mind We now read Isaiah chapter 9 vs 6 which says

For unto to us a child is born

Isaiah 9:6

to us a son is given

and the government shall be upon his shoulder 

and his name shall be called

wonderful counsellor, Mighty God

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah proclaims yet another time to come which can be biblically tied to the 1000 years of peace what is called The Millennium, spoken of in the New Testament, We have a prophet during a period before 701-681 BC declaring events to a child yet to be born “Jesus” concerning a world changing event to happen. we are now in 2018 means approx. 3000 yrs have past and this event is yet to happen. I can confidently say it will happen, why because this child was born, that is what Christmas is about!

The Nativity Story is far more then a stable, a baby and animals we celebrate an event which altered the destiny on mankind and saved them from doom and eternal damnation. Most today do not understand this or consider it part of what is Called Christmas in the Secular sense, for a vast majority its a public holiday time for presents and endulgements of excess.

Christmas is not a Jewish holiday.6)http://www.jewfaq.org/xmas.htm Yet according to the prophet Zachariah in chapter 12 vs 10 there is coming a day when they will finally recognise Gods Only Son this child Born of a Virgin, Named Jesus who came to take away their SIN. “Take away the Sins of many people”

10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.

Zachariah 12:10

Yes a time is coming when the Nation of Israel will understand and acknowledge Jesus Born of Mary Gods Only Son the Child who came in humility and suffered the cross for their SIN to save them from Sin and Death (Eternal Separation From God), this event for Israel will not come without a price; as at this time spoken of in Zachariah 2 thirds of Israel will have been killed and in desperation those who are left cry out to God and God sends His Son a third time to save them from total destruction, Salvation is always on Gods Mind.

WHAT IS ON OUR MIND?

We today have an incredible opportunity before us as we enter the 2018 Christmas festive period. We have the freedom and opportunity to embrace God and His Son and What He came for and did for us some (approx.) 2000 years ago.

Will we openly acknowledge without reservation God sent His Son Born of a Virgin and His name was called Jesus and He came for a specific purpose “to save us from the Power of SIN and the Domination of the SIN Nature that holds every-man not born of God Captive.

Whatever has happened during 2018 in our live is behind us what matters is what are we going to do with the truth about Jesus the Son of God.

He came born as a child He lived as a man and His name was called Jesus 100% Man yet 100% “God is With Us!” non can deny the facts historical evidence demands that acknowledgement, what God seeks is the Heart of a Man or Women Boy or Girl who will embrace for themselves the very purpose His Son Jesus came for, that He came to save them from their SIN and to destroy the power of SIN over them. And we who are alive may see Him come again to save us from a time that’s yet to come.

In conclusion I would ask you to once and for all will you Surrender your Life to God and Let Him Save you from the power of, and domination of and control of “SIN”, which only produces “Death”, ie. separation from God now and for Eternity

The Bible says only a fool says in their heart “there is No God” Psalm 14 vs.1, I would say only a fool would say they have No Sin or a Sin Debt to God and the Apostle John says that person is deceived 1 John 1 vs.8-vs.10

The Birth of Jesus was the prime act of Gods Plan to Redeem (pay out) our Sin Debt to God on our behalf because we could never by our own efforts pay that Debt!

Yes we actually have something to Celebrate at Christmas and its not Santa and Present or Holidays!

TODAY HIT LIFE’S PAUSE BUTTON.

Replay the Christmas Story God’s Way: His Son came to dwell amongst man to Save men from “SIN” and then I invite you to embrace in its absolute fullness the One Purpose He came for.

Below is a prayer Ive written I would encourage you to find a quiet place and pray this prayer with utter sincerity and resolve to let it be the reality and truth of your life today.

GOD WILL NOT LET YOU DOWN
knockFather in Heaven, I come to you in Jesus name.

I believe Jesus Christ is your son and that Jesus came and lived as man, and he was crucified on the cross for my sins.

I believe Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day and is seated at the right hand of God in Heaven, as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Today I ask that Jesus, your son, would come and dwell in my heart by the Holy Spirit, and I surrender my whole life, my will and desires to Jesus Christ and make him my Lord and King.

Today I choose to give you, almighty God, complete control of my life.

Fill me with your Holy Spirit, forgive me for my sins, and give me your power and ability now to live a life that honors you and brings others to know you. I thank you for this new life I now Have.

I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

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References   [ + ]

1. 1 John 2:18-19
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism
3. Matthew 24:3-31
4. 1 Thessalonians chapters 4-5 and 2 Thessalonians chapters 2-3
5. DANIEL 9:27
6. http://www.jewfaq.org/xmas.htm

Christmas: The Purpose of the Incarnation

Jack van Impe feature

The goal of this posting is to thoroughly cover the reason that the eternal God had a birth date into our world.

An eternal plan

Why did God come through the channel of a virgin’s womb?

Why was it necessary for God, in spirit form, to take upon himself a body?

Philippians 2 explicitly explains this great theological truth.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Philippians 2:5-8

The phrase, He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross is the focal point of this discussion. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit held a meeting in eternity past and planned the entire program of redemption. All three were, at that time, in spirit form. God the Father was and still is a spirit (see John 4:24). The Holy Spirit was and still is a spirit (see John 16:13). Christ was a spirit because He was (past tense) in the form of God, which we have already proven to be a spirit form (see Philippians 2:6).

However, at this meeting of the Trinity in ages past, it was agreed that one of the three would eventually become a human with a covering of flesh, and Christ was the elected member to fulfill salvation’s plan.

This can all be proven from the Holy Scriptures. 

Who [Christ] verily…was manifest in these last times for you.

1 Peter 1:20

Messiah means “sent one.

If He is the sent One, He did not originate at Bethlehem’s manger.

Instead, Galatians 4 pictures the facts as they occurred.

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.

Galatians 4:4,5

Does this simplistic doctrinal truth penetrate your reasoning processes? Hear it again. God sent forth his Son, made of a woman. There it is-Christ’s deity and humanity. His eternity and birth. God sent the Son who was in His presence, meaning that Christ existed as God before coming to earth. However, He was made of a woman when He was sent. This is, of course, the virgin birth which took place in the manger centuries ago when God became man.

When the Trinity outlined the plan, all the events of future history were foreknown. Remember, God knows everything. The plan progressed according to the omniscience of the Godhead. Since God knows everything about everything and all things about all things, the following points were known thousands, yes, millions of years before they occurred:

1. Man’s disobedience and fall.

 God placed man in the garden of Eden with certain restrictions.

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shall not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shall surety die.

Genesis 2:17

The slithering serpent came along and said in Genesis 3

Ye shall not surely die.

Genesis 3:4

Instead of listening to Jehovah God, Adam and Eve listened to the devil. Say, all of us are so much like them. We certainly are chips off the old block.

Genesis 3 states, 

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

This wicked, disobedient act against the Lord God Almighty brought judgment upon the entire human race.

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one [Christ] shall many be made righteous

Romans 5:19

Not only did God foreknow the fall of man, but:

2. The Trinity foreordained the temporary sacrifice.

Hypothetical-instance-icon

I imagine the conversation in the heavenlies went as follows:Because man will yield to temptation and fall, there will need to be a sacrifice offered. 

Since sinful flesh is responsible and since the life of the flesh is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11), the decree is established in the counsels of eternity that the shedding of blood, which typifies DEATH to the flesh, will be the eternal sacrifice offered. It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul (Leviticus 17:11). Animal blood will be temporarily offered until one of us goes to present the permanent sacrifice.

Let’s investigate the facts and see if God’s program was instituted. After Adam and Eve sinned they knew that they were naked (see Genesis 3:7).

The pangs of a guilt-ridden conscience over sin were being experienced. They wanted to cover their bodies and did so by making fig leaf aprons. However, fig leaves that would shrivel up and die in a few days could not satisfactorily handle the situation. Also, dry fig leaves were bloodless and could not make an atonement for the soul.

So God, in the cool of the day, visited this couple and covered them adequately-physically and spiritually. Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them (Genesis 3:21). The skins of animals adequately covered them physically and spiritually. Why? In providing the skins, the blood of the animals was shed.

