Welcome to the
Zoe Dotes and AgapeArts
You Can REALLY get to Know GOD !
Have you ever wanted to really get to know God but didn't know where to start? Perhaps you
have tried different religions or have read different books looking for the answer. The Bible
explains that God is Spirit (1) and that the NATURAL person can't understand the things of God,
because they are spiritually discerned (2).
Adam and Eve knew God well: they talked with Him in the Garden of Eden, but God told them
that in the day that they eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil that they would
surely die (3). After they sinned by eating of that fruit we know that they still walked, and talked,
and thought; but they no longer had communication with God, because something had died that
very day that they ate the fruit - just as God had said would happen. It was their spirit (that part
of a person which God originally created to have natural communication with Him) that died
(separated from God). Since they could reproduce only what they themselves were, every person
(4) (except Jesus) (5) has been born as a sinner with their spirit separated from God. That is why
Jesus told a religious leader of His day that in order to enter the kingdom of God, he must be
born again..... That is, of water and of the Spirit (6).
Jesus said "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door,
I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me (7) Jesus
comes into the heart (through the Holy Spirit (8) of those who invite Him, and their spirit is then
born again of the Holy Spirit. They can then start to have communication with God. This is
further exemplified by the fact that Jesus said that He will come in and have supper with those
who invite Him in. When we invite someone to supper we desire, and do have communication
The Bible refers to the church (those who are born again) as being the bride of Christ (9). It also
refers to those who are born again as being adopted children of God (10). Each of these refers to a
very close relationship in which individuals really get to know each other, and that's exactly
what God desires. The problem with trying to get to know God, though, is that sin separates us
from Him (11). The Bible says that the wages of sin is death (12). That means that sin kills our
spirit, our body, our soul, and separates us from God. Finally, if we haven't asked God to forgive
our sins through Jesus, we will be totally separated from God for eternity in Hell. The Bible says
that it is impossible for us to pay the price of our sins on our own (13) so out of love Jesus paid the
price for us.
Jesus paid the price for our sins by dying in our place and rising again so that our sins would be
washed away by His Blood if we only ask. In order to pay that price he was not only crucified (
the most torturous method of execution known), but He was also whipped 39 times with a
Roman cat-of-nine-tails (nine whips in one), spit upon, made fun of, beaten, and even had a
crown of thorns jabbed into His scalp.... all to pay for our sins so that we could have eternal life
with God; have a more abundant life here and now; and, yes, even so we could really get to
know God (14).
Since sin separates us from God, we are told in the Bible to repent of our sins: that is, to be truly
sorry for them, turn away from them, and stop sinning. If and when we sin after we have been
born again, we should immediately ask God to forgive us again, turning from that sin toward
Him. Otherwise we will feel badly, because our fellowship with Him has been broken.
Once we have made a relationship with God through Jesus we should talk with Him often. We
do this by praying to God from our hearts, praising Him for what he has done in our lives, and
thanking Him for His blessings. We read and study His Word, the Holy Bible, and He talks to us
through it. The more we obey what He tells us in His Word, the closer we will draw to Him. As
we continue to do this He will talk to us during our daily lives by His Holy Spirit who now lives
in the believer and through His Word, even during work or recreational times... not just in
formal times of prayer, or Bible study, or church services.
Just as getting to know any friend takes time, so it is with our getting to know God. The more time we spend with Him, talking with Him, and listening to Him, and keeping our relationship right with Him, the more we will get to REALLY KNOW GOD.
(1) John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
(2) I Cor. 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
(3) Gen. 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
(4) Rom. 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
(5) Heb. 4:14,15; Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens,
Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which
cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we
are, yet without sin.
(6) John 3:3-7 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
(7) Rev. 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
(8) I Cor. 3:16; Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God
dwelleth in you?
(9) II Cor. 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one
husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
(10) Rom. 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
(11) Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
(12) Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(13) Mt. 19:25,26 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. (Mk. 10:26,27;) Eph. 2:8,9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
(14) John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
The following Zoe Dotes Scripture Studies have now been added to this page.
THE WORD OF GOD - How to get to know Jesus better.
Getting to know Jesus better
"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, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isa 9:6
".....The Prince of princes......" Dan 8:25
".....Messiah the Prince" Dan 9:25,26
"He that sows the good seed is the Son of man" Mat 13:37
".... Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:" Luke 24:19
".....the Word....." John 1:1,14
".....the Light......" John 1:7-9
".... the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world." John 1:29
".... the gift of God...." John 4:10
".... bread of life." John 6:48
".....the Son of God" John 9:35,37; Acts 3:13
"Then said Jesus ..... Truly, truly, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep..... I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture..... I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.... I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine." John 10:7,9,11,14
"Jesus said..., I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in (-from the Greek -fully trusts in, relies on, adheres to) me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die..." John 11:25,26
".....The Son of man ...." John 12:23,34
"Jesus saith ..., I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman." John 15:1,5
"...the Prince of life," Acts 3:15
"...Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." 1 Cor 1:24
"...Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:" 1 Cor 1:30
The foundation (of the church).... I Cor 3:11
"Christ, who is the image of God," II Cor 4:4
"For he is our peace," Eph 2:14
"the image of the invisible God," Col 1:15
"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:" Col 1:16; Jn.1:3; Heb. 1:2; Heb.11:3
"And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead;" Col 1:18; Eph. 5:23
"... our life," Col 3:4
".... our hope;" I Tim 1:1
".... our Lord." 1 Tim 1:2
".... King of kings, and Lord of lords;" I Tim 6:15; Rev.17:14
".... the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior." Titus 1:4
".... the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;" Heb 5:9
"Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec." Heb 5:10
".... the author and finisher of our faith..." Heb 12:2
".... chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded." I Pet 2:6
".... the chief Shepherd...." I Pet 5:4
".... the Word of life" 1 John 1:1
".... I am the first and the last: I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." Rev 1:17b,18
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war..... And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.... And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." Rev 19:11, 13, 16
"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." Rev 22:13
Getting to know Jesus better
The Bible, God's Word, gives us many reasons as to why Jesus came to this earth:
"Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto (served), but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." Matt. 20:28; Mk. 10:45
"For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." Luke 9:56
"I am come to send fire on the earth..." Luke 12:49
"For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19:10; Matt. 18:11
"The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:10
"Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God." Heb 10:7
"For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will who has sent me, that of all which he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one who sees the Son, and believes on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:38-40
"And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin..... For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." I John 3:5,8
"In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice which reconciled us to The Father) for our sins." 1 John 4:9,10
"I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Luke 5:32; Matt. 9:13; Mk. 2:17
"Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour." John 12:27 He came to die for our sins!
"I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believes on me should not abide in darkness.... for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world." John 12:46,47
".... To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth..." John 18:37
"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners..." I Tim 1:15
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." Matt. 5:17
".... I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true....." John 7:28
"And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind." John 9:39
"Wherefore when he comes into the world, he said, Sacrifice and offering you would not, but a body have you prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you have had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do your will, O God." Heb 10:5-7; Ps. 40:6-8
"For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world has he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." Heb 9:26
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord." Luke 4:18,19
Getting to know Jesus better
The Bible, God's Word, shows that it is possible to really know Jesus and God the Father.
Jesus praying to the Father said - "And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." Jn. 17:3
"And here is how we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He who says, I know him, and doesn't keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. I Jn. 2:3,4
"I write unto you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning." I Jn. 2:13
"We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God doesn't hear us. Here is how we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God. He that loves not does not know God; for God is love." I John 4:6-8
"And we know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life." I John 5:20
"Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth." Hosea 6:3
"But let him that glory glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the
LORD who exercises loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these
things I delight, saith the LORD." Jer 9:24
The Bible also explains how to really get to know Jesus and God the Father. Jesus is the Word of God made in the flesh, and one essential way to know Jesus better is to read and study God's Word, the Holy Bible. Two other essential ways are through prayer and by getting lots of good Christian fellowship (covered in their respective sections).
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." Jn. 1:1,14
"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;" I John 1:1
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called
Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of
fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he
himself. And he was clothed with a garment dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of
God." Rev 19:11- 13
The Bible claims that Jesus Christ is the Word of God made in the flesh, and yet the Bible itself is called the Word of God.
"Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unpretended love of the brethren, see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower thereof falls away: But the word of the Lord endures for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you." I Pet 1:22 - 25
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Heb 4:12
"Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my
yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto
your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Mat 11:28 - 30
The Bible gives us a number of reasons why God gave His Word....
"But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah), the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name." Jn. 20:31
"For whatsoever things were written afore time were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." Rom 15:4
"And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." I Jn. 1:4
"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not." I Jn. 2:1
"These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you." I Jn. 2:26 - a warning of false teachers and groups.
"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." I John 5:13
The Bible also expresses God's feelings about His Word and your reading of it.
"I will worship toward your holy temple, and praise your name for your loving-kindness and for your truth: for you (God) have magnified (to promote, to make large in honor) your word above all your name." Ps. 138:2
"Thus says the LORD... but to this man (person) will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word. Isa 66:1,2
"Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep
those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand." Rev 1:3
God also explained the result of not studying His Word.
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shalt be no priest to me: seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children." Hosea 4:6
"Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. Therefore hell has enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoices, shall descend into it. Isa 5:13,14
"Thus says the LORD God of Israel; Cursed be the man that obeys not the words of
this covenant, Jer 11:3
Many, many people have complained that they have tried to read and study God's Word but couldn't understand it.
Jesus said " the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." Jn. 6:63
"But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Cor 2:14
Jesus talking to His disciples and other followers.... "Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:" Mark 4:11 (also Mt.13:11, Lk. 8:10)
Jesus said "He that is of God hears God's words: you therefore hear them not, because you are not of God." Jn. 8:47
Jesus talking to His followers.... "Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knows not what his lord does: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." Jn. 15:15
Jesus said "If any man will do his (God's) will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." Jn. 7:17
"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John. 8:31- 32
"The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law." Deut 29:29
"I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, You seek me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. Isa 45:19
Only God's people, those who are true Christians (those who are born again of the Holy
Spirit), and are willing to do God's will can understand God's Word.
What importance you give God's Word in your life will determine your understanding of it.
"And he (Jesus) said unto them, Take heed what you hear: with what measure (value) you
mete (measure), it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he
that has, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he
hath. Mk. 4:24,25 - Lk. 8:18
It takes time to learn what God wants to teach you - it doesn't all come at once!
"I still have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." Jn.16:12
"For precept (commandment or rule) must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line
upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: Isa 28:10
The Lord wants us to read Scripture and gives a special blessing for reading not only Revelation, but all of Scripture.
"Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand." Rev 1:3
Paul writing to Timothy (his son in the faith who latter became one of the first Bishops )
"Till I come, give attendance to reading...." I Tim. 4:13
In order to get to know Jesus and God the Father better you should read the Word of God daily. In this manner you would be less likely to get in trouble with cults. (If you are just starting to read the Bible for the first time, we would suggest that you start with the Gospel of John and then read through all of the New Testament.) Not only should we read the Bible daily, Paul told Timothy.... "Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." II Tim. 2:15
Please re-read Hos. 4:6 and Isa. 15:13,14 above.
Many people ask whether we should still use the Old Testament. (Much of the New Testament is directly quoted from the Old Testament.