We see the same story unfolded in Genesis 4 concerning Cain and Abel. Their parents, Adam and Eve, had taught them this soul-saving story about the animal skins. Now when the boys were of age and wanted to bring a sacrifice to God, Cain presented an offering of fruit and Abel, of animals.

And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect.

Genesis 4:3-5

If you should think that I am stretching the point by stating dogmatically that Cain’s offering was rejected because it was devoid of blood, I invite you to confirm this truth in your heart by studying Hebrews 11:4 which emphatically presents the teaching just considered. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent [more acceptable] sacrifice than Cain.

Notice they brought their offerings as a sacrifice.

God had decreed that blood alone could make an atonement for the soul. Abel, by faith, brought an animal. Notice why he did it. It was by faith. Romans 10:17 says, So then faith cometh by hearing. If he brought it by faith and faith comes by hearing, it is only a logical conclusion to say that he heard the story from the lips of his parents, accepted it, and practiced the shedding of blood because he believed God.

Cain, the first liberal or modernist, said, It’s all bunk. I will offer my fruit which contains no blood, and God will have to be satisfied.

But God said, Cain, I reject your bloodless sacrifice.

Many have rejected the only method of salvation God has given the world-the shedding or sacrifice of blood for the remission of sins. Self-righteous efforts, good works, prayers, creeds, and religious observances are but offerings of fruit.

The Sermon on the Mount, the Golden Rule, and the observance of the Ten Commandments are but the waving of fig leaves in the face of Almighty God. Many of these things are good to practice because one is a Christian, but any method of trying to enter into eternal life that avoids or bypasses the blood will only result in eternal separation from the God who made the decree.

It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

Leviticus 17:11

Now, let’s go one step farther.

3. The Trinity foreordained the permanent eternal sacrifice.

Hypothetical-instance-icon

Again we hear the three members of the Godhead speaking in eternity past: Animal blood will be only a temporary solution because it cannot take away sin, only cover it. 

Man’s blood is tainted through Adam’s sin. Therefore only one option or course of action is possible. One of the three of us will have to go to earth and take flesh as a covering. This will be necessary because flesh contains the blood of the body. The One who is chosen to go will have to shed that blood to take away the sins of the human race which animal blood only covered.

The One who goes and takes upon himself that body must have a special birth, because all humans born through natural generation or through the regular channels of birth inherit the old wicked sinful nature of Adam. Therefore, the One chosen will have to have a special birth in the womb of a virgin. The very body will be created and placed in that womb. By this special act of creation-detouring the normal means of reproduction through intercourse-the Saviour will be born into the world. When His blood, holy and pure, is shed, it will take away sin.

The eternal truth

Does this conversation of the Trinity in ages past seem farfetched to you? Are you wondering if this entire plan presented is really in the Bible?

Listen to Revelation 13

[Christ was] the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 

When? In God’s mind it was planned at the time of the foundation of the world.

Revelation 13:8

That’s right, even before Adam and Eve were created. Christ’s shedding of His blood did not take Him by surprise nearly 2,000 years ago. Rather, it was part of the plan He had helped initiate before the world was formed.

That’s why Acts 2:23 states, Him [Christ] being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain. In other words, the wicked only did to Christ what the foreknowledge of God had planned.

Did it happen?

Yes. God came into the world in human flesh to take a body that contained blood. It was special blood that did not have the taint of Adam’s sin integrated into it by Christ’s having a human father. Instead, the Father and the Holy Spirit placed this created miracle into the womb of the virgin without an act of intercourse or human insemination so that pure blood might course through the Redeemer’s veins. Then He shed that blood at Calvary to take away sin that had only been covered by animal sacrifices.

The proof of these truths is in the following scripture.

For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

Notice, animal blood could not take away sins.

Hebrews 10:4

The Old Testament word atonement means “to cover“-only “to cover.” The priest offering the animal blood would say, “I know that this blood only covers the sinner’s sin until your sacrificial Lamb comes, dear God.

Who was God’s Lamb?

Wherefore [because animal blood could not take away sin] when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.

Hebrews 10:5

That body was prepared in the womb by God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.

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

Luke 1:35

When John the Baptist saw Christ upon the earth, he said in John 1:29, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Praise God, this was the Lamb sent from heaven who could take away that which was only temporarily covered through the blood of animals.

On the cross, Christ cried out, “It is finished.” He was not speaking about His life, but about the plan that had been foreordained before the foundation of the world.

Am I certain of this? Yes.

(We have been) redeemed…with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world

1 Peter 1:18-20

Imagine, this precious blood shed for your sins was planned for you before the world was formed.

Seven hundred times the blood is mentioned as the only-THE ONLY-way of salvation.

Believe it and receive the Christ who shed that pure blood for your transgressions.

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE

first published by 4cminew 2013/12/23 | updated December 28, 2015
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Easter: King Jesus Will Reign

Graphic: Newspaper Good News

Isaiah 9

For to Us a Child Is Born

v1.1)Isaiah 9:1 Ch 8:23 in Hebrew But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. 2)Isaiah 9:1 Or of the Gentiles v2.3)Isaiah 9:2 Ch 9:1 in Hebrew The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. v3. You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil. v4. For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. v5. For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. 

v6. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon4)Isaiah 9:6 Or is upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called5)Isaiah 9:6 Or is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.v7. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. Judgment on Arrogance and Oppression. v8. The Lord has sent a word against Jacob, and it will fall on Israel; v9. and all the people will know, Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, who say in pride and in arrogance of heart: v10.The bricks have fallen, but we will build with dressed stones; the sycamores have been cut down, but we will put cedars in their place.

v11. But the Lord raises the adversaries of Rezin against him, and stirs up his enemies. v12. The Syrians on the east and the Philistines on the west devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still. v13. The people did not turn to him who struck them, nor inquire of the Lord of hosts. v14. So the Lord cut off from Israel head and tail, palm branch and reed in one day— v15. the elder and honored man is the head, and the prophet who teaches lies is the tail; v16. for those who guide this people have been leading them astray, and those who are guided by them are swallowed up.

v17. Therefore the Lord does not rejoice over their young men, and has no compassion on their fatherless and widows; for everyone is godless and an evildoer, and every mouth speaks folly.6)Isaiah 9:17 Or speaks disgraceful things For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still.

v18. For wickedness burns like a fire; it consumes briers and thorns; it kindles the thickets of the forest, and they roll upward in a column of smoke. v19. Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts the land is scorched, and the people are like fuel for the fire; no one spares another. v20. They slice meat on the right, but are still hungry, and they devour on the left, but are not satisfied; each devours the flesh of his own arm, v21. Manasseh devours Ephraim, and Ephraim devours Manasseh; together they are against Judah. For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still.


Jesus Christ as King

However, there is a second part to this prophecy that refers to the presentation of Jesus Christ as King.

Note there are two princes in this text:
The first is Jesus, who will reign as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). The second prince is a Roman general who invades Jerusalem. Here, we are talking about the first Prince-Jesus Christ-who will be “cut off” after seven weeks and sixty-two weeks, for a total of sixty-nine weeks, or 483 years.

Now, we take the 483 years and multiply it by the Jewish method of reckoning-which is 360 days in a year.

Do you know what 483 times 360 is? 173,880 days.

From the date that Nehemiah said, “You may go ahead and rebuild your wall and Jerusalem” (March 14, 445 B.C.) to the day that Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey (April 6, 32 A.D.) exactly 173,880 days had passed.

Now do you believe that prophecy is right on?
If the Jews had only studied their Old Testament prophecy, they would have known that Jesus was their Messiah.

This is why Jesus said to His people, the Jews, in Luke 19:42, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hidden from thine eyes.

Day 173,880 was the crowning day, and Jewish minds did not grasp it-nor did they accept their Messiah. If God could prove-as we’ve just outlined-the precise arrival of Jesus into Jerusalem, is there any question that the remainder of the prophecies in the Book of Daniel will be fulfilled?

As we come to the close of this most important prophetic chapter in the Bible, we also need to deal with the content of verse Daniel 9:26 that speaks of the prince who will come to destroy the city and the sanctuary. This prince was Vespasian and his son Titus-Roman generals who in 70 A.D. marched on Jerusalem and murdered hundreds of thousands of Jews, again destroying the city.