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." II Tim 3:16, 17
Jesus speaking, "Therefore every scribe (one who copied the Old Testament Scriptures very painstakingly to make more copies and was given the responsibility of teaching the people from God's Word) which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which brings forth out of his treasure things new and old." Mat 13:52
Jesus speaking, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law (part of the Old Testament), or the prophets (another part of the Old Testament): I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For truly I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot (smallest Hebrew letter) or one tittle (small Hebrew accent mark) shall in no way pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." Mat. 5:17,18
Paul speaking, "And knowing his (God's) will, and approving the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; Rom 2:18
"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. II Pet 1:20, 21
However, God the Father showed His priority of the New Testament over the Old in the
17th chapter of Matthew (we are to read and study the Old in light of the New). Jesus took Peter,
James, and John to a mountain and was transfigured before them. Then Moses (representing the
Law) and Elijah (representing the prophets) appeared, talking to Jesus. Peter thought that this was
fantastic and wanted to make three tabernacles (tents); one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for
Elijah. "While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out
of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; listen to him. And
when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, except Jesus only." Mat 17:5,8 - So, we
are to read and study the Old Testament in light of the New Testament!
The Word of God is our spiritual food.
"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby:" I Pet 2:2
"...that he might make you know that man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD does man live." Deut. 8:3b
"Your words were found, and I did eat them; and your word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart: for I am called by your name, O LORD God of hosts." Jer 15:16
"Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that you find; eat this roll (of the book), and go speak unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. And he said unto me, Son of man, cause your belly to eat, and fill your bowels with this roll that I give you. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness." Ezek 3:1-3
"And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which stands upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make your belly bitter, but it shall be in your mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter." Rev 10:8-10
In Exodus 16:14-31 we are given the story of God giving the children of Israel manna from heaven so they had food to eat in the desert between Egypt and the Promised Land. They had to gather each day's supply each morning before the sun came up or the manna melted. They couldn't get by with left-overs either, because it would spoil! They had to gather each day's supply fresh! So it is with God's Word in our lives. We need to get each day's supply - fresh - to feed our spirit to keep it growing strong.
Paul speaking, "And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. (God's set-apart people - made holy)." - Acts 20:32
If you read and study the Bible on your own, instead of just listening to another person's or
group's teaching, you will be less likely to fall prey to cults or false teachers. You want to read and
study the whole Bible to find out what God really says about different topics. Read it for what
is there, don't try to read things into it that aren't there. (We would recommend a Bible
concordance to find every usage of a particular word in the Bible and the Greek and Hebrew
words which they are translated from. FREE Bible with Strongs for notes in EXCEL
Some people tend to hold onto what they like in the Bible and neglect the rest. Others just sort of revise parts or add a little here or there in order to make it fit their way of thinking. " Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. "Don't you add unto his words, lest he reprove you, and you be found a liar." Prov 30:5,6
"You shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish anything from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you." Deut. 4:2
"For I testify unto every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." Rev 22:18,19
When the whole Bible isn't take as a whole when studying a particular topic there is an imbalance.
"...a false balance is not good." Prov. 20:23b
"A false balance is abomination to the LORD:" Prov. 11:1
The Bible explains in Gal. 6:5 that "every man (every person) will bear his own burden." In other words, no one will be able to say to the Lord at judgement that it was someone else's fault that their "beliefs" were wrong, because of what they were taught. That is why when talking about the Bereans in Acts.... "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17:11
We not only want to read and study God's Word, but we also want to put it into action in our lives. Jesus speaking, "And why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever comes to me, and hears my sayings, and does them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and dug deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that hears, and does not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great." Luke 6:46-49; Mt. 7:24-27
"But you be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholds himself, and goes his way, and straightway forgets what manner of man he was. But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." James 1:22-25
The Bible is our Rock and Truth which will last forever. "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away." Mark 13:31; Mk. 5:18; Lk.16:17
"The grass withers, the flower fades: but the word of our God shall stand for ever." Isa. 40:8
"... all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. Ps. 111:7b,8
"And also the Strength of Israel (God) will not lie nor repent (change His mind): for he is not a man, that he should repent." I Sam 15:29
"For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven." Ps. 119:89
Jesus speaking, "Truly, truly, I say unto you, He that hears my word, and believes on him
that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death
unto life." John 5:24
The Word of God gives us promises of what it can and will do in the lives of those who believe and apply it.
"Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that has called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." II Pet 1:2-4
"My son, forget not my law; but let your heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to you." Prov 3:1,2
"He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions." Ps. 107:20
"Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them." Ps. 119:165
"The entrance of your words gives light; it gives understanding unto the simple." Ps. 119:130 "You through your commandments have made me wiser than my enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for your testimonies are my meditation." Ps. 119:98,99
Jesus speaking, "Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you." John 15:3
Jesus praying to God the Father for both His disciples and those who would believe on Him
through the ages, "Sanctify them (make them holy) through your truth: your word is truth." John
"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times." Ps. 12:6
"The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes." Ps. 19:7,8
"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." Eph 5:25-27
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not there, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." Isa 55:8-11
"Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Ps. 119:105
Jesus speaking, "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." John 15:11
"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Rom 10:17
"Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures." James 1:18
"Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unpretended love of the brethren, see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower thereof falls away: But the word of the Lord endures for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you." I Pet 1:22-25
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;..." Col 3:16a
Getting to know Jesus better
Jesus, in His earthly walk, was a MAN of PRAYER. He would go off by Himself to be with His Father in prayer.... Lk. 9:18. To a mountain....Mt.14:23; Mk.6:46; Lk. 6:12, LK. 9:29. To a solitary place...... Mk.1:35. To the wilderness...... Lk. 5:16. In Gethsemane.... Mt. 26:36-46; Mk.14:32-42, Lk.22:39-46. Jesus prayed for His disciples of that time and all His followers to come..... Jn. Chapter 17.
Prayer, to many people, means asking God for a favor: however, the Bible explains that prayer is much, much more than that. Actually, prayer is our talking to God, even if we aren't asking for anything. In order to really get to know someone, you must talk with him (or her). We talk to the Lord through prayer, and He answers us through His Word.
**** WE ENTER GOD'S PRESENCE WITH ****
**** PRAYER AND PRAISE. WE THEN ****
**** FIND REST AND JOY THERE ****
"And Moses said unto the LORD, See, you say unto me, Bring up this people: and you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, I know you by name, and you have also found grace in my sight. Now therefore, I pray you, if I have found grace in your sight, show me now you way, that I may know you, that I may find grace in your sight: and consider that this nation is your people. And he said, My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest." Exodus 33:12-14
"But you are holy, O you who inhabit the praises of Israel (GOD'S people)." Ps. 22:3
"The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near unto them that are of a broken heart; and saves such as be of a contrite spirit." Ps. 34:15-18
"O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms." Ps. 95:1,2
"Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing." Ps. 100:2
"The LORD is near unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them." Ps. 145:18,19
"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matt 18:20
"Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded." James 4:8
"For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens. Glory and honor are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place." I Chronicles 16:26,27
"You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fulness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures for evermore." Ps. 16:11
We are given guidelines as to how to pray and what to pray for.
Jesus gave a SAMPLE PRAYER in Mt.6:9-13 & Lk. 11:2-4
* The prayer is started with praise to God as suggested in Psalm 100:4,5 "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endures to all generations."
* Let the people praise you, O God; let all the people praise you. Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us." Ps. 67:5,6
* Prayer that His will is to be done in this world, and since we are made of the earth, in us also.
* Prayer for all of our daily needs.
* Prayer for forgiveness, because "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." Isa. 59:2
* For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Mat 6:14,15
We are never to pretend to pray to impress others "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore you shall receive the greater damnation." Mat 23:14; Mk. 12:40; Lk.20:47
Real prayer is not to be used to show off of to impress others, either. Jesus teaching in the sermon on the mount, "And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Truly I say unto you, They have their reward. But you, when thou pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly." Mat 6:5,6
We are told to pray in the congregation also, though. "Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints." Ps. 149:1 - " For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matt. 18:20
We are not to use the same prayers over and over, but rather should speak from out heart"But when you pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Therefore, don't you be like them: for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask him." Matt. 6:7,8
God has recorded for us in His Word many principles of prayer and examples of what to pray for:
He knows all your needs, but often waits for you to ask His help before acting.
".....your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask him." Matt. 6:8
"..... you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts." James 4:2,3
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall you call upon me, and you shall go and pray unto me, and I will listen to you. And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart." Jer. 29:11-13
"Call unto me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you know not." Jer 33:3
"Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Matt. 26:41; Mk.14:38; Lk.22:40,46
"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love them which love you, what reward do you have ? do not even the publicans the same?" Matt. 5:44-46; Lk.6:28
"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;" I Tim. 2:1-3
"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love you." Ps. 122:6
"Brethren, pray for us (those in ministry)." I Thess. 5:25
"Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith." II Thess. 3:1-2
"Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest." Matt. 9:38 ; Lk.10:12
"Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." I Thess. 5:17,18
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Therefore all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, you do even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." Matt. 7:7-12
"And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give you. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity (troublesome, overly persistent request) he will rise and give him as many as he needs. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" Luke 11:5-13
"And he spoke a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of my adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" Lk.18:1-8
"Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." James 5:13-16
"And he spoke this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted." Luke 18:9-14
**** QUALIFICATIONS TO PRAYER RESULTS ****
"If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:" Ps. 66:18
"Likewise, you husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered." I Pet. 3:7
"And Jesus answering said unto them, Have faith in God. For truly I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, You be removed, and you be cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he said shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them. And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses." Mark 11:22-26
"Jesus answered and said unto them, Truly I say unto you, If you have faith, and doubt not, you shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if you shall say unto this mountain, You be removed, and you be cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive." Matt. 21:21,22
"But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." James 1:6-8
"And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was entreated of them; because they put their trust in him." I Chronicles 5:20
"And whatsoever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be
glorified in the Son. If you shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." John 14:13,14
"If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you." John 15:7
"You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." John 15:16
"Hitherto have you asked nothing in my name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full. These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time comes, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall show you plainly of the Father. At that day you shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:" John 16:24-26
"He that turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination." Prov 28:9
"The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight....... The LORD is far from the wicked: but he hears the prayer of the righteous." Prov 15:8,29
"And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do
those things that are pleasing in his sight." I John 3:22
Prayer is recorded in the Bible in a number of bodily positions - standing, kneeling, lying down, and even with hands lifted up. Prayer was said out loud, and quietly too, and God responded regardlessly. The thing that really matters is that you talk to Him from your heart.
When we often get to the point where we can't figure out how to pray for a certain situation we can rely on the Holy Spirit to help us pray properly... (after all, He is the One whose ministry has brought us to Jesus to begin with!.. "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:" John 16:8) "Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God." Rom 8:26,27
It is important to remember that God is not a genie in a magic lamp that we use to get our wishes granted by! It must be stressed, though, that if you are BORN AGAIN then you've been adopted by The Father, and He loves to act in our behalf when we come to Him!
"Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favor my righteous cause: yes, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which has pleasure in the prosperity of his servant." Ps. 35:27
"Delight yourself also in the LORD; and he shall give you the desires of your heart." Ps. 37:4
"He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them." Ps. 145:19
"When a man's ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him." Prov 16:7
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than clothing? Behold the birds of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one foot unto his height? And why do you take thought for clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matt. 6:24-33
"Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Luke 12:32
"But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." 1 Cor 2:9
"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Heb 11:6
"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us: And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him." I John 5:14,15
One last thing..... believe it or not: prayer is actually a service to God! "And she was a widow of about eighty-four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day." Luke 2:37
Getting to know Jesus better
Is Jesus Christ God? Does it even matter whether He is? Does it matter what a person believes with regard to His deity?