Here we see a similarity between the treachery of this father and son and an earlier tyrant Antiochus Epiphanes, because all three are types of the Antichrist who will rise to power in the last days. But here Vespasian and Titus are highlighted because they are Roman princes.

Later, the Antichrist will come as an international leader out of a revived Roman Empire that is presently expanding and wielding influence just as Daniel predicted. For this and many more reasons-all documented by God’s Word-we are dogmatic when we say that our era of time could definitely be what Daniel called “the time of the end.”

Now what about the apparent ‘gap’ that exists between verses Daniel 9:26 and Daniel 9:27-a gap of some two thousand years?

This is an important period of time, because without it, we would be forced to see these events taking place within a limited period of 490 days, instead of 490 years. The former would be impossible.

There are skeptics who scoff that a gap between these verses is a man-made theory.
However, the Bible states emphatically that there will be a period of time-a gap-between Jesus’ first and second coming. Isaiah 9:6 says,

Unto us a child is born(the virgin birth); “unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulder(the government was not upon His shoulder the first time He came to Jerusalem).

When Jesus Christ comes again-the second time-that’s when the government will be upon His shoulder, as He rules and reigns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords for a period of one thousand years (Revelation 20:4).

By the time we reach verse Daniel 9:27, the Antichrist is already in full power, and Daniel’s seventieth week is in effect. It begins when this evil one confirms his peace contract with Israel. This is the start of the seventieth week, and the beginning of the seven year period of Tribulation. The Antichrist deceives a gullible world by confirming the covenant with many-first with Israel- for one week, one shabua-or seven years.

The information I am about to present is vitally important.
If the first sixty-nine weeks, or shabuas, total 483 years or 173,880 days on the Jewish calendar annually, and this prophecy was fulfilled in every detail on the final day-then the final week or Hebrew shabua, the last seven-year period of 2,520 days, will also be fulfilled right up to the exact moment.

That’s why Revelation 11:2 and Revelation 13:5 mention forty-two months, and Revelation 11:3 and Revelation 12:6 cite 1,260 days as one-half of the Tribulation period.

Then in the middle of that shabua-after forty-two months- the Antichrist causes the sacrifices to cease. Antiochus Epiphanes, a predecessor and forerunner of the soon-coming global dictator, previously did this centuries ago when he stomped out the Jewish sacrifices and desecrated the Jewish temple.

The Rebuilding of the Temple

How could such an act be perpetuated in our day without the existence of a temple?
Here’s the answer. Israelites are talking about rebuilding the temple in our day. I encourage you to read your newspapers and weekly magazines with spiritual eyes in the days ahead because even now building materials are being gathered and temple utensils created for the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem.

When the new temple is erected, all will go relatively well for a while, but then, midway into the Tribulation hour, the Antichrist will sit proudly on that temple throne and claim to be the world’s god (2 Thessalonians 2:4). The false prophet will create an image in the likeness of the Antichrist (Revelation 13:15) and all mankind will be commanded to fall down and worship the beast of the revived Roman Empire mentioned in Daniel 7:8-just as Nebuchadnezzar commanded the people of Babylon to bow down and worship him.

If, during the Tribulation period, the people do not bow to the Antichrist and give him full allegiance, they will be killed (Revelation 13:15; Revelation 20:4-5).

When the pagan tyrant Antiochus Epiphanes set up his pagan deities in the place of the most high God, and put a sow on the temple altar, it was called “the abomination that maketh desolate” (Daniel 11:31; Daniel 12:11).

Now, more than two thousand years later, the Antichrist will also set up an image called “the abomination of desolation” according to the statements of Jesus in Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14.

Why? Because he is defiling God’s holy temple.

The Jews revere their holy temple-the Antichrist mocks it and them by breaking one of the Jews’ commandments concerning the placing of an idol in the temple (Exodus 20:4-5). At this point their long sought-for temple again becomes desolate because of the abominable idol therein.

The Calm before the Storm

Jesus, in Matthew 24:15-21, says:

v15. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) v16. Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: v17. Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house:

v18. Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. v19. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! v20. But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: v21. For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Why flee?

Because Satan’s final forty-two months are about to be unleashed globally, and he’s filled with wrath (Revelation 12:12). Then Russia marches and the abomination of desolation (or image) is set up in the temple during this final three-and-one-half-year period known as the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:14). It is the time of the end (Daniel 11:40; Daniel 12:4).

This revelation and interpretation of the vision delivered to Daniel by the angel Gabriel was a two-edged sword: one of gloom and doom; the other of hope. Gloom, because the Antichrist is about to appear.

Hope, because Christ destroys him with the brightness of His coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8).

Today, we are seeing what can only be called “the calm before the storm.

History is not yet complete, but the handwriting is on the wall for those who have eyes to see.

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE

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References   [ + ]

1. Isaiah 9:1 Ch 8:23 in Hebrew
2. Isaiah 9:1 Or of the Gentiles
3. Isaiah 9:2 Ch 9:1 in Hebrew
4. Isaiah 9:6 Or is upon
5. Isaiah 9:6 Or is called
6. Isaiah 9:17 Or speaks disgraceful things

Christ in the Passover

PESACH Passover feature

christ-in-the-passover-sliderThis day is to be a memorial for you, and you are to celebrate it as a festival to the LORD. You are to celebrate it as a perpetual ordinance from generation to generation. You are to eat unleavened bread for seven days. On the first day be sure to remove all the leaven from your houses … You are to observe this day from generation to generation as a perpetual ordinance.

— Exodus 12:14–17, ISV

This Friday evening begins Pesach or Passover.

This important event in Israel’s history represents deliverance and new beginnings: deliverance from Egyptian slavery and new beginnings as a nation (Exod. 12:1–13).

For Israel, the blood of a slain lamb applied to the doorposts and the lintels of their homes would be a sign to the death angel to pass over and not slay their firstborn. It was the blood that protected them.

The Passover is a symbol of Christ our Redeemer, the Lamb of God who shed His blood for the sins of the world. Those who trust in Him as Savior are delivered from the bondage of sin and are given a new beginning, a new life in Him.

Get rid of the old yeast so that you may be a new batch of dough, since you are to be free from yeast. For the Messiah, our Passover, has been sacrificed.

— 1 Corinthians 5:7, ISV

How does the Passover fit into the larger biblical narrative? Annual observance of Passover makes it a hallmark of Jewish identity. The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery describes the regulations regarding Passover as a command for Israelites “to reenact much of what originally took place in Egypt … the single most important event in their early history.” The Holman Treasury of Key Bible Words observes that “it was impossible for Israel to identify herself without this ritual depicting her salvation and deliverance from Egypt.”

The New Testament connects the Passover celebration to Christ’s death, and both Jesus and Paul use the event as an interpretive framework. For instance, Jesus shares a Passover meal with his disciples just before his crucifixion, referring to himself through the elements of the ritual meal. For Jesus, bread from the meal becomes “my body” (Mark 14:22), and wine becomes “my blood of the covenant” (Mark 14:24). Paul is even more explicit when he affirms that “Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Cor 5:7). The original Passover event contained all the elements to point forward to Christ.

Paul’s declaration comes in a passage in which he was instructing the Corinthian Christians to purge the yeast from among them. (Note: Yeast represents pride because it corrupts by puffing up.) If Christ is the fulfillment of Passover, Paul reasoned, then his followers are to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread in a different way as well. He explained:

So let’s keep celebrating the festival, neither with old yeast nor with yeast that is evil and wicked, but with yeast-free bread that is both sincere and true.

— 1 Corinthians 5:8, ISV

This verse, as well as verses 6 & 7, spoke of leaven as malice and wickedness.

On the other hand, Paul described the unleavened bread as sincerity and truth. The Hebrew word matzo (unleavened) means “sweet, without sourness.” The unleavened bread typified the sweetness and wholesomeness of life without sin. It foreshadowed the sinless, perfect life of the Messiah, who would come to lay down His life as God’s ultimate Passover Lamb. In Passover observances after the cessation of the Temple sacrifices, the matzo took on added significance when the rabbis decreed it to be a memorial of the Passover lamb.