Historically, the church has held the belief that Jesus Christ is God, but in recent history many teachers, and groups have come to say that He isn't and, that it is really blasphemy to say that He is. However, it is not at all important what any teacher, church, or group says. What is important is what God has said in His Word.
PRE-BIRTH EXISTENCE OF JESUS CHRIST.
"Thus says the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God." Isa 44:6
Jesus speaking, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." Lk. 10:18 - There is NO mention of this being a vision!
Jesus talking, "And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven." Jn. 3:13 - Jesus, the 'Son of man,' was talking and saying that he is also in heaven.
John talking about Jesus, "He that comes from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaks of the earth: he that comes from heaven is above all." Jn. 3:31
"Then Jesus said unto them, Truly, truly, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which comes down from heaven, and gives life unto the world." John 6:32-33
Jesus speaking, "For I came down from heaven...." John 6:38
Jesus talking, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven:" John 6:51
Jesus talking, "What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?" John 6:62
Paul speaking of the Jews led by Moses from Egypt through the Promised Land. "And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." I Cor 10:4
Jesus praying, "And now, O Father, glorify me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was." John 17:5
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." Jn. 1:1,3,10
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14
"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest (made known) in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles (heathens, non-Jews), believed on in the world, received up into glory." I Tim 3:16
"(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;)" I John 1:2
"Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 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: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." Col 1:15-18 Compare with Genesis 1:1 - God created!
"God... Has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;" Heb 1:2
Jesus speaking, " Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Truly, truly, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him.... " John 8:56-59 God, in Exodus 3:14, told Moses to refer to God as "I AM." The Jews understood that Jesus meant that He lived when Abraham was (approximately 2,000 years earlier), and that He is I AM (God)... that is why they were trying to stone Him!
"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." Heb 2:9-10
"For truly he took not on himself the nature of angels; but he took on himself the seed of Abraham." Heb 2:16
Speaking of Adam - then of Jesus, " The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven." I Cor 15:47
Jesus is name as the Word of God many times in the New Testament. A number of times in the Old Testament you can find where the prophets have said "The word of the Lord came unto me saying...."
NAMES OF GOD GIVEN TO JESUS CHRIST
"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (in the Hebrew - means 'God with us')." Isa 7:14 - prophesy of Jesus' birth.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." Jn. 1:1
"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, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isa 9:6
".... Jesus asked them, Saying, What do you think of Christ (Messiah)? Whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. He said unto them, How then does David in the spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, You sit on my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?" Mat 22:41- 45; Mk. 12:35-37
"And Thomas answered and said unto him (Jesus), My Lord and my God. Jesus said unto him, Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." John 20:28,29 - If Jesus is the perfect and true prophet, sinless as described in the Bible He would have had to rebuke Thomas' confession of Him as God if Thomas was wrong, or He would have sinned by accepting God's title..... Unless, of course, He is God!
"Truly my soul waits upon God: from him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved." Ps 62:1,2
"I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior." Isa 43:11 - God says in the Old Testament that He is the only Savior, and there is none beside Him. Also, He only is our only salvation. Yet.... talking about "Jesus Christ of Nazareth"....Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:10,12
Mary speaking, " And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior." Luke 1:47
"But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior;" Titus 3:4,6
There are twenty-four such references to both Jesus Christ and God as the Savior.
"But unto the Son he said, Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom.... And, You, Lord, in the beginning have laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of your hands:" Heb 1:8,10 see Ps. 45 & Ps. 102
"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, says the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.... ....Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." Rev 1:8,17,18 - Rev. 22:13,16 - please re-read Is. 44:6 above.
In the King James Version and many other versions there are words that are printed in italics to show that that word or words were not in the original Greek or Hebrew. These words were added to the English version to make it easier to read or understand. Sometimes it is much better to read such verses without the words that are printed in italics.
The story of the betrayal and arrest of Jesus..... "Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom do you seek ? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus said unto them, I am he (he is printed in italics). And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he (italics), they went backward, and fell to the ground." John 18:3-6 - Why did they all fall down to the ground when He said, "I AM," if He isn't God?
THE EQUALITY OF JESUS AND GOD
In the creation account the Hebrew word translated for God is Elohiym. Elohiym actually means more than one or a plurality of God.
"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." 1 John 5:7 - The idea of three individual personalities comprising one total being is one which is argued by many, however, the Bible says that we have a spirit, soul, and a body which are separate yet together are one total being. - I Thess. 5:23. - also, many times Jesus spoke of us being in Him - He in us: The Father in Him - and He in the Father.
"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:" Phil 2:5-7
"For in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." Col 2:9
"But Jesus answered them, My Father works here, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God." John 5:17,18
"The Jews answered him, saying, we don't stone you for a good work; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, make yourself God." John 10:33 - The Jews heard Jesus speak in their own language and knew exactly what He meant!
God certainly doesn't have to repeat Himself to make a point, but when He does repeat a theme throughout His inspired Scriptures we should definitely take note!
Now the big question is.... "Does it really matter whether we believe that Jesus Christ is God?
Jesus speaking, "I said therefore unto you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I am he (he is in italics!), ye shall die in your sins." John 8:24
Jesus speaking, "And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcome shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son." Rev 21:6,7
The question of the deity of Jesus Christ is one which helps to identify most cults. Almost all will teach that Jesus Christ is not God. Some teach that He may be a god, but not the God of Israel, the Creator, the One who took on our flesh in order to die for our sins!