Thus, for the Hebrews, the putting away of all leaven symbolized breaking the old cycle of sin and starting out afresh from Egypt to walk as a new nation before the Lord. They did not put away leaven in order to be redeemed. Rather, they put away leaven because they were redeemed. This same principle applies to the redeemed of the Lord of all ages. Salvation is of grace “not the result of actions, [but] to put a stop to all boasting.” (Ephesians 2:8–9).

For Christians, Passover foreshadowed redemption in Christ, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread looked to the life of holiness that should follow—not just for a week, or for a month, but forever. The point is that a life purged of corruption is evidence of a deliverance begun; if that was true in the old covenant, how much more is it true in the new.

via eNews for March 30, 2015.

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Jesus, Muhammad and Violence

Islam vs. Christianity

We are continuously being told by Muslims and their sympathisers that if Islam has its violent aspects, well so too does Christianity.

by Bill Muehlenberg
They are very eager to convince us of a moral equivalence that exists between the two religions. Sure, Islam has some violent extremists, but Christianity does too. Even gullible and not very learned Christians make this charge quite often. But they should really know better of course.

I have written elsewhere about such things, but let me repeat here a fundamental difference:

if a Christian kills in the name of Christ, he does so in total opposition to the life and teachings of Christ, and the entire New Testament. However, if a Muslim kills in the name of Allah, he has full justification to do so from the life and teachings of Muhammad, and from the Koran.

Here I want to look more closely at the two founders of these religions:

Jesus and Muhammad.

It goes without saying that they are both central figures in their respective religions, and the life, teaching and example of each become crucial for their followers.

Jesus of course never killed anyone, never ordered the killing of anyone, and never shed anyone’s blood. Neither did any of his New Testament disciples. One will look in vain throughout all 27 books of the NT to find even a hint of killing, bloodshed or religiously-motivated violence conducted by Jesus and his followers.

The story about Muhammad of course is quite different. However, before I proceed any further, let me mention a few words about Muhammad’s place in Islam.

Jesus is regarded by Christians as God, as divine, and as the object of their worship.


Muhammad does not occupy such a place in Islam.

Muhammad is not considered to be God or the son of God. He is not declared to be sinless, nor is he to be worshipped. He is simply the final and fullest revelation and prophet of Allah. But he is nonetheless held up as “the ideal man”, and as the example and role model for every Muslim to follow.

Also, a word about authoritative sources in Islam. The Koran and the Sunnah (the “way” or “model” of the Prophet Muhammad) are two of the main foundations upon which Islam stands, and upon which Muslims base their faith and practice on. All of the events, actions, sayings, teachings and examples of the Prophet make up the Sunnah.

The hadith (reports) about Muhammad’s life mainly make up the Sunnah. Authoritative biographies of the Prophet would be based on these sources. A number of such biographies exist, but the most authoritative biography is the Sira (“life”), by the great Islamic scholar Muhammad bin Ishaq, composed in the eighth century. Together these sources give us copious detail about the life, actions and teachings of the Prophet.

Now when one reads the Koran, the hadith, and the biographies of Muhammad (which I have done), it becomes clear that Muhammad was not at all a man of peace as Jesus was. Instead, we find a political ruler, a military commander, and a harsh master.

Here is a brief outline of his involvement in warfare, killing and violence. (Muhammad)

When we talk about this, we must be aware of the chronology of Muhammad. He was born in Mecca in 570. He started receiving revelations and visions in 610. For the next dozen years he sought to more or less peacefully spread his new faith. He was rejected, so he fled Mecca in 622 (the hijra, which begins the Muslim calendar). His last ten years in Medina were his violent, bloody years of military conquest. He died in 632.

Also, a word about the Muslim doctrine of abrogation (naskh – see suras 2:106 and 13:39). This has to do with later revelations given to Muhammad superseding or abrogating earlier ones. About three-quarters of the Koran’s 114 suras (chapters) are the peaceful Meccan ones, while about one-quarter are the more violent Medinan ones. So while the Koran does speak about peace and nonviolence in religion, these are the earlier Meccan suras (such as 2:256, “Let there be no compulsion in religion” which we so often hear about), which are abrogated by the later violent Medinan suras, if a conflict arises.

The Koran has much to say about the enemies of Islam, such as the kufar (unbelievers) and the mushrikun (idolaters, or pagans). The Koran prescribes jihad against these enemies. While this can take the form of nonviolent opposition, it also entails the use of armed struggle. Altogether there are around 100 passages in the Koran which speak of the use of force and the sword (compared to some 120 earlier, more peaceful and tolerant verses).

Sura 9:5 for example (the ‘Verse of the Sword’), says “Kill the pagans wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush”. Sura 9:29 reads, “Fight against those who do not believe in Allah nor the Last Day”.

Sura 2:190-193 says this: “Fight in the cause of God those who fight you … And slay them wherever you catch them …And fight them until there is no more tumult.” Or consider sura 61:4: “Truly God loves those who fight in His cause in battle array as firm as a mighty edifice”.

Sura 8 is entitled “The Spoils of War”; it lays out practical instructions on battle. We are told that Muhammad is to get 20 per cent of the spoils of war, while his men are to divide up the remaining 80 per cent (8:41). It also says to keep fighting until there are no more unbelievers (8:39). Plenty of other such suras could be mentioned.

The barbaric practice of beheading infidels is not just something we see happening today by Islamic terrorists. It was enjoined in the Koran and practiced by Muhammad and his followers: “When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield strike off their heads” (sura 47:4). The very next verse assures those who have died while fighting for Allah that they will be taken into paradise (the only guarantee of salvation in Islam).

And of course the hadith contain many similar injunctions. Let me offer just one “I heard the apostle of Allah say, I command by Allah to fight all the people till they say there is no god but Allah and I am his apostle. And whoever says that will save himself and his money” (Al-Nisai, 3:6:5, no. 3,087).

Also, Muhammad himself participated in warfare and killing. According to the earliest biography of Muhammad, the Sira, the Prophet was involved in some 84 battles and raids in the last decade of his life. He was present for 27 of these, and he personally fought in nine of them. So quite unlike Jesus, Muhammad was certainly a man of war.

And revenge, not forgiveness, was the order of the day for the Apostle.
As but one example, in the Sira we read of Muhammad declaring his murderous intent: “If God gives me victory in Quraysh [Muhammad’s own tribe in Mecca] in the future, I will mutilate 30 of their men.” Many other such examples can be cited. This clearly has nothing to do with turning the other cheek as Jesus emphasised.

Reading the biographies of Muhammad certainly drives home the truth of this vivid contrast to Jesus Christ. (Of course, do not read the white-washed, sanitised versions of the prophet’s life. For example, former Catholic nun and big-time interfaith advocate and Muslim apologist Karen Armstrong’s works should be avoided like the plague.) If you read Guillaume’s English translation of the Sira by Ibn Ishaq, you will get all the gory details of Muhammad’s personal involvement in, and endorsement of, bloodshed, killing and warfare.

All these battles, raids, massacres and revenge attacks cannot here be further discussed, but it is overwhelmingly clear from the three main Islamic sources that Muhammad was a man of bloodshed, one who sanctioned massacres, approved of assassinations, and engaged in numerous armed conflicts and bloody episodes of retaliation.

In sum, we find in the life, teachings and example of Muhammad nothing at all comparable to that of Jesus Christ. The two men could not be further apart in these areas. Claims that the two are both great religious leaders who share much in common are obviously quite wide of the mark.

On the one hand we have Jesus Christ who was the Prince of Peace who told us to love and forgive our enemies. On the other hand we have Muhammad who was a military leader who told us to kill and take revenge on our enemies. Muhammad preached “Death to the infidels!” while Jesus prayed “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”. The disciples of Muhammad killed for the faith while the disciples of Jesus were killed for their faith. The two could not be any more different.

As Mateen Elass, who was raised in Saudi Arabia, puts it, “While there is certainly room for debate over how well throughout history Christians and Muslims have followed the teaching of their respective leaders, there is no doubt over the contrasting visions of Jesus and Muhammad as to how the kingdom of God should be advanced on earth.”

Published: 13.9.10 Original Source: billmuehlenberg.com "Jesus, Muhammad and Violence"
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Christmas: The Lord Jesus Christ: Saviour of the World

Jack van Impe feature

The Holy Bible gives God’s Son manifold titles.

However, the one that means so much to all of us as poor, helpless sinners is “Saviour“- which immediately instills hope within one’s heart concerning salvation.

The very name Jesus means “salvation.
Matthew 1:21 states, Thou shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Multitudes today are trusting in man-made rituals to get them inside God’s heaven. Yet, there isn’t a ceremonial rite in all of Christendom’s churches that can save a man. Jesus Christ alone is the only way to eternal life.

Christ’s saving power

In that tremendous portion of Scripture often described as the “Magnificat,1)The Magnificat {Latin for: [My soul] magnifies} wikipedia” Mary, the mother of Jesus, cried out, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour (Luke 1:46,47). In Luke 2, the angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds, saying, Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:10,11).

Also in Luke 2, Simeon had been waiting for the consolation or hope of Israel. He jubilantly exclaimed, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation (Luke 2:29,30). He was looking upon the Christ child as he spoke those words.

Again in John 4, a wicked woman-who had five husbands and who was living under common law with number six-turned to Jesus Christ for forgiveness. Then she excitedly ran back to the city and told the people about her newfound joy in this Saviour who had blotted out her sordid past. The men of that city listened to the Lord’s discourses for two days and exuberantly stated, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world (John 4:42).

In Acts 5:33, Peter and some of the apostles were threatened with punishment, even unto death (verse 33). However, the great Apostle Peter so loved Jesus. He believed so strongly in the fact that Jesus was the only way of salvation and eternal life that he was willing to die in order that the message might be proclaimed. I can almost hear this impulsive preacher saying, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour (Acts 5:29-31).

Acts 13:23 calls Him a Saviour, Jesus. Ephesians 5:23 says, Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Compare this verse with 1 Corinthians 12:13, For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body. The body of Christ, into which one is implanted at the time of regeneration, is the Church, and Ephesians 5:23 states that Christ is the Saviour of this body. Baptism, reformation, confirmation, works, creeds, and human efforts cannot place one into the true Church because only the Lord Jesus Christ is the Saviour of this body. Amen!

The Apostle Paul stated that one of the reasons he was willing to endure suffering, torture, and even death was because of his trust in the Saviour. Death could only mean that the One who saved him would welcome him home to heaven. Hear him in 1 Timothy 4:10. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

In 2 Timothy 1:9-10, Paul went on to say that it was not a system of self-attainment through works that would place him eternally in the glory land, but rather a precious Saviour whose name was Jesus Christ. Listen to the simplicity of these instructive verses. [God] hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel [or through the good news].

Again, He hath abolished death. What wonderful words! And [He] hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. Immortality speaks of eternal life-and it comes through the gospel or the “good news.

Do you get the impact?

Eternal life is through the gospel and gospel meansgood news.

This good news is explained in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 where we find that Christ died, was buried, and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. Put it all together and it simply says that everlasting life does not come through one’s denominational record or good works. It comes as a result of one’s acceptance of the Saviour’s death by the shedding of blood and of His resurrection.

Titus 2:13 speaks of Christ’s return by stating, Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Notice that it is not Buddha, Mohammed, or Zoroaster who is the Saviour, but only the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other Saviour-Jesus is the only way. 2 Peter 1:1 again calls Him our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Christ’s earthly ministry

Saviour” is not some honorary title which was bestowed upon the Lord Jesus Christ in recognition of His wonderful teachings. Rather, it depicts His ministry upon earth and speaks of His saving power.

Presently, we are living in a time of rebellion. Corrupted mankind is trying to destroy all of our foundational structures. This trend can also be witnessed in the religious world as apostate, liberal clergymen mock the doctrines of the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, His blood atonement upon the cross, and His bodily resurrection. Many laugh at the statement “Jesus Saves” as if the word “saves” were an invention of some simpleton.

Our God predicted this would happen, and it is one of the signs of the end. Second Peter 2:1,2: But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be [one of the signs] false teachers among you, who privity shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

There are two things one can do for these poor misguided souls:

(1) pray for them, and

(2) thank God for their presence because it means that Jesus Christ is coming soon to call Christians home.

Let them laugh. The term saved was placed in the Bible scores of times by a holy God. One had better investigate and accept this truth if he is interested in eternal life.

I could quote numerous verses proving that salvation is of God and that God put this word in the Bible.

However, let’s limit our discussion to those which speak exclusively about Christ being the way of salvation:

Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).

For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost (Matthew 18:11).

God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him [Jesus] might be saved (John 3:17).

Jesus said,

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved (John 10:9).

I came not to judge the world, but to save the world (John 12:47).

Paul said,

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved (Acts 16:31).

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ 2){not rites, ceremonies, rituals, the Sermon on the Mount, the Golden Rule, or the Ten Commandments, but the gospel or the good news of Christ}:for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth (Romans 1:16).

We shall be saved from wrath through him (Romans 5:9).

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

In 1 Corinthians 15:1,2 we find this statement, Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel [the good news] which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved.

How?

1 Corinthians 15:3-4: Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and…he was buried, and…he rose again the third day according to the scriptures. This alone is the message of the gospel, the good news, the only way of salvation. Christ died, shed His blood, and rose again.

Christ’s redeeming blood

Christ’s power to save all the world was wrought through His precious blood shed on Calvary.

Leviticus 17:11: It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Acts 20:28: The church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 1 Peter 1:18-19: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. Revelation 1:5: Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. Yes, without [the] shedding of blood [there] is no remission [of sins] (Hebrews 9:22).

It is not enough simply to state that Christ died-as so many intellectuals do today in order to do away with the sacrifice of His blood.

A bloodless death on the cross would not have saved anyone.

Let me repeat that. Had Christ died of a heart attack or of suffocation upon the cross, mankind would have been lost forever, for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Because of this fact, Christ came to earth to take upon himself a body with blood so that He might shed that blood for our sins (see Hebrews 10:5). When one receives this sacrifice of the shed blood of Jesus Christ, he is saved immediately.

Christ’s redemptive purpose

Text

If the Lord Jesus Christ is the Saviour and has saving power, we may conclude that He came to earth because sinners need saving. This is exactly what Paul said. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (Timothy 1:15). Not only does this statement include everyone we know, but ourselves as well. Christ would have all men to be saved, including you and me (see 1 Timothy 2:4). [Christ] gave himself a ransom for all (1 Timothy 2:6).

The only reason some people will never get saved is that they do not realize that they are lost.

They think they were born into sainthood just like the Pharisee in the temple. He said, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are (Luke 18:11). However, Jesus said in Matthew 5:20, Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Why? The Pharisees were so caught up in the admiration of their own goodness that they were convinced they needed nothing from God-nothing at all!

Yet, God says in Isaiah 64:6, We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.

Galatians 3:22: The scripture hath concluded all under sin.

Thus, God not only wants to save mankind from the misery of sin in this life, but also from the eternal penalty into which sin will drag those who reject Christ. He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth [eternity] on him (John 3:36).

Why? Because he won’t receive the Son.

Oh, my friend, if you are lost, the Saviour longs to save you.

You need saving because all are sinners and only through His blood can you be washed white. You may be whitewashed because you’ve had all the rituals of the Church performed upon you, but you really need to be washed white to inherit eternal life! Why not call on Him right now, saying, “Lord Jesus, come into my heart.”

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE

Dec 30, 2013 | Jan 03, 2015

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References   [ + ]

1. The Magnificat {Latin for: [My soul] magnifies} wikipedia
2. {not rites, ceremonies, rituals, the Sermon on the Mount, the Golden Rule, or the Ten Commandments, but the gospel or the good news of Christ}

Christmas: The Deity of Christ

Jack van Impe feature

The thought of an eternal God being born may seem to be a contradiction of terms, but when one studies the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ, insurmountable evidence supporting this truth manifests itself upon the pages of Holy Writ.