All true Christian churches believe, teach, and preach that Jesus is God!
Getting to know Jesus better
Some, attempting to discredit Jesus, claim Him as a phony who purposely fulfilled Scriptural prophecy to fool the populace. There are, however, too many prophecies that He fulfilled which a phony could have no control over.
Psalm 22 - an acknowledged Messianic Psalm referring to the crucifixion:
Ps. 22:1 ".... My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?" - Ok, he could have simply quoted Scripture on this one, but lets read on!
Ps. 22:6 "But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people."
Ps. 22:7 "All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,"
Ps. 22:8 "He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him." - How did He get His enemies to say this while He was on the cross?
Ps. 22:11 "Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help."
Ps. 22:12 "Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round."
Ps. 22:13 "They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion."
Ps. 22:14 "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels."
Ps. 22:15 "My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaved to my jaws; and you have brought me into the dust of death."
Ps. 22:16 "For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet." - Not an easy thing to self-fulfill!
Ps. 22:17 "I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me."
Ps. 22:18 "They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture." - How did He get
the guards to gamble for His clothes?
Prophecy - To be born of a virgin:
"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Isa 7:14 It wouldn't be much of a sign from God if she wasn't a REAL virgin!
"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, you who are highly favored, the Lord is with you: blessed are you among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for you have found favor with God. And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, your cousin Elisabeth, she has also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to your word. And the angel departed from her." Luke 1:26-38; Matt. 1:18-25
Prophecy - Messiah to be born in Bethlehem:
"But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." Micah 5:2
"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And you Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, are not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of you shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel." Matt. 2:1-6; Luke 2:1-20
Prophecy - Into Egypt:
"When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt." Hosea 11:1
"And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and you be there until I bring you word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.... But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life. And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel." Matt. 2:13-15,19-21
Prophecy - Slaying of the children by Herod:
"Thus says the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not." Jer. 31:15
"Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding angry, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not." Matt. 2:16-18
Prophecy - John the Baptist preparing the way:
"The voice of him that cries in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." Isa. 40:3
"Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom you seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom you delight in: behold, he shall come, says the LORD of hosts.......Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:" Mal. 3:1; Mal. 4:5
"In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." Matt. 3:1-3
Prophecy - Calming of the storm:
"Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he brings them out of their distresses. He makes the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still." Ps. 107:28,29
"And he said unto them, Why are you fearful, O you of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm." Matt. 8:26
Prophecy - Healing of blindness:
"Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles..... I the LORD have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand, and will keep you, and give you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house." Isa 42:1,6,7
"And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, you son of David, have mercy on me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, You son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calls you. And he, throwing away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. And Jesus answered and said unto him, What will you that I should do unto you? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go your way; your faith has made you whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way." Mark 10:46-52
Prophecy - Healing:
"Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an deer, and the tongue of the mute sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert." Isa. 35:5,6
"The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;" Isa. 61:1
Fulfillment - all through the Gospels
Prophecy - To be rejected by His own people:
"The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner." Ps. 118:22
"Who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 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." Isa. 53:1,3
"But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke, Lord, who has believed our report? and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He has blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spoke of him. Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God." John 12:37-43; John 1:11,12; Matt. 26:3,4; ACTS 4:1-12
Prophecy - Messiah to be betrayed by a friend:
"Yes, my own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, has lifted up his heel against me." Ps. 41:9
"Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him....... And while he yet spoke, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him. And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore are you come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him." Matt. 26:14-16, 47-50; Lk.22:19-23; John 13:18,19
Prophecy - Would be silent before Accusers
"He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opens not his mouth." Isa 53:7
"And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto him, Don't you hear how many things they witness against you? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marveled greatly." Matt. 27:12-14; Mk. 15:3,4; Lk. 23:8-10
Prophecy - To be tried, condemned, and executed:
"He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken." Isa 53:8
"Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the Passover. Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation do you bring against this man? They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto you. Then said Pilate unto them, You take him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death: That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spoke, signifying what death he should die. Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Are you the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Are you saying this thing of yourself, or did others tell it to you of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you unto me: what have you done? Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from here. Pilate therefore said unto him, Are you a king then? Jesus answered, You say that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth hears my voice. Pilate said unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all." John 18:28-38 "Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two others with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst." John 19:16-18; Matt. 27:1,2; Lk. 23:1-25
Prophecy - To be beaten and spat upon:
"I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting." Isa. 50:6
"Now gather yourself in troops, O daughter of troops: he has laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek." Micah 5:1
"Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,........ And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head." Matt. 26:67;27:30 ; Mk.14:65; Mk.15:19; Lk. 22:63,64; Jn.19:1-3
Prophecy - To be mocked:
"All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him." Ps. 22:7,8
"And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, And saying, You who would destroy the temple, and rebuild it in three days, save yourself. If you be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God." Mat 27:39-43; Lk. 23:11,35
Prophecy - To die as sacrifice for sin:
"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 has laid on him the iniquity of us all..... He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken...... Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief: when you shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he has 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." Isa 53:5,6,8,10-12
"The next day John saw Jesus coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world." John 1:29
"And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, You know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spoke he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad." John 11:49-52
"And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour: and he said unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate said unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him, and two others with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the middle." John 19:14-18; ACTS 10:43;13:38,39; I Cor.15:3; Eph. 1:7; I Pet.2:24,25; I Jn. 1:7,9
Prophecy - Must be lifted as serpent in wilderness:
"And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived." Num 21:9
"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:14,15
Prophecy -To be crucified:
"I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; and you have brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me." Ps. 22:14-17