The teachings of Christ’s deity must be an accepted truth if one is to enter the eternal home of the redeemed.

John, in his first epistle, makes this dogmatic assertion: 

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us).

1 John 1:1,2

There is no doubt that the One John saw, heard, and touched was that Eternal Life which was with the Father.

In chapter 2, verse 22,1)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20John%202:22&version=KJV of this same epistle, John goes on to say, Who is a liar but he that denieth…the Father and the Son. When one denies that Christ is the eternal One who came to earth clothed in human flesh, this skeptic or doubter immediately is classified as a liar and an antichrist. Since no liar or antichrist may enter the presence of God in that condition, it is abundantly clear that the one who denies the eternity of Christ is lost.

In 1 John 4:1 another warning is presented. Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 

How does one recognize the false prophets? 

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist… (verses 2-3).2)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20John%204:2,3&version=KJV Since spirits refers to teachers or preachers, the apostle is saying that preachers denying the doctrine of God coming in the flesh are preachers or teachers possessed by the spirit of Antichrist. God wrote it. I only quote it, but I believe it.

Then John states in chapter 5, verse 1,3)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20John%205:1&version=KJV Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. Messiahtranslated Christus or Christ means “the Sent One“.

Since He was sent from the Father, the conclusive proof is that He already existed. If He preexisted His mission to earth, He did not begin in Bethlehem’s manger. The teaching of the Holy Bible is that He eternally existed as God, the second member of the Trinity, and came to earth to be clothed with a body containing blood so that He might die for sinners.

• Is He really God?

• Did He really exist before His birth upon earth?

• What does the Holy Spirit state in the Word of God?

Christ’s deity in the Old Testament

Isaiah 9:6 states, For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder. This prophet speaks about Christ’s incarnation and humanity in the phrase a child is born and about His eternity and deity in the other phrase a son is given.

Incarnation comes from the Latin words in and carnis, meaning “flesh” or “in the flesh“. Thus, at this incarnation or coming in the flesh, He was the child born. However, as the son given. He always existed-uncreated and unborn.

Micah 5:2 states, … Whose [His] goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. This again points to the uncreated, eternal Son of God. Psalm 45:6: Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.

This great Old Testament scripture, addressed to God, is about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Who said so?

The greatest authority in heaven and earth-Jehovah, the Father.

Prove it? I will!

In Hebrews 1:8 we find Jehovah God of the Old Testament speaking: Unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

Isn’t this fantastic?

The Father calls Christ “God” for ever and ever. 

Followers of Jehovah would be wise to listen to His voice and give Christ the glory due His holy name. God had His Son with Him from all eternity past. Christ was present when the human race was created. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were involved in Genesis 1:26 when God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.

The pronouns us and our speak of a plurality or trinity of personages. This same Christ was present when the earth was formed and set into motion. Proverbs 30:4: Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?

The Son is present in the Old Testament scriptures hundreds of years before His human birth occurs in the New Testament. Rational, logical contemplation makes one realize that He preexisted as God, the Son.

Christ’s deity in the New Testament (The Trinity)

The title of “God” is given to our Saviour on numerous occasions. Matthew 1:23 declares, 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. In the first chapter of John, Christ is called “the Word.” Verse 144)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%201:14&version=KJV: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.

The only member of the Trinity who became flesh was Christ. 

Since the term Word is synonymous with Christ, as has just been proven, let’s put the term Christ in place of Word in John 1:1-3 and see the results.

In the beginning was [Christ], and [Christ] was with God, and [Christ] was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by [Christ]; and without [Christ] was not any thing made that was made.

John 1:10 states, He [Christ] was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

Now we have just heard from the Author of this book, the Holy Spirit, who said that Christ was from the beginning, that He was God, and that He created the world. Yes, Christ shared this creative ministry with the Father and Holy Spirit. This is so because all three members of the one Godhead always existed.

To prove that the Holy Spirit was also present at the time of creation, one need only study Genesis 1:1,2. In the beginning God [this is the plural noun Elohim, meaning “more than one“] created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

The combining of John 1:10 and Genesis 1:1,2 proves conclusively that the entire Trinity was present at the creation of the world.

Some scoff at the teaching of a Trinity. 

They say, “The word Trinity is not found in the Bible, so there can’t be such a doctrine.” Well, the word Bible is not found in the Bible either, but I guarantee that there is such a book-and the teaching of the Trinity is found repeatedly throughout God’s Word. Man has given the title “Trinity” to the doctrine because the meaning of the word is “three.

Since there are three- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-“Trinity” is a properly designated theological term.

Let’s continue our search of the scriptures concerning the deity of Christ.

The Philippian jailer cried out in Acts 16:30, … Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  Paul and Silas replied, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shall be saved, … and thy house (verse 31).5)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%2016:31&version=KJV

The entire family made a commitment to this Christ and verse 346)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%2016:34&version=KJV finds them rejoicing.

Why? Because they believed in God with all their house. Here is unequivocal proof that Christ is God. Compare the two verses again. Acts 16:31: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Verse 347)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%2016:34&version=KJV says he believed in God – the Christ of verse 31.8)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%2016:31&version=KJV

Again we see the truth in Romans 9:5 which states, … Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever….  First Timothy 3:16 declares, … Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh… , Hebrews 1:8 says, But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever…

This is Jehovah God telling the world that His Son is God. 

Never mind the book peddlers who run from door to door with their teaching of Christ being an inferior God, a little created God. Some even call Him Michael, the archangel. Jehovah knows everything for He is omniscient and all-wise, and He calls Jesus “God.

I say with Paul in Romans 3:4, … Let God be true, but every man a liar…

Christ’s Deity through a comparison of Old and New Testament texts

Perhaps the most interesting and exciting proof of Christ’s deity is discovered when one compares the statements of God in the Old Testament with His revealed truth in the New.

For example, in Isaiah 42:8, God states, I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

Since Jehovah will not give His glory to another but is willing to share it with Christ, it is only logically deductible to say that they must be one and coequal.

The sharing of this glory takes place when God’s people lay their crowns at the feet of the Saviour in Revelation 4:11, saying, 

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created

Again the King of glory is Jehovah in Psalm 24:10. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. The noun LORD in this text is the Hebrew word Jehovah, the name of the Father.

However, when one examines 1 Corinthians 2:8, he discovers that the Lord of glory was crucified. Thus Christ is also called the Lord of glory. Will you Bible manipulators tell me how there can be two Lords of glory, coequal, if there is no Trinity?

Once again Isaiah 9:6 calls the child born and the son given, … The mighty God, The everlasting Father…

If these are titles of the Son, how many mighty Gods and everlasting Fathers are there?

The answer is one because of the unity and oneness of the Trinity. Jesus said, I and my Father are one (John 10:30). Psalm 10:16 says, The LORD [Jehovah] is King for ever and ever… Again we have problems if there is no Trinity because we now have two kings.

When one studies Revelation 19:11,16, he finds that Christ, the King of kings, comes to set up His kingdom upon this earth. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True. Verse 16: And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

This constant reiteration of identical names and titles for both Father and Son can mean only one thing to honest, searching hearts. It is that Christ is God, coequal with the Father and Holy Spirit. Isaiah 45:5 states, There is no god [but Jehovah] and yet 1 Timothy 3:16 tells us that … God was made manifest [came] in the flesh… The only solution is the doctrine of the Triune God which the saints of all ages have proclaimed. The only groups in the annals of history that ever fought this precious truth were rebel-rousing heretics.

Mr. Scoffer, you who would make Christ but a mere man, what will you do with Jonah 2:9? … Salvation is of the LORD. Or Isaiah 43:11 which says, I, even I, am the LORD [Jehovah]; and beside me there is no saviour.

If there is no other Saviour but Jehovah, and Christ is called “the Saviour” scores of times in the Bible, then He and the Father must be one or there are two Saviours. Christ is the God who left the bosom of the Father to die on Calvary’s cross. There He shed the pure sinless blood that coursed through His veins so that sinners might be eternally saved. The Bible teaches that He is the only Saviour.

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

Since both Jehovah and Christ are calledSaviour,let’s believe that the Trinity alone presents the answer.