"And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him........ And it was the third hour, and they crucified him." Mark 15:20,25; Matt.27:31; Jn. 19:15-18
Prophecy -To suffer with lawbreakers:
"Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he has 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." Isa. 53:12
"And with him they crucified two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. And the scripture was fulfilled, which said, And he was numbered with the transgressors." Mark 15:27,28; Matt. 27:38; Lk. 23:32-34
Prophecy -To be given vinegar and gall:
"They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink." Ps. 69:21
"They gave him vinegar to drink mixed with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink." Matt. 27:34; Jn. 19:28-30
Prophecy -They would gamble for His clothes:
"They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture." Ps. 22:18
"And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots." Matt. 27:35; Mk. 15:24; Jn.19:23,24
Prophecy - His bones were not to be broken:
"In one house shall it be eaten; you shall not carry forth any of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall you break a bone thereof." Exodus 12:46 - talking about the Passover Lamb
"They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it: according to all the ordinances of the Passover they shall keep it." Num 9:12
"The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, (for that Sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knows that he says truth, that you might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken." John 19:31-36
Prophecy - He would be raised from the dead:
"For you will not leave my soul in hell; neither will you allow your Holy One to see corruption." Ps. 16:10
"In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Don't you fear: for I know that you seek Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goes before you into Galilee; there shall you see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulcher with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshiped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me." Matt. 28:1-10; Mk.16:1-8; Lk.24:1-9,44-48; Jn.20:1-31; ACTS 2:22-32; I Cor.15:4-8
Prophecy - 3 days in the earth:
"Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights." Jonah 1:17
"But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 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 nights in the heart of the earth." Matt. 12:39,40
Prophecy - Rode Colt Of An Ass To Praise:
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your King comes unto you: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass." Zech. 9:9
"Blessed be he that comes in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD." Ps. 118:26
"And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway you shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say anything unto you, you shall say, The Lord has need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell the daughter of Sion, Behold, your King comes unto you, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and threw them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest." Matt. 21:1-9
Prophecy - 30 Pieces Of Silver:
"And I said unto them, If you think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver." Zech. 11:12
"Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him." Matt. 26:14-16
Prophecy - Judas would eat bread with Jesus:
"Yes, my own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, who did eat of my bread, has lifted up his heel against me." Ps. 41:9
"And he answered and said, He that dips his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me. The Son of man goes as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, You have said." Matt. 26:23-25
Prophecy -Disciples would split up at Arrest and Crucifixion:
"Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones." Zech .13:7
"Then said Jesus unto them, All of you shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad........ But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled." Matt. 26:31,56
Prophecy -False Witnesses:
"False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not." Ps. 35:11
"Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;" Matt. 26:59
Prophecy -Potter's Field Bought With 30 Pieces of Silver:
"And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD. And I said unto them, If you think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was priced at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD." Zech. 11:11-13
"Then Judas, who had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? You see to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me." Matt. 27:3-10
Prophecy -Rich Man's Grave:
"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." Isa. 53:9
"When the evening was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple: He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher, and departed." Matt. 27:57-60
Prophecy -To Be Whipped:
"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." Isa. 53:5
"And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified." Mark 15:15
Prophecy -Spear Through His Side:
"And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn." Zech. 12:10
"But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they broke not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knows that he said truth, that you might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. And again another scripture said, They shall look on him whom they pierced." John 19:33-37
Prophecy - Judas Replaced:
"Let his days be few; and let another take his office." Ps. 109:8
"Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spoke before concerning Judas, who was guide to them that took Jesus. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper language, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishopric let another take. Wherefore of these men which have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, You, Lord, who knows the hearts of all men, show whether of these two you have chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles." Acts 1:16-26
Prophecy - To the gentiles ( people of non Jewish descent ):
"And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious." Isa 11:10
"Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles." Isa 42:1
"I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;" Isa 42:6
"And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth." Isa 49:6
Millions of Christians over thousands of years! - What other Jewish servant of God could this pertain to?
"He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him,
to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"
If you haven't already made Jesus your Lord, why not ask Him to forgive your sins and be Lord of your life right now?
Getting to know Jesus better
Often, when confronted with the Gospel, people will ask whether it is necessary to go to church. The question usually goes something like "will I go to hell if I don't go to church?" Nowhere in the Bible is there any indication that one's eternal destination is based on church attendance. Instead, salvation is based ONLY on whether one is Born Again - all sin is repented of and Jesus is made Lord (Master) of one's life. So what does it matter whether one attends church?
The Bible explains that real Christians belong to the church, the body of Christ. " ..... Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.......For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones." Eph 5:23,30
Since we are a part of Christ's body, one great way to get to know God better is to have real Christian fellowship. There is a difference between fellowship with Christians and Christian fellowship. You can have fellowship with Christians centering around work, play, or around the Lord. Christian fellowship centers around the Lord exclusively. Jesus said, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matt. 18:20
God has given certain positions within the church in order to prepare us for our own ministry (service), and to keep us from being deceived by false teachers.... "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying (building up) of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." Eph 4:11-16
"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a
new and living way, which he has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And
having an high priest (Jesus) over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full
assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed
with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful
that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not
forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one
another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching." Heb 10:19-25
Does it matter where or which day to meet?
"And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from
house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having
favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." Acts
"And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in your house:" Philemon 1:2
"Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house." Col. 4:15
"The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house." I Cor. 16:19
"Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus..... Likewise greet the church that is in their house......" Rom 16:3,5
"Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you." John 20:19
"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ." Col 2:16,17
Christian fellowship can be properly had, therefore, either in a dedicated building or
wherever two or more are gathered in HIS NAME.... Having the Christian fellowship is what's
HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE
Getting to know Jesus better
God has paid the highest price (by sending His Son Jesus to the cross) in order to buy us back from our sins. He has given us guidelines in His Word to show us how to tell the difference between true and false ministers, teachers, prophets, and groups in order that we would not be drawn away from Him!
In one of the earliest references to false prophets in the Bible, God tells a couple of ways to distinguish false prophets, and He lets us know exactly how strongly He felt about their sin.
"If there arises among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spoke unto you, saying, Let us go after other gods, which you have not known, and let us serve them; You shall not listen unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proves you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and you shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he has spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to throw you out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded you to walk in. So shall you put the evil away from the midst of you. If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend, which is as your own soul, entice you secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which you have not known, you, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, near unto you, or far off from you, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; You shall not consent unto him, nor listen unto him; neither shall your eye pity him, neither shalt you spare, neither shall you conceal him: But you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And you shall stone him with stones, that he die; because he has sought to throw you away from the LORD thy God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you." Deuteronomy 13:1-11
"But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if you say in your heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken? When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken, but the prophet has spoken it presumptuously: you shall not be afraid of him." Deuteronomy 18:20-22
Jesus said that false prophets and messiahs WILL come: "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many..... And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many...... Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be...... But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." Matt. 24:4,5,11,23-27,36 ; Mark 13:21,22 ; Luke 21:8
The Apostles agreed: "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." Acts 20:29,30
"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That you be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." II Thess. 2:1-4
"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privately shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." II Pet. 2:1
Is God's Word being taught (His Grace based on Jesus Christ's Sacrifice), or is it rules and doctrines of men ?
"But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.... But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father has not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." Matt. 15:9,13,14
"According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another builds thereon. But let every man take heed how he builds thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." I Cor. 3:10,11
"I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ." Gal. 1:6-10
"O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. He therefore that ministers to you the Spirit, and works miracles among you, does he do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" Gal. 3:1-5
"For I would that you knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk you in him: Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And you are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also you are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who has raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshiping of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increases with the increase of God. Wherefore if you be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are you subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honor to the satisfying of the flesh." Col. 2:1-23
"As I besought you to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that you might charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm." I Tim. 1:3-7
"Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer." I Tim. 4:1-5
"If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof comes envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw yourself....... O Timothy, keep that which is committed to your trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen." I Tim 6:3-5,20,21
"Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as does a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, The Lord knows them that are his. And, Let every one that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity." II Tim. 2:15-19
"Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." Titus 1:14-16
"But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinns, being condemned of himself." Titus 3:9-11
Jesus said one way to distinguish the difference is by their fruits...
"Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 5:19
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity." Matt. 7:15-23
FRUITS - Are they humble or proud, looking for fame? Greedy or giving of themselves? Are they living by God's Word, or are they hypocrites?
"Then spoke Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but don't you do after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But don't you be called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all you are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be you called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither do you allow them that are entering to go in........ (Luke 11:52 Woe unto you, lawyers! for you have taken away the key of knowledge: you entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in you hindered......) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore you shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Woe unto you, you blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! You fools and blind: for which is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifies the gold? And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever swears by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. You fools and blind: for which is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifies the gift? Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, swears by it, and by all things thereon. And whoso shall swear by the temple, swears by it, and by him that dwells therein. And he that shall swear by heaven, swears by the throne of God, and by him that sits thereon. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these you ought to have done, and not to leave the other undone. You blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. You blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like unto whitewashed tombs, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the tombs of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore you be witnesses unto yourselves, that you are the children of them which killed the prophets. You fill up then the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?" Matt. 23:1-33
"But Jesus called them unto him, and said, You know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." Matt. 20:25-28
"And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that you disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest. And he sat down, and called the twelve, and said unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all." Mark 9:33-35
"Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. Yes, you yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have showed you all things, how that so labouring you ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:31-35 (Written by the Apostle Paul.)
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which you have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." Rom. 16:17,18
"Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that you might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely? I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service. And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself. As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia. Wherefore? because I love you not? God knows. But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." II Cor. 11:7-15
"And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;" II Tim 2:24,25
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with diverse lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. But you have fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall grow worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." II Tim. 3:1-13
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." II Tim. 4:3,4
"For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, especially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;" Titus 1:10-13
"The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock." I Pet. 5:1
"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily 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. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not, and their damnation slumbers not......... But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them." II Pet. 2:1-3,12-21
"Little children, it is the last time: and as you have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. But you have an annointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written unto you because you know not the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son. Whosoever denies the Son, the same has not the Father: (but) he that acknowledges the Son has the Father also. Let that therefore abide in you, which you have heard from the beginning. If that which you have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, you also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he has promised us, even eternal life. These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you." I John 2:18-26
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God hears not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God. He that loves not knows not God; for God is love." I John 4:1-8
"For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have worked, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresses, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God. He that abides in the doctrine of Christ, he has both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:" II John 1:7-10
"I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, received us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither does he himself receive the brethren, and forbids them that would, and casts them out of the church. Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that does good is of God: but he that does evil has not seen God." III John 1:9-11
"For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ........ Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke you. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withers, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaks great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage. But, beloved, you remember the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit." Jude 1:4,8-19
"I know your works, and your labor, and your patience, and how you can not bear them which are evil: and you have tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars:......... But I have a few things against you, because you have there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So have you also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate....... Notwithstanding I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searches the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works." Rev. 2:2,14,15,20-23
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A Christian Professional Firefighter's Opinion
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Zoe Dotes' Favorite Links
Encouraging Bible Promises
Low Self-Esteem? Find Your True Worth
FREE Bible with Strongs for notes in EXCEL
Click here for:
Here you will also find links to:
FREE web page backgrounds,
The Life Giving Web Site Award
Christian Banner eXchange
Zoe Dotes' Favorite Links
Encouraging Bible Promises
Low Self-Esteem? Find Your True Worth
FREE Bible with Strongs for notes in EXCEL
Click here for:
Here you will also find links to:
FREE web page backgrounds,
The Life Giving Web Site Award
Christian Banner eXchange