Christ was incarnated, not created

There are those who teach that the Father always existed and that Christ was created.

Perish the thought!

Christ always existed and was not created. Isaiah 43:10 states, … Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. In simple English, no God was created before or after Jehovah.

They coexisted as a Trinity eternally. 

Thus Christ was from all eternity or He wasn’t. Either He always existed or He didn’t. Since no God was created before or after Jehovah, we take Micah 5:2 for what it says about the One who was to come to earth and experience a human birth. 

He was … from of old, from everlasting. Thus, His human birth was not His creation. Rather, as we discussed earlier in this chapter, the word incarnation comes from the Latin words in and carnis, meaning “in the flesh.

An eternal God having a birth is not contradictory. 

In eternity He was God. 

To become a man, a birth had to occur.

None of us can become another species without the miracle of a birth. God had to become incarnated (become flesh) so that He could shed the pure, sinless blood that flowed in His veins. The miracle of the Holy Spirit’s insemination of the virgin Mary’s ova and womb with the body and blood of God the Son made this shedding of blood possible. This was a necessity because the blood of animals could not take away sin, only cover the sinner’s transgression.

Hebrews 10:4 states, For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. So verse 59)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews%2010:5&version=KJV has Christ saying, … A body hast thou prepared me. God lived in that body, went to the cross in that body, shed the blood in that body to take away the sins that had only been covered, died in that body, arose three days later in that same body, ascended to heaven in that body, and will throughout eternity live in that body in which He had the birth. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9).

There it is. The eternal God left heaven to be born into human flesh because a body could contain sinless blood through a virgin birth. That blood was shed for sins and can wash you from every stain and taint of this world’s defilement when you put your trust in the God in whom the Philippian jailor trusted, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Do it today.

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE

first published by 4cminew 2013/12/16 | updated December 18, 2014
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References   [ + ]

1. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20John%202:22&version=KJV
2. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20John%204:2,3&version=KJV
3. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20John%205:1&version=KJV
4. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%201:14&version=KJV
5, 8. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%2016:31&version=KJV
6, 7. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%2016:34&version=KJV
9. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews%2010:5&version=KJV

Christmas: The Birth of the Eternal God

Jack van Impe feature

I feel that there is a tremendous need to enlighten mankind as to the true identity of Christ. Multitudes think of the Saviour as just another member of the human race born nearly 2,000 years ago. Nothing could be further from the truth. In this chapter, I clearly want to trace the preexistence of Christ to prove that He was “the Eternal God” who became man, in order that He might die for poor, helpless, hopeless sinners. I also want to show that His birth had to be through the channels of a virgin, inseminated by the power of the Holy Spirit, if His sacrifice for sinners was to be effective.

Christ’s preexistence

The altogether lovely One, born in Bethlehem’s manger, existed from all eternity. The verse that prophesies His exact birthplace also tells of His preexistence. Micah 5:2: But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Isaiah masterfully handles this truth in chapter 9, verse 6, (Isaiah 9:6) For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Let’s analyze this verse for a moment.
Notice that a child is born (this speaks of the Lord’s birth), but the next phrase mentions a son being given. This speaks about God sending the Son who was in His presence and coincides with Galatians 4:4, When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son. Then Isaiah goes on to proclaim this Son as God by the titles

“The mighty God” and “The everlasting Father.”

These terms are possible because of the relationship of the Trinity. Remember that Jesus said in John 10:30, I and my Father are one.

John opens his gospel with the statement, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made (John 1:1-3). In verse 14, he identifies this member of the Trinity who is called the “Word.” And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. Think of it. This One who was in the beginning with God and was God became flesh and lived among insignificant human beings because of His love for sinners.

Yes, Christ always existed and came from heaven to earth.

Listen to His numerous statements verifying this truth:

• For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world (John 6:33).

• I am the living bread which came down from heaven (John 6:51).

• Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world (John 8:23).

• I Proceeded forth and came from God (John 8:42).

• I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world (John 16:28).

In His high priestly prayer, Jesus said, I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was (John 17:4,5). Jesus said in John 5:46, Moses…wrote of me. Here Christ delves back hundreds of years to the first five books of the Bible, called “The Pentateuch,”1)Torah often referred to in English as “Pentateuch” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torah and states that Moses mentioned Him. This is important because Moses recorded these words centuries before the birth of Christ. Jesus also said in John 8:56, Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. How could Abraham see His day centuries before His birth if there were no preexistent One?

Oh, friend, Jesus always existed as a coequal member of the Trinity. Don’t listen to a group of blinded cultists who would rob Christ of His deity, but hear the Word of the Lord. His preexistence is also proven through the Bible statements indicating that He created the world.

All things were made by him. John 1:3

He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. John 1:10

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him. Colossians 1:16

By whom also he [Christ] made the worlds. Hebrews 1:2

The part Christ had in creating the world and mankind agrees with the Old Testament account of creation.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (Genesis 1:1). The Hebrew for God is Elohim, a plural noun, meaning “more than one.” This is a glorious declaration of the Trinity.

You don’t believe it? What will you do with Genesis 1:26? And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.

We have but skimmed the surface of evidence that proves that Christ preexisted His earthly birth. Now let’s move on to the glorious truth of His coming to earth via the channel of a virgin’s womb.

At this point let’s consider Philippians 2:5-8 because it is such a glorious transitional passage. It brings the eternal God from heaven to a bodily appearance upon earth so that He might die for sinners. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God [His spirit form in eternity], thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men [His birth].

Why?

Philippians 2: 8: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Christ’s virgin birth

Lost religionists mock the virgin birth. In an issue of the magazine Challenge, a number of sickening articles and poems appeared. I quote one of them to show the world how far liberal modernistic religionists will go in their attempt to rob Christ of His deity. It is a poem about Mary, the mother of Jesus. In the poem she says:

First, I’ve got nothing to say-about anything that happened before Joseph and I got married. Jesus was our child. Joseph’s and mine. You can believe it or not. Suit yourself. He was my first born so naturally I thought he was something special. So, he’s the Messiah they say. I’d rather he had stayed a carpenter, married a nice Jewish girl and given me a lot of fat little grandchildren.

What blasphemy! This is the prophecy of the Apostle Peter fulfilled before our eyes.

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privity shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of 2 Peter 2:1-2

Yes, the way of truth is often evil spoken of because of ordained wolves in sheep’s clothing who call themselves members of the “Christian faith” and yet would tear Christ to shreds if the opportunity presented itself. The crucifixion would be mild in comparison to what some of our lost seminary professors would do to Jesus if they had the chance in this twentieth century. However, let’s not waste our time on man’s drivel but instead invest it wisely as we listen to the Word of God concerning the truth about the virgin birth.

A virgin birth was necessary because Adam sinned.

Since Adam was the head of the human race, every person born into it through natural generation or through the process of birth inherits the old sinful Adamic nature.

Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned (Romans 5:12).

Yes, all sinned or became guilty of sin simply by inheriting the fallen nature of Adam at birth. Quirks and diseases are passed on from generation to generation. Sugar diabetes is a prime example. Likewise, the sin nature is passed on to every generation. Romans 5:18 is another verse that clearly teaches the necessity of a virgin birth.

Therefore as by the offence of one [Adam] judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [Christ] the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

Notice that judgment came upon all men unto condemnation because of Adam’s sin, but through the righteousness of Christ one may be liberated from this judgment.

It is only logical to conclude that if Christ had come through the normal channels of reproduction, He would have also been born with this judgment of condemnation upon Him because He also would have inherited Adam’s sinful nature.

Therefore, in order that He might set men free from this condemnation, He had to be born in another manner so as not to be tainted with the old wicked nature of Adam.

There was only one way this possibility existed and that was through a virgin birth-bypassing man through insemination of the virgin’s ova by the Holy Spirit. This ova lies dormant in every woman until it is activated by a male sperm. Gasoline is also dormant until activated by a spark.

Is it an impossibility for the God, who formed man out of the dust of the ground and took a rib out of man to form woman, to place the activating seed within this holy virgin and bring forth His Son through the miracle-working power of His Holy Spirit?

Of course not. This is exactly what the Father did. Hear the Word of God.

The very first messianic prophecy is found in Genesis 3:15.

The very first messianic prophecy is found in Genesis 3:15. There we hear the Lord God uttering a prophecy against the serpent, saying, And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it [the woman’s seed] shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

The statement, “her seed,” is the first reference to the virgin birth in God’s Word.

All humans are from the seed of man, but the seed of a woman implies a stupendous miracle. Jeremiah 31:22 again speaks of a miraculous event that would occur upon this earth. For the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.

A woman conceiving and bearing a man-child would not be a new thing in the earth-this is the rule of life. After conception, one bears a male or female child. Therefore this entirely new thing that would transpire had to be a miracle.

What was it?

A woman, without any human intervention or penetration, would conceive, carry, and deliver a man-child. This happened to be the Lord Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world. Isaiah 7:14 again sheds light on this event of the ages.

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

Isaiah is not merely referring to a young woman giving birth to a son. That would not be a sign. Millions of young women have been able to bear sons.

The sign is that a virgin shall bear a son without an act of intercourse.

Forget the arguments of the religious contortionists who argue that the Hebrew word almah is “young woman” instead of “virgin.

All one need do is study Matthew 1:23 where the Greek word parthenos can only be translated “virgin” to arrive at a final answer. 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 1:22 states that this is a quotation from the prophet.

What prophet?  Isaiah.

And where did Isaiah make the statement? Isaiah 7:14 . So, the Greek text handles the Old Testament Hebrew text proving that God meant a “virgin” and not a “young woman.

I repeat what was stated earlier: A young woman bearing a child would be no sign. Any of you young expectant mothers reading this would be the first to realize this truth.

However, had you become impregnated miraculously by the power of God without knowing a man, it would very obviously be a sign.

What happened to Mary and only to Mary….

The reason that God the Son, originally in spirit form (see Philippians 2:5), had to have an earthly birth is found in Hebrews 10:4,5. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not [animal blood could not take away sin], but a body hast thou prepared me.

Since animal blood only covered sin and was presented as a down payment for sin’s debt until God’s Lamb should come, Christ had a body with divine blood prepared in the womb of a virgin so that He could shed that blood and die for the sins of the world. Because it had to be pure blood, free from the taint of Adam’s sin, the body and blood were prepared by the Father and placed in the womb of the virgin Mary.

Luke 1:26-28,30,31,34 depicts this thrilling story: And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS…. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

This is a precious truth. Though she was espoused or engaged to Joseph, she had not known a man or experienced premarital sex. Remember that God wrote the Bible, and He declares that Mary was a pure virgin. Away with the mentally warped, religious hypocrites who are so defiled that they imagine all sorts of depraved things about this sweet virgin. Not everyone thinks and acts as they do.

Mary declares,I have never known a man-how shall this baby be conceived?” The blessed answer is found in verse Luke 1:35: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Anyone who believes that God created this gigantic, fantastic, and astronomical universe certainly believes that God can bring His only begotten Son into the world by a separate act of creation. With God nothing shall be impossible (Luke 1:37).

There is the entire story.

The preexistent God, second member of the Trinity, came to take upon himself a body with blood so as to shed His blood for sinners.

The sin-tainted blood inherited from Adam would not qualify Him as the sinless Saviour, so a body was prepared with blood produced by the Father, and placed into the womb of a virgin by the blessed Holy Spirit. Christ eventually went to the cross and shed His blood. Because He was the God-man shedding untainted holy blood, mankind may have eternal life by receiving this sacrifice.

Believe the Word of God-see Christ crucified and risen again.

Receive this Christ today.

First Published 13th September 2013 | Re-published 29th December 2014

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE

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References   [ + ]

1. Torah often referred to in English as “Pentateuch” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torah

Christ in OT

Christ’s Death and Resurrection In the Old Testament

And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced…” — Zechariah 12:10
…Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:” — Luke 24:46
After his resurrection, Jesus met two men on the road to Emmaus, and he expected them to already understand through the Scriptures that Christ was meant to suffer and die. “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself,” (Luke 24:26–27).
We would all have loved to be there on the road to Emmaus that day, walking with the resurrected Jesus himself as he detailed the different prophecies that concerned his death and resurrection. Still, the apostles and other New Testament writers do a good job of filling us in. The Old Testament is filled with prophecies and types of Jesus’ suffering and death and resurrection as payment for the sins of the world, and the New Testament points those out.

Psalm 16:8–11

Simon Peter starts out on the day of Pentecost explaining that Jesus the Messiah had risen from the dead, “Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it,” (Acts 2:24). Peter then pulled from the Psalms to prove the truth of his testimony.
For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.” — Acts 2:24–32

Psalm 22

The sacrifice and resurrection of the Messiah are throughout the Old Testament. Psalm 22, written by King David a millennium before Christ, gives us the very perspective of the Lord hanging on the cross. It describes how the people mocked Christ (Psalm 22:7–8; Mat 27:41–43), how they cast lots to divide up his clothes (Psalm 22:18; Mat 27:35), how his bones were out of joint (Psalm 22:14), how the wicked had surrounded him and pierced his hands and feet (Psalm 22:16) – the scars of which Thomas later got to touch and feel (John 20:27). 
Psalm 22 ends by saying God’s righteousness would be declared to “a people that shall be born” (Psalm 22:31).

The Sign of Jonah

The Bible is also full of types and foreshadowings. Jesus Christ is throughout the Old Testament in a variety of details. 
For instance, before his death and resurrection, Jesus offered simply the “sign of Jonah” as a foreshadowing of how long he would be dead.
For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three ni
ghts in the heart of the earth.
” — Matthew 12:40

Isaiah 53

Isaiah 52:13–53:12 offers one of the most profound prophecies in the entire Old Testament, written over 700 years before Christ’s death and resurrection.
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” — Isaiah 53:3–6
Some have argued that this passage refers to Israel, but in the context that explanation makes little sense. Isaiah clearly says in verse 53:8, “for the transgression of my people was he stricken.” That is, “he” stands in contrast to Israel, Isaiah’s people.
In the next verse 9, Isaiah says: “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
It cannot be said of Israel that there was no deceit in her mouth.
On the other hand, Jesus was crucified between two thieves (Mark 15:27), and yet was buried in the grave of Joseph of Arimathaea, a wealthy man with enough standing to go ask Pilate for Jesus’ body (Mark15:43–46).
In Isaiah 53:10, we get a hint at a resurrection, because after his soul is made “an offering for sin” he will then “prolong his days.

In the end, Isaiah says in verse 12 that God would reward this righteous servant (numbered with the transgressors, but not one himself), “he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Our Redeemer Lives

In the oldest book of the Bible, written even before Moses wrote the Pentateuch, Job prophesied from the ash heap where he suffered. He declared in verses 19:25–26:
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.


Passover

These prophecies are just the beginning, of course. Exodus 12:1–28 describes the feast of Passover. It was set up as a type of Christ, one that gave the Hebrews an understanding of the use of a perfect lamb as a sacrifice, the blood of which would protect those under it from the wrath of God, the angel of death. The Jews were to prepare for the feast by removing all leaven from their homes, symbolic of removing sin from their lives.
Paul the scholar writes in 1 Corinthians 5:7, “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.

The Pure Spotless Lamb

Peter describes how we are saved by “the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” Just as John the Baptist understood, Jesus was the fulfillment of the Levitical system of blood sacrifice (e.g. Lev 8–9). Jesus was the true spotless lamb whose blood could take away sins. The sacrifice of bulls and goats could never take away sin, as the writer of Hebrews noted in verses 10:4–5, quoting Psalm 40:6:
For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.
The sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the sins of humanity was not an afterthought of God. It was always the plan from the beginning. Revelation 13:8 calls Jesus, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Throughout the Law and the Prophets, God revealed His eternal plan of redemption to mankind. In advance, He described the sacrifice and resurrection of the Messiah. It was a plan He had purposed before He had even formed humanity. He then accomplished it, and through Jesus Christ we have the victory now and forever.

Praise the King!

He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.” — Isaiah 25:8

from the March 26, 2013 eNews issue
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